This is funny, not least because it shows how sensible the guy is:
When he was preparing for them (debates) during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”
This also brings up a great point about the costs associated with going more sustainable: mainly, that they are huge and we’ve got to get creative. I won’t even get into the weeds about the car-buying precipice upon which Mrs. Green and I have recently perched. Suffice it to say that while the options for hybrid, diesel, mpg and room (sedans only) are truly pathetic, fortunately they are also all ridiculously expensive.
So think about doing something to your house, like installing solar panels, or even roofing it with nano-solar material. You might as well double-plate your house in copper. But as others point out, there’s always room outside of the box.
it’s worth checking out what the city of Berkeley’s doing: As the mayor’s former chief of staff, Cisco DeVries, explains over at Grist, the Berkeley FIRST initiative, which gets underway next week, will let property owners install solar systems without paying the hefty upfront cost—instead, the city will issue a municipal bond to cover the installation, which is then paid back over 20 years via a new line item on the property owner’s tax bill. (If the property is sold, the tax is just transferred to the new buyer). The beauty of the thing is it’s entirely voluntary—no taxes, no mandates; it’s just that, if you do want solar power, it’s easier to finance. If Berkeley’s scheme ends up being popular, I’ll be curious to see if the private sector starts cobbling together similar offers.
I’m always thinking local, local, local in terms of our food and where it comes from. But switching our energy sources – directly using the sun for power in your house – will also be about scale, as the materials become commonplace, and public/private innovation on making the transition sufficiently affordable that it’s use can become widespread. A massive scale is necessary for all sustainability measures in concert – conservation, innovation, imagination. It’s only a paradox when we try to fit it into the way we have been doing everything.
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