Saturday, July 12, 2008

Great Post: This is Not a Drill

My mentor and colleague, Glen Hiemstra, is becoming something of an energy futurist lately. I really like his most recent post at, entitled "This is Not a Drill."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Altruism Isn't Enough

I like to think altruism works for the human race. Or even self-interest across a time span like a human lifetime. But then I think about what I've actually seen. In the last two years or so - since climate change became more of a commonly talked about issue, more accepted, there has been change. Across those two years, a few of the people I know have made significant changes. They almost never drive, they plan carefully, they conserve. I've made changes, although less than a lot of people I know. I still drove to a trailhead today to walk the dog, when I could have left from the house. I chose a fairly local trailhead, but still....

Then, came the last few months. As gas prices rose dramatically, almost everyone I know changed behavior to at least some extent. Many to a great extent. The change is big enough for shock value. My thirty dollar a tank car is now a fifty dollar a tank car. I think about driving trip distances. There's a party in Kent I'm not going to go to, but which I would have driven to a year ago.

So simply understanding climate change was real didn't change behavior to the extent we need. But gas price change - something real and tangible - made more real changes. This makes me think a few things:

Gas prices need to get higher
Regulation, penalties, and carbon taxes are probably even more important that I thought