How to be green – use energy savings not energy credit
In the awesome book “Is sustainability still sustainable?” there is a chapter on the Energy Trap – the fact that it takes non-renewable energy to harness renewable energy – and how the energy trap requires huge political will to overcome it. But the book also ponders whether our individual behaviour could overcome the energy trap.
“Would a rational consumer postpone for a few of years some of his or her energy intensive consumption in order to invest in insulating their house or installing solar panels? Yes – given the right market signals and realistic assumptions about the cost of energy tomorrow.”
I think that the statement is correct with the descriptor of a “rational consumer” but the recent credit crisis around the world has highlighted the significant lack of rational consumers.
If you re-wrote the statement describing it in dollar terms – ‘would a rational consumer postpone their dollar intensive consumption in order to save for the product rather? Yes – give the right market signals and realistic assumptions about the cost of credit.’
In exactly the same way as we are using credit to consume stuff now, we are using energy credit from future generations to consume stuff now. Sticking it on the ‘never never’ applies to energy as much as it applies to money.
At the moment the use of resources is still coupled to the dollar, any dollar saved is energy or resource or carbon saved so lets start saving now before political and market forces decouple resources from dollars.
Start your energy savings plan before its too late.