Monday, November 12, 2007

When the "Capitalist's Tool' talks about being green...

Today, the Wall Street Journal has a report on ways to go green. Frequent readers of this blog are already aware of many of the tips listed. But it's nice to see it in a mainstream paper that is well regarded by the right. The WSJ validates green living tips as not being limited to a bunch of tree huggers.

One of the frustrations of the green/anti-green debate has been a focus on costs instead of efficiencies. Capitalist systems tend to reward those systems that are more efficient. Using less energy and resources to accomplish something is usually markets tend to. Unfortunately we do not live in economic worlds, but socio-political ones and the notions of power (political, not energy) and interests distort things toward inefficiencies. I've talked about externalities in the past. The nice thing about this journal report is that it highlights things are are more efficient and less costly. An example:

And compact fluorescents won't cost you an arm and a leg. In California, for instance, utility rebates and volume discounts have driven down the cost of a four-pack of 25-watt compact fluorescents to about $2 -- versus $40 or more for the 100-watt equivalents in 1999. Prices have gotten so low that some compact fluorescents pay for themselves in energy savings the first month.

I'll close on when to debate...For those adherents to any position, including our own. The question to ask, what facts or events would lead to a change in one's position. If the person cannot respond with a reasonable response, then you cannot discuss meaningfully with that person. Those people have ideologies, and you can't change their mind. To quote (though attribution is dubious) John Maynard Keynes "“When the facts change, I change my mind – what do you do, sir?”"


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