Erm, Geoff laddie?

Geoffrey Lean:

Reducing consumption of fossil fuels saves money

Sadly it\’s all a little more complex than that: if that\’s all there were to it then we\’d all be cutting our consumption of fossil fuels and there wouldn\’t be any problem, would there?

We can reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, of course: if we decide to reduce our standard of living at the same time. Have a colder house by using less heating (or in other places, a warmer one by not using A/C), use less hot water, travel less, eat less meat, blah, blah, blah.

But people, rightly or wrongly to your mind, see such things as being a decrease in their standard of living. They might be things which by other sets of values are worth doing for themselves, but most people do indeed see them as a reduction in the richness of their lives.

The other alternative, maintaining our perceived standard of living, keeping the house to the desired temperature whether through insulation or through the use of non fossil fuel derived energy, transport by other means, meat raised with a low carbon footprint, these cost more than using fossil fuels to do the same thing.

The two of those points together is exactly what causes the problems we face: reducing the consumption of fossil fuels either costs us money (which reduces our standard of living) as we substitute with more expensive sources of energy or reducing our consumption of fossil fuels by reducing our consumption of energy reduces our standard of living by reducing our standard of living.

That\’s actually what the problem is you see? People don\’t like reducing their standard of living.

If only it were as simple as use less coal and oil and save money…..

2 comments on “Erm, Geoff laddie?

  1. Doesn’t he mean things like replacing the ancient fridge or the 20 year old boiler with a more efficient models, or just turning the telly off properly at night ?

    Rather than returning to the dark ages.

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