Monday, July 23, 2007

Onion Prophesy

This Onion article seems oddly prophetic:
Eco-littering, however, is just one of the ways the public is embracing the green idea. The growing popularity of flex-fuel cars, which can run on regular gasoline or the ethanol-hydrocarbon compound known as E85, means more people can enjoy old-fashioned Sunday joyrides and short drives to the neighborhood supermarket without fretting about wasting nonrenewable fuel. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs now save the trouble of turning off lights. And cleaner-burning fuels and sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar power are making the longtime dream of running household appliances at all hours a reality.
I already find myself thinking, "Oh, it's alright if I leave the lights on...I'm saving so much energy anyway." But if the cost (the holistic cost, which includes the price per unit of energy and the environmental effect of that energy) of energy decreases (note that the monetary cost may increase while the holistic cost decreases because the [perceived] environmental cost may decrease), people will probably consume more energy. What other incentive is there to conserve besides cost?

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