Posts Tagged ‘Lights Out’

Spencer Abraham–We need good energy policy

January 22, 2011

At our GreenHomes  continuing education conference yesterday, we had the opportunity to hear from from Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.  Among other things, he discussed his book, Lights Out!,  Some good nuggets.  While you may or may not agree with all his conclusions or recommendations, he does point out the tremendous urgency we face to change the way we think about energy in the U.S. and get serious about it.

And last month, we heard a similar story from current Secretary, Steven Chu, and his discussion of an energy “Sputnik” moment.

A Bush-era appointee and an Obama appointee both highlighting the need to act quickly with a smart energy policy.  Some of their specifics differ.  But there is huge overlap.  And I’ve personally heard both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate echo the same sentiments.  And yet, on what should be a strong bi-partisan–indeed, non-partisan–national priority item, Congress can’t seem to take action.  Let’s hope that changes in the 112th.


Earth Hour 2010

March 26, 2010

In roughly 24 hours, Earth Hour 2010 will begin, and people across the globe will shut off their lights for one hour in order to make a statement.  However you feel about global warming, everyone can agree that conserving resources, and turning off lights when we don’t need them, is good for our society and our world.
Tomorrow night, the centers and capitals of over 4,000 towns and cities will go dark in order to remind us of the importance of conservation in our daily lives. From Lima to Las Vegas, from the Empire State Building to the Eiffel Tower, cities large and small across the globe will be declaring their dedication to protecting the environment we inhabit.  
I support Earth Hour 2010 because reducing energy waste is a great idea—and Earth Hour helps call attention to it. It’s easy in the modern world to forget about where energy comes from when you can illuminate your house with the flick of a finger, but each minute that a light bulb is burning unnecessarily is a minute that fuel is being wasted.  And in the U.S. more than 50% of our electricity comes from dirty coal.  By cutting down on our energy waste, we will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, improve our air quality, and decrease the load that energy companies are facing on a daily basis, all while helping homeowners save money on their energy bills. Who isn’t in favor of that?
Last year over 1 billion people participated in Earth Hour 2009, check out this video to see some of the cities that joined in:

If you want to join us in supporting Earth Hour 2010, turn off your lights today, Saturday, March 27th, at 8:30 PM EDT.  Remember, though, the value here is educational and inspiration.  To really get lasting energy savings, and have a long-term impact, you need to make bigger changes with bigger impacts in your home, the type of energy-efficiency improvements we discuss here at the time.

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