Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The problem lies not in our stars, but in ourselves

A blogger at the Chronicle of Higher Education says that technology can't save us from our addiction to cheap oil:

Better solar panels, improved insulation, and more miles per gallon are attainable if we want them; the lab wizards can be counted on to provide them.

The real problem is that the energy crisis is mainly in our heads — in our habits and comfort preferences. (link)

That's why it drives me nuts to hear politicians -- including those I support, like Barack Obama -- complain about oil companies' "windfall profits." If we stop driving so damn much (says the Brookline resident who works in Moon), then maybe those gas prices will go down.

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Blogger Jason Wilburn said...

One of the things that always gets lost in this argument is the historical perspective on CAFE and mandated efficiency programs are not going to get us anywhere. Studies have shown that mandated increases in fuel economy lead to increased miles traveled. With cars that get 40 miles to the gallon you can live 2x as far from work for the same $$$.

It is not very popular, but if you want people to use less gas or energy...make it more expensive.

I am already doing it with my lights - if I leave the lights on in the basement and I realize it after I am in bed or watching John Adams on HBO I just say to myself "no big deal, I have those new fangled spiral bulbs down there I will get it in the morning"

10:08 AM


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