We Can Make A Change – If we all pull together we can make big change

Periodically I try to be up beat. With the Pandemic and all the doom coming out of the environmental community I thought I would say, “We can do things together”! The place to start is small. Ride your bike. Recycle and reduce your garbage. Compost. Walk places when you can. Take the steps not the elevator. I do all of those things and everyday I try to think of more things I can do. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the things we can achieve. Stay safe out there.

What lifestyle changes will shrink your carbon footprint the most?

Three years ago, Kim Cobb was feeling “completely overwhelmed” by the problem of climate change. Cobb spends her days studying climate change as director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, but she felt paralyzed over how to be part of the solution in her personal life. The barriers felt immense.

She decided to start small. On January 1, 2017, she made a personal climate resolution: She would walk her kids to school and bicycle to work two days a week. That change didn’t represent a lot in terms of carbon emissions, she says, “but it was a huge lesson in daily engagement.”

In the beginning, her modest goal seemed daunting, but she quickly discovered that the two simple activities nourished her physical and mental well-being. She wanted to do them every day. “It’s no longer for the carbon — it’s for the fact that I genuinely love riding my bike and walking my kids to school,” she says. And that made her wonder: What other steps was she thinking of as sacrifices that might actually enrich her life?

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Paradise Coal Plant Closed Down – Is it ok to dance on somebody’s grave

My answer to that is YES! I know in this time of Covid-19 that we are not supposed to wish people ill. Or in general, in the METOO moment say harsh things about the down and OUT! Trust me, this is more exclamation points then I have used in 10 years. The fact that it happens in McConnell’s state and against The Cheeto Burrito’s wishes is just wonderful to me.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iconic-plants-end-spells-doom-051246740.html

Iconic plant’s end spells doom for struggling coal industry

DYLAN LOVAN
Associated Press

DRAKESBORO, Ky. (AP) — President Donald Trump tried to stop it from happening. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, did too.

Despite their best efforts to make good on Trump’s campaign promise to save the beleaguered coal industry, including an eleventh-hour pressure campaign, the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant at Paradise burned its last load of coal last month.

The plant’s closure — in a county that once mined more coal than any other in the nation — is emblematic of the industry’s decadeslong decline due to tougher environmental regulations, a major push toward renewable energy and a rise in the extraction of natural gas. The shuttering of businesses nationwide and a reduced need for energy amid the global coronavirus pandemic threatens to deal coal yet another devastating blow.

“It’s not just one 1,000-megawatt unit closing; they’re going down all over the place,” said John Rogers, a former mine owner who lives in western Kentucky near the Paradise plant, located in Muhlenberg County.

When coal-burning plants close, coal mining loses its best customer. Since 2010, 500 coal-burning units, or boilers, at power plants have been shut down and nearly half the nation’s coal mines have closed. No U.S. energy company, big or small, is building a new coal-burning plant.

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Go there and YIPPEE. More next week.

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Americans Would Not Know Good Design If It Bit Them ON The Ass

These people have been conserving massive amounts of energy for years. Americans, Russians and Chinese, NOt So MucH. You know – energy exuberance and all that poppycock.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/a-design-concept-is-transforming-the-energy-efficiency-of-buildings.html?utm_source=digg

How a decades-old design concept is transforming the energy efficiency of buildings

 

Key Points
  • The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs.
  • Could a shift in the way they are designed make them more energy efficient?
H/O - Goldsmith Street Norwich
Goldsmith Street, in the English city of Norwich, won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2019.
Tim Crocker

The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs, whether it’s an office block in the middle of the city or a small house in the suburbs.

Think of a building’s temperature: It can be regulated by radiators, fans and air conditioning systems, while basic actions such as opening and closing a window or door can also be effective. Today, smart technology allows many of these appliances to be controlled remotely using smartphones.

You only need to look at your monthly utility bill to know that living in a building — be it large or small — costs money.

The impact of buildings on the environment is also a concern. According to the IEA, final energy use in buildings hit approximately 3,060 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2018, up from 2,820 Mtoe in 2010.

Fossil fuels’ share in buildings’ energy use was at 36% in 2018, the IEA says, a small drop compared to 38% in 2010.

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Go there and read. Its all you’ve got to do, right? More next week.

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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

« How to Make Wind Power Sustainable Again | Main

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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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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Want To Save The Planet – Block the sun

It is a short article. So I will be brief. This is a film that reduces solar absorption by 10%. Combine that with a white roof and you got some major savings. Plus you dampen green house gases at the same time. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/12/heat-rejecting-film-reduce-air-conditioning/

Heat-rejecting film could reduce air conditioning costs

It blocks 70 percent of incoming solar heat.

Climate change can be a vicious cycle when folks crank up the air conditioning during heat waves and add even more CO2 to the atmosphere. Scientists from MIT and the University of Hong Kong have developed a new type of window coating that could curb that trend. It remains highly transparent up to 89 degrees F (32 degrees Celsius), but beyond that, it becomes translucent like frosted glass. As a result, it reflects back up to 70 percent of the sun’s incoming heat, reducing interior temperatures and the load on your air conditioner.

To maximize heat blocking, the researchers inserted tiny water-filled spheres into a standard poly material. At temperatures starting around 85 degree F, the spheres start to shrink, squeezing out the liquid and forcing the poly fibers closer together. That gives the glass a frosted appearance, blocking 70 percent of the incoming heat while still letting a lot of visible light through.

Such films have been tried before but didn’t block heat that well. The MIT and Hong Kong teams realized that the water filled spheres needed to match the wavelength of infrared light responsible for most solar heating. After expanding the bubble size to 500 nanometers, the film became a much more effective heat-blocker.

MIT heat-rejecting film

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Google this if you want extra. Go there and reat the uplinks. More next week.

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We Waste 2/3rds Of The Energy We Generate – This is Tragic

America is in a double bind. We have some of the best energy research and technology in the world. But when we try to talk to the rest of the world about Climate Change. We look like FOOLS.

 

 

Op-Ed Contributors

Why Is America Wasting So Much Energy?

By Terry Sobolewski and Ralph Cavanagh

Partisan fights in Washington can leave the impression that we’re hopelessly divided. The truth is there are plenty of bipartisan solutions to the energy and environmental challenges we face, and energy efficiency is near the top of the list.

America fails to capture some two-thirds of the power it generates, much of it through simple waste, according to federal data. In a recent survey, the United States was ranked eighth among 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries in efficiency, behind several European nations, China and Japan.

We shouldn’t accept that.

Energy efficiency is one of the most powerful resources we have for meeting our energy and environmental goals. It is also an enormous economic opportunity.

Setting aside the significant environmental impact, this energy waste costs American businesses and households billions of dollars every year. In commercial buildings alone, where annual electricity costs are roughly $190 billion, about 30 percent of this energy goes to waste.

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So SAD. Go there and read. More next week.

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Small Houses For Vets – Why not small houses for all the homeless

Don’t get me wrong. I think this is really good and really good work as well. But housing as seems obvious is the solution to homelessness. So why not house all the homeless in small houses. Hell for that matter house all the poor people that want them in small houses.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article197241499.html

Thirteen homeless veterans got a look Monday at the furnished tiny houses they will call home for the next six to 12 months. The Veterans Community Project also got a chance to show the public the first phase of the “Veterans Village” taking shape. – Shelly Yang, The Kansas City Star
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‘Housing with dignity’: First 13 homeless veterans to move into tiny houses in KC

January 29, 2018 02:12 PM

Updated January 29, 2018 03:12 PM

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Go there and read. More next week.

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California Demands Solar In New Housing – Only 49 to go

I have been at a loss for words for the last month. Things are going so well. I know Dotard is still President and many things are seriously messed up. But on the alternative energy front things just keep getting better and better. Don Blankenship actually made a fool out of himself and lost a primary vote for the Senate in West Virginia. Next week I may even get to report that Yucca Mountain is open for business. But for now, California hits one out of the park.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-panels-20180509-story.html

 

California regulators approve mandate for solar panels on new houses

California regulators on Wednesday mandated that all newly built single family houses have solar panels, part of the state’s aggressive push to combat climate change.

The California Energy Commission voted 5-0 to approve the measure, which also applies to multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer. The mandate is set to take effect in 2020 and does not need the approval of the Legislature.

The requirement is expected to save consumers money in the long run through reduced utility bills, but also make a new house more expensive to purchase at a time many families already struggle to afford a mortgage.

In addition to the solar mandate, the commission approved new insulation and air filter requirements for newly built homes. In all, the new residential requirements are expected to make a single-family house $9,500 more expensive to build on average, but save $19,000 in reduced utility bills over a 30-year period, according to the Energy Commission.

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Go there and do a happy dance – I mean read. More next week

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Life Without Fossil Fuels – This is what it looks like

In Florida no less. I could hype this piece up, but why? They do such a good job. The place even has its own website.

Home

So here is one version of the story.

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/01/96772-residents-move-americas-first-solar-powered-town

Residents Move Into America’s First Solar Powered Town

Residents will live in solar powered homes and ride around the community in self-driving, solar-powered shuttles. Babcock Ranch outside of Fort Myers, Florida, has been in the making since 2005. A city of 50,000 is forecast.
January 18, 2018, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid

“Families are starting to move into what is being called America’s first solar-powered town,” announces John Dickerson for CBS This Morning on Jan. 16. “Babcock Ranch, about half an hour northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, is supposed to produce more energy than it consumes once it’s finished.”

Developer Syd Kitson is building 20,000 homes for a projected 50,000 people, states Dickerson in the newscast video accompanying the article.

There are more than 300,000 solar panels spread across 440 acres there, producing enough electricity not only for the town, but also the surrounding areas, reports CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez.

One critical energy element lacking in the solar-powered community will be adequate energy storage to allow the city to be truly self-powered:

The town doesn’t run on solar power all the time. At night, when the sun is down, it has to draw from the traditional electrical grid. Kitson says the technology for storing all that surplus energy the solar cells generate during the day is still too costly.

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Go There. I mean literally go there if you can. If not go there and read. More next week.

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