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View Diary: Whiny Frog or Boiling Frog - Why don't you care about energy? (406 comments)

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  •  Amen, brother Jerome (4.00)
    I think there are two over-arching things that Americans (especially progressive Dems) must do.  

    First, the personal level.  Each of us must review our personal energy consumption; an energy audit if you will.  Each of us can easily commit to using 10% less energy this year than last.  And 10% less the year after.  

    For example my hot water heater is almost 10 years old and will soon need to be replaced (in fact I see my neighbor just replaced hers).  Instead of putting in the el-cheapo model I'm going to go with a tankless model.  In fact I bet Jerome uses a similar model in Paris.  These units pay for themselves in 30 months and carry a 12 year warranty (and an expected 20 year life).

    Another example on the personal front.  My trusty 2001 BMW M3 is going to be replaced with a 2006 VW Passat TDI running biodiesel made from waste vegetable oil.  (HA!  Take THAT, OPEC!!)

    Second, the national level.  We need a coherent and sane energy policy.  Not a policy which rewards Hummer owners with $20,000 in tax credits but gives Toyota Prius owners only $2,000.  We need a policy which encourages both the low-hanging-fruit and the long-term research.  Like how to inject more biodiesel and ethanol into the existing fuel supply while researching the next generation (and the generation^3) technology.  Also, we need to increase funding for public transportation.

    We need an energy policy which (GASP) raises gasoline prices by $3 per gallon over the next 2 years and keeps the price at $6 per gallon.  That will fund the R&D and tax breaks for the high-efficiency cars and SUVs as well as the fund the increased public transportation in our urban and suburban areas.  That would also curtail the insane gasoline usage we have here in the USA.

    Given the political situation today there is little we can do on the 2nd front, but every single one of us can do a lot on the 1st.  And if we don't start getting serious NOW it will never happen - until it is far too late.  If we learned anything from Katrina it should be that you can't ignore infrastructure and expect to weather the storm.  

    "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" - Bill Clinton.

    by RAST on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 02:14:10 PM PDT

    •  tankless water heater (none)
      We've had one for 2 years or so, and it has been good.  You can't get away with running a dishwasher or clothes washer and taking a shower at the same time, but it's easy to adapt.  It's nice to have the big, hulking energy eater tank out of the basement. It was amazing to see how small they are, and I had some doubts, but we have no regrets.

      Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors. Mister Rogers

      by station wagon on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 08:24:54 PM PDT

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