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Climate change

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Technology is advancing and technologies such as [[thin film solar photovoltaics]]{{wp sup|thin film solar photovoltaics}} (e.g. copper indium gallium diselenide{{wp sup|copper indium gallium diselenide}}) offer great hope. However, the rate of progress is uncertain, and as climate change is already happening, action is needed now, without waiting for these new technologies.
 
=== Low hanging fruit ===
The logical place to start is in the area where potential gains are greatest and costs are lowest. This is '''[[energy efficiency]]''', and it offers cost savings in many areas. Thus the most important, pressing actions to be taken can be taken immediately without economic penalty, with suitable planning. Financial planning is an important aspect of this, as investment now may be required to gain long term benefits; it may be important to have programs such as [[light bulb]] exchanges or loans for energy efficiency measures (perhaps paid off through electricity bills<ref> If the energy company benefits from people using more energy, there may be a conflict of interest, so different reward models need to be explored; when the energy company is a government-owned corporation, this may give more flexibility to apply a different model in order to encourage uptake. (See [[Incentives for sustainability]] and [[Incentives to pollute]].</ref>)
Another measure is [[renewable energy]], which is more attractive in some locations than others (e.g. [[solar]] and [[biodiesel]] may be the most cost effective sources of electricity in a sunny isolated location, and [[solar hot water]] is perhaps the most cost-effective form of renewable energy in most locations{{fact}}). At this stage the majority of the population in [[developed countries]] have access to renewable energy through "[[green energy]]" offered by electricity companies (which may or may is often not be truly "green", to varying degreesbut it varies in degree). The cost premium for such energy is very modest compared with most people's overall living costs (and modest compared with the money that most people spend on luxuries or entertainment). ''See [[How to increase the uptake of green energy]].'' === Reducing carbon usage === [[Simple living]] offers various ways of reducing impact as well. To have a serious impact, these need to be actions which appeal to a large number of people, which may be very difficult without changes at the community level. The self-sacrificial aspects of simple living are unlikely to appeal to many people, based on past patterns.
Other aspects do improve [[Simple livingquality of life]] offers various ways of reducing impact as well. To have a serious impact, these need to be actions which appeal to a large number of people, which may be very difficult without changes and are at the community levelleast possible. These include promotion of behavior changes, and changing infrastructure in ways that encourage lower-energy behavior. Building of [[cycleways]] rather than highways, making communities more walkable, making [[public transport]] a more attractive option, and introducing congestion charges (as in London) are supported by many sustainability advocates and organizations.
Ensuring that buyers of houses and other buildings have access to all appropriate information about energy costs, livability (which improves with good [[passive solar]] design) and environmental impact, could make a big difference to the building industry, and ensure that sustainability is taken more seriously by more builders.
=== Cost effectiveness of action ===Note that the cost balance may appear different if [[externalities]] are accounted for - e.g. deaths due to vehicles, including emissions; improved health from cycling and walking acting to reduce health costs and improve productivity; and possibly even social cohesion as a result of people mingling on cycle, foot, and public transport, instead of traveling by car.  
==See also==

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