RE: the wonderful article by Mary-Agnes Welch ‘Are we Power Dumb?‘ WFP 24-08-13
Bravo Ms. Welch! But as accurate and helpful as this article is it is equally lamentable that the leadership on this issue, Conservation, is coming from the media and not the government. There are so many opportunities to save electricity that would make building more dams up north unnecessary. Remembering, of course, that a Hydro dam is not about conservation but about choosing a renewable resource instead of a carbon source, often at considerable cost to the local environment near and downstream of the dam.
Many people have seen those pictures of N. America at night as taken from satellites…. incredible waste! Also most people are becoming aware that LED Christmas lights cost a fraction (Approx. 1/5th) of the cost of incandescent bulbs , and are gentler and more attractive too. Also, car manufacturers have ‘seen the light’ and have massively changed to LEDs.
However, it will take government leadership to connect those dots and institute a large scale re-thinking of our use of electricity. From the lighting of homes, streets, commercial signs, offices, and work places the change to LEDs would not only save electricity it might with a re-evaluation of the long disproven theory that brighter lights actually improve visibility and safety, make night time in our cities a much healthier and pleasant experience…. A visit to Old Quebec City is proof that ‘Less is More’… more pleasant, just as safe, and better visibility too! [There is a very important component of ‘focused light’ that is essential to this discussion too!]
If anyone is thinking this is a new and recent concept, they don’t remember Expo 67 and the advanced lighting systems there, and I doubt that many remember that cars were forbidden to use their ‘blindly bright‘ headlamps in town before the squandering of light, and all sources of energy for quick profit, subsumed all rationality in the last century.
Thanks to the WFP and Ms. Welch for beginning the discussion. Let’s hope it is a beginning!