The Best of Andy Rooney

It's an unfortunate fact that bad news makes better news than good news. We can depend on the fact that most of the news on television is going to be bad, and for some reason, if the news is good, it doesn't usually get reported on the evening news broadcasts. There's so much bad news in the newspaper every day that it's always a treat to read some good news.

The best thing I've read in several years is a story that in the near future we're going to be able to get lots of power from wind turbines planted offshore instead of burning coal and oil. I hope this technology becomes more popular because we're in desperate need of cheap power, and neither coal nor oil is cheap.

My father traveled a lot on business when I was young, and my mother had to do jobs like stoking the furnace. She'd let me go down cellar with her (the phrase was "down cellar," not "down in the cellar"). It was always fun to fill the shovel with coal and then see if I could hit the open door and get all the coal onto the fire burning inside.

Sometimes I forget my own name, but there are things like stoking the furnace that I'll never forget. We bought our coal from Mr. Howell, and we always bought hard coal, not soft coal. I didn't know the difference, but I was proud that we bought hard coal and the people next door bought soft coal because it was cheaper.

Coal is a great source of power, even though there are problems associated with burning coal. Around the world, some people still use it for everything they do. I'd still like to have my own coal in a hole in our back yard. But, I'd also like to own a little wind turbine somewhere out in the ocean with which I could generate the electricity I need at home and in the office. I'd have a garage full of batteries that I'd keep charged for whenever I needed power. I wouldn't always worry about turning off all the lights.

My car would run on batteries, not gas. I'd never buy another gallon.

There's no doubt that we're throwing away too much power. We have to find ways to save it and use it more efficiently. Every wave in the ocean represents power that could power things for us -- light our homes, run our cars, fly our airplanes. Every river that runs carries power that's wasted. The wind in the trees could generate power. I like the idea that we're going to use wind turbines for some of the power we need so badly.

For many years now, we've been burning great amounts of coal and oil to produce heat and power. But there's a limit to how much coal and oil exists. There's no limit to the power produced by wind. The wind will be blowing long after we've burned all of our coal and oil.

There are people who burn wood to heat their homes and they should be arrested. I don't mind a log in the fireplace, but a furnace should be heated with coal. Trees don't grow on trees.

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