Prior to the industrial revolution we gathered all the resources we needed to sustain ourselves and families. This included growing our own food supply, gathering wood for heating and cooking, and hauling our own water home. The industrial revolution brought many people to large urban areas, where they worked in large factories and lived in large apartment buildings or tracts of single family homes. These urban building were supplied heating, cooling, water, and lighting from common sources of energy, called utility companies. You paid your utility bills every month and you took for granted that life's conveniences would always be available at a price that was insignificant to your monthly budget.
When you turned on the water faucet, you assumed that fresh drinkable water would always flow. When you adjusted the thermostat, you assumed that you could sit comfortably in your living room without freezing or overheating. You also assumed that the supply of these resources were unlimited. So you didn't put much thought into saving energy, modifying your home to reduce heat and cooling losses, and generating energy from alternate sources.
Today we consume huge amounts of energy because of population growth in North America, industrialization of developing nations in Asia, and the increased use of electronic equipment such computers and computer controlled devices.
The supply of most earth based energy resources (fossil fuels) has gone over the peak, meaning now they are in declining supply. And, the extraction of energy resources is becoming much more difficult and expensive because we have to dig deeper into the earth's crust. At the same time, with the world's human population increasing to 10 billion, demand for traditional energy sources is ever increasing.
The USA, for the past 100 years, has established an economic and lifestyle model of highly inefficient energy consumption that the rest of the world wants to copy and the USA wants to continue. USA homes of the past century were built with an emphasis on visual appeal, comfort, and convenience rather than efficiency. Most homes in America older than 30 years have many "energy leaks" in the walls, conduit entering the home, windows, and doors. The affects on energy supply and the environment are becoming quite significant.
There have been record high temperature recordings and flooding occurring on every continent around the world during this current decade from 2000 to 2010.
Floods on the rise worldwide. The red shaded areas show floods so far in 2010.
January 2017 has been one of the wettest months for the the San Francisco bay Area after many years of drought. The heavy rains caused damage through out the states of California, Oregon, and Washington.
The ice is melting faster than climatologist's models predicted. The melting ice is releasing million year old methane stored under seas and land. The release of methane into the atmosphere will accelerate world temperatures and push the climate into an unstoppable run away temperature raise. Most species, both plants and animals, including humans will not have time to adapt to the changing environment. According to biologist Dr. Guy McPherson, we'll all be gone before the year 2030. He recommends not committing suicide, but live out this next 10 years to your fullest. These things will not be televised for obvious reasons.
The good news is, if we begin the change now, we have a chance to prevent further climate change destruction, by making our home more energy efficient. This web site focuses on solutions you can implement in your home to save energy and water. It is also a site that encourages your sharing of ideas. As the site is named "1001-home-efficiency-tips.com", many of those tips will come from you. As you browse the tips given, if they trigger a thought or implementation you have used to save energy in your home, please share those ideas with other viewers of this site.
Saving money is the top overt reason for implementing home efficiency in most minds today. As utility bills for electricity and gas increase year over year, they start to become a significant proportion of the homeowner's income. As these bills increase, quality of life goes down AGAIN. It is possible to save from 20% to 95% on your utilities bills by implementing home efficiency techniques. The investments made in the beginning, with government incentives, can repay themselves within 5-20 years. After the payback period, energy is free for the life of the home. Economic costs will be outlined through out the web site.
The push for a new clean economy has just got a very large injection of inspiration. The Environmental News Service just reported that "WASHINGTON, DC, October 19, 2011 (ENS) - Hundreds of the world's largest investors, representing more than $20 trillion in assets, today encouraged governments and international policy makers to take new legally-enforceable steps to combat climate change at the upcoming UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa." The consortium of investor groups prodded governments to create a long term stable environment for investor to invest in clean energy projects, as well as other important humanity focused objective such as helping developing nation adapt to permanent climate change. So at this point the money is ready, the majority of the people are ready, we just need to vote the right people into our governments that can pass meaningful legislation. Download the investor summary and list of signatories. Download the full investor group policy recommendations.
Rising average temperatures worldwide with catastrophic effects on glaciers and rising waters is only one of the many products of inefficient energy use. At some point the burden placed on the complex web of life in our world will be too much and our world's fragile ecosystems will begin to collapse. For example, land that was used for centuries for farming will no longer be able to produce a crop because the land had succumbed to salt water intrusion. So you may ask "With such a large problem, how can an individual family make a difference?" Well the answer is, "Get Started". Your neighbors and visitors will see your home efficiency implementations and will want to employ them in their own homes. The term "Grass Roots Activist" has become very popular today after the Obama Presidential Election Campaign. However, it certainly applies here. When individual households like yours and mine take steps to improve the efficiency of their own homes, it adds up to big savings across the globe.
When you look at how fast the world is changing, both in terms for climate severity and countries accelerating their clean energy policies, one can not imagine that there is still some debate in America as to whether there is a climate problem or not. This debate is stalemating the American federal government from enacting critical policy changes and entrepreneurial incentives to convert a carbon based civilization to one that is clean energy based. The time has passed for arguing. The motivations of climate deniers are obvious. The storms are getting worse by the season worldwide. Strong action needs to be taken now.
After an intense study and subsequent publication the International Energy Agency (IES) has determined that even though many governments have enacted laws to reduce greenhouse gases, carbon emissions will increase by 33% by the year 2035. That's only 25 years away. And with this kind of increase, average temperatures will rise long term by at least 3.5 degrees Celsius.
In the New Policies Scenario, cumulative carbon dioxide emissions over the next 25 years amount to three-quarters of the total from the past 110 years. Dr. Fatih Birol, chief economist for the IES says that without placing a price on carbon and an internationally binding emissions reduction agreement, fossil fuels will continue to be a growing part of driving the world economy. The report can be found at World Energy Outlook.
We broke the home efficiency topic into several categories to allow you to focus in on a given area.
This is your site. For those who are passionate about living a more sustainable lifestyle, for those who are just looking for ideas on where to begin, and for those who are on a limited budget, we welcome you to participate in home energy efficiency ideas. Our web service provider has several excellent methods to allow you to share home efficiency information. Just fill in the form and get started. And remember, your content information will not be used by any other entity for spamming or surveillance.
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