Thursday, February 15, 2007

Serious Methods For Reducing Energy Use and Greenhouse Gasses

My blogging buddy, Norma, has posted her personal list of ways to Green the planet. OK. Some of hers are tongue-in-cheek. My list will be far to serious, but I suggest it is more realistic than the methods being proposed by those flying to international meetings in their private jets.

1. Nuclear power plants.
2. Increase number of years of patent protection on patents related to energy efficiency or reduction of any pollutant. Get an international treaty that makes certain that the patent protection gets enforced worldwide.
3. Experiment with tax or even cash incentives until we find a successful set of methods to move people into more efficient products. (In California, Southern California Edison offers incentives from time-to-time for the installation of more efficient lighting in businesses. These programs are always oversubscribed. If we believe that this is necessary to save the earth, provide the necessary incentives so that every business that wants to can get the incentive.)
4. Give all government bodies at all levels 10 years to move to more efficient products. If all government cars had to 100 MPG by 2017, there would be dozens of start-up companies trying to fill that demand, not to mention the companies that already exist. Same thing for lighting, AC, heating, window treatments, etc.
5. Don't penalize energy producers for their old technology, provide tax incentives to whatever degree necessary to get them to move to new technologies.
6. Stop scaring people about the future. It doesn't work, and it can even be counter-productive. Instead, point to the benefits. Everyone knows for a fact that we would be better off to find cleaner-more renewable sources of energy. Everyone knows that we would be better off if our cars and light bulbs and appliances were more efficient. No one knows if the planet will be warmer or cooler in 100 years or what the effects will be. Move people with a positive message and excellent incentives.

Enough from me. Am I wrong? What else?

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