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Drew Dowdell

Still think there is no such thing as Global Warming?

66 posts in this topic

The ice at the north pole has now melted so much that free passage via water is now available around the northern part of North America.

Link

The yellow line indicates the route of travel.

The cyan line would be a route around the northern part of Europe and Asia. The dotted part indicates where the ice hasn't melted enough yet.

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Please consider making some life changes to be more resource efficient. You'd be amazed at how much some small, simple changes can really help. The small changes now make the bigger changes down the road easier.

In this thread, I will be posting links and advice on the small changes that you can make to your daily life that can really have an impact.

Edited by Oldsmoboi
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Calculate how much money you can save by using compact florescent light bulbs.

I usually buy a 5 pack of <60 watt equivalent, 15 watt actual> compact florescents on sale at Home Depot for $7.99. The ones in the orange box seem to have a nice color to them and people can't tell that they aren't incandescent. Keep in mind that these bulbs last for much longer than normal bulbs. I still have the first compact florescent I ever bought in 1998. In fact, it has outlasted the original lamp I purchased it for.

Dimable compact fluorescents can be found here

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While I support conservation and other "green" efforts, I still don't think it has been proven that the changes aren't at least partially natural climate change. Still, even if it's not completely our fault, that's no reason to justify irresponsibility.

There are often reasons to save energy that appeal to the capitalist in me. As people check out doing things to save energy and such, be sure to check with your local power company for programs to help you afford efforts to "go green." Unfortunately, my local power company does about as little as possible, but still is subsidizing the compact florescent bulbs. The power company to the north of me will finance the purchase of an energy star appliance at 0% for 3 years. They basically buy the refrigerator or whatever, and then divide the payments up into 36 months and add it to the electric bill. That's cheap money, people.

We also looked at a new washer/dryer. Dryers don't get energystar tags, so it's hard to tell if you're going to save anything by buying a new one, but we were able to compare our old & potential new washer, and even with super-cheap electricity here (less than 6 cents per whatever the units are, I forget), the new washer would still pay for itself in about 4 years time, mostly through water savings. It saved about $3/month in electricity, about $13/month in water costs. We're buying a house and have to put off buying the appliances, but it's definitely on the list.

I may also look into some skylights someday to cut down on lighting usage. Sunlight is nicer anyway.

I also need to look into differences in power usage between the CRTs my wife & I use on our computers (both dual-monitors), and LCDs.

I'm not really a tree hugger (I'm loving my suburban), but don't see a need for blatant irresponsibility, either.

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I also need to look into differences in power usage between the CRTs my wife & I use on our computers (both dual-monitors), and LCDs.

I'm not really a tree hugger (I'm loving my suburban), but don't see a need for blatant irresponsibility, either.

If you replace the CRT <yes they use more energy>, make sure they are either recycled, or are given to a charity.

Next time you replace the suburban, select a model that uses E85 even if there aren't currently E85 stations near you. When I bought the Avalanche, there were no E85 stations near me, now there are 5.

I'm not telling anyone to give up anything in their daily life, however, small changes in the choices we make do matter.

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Next time you replace the suburban, select a model that uses E85 even if there aren't currently E85 stations near you.

Very well might, since by then the used models that use E85 will be affordable. BTW, the suburban is the "occasional use" vehicle as well, with the daily drivers of both my wife & I being our Saturns. Hard to get much greener than that, especially with my gold one having been saved from the junkyard. What better way to help the environment than to repair & reuse a fuel-efficient vehicle? :) The 'burban is for hauling and rough/snowy roads. In the about 2 months we've owned it, we've only gone though a tank & a half. The Saturns see much more use, and that's the way we planned it. Would've been hard to justify a newer model for occasional use.

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Here's one we can all agree on even if you're not a "greenie"

*Reduce your junk mail - Link to help you get off junk mail lists.

You can potentially reduce paper consumption by over 100lbs a year.

*Opt to have your bills delivered electronically. It saves paper and postage.

*Opt to pay your bills electronically. It saves paper and postage, many of the larger banks are now offering this service for free.

Edited by Oldsmoboi
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Is that round black hole around the North Pole where UFOs come from? :smilewide:

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Although common sense dictates that 6.5 billion people must have some kind of impact on the planet, I am very skeptical about news like this BECAUSE there are no accurate records of what the polar caps looked like BEFORE the mid 1950s when American subs routinely cruised under them. Good photos of the area never occured until the early 1970s.

I just watched a show on TV two nights ago about an expedition to a little explored mountain range in the Antarctic and measurements were taken of glaciers there that seemed to prove the ice sheets were stable - not receding or advancing, in the past 20-30 years that they dug down.

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Reduce your plastic usage

* Bring your own grocery bags. In my area, Giant Eagle sells cloth bags for 99 cents and donates a portion of the proceeds to environmental issues. I put them back in the car after I've unloaded them. If you don't want to buy bags at least reuse the bags you took last time. I've found that Target bags last the longest. My "set" of Target bags has been in use since mid-may. Each reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate thousands of plastic bags over its lifetime.

*Don't use produce bags. Does the lettuce really need it's own bag? Is is going to harm the peppers it's next to?

*Recycle the bags you do have. Before I was a "greenie" I would simply save up grocery bags till I had so many I had to throw the excess away. Most of the larger grocery stores have plastic bag recycling stations. Deposit your bags there.

*Kick the bottled water/Starbucks habit - Are you an office worker? Buy a Brita pitcher and keep it in the fridge at work. It's cheaper for you and better for the environment now that you're not buying plastic bottles of water. Buy a stainless steel travel mug for your coffee and make it at home. If you *must* have Starbucks.... take your reusable coffee mug with you..... then get help for your Crackbucks addiction.

*select recycled plastic or compostable garbage bags.

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Although common sense dictates that 6.5 billion people must have some kind of impact on the planet, I am very skeptical about news like this BECAUSE there are no accurate records of what the polar caps looked like BEFORE the mid 1950s when American subs routinely cruised under them. Good photos of the area never occured until the early 1970s.

I just watched a show on TV two nights ago about an expedition to a little explored mountain range in the Antarctic and measurements were taken of glaciers there that seemed to prove the ice sheets were stable - not receding or advancing, in the past 20-30 years that they dug down.

This is my same reaction as well. What about during the Roman period when temperatures were at higher levels than they are today? Of course the only people up around that area would have been Native Americans, since Europeans had not yet crossed the Atlantic. When Europeans first began exploring around the Northwestern Passage, we were in the middle of the Little Ice Age. Then we had another cold spell from approximately 1940 to 1970 (where reactionaries predicted we were entering the next Ice Age), now we have been warming up since then despite worse pollution and no clean air regulations earlier in the 20th century. Today is merely another reactionary period that certain political authorities are taking advantage of. We should continue to conserve and lessen our impact on the environment, but science and historical perspective should prevail in the end. A healthy dose of skepticism is always a good thing.
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*Clears throat* One word..H.A.R.P. I can't tell you how I know, but I will tell you this has nothing to do with global warming... :ph34r:

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Power off or hibernate your PC when you aren't using it.

After your major appliances, PCs are the largest users of electricity in your house.

However, there are some machines that must stay on all the time. For those machines, adjust your power settings so that the hard drives and screen power down after an idle time of 5 minutes.

Install motion sensor light switches

In places like your garage or basement, how many times have you forgotten to turn out the lights? Motion sensor lights will remember for you. There are even types that simply install in the base socket place of the light bulb. Outdoors they can increase the security of your house.

Select EnergyStar Appliances

Next time you upgrade an appliance, look for the energy star label. Buy the most energy efficient appliance you can afford, it will pay you back over it's lifetime.

Don’t hand wash your dishes or clothing. You’ll use more water that way rather than using your machines–particularly if you have newer, Energy Star machines. And you could be wasting a lot of water rinsing off your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Most dishwashers can wash your dishes clean even if you haven’t rinsed them first.

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My apologies to you Oldsmoboi, I'm not trying to high-jack your thread with my post above. You do have some very good ideas about reducing our energy usage :)

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We should continue to conserve and lessen our impact on the environment, but science and historical perspective should prevail in the end. A healthy dose of skepticism is always a good thing.

Most of the things that I have proposed in this thread will save both money and resources over time while causing no "inconvenience". This is one of those situations where it's better to act and be wrong about global warming rather than not act and be right.

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Install motion sensor light switches

In places like your garage or basement, how many times have you forgotten to turn out the lights? Motion sensor lights will remember for you. There are even types that simply install in the base socket place of the light bulb. Outdoors they can increase the security of your house.

While these have their place, they can also be a big annoyance. It may have to do with how they are set up, or the specific devices, but I think many of us can think of when we've been in a restroom or office, etc, and had the motion/heat sensitive lights turn off. Yeah, that's real fun, especially when the "WAVE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR LIKE A MANIAC" solution doesn't work. lol Especially fun in rooms with no windows. Oh, and the outside security thing can be annoying too - cats & stuff turn on the neighbor's garage outdoor light, shining it in my window at night. Blah.

Sorry, that one doesn't make my list. The others are good, though, and there are probably situations where these devices work well.

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Of course there are alway appropriate uses for all of these suggestions. YMMV.

For me, I installed the motion sensor devices in my basement, attic, and garage. For my front door light, I use a timer.

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All of these devices sound great on paper and make sense to most reasonable people; however, the real enviro-weenies won't be happy with these compromises. I read a paper recently that talked about the effects of all the devices that sit on stand by (like your DVD player, motion sensors, etc) and they, too, can be blamed for a lot of wastage.

We all need to do our share, but unfortunately, volunatary cutbacks won't be enough. Six cent a kw is not covering the 'true cost' of that energy production to the environment. Try twelve or fifteen cent at kw.

In Ontario, the government is pushing 'smart meters' that charge more per kw for peak hour usage and less for usage over night. This will encourage people to set the dishwasher for 2 a.m. (like I do anyway) and to do laundry first thing in the morning.

In Brazil, everywhere we went - condos, hotels, even Malls, had motion detector technology on lights and I don't think I saw an incandescent bulb anywhere. Brazilians pay a helluva lot more per kw/hr of electricity than we do.

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Power off or hibernate your PC when you aren't using it.

How will I get my porn updates at 4 AM then? :AH-HA_wink:

Install motion sensor light switches

No motion sensor needed, I have a sign, "If this van is a rocken, then don't come a knocken! :smilewide:

Select EnergyStar Appliances

I have, but I stand at the fridge with the door open for a half hour trying to decide what I want. Is that bad? :)

Next time you upgrade an appliance, look for the energy star label. Buy the most energy efficient appliance you can afford, it will pay you back over it's lifetime.

Don’t hand wash your dishes or clothing. You’ll use more water that way rather than using your machines–particularly if you have newer, Energy Star machines. And you could be wasting a lot of water rinsing off your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Most dishwashers can wash your dishes clean even if you haven’t rinsed them first.

Ewww, remind me not to eat at your house! :P

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Ok, I'll bite and contribute some of my knowledge of green architecture:

Double-pane windows are a cheap way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Also, if you have a humidifier turning it up during the winter will allow you to keep the temp lower (down around 68) so that the house "feels" warmer. Same deal with the summer...dehumidifying the room can allow you to have the AC turned on at 78 F and still have the room not feel too warm.

For new construction:

In cold areas, large south-facing glass is important to maximize heat gain. You want minimal windows / openings on the west and north sides, lots of windows on the south, and some on the east in order to maximize daylight and allow for solar heating. By having some sort of mass inside near the south-facing glass, the mass will heat up during the day and will retain that heat into the night allowing you to cut back on mechanical heating.

For summer months, you need some type of canopy that will block direct sunlight from entering through the windows, or some way to diffuse sunlight (translucent material, for instance). Since the sun is at a higher angle in the summer months, the canopy will effectively block most of the direct sunlight from entering in the room. Light colored roofs reflect lots of heat, skylights are a big no-no unless they are covered so that direct sunlight doesn't enter.

Geothermal heat pumps can be used if you have a nearby body of water, and also you can take advantage of the earth's constant 55 F temp at the crust by having earth built up around the north sides of the building. This also helps deflect cold wind from the north in winter months, keeping the building warmer.

Automatic lights that are motion-sensored can help save money on utility bills. The key is utilizing daylight instead of artificial light if you want to really save on energy costs.

Building suppliers are constantly coming out with new building materials that are either recycled content, extremely environmentally friendly, etc. A community center in Cedar Rapids is using wheat-straw building panels that provide better insulation than typical polystyrene ones. SIPs panels are pre-constructed structural panels that are insulated very well and can save you money in building costs due to ease of installation.

Edited by mustang84
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I try hard to make little changes... for example, I have flourescent bulbs in the house--ever since they started making them illuminate warmer colors rather than the cold bluish colors they used to be, I've been with them. My friends came over and they had no idea. I even have a 150W (well, it's equivalent to 150W), 3-way flourescent bulbs in my living room.

I don't use the dishwasher only because I live alone, and I don't really make enough mess to fill the dishwasher and run it. It takes 2 weeks before I would fill it enough to use it.

I use some green cleaning products around the house, and I dust and scrub with rags, rather than paper towel products.

I rarely use disposable things like wipes.

I use canvas bags when I grocery shop. I recycle plastic bags--when I walk into my supermarket, there is a place to donate your old plastic bags to have them recycled.

I'm even trying to lose weight so my car gets better fuel economy! :AH-HA_wink:

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*Clears throat* One word..H.A.R.P. I can't tell you how I know, but I will tell you this has nothing to do with global warming... :ph34r:

H.A.A.R.P.
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As an energy consultant, I must say we have only scratched the surface of conservation. All the points above are excellent!

Here are a few other tips for homeowners to reduce operating cost:

Consider Tankless Hot Water Heating- Europe has had these systems for about 10 to 15 years now, Bosch makes an extremely reliable unit.

Consider a home energy evaluation- A professional opinion can help by informing area's throughout the house that have major heat loss, such as a poorly insulated attic, I always suggest min. 10" of insulation in colder climates.

I will post more information when I have some free time.

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Part of the problem?

Posted Image

That's a shot of my neighbor's McMansion taken a few minutes ago. Every room in the house is lit, and all of the bright lights you see are outdoor spots. The picture doesn't convey just how bright this house is, lights are also trained on all of the walls of the house. I can see individual bricks in the chimney from here.

I took this pic from my yard - about 1/4 mile away.

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Part of the problem?

Posted Image

That's a shot of my neighbor's McMansion taken a few minutes ago. Every room in the house is lit, and all of the bright lights you see are outdoor spots. The picture doesn't convey just how bright this house is, lights are also trained on all of the walls of the house. I can see individual bricks in the chimney from here.

I took this pic from my yard - about 1/4 mile away.

Look, it's a peeping Camino LS6! :P

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