Posted by Norman Fong, May 24th, 2012
National Geographic’s March 2009 issue has an interesting article on Energy Conservation. They track people trying to reduce their CO2 emissions by 80%.
- An energy audit revealed that their house was 50% leakier than it should be.
- Buildings, not cars, produce the most CO2 in the United States. Private residences, shopping malls, warehouses, and offices account for 38 percent of the nation’s emissions, mainly because of electricity use.
- Retrofits and smart design could reduce emissions from buildings in this country by 200 million tons of CO2 a year, according to researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. But Americans are unlikely to achieve such gains, they say, without new building codes, appliance standards, and financial incentives. There are simply too many reasons not to.
- After buildings, transportation is the next largest source of CO2, producing 34 percent of the nation’s emissions. Carmakers have been told by Congress to raise fuel economy standards by 40 percent by 2020. But emissions will still grow, because the number of miles driven in this country keeps going up.
- How much CO2 could we save if the whole nation went on a low carbon diet? A study by McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, estimated that the United States could avoid 1.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions a year, using only existing technologies that would pay for themselves in savings.