Alternative Energy – An Eco Conservative Approach

Alternative energy is more expensive than fossil fuels. If you are serious about deploying mass quantities of alternative energy technology in the near future, you need to slap big excise taxes on coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Do so, and the market will scramble to deploy alternatives. And unlike the fake green energy documented in Planet of the Humans, these alternatives would actually cause a net reduction in fossil fuel consumption. No special climate accounting needed. The economy becomes the calculator. End of story.

And what a boring story that would be – from the political perspective. It’s much more fun to play Armchair Commissar, and craft mandates and subsidies for your favorite alternatives. And you get to hide the cost of switching to alternatives by paying for them out of the general fund. Whee!

You also end up with fiascoes like the Ethanol Mandate, Solyndra, Bush’s Hydrogen Economy, and chopping up condors with windmills.

It is better for The Concerned to get out of the Armchair and actually build something, whether as backyard tinkerers or as eco-capitalists. A carbon tax would make the latter option much more profitable. The small business friendly reforms you will find throughout this site will open up opportunities for more aspiring eco-capitalists.

But must we wait for such deep political reforms? Tinkering with alternative energy can be fun, and having a product ready before such reforms could be profitable. And maybe there some market niches where alternative energy makes sense right now.

In this section we will explore such potential niches in articles. Besides promoting political ideas we hope to network with fellow eco tinkerers…

But we will also play a bit of Armchair Commissar – with restraint.

Where Playing Armchair Commissar is Appropriate

Sometimes playing Armchair Energy Commissar makes sense, even for conservatives:

  1. Some energy technologies have serious public safety and/or national defense implications. Meddling in such matters is a proper role of government.
  2. Energy delivery systems – trains, pipelines, and power lines – require government mandated right-of-ways. Conventional Energy is in part a product of government meddling in the first place. Were it not for government subsidies and mandates, we might already have alternative energy in rural areas.
  3. How we get our energy affects our national character. Do we depend on central power generated using technology which only the Techno-Elite understand? Or do we opt for dispersed energy which The People understand?

Admittedly, the third consideration is a bit outside the Proper Role of Government. But it is not outside the proper role of individual choices and not-for-profit efforts. It also provides a chance for Preppers and Appropriate Technology aficionados to work and play together, and thus expand the base of conservatism...