CAR-bon Emmisions

I have been giving Global Warming alot of thought lately. I finally got around to watching Inconvenient Truth a week ago at a free public showing at our Village Hall and that kicked me into a bout of Doom and Gloom. My fear is that we are entering into a feedback loop of warming that will make averting the pending disaster of massive sea level rise virtually impossible. Hit the Asia-Pacific page of the BBC today. Jakarta is under 13 feet of water with 340,000 evacuated due to record rains and China is in a nasty drought with the warmest winter in 30 years melting off the snowfall early. Now shoot forward a generation, and potentially, that is now what Jakarta looks like all the time and China’s billion’s are without water because the Himalayan glaciers that feed their rivers are gone. That is some scary sh/t.

Now the EU is trying to do something about it, by attempting to limit the automotive CO2 emissions to about 120g per KM. Autos are the only industry with rising CO2 emmisions in the EU. That is kinda Greek to us in here in the US so check the chart above from Earth Trends. The EU has a long way to go, but compared to the US, they are squeaky clean. How in the hell can Congress defend GM and Ford when they sell us an average mpg fleet of an appalling 18.8 mpg when their EU fleet is almost double that with half the emissions? Besides that- all the numbers are pretty appalling and none are anywhere near the EU’s goal numbers-though they have improved slightly over these 2002 figures. But the EU won’t move until 2008, and we won’t move until we get another election. Grim.
The macro picture is looking too bleak right now thru my doom glasses, so I decided to turn my angst into action. On the local side, I finally converted our dining room ‘chandelier’ to CFL’s. In 30 minutes I converted it from a motion sensor’d 300 watt incandescent setup, to a 50watt CFL set-up with the same lumens. I am saving a kwh every 4 hours that the dining room is on! Not too shabby, but its crazy that our society still uses such wasteful bulbs. I then rewired the powder room with the motion sensor switch, which can’t run CFL’s, so that the 240 watts of light in there aren’t on forever with the kids forgetfulness. That light is now never on more than 3-4 minutes at a time, and CFL’s don’t do so hot in those quick on/off situations so that will be the last room to convert. The main bath is another story-that one is on the budget for March, with the master bath (I too am concerned that we have 3 bathrooms) to convert in April, leaving only the powder room between us and 100% CFL’dom.
Then we begin considering the Wood Stove to embrace biomass heating (and wood fired bread/pizza!) for 2009. These things are pricey!

3 Responses

  1. Do you know anything about those MPG numbers? Is it that the cars are configured differently or could it be that in the EU they have more smaller cars where in the US we have more SUVs and 6+ cylinder vehicles?

  2. Just what I got from the article… “Light” trucks are not at all common over in Europe, while diesels are much more popular in cars. Both of which add up to much better mileage. That is somewhat offset by the amount of large, heavy, and fast sedans from the Germans which get as bad of mileage as any SUV. But factor in realistic mass transit, pedestrian friendly development, and viable local economies and the whole society is closer to sustainable.

    The Japanese market has completely different cars-they have had a hybrid minivan for years, and had the Prius 2 years before us. is a good resource. The painful irony is that GM and Ford can’t even sell many of their cars in China due to the fact that we can’t hit their mileage requirements…

  3. Is that Tulikivi made of soapstone? Looks nice, but I’m sure it does have a very impressive price tag attached to it.

    If I were to build another home, or get permission to retrofit something in the current one, I’d look at a masonry heater. Similar to the Tulikivi, but larger, I think.

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