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Power Stats United Kingdom

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use 710

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-build-a-few-nuclear-reactors dept.
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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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

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  • Re:user error (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArmoredDragon (3450605) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @12:30AM (#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.

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @12:36AM (#47454069) Homepage

    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:user error (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @12:57AM (#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.

  • by kwbauer (1677400) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @01:10AM (#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?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @01:19AM (#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.

  • Re:No real surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @01:19AM (#47454313) Homepage

    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.

  • by GiordyS (3739931) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:16AM (#47454557)
    I have found many people who believe in catastrophic man-made global warming are incredibly ignorant of what the science actually says.

    It is difficult to find a critical voice among the global warming supporters (nobody wants to risk being ostracized as a denier I guess), so if you want to read anything remotely critical of global warming beliefs, you have to turn to the skeptics. (Who objected when James Hansen told everyone that the oceans would boil? Any exaggeration it seems, no matter how blatant, is condoned by pro-warmers.)

    But when you read what the IPCC actually has to say about the issue, you get a different picture. I always see the pro-warminst sites trying their best to make these 'official reports' sound as gloomy as possible. On the other hand, check out Matt Ridley's interpretation [financialpost.com]. Or on video [ideacityonline.com] if you like.
  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:55AM (#47454931)

    If we don't solve the problem ourselves then nature will solve it for us and it won't be pretty. Those are the choices in a finite world.

  • Re:No real surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nephandus (2953269) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @04:23AM (#47455023)
    Why wasn't this modded funny? That list clearly was ironic, right? Anyone actually believing that would be fucking creepy...
  • by AudioEfex (637163) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @05:03AM (#47455123)

    LED lightbulbs *are* amazing.

    I have moved my entire home to them. They aren't even that much more expensive - you can get ones bright enough for reading with standard lamps for about $8-10 each. When you consider their benefits they are well-worth it. It's not even that they use even less energy than halogen, but how long they are rated to last (the brand I buy has the almost absurd rating of like 30 years under normal usage 4-6 hours a day), the quality of light and the speed of coming on (much better than those damn halogen pieces of junk), plus the little to no heat factor (I can place my palm directly on the brightest one I have, that's been going for hours, and just feel slightly warm; lower powered ones like I use in the bathroom are actually cool to the touch while in use), they are a no-brainer.

    The sad part is, they aren't being sold very widely at general retail yet. The only place I have found really pushing them is Lowe's in the US - where I've bought all of mine. You can find a few here or there elsewhere, but they usually only carry a tiny selection of the more expensive types that are $25+. I really have to give it to Lowe's on this one - at least half of their light bulb selection now is LED and they support them with endcap displays and sales.

    I really hope they catch on soon. I know many folks who switched to halogen years ago when they first became available, but since they have so many drawbacks (they just are a pool of suck), they've since switched back to incandescent because, you know, they actually turn on at full brightness, don't have that wispy strange lighting quality, and since they don't last any longer than incandescent just end up costing more. I've gotten many to switch to LED, and everyone raves about them - especially when the first electric bill comes in.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @08:21AM (#47455843) Homepage

    Why does every anti-environmentalist immediately turn to a straw man argument? *sigh*

    The goal is to make things better, not worse. Energy efficiency reduces power consumption while improving quality of life (smaller/lighter batteries, less pollution, cool new features etc.) Replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy provides the same amount of energy, just cleanly.

    Look at Germany. They are not freezing to death or wondering around in the dark. Sure, in the short term energy prices are high while the transition is made, but there is widespread public support because they see the long term result. They will be far less beholden to energy companies, far freer to generate and sell their own power to the grid, and far more secure when oil prices start to rise again.

    The industry isn't going to "evolve naturally". The industry is only interested in cementing its position as the sole supplier of energy at the maximum price possible. Look what happened in California - at the first opportunity they were creating black-outs just to make more money. They certainly are not going to build a smart, distributed grid that benefits the consumers at their own expense. Again, just look at the way they are attacking residential solar with extra charges and below-market rates.

    Green energy makes industry even more competitive. The reason so many factories in Japan have solar PV on the roof is not because they find it aesthetically pleasing, it's because it saves them vast amounts of money on energy. The market in the US is distorted by fracking at the moment, but given time solar will get cheaper and gas more expensive.

  • Re:user error (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dins (2538550) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @08:28AM (#47455877)
    Yeah, my thoughts on climate change and the environment are kind of mutually exclusive. Maybe climate change is man-made, maybe it's not. But who cares. We're eventually going to run out of fossil fuels, and they're very dirty so why are we using them? I like a clean environment because I like a clean environment, and I think we should be doing everything we possibly can to get off fossil fuels as soon as possible. We are not currently doing enough. And if man-made climate change is happening due to our carbon emissions, well, a side effect will be improving that!

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