LETTER: Good habits can impact weather
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 5:06 AM
I very much appreciated David Phillips' editorial of July 26 on climate change and his indication that if millions of citizens would change their habits we will make a difference.
Here are some that I've done where I could see results personally, can recommend to others and believe will impact our total carbon footprint.
For my homes, I've had the utility provider do a free energy audit and followed the recommendations.
Even without that, the three quickest and cheapest home energy savers for me were: lowering the temperature of my hot water tank to 120F, installing a $30 programmable thermostat to automatically adjust my furnace lower in winter (say 68F) and A/C higher in summer (say 76F), and using compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs in lights.
I've had these bulbs last over seven years and they're now available in four packs of 13W (60 equivalent) for around $2. (Though pricier, LED bulbs use even less energy and last over 10 years! Try Tmart.com for savings.)
Using bulbs with a K (Kelvin) brightness rating of 2700 to 3000 gives a favorable warm light similar to standard incandescent. Each CFL bulb can take $30 per year off annual electric bills ($450 for 15 lights), every degree of home temperature change can reduce those yearly utility costs 3 to 5 percent, every 10 degrees lower on a hot water tank can save 10 percent.
When millions of us take these steps millions less cubic feet of natural gas and millions fewer kWh of electricity are used thereby reducing the release of huge quantities of Ozone thinning CO2!
My easiest suggested adjustment for a vehicle is to inflate the tires to 5 pounds below the rated maximum shown on the sidewall.
My 1997 Civic went from 33mpg highway to 37mpg and sometimes tops 40mpg at modest speeds! That 4mpg saves 65.5 gallons in 20,000 miles of driving. At $3.50 a gallon that's $229, a typical year for me!
One hundred million drivers, about a third of the country, saving 65.5 gallons a year would save nearly 5 percent of the 125,652,000,000 gallons of petroleum gasoline used by cars in 2010! Just with tire inflation!
I really need to offer another thought here on vehicles. People should know 100mpg vehicles have been done and we should demand production ASAP! Look online at TGDaily.com or type in 149.95 mpg 1947 Studebaker and see what Shell Oil technicians accomplished long ago with modifications as minimal as changes to fuel air mixture and transmission gearing.
Conspiracy theories aside, this technology IS doable; now! However, WE must demand it, by the millions.
"We the people" can make a difference, affect change, when we think and act as WE and not just as I.
Write representatives, auto companies; hell, let's see some entrepreneurs repeat what Shell did, let's provide some community incentive through low cost "incubator space" for development; then, sell it!
Anyway, thanks again, David, for your thought-provoking article. Worked for me!