Thursday, September 25, 2008

Same Planet, Different Worlds

In spite of reports that Sarah Palin is not convinced that global warming is man-made, Republicans still appear to embrace the basic concept of energy efficiency. Why? Because it makes sense. It reduces expenses. It saves money. It’s cost effective. And, as people are starting to realize in today’s economic climate: It’s not only how much you make that’s important, it’s how much you spend.

A number of conservatives, including Palin, take energy efficiency very seriously. Their desire to be energy efficient – to reduce energy waste and to increase our productivity in relation to our energy consumption – could be a common link between Democrats and Republicans.

The Republican National Convention earlier this month provided a Green Fact Sheet for how they are running an Eco-Friendly Convention by using flexible-fuel and hybrid vehicles, developing a paperless system for recruiting and registering volunteers, and using the internet and other modes of communication that do not involve physical travel.

The Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul-Minneapolis, which was the hosting venue for the RNC, also boasts of an extensive recycling program for plastic, glass and paper as well as for used cooking oil. Hot water is produced by District Energy , which uses wood chips (biomass) as well as natural gas, oil, and “clean burning coal” to fuel its heating and cooling systems. And low-flow faucets are installed in all the restrooms.

Given a choice between something that is cost effective and something that is not, both Democrats and Republicans will apparently chose the former. And that may be our common ground.

In his August 29, 2008 post on , Hank Green (cool last name) wrote: "It's not about asking people to choose, it's giving them a better choice. If you build a light bulb that's cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, has better light quality, and works exactly the same, people won't be choosing a better technology, they'll be choosing the only technology left."

Regardless of their political ideology, most people admit that the way to an American’s heart is through his or her wallet. Provide people with an alternative that makes financial sense – especially in hard times – and they will take it every time.

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