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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the just-build-a-few-nuclear-reactors dept.

Power 710

schwit1 (797399) writes with news that a UK study has found that folks concerned about climate change don't do much to conserve power at home. From the article: Those who say they are concerned about the prospect of climate change consume more energy than those who say it is "too far into the future to worry about," the study commissioned by the Department for Energy and climate change found. That is in part due to age, as people over 65 are more frugal with electricity but much less concerned about global warming. However, even when pensioners are discounted, there is only a "weak trend" to show that people who profess to care about climate change do much to cut their energy use. The findings were based on the Household Electricity Survey, which closely monitored the electricity use and views of 250 families over a year. The report (PDF), by experts from Loughborough University and Cambridge Architectural Research, was commissioned and published by DECC. High power use doesn't have to be dirty: Replace coal, methane, and petroleum with nuclear, wind, solar, etc.

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user error (5, Insightful)

alphazulu0 (3675815) | about 7 months ago | (#47453927)

This is slashdot. If there's one thing we know, it's that hoping users will alter their behavior doesn't work. Better technology does.


Re:user error (5, Interesting)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 7 months ago | (#47454033)

I've never made any concerted effort for "environmental reasons," but I do notice that I don't use nearly as much energy as most people do, which is a side effect of how cheap I am.

For example, most self proclaimed environmentalists I know leave their computers running 24/7 and deliberately disable the standby features. I myself have all of my machines configured to enter S4 after 15 minutes of no activity.

I also replaced all of the bulbs in my house with LED bulbs, which is more to do with helping to keep the house cool in the summer, which reduces AC usage (not to mention being more comfortable here in Arizona.) It's not a cheap thing to do short term, but DEFINITELY saves money long term so long as you get the bulbs at the right price.

Also I'm the only person I know who times my driving so that I minimize time at stop lights, as well as driving with the cruise control on at every possible time (most cars have a feature that allows you to nudge your speed slightly faster/slower, which is more fuel efficient than disengaging it in order to adjust your speed.)

And by the way, modern cars are so low emission that some of them actually clean up the air around them. The 2011 Ford F150 Raptor is one of them. If I were an environmentalist, (and I need to stress that I am NOT) I would push for more of these cars to be on the road than lobbying for higher gas prices (which serves to ruin the economy, and has almost no actual benefit on reducing emissions.)

(Source: http://www.edmunds.com/car-rev... [edmunds.com] )

If you've ever seen that movie Bad Santa, with the scene where Billy Bob Thornton tries to commit suicide with a Benz and it doesn't work, that's actually accurate. It wouldn't be a terribly effective suicide tool for the above mentioned reason. Newer cars are just too clean burning.

We've never seen climate-warming related disasters that result in sustained long-term famine/death. It is always localized (Katrina, Sandy) and recovery begins within months at the worst. However we have seen bad economic decisions cause all of the above not only on a local scale but on a global scale, and last for decades at a time before recovery can begin. We also already know that in fairly recent times, that places like Los Angeles were under sea water, and AGW had zero to do with that. I don't think anything we ever do can ever prevent it from happening again either. Also during the age of dinosaurs, CO2 levels were more than 20 times what they are today, temperatures were much higher as well, and macro-scale life not only lived but thrived even better than it does today, so I'm not so sure that AGW (which probably does exist) is a huge concern.

All of the above said, I think screwing with the economy in the interest of influencing the climate is a very bad idea in general.

Re:user error (5, Insightful)

Dayze!Confused (717774) | about 7 months ago | (#47454139)

I'm sort of the same way, not an environmentalist, just a really cheap mustachian. My average usage each month is about 200kwh and I live lasciviously, I know if I watched my usage a bit more I could greatly decrease this. As I write this I have a fan in my window blowing in and another in the window down the hallway blowing out and can get my house down to 66F at night, and then reach about 72F by the time I get home from work, but grant it we live in the Pacific Northwest where AC is hardly ever needed. We don't use our dryer but sparingly, and I ride a bike to work instead of driving because it seems insane to pay $300+ a month in gas PLUS the $1200+ a year in maintenance to maintain a residence 30 miles away. All of this is done not for the environment but because it's cheaper.

When I do drive a car I hypermile it. My 2002 BMW 525i gets 32+MPG which usually elicits a wide eyed "really?" from people when I tell them. A single tank of gas lasts me about a month and a half. We buy a lot of things used because I figure that buying it second hand will retain the value more than buying it brand new. My wife's wedding ring and her Longine watch were both bought that way, same as my trumpet and my car. Buying used keeps one from going to the dump and lowers demand on new ones to be made. (Of course the ring would have been melted down and formed into new rings, but it still applies to everything else.)

I also happen to be one who believes the scientific research and consensus that climate change is happening, and I wish it had more effect on my decision making, but for now being cheap seems to generally coincide with environmentally friendly. Most of this is from learning to want less shit that doesn't matter and to be perfectly happy living the very luxurious middle class life.

Re:user error (4, Interesting)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 7 months ago | (#47454189)

People can live without a clothing dryer.

It's been five years for me, and I have an unused front loader dryer for sale.

I have an umbrella line for good weather drying in the good Illinois weather months, and clothing racks and lines for winter drying.

After I switched to air drying, my clothing longevity jumped massively. I went from a pair of jeans lasting a year or two to never wearing out jeans (so far).

I believe that climate is cyclical, and is driven by solar changes, radiation changes, and world tilt. I don't believe in MMGW, and I don't believe we can change global climate.

But it's stupid not to scrub carbon from coal plants, put cleaner water back into the the environment than we take out, and do everything we can to make sure we don't pollute like china does. I don't want cities to be lost in a fog of bad like it regularly happens in China.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/... [usatoday.com]

I can reliably say that China smog has no effect on Illinois. And that's why I think we should focus on real issues like local contamination rather than focus on enriching people that make money on carbon trading credits.

No real surprise (0, Troll)

blackt0wer (2714221) | about 7 months ago | (#47453933)

Global warming is a money/power grab, the ultimate in "Do as I say, not as I do" diplomacy.

Re:No real surprise (-1, Troll)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 7 months ago | (#47453943)

Global warming is a money/power grab, the ultimate in "Do as I say, not as I do" diplomacy.

Only Alex Jones can save us from the reptile menace now!

Re: No real surprise (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47453981)

It's no real surprise that enviro-wackos are hypocrites.

Re: No real surprise (3, Insightful)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 7 months ago | (#47454381)

That's because their claims of enviro-superiority are like medieval "indulgences", permissions to sin without penalty. So Saint AlGore flies all over the world preaching the "Stop flying!" mantra, as if he'd never heard of Skype or Webex. As Instapundit Glenn Reynolds writes, "I'll believe that there's a crisis when the people who are telling me it's a crisis start ACTING like it's a crisis."

Re:No real surprise (4, Informative)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 7 months ago | (#47453983)

While I don't disagree with that, this report is the wrong one to trumpet about. The asked 250 people a question that is quite ambiguous, and then monitored them for a year. I read the article earlier today on some other site, and it sounded like rubbish for those reasons and others.

Re:No real surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454055)

The asked 250 people a question that is quite ambiguous, and then monitored them for a year.

They hardly left any room for a more flawed approach.

Re:No real surprise (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 7 months ago | (#47454093)

You mean it didn't agree with your preconceived notions, and so you backtracked to adjust your thinking so you could disregard this inconvenient truth. Hey, you're not the only one.

Re:No real surprise (5, Insightful)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 7 months ago | (#47454213)

Re-read my post please. I agree that the global warming crusade is a power grab and transfer of wealth. But this 'study' is still shit, with shitty methods and assumptions. Just because it vindicates your preconceived notions doesn't mean it's worthy of your endorsement.

Re:No real surprise (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47453999)

Global warming is a money/power grab, the ultimate in "Do as I say, not as I do" diplomacy.

Yeah, that's it.... How the bleeping blap do you get "money/power grab" from "people don't change behaviour until forced to" ?

1. AGW is real. Science resolved. Nothing even to discuss. Period.
2. What you do about it is *politics*.

Can you comprehend these things? If you want to argue about power grabs and money, that is #2. It has nothing to do with Global Warming but how we respond to it.

I guess when CFCs were banning treaty was signed 30 years ago, there was opposition too. "Power grab!" and the like. But if it wasn't done, today we would have no ozone and UV index would be 60+, not mere 10 (vs. 4-5 before depletion chemicals). Maybe if this happened today, not 30 years ago, there would be no treaty reached while the ozone layer whittled away, gone for at least 300 years. (That wound not be so good for the food supply and even walking outdoors, but .....)

Re:No real surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454065)

found the paid shill.

AGW is a conspiracy theory with zero science behind it. Period. End of story.

Re:No real surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454389)

Yep, we did find the shill!

Love you some big oil munnies, doncha?

Re:No real surprise (0)

pete6677 (681676) | about 7 months ago | (#47454173)

"Climate Change" has nothing to do with actually cutting energy use for big business. It only exists for big business to profit from trading carbon credits, etc. The price will be paid by the consumer, in the form of higher prices for everything you buy. Startup companies will soon be a thing of the past (except for stupid social networking/advertising companies), as only large established monopolies will be able to afford the required environmental impact fees.

Re:No real surprise (5, Insightful)

dirt (1129) | about 7 months ago | (#47454403)

Are you saying the thousands of CO2 measurements collected globally for decades, and our thousands of ice core samples going back hundreds of thousands of years, and our scientist's best climate models of climate change... are all fabricated as part of a grand multi-decade long liberal conspiracy to set up a carbon trading market?

Re:No real surprise (-1, Troll)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 7 months ago | (#47454417)

" Science resolved. Nothing even to discuss. Period."

There speaks a man who knows NOTHING about the scientific method. "Science" isn't a thing, it's a process for narrowing in on the truth. The "science" is NEVER settled; there's always more to learn. Even Stephen Hawking is still changing his mind about how black holes work (or don't) and he's the guy who INVENTED the things. AGW is a RELIGIOUS belief, which is why we "deniers" are treated as heretics and apostates.

Remember, 30 years ago the existential crisis was the coming ice age, and 120 years ago, the existential crisis was that London was going to be 5 feet deep in horse manure.

Re:No real surprise (0, Flamebait)

sd4f (1891894) | about 7 months ago | (#47454019)

It's not just global warming; the whole "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude is completely entrenched in self-styled "progressive" psyche. My observation is that their attitude is that they should dictate what others do because they genuinely think they're smarter than others. They want a meritocracy where they're in charge. Because of this, everything should be forced by the hand of the government, otherwise nothing will happen. That's also why rather often you'll find "progressives" look warmly to socialism and communism. They won't help others now, but it will all be solved if there were laws to enforce it.

In Eastern European communism, there was a saying which translates to "What's yours is mine and what's mine don't touch". Human nature doesn't change.

Re:No real surprise (1)

Pope Benedict XVI (881674) | about 7 months ago | (#47454103)

Totally! Like there always poking there nozes into other peeple busnus and stuff. THey should just STFU! I sometimes wish a plague would just wipe those hipocritical hethens off the planut!

Re:No real surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454303)

THe study was "so smart" that it failed to mention how companies are using "stand-by" mode as a power grab. That has been reported on /. and numerous other publications, and I'm not sure if the study took that into account. Unless you unplug a damn device anymore it is still sucking anywhere from 40-80% of power while in stand-by mode. The elderly rarely watch TV or use modern electronics, gaming consoles, stereo systems, entertainment systems.

The idiotic study says it based its findings of off monitors, but did they check or question what each house had as far as electronics, the size of the households, and the hours of peak usage that is why studies like this and hundreds are stupid. You have ovens/stoves/microwaves/washer-dryer/water heater/furnace, that is basic houses that doesn't include all the other appliances and or add-on equipment that is added or exists before you move in.

Yes a lot of the named appliances could be split between gas and electric.

Re:No real surprise (4, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | about 7 months ago | (#47454313)

Let's see everything wrong with the survey, just 250 households. How where the people selected. How much of a cross section was there. Was it per capita energy usage or simply per household usage (per household), difference between a person living on their own and say a family of five. A far right wing government commissioned the survey how biased were they in the selection. Some were monitored for a full year some only for one month, no clarification on summer winter split. No clarification on meals, home cooked or takeaway or restaurant (hidden energy usage) Also clothes washing, how much done in house, how much an laundrette and how much professionally cleaned (hidden energy usage). Study included rented and owned properties but did not differentiate between the two. There was a large north south divide hence different climatic conditions.

So it's a whole lets come up with a bullshit report to slander climate change and make it seem acceptable to do nothing about it.

Re:No real surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454039)

yes! nailed it!

if Al Gore TRULY cared about this, he wouldn't have a carbon footprint 1000x that of the average American.

Not only that but hes made MANY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS off of the climate change hoax.

Re:No real surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454371)

Just because it is being used that way does not mean it is not also true. I think one of the problems getting people to accept the science of climate change (which lets face it pretty strongly says it is happening and in all likelihood anthropogenic) is that the left has been trying to use it as a cudgel to force in their stupid ideologies and politics.

High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (3, Insightful)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 7 months ago | (#47453937)

As long as it's cheap, I do not care how the power is generated - coal, gasoline, nuclear, enslaved environmentalists...

Oh, and unless there is an electric car with decent range that does not have software in it (actually, you can have a single ATMEGA MCU, but the source needs to be open), I'm keeping my gasoline powered car (that does not have software in it).

Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47453987)

Do you really think your gasoline powered car doesn't have any software in it? Is it an antique?

Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (0)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 7 months ago | (#47454031)

It is a Mercedes W123 made in 1982 (though the design is older, 1976 I think), and it does not have software in it - all controls are mechanical, the engine uses a carburetor and not fuel injection.

Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (2)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 7 months ago | (#47454003)

Is your car from 1974?

http://perrya.hubpages.com/hub... [hubpages.com]

Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (1, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 7 months ago | (#47454051)

Not everybody started putting computers in cars in 1975. For example, my W123, built in 1982 does not have computers in it (the MCUs in a much newer tape deck do not count, as they are not required for the operation of the car).

The car in the link uses fuel injection and that usually requires an analog (or digital) computer. However, a carburetor does not require a computer and my car uses a carburetor. Neither does vacuum ignition advance. Or a manual transmission.


djupedal (584558) | about 7 months ago | (#47453945)

...it's just old fashioned human nature.

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454349)

Say it like a cheerleader:

H - y,
P - o - c,
R - i - t - e!

Wind? Solar? (1, Insightful)

GiordyS (3739931) | about 7 months ago | (#47453947)

Those are low energy density devices. They will never supply enough energy, and in some cases consume much more than they supply [bbc.com] . Innovative nuclear is the only way forward, and sadly I don't see much support for it.

Re:Wind? Solar? (-1, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#47454013)

And as long as stupid people like you are around that believe any lie some lobbyist is telling them, nothing will change anyways. Nuclear is dead. Far too expensive, fuel issues, safety issues, a thoroughly corrupt industry.

Re:Wind? Solar? (1)

GiordyS (3739931) | about 7 months ago | (#47454063)

See where I said "innovative"? Do you think I mean 40 year old reactor designs? Do you think I necessarily mean uranium? Do you think I necessarily mean fission? Since I don't support wind and solar, I am a stupid person who believes any lie told to me by some lobbyist? Pot meet kettle?

I'm more open to solar than I am to wind, but I'm not convinced solar has enough energy density, especially when all the other costs are considered. But hey, enlighten me. (Please don't post a link to solar roadways.)

Re:Wind? Solar? (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 7 months ago | (#47454177)

Where I live, more than 50% of electricity is from renewals, wind being one of the larger sources.

Solar doesn't need density. For a small increase in cost, it can be built into roofs. The amount of building space in the US is sufficient to power the grid. No need for central industrial generation.

Re:Wind? Solar? (1)

GiordyS (3739931) | about 7 months ago | (#47454271)

I'm looking here [wholesalesolar.com] and I'm looking at my electricity bill that I share with my neighbor, and how many KW hours we use, and I don't see a small cost at all. It looks like a rather big cost would not work for us. Granted, that was a quick web search, but hey, I'm all ears.

Re:Wind? Solar? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454015)

God damn it. No, you clearly know nothing about this and your link just hammers home how misinformed you are.

Your citation is about a single incident, that had mechanical problems (the brake on it locked), and that the installers warned that there was not enough wind to make it worth while, and the company liquidated so that it could not be repaired or maintained.

Re:Wind? Solar? (1)

GiordyS (3739931) | about 7 months ago | (#47454215)

Wind and solar doesn't come close to the energy density of nuclear. And no, I don't support old reactor designs. Did you contribute to the solar roadways project? It appears the wind tower sales pitch can be misleading [dover-express.co.uk] . I'm sure there are other reports, these two just happened to catch my eye recently. Sorry to upset you.

Re:Wind? Solar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454273)

> Innovative nuclear is the only way forward, and sadly I don't see much support for it.

That's because nuclear is dirty. Until there's a failsafe solution to radiation leaks and nuclear waste storage, it will always be perceived as dirty.

Re:Wind? Solar? (1)

GiordyS (3739931) | about 7 months ago | (#47454365)

It's better than coal. Well, not the traditional designs. But there are some newer designs and potential innovations that look really interesting. It's unfortunate that peoples attitudes towards nuclear are holding back innovation. There are some fusion projects that look interesting that have none of the drawbacks that you cite, yet the research gets minimal support.

This is just how people are. (5, Insightful)

zippo01 (688802) | about 7 months ago | (#47453959)

People have a choice. Different cooking fuels, different hearing sources, not using A/C, Driving a smaller car (electric cars are not very piratical for a lot of people). This just goes to show that most people who bitch and complain aren't willing to to do without. They want to force the change at the top. Power companies/society. This will not work. They don't see how closing US coal plant just moves it overseas, put our people out of work and more. If anything you want it in the us where it is more tightly regulated! I say give them what they want close all US coal/natural gall plants tomorrow. Coal 39% Natural Gas 27%. With 66% less power, you won't be doing much of anything. and will shut the fuck up about climate change when you feel the real impact of it. Do what is right, conserve where you can and let the industry evolve naturally.

Re:This is just how people are. (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 7 months ago | (#47454161)

I dunno. I am a person who does care about the whole climate change and all that and I do, actually, try not to waste electricity. I always turn off lights in any room that I'm not spending time in, I run my servers on a laptop since they generally consume a lot less energy than desktops, I use LED-lights only due to how they're also energy-efficient and last for a long time, I have a desktop serving as a file-server, but the file-server is always powered-off unless I specifically need something at that moment and so on and so forth. That is to say, I do what I do, but I try to be energy-conscious about it and save where I can.

Re:This is just how people are. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#47454435)

You can see the different attitudes people have. Watch some homeless guys for a while asking for money. Some people walk by, and give them money. Other people walk by and say, "someone should help them!"

I'm not saying you should always give to homeless people, but there is definitely a difference in self-centeredness that is visible.

teenagers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47453963)

I wonder how many of those concerned about global warming also have teenagers running up their power bills.

Energy Conservation (4, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 7 months ago | (#47453965)

People need electricity to conduct the business of their lives. The issue is not that we use electricity, Electricity isn't a pollutant, burning coal is a Pollutant. Electricity use isn't going to go down. The stupidity of this, is that we don't have Thorium power plants, or Microwave Satellites. (I think the reason Solar Power is failing is because the Earth's atmosphere is creating problems for the sun's Energy to reach us, but I could be wrong.)

But we're not, we are still, burning, to our own stupid jackassery, coal. It's insane.

Re:Energy Conservation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454231)

This is a really good point. A strong economy uses lots of energy without limitation. The key is producing that robust electricity cleanly.

I don't see home electrical use to be an effective use of time or money for reducing GW impact, and the best economies will use power for everything. Thus, give me a ton of clean, renewable electricity. k-thx-bye.

Gore is a good example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47453967)

All this concern about the environment does not prevent some of the biggest alarmists from using extravagant amounts of energy. Be it in the form of travel by private jet or by owning large homes...Outstanding examples of this hypocrisy: Al Gore, Tom Freedman, Pachauri.

Captcha: doubter

Re: Gore is a good example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454057)

Gore? Who has solar panels installed on his home? Who uses energy efficient bulbs? Who drives hybrid cars? Who puts more of his own money into green energy than you will ever have?

I suppose if you want him to live the life of an ascetic, he isn't doing that, but he is hardly saying you should either.

Good luck complaining about his Nashville mansion though, that analysis failed to note it was done during a remodeling. I suppose you could complain if you wanted him to hire the Amish to do it.

Re: Gore is a good example (4, Interesting)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 7 months ago | (#47454265)

The fact that he owns that large of a home for he and his wife is a bit telling. The fact that he owns more than one is a bit telling. Does he also shut them down entirely when he is not using them? No, then he is wasting electricity. Which hybrid limo is he being chauffered around in? How often does he travel commercial vs. private?

It is a given that I'll use more (2)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 7 months ago | (#47453973)

I'm concerned about the environment, but it is really a given that over time I'll use more electricity. Technology may get more energy efficient, but we will get more things that demand that energy. I'm under no illusion that I'll be able to meaningfully lower my emissions more then trying to fix the big things, like getting an electric car and upgrading my AC to a more energy efficient model. Everything else is just a drop in the bucket. Around here the pollution mainly comes from cars and trucks that are far out of repair and coal power plants. The only other thing we can do is get private solar power.
So my part will be to get an electric car and solar panels, but those are still a couple years away for me for economic reasons. The sooner they are more affordable and have longer range, the sooner I'll be able to take advantage of those technologies. Or I need to get a raise ;)

Or the converse... (4, Insightful)

stoborrobots (577882) | about 7 months ago | (#47453975)

Is a possible interpretation of the data that "people who don't use much energy, don't feel the need to worry about climate change"?

IMO (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 7 months ago | (#47453977)

I personally suspect that the people who might worry the most about it may already be convinced that it is too late... and any actions that we take now will at best only make a difference of a couple of generations, at most... leading them, perhaps ironically, to not really make any serious effort to take responsibility for what they may be able to do to slow it down.

Doesn't prove a damned thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47453985)

"The findings were based on the Household Electricity Survey, which closely monitored the electricity use and views of 250 families over a year. "

Over a year? So what? If its based on a mere year or two, nearly every family in the world would have increased or remained at parity when it comes to electrical usage simply because of increased computer/electronics/cell phone usage. That doesn't mean they don't worry about the climate change, it just means energy usage changes have offset our increased electrical in electronics.

Re:Doesn't prove a damned thing (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#47454121)

it does mean they haven't looked into more low power fridges, more low power computing and more low power tv's etc and have gone with increased lighting and ac.. ie that they're not really trying.

Re:Doesn't prove a damned thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454227)

How often do you buy a Fridge?

Electric card (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 7 months ago | (#47453993)

Do they drive electric cars, and use more electricity as a result. Electricity use is a rather misleading metric.

Global warming is ensured anyways... (0, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#47454001)

Maybe 20 years ago, there would have been a chance of doing something effective. That time is past. And as the comments here doubtlessly will show there are still enough dumb fucks who do even at this late time not "believe" in global warming. (As this was somehow a religious question...)

But GigaDeaths aren't yet unavoidable.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454203)

And those are the sort of numbers you are talking.

Lower part of India, most of the Coast US - hell, most of coastal everywhere, which are the mostly densely populated urban areas. And guess what, the people who aren't flooded out aren't going to be exactly welcoming of refugees.

Poorly reported study (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454017)

As reported they imply that they didn't control for other variables.

The real report says that age and socioeconomic factors have a significant impact on energy use.

Caring about the climate has a much smaller impact. But when controlling for the other variables, it does result in slightly less energy consumption.

Or cut back on the kids (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 7 months ago | (#47454023)

I no longer have any patience, I'm old. When people tell me how important the environment is I ask them how many kids they have. It's amazing how few people see the connection between themselves and the world.

"Someone else will solve the problem, we have a career/life/car/house program to follow here, buster!"

Re:Or cut back on the kids (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 months ago | (#47454165)

Whether you have kids, or you import a brood of children from Mexico (cheap labor), the population growth vacuum will be filled. If you're not paying for your kids, your tax dollars will most certainly be paying for others in the form of welfare.

i think (know) climate change is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454025)

and my electric bill is under $30 a month.

Re:i think (know) climate change is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454395)

Yep and a lot of people think they know that there is an Abrahamaic God.

Environment - how it works (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454035)

Will it cost me time or money ?

YES: Global warming does not exist

NO: Yes I care about the environment

Energy Use? too short a time frame (1)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about 7 months ago | (#47454041)

I've been deliberately conserving my energy use. Adding insulation. Only using room air conditioners (Any one with central air needs to get a clue). For over 2 decades.
Not perfect, but trying to strike a balance. The AC runs less than a few weeks a year.
I'm not sure what this study is about. Probably someone is trying to game the system.

Re:Energy Use? too short a time frame (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454305)

Any one with central air needs to get a clue

You've obviously never been to Texas.

Re:Energy Use? too short a time frame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454351)

It doesn't matter if you use central air or room AC. If you turn that thing off when you leave then back on when you get home every day, your using far more energy than if you just left it on. Bulk of the work in heating and cooling is getting the building to the desired temperature, barring bad construction it shouldn't require much energy to keep it at that temperature. I don't understand why people can't figure this one out when the exact same concept applies to their oven and fridge.

If anyone actually cared... (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#47454049)

They'd do something about planned obsolescence.

We literally build things to fall apart. The waste from that alone is staggering.

Imagine if practically everything where build to last, be easily repaired, easily upgraded, etc.

When your washing machine breaks did the whole thing break or did a 2 cent nut break? Exactly. But it isn't practical to repair it because its so difficult that its cheaper to just buy a new one.

This is by design. What is more, the parts are intentionally designed to all wear out. They use plastic for parts of machines that should be in metal... parts that experience heat that over time melt and deform. This causes big parts of the machine to fail.

Then you have parts that really must wear out like light bulbs but they aren't modular.

If we did this the amount of things we needed to get made on a regular basis would fall dramatically.

This would have a bigger influence on climate change then any other idea proposed... EVER.

But no one wants to do it because it would effect our industrial supply chain that change the whole way everything is made.

Well, until we do this... all climate change talk is a waste of time largely propagated my the incurious and the stupid.

I have no patience for those discussions... they're a waste of time.

We don't need carbon caps. All that does is give governments an excuse to raise taxes which is the only reason the politicians are even interested in this discussion.

What we need is to change our industrial model. And the sick thing is that if we do this we won't even suffer for it. We'll maintain our existing standard of living. All of it. The gains in efficiency will so outstrip everything that it won't matter. The amount of STUFF that has to be made on a yearly basis could fall to less then a tenth of what we currently produce. Which means the carbon debt of our industry without any effort to make it use less carbon per unit production would fall to a tenth.

This would also mean we wouldn't need to import all this shit from china because if you're buying a lot less you can afford to pay more. US manufacturing costs are at most 20 percent higher then china. If you're purchases fall to 10 percent then paying 20 percent more then 10 percent is easily justified.

This is the solution. It has always been the solution. Until this happens... nothing in the discussion of climate change is relevant. Its just hot air.

Re:If anyone actually cared... (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 7 months ago | (#47454105)

It's not the products, it is the cost of labor that prevents repairs. When labor has a reasonable price, it's no big deal to get a replacement plastic doohickey. So it breaks every six months - who cares? Call the repair man and pay $5 for the repair and the part. On the other hand, when a service call is $75-150, and a new machine is $300-400, people are only making a rational economic choice. Plus the cost of missing work so you can stay home to meet the repair man - who may or may not show up.

Re:If anyone actually cared... (1)

goddidit (988396) | about 7 months ago | (#47454209)

In some cases it can be more expensive for the environment to make things last. For instance, it can be logistically more efficient to manufacture more weak products instead of distributing massive amount of spare parts. Fixing things needs to meet the QoE of buying new instead of the huge waiting times commonly associated with fixing old. In addition, people buy lots of stuff to just collect dust (freedom of choice and all that), if we continue consuming as we do now, and increase the strength of the products in majority of the cases it would count to nothing.

Re:If anyone actually cared... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 months ago | (#47454361)

But "new things." How can we improve without "new things"?

Re:If anyone actually cared... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#47454429)

Modular upgrades.

Most things aren't completely new but rather simply have a new PART. Replace that part and you almost always have something equal in capability to the "new thing" that new part is often very small and relatively inexpensive to produce when compared to the whole.

duh (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#47454053)

People with brains don't cut back on energy use. What's easier? Every single person, as in millions of people, lives like a post-apocalyptic refugee and uses 50% less power while the population continues to increase by 50% quite quickly
That power plant down the street starts pulling power out of thin air with solar and wind and everyone keeps doing whatever they want. Gee, I wonder which solution is more durable. There is no level of power saving that will fix climate change. It HAS TO be fixed at the source.

Hell Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454067)

Mine the landfills instead of picking though crap at every house.

Hypocrisy feels great (3, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 7 months ago | (#47454069)

It is a wonderful thing to tell everyone else how to behave, shame them when they deviate from your plan, and then do the opposite privately. It is what humans have aspired to for thousands of years.

See, when you start thinking your shit doesn't stink, this is what happens. You want more. You think that the law is a fine thing, but just for the little people to follow. Someone such as yourself shouldn't be held back by such trivial concerns. Morality? It's backwards, its only purpose is to hold you back from what you deserve in life [wsj.com] . Hypocrisy becomes not something bad, but a stamp of approval for your lifestyle. You relax and let everything flow. Of course, in public, you strongly condemn others, and you will take action and spend money to maintain the mask of respectability.

Why do the powerful always become outraged when the little people successfully make a point? How dare those little shits speak to me like that? It's not something new, it's been around forever. This is the default of human behavior, when it doesn't happen, that is exceptional. Why is it noteworthy that the global warming brigade does the same thing? The fact that they hold themselves over the rest of us should be a flashing neon sign that things just ain't right.

"'Rotten?' said Uncle Andrew with a puzzled look. 'Oh, I see. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true: most right and proper, I'm sure, and I'm very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys -- and servants -- and women -- and even people in general, can't possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny.'

As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on his Uncle's face the moment before Polly had vanished: and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew's grand words. 'All it means,' he thought to himself, 'is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants.'"

-- The Magician's Nephew

Re:Hypocrisy feels great (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about 7 months ago | (#47454261)

Of course the entire point of this article (and others like it) is to give right-wingers are an excuse to feel superior to "those hypocrites on the left". So let's not get too self-congratulatory about our own ethical honesty, shall we? It amounts to the same thing in the end.

The thing is, there is a difficult problem to be solved. Finger-pointing and denunciations aren't going to solve it. Expecting the bulk of humanity to spontaneously reduce their carbon footprint -- simply because it's the right thing to do -- is clearly not a viable strategy either. If we really want to solve this problem, it will take hard work, determination, and ingenuity, of both the technical and political varieties. And it will take seeing other people as thr fallable-but-well-meaning human beings they generally are, not as cartoon villains to fear or paper targets to take pot-shots at.

A little more constructive dialog, and a little less demagoguery, please. I'll start: a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be a good way to tilt the market away from carbon usage without restricting it to any pre-ordained solutions that might or might not be sufficient.

not a valid study (1)

fermion (181285) | about 7 months ago | (#47454071)

Electricity use is largely driven by the stuff you have. The more stuff, the more electricity that is used. In the US one might use a lot of electricity, but maybe you buy your electricity from a company that has lower CO2 emmissions. Sure, the electricity one uses might come from coal, but you are creating demand for cleaner sources, and in the long term helping to control the situation. Conservation is part of the issue, but if you buying energy star equipment, for instance, and buy clean electricity, and still using more, then one can't say that you are not really concerned about global warming.

In any case there are probably more significant way that a person contributes to the carbon problem. Cars are a good example. Petrol is mostly carbon, and no matter how clean we make the exaust, and it is clean, there is still carbon that has to be expelled as CO and CO2. Asking someone how much petrol they consume a year is therefore a much better indicator, although in the UK the car ownership and use is probably not as great as in the US.

Then there is food. A kilowatt hour of electricity is like a kg of CO2, burning a gallon of gas is like 8kg, and eating a pound of beef is like 50 kg. Eating chicken, according to the OECD, cuts that in a quarter. So someone who uses too much electricity but each chicken instead of beef, or even tofu with cuts in a quarter again, is probably doing more good that some who has beef every day but is very frugal on the electricity.

No surprise (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 7 months ago | (#47454073)

If they knew how much they (and the entire economy) had to cut back to do anything substantial about AGW they'd be climate change deniers.

Re:No surprise (1)

itzly (3699663) | about 7 months ago | (#47454399)

It is irrational to deny the facts just because you don't like them.

Why would I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454079)

I mean, really, why would I cut my electricity use? I often see on the news my power company asking it's customers (pretty much everyone, since they have a monopoly, no competitor or alternative on that side) to limit their consummation during x and y time... Are you kidding me? They are producing so much that there's a massive excess of energy in the hundreds of MW, even during peak hours, that they can sell it to other countries/provinces...

Not only that, but my power is made from Hydro energy, it's as green as can be, while it can damage the immediate environment(dam construction, water flooding valleys..), it doesn't pollute the air or the soil.

So really, why should I cut my energy usage?

One catch: the starting point (1, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 7 months ago | (#47454131)

People who're worried about climate change would likely be people who've already started cutting electricity usage. If you've already been doing things to cut down for several years already, how likely are you to be able to still make big gains? Not very. It's a lot easier to get those when you haven't cared and can still do the easy things like replacing burned-out incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs, or replacing an old less-efficient refrigerator with a new one when remodeling the kitchen. It's not so easy when you did all those things, and replaced the windows with double-pane insulated ones and had the heating/cooling system upgraded to a modern unit, several years ago and now all that's left would be very-big-ticket items like a solar power system or infeasible stuff like completely rebuilding the house using modern materials and construction.

Re:One catch: the starting point (0)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 months ago | (#47454357)

That's a fair observation. I don't care about the climate -- it's a lie anyway. What I care about is saving money. Just about all of my bulbs produce less heat now. I do a lot of things like that now and have been for a long time. I don't do it for anyone but myself though. I bought an efficient car so I don't have to spend as much on gasoline. I did it for the money. If some pollster asked me if I care about the environment and what I am doing to help it, I would be disqualified immediately because I would say "No, I don't care about the environment, I care about my money." No one wants to hear that though. What they want is more people to join the armies of brainless "we care" socialists to support more initiatives that harm their own interests. I just love how many black people are still supporting Obama despite the fact that they are worse off under his policies and executive orders and especially now with the flood of UACs he has orchestrated. Morons.

It amazes me what actually works on people. The media says "good people do this. are you a good person?" And they fall for it each and every time. "good people don't own guns. do you own guns?" And no one is a peace-loving, person of the cloth any more... now they are characterized as "bible-thumping haters." How are people not dizzy from all of that spin? No, only Islam is a religion of peace any longer... that one founded by a warlord?

And people don't even have to understand the little details. All they have to see is what's not working and that's pretty plain for all to see.

hate idiotic reacitonary gotcha "studies" (1)

pezpunk (205653) | about 7 months ago | (#47454185)

uhhh maybe people who are in favor of energy conservation correctly realize that an individual acting alone to conserve power is pointless and insignificant given the scale of the problem they are worried about, while political policies, protesting or speaking out might actually have a measurable positive effect.

i could go live a energy-neutral lifestyle as a hermit in the woods and it would do no good in the long run. maybe it's naive, but working for political policies that support energy conservation seems to have far more potential to address the problem than a thousand recluses.

Re:hate idiotic reacitonary gotcha "studies" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454295)

You and Al Gore think alike. If everyone lived like Al Gore the world would be ....?

Re:hate idiotic reacitonary gotcha "studies" (1)

pezpunk (205653) | about 7 months ago | (#47454421)

we agree that responsible energy management is a problem and individuals acting alone won't make a difference long term? sounds like a sensible gentleman.

Home energy use in the US is not a major GW factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454219)

Consumer autos in the US are less than a percent of global fuel use. Home heating is slightly more, but China owns the lions share. My state uses primarily hydro electric power. Thus, using less energy in my home is unlikely to have a significant impact on global fuel consumption.

If you want significant change, you're going to need an accord with India, China and every other major fuel consumer.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. (1)

sahuxley (2617397) | about 7 months ago | (#47454223)


People are fine with worrying about something (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 7 months ago | (#47454241)

Until they have to change their lifestyle. Then, they'll only do it if there is some reason. Otherwise like like to whine that Someone should Do Something! They'll wring their hands about the evil corporation/rich/whatever that are supposedly responsible, like shit on Facebook that says it is about change, and go back to living how they always have.

Reason is reducing energy use requires compromise in one form or another. You can either choose to stop doing/using some things, or you can invest more money in more efficient equipment (which of course means less to spend on fun stuff, at least in the short term).

Personally I'm a fan of option 2. You put more money in to efficiency and you reduce your energy usage and, in the long term, expenses. However it can cost a lot up front. My AC died a few years ago, cost of repair was way too high so it needed replacement. Well I had the option of getting a replacement for about $4800ish. However that was low efficiency, equivalent to the unit that my place came with. A high efficiency unit was $7000ish. Whole lot more money, I've not made it back, but it was worth it in my opinion.

Turns out you can affect a fairly substantial energy reduction if you work to buy efficient devices. Now that doesn't mean run out and replace everything (there's a lot of energy in building something too) but if when something needs replacement you get a high quality model that is more efficient and has a longer service life, you can do a good bit. You can then do even more with other changes to your life, like biking to work if feasible.

However I find most people don't agree. They go for what's cheapest now, long run be damned. That includes those that care about the environment, climate change, oil, etc. They "care" only to the extent of talking about it and suggesting others should do something. They are disinterested in making changes to their life.

Household electricity use is not a factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454255)

The worst way of producing electricity CO2-wise is coal with about 1kg CO2 per kWh. American households, on average, consume 10 MWh annually. There are 115 million households in US. I.e. all American households combined, if they consumed only coal-fired electricity, would produce 1.15 billion tons CO2. In reality this figure is much lower because not all electricity is from coal (according to EPA, it looks more like 0.66 billion tons of CO2). This is 12% of total US emissions. Say we are to cut electricity consumption of households in half (how?), we will get only 6% of US emission reduction or 325 million tons reduced. Reduction of domestic electricity use will produce the most irritation to the populace while not delivering any significant benefit. If one wants to look at reduction seriously, she needs to consider commercial electricity, transportation and industrial emissions (here's a good place to look for non-CO2 greenhouse gases as well). But if you want to make an appearance of caring about the environment or somehow "educate the next generation" which will be living when catastrophic climate change will become irreversible according to current models then of course, let's live in cold and darkness and feel good about ourselves.


Ahem... Al Gore (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | about 7 months ago | (#47454269)

Ahem... Al Gore

News flash (1)

SiliconSeraph (996818) | about 7 months ago | (#47454283)

Convenience trumps personal philosophy most of the time.

How obvious does the news have to be? (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 months ago | (#47454297)

People who advocate giving money to "the poor" and "disadvantaged" do not give their own to the poor and disadvantged -- they just get other people to do it. Just like the people who are pushing the UACs all over the US. Are they inviting these children into THEIR gated communities? No. "It's the right thing [for other people] to do."

When will people just open their eyes? Radical socialist nations got that way under the leadership of and influence of famously rich and exploitative people who united people under the promise of equality and utopia and are somehow suprised when their government takes away their freedom and points guns at them all the time. How many nations ended up like this? And we want that here too? Really?

You know what makes people save energy? High energy bills. We don't have "high" energy bills in areas where the government supplements [corporate welfare] energy companies. All these "capitalists" are amazingly non-capitalist.

Look on either side. Nobody does or means what they say.

And I still can't believe that people still don't know what was really behind the Hobby Lobby issue. Maybe you heard it from me first, but it has been out there for quite some time. But it turns out that such exemptions already existed but previously just for non-profits. And in those cases, under Obamacare, those birth control benefits (keeping in mind that birth control means abortive measures, not prevention measures) are STILL covered but are required to be paid for by INSURANCE COMPANIES. This battle was never about whether or not for-profit conpanies can have moral objections to anything. It is about insurance companies not wanting to keep their end of the bargain they wrote for themselves. They are making windfall profits on this and they don't want to give any of it back.

Okay going a bit off-topic but I don't care. Things are getting increasingly stupid and the media is pushing out increasingly obvious and blatant lies. I just wonder at what point the common drones out there will begin to notice.

Interesting. I don't care but have reduced my use (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 months ago | (#47454307)

I mean seriously- why not save $450 a year by slowly replacing your light bulbs with LED and CFL bulbs? Or putting in a little insulation. Or having a higher SEER rated AC unit (in the north or temperate areas) or a higher EER rated AC unit (in areas that are really hot for several months). (Seer is measured with a lower temperature difference than EER).

As for climate change. Well, maybe I care a little but we are not going address the root cause (too many human beings on the planet) so it's going to happen. Heck- the "max" population keeps rising lately. I think the max projected is up to 11 billion now.

30 Watts makes *huge* difference (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47454311)

Yeah, it's because they don't see much real benefit from the suggested austerity. And the others do much, much more sensible steps, like encouraging birth control and not having 10 kids because they don't run farms that need cheap manual labor.

Funding sexual education that includes the facts about birth control is *much* more effective at reducing humanity's "carbon footprint". And educating women, especially, helps. Too bad too many poor countries, or countries with ridiculous disparities between the wealthy and the rest of the quite poor population, specialize in making them headscarf burdened, clitorectomized, uneducated, receptacles of much older men's seed to bear as many children as possible to promote their particular version of Yahoo-Wahoo. (The original Hebrew did not include vowels, so it might have been Yahoo-Wahoo!)

I blame monotheism. The idea that there is one god, and His Word Is Law(tm) with no other gods to turn to, is the source of so much social and personal evil, it's beyond Belief.

Anyone concerned about resource consumption (1)

JonathanR (852748) | about 7 months ago | (#47454379)

already knows about the Jevons' paradox.

Live it up. Use it all liberally before some horde of misers ration it sparingly.

Catching the big choices (4, Insightful)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 7 months ago | (#47454407)

I am not sure this study captures the some of the bigger decisions made to conserve energy. For instance, here is what I have done: I live in a condo that has a high walk score, so I don't have to drive much. We are close to transit and we use it. I purchased a Prius, which gets 60mpg. Given that and the fact that we barely drive, our monthly gas bill is about $50. One tank per month. I don't eat much meat. This substantially reduces the carbon emissions from the production chain of my food. However, according to this study, I am being remiss if my electricity bill isn't lower than my neighbours' bills. The study is flawed. My overall carbon emissions are way lower than average but this study would overlook me.

Talk is cheap (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about 7 months ago | (#47454409)

<tt>Joyful active&nbsp; fyucking bytch Gaias *zzwhole needs&nbsp; consistent and robust use of carbon based fuels.&nbsp; Coal, oil, gas and even wood each contribute their own goodness. Smoke-it-up,&nbsp; hurt a smug Green/warmist today and make tomorrow better!</tt>

So the campaign by the enegy companies is working. (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 7 months ago | (#47454437)

... flooding the news media with misleading information about climate change.

"Research" (and I use that term loosely) about the problems with the science of climate change apparently is quietly funded by the very energy companies that are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Energy companies which would have revenue issues if they were held accountable for the pollution they pump into our ecosystem.

The main question I have to ask is what the opinions reflected in the survey really reflect, a reaction to the misleading campaigns of the climate change deniers, or an actual understanding of what is happening to our planet.

Take a look at the issues in Miami [newrepublic.com] due to increasing water levels...

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