While i am no tree hugger I am of the opinion that conservation is good, pollution is bad and I am especially keen on frugal and efficient living.
I think there is a little "tree hugger" in all of us. Anyone can live like a drunken sailor (no insult intended to any Navy men out there...)
To me, part of the challenge is doing what I'm doing (heating my place) and doing it with less. That's precisely why I bought an old beat up piece of junk (that has an exceptional reputation) and brought it back to life. I've spent many an hour reading the threads on this site and have seen a few folks who measure their coal and ashes on a regular basis. I plan to do this. I have to figure out how to quantify the heat output to the house. Maybe someone out there can help me with this... how many btu's is my house using. It really doesn't matter to me how much coal I am using. What really matters is how much energy is being wasted, either out the flue or in the ash bucket or out through the walls of my house. One test I will run is called "loss on ignition" which will measre the amount of carbon in the ash. I will likely spend about $200 on all the testing but the knowledge gained will allow me to further tune the boiler. I can also perform some of the testing myself and I plan to do this once I build the testing devices.
Earlier in my life I looked at everything through the dollar sign prism. I bought a place once with some big old trees... and quickly planned the demise of those trees and also how I was going to spend the money... but something changed... I figured out that I would miss those big old trees that have stood there for more than a hundred years. Now, I look at things differently... much differently.
Part of my job at the power plant was to closely watch the performance of the unit not just from an efficiency perspective but also from an environmental standpoint. I have become very concious of environmental issues related to burning fossil fuels. Being a good steward of the environment is very important to me. My position now is that I need to live my life and be comfortable with what I'm doing and providing for my family... but not do this in excess without regard for how I'm affecting the environment around me, my family, neighbors, etc. I don't want to have that attitude that many I know have... "hurray for me... screw you... no get outta my way..."
One thing I don't agree with is destroying the economy and bringing down capitalism to appease the hysteria of global warming.