I am not an “eco” person. Though I do consider myself to be a conservationist, my definition of what that means is most likely quite different from what a lot of casual observers might immediately think. Suffice to say that I like open space and I love the outdoors. However I’m not slaved to the idea that growth is a cancer. I don’t like sprawl but I realize that the interests and needs of people come first. It’s all in how we balance those interests and that should be the central element of “green” discussions. Like most people I’d love to lower my electrical and fuel usage, but only if it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg and if it doesn’t lower my quality of life. So when I read articles like this today I’m heartened.
Price has always been, and always will be the biggest hurdle to wider adoption of “green” technologies and life styles. Well, that and the rabid eco-philes who preach at everyone to be one with the green while living the “do as I say, not as I do” lifestyle. If you expect me to agree to anything that increases my costs — dramatically or not — forget it. The key has always been for the free-market and businesses to work their magic and bring the costs of technologies like solar cells down to the level of the average consumer. When we start seeing solar cells that cost as much as high end Blue-Ray players today, you’ll be seeing people like me buy in. Similarly, when the auto-industry can produce non-hybrid vehicles that don’t cost upwards of one third to one half more than other models, you’ll start to see a real main-stream shift. I’d probably become more serious about buying one as well, except what I really want is a fuel-cell powered vehicle.