Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heat Waves & Energy Conservation

I think it's interesting that summer heat waves require more electricity than do winter cold waves. At first glance I would have guessed the opposite, but after thinking about it I guess I would conclude that most people heat their homes (if they have to heat them at all, as in California) with oil or gas, not electricity, unlike here in the West where a lot of it is (relatively cheap) electricity. Con Edison is calling for NYers to cut back on power usage, and a letter to the editor in today's NY Times asks why so many stores are blowing cold air out onto the sidewalk. It's not just a summer phenomenon--a few years ago when I still lived back in New England, my brother-in-law and I were walking along Boston's Freedom Trail in January and went right underneath a hotel who had outside heating right above their door, warming the entire sidewalk around them. This is the kind of thing, it seems to me, that is going to soon be verboten in a peak-oil, carbon-constrained world -- and even idiots like Roy Blount or Joe Barton are going to be shouted down by some future (near-future?) administration who will have the courage to tell it like it is. Conservation is the first and best way of dealing with both global warming and peak oil, and it will happen sure as the new day. The future will look back on us as unconstrained morons.

No comments: