What is that you ask? Stupid oil prices will spur alternative energy implementation. Here in the Pcad household we will have a geothermal heat pump system installed in our residence by November. $25-$30K layout in capital which will pay for itself immediately by lowering our oil consumption for heating and hot water by 70% or so. That's about 1000 less gallons of imported oil annually, from just one household. Do the math, $4000 in savings in fuel = $350 per month in savings, the loan payments on the capital improvement will be less than that, and I'll be putting money into a capital improvement on my home that will be paid for in 10-12 years instead of paying for a consumable. My two neighbors recently switched from 10-15mpg SUVs to 23mph + Honda CR-Vs, and I don't exactly live in a coupon clipper zone.
So it's happening. Economics will drive an increasing reduction in the demand for oil in the USA. The scary part isn't $4 gallon gas today. It's $6 gas in two years. But that gets much more frightening when your home uses 1500 gallons of heating oil every year. And when we moved here in 1997, it was <90 cents per gallon. Nearly FOUR BUCKS today.
F that action. We're going green. And the beauty part is that it will make us greener financially. F OPEC.
You know what the real beauty part is? I predict you'll see a Silicon Valley approach to energy conservation fueled by the brilliant minds in this country and the wads of venture capital. Stay tuned. Within a decade we'll have 100mpg cars and widespread alternative energy solutions from the industrial to the grass roots residential level. Like the one we're installing here this summer for example. There you go.
You can wring your hands about carbon footprints until your friggin Birkenstocks fall off and nothing big will happen. But as always, MONEY TALKS.