Label Our World Carefully

I was giving some thought to how we label things, particularly familiar things.

‘Follow the money’ is often a good beginning. I was always under the assumption that rapeseed was changed to canola for marketing purposes. The Town of Tisdale, Saskatchewan changed its motto from ‘The Land of rape and honey’ to ‘Opportunity Grows Here.’ Good move Tisdaleites!

The Rapeseed Association of Canada trademarked the name canola. It was primarily bred for its low acid characteristic. Canola is now a generic term for edible varieties of rapeseed in many parts of the world.

So, this money trail led me to an answer but not the one I was expecting.

Now, let’s move on to a current labelling practice; natural gas, natural methane gas, methane, methane gas.

Keep in mind that natural gas is made up of 70-90% methane!

The research found that folks were more favourable from first to last, naturally.

I thought, heating my home with natural gas, delivered seamlessly underground, was way ahead of all other fossil fuel alternatives. It turns out it may be only a shade better than burping and farting cows.

I have had my defences up for many of the misleading labellings of ‘natural ‘products. I am faced with edible products that are untested to do what they claim and are promoted as safe and effective because they are natural. I remind myself that gravel is very natural, but I won’t add it to my diet.

I had let my guard down with natural gas, perhaps, in part, because I didn’t want to deal with the implications of it not being a viable alternative to reducing global warming sufficiently.

I try to distinguish my wish, from just hope, for a future that we need to achieve.

Here’s my bit of a think. The infrastructure of delivering natural gas to individual homes and buildings is efficient, and it works very reliably. We are trying to reduce carbon-based fuels from the transportation sector; we are not trying to eliminate cars and trucks or even airplanes.

So that is the roadmap I think will happen to my heating option. It has already begun. Vehicles are more efficient than ever before. Homes are increasingly achieving the same gains with higher R-values on new construction. Solar panels are standard on some new home builds. Windows are steadily improving their ability to keep heat in the house.

As ICE cars (internal combustion engines) head to the museums, so too will houses. We’ll look at asphalt shingled roofs with a smirk – just as we do now with reruns of on-air TV shows with large ashtray stands beside each of the evening talk show guests.

We’ll get to our climate goal by combining incremental changes and sudden bursts of change, such as legislation, with new materials and cultural priorities taking hold.

Please give this a bit of a think, too.

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit-of-a-think. Thank you.

Photo by Doris Morgan on Unsplash

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