Wednesday, February 15, 2012

“Big Brother” Energy Control

Surely this is not new to most people, but it deserves to be mentioned.

Yesterday yet another mailing arrived urging us to “Join the partnership where helping you save money, helps all of us save energy!” Naturally, this mailing came from one of the big corporations that also continue to pretend to be “saving trees” by sending mailings about “going green” by allowing them to control my account electronically without paper mailings.

The program being promoted is called WattSaver®. The key information is found in the footnote:

*WattSaver works like this: On the hottest weekday afternoons from June through September, demand on Westar Energy’s system is at its highest. At these times, we may cycle your central air conditioner or heat pump on and off in 15 minute increments in a coordinated effort to reduce energy demand. These cycling events will normally last about four to six hours or less. During that time, your thermostat will display “SAVINGS” and the system fan will continue to circulate air throughout your home or business. Cycling events will occur infrequently and only on weekdays — never on weekends or holidays. You may choose to not participate in a cycling event once per month.

Like good little automatons we are expected to volunteer and believe that this is for the sake of “saving energy.” These “thermostats” are to be connected to the Internet. What else will be monitored through these “thermostats”?

Should this be cause for concern?

Let’s see, to what other forms of monitoring our personal information and persons are we already subjected?

  • all cell phone and traditional phone calls are monitored for both contacts and conversations
  • all phones can be utilized as listening devices
  • all modern cell phones can be utilized as tracking devices (GPS)
  • all Internet searches are tracked and recorded
  • all web sites and blogs are monitored
  • all e-mail messages and chat messages are monitored
  • all banking transactions are monitored
  • all non-cash (and most cash) purchases are monitored
  • all health care and medications are monitored
  • all accredited educational activities are monitored
  • all driving activities are monitored through traffic cameras
  • most newer automobiles are monitored through various tracking devices installed both for govermental and banking agencies
  • all tax deductible donations are monitored
  • all incorporated groups, including religious organizations, are monitored
  • all transportation by air, sea, train, bus is monitored

  • and the list goes on . . .

Do people not realize that with these Internet controlled thermostats that total control over heating and cooling is entrusted to whomever gains access? What if a “virus” shuts down the system? What if . . .?

Do people really want to surrender control of these matters to someone in India or Malaysia or wherever? What will customer service be like when the thermostat goes haywire?

Do people really want to have TSA or Homeland Security or FEMA tuck them into bed?

The sad thing is that even though I refuse to volunteer to have such a thermostat installed in my home, most Americans will volunteer, especially since it is “free.” Oh yes, “free,” as in everybody pays. But since the majority will volunteer, they are actually volunteering me, because once these are installed in enough homes and businesses, they will be declared to be mandatory for all.

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* here is a definition of automaton, just in case this is a new word to you, especially definition #2.
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