Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Saving Our Nation's Energy by Simply Learning to Use Less

From Daniel Island News.

"Let’s say you don’t like oil from countries that don’t like us, or from the oil sands of Canada. Let’s say that you don’t want any offshore oil drilling. Maybe you don’t like coal fired power plants. You may not want any energy from nuclear power because you believe it is dangerous or you worry about toxic waste. You don’t want any concentrated solar facilities on pristine California desert, or noisy windmills to disturb the peaceful island life of Vinalhaven, Maine. Maybe you want to zone your community to prevent unattractive solar panels from appearing on your neighbor’s roof. You may not like to use corn to drive to the store when the world’s per capita grain supply is dwindling. If you are uncomfortable with the trade offs of any or all of these energy sources, what can you do?

Use less."

Notice natural gas isn't anywhere on the "avoid" list, but I digress. I've mentioned multitudes of ways we can use less energy ourselves, bypassing the efforts (or rather non-efforts) of regulators, politicians, and utilities themselves. We need to keep profits in our own pockets, and get profits anywhere we can.

"Right now, electrical utilities make their money on the amount of energy they sell their customers. Transmission companies get paid for the amount of energy they transmit. The fact that 10 percent of the electricity that leaves the power plant is lost before it ever gets to a customer is not a big problem for utilities as they are currently constituted. The utilities will, under the prodding of regulators and for public relations reasons, go kicking and screaming toward smart meters to "empower the consumer", but they are not anxious to provide that consumer with tools to reduce energy usage because those tools will decrease their revenues."


"If we survive the coming energy crisis with our standard of living intact it will be because of innovative thinking and reconstruction of basic activities. An interesting example comes, surprisingly enough, from the military.

One hundred and fifty Marines of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines arrived in Afghanistan last month carrying portable solar panels, energy conserving lights, tent shields that provide both shade and solar electricity, and solar chargers for computers and communications equipment.

Did they equip themselves that way to save energy or to launch a recruiting PR drive? No. They needed to decrease their reliance on dangerously extended supply lines for the transportation of liquid fuels.

Our future depends on all of us thinking that way."

No--it requires all of us to be more rational with WHAT energy we use, how we use it, when we use it, and what we use it for. Instead of throwing money at solar panels when we have perfectly good fuel cells that convert natural gas to electricity, or hybrid cars when we (again) have fuel cells that can make cars run on water, and methanol that can be made from our trash, why do we need to submit and resort to the most expensive yet least efficient forms of energy production?

Alternative energy is just a dressed-up wealth redistribution scheme, as is the profit-redistribution scheme described in this article--renovating existing power supply systems to be more efficient so utilities can give US back money each month!

You want money? You want profit? Learn to use less AT YOUR LEVEL.

Further reading (my previous articles on energy saving):
The Amish: Their Past and Present may Hold the Key to Our Future

Living Small

Saving Energy Begins at Home, Part II, Part III

8 Energy-Saving Investments That Will Never Pay Off

How to Unplug Your Best Friend (the Freezer)

How to Unplug Your Next Best Friend (the Refrigerator)

Beating the Summer Heat in the Kitchen and Elsewhere

Late-Night Energy Examination, Examining Efficiency Again, Beating the Efficiency Dead Horse, and One More for the Efficiency Train

Using Energy Star Ratings to Save Energy? Think Again!


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