Monday, August 27, 2007

Pregnancy Brings Out My Inner Tree Hugger

I have been spending a lot of time indoors lately. So I've been reading a lot of books. Being a republican and all, I've been avoiding reading An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It. But, it has been on my list for awhile and though I didn't ever doubt that global warming was an issue, I figured it was about time I did a little more homework on the subject.

Al Gore brings up some good points and has some very convincing science. I would like to save the world, I really would. But the thing that appeals to me most is saving myself some cash right now- and if that helps save the world, then doggone it, I will do it.

The first thing I latched onto is this nifty lightbulbs. A quote that struck me was this one from Fast Company Fast Company:

"What that means is that if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads. "

There is also a video going around the net on the subject:



The second thing that struck me was something I read in Maximum PC (pg 29 of this pdf
http://dl.maximumpc.com/Archives/MPC0807-web.pdf).

The headline reads:
"Put Your PC to Sleep and Save Hundreds of Dollars"

Here is another article on the subject:
http://www.exoid.com/?page_id=47

At the very least, I try to turn off my machines overnight these days. I never really thought about how much it might be costing me. To save time on bootup, I just took just about everything out of my startup process and I really don't notice how long it takes. Maybe I won't be able to save the world or afford that Hawaiian holiday this year, but I could have a few extra bucks for the movies or planting trees or something.

6 Comments:

Russ said...

What you fail to realize is that all this so-called "science" that Al Gore uses is not really science at all. He claims that we can destroy the world by all the pollutants that mankind has put out, but he fails to mention that when Mt. St. Helen's exploded back in the 80's there was more junk spewed into the air that all of mankind has ever been able to produce. And yet, even after that the world was not destroyed but has cleaned itself. If Al Gore believes that this world is billions of years old (which it is only about 6000 years old) then he would need more data over a longer period of time. Instead he uses data over a period of maybe a hundred years. Be careful of what you call "science". Just because a lot of "scientist" agree about something does not make it fact. Remember that almost every "scientist" during Columbus's time believe that the world was flat, and they were wrong. Many in history that chose to stand against the consensus put out by the learned of their time were killed and/or persecuted because they dared to stand against the "learned". As history has shown, the "learned" have been wrong over and over again.

One last thing about he light bulbs: they are worse for the environment then regular light bulbs. Have you heard mercury? You know, the very poisonous material the is found it FLORESCENT LIGHT BULBS! What do you think happens to the mercury when the light bulbs get thrown out.

Let's try to think a little before we take what a political activist says.

Dana said...

kinda like the mercury that comes out of power plants?

i'm still skeptical about a lot of things, but if something can save me money and theoretically might save some energy- I'm doing it. Call me a bad environmentalist- but perhaps a good capitalist.

Let's try to think a little bit before we channel Rush Limbaugh.

Russ said...

Yes, I do listen to Rush, but I don't listen to him to have him tell me how and what to think. That is a typical misconception of the left is that people who listen to Rush are stupid and need someone to tell them how to think. The exact opposite is true. I listen to Rush because he says what I already believe. He has proven himself to be an accurate source for information. I don't take what he says and run with it. I research it myself and form my own opinions. So please give me a little more credit.

I am all about saving money, but if everyone switched to the florescent bulbs we would be introducing more mercury into the environment. I tried those florescent bulbs and in order to get the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb I ended up using two or three of the florescent bulbs to achieve the same amount of light.

This way of thinking is along the same lines as that of electric cars. You plug it in at night to recharge the batteries, which puts an increased load on the power plants causing them to increase production and then pollution.

Dana said...

If i didn't listen to Rush, how would i know you were channeling him? I am pretty sure your Mt. St. Helen's piece is directly from "The Way Things Ought to Be" which was assigned reading in my young republicans group back in 1995ish. I never called you stupid ;)

I like my lightbulbs and find them really bright myself. But to each his own.

Anyway here are some things that annoy me worse than global warming, and I dont think that waiting for nature to clean itself is going to fix any of these:

1- Nitrate runoff from farms. I live in the country and I cannot drink water from my well. That bothers me. I cannot use it to prepare food for my kids for fears of causing anemia, and I cannot grow root vegetables in my soil for the same reasons.

2- Heavy metal pollution in rivers, streams and bays around me prevent me, as a woman of childbearing age from eating more than 1 fish or 1 crab a year or some baloney like that from my local water bodies. (This is power plant pollution in my neck of the woods, as well as runoff from pre-regulated septic and farm fertilizer)

3- Air quality when I visit Atlanta and Toronto.

4- Fearing that by the time I load up an SUV with my six kids, all of their nonrecylcables and take them up to the gulf of st lawrence, all of the belugas will have died of cancer and there won't be anything to see.

So maybe global warming is a big ol' hoax, and maybe I am not willing to stop driving my car or recycle yogurt lids or whatever else goes down, but there has to be some small thing that makes a difference? and perhaps the mercury in those little lightbulbs is less than the mercury released by the indian river power plant into the indian river bay. That, I don't know.

But I figure since they last 8 years, I can do some research before I buy my next batch.

Russ said...

I don't read any books on the political nature because people will claim that I just pulled what I believe from those books. I have never bought or read any books by Rush. I just look at common sense when I stated that Mt. St. Helen's spewed more pollutants out. I know that magma/lava contains massive amounts of pollutants and that the world didn't end and the world didn't become more polluted on a permanent nature because of that eruption.

I don't disregard the fact that mankind is polluting rivers/air/ground, just that mankind can not destroy the planet via global warming.

Most political issues floating around today are all due to the federal government (USA) funding various studies around the country. If the money were to dry up, there wouldn't even be a discussion on the subject. But where someone can make money, and a lot of it, there will be politicians willing to help, especially when they are trying to get re-elected. It's kind of like us burning our own food (ethanol from corn); you can see a lot of people make money while the rest of us have to pay more for every single item we buy. Milk is now $4+ a gallon. Ethanol is not an effective fuel but it keeps getting federal funding. I just wish that the federal government would follow the constitution and have the limited power that the constitution dictates and that states would have more power and competition.

Dana said...

For some information about CFL bulbs and mercury, check out this article from NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198

and here is a link to some white papers on the subject:

http://www.nema.org/search/results.cfm?srchString=CFL

I still think that in the big picture my CFL bulbs contribute less mercury to the environment than the coal fired power plant I draw my energy from.

Regardless, this thread was not about ethanol (which I personally am not a big fan of anyway- a discussion for another day) it was about- hey- if global warming is indeed an issue, turning off your computer at night and changing a few lightbulbs might be helpful. And even if my little energy conservation doesn't make a difference in macro scale, at least my energy bill might be a little less.