Green Tech Within Reach

September, 2016

Technological progress, much like most human endeavors involves winners and losers.  Some take a dystopian vision which dooms our fate at the cost of technological advancement and some take the stand that life is much better with technology at our side.  It’s hard to fall into any of these camps completely and even though dystopian films like 'Blade Runner' or 'Her' and literature like '1984' or 'Brave New World' have sparked some distrust it would be hypocritical for me to say that I reject technological advancement.  It seems I am not alone in balancing one foot between these two worlds as pre-eminent scientific and technological minds like Steven Hawkins; Elon Musk and Bill Gates too have warned that Artificial Intelligence could spell the end of human civilization.

However, while we await our fate there are some things that might give us faith that the android revolution might never happen and that we will not completely destroy our natural resources.  The glimmer of light that makes me hopeful is that tech companies; tech consumers and policy makers are trying to address the paradox of progress vs preservation.  An example of a major tech company doing its part is seen in Apple’s new headquarters in Silicon Valley.  According to Tim Cook the new headquarters are going to be “the greenest building on the planet” with its use of solar and wind power and by recycling “75% of their demolished materials”.  However, what positive impact this will have on replenishing fossil materials and rare earth metals that go into computer/mobile manufacturing components is uncertain.

While tech companies, businesses and state leaders need to do more and make decisions that will reduce some of our carbon print, consumers on a grass root level are making their mark towards this effort too.  For example, as a tech consumer and small business we made a conscious choice to have our website Bacchus Tales & Co. hosted by GreenGeeks who are ‘300% powered by renewable energy’.  We use rechargeable batteries whenever possible and have our electronic devices on surge protector power strips (which turns off phantom power).  

Business Incentives in New Orleans, LA

With our current awareness of depleting natural resources, no city can legitimately talk about planning and development without factoring in sustainable practices.  At the 2008 Clinton Global Initiative day panel in New Orleans, former president Bill Clinton suggested that New Orleans had the opportunity to become a truly green city.  In 2016, New Orleans Business Alliance released its ProsperityNOLA plan, a comprehensive strategic plan for the economic development of New Orleans over the next 5 years which include incentives - like solar tax credits. Energy Smart Nola also offers programs and financial incentives ($50,000) for businesses interested in improving energy efficiency of their facilities.

Residential Incentives in New Orleans, LA

If you are a residential Entergy customer in Orleans Parish and would like to make your home energy efficient then you may want to take advantage of the Energy Smart programs and rebates.  According to their website they offer mail-in rebates for:

If you would like to explore other opportunities such as loans and federal programs then you can look up a list of resources through Energy Smart Nola’s information center.

There is a certain presumption behind these programs in that every individual and business doing their part towards energy consumption can contribute positively towards a future outcome.  While there is recent evidence suggesting that the ozone layer is healing we should not become complacent about our role in taking care of and respecting our amazing planet.  We can find ways to bridge the gap between progress and preservation and we should encourage inventors and individuals to value both. 


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