Friday, January 19, 2007

Buy renewable energy!

News on global warming is becoming increasingly bleak. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists this week set the "Doomsday Clock" two minutes closer to civilization's midnight, in part because of global warming.

You and I can't do much to prevent thermonuclear warfare, but we're not nearly so powerless when it comes to climate change. We're all responsible for carbon pollution, and sooner or later we'll have to reduce our contributions. Sure, a mandatory cap-and-trade system could reduce carbon pollution by the crucial 3%. Alternatively, 3% of American households could reduce their carbon output to zero and achieve the same effect as long as they were distributed evenly across economic demographics. Or roughly 10% of us could cut our output in half. In other words, if the government won't force us to be responsible any time soon, why shouldn't some of us bear this responsibility ourselves?

If you're interested, you can start by buying electricity from renewable sources. Electric deregulation during the 1990s gave consumers choices among energy providers, and most states now have companies that sell only renewable power. By buying power from these organization, you'll reduce demand at fossil fuel power plants and increase investments in wind, solar, and small hydro facilities. Generally, you'll pay a little more - but that will give you incentives to conserve and save in the long run. I should mention that when I was a Green Mountain customer in Texas last year, we were actually paying less for wind power than we would have for conventional electricity (the price of natural gas was rising quickly, but wind is free).

Depending on your state, you can buy from Maine Renewable Energy, Mass Energy in the Bay State, or Green Mountain in Texas, New York, Oregon, New Jersey, and Florida (I couldn't find any providers for New Hampshire; if anyone knows of one, please comment).

1 comment:

michael said...

hi christian, just this morning i was searching google for the availability of forms of renewable energy for purchase in maine. thanks so much for the help!