wouldn't you love it if . . .


we all stopped using so much electricity?

Well, apparently it’s starting to happen!

This comes from statesman.com:

From 1980 to 2000, residential power demand grew by about 2.5 percent a year. From 2000 to 2010, the growth rate slowed to 2 percent. Over the next 10 years, demand is expected to decline by about 0.5 percent a year, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit group funded by the utility industry.

So, right now, we’re buying more and more electronics, but the demand for power is not increasing as much as one would think to accommodate them. I am most encouraged by the line about the projection into the next decade, where we’re expected to demand less each year.

What can be the reasons for more stuff needing more power but less demand for power?

Well, first there’s the Energy Star program that involves collaboration between the government and manufacturers. The government sets the standards and ratings, the manufacturers produce electronics that use less energy via better conservation of the energy they do use and via things like automatic switch offs. It used to be that only large appliances carried this rating and certification, but I’ve recently seen it on laptop computers and even alarm clock radios!

Second, and to me more encouragingly, there’s the movement toward solar energy. In Southern Arizona, where I currently live, there’s no good reason not to go solar in my mind. I mean, really, what do we have more of than sun? So, if you’re in Southern Arizona and want to go solar, these guys are a good resource, and no this is not a paid endorsement. (If it were, I’d have to print their name!) Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California that built their new library with recycled materials and so many solar panels that the college makes money from selling electricity to the utility company!  Now that’s using solar power.

Thirdly, some folks are simply abiding by the power companies’ advice on when to consume electric power. Some of the “off peak” times are so late (or early?) in the day that I’m sure it cuts people’s consumption. Most electric companies provide programs like this one at my local utility.

So, no matter whether we’re buying better electronics, using electricity more sparingly on off hours or selling power back from our solar panels, we’re moving in the right direction. Less power use equals smaller carbon footprint and lower bills. This is all to the good whether you are politically, socially or fiscally movtivated.

Rock on!

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all teenagers could find things to do on their own

I once knew a cute little Jewish kid who loved being around the synagogue and seemed to just eat up lessons on things ethical and moral. He was short, but he loved basketball. And he worked hard toward the day of his bar mitzvah. I knew him as a teacher and tutor and I really enjoyed working with him. He was well mannered and easygoing, a genuinely friendly kid. By the time I moved away from Santa Rosa, Ca., he was no longer a kid, but a young man.

Well, just the other day, his mom sent me a link to show me what he’s been up to since we last met. While I was pleasantly surprised, I didn’t learn anything new about him except the specifics of his activities. The qualities I’d always admired were still there, and they’d grown! Just like Gabe Ferrick himself. And so, without ado, I will present the links to show you, too, why he’s the subject of this “good things” blog today.  http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news%2Fabc7_salutes&id=8329603

http://youtu.be/8T_4Rg3NqPE

http://youtu.be/xWdrqgk1el4

http://youtu.be/bQMCEHqNQ7s

http://extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/tag/gabe-ferrick/

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to encourage the youngsters in my life to follow in Gabe’s footsteps for the cause of their choice!  Oh, one more thing. I am so proud of this guy that I’m beside myself. What an honor to have been his teacher!

Peace to you.