[Homestead] Energy conservation and security

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Sun Feb 13 10:30:46 EST 2005


One of my heros is Amory Lovins, who with his wife, Hunter, runs the Rocky 
Mountain Institute. Here is RMI's home page:
http://www.rmi.org/

Lovins is a semi-young physicist who has been steadily educating people of 
influence for decades. He shows how energy is one of the keys to national 
security. He is the one who conjured the concept of negawatts, the idea 
that using less energy produces profit. He helps companies, governmental 
agencies and individuals make more bottom line by operating more energy 
efficiently.

RMI's office building is a wonderful example of energy efficiency. It is 
located in the mountains of Colorado but uses minimal energy for heating; 
the heat from computers and people actually supply a substantial amount of 
the heat needed after solar gain.

In the early 1990s, RMI staff studied the White House complex and some time 
after, measures began to be implemented to reduce pollution and save 
energy. I believe that one of the subsequent presidents stopped the work.

Here's a quote from RMI's Energy Page:
"RMI's early energy work was aimed mainly at electric utilities and oil 
companies, advocating the advantages of reducing demand through efficiency 
rather than simply increasing supply. In recent years we've shown many 
other types of companies and organizations how they can boost profits by 
using energy more productively.
"The Institute's unique Approach to Energy offers fundamental insights into 
many other resource issues. There are close parallels between our energy 
work and our advocacy of profitable climate protection, efficient vehicles 
(Hypercar® vehicles), green buildings, and Natural Capitalism."

RMI is a nonprofit organization doing what our elected leaders are failing 
to do. Energy conservation seems to me to be common sense. It makes sense 
from an economic and security point of view. We can make our homes energy 
efficient but we can't make our country energy efficient until our elected 
leaders stop being the whores of big oil.

Here's the column that got me going this morning:

No Mullah Left Behind
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Published: February 13, 2005

The Wall Street Journal ran a very, very alarming article from Iran on its 
front page last Tuesday. The article explained how the mullahs in Tehran - 
who are now swimming in cash thanks to soaring oil prices - rather than 
begging foreign investors to come into Iran, are now shunning some of them. 
The article related how a Turkish mobile-phone operator, which had signed a 
deal with the Iranian government to launch Iran's first privately owned 
cellphone network, had the contract frozen by the mullahs in the Iranian 
Parliament because they were worried it might help the Turks and their 
foreign partners spy on Iran.
	
The Journal quoted Ali Ansari, an Iran specialist at the University of St. 
Andrews in Scotland, as saying that for 10 years analysts had been writing 
about Iran's need for economic reform. "In actual fact, the scenario is 
worse now," said Mr. Ansari. "They have all this money with the high oil 
price, and they don't need to do anything about reforming the economy." 
Indeed, The Journal added, the conservative mullahs are feeling even more 
emboldened to argue that with high oil prices, Iran doesn't need Western 
investment capital and should feel "free to pursue its nuclear power 
program without interference."

This is a perfect example of the Bush energy policy at work, and the Bush 
energy policy is: "No Mullah Left Behind."

By adamantly refusing to do anything to improve energy conservation in 
America, or to phase in a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax on American drivers, or 
to demand increased mileage from Detroit's automakers, or to develop a 
crash program for renewable sources of energy, the Bush team is - as others 
have noted - financing both sides of the war on terrorism. We are financing 
the U.S. armed forces with our tax dollars, and, through our profligate use 
of energy, we are generating huge windfall profits for Saudi Arabia, Iran 
and Sudan, where the cash is used to insulate the regimes from any pressure 
to open up their economies, liberate their women or modernize their 
schools, and where it ends up instead financing madrassas, mosques and 
militants fundamentally opposed to the progressive, pluralistic agenda 
America is trying to promote. Now how smart is that?

The rest of the article is at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/13/opinion/13friedman.html





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