Update 7/8/09: The second podcast in this series on putting a price on carbon is available.

Clark smallThis year’s Cascadia Scorecard shows that the Northwest is falling short when it comes to curbing energy use. Our region’s slow to non-existent progress on reigning in energy consumption reveals the need to dramatically change the way we consume energy. This problem has led many to look for the next technological “silver bullet” that will revolutionize our energy infrastructure.

In a new six-minute podcast, Clark talks about how the next “green iPod”–the shiny new gizmo that will completely change our lives—may be technology that we already have, like caulk guns, efficient cars, and high-efficiency furnaces.

In fact, the revolution may not be technological, but financial. How can we redevelop the ways that we finance efficiency upgrades? For one answer, look no further than Berkeley, California.

Have a listen:

(You can also download the mp3 here)

Special thanks to Bruce Bulloch for recording and editing this podcast.

Some excerpts below the jump.

  • Our work is made possible by the generosity of people like you!

    Thanks to Paul Runge for supporting a sustainable Cascadia.

  • On a technological revolution:

    • “A lot of people are looking for the next “green iPod”–the shiny new technology that’s going to make our lives completely efficient … I think people shouldn’t wait; I think that’s a trap. The next “green iPod” is probably a caulk gun—those kinds of things are so cheap. It’s free money lying around waiting for us to pick it up.”

    On transportation:

    • “We have cars that get 40 to 45 miles per gallon right now. We don’t have to wait for the car that gets 100 miles per gallon before we make our next efficient purchase. If the alternative is an SUV that gets under 20, the jump from 20 to 40 is huge.”

    On financing efficiency:

    • “Right now there’s a model being used in Berkeley, California that allows people to make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes and finance it on their tax bills. People borrow the money up front and pay it off over the long-haul on their tax bills. The City of Berkeley is doing the borrowing—they can get it at better rates, it doesn’t affect peoples’ credit history … All it means is that people pay a little more for taxes every month, and a lot less on their utilities every month.”