Ok – instead of piling onto the “other thread” lets just say my approach to the uses of alternate energy forms is simply to be pragmatic. I have and always will be a conservationist but I’ll never be an environmentalist. The different IMHO is that a conservationist takes a look at all the issues and makes the best choice based upon all the available data and from that data they implement the best course of action instead of knee jerk reactions and emotional outpourings that are akin to a having a deeply religious experience. I think there are some good ideas out there for alternate energy us but they need continue development to increase efficiency along with cost reduction. Also, one must realize that alternate energy sources like wind and solar vary with weather conditions and that a method must be provided to store excess energy when available and switching to the grid when necessary. Otherwise you will have to watch TV by candlelight At one time I considered adding a solar water heater to my home and I think that the cost at that time was well over $1000 to have it installed and at $400 for me to by the materials and install it my self. I realized that my investment, even if I did the install would not be recouped for ~8 years. I also realized that both my wife and I were away from home for at least 10 hours a day and slept for another 6 -8 and so instead I installed an electrical timer that shut off the water heater while we were away and again while we slept, having it come on 1 hour before we used it for showering and washing dishes and overriding the timer when washing clothes. The timer cost me $29.95 at Ace. I also considered installing a solar water heater for my pool, here in FL, latitude 30N a pool solar heater actually extends the pool use for only 6 – 8 weeks and is idle the rest of the year. I solve that problem by using about 200 feet of dark green 5/8” garden hose that I had on hand, connecting one end of the hose to a pool jet, flaking the hose out on the pool deck and allowing the other end to drain back into the pool. The water temp coming out of the hose was about 8 degrees warmer than what was going in. Here in this adult community some folks consider me a pariah because I opposed our community paying for recyclables pickup. The city does not provide refuse pickup for multi-family dwellings and we pay a private contractor to empty the compactor of MSW once a week. The added cost to the community would be $165/mo. to pick up recyclables. I don’t oppose recycling but the reality is that this county only achieves a 45% recycling rate, the rest is land filled. The national recycling average BTW is around 34%. My premise is simply that the county is already saturated with over twice as much recyclables as they can ever dispose of and we would just be paying for the privilege of adding recyclables to landfill stream. Ironically, the three major proponents for our community recycling all own and maintain two homes and are using energy to maintain both of them 24/7/365. Notwithstanding the fact that the weather has been pleasant these last few weeks, all three are keeping their homes closed up and the A/C turned on. Our recreational center is less than ½ mile away along a scenic nature path however these same individuals will each drive their vehicles over there and back at least once a day. Unfortunately this seems to be the norm for a lot of green advocates, the "do as I say, not as I do crowd". I guess my point is this – sure, there are alternate energy sources but until I start seeing a lot of solar panels on commercial buildings (instead of gov’t bldgs) I’ll know the cost is still too prohibitive for the average consumer. The same goes for wind turbines, when corporations begin investing them as energy sources to provide power to office buildings or factories I’ll sit up and take notice. In both cases without gov't subsidies. And also, if you really want to make alternate energy systems work, you are going to have to make some sacrifices yourselves. For example do you really need whole house CH&A or need to take a shower for twenty minutes? How about walking or bicycling to the Mini-mart instead of driving? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Ok – Rant over and ducking for cover.