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Cool-Factor Predicted To Spur Energy Conservation

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the turning-the-lights-off-is-awesome! dept.

Earth 130

An anonymous reader writes "Panelists at a recent technology expo argued about how to motivate people to conserve energy, dragging out all the usual suspects, from financial incentives to emotion appeals to 'save the planet.' However, one panelist trumped the status quo by noting that adding the 'cool factor' could make energy conservation fun via apps on smartphones and tablets. By making energy conservation as fun as a video game, the fickle on-again, off-again of human nature might just be overcome."

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130 comments

Doom light switch? (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 3 years ago | (#36617100)

Will I be able to use a Doom interface to shutoff the lights in my house?

P0RN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617334)

P0RN is capable of holding male attention indefinitely. All light switches should be shaped like a clitoris or nipple, and emit moans as they are turned off.

Just remember though - don't stick your tongue in the light socket.

Re:P0RN (3, Funny)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#36617398)

if the light switch were shaped like a clitoris, men would be stumbling round in the dark trying to find it.

Re:P0RN (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | about 3 years ago | (#36617560)

Isn't it right next to the cochlea?

Re:Doom light switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617760)

You mean launch Doom -> lights off, quit Doom -> lights on?

Cool-Factor? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#36617110)

Are they implying that Apple will be designing the new energy conservation technology?

Because Smartphones... (1)

m.shenhav (948505) | about 3 years ago | (#36617128)

...are much more energy efficient then normal phones!

Re:Because Smartphones... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#36617568)

Considering that mine regularly prevents me from turning on a desktop or laptop I would agree with you.

Keeping it Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617150)

Obviously, Blizzard should do it! After all, aren't they fighting Azeroth's version of Global Warming right now too?

Population (1)

kwr760 (2100464) | about 3 years ago | (#36617152)

I doubt population control was even mentioned. Soon the crap from humans will be causing too much methane, no matter how much we converse it will be futile.

Re:Population (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617186)

nuke africa?

Re:Population (1)

kwr760 (2100464) | about 3 years ago | (#36617198)

I was thinking of tax credits for small families, and tax burdens for large families. And trying to get the message that until we start to colonize other worlds we need to limit the family size.

Re:Population (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 years ago | (#36617230)

anything else "they" can do so that "we" can have our priorities satisfied?

Re:Population (1)

TarMil (1623915) | about 3 years ago | (#36617296)

Hem... This applies to everyone, he was not restricting it to any people (as opposed to the stupid AC he was answering to).

Re:Population (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 years ago | (#36618584)

"they" are the large families. cause i doubt (and I am taking an educated guess there) that the guy with uid>2mil has one himself.

Re:Population (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 3 years ago | (#36617412)

I was thinking

I'm not sure you were. ;)

tax credits for small families, and tax burdens for large families

People with large families aren't doing it for the money. Having kids is already a significant expense, and the tax breaks for kids don't really amount to squat in comparison to the expense.

The childless families are rolling in money by comparison. Both can work...

No diapers, no day care expense, no extra mouth to feed and clothe, birthday presents to buy, constant school fundraising/fieldtrips/hotlunch days/bookfairs, haircuts, dental work, glasses...

Nobody has kids to save moeny.

And throwing a tax burden on them won't stop them from having more kids.

The trailer park squad is having them because they make bad decisions... and they aren't going to consider the tax ramifications of unprotected sex if they failed to consider the pregnancy ramifications of unprotected sex.

The no contraceptives for religious reasons group isn't going to stop having sex or having kids due to a tax burden either... they'll just be poorer thanks to you... perhaps driven to live in trailers with the first group.

Finally its not like large families can 'right size' in response to the burden either, even if they wanted to.

Meanwhile... the childless couples will putter around in their sports cars and vacations with their disposable income augmented by tax breaks until they get old and apparently have to be looked after by someone elses kids. ;)

That said.. you said tax breaks for small families... so maybe you mean families of 3 to 5, instead of childless couples. And that's less caustic... but tax breaks for childless couples is demented.

If you want small families though, taxes isn't the way to do it.Education and prosperity is the path to smaller families.

Re:Population (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 years ago | (#36618538)

Childless couples put less burden on society, plus when they get old, they'll help the economy because they'll have to pay someone to look after them.

What they should do is have a tax break for 1, maybe 2 kids per couple, but after that give them exponentially increasing tax burdens. 3 kids, a very small burden, 4, a moderate one, 5 a large one, etc.

Families of 3-5 are good, because it's enough people to keep the population stable, but small enough that parents can devote more time and resources to their kids. How many parents can pay for 8 kids to go to college or trade school? It's almost always the big families that are poor and have their hands out for welfare.

Yes, education is good for encouraging smaller families, but it only goes so far, and takes forever to work. Look at society these days: there's tons and tons of poor people with huge families. Education is free, but obviously they're not getting the message. Plus, education doesn't help when the Church tells you that birth control is baaaaddd, mkay? A lot of the people in the US now with giant families are Catholic.

Re:Population (2)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 years ago | (#36618636)

People who view other people in terms of how much burden they put on society are generally themselves the ones putting the largest burden. They don't know much about much so they can only view individuals in the same terms that farmers view bovine stock. You want to reduce misery in the world? Make sure every sociology major is required to spend his life with indigenous population rather than just a few years of "research." Yes, I am generalizing. No, I won't take it back. I am ok with not having government subsidies for raising children if you are ok with not having government subsidies for high-risk individual behavior (esoteric college majors, unpopular arts, etc.)

Re:Population (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about 3 years ago | (#36617578)

Yeah, right. Developed countries already have only about 60% of bare minimum natality required to maintain stable population. Let's make the problem even worse.

Re:Population (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 years ago | (#36618644)

Perception of financial security generally leads to people starting families. Baby booms usually follow economic booms. Remove road blocks to prosperity and people who want to raise children will have more of them.

Re:Population (1)

Eivind (15695) | about 3 years ago | (#36619818)

At first, yes. The effect is well-understood and well-researched, try asking google or wikipedia about "demographic transition".

Primitive societies, have high birth-rates, but also high death-rates, then living-conditions improve, and death-rates fall, but birth-rates remain, leading to population-growth. In the next-phase births fall too though, and so the new steady state is low-deaths AND low births.

Many wealthy nations today have birth-rates *below* the replacement-level, this is true for large parts of Europe, for example.

Re:Population (1)

flightmaker (1844046) | about 3 years ago | (#36617248)

I wrote to my MP about this a while back. They acknowledge the fact that population is a problem but as far as I can tell none of them has the balls to do anything about it.

Population is self-limiting (2)

nido (102070) | about 3 years ago | (#36617456)

Economic power allows women to choose the size of their family, and experience shows that population growth levels out when a country achieves a certain level of prosperity. Condoms, birth control pills (synthetic hormones - bad for long-term health of the woman, but good for temporarily preventing conception or implantation), vasectomies (or wearing a testical-heater/nut-cup), etc - lots of ways to prevent babies. Even "Natural Family Planning" works pretty well, because there's only a few days a month that a woman is actually fertile.

Re:Population is self-limiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36618742)

The problem with this is that population and climate pressures are going to put a limit on prosperity too. In case you think everyone is getting richer, there are actually still lots of poor people and many of them are getting poorer because its getting harder and harder for them to grow their own food.

Re:Population is self-limiting (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 years ago | (#36620410)

There is another way to reduce family size: religion. If the Catholic Church and a large enough number of Imams decided to lighten up on contraception and recommend keeping family sizes down then potentially billions of people would listen.

Otherwise, as you say, we will just have to wait for these societies to mature and proper enough to reject religious views on offspring.

Re:Population (1)

RussR42 (779993) | about 3 years ago | (#36617834)

Obama's science adviser is all over it. Behold! [amazon.com] _Ecoscience_ Coauthored by John P. Holdren.

Re:Population (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about 3 years ago | (#36617388)

Methane is an energy source, and methane from shit can be used to replace fossil fuels.

http://www.google.com/search?q=methane+digester [google.com]

Methane biogas is the future, baby! Renewable, far more cost-effective than nukes and obviously more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.

Sadly, your major point is still right... it's unlikely we can continue to increase our population forever without triggering some kind of extinction event.

Re:Population (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | about 3 years ago | (#36617674)

The problem is that the majority of the methane (which has approximately 20x impact on the greenhouse effect vs CO2) is actually emitted right out the butts of livestock bred for our food & clothing. Either you're going to have to put a pipe up each animal to capture that, or we're about to have the world's biggest BBQ...

Re:Population (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 3 years ago | (#36618756)

Methane is an energy source, and methane from shit can be used to replace fossil fuels.

http://www.google.com/search?q=methane+digester [google.com]

Methane biogas is the future, baby! Renewable, far more cost-effective than nukes and obviously more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.

Sadly, your major point is still right... it's unlikely we can continue to increase our population forever without triggering some kind of extinction event.

it's unlikely we can continue to increase our population forever without triggering some kind of population crash event.

FTFY

Re:Population (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#36617432)

the problem with voluntary population control is it selects for selfish bastards.

all the earth-minded people will willingly reduce their numbers, everyone else will continue to breed like rabbits.

Re:Population (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36618338)

the problem with voluntary population control is it selects for selfish bastards.

all the earth-minded people will willingly reduce their numbers, everyone else will continue to breed like rabbits.

Thus weeding out the weak. We have a natural instinct to survive, which some may call "selfishness". Those who willingly sacrifice themselves possess a diminished capacity for survival, whereas those who would selfishly persist have a stronger sense of self preservation.
 
 
In either case, the plan works: human populations dwindle, greenhouse gasses dwindle, humanity persists. Win/Win

Re:Population (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36619052)

that's alright; at the point when the last earth-minded people die out, there won't be anyone left who gives a shit what everyone else does.

if a civilisation falls in the universe and nobody gives a shit, does it make a sound?

We have this stuff already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617162)

We have this stuff already... the cute little thing on the dashboard that shows more green leaves the slower you go in the car.

I get assailed by ads everyday. I don't need them on my paid for devices.

Stop trying to be smart... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#36617174)

There's no need for clever new strategies to promote adoption. If you want to sell something just give it sex appeal. Sex sells. Always has, always will.

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | about 3 years ago | (#36617342)

Just gotta somehow link that energy saving light bulbs stimulate your libido.

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#36617414)

could be counter-productive. most energy saving bulbs are not dimmable, and we all know dimmed lights are sexier.

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (2)

hitmark (640295) | about 3 years ago | (#36619998)

Well, there are LEDs for that...

Hell, with the right LED setup, one can even do color changes to fit the mood.

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 3 years ago | (#36617530)

Just gotta somehow link that energy saving light bulbs stimulate your libido.

That will only succeed in selling light fixtures with for 100 energy saving bulbs.

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (2)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 years ago | (#36618662)

Why not go for full necrophilia? Why just light bulbs? Snuffing life out of life is smexy. Let's get people excited about public hangings since it's people that cause all these emissions, right? At which point do we get to call ecofascism by its proper name?

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 3 years ago | (#36618970)

At which point do we get to call ecofascism by its proper name?

When it starts being anti-human, instead of pro-environment, which is also pro-human.

Slippery-slope fallacy is fallacious.

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 years ago | (#36619410)

Considering...

Total darkness is still best in many cases.

Beauty is just a light switch away. In total darkness I look like Brad Pitt.

Re:Stop trying to be smart... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 3 years ago | (#36617512)

There's no need for clever new strategies to promote adoption. If you want to sell something just give it sex appeal. Sex sells. Always has, always will.

But I think these people want to counter HotOrNot [hotornot.com] .

Um, make it more expensive? (1)

Scareduck (177470) | about 3 years ago | (#36617194)

Nah, that'll never work.

Re:Um, make it more expensive? (1)

kwr760 (2100464) | about 3 years ago | (#36617330)

Remember when the government asks you if it is ok to add a tax or raise taxes. Your answer should be no, please cut spending. If you want to save the planet please do not have children or just one.

Money isn't cool? (1)

dontbgay (682790) | about 3 years ago | (#36617210)

Maybe times have changed since I was a kid, but saving money to spend it on something I actually wanted, rather than putting gas in the car or paying for a power bill.

Re:Money isn't cool? (2)

c6gunner (950153) | about 3 years ago | (#36617838)

I can't think of any time when saving money was considered 'cool'. Smart, sure, but then again 'smart' was rarely 'cool', either. Most societies idolize overblown displays of wealth and physical ability, not thrift and intelligence.

Re:Money isn't cool? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 years ago | (#36618556)

Most societies idolize overblown displays of wealth and physical ability, not thrift and intelligence.

They do? Yes, American society is totally just like this, but "most societies"? I'm pretty sure Asian societies have not historically had these traits.

Re:Money isn't cool? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 3 years ago | (#36618816)

Right. And Native Americans are noble peace-loving people who lived happy, healthy lives, in harmony with the environment.

People are people. It doesn't really matter what culture they're from - our basic urges, desires, and shortcomings are the same. Don't believe the hype.

Re:Money isn't cool? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 years ago | (#36619348)

Oh please. You're trying to tell me that China and Japan worship sports the way Americans do? That's complete bullshit. They have their sports, of course, but not the way we do with "sports bars" full of big-screen TVs blaring dozens of ESPN channels simultaneously, and the addiction that many American men have to them. They also DO value intelligence in a way totally the opposite of us. While we make fun of engineers, people in India and China consider it a highly respected profession, the way we do with lawyers.

Native Americans weren't known for "displays of wealth" either. A lot of pre-Columbian societies didn't even consider gold all that valuable, and wondered why the Conquistadors wanted it so much.

Re:Money isn't cool? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 years ago | (#36619444)

Wait. We consider shystering a highly respected profession? Sense when? I didn't get the memo.

As to sports and Asia. BS. Asians will bet on anything.

Re:Money isn't cool? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#36619992)

While we make fun of engineers, people in India and China consider it a highly respected profession, the way we do with lawyers.

"Highly respected profession" and "lawyers" doesn't fit together very well, I think. Or did I just miss some irony?

Re:Money isn't cool? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#36620058)

I can't think of any time when saving money was considered 'cool'. Smart, sure, but then again 'smart' was rarely 'cool', either. Most societies idolize overblown displays of wealth and physical ability, not thrift and intelligence.

Well, maybe then we must make it that having energy conserving technology shows wealth. Make energy saving products expensive and look expensive. Then, gradually introduce less expensive models (but not too fast). Slowly the "if you have it, you must be rich" will turn into "if you don't have it, you must be poor". Which still is a great incentive to get it. And by the time that everyone (actually, everyone who could afford the non-energy saving equivalent) can afford it, it will be the normal thing, and nobody will even think about buying something else; the market for the environmentally unfriendly alternative will just have vanished.

Mandatory SMBC... (3, Interesting)

TarMil (1623915) | about 3 years ago | (#36617238)

... is not even a week old. http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2286#comic [smbc-comics.com]

Re:Mandatory SMBC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617254)

+1 Highly Relevant

Re:Mandatory SMBC... (1)

kwr760 (2100464) | about 3 years ago | (#36617366)

I believe that is it evil to have the attitude of 'Do what I say or I will hurt you.'. This is the immorality of governing organizations. It is ok to jail/hurt someone who hurts people, but is it right to hurt someone who doesn't want to help someone? To me the answer is obvious, but to most people in the US the answer seems to be the opposite of my opinion.

Re:Mandatory SMBC... (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 3 years ago | (#36617516)

Governments using carrots and sticks to corral and constrain and align behaviour. It's not the immorality of governing organizations. It's the TRADE-OFF of governing organizations.

Try inner city Rio de Janeiro or a failed state (several to choose from in Africa) with no effective government, and
see what happens to the average chance of getting hurt on any given day.

Re:Mandatory SMBC... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 3 years ago | (#36617888)

It is ok to jail/hurt someone who hurts people, but is it right to hurt someone who doesn't want to help someone? To me the answer is obvious, but to most people in the US the answer seems to be the opposite of my opinion.

Depends. I more or less agree with you, but evolutionary pressures have driven us to develop the tendency to punish not only those who directly harm the tribe, but also those who refuse to help the tribe. In small tribes, you could simply banish those who were useless - in modern society, we don't really have that option. Public shaming would have been one way to deal with such issues ... however, in the Internet Era, public shaming can be more harmful than imprisonment. I'm not sure how to deal with it in the modern context; in the absence of a workable and moral solution I'm inclined to do nothing, which is where we apparently agree.

Re:Mandatory SMBC... (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 years ago | (#36618688)

Yes, but technological advancements have allowed us to depend on the tribe less. And enabled us to be more productive through use of higher brain functions than through mechanical repetitive labor. The only thing which stands in our way is jealousy of those less able.

Already seen in practice (4, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | about 3 years ago | (#36617242)

I don't think the effect is huge, but since i switched from a Rav4 to a Prius i've noticed that my driving habits have gotten a little more conservative, and i think the main factor is the little current and cumulative "miles per gallon" readings on the display. Trying to keep it above 45 mpg can be kinda fun, and it really doesn't seem to affect how quickly i get anywhere very much.

I used to gun the motor a lot more in the Rav4 just cause it was fun and there wasn't much reason not to (the difference in mileage and thus the difference in how often i had to fill up seemed pretty marginal) but now that i've got direct and immediate feedback playing with the mpg gauges is also fun, even if in an entirely different way, and now it's the marginal difference in time that i'm dismissing rather than the marginal difference in mileage. (And i still drive faster than i probably ought to, and i still will gun my car from time to time just for the fun of it, just nowhere near as often.)

Re:Already seen in practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617408)

I don't think the effect is huge, but since i switched from a Rav4 to a Prius i've noticed that my driving habits have gotten a little more conservative, and i think the main factor is the little current and cumulative "miles per gallon" readings on the display. Trying to keep it above 45 mpg can be kinda fun,

Many, many cars have mpg (or l/100km for you metric people) indicators.

My BMW has one, and I love watching the effect of drafting behind a big rig on the highway. Boosts mpg by 25% or more.

Re:Already seen in practice (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#36617474)

the ones on the BMWs are there to make you feel guilty for hitting that sweet second gear so hard.

my transition from 1988 corolla to 2002 325i was a rough one.

Re:Already seen in practice (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 3 years ago | (#36618140)

Not just the miles per gallon readings, but I've seen multiple car reviews talk about essentially a 'green meter', which purposefully (IMHO) tries to get people's mind into video game mode..

The one I saw recently on a CNET car review did I think a green leafy image, and the circle of leaves grew as you were driving less lead-footed (and I think they went from blue to green).

Re:Already seen in practice (3, Interesting)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | about 3 years ago | (#36618384)

Nissan Altimas have the MPG meter, and I notice I do try to keep it as high as I can when I have it on (though I rarely do. There's more important info screens on there, and for some reason they decided to make the fonts on each one huge so you can't put them all on at once).

But I just wish we could get an accurate gas gauge. If people (me, at least) could tell that this trip used 2.168 gallons, they'd know it also cost $8 and they might think about doing things differently. For now, all you know is that your last ten trips used something like 3/8ths of a tank. And a tank in this car is, uh... 18.3 gallons? Maybe? Times 3/8ths is, uh... Fuck it. If I need gas I'll get gas.

A real-time meter that says your flooring it and slamming on the brakes every 10 seconds just cost you 0.2 gallons over 30 seconds (or whatever) might make people a little more conservative.

Re:Already seen in practice (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 years ago | (#36619452)

If your car can only burn .2 gallons in 15 seconds floored (assuming half brakes, half gas) then your car is lame.

You need a bigger engine, cams and more boost to be cool. Not liking this fact doesn't change it.

Re:Already seen in practice (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#36620560)

+1000 insightful. All of us (men, there are no women on the Intartubes) game while we're driving. Speed and time if we don't have a choice. A mpg readout is the best way to give a better target, and any government serious about the environment would mandate the permanent display of one in all new vehicles. SUV owners can put tape over theirs.

Smug-Factor currently in use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617244)

Currently there is the "Smug-Factor" running energy conservation as in "I'm better than you because I have a green air-conditioner, light my house with compact-florescent bulbs, drink green-tea and drive a hybrid SUV"

Re:Smug-Factor currently in use (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#36617488)

this is a problem of human nature that everyone likes to feel superior. the reason scarcely matters.

Re:Smug-Factor currently in use (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 years ago | (#36618570)

I'm sorry, but I can't help but feeling smug when one of my dumb neighbors complains about how he's spending hundreds of dollars a month on gas for his jacked-up V8 pickup truck, and I'm spending less than $50 for two 30mpg cars. I probably wouldn't feel smug but for the fact that idiots like that complain so much after making stupid choices, and then they refuse to make smarter choices that would alleviate the problems they're complaining about.

There's a lot of people where I live who just HAVE to have a giant, jacked-up pickup truck with huge wheels, so they can drive it down the freeway to the mall. No, they don't ever drive them off-road; these things are spotless. But they constantly complain about how much they spend in gas, as if the rest of us are supposed to feel sorry for them when they did it to themselves. They could even sell their stupid truck and buy a small car, but no, they don't want to do that, they just want to keep complaining.

rippity rap (4, Funny)

buback (144189) | about 3 years ago | (#36617258)

Maybe we could do one of those rapping songs the kids are so keen on these days?

Re:rippity rap (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 3 years ago | (#36617800)

Maybe we could do one of those rapping songs the kids are so keen on these days?

And broadcast it on the blog they all twitter?

Re:rippity rap (1)

brainstyle (752879) | about 3 years ago | (#36618806)

Damn, his science is too tight!

Re:rippity rap (2)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about 3 years ago | (#36619486)

leading scientists and thinkers are still trying to figure out what went wrong with "Don't copy that floppy!".

Re:rippity rap (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 3 years ago | (#36620696)

What are you talking about? That campaign was a resounding success! Nobody copies floppies anymore!

Re:rippity rap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36620964)

Yo, dawg, check out my pimped-out house! Down to 5kwh, per day, baby. All offa da grid. Oooooh yeah.

Make It Measurable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617272)

MIM. That is all it takes to the games begin.

Re:Make It Measurable (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 years ago | (#36617390)

0-60 has been measurable for decades.

The problem is going slow will never be cool. Going fast will always be cool.

Re:Make It Measurable (1)

black soap (2201626) | about 3 years ago | (#36618656)

But being late is so disrespectful, you'd think all the kids would be doing it.

Forever cool (1)

eis271828 (842849) | about 3 years ago | (#36617300)

"By making energy conservation as fun as a video game, the fickle on-again, off-again of human nature might just be overcome."

Because people never change their idea of what is cool....

Show me the money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617448)

Show me the money!!!

Poor marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617598)

How about utilizing currently wasted energy instead of trying to get people to conserve it? Sell the idea by demonstrating increased stability and the ability to use more energy while paying less in the long run.

For example, a new office building could be made so that all its walls and roof are covered with solar panels, underneath which water pipes run - light is converted to extra electricity and hot water. Start a program to outfit regular house roofs with solar panels, too, and try to get people to get and drive electric cars in cities to ease the load on the electrical grid and make the air clean to breathe.

Current efforts to get people to "be green" seem to be marketed by trying to appeal to people's sense of responsibility, while largely ignoring the tangible benefits of doing so. These programs have the appearance of requiring extra work on part of the participants while, at most, providing peace of mind and at worst requiring expenses while not really being good for the environment (such as adding ethanol to gasoline).
You'd think people would jump at a chance to save on power and heating costs (even given a sizable up-front investment requirement) and enjoying the health benefits of having cleaner air - I just haven't seen a single campaign proclaiming this.

Re:Poor marketing (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 years ago | (#36618588)

For example, a new office building could be made so that all its walls and roof are covered with solar panels, underneath which water pipes run - light is converted to extra electricity and hot water. Start a program to outfit regular house roofs with solar panels, too, and try to get people to get and drive electric cars in cities to ease the load on the electrical grid and make the air clean to breathe.

Because these things all have enormous capital costs. Money doesn't grow on trees (unless you're the Federal government).

Re:Poor marketing (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 3 years ago | (#36619942)

Yes, that's a problem with how America does things. If it can't be used to make huge profits, a perfectly fine idea gets ignored. Businesses would much, much rather sell people on a $1000 "Energy Star" dryer (LOL) than a $5 clothes line. Too much of our economy is about selling us the most expensive fixes for our problems, and making up more problems for us.

Have had half a dozen window sellers try to persuade me to spend $6K to $14K to upgrade all our windows to fancy double or triple pane ones filled with argon gas, etc. They claim it could save up to 50% on the heating and cooling bills. Rather comic how they showed their true colors by always pitching the very most expensive windows first. I looked at the numbers, and figured even the cheapest weren't worth it. We spend about $500 per year on heating and cooling. At that rate, it would take 24 years to pay back $6K. Hate to think how much worse financing would make that. There was the argument that we were making our house more valuable, to which I pointed out that if so, we would have to pay more property tax. Then, suppose they exaggerated, and the windows actually only save 20% on our heating and cooling? There are other ways that maybe aren't as good, but they sure are a lot cheaper: tint, good drapes, and maybe awnings. Probably are worth putting into new houses, but not houses that already have windows, however crappy.

Hot water and light are good uses of solar. Electricity from solar panels is not so good because it isn't that efficient for the cost. Sure don't want to spend $10k on a solar panel installation that may well be obsolete in less than 5 years.

mod dmown (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617640)

Fear the reaper as WideOpe8, market. The8efore, as those non gay, be fun. It used that they sideline DISTRIBUTIONS

Compete against yourself (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 years ago | (#36617672)

When I commute, I want to be able to glance at a gasoline usage meter and see how much I've used up to that point and how it compares to the same point on previous commutes. Then I can compete against myself, similar to the "ghost" in Mario Kart.

OP might have something (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 3 years ago | (#36617684)

After living most of my life in a community where things like recycling were common practice my the vast majority of it's citizens, I moved to a large city in "the southwest". The trendy society page people have just, in the last two years, started to talk about "going green", recycling, etc. as if they were "the latest thing". Yeah, it's lame, but if that's what it takes to get people on board, fine. Everything that helps to disarm the conservative, "fuck your grandchildren and their environment" types, when they try to paint environmentalism as some commie-liberal evil plot, is a welcome addition to the dialogue.

mod do3n (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617850)

FrreBSD because Be 'very poorly have the energy sure that by the

mod "down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36617910)

survIval p8ospects if you move a table I type this.

The problem with energy conservation crowd (1)

VAElynx (2001046) | about 3 years ago | (#36618270)

Is that they are focused on the irrelevant. The biggest CO2 contribution of *anyone* is coming from car travel, just about the sum of all other CO2 expenditures on average - but since electric cars are
a) overly expensive due to the cost of batteries
b) total crap if you need to get anywhere over a certain distance due to the inability to "charge a tank" quickly, the idea is to improve public transports and have people use cars for long-distance travels for which other options suck.
Second important one is excessive house heating. That one has an appeal too - don't heat as much , and/or insulate your house, and you'll save money, and quite a lot - honestly I think it's one of the few cases where all that is needed is to inform people , because along with enviroment it brings a clear benefit to them.
Anything else, from charger unplugging to lights out/whatever is trying to douse a fire with teaspoons of water.

Re:The problem with energy conservation crowd (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 years ago | (#36618610)

Second important one is excessive house heating. That one has an appeal too - don't heat as much , and/or insulate your house, and you'll save money, and quite a lot

Not enough. To make it economically worthwhile, it needs to have a payback time of 3 years or so.

Most people don't stay in their house much more than 5 years. Worse, these days with the mortgage meltdown, a lot of people don't even own their house, they're renters, and probably won't be buying another house for 7 years or more.

Making improvements like that to a house costs a lot of money. If you don't earn that money back before you move out, you've wasted it. The improvements won't substantially increase the value of the house, because houses are valued in dollars/square foot. If your house costs more in $/sf than the houses around it, it won't sell, and banks won't finance it anyway. It doesn't matter if it has solar panels on top.

Turning the heating down, (1)

VAElynx (2001046) | about 3 years ago | (#36621468)

a few degrees, unless the landlord pays for your electricity , which is bloody unlikely, pays off now, even if you don't own the house. It is a matter of choosing applicable strategy based on where you live
And nobody was talking about solar panels or other overly expensive methods anyway - polystyrene plates for wall insulation are reasonably cheap, and they do deliver.

Re:The problem with energy conservation crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36619802)

In fact theres a bigger contributer then the combined transportation means of humanity- its combined animal agriculture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism#Environment_and_diet
http://www.ajcn.org/content/89/5/1699S.full
http://www.ajcn.org/content/89/5/1704S.full
http://www.ajcn.org/content/89/5/1710S.full

Re:The problem with energy conservation crowd (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about 3 years ago | (#36620388)

In urban areas public transport is very effective, fast and low on energy consumption. however, it has to be subsidized, because car travel is subsidized a lot. Plus, people do not count all cost for the car when they compare it with public transport, but only the gas.

For midrange distances you can use trains (at least in Europe) they are save, fast and you can relax or work while you ride.

The only area where public transport does not work very well is the country side. There cars can be more usable.

However, car travel in Europe is the source for one third of CO2 emissions, one third comes from households and one from the industry. In all areas you could reduce energy consumption. For housing use insulation. It keeps the house cold in summer and warm in winter. You do not need air conditioning any more. You can use solar collector to heat you water which will reduce the energy consumption again.

We already have so called plus energy homes. Meaning a house which produces more energy than it consumes.

trOllkore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36618294)

ha7e the energy [goat.cx]

W00t fp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36618330)

achievements that Come on Ba3y...and

Dumbing down? (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about 3 years ago | (#36620352)

I thought Idiocracy is just a movie, but when we really have to sell a sustainable way of life with coolness, I start to doubt that. On the other hand, this would make Europeans pretty cool compared to people from the US. ;-)

Well d'uh (1)

Syberz (1170343) | about 3 years ago | (#36621140)

It's been demonstrated tons of times that when you make something fun, people go for it.

Just look at Volkswagen's The Fun Theory [thefuntheory.com] project for proof.

Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36621358)

Asking people to spend money in order to save money doesn't make sense when they have already been robbed by everyone that sells them their daily needs.

"Get a new furnace... even though your gas and grocery bills already make that impossible." is a pretty sill campaign.

I wish special interests could be intellectualy honest for once.

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