Popular Science has a fun article “Nine of the World’s Most Promising Ecotopias.” Amazingly, one of them is in the USA – Greensburg, Kansas made the list. From the information I found there was no bogus “carbon offset.” What I mean is that they aren’t simply raising taxes to plant trees in some impoverished country. Rather, these cities (or developments in some cases) are actually building new rail, performing energy audits, and using alternative energy.

If this trend continues to grow, what does this mean to you (a suburban American)? How will it change your life? As a Christian who cares about God’s creation (the environment), that’s what I want to know!

1) You will probably learn to use public transportation at some point. Mass transportation is much more efficient than everyone driving their own pickup truck to work – one person to a vehicle. When done properly (think of the London Underground, or even the Metro in Moscow), mass transportation is every bit as convenient as driving your vehicle down the interstate. In my opinion there is a big upside: it’s generally safer than car travel, and it gives you the ability to read or relax instead of giving in to road rage.

2) You will likely learn some new energy saving habits. You’ll recycle more. You might even compost food waste to use as fertilizer in your garden (if done right it really doesn’t smell). I predict that we will move to LED light bulbs within 5 years. CFL’s will be a thing of the past. You will likely see many incentives to make energy saving improvements to your house, such as new appliances, or adding insulation. Odds are you will do it, and enjoy the savings.

3) this logically follows number two. Watch for energy providers to raise rates or service charges. They won’t be losing income, even though you consume less power. Part of the increase will be that they won’t make as much money from each individual. Another part of the increase will be higher cost of Wind or Solar power (even nuclear) as compared to fossil fuels. When your energy provider switches sources, you won’t experience any difference. You’ll probably make changes, see an initial decrease in your bill, and then watch yourself get nickeled and dimed back to about the same $$ amount on your bill.

I’m no prophet, though I am a licensed Christina minister (who cares about the environment as God’s creation). Yet, I think these steps will be taken, and results will start to show (in the leveling off of US energy consumption) within the next decade or two. Of course, by then you will have forgotten about this blog entry 🙂

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