Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

It's hard (at least for me) to think about Earth Day without at least thinking about some of the issues we have created for our little blue planet.

So I offer, this presentation which summarizes the proposal published in Science back in 2006 by Pacala and Socolow based on their studies at Princeton University. While I do not agree with every recommendation suggested (I am strongly opposed to corn and soy-based ethanol) I do think it does a decent job of quantifying attainable solutions to curbing carbon emissions in the immediate future.

For those naysayers (Hi, Dad!) who do not think the retooling of a green America is feasible, I offer this point. At the start of the US involvement of World War II, the following wartime production goals were issued on January 6, 1942:
  • 45,000 tanks
  • 60,000 planes – (229,000 produced by 1945)
  • 20,000 anti-aircraft guns
  • 6 million tons of merchant shipping
  • Production of Automobiles was banned for 3 Years
It took only five months to restructure the economy.
Recycling, particularly of metals, on a large scale was enforced.
Victory gardens and rationing encouraged less waste and locally grown produce.

If we could do that based on the technology of the 1940s, surely we are even more capable of greater innovations today.

At this point in the post I was going to address the concerns of those who feel that the climate crisis is exaggerated, unreasonable or otherwise imaginary...(Hi, again, Dad!) but I don't think that focusing on the gloom and doom is the best way to move forward, so instead, I offer some resources for those who are interested in resizing their carbon footprint.

The Lazy Environmentalist is a great resource for finding cheap ways to make easy, environmentally friendly choices.

Carbon Footprint Calculator:

Home Energy Saver: The Home Energy Saver was the first Internet-based tool for calculating energy use in residential buildings. I used this site recently to complete a home energy audit of my parents' house.

Department of Energy:
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Do It Yourself Audit
Information for Apartments

Energy Savers: Tips for saving energy at home:

Energy Guide: Smart Energy Choices A tool to help analyze your energy consumption.

Energy Information Administration:
EIA is the Nation’s premier source of unbiased energy data, analysis and forecasting. EIA provides this information to promote sound policy making, efficient energy markets, and public understanding about energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. By law, EIA’s products are prepared independently of Administration policy considerations. EIA neither formulates nor advocates any policy conclusions. This isan excellent resource to look at national energy data and economic or event-driven issues that may impact theenergy market.

Happy Earth Day, Everyone!

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