Over the past decade I have probably read about three dozen books covering a wide variety of environmental issues. I have reviewed a number of these books here on Lunch. Many of these books have tackled the issue of global warming. Before I started reading about this topic I was really quite skeptical about it. However, over the years I gradually became convinced that more likely than not there was reason to be concerned. Having said that, it seems to me that bickering over whether or not global warming really exists may actually be getting in the way of solving the larger issues. Even before I started reading up on the subject I felt that conservation was the key to solving many of this nation's energy and environmental problems. I have not changed my opinion.
While I am certainly not naïve enough to believe that conservation and conservation alone will solve our country's energy problems, I truly believe that making conservation the centerpiece of our nation's energy strategy will ultimately take us where we need to go. When I look around and see just how much energy we continue to waste in this nation it makes me ill. Did you know that 6% of the electricity produced in this nation is used to dry clothes? Meanwhile, a large percentage of the homes being built today are 3 and 4 times the size of the houses people grew up in just 40 years ago and include every amenity known to mankind. Is this really necessary? Moreover, despite the significant improvements that have been made in fuel efficiency vast numbers of Americans continue to opt for ever larger gas-guzzling vehicles. Although I do not have children myself I have often wondered why people are not more concerned about whether or not there will be sufficient energy available for their children and grandchildren. Can we really afford to be squandering all of this energy? People just naturally expect that technology will solve all of our energy problems but the preponderance of evidence clearly suggests that this is not likely to happen.
It is my firm belief that the American people will respond to enlightened leadership on these issues. By making energy conservation and energy independence the centerpiece of our national energy policy we will begin to change the mindset in this country. Certainly George W. Bush who was nothing more than a puppet of the big energy companies had absolutely no intention of encouraging energy conservation. And I am not exactly thrilled with President Obama's approach either. I fear that the proposed tax on carbon emissions a/k/a "cap and trade" will do a great deal of damage to our economy and will require a huge bureaucracy to administer. Rather, I would much prefer to see the President resist his socialist tendencies and pursue an aggressive strategy of energy independence and conservation. A little leadership on his part could work wonders. The American people should be encouraged to devise ways to save energy at home and at work. Perhaps we should make it a national goal to reduce energy consumption by 15% in the next decade. I believe that is a realistic and very achievable goal and the American people would repsond favorably to such a challenge. Meanwhile, Congress and the President should pursue policies that would give tax incentives to entrepreneurs who develop new energy saving technologies. It could be a very exciting time in this country! A commitment to conservation would be a significant and important first step in the quest to make the United States energy independent. At a time when the nation is so deeply divided it is a strategy that could ultimately unite us in a common purpose. Very highly recommended!
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Energy conservation is the practice of decreasing the quantity of energy used. It may be achieved through efficient energy use, in which case energy use is decreased while achieving a similar outcome, or by reduced consumption of energy services. Energy conservation may result in increase of financial capital, environmental value, national security, personal security, and human comfort. Individuals and organizations that are direct consumers of energy may want to conserve energy in order to reduce energy costs and promote economic security. Industrial and commercial users may want to increase efficiency and thus maximize profit.