Friday, April 10, 2015

Saving Energy

Something I don't see living in the mountains, that caught me by surprise here at sea level--a horizontal ray of sun coming in the kitchen window at sunrise.

Obviously, it takes very little to amuse me.



Perhaps if I had been in Vermont this past winter, the sight of any sunlight might amaze me.

I attended a Citizen's Climate Lobby presentation last week.

One speaker talked about personal ways to cut down energy consumption--traded in his car for an electric one, traded in his boat for an electric one, no longer heats his pool--levels of sacrifice I admire, sure, but how many really can relate.

A second speaker talked about governmental role in cutting dependence on fossil fuels.  How surprised I was to learn that the U.S. is behind other countries in examining this (not)!

The third speaker was from Transition Venice.  This is part of a worldwide transition movement to make communities more food and energy efficient.  She was passionate and her positive energy pinged around the room.  She did talk about ninja gardening as in this blog.  That is something I see quite a bit of and do not necessarily embrace myself.  I really don't see the need for humans to "improve" wild places.  I see it as intrusive.  Otherwise, I support the transition movement.

The final speaker was very dynamic. (And he was an engineer!) He spoke about Historic Green Village on Anna Maria Island.  If you have 30 minutes to spare, there is a PBS documentary about the Historic Green Village.  It is interesting.

This is something I have wondered about for a while--solar panels are seen all over the place in VT, where there are really a lot of grey days.  In Florida, the SUNSHINE STATE, they seem rare.  Wanna make a guess about where the disincentives for solar power use comes from?


16 comments:

  1. You have a lovely kitchen.
    As for energy-saving measures, we have a solar water heater, and that's it.
    It's too expensive to install more solar panels.

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  2. We try to be ecologically aware -- lights off, new bulbs, recycling, and not wasting. I encourage it, but I know we boomers grew up in a world of disposables.

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    1. The first time my daughter came home after moving into her college dorm she said, "Do you know there are people who DON'T recycle? My roommate threw a shampoo bottle in the trash!" I am kind of known as the trash Nazi.

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  3. The kids just got solar panel and between the regulations and the building inspections it only took about 6 months! It will be a few months yet before they know how much it pays off but I have my fingers crossed for them.

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  4. The documentary sounds interesting. I recognize the name of Anna Maria Island but I can't remember if I've actually been there. Maybe the video will remind me if I have. Love hearing about Florida. Lived in Tampa a short while and make quite a few forays up and down the Coast. It is a different way of life and I did enjoy it.

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  5. Olga I started out wanting to go to Florida after reading all of the Travis McGee books. Do you remember them?

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    1. I have not, but I will check them out now. Thanks!

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  6. Interesting series of talks. One thing that I think people would be wise to remember is that an electric car totally reduces emissions only if your electricity is generated by non-fossile plants. Granted electric cars enjoy certain efficiencies and there is something to be said for economies of scale for even coal fired plants. But the notion that electric cars are emission free is only true if your electricity is emission free, otherwise you are merely (except for the efficiencies) trading a tail pipe for a smoke stack.

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    1. Good point. He did say he used the electricity he generated from solar panels on his house. It is always good to have some ammunition to use around the self-righteous though.

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    2. At first blush I was tempted to say balderdash, unless he is driving to church once a week, but I found this site:

      http://pureenergies.com/us/blog/charging-an-electric-car-at-home-how-many-more-solar-panels-do-i-need/

      I am impressed, I didn't think solar panels ran those efficiencies.

      I am not sure how well they would work in Pittsburgh. We have what is known as lake effect clouds. Bright sunny days are not our standard fare.

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  7. Our city has only just put in options for recycling but within a few months we learned much of it was going to the dump because the materials were contaminated since it all goes into one bin. Since the bins that were once available for drop off are gone, there is no other option without spending a fortune.

    When I was in B.C. on the island I found the home recycling provides separate bins with the result being little garbage. I suspect being on an island is a good reason for that.

    Love the sunshine in the kitchen!

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  8. Living near the water allows sunlight to just bounce everywhere. I do like that. I am surprised that you would have an environmental seminar anywhere in Florida with the Governors stand on free speech for his employees. Now I will go to your links.

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  9. I'm hearing more and more abt. solar panels; they seem to be the coming thing . . . as the sunshine in your kitchen demonstrates! Btw, I love those old Travis McGee novels, aboard the Busted Flush in Ft. Lauderdale.

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  10. It is generally too costly to make a lot of changes, but we try to update to energy efficient options when something needs to be replaced. It is interesting to realize that there is not many solar panels in Florida. I am from upstate New York originally. There are more solar panels there and also a lot of gray days.

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  11. Not silly, at all. At this time of year, the sun shines in the bathroom window at the end of the day. It makes me feel good to see it!

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  12. NEXTera is trying to buy Hawaiian Electric saying they are into energy conservation. There's opposition because of what is already seen in Florida. I don't know what will happen.

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I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.