Archive Of The Category ‘climate change‘

 
 

Turns out we don’t really understand “emergency”

Dan Delurey says it all here, in his Halloween blog post. (There’s lots of good content, but scroll down to his Monty Python op-ed.)

HOT? Here’s what NOT to do!

People with fans iStockphotoAir conditioning is like a globally addictive drug: the more we use it, the more we need it. Its voracious energy demands contribute to the climate disruption that is heating up the planet. That’s only one of several reasons NOT to turn down your thermostat, if your house isn’t getting as cool as you would like. Take 5 minutes to read several practical reasons from The Washington Post that hit closer to home — and our pocketbooks — along with other ways to stay as comfortable as possible through the heat. 

Climate & Consumption

Electronic waste (Image: http://www.sonomacountywaste.com/)

I always find myself somewhat repelled by the word consumption. My reaction comes from reading novels set in earlier times, when it was used to mean “a wasting disease” (usually tuberculosis). Earlier today I watched two short videos that produced the same reaction. Appropriately enough, they were about consumption as we more currently define it, “the using up of a resource.”

In climate parlance, consumption-based emissions are those resulting from the economic activity required to meet demand for goods and services (www.stats.govt.nz). The connection between the archaic and the contemporary definitions? Waste. Our culture — i.e., each and every one of us — extracts resources and then dumps a large fraction of them after a one-way trip; sometimes a very short trip.

These two videos tell this story more effectively in about 10 minutes than an entire textbook might. Highly recommended food for thought, and for sharing: Happiness and Wake Up Call.

 

Climate change activism is for EVERYONE

Climate Change, by Sally Deng | via New York Times

“We All Must Act on Climate Change.”

John Kerry’s opinion piece in the New York Times yesterday is SO right on!

My research over the past three years in support of the Net Zero Energy Coalition’s residential zero-energy inventory has revealed a virtuous circle. Geographic ‘hot spots’ for zero-energy development show up on our inventory map (page 4 in the 2017 inventory report). What they represent is typically one, or two, or all three of the following phenomena:

  1. Advanced building energy policies or programs;
  2. A community known for its environmental activism;
  3. An individual builder or design professional with a mission.

 

These come together to create the virtuous circle because the passionate individuals create proofs of concept (yes, it IS possible to build a zero-energy home that a buyer will pay a fair price for) that enable political activists  to successfully lobby their decision-makers to enact progressive energy policies and programs. The policies and programs, in turn, spur more building activity, providing further proofs of concept, and so on. Success in local programs often leads to the creation of state-level initiatives, further amplifying this phenomenon.

My takeaway from this is that you don’t have to be a builder, architect, city official or politician to create change. Residents of every community have the ability to influence local policy by showing up at city council or supervisorial meetings, or writing letters, voicing their concerns about climate change and calling for decision-makers to take action to reduce carbon emissions in the building, transportation, and industrial sectors. Everyone can and must participate in this urgent change.