Getting Inspired At Possibilities Of Lessening Adverse Climate Change
by Mark Denekamp
(Auckland, New Zeland)
Gaia - Life Contrast Earth To Moon - NASA
For many years the ideas of "going green" did not really inspire me.
In truth, the suggestions people made about ways you could help seemed so inconvenient and unrealistic.
These ideas such as setting down shower head pressures, taking public transport to work, using poor quality fluorescent lights, or changing to travel by cycling, did not suit me.
With my active lifestyle, taking public transport was not really practical.
Transport routes near us were poor; the schedule for services was infrequent and unreliable. I had too much gear to take to work each day. Also I needed was to be on call.
I knew what people did disposing of rubbish generally and shuddered to think where the mercury-containing fluorescent light bulbs were going.
Fortunately things are changing dramatically.
Now, LED lights are becoming more widely available.
We have been replacing our down lights with LED bulbs, waiting for the time when really effective down light units are available.
Moreover, CREE Inc. has produced a new emitter in the last year that is twice as powerful as past ones in terms of energy input. I cannot wait for regular bulbs and working units that are produced by lighting manufacturers to incorporate them.
One of the main lighting producers in our city had let me know that they are converting everything to LED over the next eighteen months.
Already, the units they have available are very inspiring - light years from the ghostly blue light LEDs and weird bulb-encrusted sticks produced in the past.
There are some interesting directions in house building already present with even more interesting ones arising right now.
For instance, the German passive house concept which requires 10% of the usual heating to power houses is much more comfortable day and night, winter to summer than any regular house.
Retrofitting of established homes is now possible - meaning anyone can achieve a similar result with the home they are currently living in.
So helpful have been the developments of the various units like well-insulated triple-glazed, krypton filled windows.
Also, newly developed aerogels are being made available for even more efficient insulation at a fraction of the thickness.
Some years ago we were anticipating building a new home. Now we are actually making the move to do it over the next year or two.
With all the new developments that are available we can build an energy efficient home, utilizing little or no extra energy.
More than Energy Efficient
In fact, it could even feed power back to the grid.
Changes in understanding of the grid for the future are being discussed too. The best scenario for our future would seem to be from individuals all contributing power from their own homes in a shared connection. Such local hubs will be much more secure than the current grid.
Renewable Energy for Homes
Newly produced hybrid solar panels producing heat for water and space heating as well as photovoltaic energy are being made.
In effect, their efficiency is over 75% which is well up from the 10% to sometimes 18% available now.
Utilizing geothermal heat via heat pumps from our own ground also attracts me. Building a new home now means it is possible to incorporate that idea in its design.
A Different Approach
Ideas of working with the world for our future energy requirements excite me.
For example, the understanding of the Gaia principle proposed by James Lovelock helps direct our focus.
Noticing how the earth acts as a living organism to maintain a fine homeostasis so different from the moon just near us suggests ways we can cooperate for future growth and development.
Instead of pillaging the earth for rare resources we can utilize what is freely offered to us each day (like to abundant sunlight and the deeper warmth of the earth) for a daily energy requirements.
Participating in going green with new developments that lead to greater productivity and increased development for the earth and us as humans suddenly seems much more interesting - even exciting!