Are Green Initiatives A Waste Of Money?

September 1, 2011

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The last several years we’ve been plastered with a push for everything green. We are asked to stop receiving bank statements and bills via paper in the name of going green. We have green micro size cars that plug in and will drive 75 miles on a single charge, SUV’s are bad in the name of green, we are losing normal incandescent light bulbs in the name of green and soon we will have to use CFL’s in the name of green.

Another enormous push the last couple of years (since the stimulus) has been the creation and promotion of green jobs. The stimulus funneled roughly $70 Billion to the energy economy most of which was to green energy.

Personally, I’m willing to make some green concessions, I recycle (most of the “stuff most of the time), I bought a kegerator so I’m not creating the can and bottle waste that all you other beer drinkers are leaving behind (truth be told that wasn’t my motivation). I even have a refillable water bottle and a small car (Volvo S60) that I use for commuting to/from work. For a conservative chap, I feel like that makes me pretty green. I don’t have solar added to our home; I don’t contribute to the electric company so they can buy more of those gigantic windmills to produce electricity. I certainly don’t wear green on my sleeves like many people do, but I try to do my part. (I know…how big of me).

I have to laugh at the ignorance of some people though. I have neighbors that refuse to run their A/C on 95 degree days in the name of reducing their carbon footprint. I know people that have invested in solar panels for their home even though they will never see the return on their investment. I know our federal government gave $20 Million dollars to the city of Seattle to create green jobs only to see a return of 14 jobs from that investment. That equates to a cost of $1,428,571.43 per job. Great job!

I have to lay something out here…I have no problem with making a shift and trying to be more green, but I believe in being responsible about it because I have not drank any of that Kool-Aid.

I understand why the government wants clean coal technology, I understand why they want to get away from crude oil, I understand why they want to find alternative fuel sources and encourage companies to be more innovative. I just don’t understand why anyone thinks we can run over all the energy companies forcing them in a short amount of time to change the way they do business without having something to take its place. I don’t understand how we can give $20 million to a city to produce green jobs and basically just abandon all sense of reason.

Why didn’t we invest some of this money in new refineries to help reduce the cost of gasoline (last refinery built in the US was 1993)? Why aren’t we drilling in the oil rich portions of the US instead of giving Venezuela $2 Billion for offshore drilling? Why didn’t we produce another nuclear facility to help cover the current need while still using some of the stimulus to research and learn more about how we could create green energy for a lower price? Why are we trying to cut off the use of fossil fuels even though we Gasoline powered engines are not disappearing overnight so let’s slow down and make this change responsibly. Green jobs aren’t going to be the only jobs overnight either so let’s stop penalizing the current energy companies because that will just equate to higher prices for us.

It’s time for people to pull their heads out of their asses. We are not Europe and most of us don’t want to be Europe. We need to start approaching future decisions with common sense and accountability. The days of blindly throwing money at problems has to change. We need to add accountability and find someone in Washington DC that has at least a shred of common sense to start monitoring this garbage. In the months leading up to the 2012 Presidential election, I bet we’ll hear a lot more of these examples. We passed this asinine stimulus and health care bills and we found out what was in it. It’s just too bad we trusted our representatives to actually represent us.

Anyone but Obama 2012


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cristian Balau
    Sep 03, 2011 @ 10:39:29

    Oil won’t last forever and that’s a fact. How the hole world (not just USA) will make the switch from fossils fuels to some alternative energy is yet to be seen, so far no good results have emerged.


  2. Martin Kelly
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 17:43:44

    Squeeky, I am with you on the accountability, but not on the focus. The President is not the overall problem here, it is congress. They are the ones responsible for spending and monitoring the spending. We now have two consecutive congresses of different political make up who have failed to do their job – pass a budget.

    On the green initiative, I have to admit that I have never purchased something green simply because it is green. I purchase based on economic considerations, my economic situation. I have compiled a “green list” of things I have purchased. from a hybrid car (never again) to a high efficiency A/C – Heater (one of the best buys of my life). Some things I did not have a choice on (new dish washer because the old one failed) but had to by because of federal mandate. Most people do not know that new dishwashers do not get hot enough to sterilize the dishes. The heating elements are down graded to save energy. My new washer and dryer are a mixed bag. The washer definitely saves on water, but the dry takes FOREVER to dry anything, how is that more efficient other than convincing me to hang my laundry to dry. I could go on, but his is your article, not my complaints column 🙂


  3. Jon
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 00:11:54

    Most of the green technologies are not cost effective. So while the wind turbine will never pay itself off and the average consumer will not invest the government steps in and spends it for us.

    I have to agree with Martin Kelly, and add this point, It shouldn’t be about how “green” something is, it should be about efficiency and manufacturing.

    On a side note about “green” cars, don’t these prius’s have to make it at least 90k before their efficiency makes up for the carbon footprint from their manufacturing? And with an average battery life of 5-7 years and with average driving of 12k/year within 8 years the car has only made it 84k and already needs the batteries replaced.. ? How did this ever pass as green tech? or efficient for that matter.


  4. kosmo
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 08:26:23

    One thought I’ll throw out there – perhaps the current generation of green tech isn’t cost-effective, but perhaps the next generation will be. That’s the typical progression. Unfortunately, you need to fight through growing pains with the first generation, or you’ll never get to the second generation.

    Google’s plans to power some of their data center through the power of ocean waves interests me. I haven’t researched this technology fully, but other forms of hydroelectric power have been around for a long time … and I suspect that Google has done their due diligence.


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