Monday, August 11, 2008

What's the Point, Part Two

I've been dragging my feet with this because, well, that's what I do. Also, I hate feeling like an idiot, and trying to make sense of all this greening up from a practical viewpoint makes me feel like a first class dunce.

In the last long blather I covered going green for environmental reasons - carbon footprint and offsets, global warming, and...well, go read it if you want to know. I'll wait.

Wasn't that fun?

So this time, it's all about the money and resource availability, and this is where I feel like I can be more practical and perhaps better make my point.

Can going green help save a buck? Not in the short run. Retro-fitting my house with solar panels will cost tens of thousands of dollars. It won't start saving money on power until I've paid off the panels in twenty years or so. Yowza!

Wind may be cheaper to convert to, but it's not always reliable and still costs more than I've got in my pocket (about four dollars and some change).

Hybrid cars are costly, and may end up presenting an environmental hazard all their own with those batteries.

Converting to bio-diesel is fine, but if you don't know how to do it yourself (and I really don't) then there's the expense of having it done, as well as procuring, filtering, and converting fuel. I can't begin to understand how to go about that!

The best solution I've come up with so far is to start building new houses with green features, making them a part of the building cost and less noticeable to the consumer. When we build our next house, we'll factor in solar, wind, and even geothermal into the costs and it won't sting as much.

This brings us to what I feel is the most pressing reason to be conscious of our consumption - resource availability.

Eventually, oil and coal will run out. It's a finite resource, and even with recycling it'll come to an end. What will we do, globally, when that happens? The same goes for metals - there's only so much in the ground for us to take, and that's it.

When that happens, what will we do? I don't know about you, but I'm not keen on living in the dark ages. I like hot showers and clean clothing more than once a week! If you already have solar or wind powering your home, you're in good nick...but the rest of us will have to figure ourselves out in a hurry, or suffer. Wouldn't it be a better idea to forestall privation now??

We will have to deal with this eventually - running away from it until it catches us is just silly; we need to face it head on, chin up, eyes wide open.

I would go on, but I am informed that my other blog is not loading, but rather showing error messages, and I may have to spend the next year or so trying to figure out why.