Certain things, it turns out, are bad for your wallet, your lungs and your future. However, whether you care about your wealth, or the environment (or hopefully both!), then it makes clear sense to stop spending money on incredibly inefficient energy systems in your life. And so whatever your motivation, taking The Journey to Energy Freedom will increase your wealth considerably (sorry oil companies!) and avert some pretty bogus side effects our children will inherit in the form of Climate Change.
The Indisputable Science of Climate Change
If you’re unsure of whether CO2 causes climate change, and you would like repeatable. scientific evidence of the fact that CO2 is changing the climate, this experiment is used by school children:
1. Take a tennis ball and enclose it in a glass ball (like a snow globe). Inside now has the same atmosphere as the Earth
2. Shine a light at the tennis ball. After a minute or so, the temperature inside will stabilise – there is some heat going in from the light and some heat being radiated out by the tennis ball
3. Add some Carbon Dioxide and Methane to the globe (the globe now has an atmosphere with increased levels of the gasses humans are adding to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels
4. Measure the temperature again when it has stabilised – the temperature will have increased because the larger CO2 and Methane molecules trap more of the radiation coming from the tennis ball than the current earth atmosphere. The same effect applies to the earth.
A weather station in the Hawaii has been monitoring the CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere since 1958. It has steadily been increasing over that time:
This is how the temperature of every year since 1880 has compared to the average:
Something is happening. That something is the CO2 and other greenhouse gasses being emitted through the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. Under the “business as usual” scenario, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere will double, which would have roughly the same effect as increasing the intensity of the sun by 2%, and would bump up the global mean temperature by roughly 3°C. This would be what historians call a Bad Thing. The Greenland icecap will gradually melt, and, over a period of a few 100 years, sea-level would rise by about 7 metres. The brunt of the litany falls on future generations. Such temperatures have not been seen on earth for at least 100,000 years, and it’s conceivable that the ecosystem would be so signiﬁcantly altered that the earth would stop supplying some of the goods and services that we currently take for granted.
The happy thing here is that there is generally a direct correlation between what you spend, and what you emit. Every cent you don’t spend on gas for your car, electricity or heat for your house. That means that you don’t need to care about climate change to do something about it. If you care either about your wealth, or the environment (or hopefully both), then it makes clear sense to stop spending money on incredibly inefficient energy systems in your life.
I generally just focus on the financial savings of the steps I’ve taken to energy freedom, but it turns out they’re averting a pretty decent amount of CO2 as well. Installing LED lights has saved 96kg CO2 to date for an investment of $22 (that paid for itself in 10 months and has been saving money since). Installing Radiator Heat Reflectors 10 months ago has saved 111kg CO2 in gas that wasn’t required to replace heat leaking out of the walls behind the radiators. There’s a few other steps I’ve not yet had time to post about here yet, but they’re coming soon! The point here is that these measures save significant amounts of money, and also prevent a lot of needless waste:
To the people hired by the Koch Brothers to comment below to try to postpone the inevitable: Sorry guys, science is demonstrable evidence and we have it on our side. You will not fill your wallets at our expense anymore!
: “This would be what historians call a Bad Thing.”: Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air, Page 10