People argue over coal versus wind, versus solar versus nuclear, but the least cost source of new energy is greater efficiciency of use. This isn’t really a brand new finding. It has been known since the 1970s. It may seem new to decision-makers, however, who out of ignorance or intent, choose to focus only on generating more energy.

Energy saving seen most effective in CO2 cutting. Reuters.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

14 Responses to Energy saving seen most effective in CO2 cutting

  1. avatar matt bullard says:

    Great article. At some point, we will need to address replacing existing old style energy production with new technology, as the last couple of paragraphs of the article suggest.

  2. avatar Monte says:

    Why worry about CO2? It is harmless.

  3. avatar matt bullard says:

    OK, don’t worry about CO2, then, Monte. Do this because it saves (makes) money and prevents other harmful pollutants like mercury from poisoning us.

  4. Carbon dioxide is not only a greenhouse gas, it also combines with water to form a weak acid — carbonic acid.

    The PH of the oceans is dropping, and the result is not just that calcium carbonate (the major ingredient of corral) becomes hard to deposit, but is redistributes the balance of oceanic microorganisms. This effect is independent of greenhouse warming which you don’t seem to believe in.

    A more acid ocean is harmful to all organisms with shells made of calcium carbonate.

    Read Whatever The Warming, Ocean Acidifies From Carbon-dioxide Buildup.

    The Acid Ocean, the other problem with carbon dioxide buildup Real Climate.

    On a Collision Course: Ocean Plankton and Climate Change. By Cherly Lyn Dynbas. BioOne.

  5. avatar Anthony H says:

    I wonder who funded the reports that Co2 isn’t harmful? Like the same type of people that stated there was no real correlation between smoking and cancer?

  6. avatar Monte says:

    We contribute so little CO2 in the grand scheme of things compared to natural sources that it makes little of no difference.

  7. Monte,

    Have you every heard of the biogeological term called “the carbon cycle?”

  8. avatar Monte says:

    Yes I have. However, there is no convincing evidence that CO2 produced by humanity is warming the earth. I agree, we should all plant trees, I might even be convinced that the earth is warming, but we are not the cause.

  9. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    thanks for this article Ralph ! Having spent a fair amount of time on renewables, i get frustrated reading, almost exclusively, about the promises of producing our way out of these energy problems.

    conserving via efficiency isn’t as sexy ~ but its more wise.

  10. avatar Concerned says:

    Well Monte,

    I will agree, that we probably are not having as big an effect as has been portrayed, but I have to disagree, that we are not warming the earth as any greenhouse gas added to the atmosphere, does indeed change the dynamics of that atmosphere..

  11. avatar Todd says:

    Monte,

    We are all entitled to our own opinion, but not to our own facts. There may not be convincing evidence for you, but for me and thousands of other scientists who have been studying this issue for decades the evidence is more than convincing. Feel free to voice your own opinions, but please be sure to include that you are disregarding decades of research.

    I am amazed at the number of people I run into who choose to believe this is all a fabricated story. I also find that 99% of them choose their position not science of climate change, but on the policy implication of that science. When the policy implications don’t fit their view of the world, they simply choose to ignore the whole problem. It is far more comforting to say “the evidence is not convincing” than to say “I don’t like policies we are developing to address this problem.” There is the science of climate change and there is the policy implication of that science. Being scared of the latter does not change the former.

    Cheers,
    Todd Ringler

  12. avatar Jon Way says:

    Todd,
    Thanks for your comments. It is absolutely amazing how people don’t see the bigger picture. In 200 years we have seen amazing changes. While there may be natural climatic weather cycles it is irresponsible (and plain stupid) for people to ignore how much CO2 we have put into the atmosphere in the past 200 years compared to pre-Industrial Revolution and not link that to the increase in temperatures we have seen.
    I agree also. You can disagree on certain things (like hunting, etc.) but to say that “I don’t believe in global warming” completely ignores and devalues the scientific process. Too bad the Bush Admin is leading that anti-science charge.

  13. avatar Monty says:

    The issue is about values verses ideology, folks with values accept facts and are open to new ideas, ideolgues “make the facts” fit their ideology! What amazes me about the “non believers” is that, in the face of hundreds climate change research projects (that become more refined with each passing day) that are a product of ridgid scientific standards & peer review produced by some very smart people, that they reject All Possibilities of human induced climate change.

    A rationale, reasonable postion would be for the non-believers to admit that there is one hell of evidence that human induced climate change is occuring & if this is correct the consquences of doing nothing are so severe that it would be foolish to wait for the final evidence. Yes, there are some scientists who contend that human induced climate is not occuring, and I hope they are right, but I am not going to fly on an airplane that has a 90% chance of crashing!


    webmaster note: posting on this topic are both Monte and Monty — different people
    .

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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