Thank Government It’s Wednesday
Today my column gives a tongue in cheek thanks to the governments of the G8 countries as well as those of India, China and Korea. Yes, these eleven countries met in Japan to discuss the greening of their economies that account for two thirds of global oil consumption. For the very first time we did not hear a communiqué that sprouted the hope of hydrogen or bio-fuels, but rather stated the path forward is via conservation. http://www.managenergy.net/products/R2251.htm Hallelujah, this is precisely what I have said for the past decade much to the dismay of the UC Berkeley gangrenous crowd who are all aboard the five hundred million dollar British Petroleum gravy train of bio-fuels.
The good news is that the ministers of energy of the world’s leading economies will now form an International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) that will meet and share best practices and technologies for minimizing energy use while keeping healthy economic growth. There is no doubt in my mind that Japan should chair this partnership as Japan is a shining example of thermodynamic efficiency while the good old USA is the laggard in the group. Sadly our energy secretary, Dr. Sam Bodman, should have been the star of the show given he has a ScD in Chemical Engineering and also taught this subject at MIT early on his career. Sam was a reluctant participant in the new drive for conservation. He would have preferred the old method of greenwashing over the subject and pretending photosynthesis or the lightest element would rush to the rescue of the faltering big three. Sam finally got it that we have an energy supply problem and the solution is right there in his conservative roots. Yes the words conservative and conservation are related. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Bodman
Let’s not let the liberals off the hook either. Their nonsensical energy policies will also lead us down the yellow brick road. Enough of pointing blame at politicians, it is we who have to change our lifestyles to lower energy consumption. The first changes we need to make are changing deep rooted habits. Driving less, walking more, taking the bus or ferry, turning down the heat, combining clothes washing loads, hanging the clothes out to dry, and running full dishwasher loads are simple ways to save energy in the short term. It is very interesting that a new dish washer uses one sixth the amount of water compared with hand washing the dishes. As most of the water is warm, washing dishes by hand also uses more energy. Hanging washing out to dry though is a great green idea, and we could partially irrigate our green lawns with the water dripping of the clothes and linens. http://www.newscientist.com/blog/environment/2007/08/freds-footprint-green-laundry.html
My suggestion is that neighbors offer each other a ride on the weekend to jointly do their grocery shopping. Also join a carpool or take public transportation. Longer term we need to buy smaller more efficient vehicles and retool our houses with more efficient insulation, windows, appliances, furnaces, water heaters, and government forbid air conditioners to cope with global warming.