Sources of energy and its derivatives are becoming more and more expensive. Oil extraction is becoming more and more difficult as we deplete remaining oil reserves. All the while, the Western world grows fatter and more apathetic of the world around it. A lot of people here are motivated by their conceitedness to go to the gym in order to improve their physique or to attempt to combat the forthcoming biochemical consequences of their last meal.
Now, try and think of all the energy that is wasted at gymnasiums across the world and at UCSB. There is electricity that goes into powering treadmills and other exercise equipment. Athletes use muscle power to generate heat in their body that does not get used. Athletes use muscle power to pedal exercise bicycles or use a stair-master. My point is that this needs to be converted into electricity.
I propose that the UCSB Recreation Center convert itself into a modern day electricity farm. The university would install a meter that would measure the electricity output of each fitness machine. Students and visitors would be paid to produce electricity. Exercise will become an activity that benefits all of humanity and not just ourselves.
You may be asking yourself what kind of positive effects such an idea might bring. We may finally free ourselves from being dependent on oil. People would do sports in order to make money and do good for society. People who are unemployed or without a good education could go to the gym and use their bodies to do something that would be respected in society.
Voltaire wrote, “Work spares us from the three evils: boredom, vice and need.” Working or participating in a community gym-power station would rid you of these three evils. People who are bored or who watch television all day would go and make money generating electricity. Alcoholics would go to the gym and finally do something useful instead of drinking all day.
There is more that students can do in order to combat global warming and economic collapse. For example, we could replace the trees on campus with fruit trees or convert areas of grass into gardens. How many times have you been on campus and not had enough cash to buy a good sandwich? With fruit trees and gardens all over campus, there would never be any need to worry about what you will eat for lunch or dinner. Good fruit would be available everywhere.
All the food harvested on campus would obviously be organic. Many organic foods today need to be flown in an airplane in order to deliver them to consumers before they spoil. This is not good for the environment. A farm on campus would make it so that students would not have to eat food that was flown in an airplane.
More can be done in regards to electricity generation. Many of us here ride our bicycles to class. Why not attach a dynamo to the bicycle that collects energy and stores it into a battery – a battery which you can use to power your laptop in class, charge your mobile phone or whatever else you need to be powered? This is energy that goes to waste while we travel to our classes. Why not collect it?
There is a lot that can be done on campus but it seems like most people are apathetic or that cost and logistics always get into the way. How are we going to be a sustainable society without putting in any effort? I hope a member of Associated Students, the United States government, a United Nations ambassador or a political leader in a foreign country reads this column and is inspired to implement some of my changes. It would make our society better.