Europe is proposing investing aggressively in efficiency in large part to minimize the impact of rising energy pricings and to reduce emissions.
And we’ve talked about the Chinese doing the same.
But here in the U.S., where we use more energy per capita than any other developed country—and thus are much more susceptible the perturbations in both supplies and prices—we can’t get together a cohesive energy plan. And we shovel dollars into chimneys and smokestacks.
If you live in the Northeast—heating oil country—you should be quite worried about trends in oil prices. It was only two and a half years ago that many homeowners were freaking out about heating oil costs in the $4-5 per gallon range. We’re heading back in that direction. Should unrest spread to Saudi Arabia, even that will look cheap. And regardless of where you live, does anyone (other than EIA) think the price of electricity will go down (especially as we start using more of it to power our vehicles)?
I’m reminded of the fable of the ant and the grasshopper. While the ant prepared for the winter, the grasshopper sang and danced. Come winter, the results were predictable, the ant prospered while the grasshopper starved. Well, metaphorically speaking, it’s late fall, and we’re looking a whole lot more like the grasshopper.
Ironically, we already know what needs to be done on the energy-efficiency. We certainly have the technology and skills to take big strides forward right now. If our “leaders” won’t act on behalf of the country, we’d better take action at the individual level and get our own home economics in order. If you don’t want to be susceptible to the volatility on the world energy markets, you should make yourself less dependent on energy. And the good news is that you can start with investments that actually reduce the money you burn every week with air leaks, poor insulation, leaky ducts, and antiquated equipment in your home. Start taking the steps today to protect your family tomorrow.
It’s time to ant-up.