Action Now

Litus and other entities are working on technical products. What about us as individuals, what can we do? Below are some suggestions.

A PRECEDENT

During the 1970’s oil crisis, US president Jimmy Carter passed laws limiting vehicle speed to 55 mph (88 kph), heating to not above 68 F (20 C), cooling to not below 78 F (26 C). In winter he wore wool cardigans in the Oval Office. Vast numbers of people ignored these laws yet, within three months, total US energy use shrank by over 15%. No capital expenditure was involved, just adjustment of lifestyles.

DRIVING

  • A basic physics rule: twice the acceleration uses four times the energy / fuel. Feather to and away from stops.
  • Stick to the speed limit. Going from 60 mph to 75 mph increases fuel use by around 40% or more.
  • Does one really need all that “performance”, so hyped in TV commercials ?
  • When buying a new vehicle, get the one that will best meet your needs; seriously consider a hybrid.
  • How about walking short distances?

LIGHTING

  • Is a 100w bulb needed, where a 60w bulb would work just as well?
  • Light where you want to read. A desk lamp will use about an eighth of the energy as a ceiling mounted light, for the same illumination.
  • Try getting into the habit of switching off the light when leaving the room.

HEATING & AIR-CONDITIONING

  • Jimmy Carter’s precedent is the best example.

HOUSEHOLD

  • Use as little water as possible. In many cites, it has to be pumped great distances, using massive engines. Limit shower time.
  • Consider switching to more efficient electrical appliances.
  • How about cooking less? (eating raw is supposedly healthier.)
  • It takes a tremendous amount of energy and water to bring meat to the table. Try more vegetables and fruit, especially local, to cut transport losses.
  • Climate permitting, dry clothes in the sun

THE MESSAGE

If you believe CO2 needs to be cut and global warming must be slowed, reach out and tell others the story.

THE BIG PICTURE

As set out in the Engine Project page, switching to uncooled engines will cut global CO2 emissions by up to 35% within fifteen years. Spending on renewables – wind, solar, tidal power, electric vehicles – will cut CO2 again by about 25%. Increasing buildings’ efficiency would cut another 12%. Changed habits as outlined above would cut a further 15%.

By all of us plugging away, doing everything, CO2 can be cut by 75% within fifteen years. Such reductions, far greater than now thought possible, can seriously slow global warming. To indicate what is possible, Germany’s renewables are now providing nearly 30% of the average national electricity supply. 

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

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