Babies have very limited ways to communicate. But they quickly learn that if they cry they’ll usually get picked up. Their action stimulates the reaction they want.
But its not until around the age of 8 that a child has the intelligence to fully understand the concept of cause and effect. At that age, which is about 3rd grade, kids know that actions have reactions called consequences.
Seems to me there are a lot of adults who still don’t get that.
And unfortunately, most of the adults who are in positions to significantly impact our lives, livelihoods, and lifestyles through public policies are at the top of that list of people who don’t get it.
Take the recent initiative that 50% of all vehicles made by 2030 should be electric.
As of 2019 hybrid and plug in electric cars accounted for only 2.1% of new cars sold. Not many people were interested in hybrid or electric cars, then or now.
Forecasts are that by 2040 all new vehicles sold will be electric powered because of environmental mandates put on the automotive industry by governments as a way to reduce carbon emissions and use of fossil fuels.
That’s a lot of public persuasion and change of consumer behavior that will need to happen in less than 20 years.
Whether you agree or disagree that it’s the right action to take, I feel certain that policy makers have never considered the consequences of their actions.
Consequences like …
- How and where do all those electric powered cars re-power on a daily basis?
- Where do people plug-in when they live in city row homes and town homes that have only on- street parking with no way to plug in their vehicles for overnight charging?
- Can the power grid support this kind of increased demand for electricity?
- What sources are going to be used to generate and power the electric plants to meet this demand?
Hydro power? Many rivers and dams have lower water levels due to dry hot climate.
Nuclear power? Considered to be unsafe after the near melt-down of Three Mile Island.
Fossil fuels? Natural gas pipelines and coal mines are being closed down.
Solar and Wind power? These are still not ready for mass power generation.
And there are additional consequences like …
- How many years will it take until all gasoline powered vehicles are off the road?
- Will we be forced to stop driving gasoline powered vehicles?
- How will the more than 150,000 fueling stations across the country be able to expand to offer electric re-charging along with gas tank fill up?
- How long will a driver of an electric vehicle have to sit at a re-charging station while the vehicle charges? Currently re-charging can take from 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on how much charge the battery needs.
Due to the reduced use of gasoline during Covid-19, with people working from home and decreases in travel, state and federal governments are already seeking out new ways to tax drivers to make up for an anticipated $50 billion shortfall in revenues from gas taxes.
Cause and effect. Unintended consequences. Actions causing reactions.
How many times a day do we make decisions without stopping to think about “what happens next?”
Small choices we make about how we treat and raise our children; how we interact with our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers; how we speak to and listen to others; how we judge others without knowing what their lives are really like; how we spend our money; what we do with our time; how we take care of our health and bodies; and how we too easily believe anything we see or hear in this overwhelming era of instant information without questioning if it is true, all lead us to cause and effect situations.
What we say and do now will set in motion things that will happen to us, and around us, in our futures.
Spur of the moment reactions can create disastrous long-term consequences or enduring positive outcomes. So we need to think before we speak; think before we act. Even the choice to not do anything is actually an action that could have an unintended result.
Newton’s third law of motion, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, is a principle of physics that also applies to our everyday behavior.
Be sure that what happens next for you is really what you want. Try to think of all the possible consequences before you set a cause and effect scenario in motion in your life.
“You go this way or that way, and either way there are going to be consequences.”Spike Lee