Good day readers!

I was asked recently why I was so passionate about energy efficiency, alternative energy and greening the planet. Well according to Duet. 8:18, we are called to “do what is right and good.” I believe using sustainable, renewable, alternative sources of energy is right and good. That doesn’t mean that using oil, natural gas, nuclear power is necessarily wrong and bad, however. What is clear from the history of the past 100 years is that we all are hurting the planet, each other, and ourselves using these conventional sources of energy. At a time when we needed such sources of energy, they seemed right and good, but perhaps that is no longer true.

What is true is now that we have alternatives, we can change, and so the discussion is no longer necessary. What we now pursue, on a global scale, is not sustainable, and not safe. If we are committed to repairing the world, as I am, we must pursue all forms of green energy, and conserve what we have. You know that today we can produce electricity from the wind and sun, and that vehicle fuels are made from corn, but did you know, for example, that we can produce bio-diesel fuel from algae? And we can use less! Energy efficiency, recycling, and reuse save all forms of energy.

As an economist, I also believe that renewables are more appropriately scaled for communities, and thus a better investment than continuing to invest in large-scale projects that also bear spill-over costs we cannot afford. Even upgrading the grid is a cost we cannot afford, but the same is true for nuclear waste, oil spills, and polluted water and air. These are not just direct costs, but indirect through health risks, geo-political and economic instability.

Next time someone asks you why you are so passionate about greening the planet, just say “Tikkun Olam.” Together we can do this!