Every Earth Day I become very idealistic and enthusiastic that we can come together as a society to change things for the better. The rest of the year, the wet oily blanket of reality dampens my enthusiasm. But there are practical solutions to our problems just at the tips of our nose. Sun and wind.
There are practical solutions to our environmental and energy problems that are good for our economy and our ecology. If we would empower individuals to make wise energy choices, we could go a long way towards solving the toughest problems of our times, global warming and a lack of energy independence.
Think small to solve big problems. The state of Missouri could build a partnership with people to make their own houses energy independent. Alternative energies such as solar panels, windmills and ground-based heat pumps are expensive but will eventually pay for themselves over time. Missouri state government can partner with utilities and homeowners to take the sting out of the initial capital investment. Missouri can sponsor tax credits and no-interest loans in order to allow homeowners to produce their own power. Extra energy can be sold to the utilities making the house a net producer.
Americans consider themselves individualists, but we do come together to solve the great problems collectively when great challenges arise. Empowering individuals to become energy independent would fit our national character and solve our collective problem.