[Marxism] privatizing the grid--a local perspective

Richard Menec bookfind at mymts.net
Thu Feb 9 20:20:09 MST 2012

"DW" <dwaltersmia at gmail.com>

> My lunch time reply to Richard, et al on the issue of energy.

I'm not sure why DW is responding in the way he is.  My post was simply to 
add a residential component to what were some very thoughtful suggestions 
from Hans.  Doing so does not mean I'm an advocate of "personal decisions" 
or "individual" solutions to the enormous problems we face, so I'm more than 
a bit puzzled.  I've spend a half lifetime around construction sites 
(residential, agricultural, commercial) as framer, job supervisor, and 
consultant.  I've kept my eyes open and made inquiries which included some 
reading (Stuart Chase's 1925 "The Tragedy of Waste" was my starting point), 
and the energy waste to be calculated from faulty orientation alone is 
phenomenal.  Picture massive highrises with glass walls facing north and 
shuttered or shaded southern exposures in a Manitoba climate, where 
temperatures frequently drop to -40 C in the coldest months of January and 
February.  Take your time; let it soak in!

But let's take Mr. Walter's comments at face value; let's assume he's 
correct.  And then let's look at a flow chart --  
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-energy_1.html -- and, apart from the 
incredible amount of wasted energy (58%!) -- identify what's missing from 
the diagram.  As a builder I'll tell you what's missing from this diagram. 
We could standardize our National Building Codes to ensure proper 
orientation to or away from the sun, depending on our location, and couple 
that with a few tweaks like insulation and shading and reduce total energy 
needs by half or more.  I've experimented with this on residential housing 
and reduced energy use by over 70%, and I'm not talking new construction 
here (which is even easier in terms of energy savings), but renovated older 
buildings.  So let's go back to that flow chart after we've saved all this 
energy, which we know is possible unless we've still got our heads stuck in 
the sand.  All the ratios on that chart will still be more or less the same, 
but the totality of energy use will have dropped substantially.  Solar will 
still have a miserly appearance even though it accounts for most of the 
savings gained.

I understand the urgency of the matter, and can see why people like George 
Monbiot and Mr. Walters think nuclear is the only solution.  Whatever is 
decided (if anything is indeed decided!) a massive public works program will 
be required to try and limit the effects of global warming. I think we can 
achieve a quicker and more environmentally sound result with retrofits and 
changes to our Building Codes along with many of the other excellent 
suggestions Hans has already commented on.


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