My green energy idea makes economic sense

The Solyndra debacle gave green energy yet another black eye. Because tax rebates and government subsidies are often necessary to keep green energy companies in business, green energy critics often blast politicians such as President Obama for supporting green energy.

First, as I discussed in From Bailout to Bliss, U.S. taxpayers pay dearly to subsidize traditional energy sources, such as Middle East oil. All of the direct and indirect costs, including environmental damage, loss of life, and myriad health problems—from heart attacks and strokes to birth defects and premature aging—is staggering. If you knew what you really paid for traditional energy sources, you'd be very surprised, possibly livid, and likely more supportive of politicians wise enough to know that traditional energy sources are deceptively priced lower than their true cost. Paying for something via higher taxes or higher national debt doesn't seem as immediately obvious as paying more per gallon when you fill your gas tank, but camouflaging the cost does not make it any more affordable.

Second, green energy can make economic sense now, even without financial incentives from the government. I modified my home last winter in a way that made it much more energy efficient. The winter was long and cold, but I didn't turn my furnace on even once. In spite of that, I was more comfortable than I'd been in past years when the furnace burned tons of propane.

Thomas Edison said, “There's a way to do it better — find it.”

Well, I did. It is not the job of President Obama and other politicians to be inventors; their job is to recognize good ideas and help foster them when most people are too hidebound, and deluded by deceptively low prices, to know that we must indeed have change.

If President Obama got behind my proven energy idea, consumers could save a boatload of money this winter and every year thereafter. Consumers who chose a more advanced (but still very affordable) variation of it would save even more, winter and summer, and significantly boost their home values. Most home improvements return only cents on the dollar; adding my invention would return much more than it cost, making the decision to add it a no-brainer. Another plus is that my idea would put millions of people back to work now.

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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