What happens when you remove climate change from the push for greener energy

If it weren’t for electricity, we’d all be watching television by candlelight.
~George Gobel

An interesting little story here. Apparently a group pushed for green energy sources and less consumption, but left climate change out of it. The end result? People who didn’t normally agree with climate change reduced their energy consumption.

Imagine that.

Part of my issue with this whole climate change thing is the preachy nature of it. Climate changers are the most dogmatic and religious members of the green movement. And I’m not the only person who doesn’t want to be preached at about hellfire and brimstone, or rather, carbon emissions and global temperature.

Different strokes for different folks. Some people are cheap bastards who want to cut down on their electricity bill. Others see themselves as stewards of the Earth. Still others want to rid America of our dependence on foreign energy sources. Or possibly some combination. It’s entirely possible that many of these people are like myself and could care less about climate change, but are still perfectly willing to reduce their energy consumption.

Now, I have issues with some of their ideas. Having the kids seek out “energy vampires” for Halloween? Good god, that’s lame. Really. Have a little Earth Day talk and leave the rest of it to the adults. Please. That kind of shit is toeing the line between mere information and sheer indoctrination. If parents want to involve their kids, let them do so.

And while candles on Valentine’s Day is romantic, the energy consumed by producing those candles is probably greater than the energy expended in lighting the place. Do it for the ambiance, not for the planet.

I really think that if we want this energy conservation thing to take off, this is the multi-pronged approach we’re going to have to take. Sure, climate change will woo a lot of people, but not all of them. Separate the climate change discussion from the energy discussion and we may see a drastic decrease in energy consumption. So far things have been going well in the “save energy and save money” department. I think that’s a much more convincing argument than “save energy and save the Earth.” Hit ’em in the pocketbooks. Let people know that energy conservation isn’t just for crazy yuppies with their Priuses and organic produce.

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2 Responses to “What happens when you remove climate change from the push for greener energy”

  1. Dargon Says:

    You bring up a point so many people overlook. There is plenty more reason to be green than environmentalism. Case and point, myself. I’m a big fan of my small electricity bills I pay in a small apartment where I usually don’t run the AC. I’m a fan of not paying for gas when I walk rather than drive (and often the walk itself is enjoyable). I’m a fan of not spending money on new containers when I pack my sandwich in the same one day after day.

    There are some parts of the green movement that can be rather pricey, but other elements that are quite cheap and can even save money. Mention climate change or environmentalism and some people just tune out right there. Mention money savings, and those same people listen.

  2. Dr. Curiosity Says:

    A lot of environmental activists I’ve met are so used to thinking in an “it’s the planet, stupid!” frame of mind that they focus more on trying to change other people’s motivations, rather than their behaviours.

    Re-branding various activities for an “it’s the economy, stupid!” mindset sounds like it’d have more direct effect than the “if you could only think like me, you’ll see this needs to be done!” approach of environmental evangelism. And hey, maybe that’ll help break down the idea some hold that pro-environment ideas are necessarily anti-business ideas.

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