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Physicists Urge Energy Efficiency as Top Priority for US
From: Global Warming Is Real - September 16, 2008
An interesting article on views recently expressed by the American Physical Society (APS) on some current issues, of extreme importance to the whole concept of “greener energy”:
> Physicists Urge Energy Efficiency as Top Priority
A report released today by the American Physical Society urges the United States to prioritize energy efficiency in cars and buildings as a means of addressing the nation 's dependence on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The report from the 46,000 member organization characterizes the energy crisis as the worst in U.S. history and that the physics and chemistry behind the human causes of global warming is “well understood and beyond dispute”.
While the mantra and imagined solution to the energy crises from some remains summarized in the all-too-familiar phrase drill now,
the report concludes that increasing energy efficiency is “comparable to discovering a hidden U.S. energy reserve”. One that is relatively easy and cheap to tap – “far easier than tapping new supplies of any kind”. Yet, the country is “slow to catch on” in fully utilizing the potential of energy efficiency, a strategy that would also reduce costs without sacrificing “comfort and convenience”.
I'm all for purchasing energy-efficient products, but not before the current products outlive their lifespan. Throwing away the old products, combined with the energy required to build new ones can actually be more harmful to the environment than using the old ones until they no longer work. By the time you upgrade to all energy-efficient appliances, etc, the definition of energy-efficient will have changed & you will need to upgrade again.
While the efforts of domestic energy efficiency in use for home appliances are important (not only for the environment but also for individual costsl), I suspect that the APS were focussing more on official energy policy -- higher efficiency in sourcing, conversion/generation and distribution, as well as major infrastructure/activities (transportation, buildings, etc), than on the consumer end.
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