In November, IEEE Spectrum ran an article titled Biofuels Aren’t Really Green. The short version is that pushing an all-biofuel solution to our current energy problems is intractable. There’s simple not enough water or space on Earth to grow all the biomass necessary. Before you jump to the conclusion that this is just another “sky is falling” attempt to scare everyone, read the article and try the model yourself. The model allows you to decide how prosperous various parts of the globe will be, over what timeframe, and to what level.
We really only have a few choices here and they start with energy management and conservation. We must reduce our consumption while helping other countries come par with our lifestyle. It’s only fair, and it’s only a start.
This morning, KPLU aired a piece on the power consumption of holiday lights. The BPA says that holiday lights count for less than 1/2 of 1% of energy consumed by BPA customers. That’s really not that much. But, we can do better. According to the folks over at ENERGY STAR, compliant lights use 75% less energy than traditional lights (and, my personal opinion – they’re easier to install because you can string many, many more in serial).
Granted, there are also several other great benefits too: the run cooler, they last longer, you can shake them up a bit more while installing them, and they might even be a bit brighter.
We installed LEDs this year for the first time (I wanted to make sure the old ones had sufficiently worn out before I dealt with the disposal issues). I won’t go back. Now, it’s time to work out a Hohm plug-in for the energy modeler that can calculate my savings.