Friday, February 1, 2008

Stimulating Proposition

That aint workin, thats the way you do it.
Money for nothin and your chicks for free.

- Mark Knopfler

Is this what its come down to?

Congress and the Administration seem to be in agreement that the solution lies in sending everybody a check - the great payoff for keeping quiet about how things "just aren't working out as promised." Not even close.

Go ahead. Buy that flat screen TV. Be patriotic and pump up the Chinese economy. Americans can be dyslexic when it comes to economics and war.

Or better yet, use the money to pay one-fifth of this month's mortgage on the home you're about to give back to the bank.

Could there be a better way?

How about taking the same money (upwards to $2oo billion now being floated) and target the development and installation of renewable energies?

What if we gave tax credits covering the cost of installing alternative energy systems in homes and businesses? What if we put some of that money into research and development of new energy systems? What if we created incentives for companies to invest in manufacturing alternative energy components within the United States?

The payoff? An influx of capital to super-charge the economy in the immediate future, plus a boom in employment across the economic spectrum for long-term growth.

And it just might bring about a sea change in the direction of energy independence.

I'm sure there are plenty more creative ideas out there. Don't be shy....


Jerry said...

Love that song, "Sultans of Swing".
Meanwhile down on the farm...
I've been researching the LED light bulb replacement. They're available for 12 V track lighting but I've only looked at 110V screw in light bulb replacements. In terms of lumens per $ or lumens per watt, CFL's still win hands down, but LED light is more focused, fewer lumens, but right where you want them. I say LED's are ready for prime time in some applications and almost ready in some others.

I got the 5 pk sampler from Don's Green Store:;jsessionid=441F5C31D02923B0A65D67BEA3947EC3.qscweb22
They arrived quickly and all worked well for low level ambient or low-intensity spot lighting. At over $10 per bulb average, I kept looking.

I then ordered 5 of these:
They took a couple of weeks to arrive, but I love them for reading lamps and spotlights on artwork..At $5.29, even lower in bulk, I like the price.
Imagine a 3 watt reading light, these are great!

They are also available in quantity (20 or more @ $3.25) from:
I think this is the wholesale arm of the same company.

CFL's are still the best for filling up a room with diffuse lumens, they don't work as spotlights.
LED's are cost and carbon footprint effective where a smaller, crisp, and focused light is needed. And THERE IS NO MERCURY.

Buildings are roughly one-third of the global warming problem.
Lighting is roughly one-third of building energy use.
LED lighting has earned a seat at the solutions table.

Thoughts, coments?

Vicarious Green Remodeling said...

Let's see, $200 billion for the Iraq war over a NONrenewable resource ....OR... $420 billion that could provide 70% of our electricity from a non-polluting resource that does not deplete, no wars required.

Maybe the math is just too hard. Maybe we should stay in conflict until we spent $420 billion on Iraq then reevaluate the cost-benefit.

That's what I love and hate about the obvious.
The obvious, isn't.

Sage said...

When we outlaw incandescents and legalize war spending, we are penny wise and pound foolish.

Let me keep my lightbulbs and stop the war instead.

James Polk said...

How about a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps? The CCC was established by President Franklin Roosevelt putting young, unemployed men to work building and maintaining state and national parks, among other things. This proved to be one of the most popular of the New Deal initiatives. Cabins, bridges, and trails still remain and in use as a testament to the cost effectiveness of this program.

What if we re-constituted the CCC and put people to work installing alternative energy systems in our parks and public spaces?

Anonymous said...

A real stimulus package for America

Tax rebates and credits should be directed so that 100% of the money stays in the USA, not spent on foreign electronics, tools, machines etc.


Direct the stimulus package to reduce energy use in residential and commercial buildings by providing rebates for:

1. Insulating our buildings for higher efficiency.

2. Replace incandescent light fixtures with florescent lighting.

3. Installing tight fitting windows and doors to replace worn out or inefficient ones.

4. Installing energy efficient air conditioners and heaters.


1. The above items are almost entirely manufactured in the USA.

2. The most depressed job market is the housing industry – it would partially revive it.

3. The savings on energy would be immediate and have a pay back period of 6 months to 2 years.

4. A quick pay back of the stimulus package would allow another similar and expanded package in the near future.

5. It would reduce our imports of oil and gas, lowering the imbalance of trade that is over 65% oil and gas related.

6. Reducing the imbalance of trade would strengthen the dollar abroad and could reduce the interest rate.

7. It would lower the people’s energy bill allowing them to spend money elsewhere.

8. It would reduce our dependence on foreign countries who supply the oil, and our need to meddle in their politics.

9. It would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollution causing gases.

10. It would spur the nation onto energy independence.


1. Send this to your Congress members and ask for a real stimulus package that is 100% directed towards American manufacturing and service.

2. Send this to your friends and ask them to do the same.

We are the change that we have been looking for……it’s up to you and me to push our elected representatives to do what benefits all of us the most even if some elected officials think that buying more "stuff" is an investment.

Robert A. Andrys, AIA, LEED-AP