The oil spill in the gulf is concentrated pollution. And everybody is rightly upset about it. And we should do everything in our power to fix it because we can directly see the devastating effects. However, everyday our homes and offices in the United States are wasting far more energy and releasing far more pollution just through inefficiency. The waste is more spread out, impacting the entire Earth, yet we still we are slow in enacting a policy to improve our use of fossil fuels, reduce our dependence on it and find alternative, clean, carbon neutral power.

According to this article on, if the US used what it will spend on cleaning up the oil spill for residential upgrades we could make 3 million homes more efficient. And this would save 40 times the amount of energy released into the gulf not just this year, but every year. It would create thousands of jobs and spur a new housing market. I appreciate our laser focus on fixing the Gulf oil spill issue, but I worry that we’ll only fix it to go back to the status quo. (Disclosure: Writer owns stock in Altair Nanotechnologies and Raser Technologies.)

Were there no oil spill, what would like to see that clean-up money spent on?