Eric Utne: It's now easy being green, and yet ...

  • Article by: ERIC UTNE
  • Updated: January 28, 2009 - 6:37 AM

Truly clean energy and green-collar jobs are hardly a forgone conclusion.

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davehougJan. 27, 09 8:32 PM

Tell the average household how much will be taken away from them each year if no power comes from coal or nuclear. Only the most expensive power production allowed allowed by some views. Fine, just tell us what the dollar choice truly is before declaring it all good.

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Bruce_ClarkJan. 28, 0912:28 AM

I was laid off from a MN solar energy company last April. That doesn't directly link to my observation. Our mantra in the business was "The first and best dollar should be spent on conservation". We are such a long way from using energy wisely in our homes, businesses, farms, factories, etc. We could spend 10 years just upgrading energy efficiencies in our residential and commercial infrastructure--even as we also install renewable energy. I'm not talking about exotic fixes. Whatever the energy source of choice, our total need would be GREATLY reduced if Americans would change out inefficient lighting, windows, doors, and appliances, and improve insulation and institute water conservation. All this would be done without a drop in the quality of life. Look at the energy efficient economies of Germany and the Scandinavian countries. New homes could cut their energy usage up to 70% with a 10% add-on investment in home design and products to take advantage of passive solar and maximize efficiency. Think of the jobs that could create. The answer is not to "Drill, Baby Drill!", but "Do More with Less". There will never be true national security or economic recovery until we apply this.

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sblodenJan. 28, 09 7:32 AM

Right on! Finally a level head. Keep up your fight, you are a voice of reason in a country of scammers. The problem (as Jimmy Carter found out) Americans can't just do the right thing so we can all be safe, it needs to be fun or ego-boosting. Energy conservation just isn't cool enough or sexy enough for people to pay attention to. The day is coming where conservation WILL be cool. Keep your voice steady and you will be rewarded. Thank you Bruce for your wisdom.

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iluvminnJan. 28, 09 8:29 AM

We've lived as green as it gets for 30 years, both scientists, raised a family. The rednecks hate us, the libs hate us. Magazine experts sell dreams. Politicians sell disaster. Our great luck was knowing a great generation now mostly dead. They were the innovators, the observers, the friendly neighbor. Modern know-it-alls will fail.

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carlbsJan. 28, 0912:40 PM

Though you may never know it from their commercials or their politicians. We need to expose the false green corporations and their politicians for what they are...sham scammers who care for nothing but more more more money and power.

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mikecssJan. 28, 09 5:08 PM

We in the middle need to start ignoring the extremists on both sides of this issue. We're tossing around billions right now... why not devote some $$ to figuring out how to capture emissions to the extent that coal becomes an acceptable player? Or capturing wind more cost-efficiently? There will be a blend of solutions... not one "right answer." Anyone who thinks the other side is absolutely wrong is absolutely wrong.

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alanmullerJan. 28, 09 6:05 PM

I agree with Mr. Utne expect for his endorsement of "modern biomass technologies" as clean. He's drawing a line that needs to be drawn, but not quite in the right place. The vast majority of "biomass" projects are wood burners or--sometimes crop residue burners--with high emissions of carbon dioxide, toxic air pollutants and nanoparticles. Some times even garbage burners sneak in. (Pathetically, the MPCA is actively promoting garbage incineration.) Alan Muller

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malachyFeb. 4, 0911:52 AM

Mr. Utne and Mr. Jones are doing quite well with their "green jobs" angle. Utne, appointed to the board of a U of M department (based on what, exactly?) then gets Jones a paid speaking gig on campus and advertises said gig in local paper (probably approved by editor who came to his last potluck). Is just another sub-division of the elites, this whole "green jobs" scam. and i'm all FOR, of course, being as wise as possible in terms of our relationship with the biosphere. but it doesn't mean i think Utne and Jones speak for the real solutions needed for these real problems.

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