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Praise for Cooler Smarter“Clear, readable, and genuinely smart, Cooler Smarter answers the question concerned citizens everywhere are asking: What can we do to make a difference?”—ELIZABETH KOLBERT, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change“Finally, an excellent, short, and readable book that is replete with examples of what each of us can do to improve our lives and, at the same time, reduce our carbon footprint by using energy more efficiently. Whatever your view may be about climate change projections, there are no good arguments that favor wasting energy and launching the world’s climate into an uncertain future.”—NEAL LANE, Malcolm Gillis University Professor, Rice University, former White House Science Advisor and former Director of the National Science Foundation“Cooler Smarter provides great advice backed by data, analysis, and examples. I was surprised how only a few simple steps can cut your environmental footprint by 20 percent—and most of those steps don’t involve sacrifice, but rather pay for themselves and help you lead a healthier life. I plan on implementing several of these strategies and hope others do, too!”— RICK NEEDHAM, Director, Energy and Sustainability, Google “We can break our addiction to fossil fuels, stave off the worst of global warming, and generate quality jobs that allow us to support our families and build for the future—but only if we work together and each of us does our part. This smart, sensible, and easy-to-use book lays out the most effective steps each of us can take right now.” — VAN JONES, President, Rebuild the Dream, and author of The Green Collar Economy“Global warming affects all of us, no matter what our ethnicity, politics or religious affiliation. This book offers the latest scientific thinking about the most effective steps each of us can take to lower our emissions. It is a valuable tool for congregations and others who care for God’s creation.”—THE REV. CANON SALLY G. BINGHAM, President, The Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power & Light“It’s doubly important now for each of us to act to reduce our carbon footprints because Washington is doing so little. I love this book—a smart, accessible, clear-headed guide that we can all follow.” —JAMES GUSTAVE SPETH, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability“This accessible, science-based book gives each of us the information we need to do our part to reduce our carbon emissions. This is the smart tool for action many of us have been waiting for.” —TIMOTHY E. WIRTH, President, United Nations Foundation and former U.S. Senator from Colorado“A wonderful guide to smarter energy use and a cooler planet that shows how each and every one of us can contribute part of the solution for a better future. Splendidly written, accessible, and essential for any citizen—both virtually and metaphorically cool.”—THOMAS E. LOVEJOY, Biodiversity Chair, The Heinz Center and University Professor, George Mason UniversityCooler Smarter[...]... unsustainable path toward disruptions in Earth’s climate The overwhelming majority of the world’s experts on every aspect S Shulman et al., Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living, DOI 10.5822/978-1-61091-234-1_1, © 2012 The Union of Concerned Scientists 3 COOLER SMARTER of climate science have concluded that we need to make swift and deep reductions in our emissions of carbon dioxide and other... heat-trapping carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere each year would drop by well over 1 billion tons That’s as much S Shulman et al., Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living, DOI 10.5822/978-1-61091-234-1_2, © 2012 The Union of Concerned Scientists 13 COOLER SMARTER carbon dioxide as 200 of the nation’s average-sized coal-fired plants produce annually, or about half of the total U.S carbon... gives a false impression In fact, we don’t have to shiver in our homes or read by candlelight to make serious reductions in our carbon emissions Instead, we each just need to make smarter use of energy resources 17 COOLER SMARTER Step 1: Look Closely at Your Current Energy Usage When we begin to look at Americans’ energy usage, it is amazing to see how much energy we waste on average Considering that... people caused the problem, and people can solve it We already have many of the tools and technologies we need to address global warming The key is for each of us to begin to work toward solutions 9 COOLER SMARTER We all have examples of the power of individual actions But the experience of a builder in Montana named Steve Loken is particularly worth recounting One day some years ago, Loken visited a... past forecasts of future energy use in Europe and worldwide found that nearly all of the forecasts had underestimated the actual increase in renewable energy generation In one example, the Inter11 COOLER SMARTER UCS Climate Team FAST FACT Global wind energy capacity has increased at almost twice the rate estimated by the International Energy Agency, reaching nearly 160,000 megawatts in 2009 China alone... improved the energy efficiency of their homes by just 10 percent, they could cut some $20 billion from their utility bills and remove emissions equivalent to taking some 25 million cars off the road 5 COOLER SMARTER a yearlong competition with neighboring cities in their state to see who could save the most on their energy bills Many residents of Salina have doubts about the findings of climate science... Nevertheless, it’s useful for thinking about the problem The first thing to notice is that the biggest share of Americans’ emissions comes from transportation For this reason, we begin our analysis 15 COOLER SMARTER Figure 2.1 Where the Average American’s Carbon Emissions Come From Food 14% Transportation 28% Home Heating and Cooling 17% Other Home Energy Use 15% Stuff You Buy 26% The breakdown in sources... units of measurement to most U.S readers Similarly, discussions of “carbon emissions” refer to emissions of units of “carbon dioxide equivalent” (CO2e), as will be more fully explained in chapter 7 7 COOLER SMARTER Figure 1.1 Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions (Tons per Person Annually) 25 21 20 15 10.4 10 7.1 5.1 5 1.4 0 India 5.4 2.4 Brazil World China France Japan Average U.S The United States’ per-person... bills Some utility companies now provide information showing how your energy usage stacks up against that of your neighbors And many websites can help you calculate your carbon footprint One well- 19 COOLER SMARTER respected example is a carbon calculator developed in conjunction with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, available at http://cool climate.berkeley.edu/uscalc Websites such as this... of consumer electronics: televisions, computers, and other electronic devices Chapter 6 explores the most effective strategies for lowering the emissions from each of these sources It discusses 21 COOLER SMARTER ways to monitor your home’s electricity usage and answers such questions as whether it is better to use a microwave or a conventional oven, when to replace your refrigerator, and what to look . Praise for Cooler Smarter “Clear, readable, and genuinely smart, Cooler Smarter answers the question concerned citizens. George Mason University Cooler Smarter
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