Sunday, May 6, 2007

Broadwater Band Aid


In an editorial today, the New Haven Register has come clean with its support for the Broadwater LNG terminal to be built out in the Long Island Sound. Even if you look beyond the concerns about safety, industrialization of the Sound, visual blemishes in the skyline etc., does anyone ever stop to consider that this whole project is a shortsighted band-aid to a much bigger issue? We use too much electricity. Hellooooo. Instead of continually breaking our backs to feed the addiction, how about focusing on reducing demand. It's not difficult or expensive and we don't even have to change our lifestyles.

Europeans use half the energy that Americans use. I'm not talking about backwoods third world countries -- these are industrialized nations that in many respects enjoy a higher quality of life than we do. The hoops we jump through to feed the monkey are mind-boggling. Start with CFLs. Shut off the AC -- this is Connecticut, not Florida. Hang your laundry out to dry in the summer. Turn off your 60" television for a while and play your ukulele. Demand that the legislature tighten efficiency standards in building codes and appliances sold in the state. These are simple, common sense measures that will save us all money in the long run.

Instead of choosing the smart and cheap way out, we consistently choose the expensive and destructive path that leaves us really no better off the long run.

2 comments:

Elliot said...

Bruce, the links you provide seem to contradict your premise that citizens of other industrialized nations enjoy a higher standard of living, while consuming *half* the energy that Americans do. For example, your "higher quality of life" link lists Norway as the the country with the highest HDI (Human Development Index) based on 2004 figures. Yet, if you look at the Energy Consumption per Person, based on your "half" link, it shows that in 2004 Norway actually consumed 424 Million BTU per capita, which is 24% *higher* than the 342 Million BTU consumed per capita of the U.S.

CT Energy said...

I stand corrected. But as a whole Europeans do use about half as much energy (146 MBtu vs. 342). The much colder climate in Iceland, Norway and Canada might account for the discrepancy.

Thanks for pointing this out.