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No matter where you live in America you might notice it's turning to summer, days are warmer, nights not as cool. Then again sometimes you might not have noticed.

Have you ever forgotten what season it is? Driving along or look up from your computer and realize you're not sure if it's cold or hot outside?

Our climate won't change, our electric bills will. We live inside, even the drive in garages in some places are air conditioned. The climate will change on the other side of that piece of glass, but inside our auto setback thermostat will maintain an even 72 degrees.

Right now today we have variations in temperature day to day that are easily 20 degrees one way or another. If the climate goes up a degree or two it's terrible for Bangladesh or some other god forsaken place but here? We can watch the catastrophe via our computer monitor.

China and India build more coal burning power plants to fire the engines of their economies.  They are expanding renewables and also burning more coal and oil, and they intend to continue to do so for a long time.

There is no downside to burning more, not economically, not individually. There are no carbon tariffs. There is no carbon tax. Until burning more carbon hurts us individually we'll ignore it. We look to blame others, never looking at ourselves. We buy green tote bags to fill our hybrids with consumer trash as if solar panels will ward off the rays of our ever hotter sun.

Outside it might well be hot or cold, our HVAC systems hum along with only a slight sigh of forced air, whether that air is hot or cold makes no difference, the auto setback is keeping us at a just right temp year round.

Originally posted to ban nock at DKos on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You make an excellent point about (35+ / 0-)

    how divorced we are from the actual climate.

    When Hurricane Isabel hit the Southeast and we were without electricity for 10 days, I recall becoming intimately acquainted with the heat and humidity of summer once again. I understood the concept of "sleeping porches" and "summer kitchens" with new insights.

    Fewer of us experience uncomfortable extremes of warmth and cold, due to our insulated and controlled environments. You're right that it does contribute to complacency and ignorance about what is happening right in front of us.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:11:19 AM PDT

  •  I like to have the windows open (21+ / 0-)

    It's nice, I like to move with the seasons.  To have a fresh breeze moving through the house.  Closed windows are too stuffy.  In summer I run the AC as little as my wife lets me get away with.

  •  It is forecast to be (14+ / 0-)

    9--10 degrees above normal all week, and I am refusing to turn on the a/c because the nights are still cool and it isn't too humid yet.  But when it gets to 90 plus degrees with 80-90% humidity, I will probably give in.

    Part of the problem is that so many people moved to the sunbelt after the a/c was made practical, and even in more northern areas people tend to use a/c more.

    But most  people still notice that they burn their hand on the car door, an exeprience that used to be reserved to the desert southwest in this country.   They notice plants wither and die in prolonged droughts.   They notice mere rain storms that exceed the rainfall totals of most hurricanes.  They notice tornados that stay on the ground for half an hour or more travelling fifty miles to destroy towns.

    The question is, do those things motivate them to change.  As long as the propoganda from major media remains that it isn't really a problem and even if it is, it isn't anything under human control, there will be no change.

  •  Good point (10+ / 0-)

    It's a combination of efficient heating and cooling as well as a trend over time of spending less and less time outside.

    My wife has bad allergies to both dust mites and grass pollen.  Keeping the windows closed and using the AC helps with both.  However we keep the temperature set pretty high (80) in the warmer part of the year and that makes going outside easier - we aren't acclimated to temperatures in the low 70s.

    The reverse is true in the winter although my wife is much less tolerant of cold than heat.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:19:17 AM PDT

    •  nice trick, isn't it ... (0+ / 0-)

      The reverse is true in the winter although my wife is much less tolerant of cold than heat.

      suffer ... or suffer.
      or sit by the way and watch the captives go by, on and on and one by one, until solitude is all there can be.

      ask Bill Hicks, though, and he'll say it's just a ride.
      some ride, says the child melting from Napalm.

      love, sister, it's just a kiss away, kiss away, kiss away ...

      TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

      by greenbird on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:21:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  True but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, VClib, PatriciaVa, salmo

    what are people supposed to do?  Really?  OK - tax carbon in the US - is that going to stop China and India - I think it would have the opposite effect - if the US drops out of the fossil fuel / coal as energy sources - what will that do to the commodity?  The price of coal and oil will drop significantly and that will only encourage more use in other parts of the world that are not as wealthy as the US.

    The only solution is to develop technology of alternatives so they can truly compete with that of coal and oil.  

    For starters - stop subsidizing the coal and oil industries - pour money into R&D but the answer isn't to subsidize alternatives - they have to be able to compete or they never will compete.

    It's  a global issue - if it's truly as serious a matter as advertised - then there are no "exemptions" - everyone has to buy in or it fails.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:34:19 AM PDT

    •  You Can't Decline to Act Ethically On Grounds That (18+ / 0-)

      someone else will act unethically. We don't control China, we control get to watch what the United States does.

      There's no one solution. Electric trolley buses like we had all over in the mid 20th century are a partial solution.

      Encouraging a return to cross ventillation in houses and small commercial buildings is a partial solution.

      Fighting the private sector federal government in Kansas in its efforts to tax renewable energy out of use in many states, is a partial solution.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:50:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Never said we shouldn't act ethically (0+ / 0-)

        but the US alone can't and won't stop climate change - but going back to electric trolleys won't do anything - developing technology to decentralize the electric grid by making alternatives (wind, solar, geothermal) more cost effective with fossil fuels is the correct path.

        We're not going to turn the world upside down in a day - all these taxes will only get passed along in the forms of higher costs and those costs will have the hardest impact on those who can least afford it.  

        Just because the Government doesn't factor food and energy into inflation doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  What is being proposed will have dramatic impacts on the prices of food and energy that we all need.  

        Taxation is not the solution to the problem - technology is.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:21:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The US alone *can* make climate change much (9+ / 0-)

          more rapid, which is what we've been doing with full knowledge for 25 years.

          Your "higher costs" are fewer kids in my area with asthma if we get more gas burning cars off the road or at least reduce the miles they're driven.

          Returning to progressive taxation would mean that, no, we'd be putting the cost on those most able to afford it.

          “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

          by JesseCW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:31:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh my goodness, with the rate of obesity in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            salmo

            this country, how many people's lives would benefit from walking and biking instead of relying on cars?!? And cars are also another bubble that separate us from our environment. We need to get out in the fresh air and reconnect with nature for so many reasons.

        •  uhm, right now the US is cumulative worst offender (0+ / 0-)

          so we are very far indeed for having the right to complain about others not being ethical enough.

          I'd say, once we can ratchet our emissions down to the global per-capita average, then we can start pointing fingers at others.

    •  carbon tariffs, followed up with Euro/US boycotts (9+ / 0-)

      for non compliance.

      When I buy a 20lb steel digging bar from India there are no costs attached to my buying that, there should be. Likewise that 50 lb packable wood stove made of sheet steel I bought from Pakistan. Every shipping container delivered to Walmart should have extra taxes on the items depending on how destructive they are to make.

      Inside the US punitive taxes on everything. Second cars, second houses, large houses, second air flights and third etc per year. Anything big and heavy for recreation. Toys with motors, toys that are high tech from high tech materials like multi thousand dollar titanium mountain bikes and large screen TVs, anything that sucks energy. Motor boats, ski resorts, everything.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:54:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you realize all that taxation will hit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, TiaRachel

        those who can least afford it the most.

        Who shops at Walmart?  A tax on bikes?  Really?

        How do these taxes lower the global temperature?

        I don't claim to have the answers but hitting the lower middle class and working poor with consumption taxes on imported goods doesn't sound like a great place to start.

        The solution isn't tax based - it's technology based.  You will have a fight on your hands every step of the way if you think you'll solve global warming with taxes - it will never happen.

        You solve it with R&D and technology that makes carbon based energy obsolete.

        As long as oil an coal are the cost effective - that's what will be used.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:14:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no lower middle class person really needs (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, Kevskos, samanthab, grover, salmo, wu ming

          super alloy bikes with titanium this and that. Bikes cost more than my neighbors spend for cars. I shop at Walmart, I'm certainly low income, I'd rather be forced to buy American at twice the price and be able to work for a middle class wage.

          Coal and oil will continue to be the most cost effective until we as a species are toast.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:19:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But that's not practical (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TiaRachel

            It may be easy to say you'd rather be forced to pay double to buy American - well, in a lot of cases, you can do that now - you just have to search that out.  Reality will dictate that if you have $20 - and what used to cost you $20 will now cost $40 - you're in trouble, regardless.

            I disagree that coal and oil will be the most cost effective until we as a species are toast.

            The optics need to change - the US Military is used to keep the "peace" and where do they need to keep the peace?  In oil producing countries - that's a huge cost to taxpayers - and it's really a subsidy to oil.  The 6th fleet isn't patrolling shipping lanes exclusively to ship solar panels.

            So if you look at the true coat of petroleum - that should be added to it.  My point is to stop subsidizing oil and even alternatives - put that into R&D and really get alternatives to where they make sense (non-subsidized) and make them competitive.

            Next big thing is population - the world population continues to compound multiply - human activity and consumption are really the  issues at hand - so the only answer is technology - even if you tax petrol, the net consumption goes up with population increases.

            The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

            by ctexrep on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:20:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For first time ever, more Middle East oil shipped. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kevskos

              ..to China than to the USA.

              So why should the US military even be in the Middle East.  Shouldn't the ME be China's problem?

              I agree with your comment re: R&D.

              Instead of subsidizing Larry Ellison's Tesla, we should be focusing on battery R&D.

              Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

              by PatriciaVa on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:31:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  your logic falters there, unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

                if anything, the US military has more strategic reason to stay in the middle east if the oil goes mostly to china. being able to put a chokehold on someone else's economic system without risking destabilization to one's own is a strategic west dream.

                the only thing that gets the US out of the middle east is if we give up our addiction to global hegemony. short of that, we'll stay in the great game.

              •  Larry Ellison has never gotten a Tesla subsidy... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nchristine

                ...unless he bought one and got a tax break for buying an electric car. He's the CEO of Oracle.

                That's not the only place you're missing what's happening with batteries AND subsidies. The Obama administration has provided $2.4 billion in subsidies for battery factories and they haven't done a great selling job because they're aren't enough electric cars yet being sold. Elon Musk believes he can cut battery costs by 30 percent. That could make a huge dent in the price of electric cars, a price he hopes to bring down considerably within the next five years. Of course, there are other electric car companies, and eventually we need to phase out the subsidy. But right now, the subsidy to Tesla will help advance battery tech.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Wed May 07, 2014 at 12:00:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I own a retail shop. Buying American (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sunspots, camlbacker, salmo

              doesn't usually cost double. It's often not that big a difference, but so many people want the absolute cheapest regardless of the longterm price to be paid. One of the reasons it can often cost more to buy American these days is that only the niche brands can still produce here and find a market. If it's something that can be made in China, folks will, again, refuse to pay even slightly more, so the companies that survive here are making things that can't be mass-produced in China.

              The other thing that people forget is that if you buy cheap, badly made stuff, you end up replacing it a lot more and not really saving money long term. In other countries, people will pay more upfront to have things that last. A good deal in the short term isn't necessarily a good deal in the long term.

          •  "Coal and oil will continue to be the most cost (8+ / 0-)

            effective."

            Someone who has access to the data and can do math has to add the environmental clean-up, public health, diplomatic and military costs--as well as the cost of depleting irreplaceable resources--to the cost of a gallon of gas at the pump, and we need to keep that number in the forefront of the public mind each and every day.

            Coal and oil are much more expensive than solar and wind.

            We need to kill the old meme that they are cheaper and establish the new meme that they are not.

            We should also project the future cost based on increasing climate disaster recovery and refugee costs.

            I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

            Trust, but verify. - Reagan
            Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

            by Words In Action on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:05:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Net Metering also hurts the Poor/Wkg Class (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deward Hastings, wenchacha, nextstep

          Affluent Households install solar.  Sell back excess electricity to utility at retail rates.  

          Someone needs to offset those dollars that would otherwise have been allocated to maintain transmission lines.

          And that "someone" are NonSolar Households, who have seen their monthly electricity bills spike.  

          It's Reverse Robin-Hood.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

          by PatriciaVa on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:03:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You haven't shown a harm from wealthier (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grover, samanthab, Joe Bob

            households installing solar panels inflicted on the poor.

            You've shown a reduction in the large profit margins of electric utilities that those utilities would like to pass on to the poor.

            “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

            by JesseCW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:34:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            In what world have utility customers have seen their bills “spike” because solar PV net metering installations have been such a huge hit to utility revenues?

            Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

            by Joe Bob on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:02:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  so now you're cribbing talking points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            from the koch brothers?!

        •  Did you just argue that taxes on titanium bikes (5+ / 0-)

          would 'hit those who can least afford it most"?

          Did that really happen?

          “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

          by JesseCW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:32:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't really think so. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tacet

          Taxes are an effective tool for deterring or encouraging certain types of behavior. They work because they are immediate and they can be targeted. The tax burden on lower income people is not a hard one to solve: Implement the consumption tax and offset it with a tax credit. Everyone is deterred from the unwanted behavior, and it’s tax-neutral for low-income people.  

          Technology is great and all, but it’s not worth a hell of a lot if people have no incentive to use it. The problem that ban nock describes is one of negative externalities: the price of the goods doesn’t include the full cost to the environment because carbon emissions are "free". Taxes attach the externalities to the goods and enables sustainable or carbon neutral technology to compete on an equal footing. Sure, you could wait for the market to accomplish the same thing but you will be waiting for a very long time, time we don’t have.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:45:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  China is on the case. They lead the world in (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ellid, samanthab, Sunspots

      installing solar and wind energy. They know they've got a problem and they are trying to fix it.
         India isn't doing much, but its share of global CO2 emissions is small.

      •  China also leads in construction of nuclear. (4+ / 0-)

        They have air pollution problems from their coal plants that the U.S. hasn't seen since the 1960's. But it also suggests that they're committed to providing clean base-load power, as well as meeting peak-load demand with renewables.

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
        he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

        by jjohnjj on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:45:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  China is still massively increasing their carbon (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joe Bob, happymisanthropy

        footprint yearly.  It's not as if they've got the problem licked, or have stopped constructing dozens of new large coal plants per year.

        “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

        by JesseCW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:35:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Chinese citizens are buying electric cars too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots, wu ming

        Solar or wind + EVs means cleaning up their air and carbon output fast.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:31:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  electric scooters even more than cars (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover, ban nock

          the downside is that you can't always hear them coming as they zip towards you.

          the big thing china needs to catch up on is energy efficiency in their factories and houses. they waste a ton of energy in old, outdated industrial facilities, because their old strategy was to compete on cost, with cheap coal fueling the whole thing. if they can find a way to switch over to the german/japanese model of competing on more energy efficient quality, things could end up OK globally.

    •  Since China installs more solar per year (5+ / 0-)

      than the USA ever has and one of the more politically dicey issues in the PRC is mine collapses (one, they happen lots and, two, they're almost always really bad) and an even more precarious policy item is air pollution (thanks Obama, somehow) you might say the Chinese have skin in the game to go big with alternatives...and have.

      I suppose my short answer is a hard green turn here in America won't alter China's trajectory at all. They're already there.

      •  Speaking from my experience (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, Joe Bob

        and I've been to China many times - they're not there.  Not even close.  They're still in their industrial revolution.  I've been to state of the art plants that in the back, have some poor soul shoveling coal into an oven (the guy is totally black from the soot) to heat the ovens in their factory.  The central Government mandates that their are pollution controls on their emissions but the factories only turn their catalysts on when there are inspectors around - the rest of the time, they turn them off because they are expensive to run.  I'm not saying they aren't trying but they have a long, long way to go just to get close to where America was.  I kiss the ground every time I return home and thank God I live in the US.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:30:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your patriotism is of course awesome (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          And you don't address the solar energy issue at all.

          Why is that? It was a simple enough matter.

          And the pollution (which you did not enjoy on your putative visits) is very bad.

          Why would Chinese want to keep that sort of thing when it is killing them?

          •  because it makes the people in charge very rich (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cskendrick, ban nock

            they have some of the same structural problems we do, in that their ruling elite is insulated from the consequences of their decisions.

            •  They may become the world's first expat superpower (0+ / 0-)

              If Chinese elites don't have a China to call home.

              Per the news, they don't stay there much anyway.

              •  it's an old pattern (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cskendrick, ban nock

                you see it in america and europe as well.

                •  Not to the extent that one's entire LARGE country (0+ / 0-)

                  is converging on the habitability of the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

                  As you say elsewhere, it's going to be really, really bad.

                  •  yeah, in terms of pollution, this experiment (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cskendrick

                    hasn't really been run before. other civilizations have managed to crash their environments before (often leading to collapse or steep decline), and china has had agriculture-supporting hydrologic system collapse periodically, and china even has experience with concurrent hydrologic + environmental collapses in the 19th century (which ended badly for tens of millions of people), but this is historically unprecedented. even the worst of the american or english pollution crisis events don't really scale up to this. think of the social consequences of lead paint and lead gasoline in america during the 20th century, and then think of what this generation of chinese children are forced to ingest, and what those consequences might be. it breaks my heart.

                    the good news is that the chinese government and much of the populace are well aware of this, and both have demonstrated great ingenuity and dogged determination in other crises, historically. the trick will be moving beyond that into reversing the process, when reversing course and healing a poisoned world is asymetrically slower and more difficult compared to befouling it. it's like un-baking a cake.

                    in essence, chinese pollution is global warming in microcosm.

          •  What I'm saying is where I've been (0+ / 0-)

            it's not visible.  They still ration power and many homes only get electricity at night because power is used for industry during the day.  Maybe these vast solar villages exist but I have not seen them.  What I have seen is people actually setting up machines in their homes so they can work at night - for many, their home electricity is free so the businesses set up machines in peoples homes, nothing big - but that way they get the work done and the electricity for free.

            ....and before patronizing me, referring to my patriotism, I think you need to get out more before you make too many snide remarks.  You may find that where you live isn't too bad after all - we have our issues but compared to many places - we do quite well.

            The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

            by ctexrep on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:21:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You are not correct on this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        In 2013 China added about 138 terawatt hours of fossil fuel generating capacity and about 25 terawatt hours of wind and solar combined. China will double its coal-fueled generating capacity over the next 25 years and, barring some unforeseen change, coal will be their primary generating fuel until at least 2050.

        25tWh of renewables is great but it actually doesn’t do much to change China’s trajectory, which is still dramatically increasing carbon emissions for decades to come.  

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:35:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops. I am wrong, but not for why you say (0+ / 0-)

          It's CHINA that installed more wattage in 2012 than it ever had in all previous years.

          And the USA, too.  My bad.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Both countries are doubling their solar capacity annually now. (Might not keep but you gotta love exponential growth).

          So I don't think finite fossil fuel will keep the Mandate of Heaven for another 40ish years in China.

          Oh, almost forgot: Wind power. China's big on that too. America as well.

      •  given the low elevation of coastal chinese cities (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, ban nock

        and the consequences of drought, flood, and changes in the himalayan snowpack that feeds its rivers, i'd say china has more skin in the game than nearly any country in the world.

        best hopes for the leadership in their government and industry realizing this before they tilt into civilization collapse.

        •  I think they'll still be the most powerful country (0+ / 0-)

          on Earth (and by a wide margin) once they are done but they are going to have a country that looks like Mars in places, only less habitable, as a consequence of their astonishing growth.

          But 70ish percent of Chinese territory is already wasteland so what's a few more percent among friends?

          •  they're going to have a big strategic problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cskendrick, ban nock

            with being massively dependent on food imports, given the consequences of urbanization, pollution, and climate change on their remaining arable land.

            i think their industrial choices threaten not only their geopolitical power, but their civilization itself. it remains to be seen whether they will be able to turn things around before they reach their tipping point, and end up in cascading systems failure.

            and don't get me wrong, i'm rooting for them to pull it off. i just think they're closer to the precipice than anyone realizes.

      •  Also - look at population numbers (0+ / 0-)

        China has 1.364 Billion people (4.3 x more people)

        The US has 317 million people

        China produces about 8MWp solar (0.05 x more solar)

        The US produces about  7.6MWp solar

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:49:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As of 2013 that's 18.3 GWp China, 12 GWp USA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          Point made re population but realistically the 'developed/developing' part of china is closer to 400-450 million.

          I suppose we could call it par on this population-adjusted comparison.... or try this again in 2014 and see how the trends look.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Again, the main issue is doubling of installation rates every year, and near-doubling of cumulative installed production capacity on an ongoing basis.

          This is huge take-off. I think oil is going obsolete everywhere, and that's why we don't need to pipe in tar sands oil.

      •  The industry talking point about China (0+ / 0-)

        that ban nock references is quickly becoming out of date and inaccurate. Thanks for posting facts.

        Pushing blame onto individuals and away from the electric industry that imposes coal is another common tactic used by fossil fuel companies.

        •  As DK poster wu ming says elsewhere (0+ / 0-)

          Where China goes, the world goes, in terms of pollution and climate change and the adjustments we make to either address these issues...or not at all.

          Because, as yet another poster remarked, it's always great to get back home to (North) America but even this continent could become another China if we decided, hey, we need more tar sands oil, more fracking, because on second thought your freedom to be free of fossil fuel isn't all that.

          Oh, and we're outlawing solar panels and going off grid too while we're at it. And no raising chickens or garden vegetables allowed either. Again, because freedom.

    •  The idea that some new technological innovation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, happymisanthropy

      will save us all without government intervention isn't reality based.

      If, for example, someone invents cheaper ways to produce batteries for electric cars and so causes demand for oil to drop....the spot price for oil will fall.  Before long, we'll be back at 30 bucks a barrel and those electric cars won't look like such a great deal for most consumers.

      This

      answer isn't to subsidize alternatives - they have to be able to compete or they never will compete.
      doesn't even make sense.  We've subsidized wind for 30 years...and now it competes.  

      Are you trying to say they have to compete out of the box or they can't compete?  

      “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

      by JesseCW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:28:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Structuring subsidies for alternatives ... (0+ / 0-)

      ...correctly means pointing them in the direction of being able to compete. In California, for instance, the subsidy for roof-top solar arrays on residences was set up so that as each generating capacity milestone was reached, the subsidy was reduced until the next milestone was reached. That continues until it reaches zero. By then, the gap is narrowed.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:47:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I was in SE Asia (8+ / 0-)

    -- during the hottest time of the year, mind you -- I found it more comfortable to sleep with a fan trained on me and no A/C than with A/C  When sleeping with A/C I'd wake up with the windows dripping from the inside, my sinuses a mess, and frequently perspiring (because of the extra coverings necessary of course).

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:41:17 AM PDT

    •  I worked in BKK without AC, it was hot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbird, Kevskos

      I'm trying to remember all the places I've lived in Asia and I can't remember one with AC.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:57:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BKK is becoming A/C'd (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joe Bob, ban nock

        at an alarming rate.  IMHO if they're going to use up all that nice electricity, they should invest in dehumidifiers . . .

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:22:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  HVAC lesson for the day (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are almost the exact same equipment. They both draw air over a cooling coil, which cools the air and removes moisture. They key difference is that AC runs on a thermostat and a dehumidifier runs on a humidistat.

          A frequent problem with AC is that it will cool the air to the temperature setpoint before it can deliver the volume of cool, dried air needed to bring the space to a comfortable humidity level. This is usually because the air conditioner is oversized for the space. Properly designed and sized AC systems will both cool and dehumidify just fine.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:54:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  For once, ban nock, we agree (12+ / 0-)

    Sadly, most folks on this site have bought into the fantasy that technology is going to save us from climate change, so no one has to make any individual sacrifices.  I've been personally accused of causing Dems to lose elections by suggesting the need for less consumption.

    That's why I think we're fucked.  Not so much that people aren't aware of climate change (believe it or not, most Americans agree that it's real).  It's just that even the folks who are educated about climate change aren't willing to change their behavior.  God forbid someone be slightly inconvenienced to save the planet.

    3 recs so far for this diary.  If you'd diaried about a 3% improvement in solar panel efficiency or a new study showing that polar bears are drowning, you'd hit the top of the rec list.  But suggesting that people need to change their behavior?  Not on this site.

    The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

    by Scott in NAZ on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:44:54 AM PDT

    •  Technology Could Save Us, the Framers Sunk Us. (5+ / 0-)

      We can't even have a rational debate because of the sociopathic structuring of press and speech freedom which surrender our mainstream discourse to the strongest speakers.

      The framers also left us with a system that is perfectly unaware of a trading and finance economy, and therefore at its core unable to manage it adequately unless its greatest powers are extraordinarily benevolent.

      The list is very long.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:52:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. We'd be a lot better off if it wasn't for (0+ / 0-)

        that pesky 1st Amendment.  "Freedom of Speech" should be confined to freedom to only speek the TRUTH.  Those who speek and profess lies should be either re-educated, or if they refuse, imprisoned.

    •  Interesting discussion, so I'm tipping you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, TiaRachel

      But I don't really agree. My opinion is--always has been--that pretty minor changes in personal habits can make great, big differences in energy consumption for even one household. Spread those changes across whole communities, and you're talking a very serious hit to the coal-and-gas industry.

      Part of the problem--hate to say it--is embodied in your comment. You support this dichotomous view: "EITHER you reduce household consumption and suffer heroically so future generations stand a chance, OR you don't change your habits and global warming will kill us all."

      In fact, if you scratch the surface of this over-simplification, there are many minor but very effective personal changes that most people would make if they knew about them. They entail no or minimal sacrifice, and they would greatly reduce carbon use.

      To mitigate global warming, believe in peoples' better natures. And educate.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:44:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eh (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fox Ringo, JesseCW, Kevskos, Joe Bob

        My understanding is that in order to reign in emissions as fast as it needs to happen (due to positive feedbacks and tipping points in greenhouse gases plus population growth), there is not enough time to ramp up renewable electricity generation.  That means that major reductions in energy usage by people--less driving, less flying, less meat, no new cellphones every year, yadda, yadda, yadda--are required.

        Also, I think your view of human nature is terribly naive.  People are inherently short-sighted.

        In fact, if you scratch the surface of this over-simplification, there are many minor but very effective personal changes that most people would make if they knew about them. They entail no or minimal sacrifice, and they would greatly reduce carbon use.
        If these things are as so easy, why haven't they happened already?  Like I said above, 70% or so of Americans believe in climate change.  But not many are willing to do anything about it.

        This book developed an interesting case: even in a rich, highly educated country with strong views about environmental protection, when faced with incredibly bizarre weather that disrupted their economy, people didn't think that they could do anything to affect the climate and didn't see the need to make major lifestyle changes.  Deep down, we're selfish and short-sighted.  That will be our undoing.

        The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

        by Scott in NAZ on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:56:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not putting the blame where it is due (8+ / 0-)

          The EU has been having this conversation for over a decade, and making substantial progress. But the media there are not wholly owned propaganda machines of right wing oil tycoons.

          Americans have the same brain biology as other humans. If Americans are dumber and more selfish than other people it's because that suits the interests of their programmers.

          American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

          by atana on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:09:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great, to-the-point comment. Thanks. nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            atana

            It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

            by karmsy on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:17:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Baby steps (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, Kevskos

            EU is on a pace to reduce their emissions to 20% below 1990 by 2020.  That's baby steps.  http://www.eea.europa.eu/...

            Meanwhile, Canada, the US, Russia, Australia, and other countries continue to dither and nibble away at emissions reductions without making a meaningful difference.  In the developed world, at least, I'd say there are many more examples of selfish and short-sighted behavior than altruism and foresight.

            The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

            by Scott in NAZ on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:26:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Substantial Progress" in Europe???? (0+ / 0-)

            The EU has increased coal imports from the USA by 3.5x over the past decade.

            And Germany will increase that figure even more, as it needs to compensate for closing zero-emissions nuclear reactors.

            The US has done far more for the environment over the last decade than any other country.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

            by PatriciaVa on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:27:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Meanwhile, their carbon output keeps on (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sunspots, wu ming

              falling.

              Which is what matters at the end of the day.

              There are no zero-emissions nuclear reactors.  From mining to reprocessing, nuclear has a substantial carbon footprint, far exceeding wind.

              “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

              by JesseCW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:42:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I respectfully disagree. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          atana, TiaRachel
          Deep down, we're selfish and short-sighted.  That will be our undoing.
          If we don't use resources well, it's because we're brainwashed by propagandists for the petro industry and all it supports.

          We're kept stupid and short-sighted very much on purpose.

          (Somebody left an excellent comment about this down-thread.)

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:17:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly what propaganda are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

            What propaganda exactly makes people unwilling to reduce their meat consumption?  Or switch to more fuel-efficient cars?  Or turn down their thermostats a few degrees in winter?  Or to take a vacation near home instead of flying across the country all the time?  There are many simple changes we could be doing, and no one is doing them.  It's not because of the oil industry.  It's because people don't give a shit.

            It's way more comforting to blame a conspiracy of rich guys for our problems than to confront the failings within.  Believe what you want.

            The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

            by Scott in NAZ on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:29:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You believe what YOU want. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              samanthab

              Me, I can't blithely write off savvy, sophisticated, and moneyed interests that insulate people from the consequences of their consumption, very much on purpose.

              Admittedly, the Republicans have done quite well for decades, peddling the "sinful" nature of human beings. So, I guess there's a good market for your cynicism.

              It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

              by karmsy on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:44:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Like I said... (0+ / 0-)

                exactly what propaganda are you talking about?  

                It's so glib to blame "propaganda" for everything.  Even if propaganda was somehow to blame, propaganda wouldn't work if people weren't inherently susceptible to messages based on our selfish desires.

                The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

                by Scott in NAZ on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:47:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Personal use is still only 20% of the whole. (6+ / 0-)

        Institutional use is 80%.

        Since you will NEVER get the whole 20% eliminated, the vast majority MUST come from changes in institutional change.

        I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        by Words In Action on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:08:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But (0+ / 0-)

          a lot of that 80% use is driven by people's decisions.

          If people buy less stuff, companies will use less stuff making it.  If people use less meat, ag will produce less emissions.  Yadda, yadda.

          It's way, way too easy to just blame "institutions" when people should be making changes, too.  I want to be a part of the solution, not a passive bystander.

          The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

          by Scott in NAZ on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:36:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Headed out to work but I glance at page during (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird, karmsy, Kevskos

    my brakes, don't know how to rec on my iphone. Low 80s but I should have shade from tree most of day.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:59:14 AM PDT

    •  ride bike to work, use brakes ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samanthab

      get to work, take breaks ?

      get old, body falls to pieces, in super-slow-motion.
      shade is a tent with carpets and camels do have the tools.

      TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

      by greenbird on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:24:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting discussion. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, greenbird

    My life, and the lives of many, are qualitatively greatly improved by indoor climate control. I heat my home (one room of it) during the winter. During the warmer months, I benefit from a/c. I can't imagine forgoing these modern conveniences, and I live in a pretty mild climate. I wouldn't swelter through a Dallas summer without a way to control indoor temperature, or try to tough it out through a Cincinnati winter because I was some kind of saint and bent on keeping my carbon footprint imperceptible.

    I guess I'd advocate not suffering or feeling deprived in the name of a "green" lifestyle, but on the other hand, consuming mindfully.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:06:22 AM PDT

  •  That thing on the wall can also (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, greenbird, Aquarius40

    tell you a lot about climate change.if you pay attention. This year my furnace had to run harder and long to heat my home. If I had central air would I be running the system longer and harder to maintain my inside climate.

    Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

    by jsfox on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:07:45 AM PDT

    •  Yes, that's why we needed to change the term (0+ / 0-)

      "global warming" to "climate change".  It's not just warm summers that can be blamed on climate change, but also cold winters.  People relate to being both too warm and too cold, so "climate change" fits right into the narrative.

  •  Last Month's Electric bill (5+ / 0-)

    I posted this to my Google+ feed (which I'm sure 5 people saw) last week, but I'll include it here as well.

    As the first step at improving our new (old) home's energy efficiency (which was/is still abysmal), we removed two HVAC/AC units (75% efficiency) and replaced them with a 98% efficiency single unit w/ 2 zones.  We haven't started tweaking things yet but here's the results from April:

    With OLD HVAC:
    Same Period Last Year:   Avg Daily kWh used = 49.4
     Avg High Temp = 60 & Avg Low Temp = 39

    With NEW HVAC:
    Current Period:  Avg Daily kWh used = 38.4  
    Avg High Temp = 61 & Avg Low Temp = 39

    We can still use a lot less here as I haven't tweaked the 2nd zone yet to reduce some usage and we have more appliances to upgrade (refrigerator's on deck) but it certainly made a huge difference.

    This also wasn't a full month's use of the new HVAC system.

    •  Thanks. The idea that energy conservation... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, wu ming, TiaRachel, IQof20

      ...requires that we suffer is right-wing framing. It's all too easy to fall into that trap.

      The Denier attacks on Al Gore contain the hidden message that if you accept that Climate Change is a real problem, you must give up your comforts... or be scorned.

      I respond to the wingnuts this way:

      "No one is asking you to stop using energy.
      We're only asking you to stop wasting it."
      Even if you don't believe in your heart that conservation will make much of a difference. It's a better message. We're not going to win any friends by threatening to take away their air conditioners.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:22:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IQof20

      The improved efficiency will look even better when you have 20+ degree temperature differential between inside and outside.

      We can easily build houses that are 50-80% more energy efficient than ‘normal’ with proven designs and off-the-shelf technology. People just prefer master suites and granite countertops.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:07:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I keep my heat no higher than 60-65 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i saw an old tree today, BMScott

    And I don't have air conditioning.  All I use is a fan during the hottest nights.

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:28:56 AM PDT

    •  I don’t have air conditioning, but (0+ / 0-)

      I tolerate heat pretty well and cold rather poorly, so the thermostat is set at 71 (which is actually just a little lower than I’d really prefer).  Like you, I’ve a fan for the hottest nights (and for when I’m starting to drip on the keyboard).

  •  Heh. (3+ / 0-)
    There is no downside to burning more, not economically, not individually. There are no carbon tariffs.
    As someone who pays an effective rate of $0.24/kWH, trust me, there're economic downsides to running the AC overmuch.  Even though the only place I generally use the AC is in my bedroom, when I'm sleeping in there -- or when I hide in there during the hottest, muggiest days -- it's fans everywhere else.

    I can't afford $300-400/month power bills, I dunno about you.

  •  it's hurting us individually (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, samanthab

    most people just don't notice it. yet. but you're right: burning fossil fuels has to hurt people and businesses in their wallets.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:46:24 AM PDT

  •  AC in my 80+ mom's room.... (0+ / 0-)

    ceiling/window/floor fans in other rooms as needed
    68 for wake-up and dinner-to-bedtime, 64 other hours (again, except for my mother)
    insulated curtains
    new shade trees will go in this year
    socks, slippers, hot tea

    we have not sacrificed any comfort whatsover

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:52:45 AM PDT

  •  Terraforming is only a thermostat away... (0+ / 0-)

    Until the infrastructure collapses.  

    Oops.

  •  We set heating to 64F morning, 65 eve, 59 night (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, Joe Bob

    It works very well.

    No one is allowed to complain they are cold if they don't wear long clothes with >1 layer.

    And in fact, no one is cold at our home.

    We don't need summer cooling living in Seattle, but in summer there's no reason to go below ~77-78F. The body is totally fine that way.

    T'd R'd and repub'ed to CCSOS.

  •  Our heat goes off just about this time of the year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Assaf

    and doesn't go back on until October. No A/C in the summer, we use fans if it gets too hot. Fortunately the climate is moderate here in the NW.

    Although cost is definitely a factor, I really do prefer to have the house reflect the seasons: A little on the cool side in the winter, and as warm as it gets in the summer. We dress accordingly.

  •  Tax vs. Tech? I think we need both. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    Buying a window air-conditioner is always going to be cheaper than insulating your walls, replacing your windows with low-e double-pane, and installing central air with a heat pump.

    Houses eventually fall down and building codes can require that their replacements be built to energy efficient standards... but not quickly enough to mitigate global warming.

    To speed things up, we have to "incentivize" the marketplace. Tax the air conditioner. Tax the electric power it uses, and offer tax credits for "weatherizing" homes.

    But first, we need to end the tax subsidies enjoyed by the fossil fuel producers.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:03:35 AM PDT

  •  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. (0+ / 0-)
    No matter where you live in America you might notice it's turning to summer, days are warmer, nights not as cool. Then again sometimes you might not have noticed.
    NOPE. Not here in DC, where the remains of the polar vortex means they turned the heat on in my building last night. I opened the windows and turned on the fans because I can't actually turn off the radiators.

    Who turns on radiators for 50 degree weather anyway?

    Just wait until the temperature overloads car air conditioning systems. On those real scorcher days in florida when the heat index gets really high, the internal AC unit has trouble cooling the car, AND the upholstry, AND the seats, AND all the metal in the vehicle. I've had days where the AC is on full blast in a car, and you're still roasting. I learned to point the vents directly at me. Only thing that helps, but you still sweat.

    As that kind of weather creeps north, people will start taking notice.

    T&R.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

    by OllieGarkey on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:09:21 AM PDT

  •  Great diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges

    Going beyond harming the climate, I've noticed that our street is empty of playing children during the summer. When I was young all the kids on the block were outside all day. I don't see that anymore and its sad.

  •  CO2 (0+ / 0-)

    The whole thing just frustrates me so much that sometimes I just tune it out in an attempt to keep my sanity. I'm certainly not against energy efficiency, but the real problem here is carbon dioxide production, not energy usage. We have had the technology for quite a while now to free ourselves almost completely from dependence on the combustion of hydrocarbons to fuel our energy production. For instance, in the United States, we should have replaced all of our coal-burning plants with fission reactors years ago. The past is lost forever, but we're still not building them today due to irrational fears of nuclear. The danger posed by nuclear reactors built with the latest technology is nothing compared to the danger of rising CO2 levels.

  •  Long-term we should promote and expand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, salmo

    conservation corps. I spent almost two years living out of a tent in all manner of conditions. If the incentives are there, more young people will do it. It certainly gave me a different perspective on the modern American lifestyle.

    26 ~ AZ-01 ~ that flagstaff dude on SSP

    by Fox Ringo on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:21:04 AM PDT

  •  Who pays your electric bill? For myself and most (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samanthab, Kevskos, ban nock

    Americans, it's a substantial expense and keeping it down means being able to pay the rent.

    “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

    by JesseCW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:23:21 AM PDT

    •  We pay our bill but it's very low (0+ / 0-)

      We don't have a thermostat or heat or cooling. Water is the big one for us, and the mortgage.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:01:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How I wish (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, ban nock

    I could set my thermostat at 72--not really, that's too hot. Hell, I'll take 68 and be very happy. This last winter in VT I kept the inside temp below 60 degrees, except for those occasions when we would go tropical and turn it up to 64. But I sure was being protected from the global weirding out there. It was very expensive just to have the heat we did use. Our wood stove made it more affordable, but now I'm pumping more pollution into the atmosphere than before.

    Now that it is spring climate change has entered our house: coming in the form of more tics and more diseased tics. Moose in the NEast are the walking dead. Seems I'm the only one around that hasn't had Lyme disease--though I've pulled many a tic off myself and the dog.

    Good luck conserving energy when it's 20 below outside with a wind chill in the minus 30s. And I've had to use my tiny window AC more over the last 5 summers than I ever had to before (just to cool one sectioned off room). All my life I've been an energy conservationist and the horrible irony of having to release more CO2 into the atmosphere due to there being too much CO2 in the atmosphere is upsetting.

    You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

    by gnothis on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:15:39 AM PDT

  •  Part of this is prevailing practices... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, wu ming

    ...of construction since the Industrial Revolution. Residences of all sorts and commercial/industrial facilities have been built to assume dirt cheap fossil fuel to control temperature of our living and work spaces in perpetuity. I see nothing wrong with controlled and comfortable interior environments. My concern is that we are depending too much on energy to create them, and not relying on both old and newer technology to maintain interior space comfort.

    Insulation should be a no-brainer here: more than 2/3 of homes are still inadequately insulated or not insulate at all. Ground source heat management systems have a hefty up front cost, but build in energy savings for the life of a structure. There are all sorts of things we could mandate with regard to new construction and major renovations that would impact 1/4 of all existing structures within 10 years. "Mandates" of course are the sticking point. "Freedom" apparently includes burning all the fuel needed to maintain individual comfort levels. It would also force new construction standards and probably force the hiring of new, credentialed specialists who haven't been on standard construction crews.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:08:09 AM PDT

    •  with proper insulation and tree shade (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, ban nock

      and a whole house fan to pull cool air into the attic in the early morning and evening, my house doesn't really get above 80 inside until the temps get close to 100 outside. if the rest of the country mandated california energy efficiency standards on their AC units, the carbon emitted would plummet as well.

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