Friday, June 06, 2008

Going Green.

A conservative confesses.

Over the last 2 years or so I have slowly but surely been heading towards a greener lifestyle, and although it was not something that had I really set out to do initially; lo and behold this "neocon" has greatly lowered his footprint on mother earth.

So far:

I have replaced my old furnace with a new one which is at least 40% more efficient.

All light bulbs are being changed out as they die with CFL type bulbs.

Edmonton has one of the best recycling programs around, and while I have been using the program since the blue box days, I have become much more aware about what I am throwing away and what I am recycling recently.

New and much more efficient windows have been installed in my home.

As my appliances all seemed to die about the same time, all of them have now been replaced with more energy efficient units.

OK, the new washing machine might eat up a bit more power than the old one, but having a house full of kids with the huge volume of laundry easily justified the much larger capacity machine. I think it may work out in the end though as just by cutting down on the number of total washes with the new machine should make up that difference, and if not, the savings from the new refrigerator and range will easily make the difference.

The car I recently bought is supposed to get 50 miles to the gallon, or use just over 8 litres per 100 kilometers on the highway.

It is too early to tell if the above mileage will be accurate, but compared to the truck I was driving and just using basic 'in my head math', it appears that I have decreased my fuel consumption by over 66%. This is easily an under estimate as I did not include the fact that I am not driving the kilometers that I did even a couple of years ago to come up with the 66% decrease.

There are probably a few more little things that I could list but I think my point has been made.

I have gone greener.

But why you ask?

It sure wasn't any Liberal tax, newly proposed or otherwise, or even some grand vision style lefty policy initiative that did turned this so called"neocon" green. In fact it was the thing that many lefties detest that actually made the difference. It was the free market that did it. Well, as free as it gets in Canada anyways.

Imagine that. The market has seemed to do on it's own, and without any 'help' or manipulation from government, something controlling lefty governments have all failed to do in the past. It has made myself and countless others go greener.

I expect someone to pipe in and say that this is how a carbon tax is supposed to work and why one is still needed. This might be true if nothing was progressing, but the reality is that that we are already seeing positive results* of what is happening because of the market. And all without the help or manipulation of government. I would also add that judging from the long history of government manipulation in the markets, or even looking to just about anything else the government has ever done/planned/or touched as examples; Dion's carbon tax would not only follow along with most other big government visions/plans and not work as intended, it would cost us all way too much in the attempt. Trust me, it's a long list of expensive failures and I doubt that this time it would turn out any different.

Now the political stuff. Take heed Liberals. In my opinion to pile on ANY type of carbon tax now would be political suicide. I feel it would be looked at as another tax grab by your average Canadian; one that would not only hurt Canadians financially but also one that punishes the poor unfairly and will end up creating even more poverty along the way. Like it or not, most Canadians still have to heat their homes in the winter, wash their clothes, buy and cook their food, commute, or even be able to see in the dark in our northern part of the world. These are the facts and adding additional costs to these necessities of life are not going to be looked at kindly by an already cash poor and overtaxed electorate. You will be paying a price at the ballot box if you propose to raise those costs even more for Canadians with a carbon tax.

* This occurred in 2006 under a Harper government. Something that the Liberals cannot claim even though they signed on to Kyoto and had Dion as the "greenest environment minister ever" running the show. Not that you heard much about this reduction in the MSM, but that is another topic.


jad said...

Re market forces going greener without political assistance.

I just bought a new coffee maker. My old one was a Cuisinart that you filled with beans, it ground the beans and made the coffee. I really liked it, so when it died on me, I just went out and replaced it with another Cuisinart.

The new one looks exactly the same, except that the carafe is actually a vacuum flask. It makes the coffee just the same, and then SWITCHES ITSELF OFF. The coffee keeps just as warm, and just as good, in the vacuum flask, and I guess I am using a lot less power since it doesn't keep the hotplate under the carafe warm for 2 hours.

Would I deliberately have bought this model because of the change ? Probably not. Does it work as well as the previous system ? Absolutely.

Just another example of business "going green" without tax-shifting.

Harvey said...

I think going green is a valiant effort no matter how small. It is important for everyone to realize the impact that we have on Earth. Most people are unwilling to change and think they can go on living their gas guzzling, carbon emitting, SUV driving, plastic wasting and think that what one person does won't matter. Because it's not just one person, it's EVERYONE. It's a really commendable effort to take a stand and decide that you will do your part to help take care of the world around us. I really think with enough public support and awareness people will be able to accept change willfully. I mean, going green is already a huge enough trend as it is, I'm just banking on this trend to turn into the norm in our society. Other countries are following suit, and I think it's brilliant! Everyone should start now by getting re-usable shopping bags, energy efficient light bulbs, and switching to bioheat as a regular heat alternative. Has anyone ever heard of bioheat?

Did you know that if everyone switched to bioheat we could conserve 400 millions gallons of regular oil. That's a huge amount! I wish everyone could see the light. I would love it if you would check out the site on bioheat to read more background info on it. The other thing I love about it is that it's completely clean burning, and is comprised of a b5 blend of vegetable and plant oils such as avocados, hemp, corn, etc. Check out the link! PS I work with Nora to bring this info to you!

Ardvark said...

Most people are already going greener without even really noticing it, and I suspect that the trend will only get bigger as time goes on.

The only thing Dion's tax, or any other big government program, will end up doing is cost us all lot of money and put more people into poverty. But have no fear. Dion has a program to fix that as well.