Mist Showers Conserve An Amazing Amount Of Water And Energy – How come I never heard of it

I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of a mist shower. So I am putting this up as a very very long public service announcement. But if everything it says is true, I gotta get me one. It should be amazing.

https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/10/mist-showers-sustainable-decadence.html

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The Carbon Footprint of the Daily Shower

The shower doesn’t get much attention in the context of climate change. However, like airplanes, cars, and heating systems, it has become a very wasteful and carbon-intensive way to provide for a basic need: washing the body. Each day, many of us pour roughly 70 litres of hot water over our bodies in order to be “clean”.

This practice requires two scarce resources: water and energy. More attention is given to the showers’ high water consumption, but energy use is just as problematic. Hot water production accounts for the second most significant use of energy in many homes (after heating), and much of it is used for showering. Water treatment and distribution also use lots of energy.

In contrast to the energy used for space heating, which has decreased during the last decades, the energy used for hot water in households has been steadily growing. One of the reasons is that people are showering longer and more frequently, and using increasingly powerful shower heads. For example, in the Netherlands from 1992 to 2016, shower frequency increased from 0.69 to 0.72 showers per day, shower duration increased from 8.2 to 8.9 minutes, and the average water flow increased from 7.5 to 8.6 litres per minute. [1]

In many industrial societies it’s now common to shower at least once per day

 

 

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Go there and read and read and read. I may never take a shower again. More next week.

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Tiny Houses Are Not For Everyone – Even if it is pretty nice in a pretty nice town

In a pretty nice part of town even. I like them, so I’ll just let her talk.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90407740/why-i-hate-living-in-my-tiny-house?utm_source=digg

Why I hate living in my tiny house

Small backyard houses get a lot of attention as a solution to the housing crisis, but it’s a different idea in theory than it is when you try to put it into practice.

When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.

I still live there—partly because rents in Oakland have surged more than 50% in less than a decade, and in a neighborhood where a typical one-bedroom now goes for more than $2,800, I can’t afford to move. I recognize the value of this type of tiny house, called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU, in theory. In built-up cities with little extra land and residents who fight development, adding tiny cottages in backyards is one way to help address the housing shortage. The small size saves energy and curbs my shopping habits, since there literally isn’t any room for, say, another pair of shoes. But I also question how well tiny homes make sense as a solution for long-term housing—and in some cases, as in the even tinier houses sometimes used as housing for people experiencing homelessness, I wonder if they can sometimes distract from other, more systemic solutions that are necessary.

As tiny houses go, mine is larger than some. One nearby shed-like cottage currently for rent on Craigslist is 120 square feet; another, which rents for $1,600 a month, is 200 square feet. A few miles away from me, a village of 8-by-10-foot tiny houses on wheels is under construction for homeless youth, with a separate communal kitchen and communal bathrooms. Hundreds of others are currently living on the street in much tighter quarters in vehicles or tents. While there’s no official definition for a tiny house, they’re generally said to be around 500 or fewer square feet, making my place somewhat medium-size as far as tiny houses go.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Things I Could Have Posted Today – Trump denies California’s ability to set fuel standards or Iran’s air strikes on the Saudi oil fields but

I chose to post about something more radical. INFRASTRUCTURE. The idea behind “keep it in the ground” is so subversive. That’s what the XL Pipeline was all about and why the itt was so hotly contested. If you can’t bring fossil fuels to the market; What good are they? Well, New York tried to do it through legislation, and things got hot right away.

https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/epa-proposes-reject-new-yorks-keep-it-ground-scheme

May 28, 2019

EPA Proposes to Reject New York’s “Keep it in the Ground” Scheme

Heath Knakmuhs

Last September, I wrote about one of the boldest efforts yet by New York to halt energy infrastructure in its tracks.  This effort utilized a little-known provision of the Clean Air Act – the “good neighbor” provision at Section 126(b) – to argue that hundreds of energy-related and manufacturing facilities located across nine “upwind” states should be subject to additional, costly controls and limitations in order to assist New York in meeting its air quality obligations under 2008 and 2015 national ozone air quality standards.  Last week, the Federal Register published the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to reject New York’s far-reaching petition, providing momentary relief to the thousands of workers across nine states that found themselves within the crosshairs of New York’s “keep it in the ground” ideology.

With this week’s EPA action, the comment period is now officially open for the public to weigh-in on whether it supports – or opposes – New York’s attempt to curtail or shut down legitimate business activities across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  If you live in any one of these states, and particularly if you live near or work at any of the many facilities targeted (pages 33-42) by New York’s petition, now is the time for you to speak up.

Take a good look at the map below to see the locations of the many facilities targeted by New York’s petition.  Not surprisingly, power plants and refineries are major targets, but so are countless other facility types.  From a Pennsylvania facility that produces renewable energy from municipal waste to steel plants in Michigan to a box factory in rural Virginia, New York’s petition contorts the Clean Air Act well beyond the intended “major source or group of stationary sources” which are typically the subject of a state petition under Section 126.  Even a facility in western Indiana at Purdue University – which is more than 400 miles away from New York’s westernmost border – is targeted as a “bad neighbor” by New York’s complaint.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This Is A Very Clever Sight – It is very helpful too

Don’t take my word for it. Go there and see.

Future of Energy Savings: Upcoming Improvements in Technology to Reduce Energy Costs and Consumption

1. Magnetized Refrigerators

Research and development of new refrigeration technologies has helped to increase residential energy savings. It is estimated that refrigerators sold in the U.S. use about 60% less energy today than they did twenty years ago. While the cost of an energy efficient refrigerator can be more expensive, in the long term, the cost to keep it running is much more cost effective than a less efficient model.

In order for companies to sell refrigerators that are eligible for energy savings, they must meet specific Energy Star program requirements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the criteria for this program.

As part of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy?s funding program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up on a magentocaloric refrigeration research and development project. Their goal is to build a residential refrigerator that consumes 25% less energy than the current competition. Instead of using vapor compression, the team is using a technology known as the magnetocaloric effect (MCE). It?s a process where temperature is controlled by a changing magnetic field. This approach eliminates the use of

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More next week.

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Energy Efficiency In The Home – A fan sends me an excellent guide

I know it has been a while since I have put anything up about Residential Energy  Use, which is where this BLOG started out but we get requests from organizations to get a plug and so here you go.

Tyler <tyler@greenteensclub.org>
To:info@censys.org
Aug 7 at 1:01 PM

Hi there,

My name is Tyler and I’m a member of GreenTeensClub. We’re spreading resources that help make our planet a little healthier, like this home energy efficiency guide: https://www.basementguides.com/basement-and-home-energy/

I think your site is a great place to share this resource: http://censys.org/date/2015/05

The page includes the biggest culprits of energy waste in a home, tips for locating the source of energy-waste issues, and how to lower your bills while reducing your footprint.

Please help us spread awareness of the importance of making homes more energy efficient. Even if we only get a few people to make minor changes, then we’ve made a huge difference.

Thanks!
Tyler

GreenTeensClub

Basement And Home Energy

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Go there and read. More next week.

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If We Plant Trees We Can Beat Climate Change – This is Bob Croteau’s solution

What they don’t tell you that you would have to plant enough trees to cover North America TWICE. That is a trillion trees. Now we could do that. The cool thing is that saplings soak up huge amounts of Carbon so we might get a decade of Global Cooling which we could use. But we would need a second solution for Ocean Acidification. I am sure we could do the acid thing eventually. Still, getting a trillion trees? Well we shall see.

https://www.dw.com/en/planting-1-trillion-trees-could-stop-climate-change-argues-study/a-49478494

News

Planting 1 trillion trees could stop climate change, argues study

Planting a massive number of trees is the most effective way to combat global warming, scientists have said. Reforesting an area the size of the United States could capture two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions.

A report from Swiss scientists published on Thursday said an effective way to stem the catastrophic consequences of climate change would be to plant about 1 trillion trees. This would take up an area roughly the size of the United States, but there is more than enough room, according to the study published in the journal Science.

“Every other climate change solution requires that we all change our behavior, or we need some top-down decision from a politician who may or may not believe in climate change, or it’s a scientific discovery we don’t yet have,” researcher Tom Crowther told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “This one is not only our most powerful solution — it’s one that every single one of us can get involved with.”

Over decades, the growing trees could suck up nearly 830 billion tons (750 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to the study. That’s about as much carbon pollution as humans have spewed in the past 25 years.

Crowther added, however, that while this was a cheap solution, it would not work without emissions cuts. Researchers emphasized that there are also behavioral changes that would work faster, such as cutting animal products out of one’s diet.

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Go there and read. Hope it happens in my life time. More next week.

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Xcel Dumps Coal – But where are the renewables

It is sad that a corporation bets on nukes and not renewables and alternatives. Corporations are dumb and if they refuse to react to market changes then they shall be slain on their nukes…So be it.

 

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/xcel-energy-accelerates-coal-plant-closures-to-meet-100-clean-energy-goal

Regulation & Policy

Xcel Energy Fast-Forwards Minnesota Coal Plant Closures but Extends Nuclear Window

The utility struck a deal with environmental and labor groups in the Upper Midwest that will allow it to reduce its carbon emissions while easing job losses related to coal plant retirements.

Xcel Energy plans to close its last two coal-fired power plants in Minnesota by 2030, a decade earlier than scheduled, while keeping its nuclear power plants running through at least 2040 — the latest step in the eight-state utility’s plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The proposed early closures are part of its Upper Midwest Energy Plan, which Xcel expects to submit to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in July. If approved, it will allow Xcel to cut its carbon emissions in the state by 80 percent compared to 2005 levels. That’s a key metric from Xcel’s companywide zero-carbon goals announced in December, up from its previous target of 60 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Monday’s announcement comes as part of a settlement agreement with environmental and labor groups, meant both to boost clean energy alternatives and help ease the job and economic losses when the Allen S. King coal power plant in Bayport, Minnesota closes by 2028 and the Sherco 3 coal-fired generator in Becker, Minnesota closes by 2030.

Under the agreement, Xcel would proceed with plans to buy the Mankato Energy Center natural-gas plant. But its plans to build a new natural-gas power plant, as well as extend the operating license of its Monticello nuclear plant past its 2030 expiration until at least 2040, are being opposed by some environmental groups.

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They Include Natural Gas – It is still a good day

All the stuff I have been posting lately is real good news and I am so happy about it. If there is plastic in our food sources (especially fish) and the planet virtually shuts down because man has denuded it. What does it matter? I am trying to be optimistic but it is tough.

https://news.yahoo.com/britain-set-first-coal-power-103853088.html

World

Britain set for first coal-power free week in over a century

By Susanna Twidale

Reuters

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Britain, the birth place of coal power, is set to go seven days without electricity from coal-fired stations for the first time since its 19th century industrial revolution, the National Grid operator said on Wednesday.

Britain was home to the world’s first coal-fueled power plant in the 1880s, and coal was its dominant electric source and a major economic driver for the next century.

However, coal plants emit almost double the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a heat-trapping gas blamed for global warming – as gas-fired power plants, and were moved out of Britain’s cities from the late 1950’s to reduce air pollution.

As part of efforts to meet its climate target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared with 1990 levels in the next three decades, Britain plans to wean itself completely off coal-fired power generation by 2025.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Could A Little Swiss Company Stop Global Warming – If it was built on a Nuclear Powerplant

First off, I lifted the chant below because I thought it was so cool. And timely. Second, this article about decarboning the air by a little Swiss company takes a looooong time to get to the point. Finally it does say that it takes a lot of power to run, A Nuke? I was just kidding, but maybe.

 

“KEEP THE OIL IN THE SOIL,

TAKE A PASS ON THE GAS!

BAN FRACKING AND ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE NOW!”

– Yes To The Path To 100 (%) Act (IL)

– Yes To The Green New Deal (Fed)

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

Two European entrepreneurs want to remove carbon from the air at prices cheap enough to matter.

By Jon Gertner

Just over a century ago in Ludwigshafen, Germany, a scientist named Carl Bosch assembled a team of engineers to exploit a new technique in chemistry. A year earlier, another German chemist, Fritz Haber, hit upon a process to pull nitrogen (N) from the air and combine it with hydrogen (H) to produce tiny amounts of ammonia (NH?). But Haber’s process was delicate, requiring the maintenance of high temperatures and high pressure. Bosch wanted to figure out how to adapt Haber’s discovery for commercial purposes — as we would say today, to “scale it up.” Anyone looking at the state of manufacturing in Europe around 1910, Bosch observed, could see that the task was daunting: The technology simply didn’t exist.

Over the next decade, however, Bosch and his team overcame a multitude of technological and metallurgical challenges. He chronicled them in his 1932 acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry — an honor he won because the Haber-Bosch process, as it came to be known, changed the world. His breakthrough made possible the production of ammonia on an industrial scale, providing the world with cheap and abundant fertilizer. The scientist and historian Vaclav Smil called Haber-Bosch “the most important technical invention of the 20th century.” Bosch had effectively removed the historical bounds on crop yields, so much so that he was widely credited with making “bread from air.” By some estimates, Bosch’s work made possible the lives of more than two billion human beings over the last 100 years.

What the Haber-Bosch method had going for it, from the very start, was a ready market. Fertilizer was already in high demand, but it came primarily from limited natural reserves in far-flung locales — bird droppings scraped from remote islands near Peru, for instance, or mineral stores of nitrogen dug out of the Chilean desert. Because synthetic ammonia competed with existing products, it was able to follow a timeworn pattern of innovation. In much the same way that LEDs have supplanted fluorescent and incandescent bulbs (which in turn had displaced kerosene lamps and wax candles), a novel product or process often replaces something already in demand. If it is better or cheaper — and especially if it is better and cheaper — it usually wins in the marketplace. Haber-Bosch did exactly that.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Year End Reviews – This one is from Forbes

I’ll put a few more up. Why not start out with the Capitalist’s point of view.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/12/23/the-top-10-energy-stories-of-2018/#5f91c2c4799a

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2018

Energy

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the top energy stories of the year. This year there wasn’t an overwhelming choice for the top story as we have had in some previous years (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon spill), but many of the year’s biggest developments impacted oil prices.

Here are my picks for the stories that shaped the year in energy.

Oil price roller coaster

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened the year at $60/bbl. Brent crude was just under $67/bbl. By early October, on the back of several developments that are covered in other stories below, WTI was closing in on $80/bbl and Brent was above $86/bbl. But then prices collapsed in part because the ongoing trade war with China caused them to stop importing U.S. oil, and in part because sanctions on Iranian exports were waived at the last moment — after Saudi Arabia had already increased production to compensate for Iran’s lost exports. The overall impact was a collapse in the price of oil. As we head into the last week of the year, WTI has fallen to $45/bbl and Brent crude is at $54/bbl.

U.S. shatters oil production record

Early in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the previous monthly record for U.S. crude oil production – 10.044 million BPD set in November 1970 — had been broken. U.S. oil production would continue to rise steadily throughout 2018, reaching 11.475 million BPD by September 2018 (the last month for which monthly numbers are available).

China slows solar program

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I hate that last one. Go there and read. More next week.

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