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I think a huge part of the problem with the Global Warming discussion and most of the posts on this board in general is that strange human trait of assuming that everyone thinks or should think the way we do. All of us have different motivations, different reasonings, and different priorities. Am I concerned about global warming? Certainly, but, I see disagreement among very intelligent people who are far more knowledgeable than I am on both the possible causes and the potential effects of a warmer earth. So, I try to keep an eye on the debate with an open mind, which, for me, includes no emotional attachment to either side because I have rarely seen emotion and rationality coexist.

I do have, what I consider to be, both emotional and rational reasons for using not only renewable energy but renewable products in general. Here are just a few of them:

Environmental damage – I'm not talking “global”, I'm talking local. I grew up in the mountains of Coastal Northern California and I love clean air and rivers and beaches. However, I've seen the emissions from a pulp mill kill an entire mountainside of trees. I've been in San Francisco when the Golden Gate Bridge was hidden inside a yellowish-brown haze. And seeing beaches and wildlife destroyed by an oil spill makes me sick.

Thrift – I grew up very poor on a small farm in the mountains. We didn't have much and we learned not to waste anything. I think the minute amount of recycling we do, especially in this country, is disgusting and I think one of our biggest failures is that we haven't figured out how to move a 150 lb. man from point A to point B without using a 5000 lb. vehicle. That, in my opinion, is the epitome of inefficiency and wastefulness.

Economic prosperity – Energy, and other non-renewable products, account for a considerable amount of the average family budget or business operating costs. How much more prosperous would we be if the howling winter winds were generating power for our heat and the solar energy of the blazing summer sun was used to cool our home or office?

Economic security – If we are overly dependent on energy sources outside of our control, whatever person, group, or entity does control those energy sources has the ability to adversely affect our economy by controlling the cost of our energy.

National Security – With the exception of our nuclear capabilities, for both power and weaponry, our military capabilities would be severely diminished by a lack of sufficient oil. I realize that may not be considered a bad thing by many folks but, it would leave us with an all or nothing scenario (you mess with us, we annihilate your motherland).

World Peace – No, I'm not trying to win the Miss America pageant, I honestly think that being at peace is better than being at war (I spent 10 years in the military). No matter which side of the Iraq war debate you're on, you have to admit that if it weren't for oil we wouldn't give a rat's a$$ about what happens over there and Saddam would have never had the power to threaten the U.S. or Kuwait or anyone else. I'm also fairly certain that, if it weren't for the money from oil, most of the world's terrorists would be reduced to riding their camels around the desert waving swords at their enemies.

So, should I be treated with disdain because the issue of “Global Warming” doesn't consume me? I would hope not. Should the issue of “Global Warming” be discussed on the Renewable Energy Board? Certainly, but I would hope that no one is using this board as their sole source of information on the subject because I haven't seen anything here that I haven't seen many other places before. Shouldn't we find something else to talk about? I sure hope so. I come to the Motley Fool mainly for discussions relating to my investments. I pick up hints and tips and knowledge from others that are here for the same reason and hopefully once in a while I have some tidbit of wisdom to share that benefits someone. I come to the Renewable Energy Board specifically looking for investment opportunities in the Renewable Energy sector. I do this primarily because of the reasons I stated above and secondarily because I believe this is an area of great profit potential in the future because of the new and innovative technologies involved. Unfortunately, this board has never been a source of useful information on the topic of renewable energy for me, so, I think I'll look to the Fuel Cells & Alternative Energy Board where I have actually seen, and been involved in, the intelligent exchange of information. Perhaps someone should start a Global Warming & Peak Oil Board and you guys could have a great party.

Living Well is the Best Revenge

The Barbarian
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