For the past two days, I've been at a conference of Upper Midwest NGOs and philanthropic foundations from around the country working together to reduce regional global warming pollution in the electricity sector 80% by the year 2030.
One of the big discussions was that of communicating the need for energy efficiency, and that is a critical ingredient in the clean energy pie. Efficiency is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to cut our carbon emissions that cause global warming, but how can people get excited about it?
I found a good discussion of the problem "Can energy efficiency be as sexy as solar?" at Joel Makower's blog. And here's a video where a bunch of high school students break into homes to make them more energy efficient, all to Pink Floyd. Not sure if it's really effective, but it was entertaining.
Efficiency is something our elected officials can really take the lead on, like high efficiency requirements for government buildings and vehicles that get at least 30 miles per gallon. Or work with zoning laws to ensure that new development - residential or commercial - is super efficient. People aren't going to stop buying Lincoln Navigators or building 12,000 sq ft homes, but shouldn't they be as energy efficient as possible?