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Guest Thinkers

Sweden, Help!

A Swedish program is helping American families change their lives to see that reducing energy consumption needn’t be painful.

“Nolan Stokes and Kathy Harman-Stokes — a financial planner and a lawyer with two children in elementary school — are installing a geothermal heat pump in their front yard that will tap the Earth’s constant temperature to warm their home more efficiently. They know precisely how many kilowatts of energy their house is consuming when they wake up each morning. And they’ve cut back on their consumption of meat because they now know it generates significantly more greenhouse-gas emissions than vegetables. There’s even an official name for the Stokeses, along with three other households in Northern Virginia: They are Climate Pilots, guinea pigs in a Swedish experiment aimed at helping U.S. citizens understand that a lifestyle that curbs greenhouse-gas emissions is not necessarily oppressive, just different. Whether Americans are willing to follow their example is part of the political calculation lawmakers have to make as they consider imposing nationwide limits on emissions in legislation making its way through Congress.”


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