D E PA R T M E N T S
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PUBLISHER Kevin McKinney kmckinney@IndianaLivingGreen.com
EDITORIAL EDITOR Jim Poyser jpoyser@IndianaLivingGreen.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Sean Armie, Ginnye Cubel, Sara Davis, Jordan Martich CONTRIBUTORS The ApocaDocs, Ginnye Cubel, Lynn Jenkins, Joe Lee, Jordan Martich, Bowden Quinn, William Saint, Renee Sweany
WEB I.T. MANAGER T.J. Zmina tjzmina@IndianaLivingGreen.com
SALES & MARKETING SALES ASSOCIATE Robert Barnes
10 Making the invisible visible
IU-Bloomington prof Shahzeen Attari studies the psychology of energy use. One aspect of her work ended up as a quiz on Slate.com, where you can test your general knowledge.
Doom & Bloom Gardening with Lynn Watts and Whatnot Cover Story Advocates Crossword The PANIQuiz Life is an Egg by Joe Lee
On pg. 21, we launch a brand new feature, a crossword puzzle by Indianapolis’ own William Saint. Each month we will present the puzzle, themed along with our cover story (energy efficiency, this month), and present the puzzle’s solution the following month. Enjoy!
+ BY JIM POYSER + COVER PHOTO BY MARK LEE
rbarnes@IndianaLivingGreen.com DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mary Morgan mmorgan@IndianaLivingGreen.com MARKETING & PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR Lauren Guidotti lguidotti@IndianaLivingGreen.com
Indiana Living Green is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Published by NUVO, Inc. ©2012
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DISTRIBUTION DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Kathy Flahavin kflahavin@IndianaLivingGreen.com COURIER Dick Powell
07 2012 Year in Review
It was another bad year for mother earth, as just about everything imaginable went wrong, from super storms to super drought to a lack of action from world leaders. + BY JIM POYSER
BUSINESS MANAGER Kathy Flahavin
13 Lighting the way
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Jacob Stoner, along with his sister Margaret and wife Juliet, manage A Brighter Idea (ABI), a company marketing and selling a line of LED light bulbs that are beating their contemporaries at energy efficiency, cost savings and environmental benefits.+
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doom & bloom with Jim Poyser
GARDENING WITH NATURE by Lynn Jenkins
Promises to the Earth Resilience is a word of strength — the ability to rebound and recover after stress or misfortune. The earth has great capacity for healing itself, but can benefit from our support to help it mend. This is a good time to evaluate how our actions harm or benefit the earth. Gardeners can sustain the earth in many ways, and there are local and national organizations that can assist.
^ photo by jim poyser
An inhabitant of Garfield Park Conservatory.
Black Friday … on a bike One of the highlights of 2012 for me was Black Friday. Just like tens of millions of other Americans, I was out all day in the malls, buying lots of stuff from China with my credit card, placing those items into plastic bags, then looking forward to these new items being thrown away to very slowly biodegrade in landfills, leaching toxins into the groundwater and carbon and methane into the atmosphere. Okay, I josh. It may not surprise you to learn I was embracing Doom on that day, riding my bike and touring the waste facilities of the south side of Indianapolis. That, I am not kidding about. Think back. Thanksgiving was a beautiful, sunny day: sixty degrees. I took a bike ride that day, too, to Fort Harrison State Park to delight in the warmth and cheer. Black Friday was a different story. Gloomy, dark, much colder… in the 30s as I recall. On my Thanksgiving ride I was accompanied by a handful of friends; on my Black Friday ride I could only cajole one. The bicycle adventure took us downtown into White River State Park bridge to look south over the White River, southward, toward the landfill, the incinerator, and IPL’s Harding Street Plant. We cycled on, bedizened with facemasks and gloves, and numerous layers to thwart the cold.
We encountered abandoned buildings; neighborhoods sporting a bit of squalor; houses and businesses and at least one school in the direct path of pollution from the plentiful waste facilities on the south side. See indianalivinggreen.com for a slideshow of Jim’s experience. It was a grueling day, just under 20 miles of pedaling. I’m cycling these days on a bum knee in need of a meniscus snip or two. And it’s not like our burgeoning bike path lines are expanding southward with any great ambition. We rode along streets where cars careened by too close for comfort. What nutball wants to bicycle past Animal Care & Control or the waste incinerator? Me. I’m that nutball. I took on this ride because I wanted to eye the detritus of our consumer culture; the lost and the forgotten. I wanted to face the plant that creates our electricity, wanted to breathe in the noxious air of the city’s underbelly. So where’s the Bloom? We ended up at Garfield Park at the tropical gardens. It’s one of the city’s great treasures — no matter the carbon footprint of the facility, it inspires a love of nature. Later, we grabbed a beer at Flat 12, one of my favorite local breweries. I like to drink local! Finally, don’t forget, I had a buddy with me. That means there were two of us on this ride, juxtaposed with the millions in stores. Next Nov. 29, want to join us? ILG
• Avoid chemicals. The foremost of gardening resolutions is to avoid chemicals whether you are growing food, flowers or lawn. Chemicals kill; that is their purpose. Do not use anything on the earth’s soil or plants that will do harm to any of its critters, from worms to us. Check out the Indiana Organic Gardener’s Association to learn how easy it is. gardeningnaturally.org • Plant for wildlife, especially the birds. All wildlife has a profound effect on the balance in nature. Birds are especially important for the gardener. Like Orkin men without the chemicals, birds raid the yards for insects to enjoy. Invite them to your yard. Learn to grow a wildlife-friendly yard from the National Wildlife Federation. nwf.org/backyardhabitat • Eliminate invasives; plant natives. Invasive plants like honeysuckle bush and garlic mustard are crowding our native plants and destroying wildlife habitats. Learn what to plant and what to destroy through the many programs of the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society. inpaws.org • Accept a natural lawn. Chemical companies duped us into believing that clover and violets don’t belong in our lawns. They dictate that we destroy all life in it with carcinogenic poisons and neurotoxins. Join forces for natural lawns that are safe for soils, water, nature, your pets and your family. safelawns.org • Grow food. Growing just a tomato plant or two, plus some herbs or other veggies is empowering in many ways. You benefit your health and your wallet while sustaining the earth. Learn more at these free monthly organic classes running January through April by IOGA and Fall Creek Gardens Urban Growers Resource Center. fallcreekgardens.org Got a comment, question or a tip to share? Contact Lynn at Lynn@IndianaLivingGreen.com
WATTS & WHATNOT
2013: HEC’s legislative agenda By Ginnye Cubel
The excitement of November’s election season is past and the flurry of December’s holidays has died away—so what’s left? Just the reconvening of the Indiana State Legislature and the inauguration of a new governor, that’s all. And it’s going to be a big deal for the environment. Set to reconvene on Jan. 7, the Indiana State House and Senate are both Republican supermajorities and the governor-elect, Mike Pence, also a Republican, is set to take office after his inauguration on Jan. 14. This heavily slated Republican government has more than a few people worried about Indiana’s environmental well-being. Traditionally, Republicans tend to vote against environmental safeguards in the name of advancing the economy. And if Pence’s previous voting record is any indication, environmental safeguards for Indiana may be hard to come by during his term. That’s where the Hoosier Environmental Council steps in. Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) is dedicated to educating on environmental issues and advocating for them in the legislature. Since the election results first appeared back in November, HEC staff has been hard at work reacting to the results. In an email released the day after the election, HEC noted three objectives for advancing environmental initiatives amongst this new group of legislators and the new governor. These objectives included creating a 2013 agenda, maintaining a full-time presence at the statehouse and consistently engaging with governor-elect Pence’s policy team.
By coupling the issues of economics and environment together, the HEC plans to appeal to a broader base of legislators and other government officials trying to do what’s best for their constituency. And during Indiana’s tough economic times, doing what’s best for your constituency means improving the economy. HEC intends to provide resources and education to legislators to show the connection between the tangible benefits of environmental protectionism and economic growth. Environmental protectionism encourages economic growth and ultimately helps constituents by providing increased job opportunities and decreased energy consumption.
While HEC already maintains a presence within the Statehouse, they’re hoping to kick it up a notch this year by arranging for a staff member to be in attendance at all legislative sessions and meetings. Kharbanda explains, “I think it’s just a matter of our being disciplined in making sure there is a staff member there every day of the session and so that will involve our monitoring every hearing, every vote that has some pertinence to the environment and making sure we have the right staff member there to represent our supporters and the public at large.” HEC staff will also engage in active lobbying at the Statehouse. Their main objective will be to assuage fears legislators might have about the costly effects of environmental protectionism. They will demonstrate this through a presentation of facts that environmental protectionism and economic growth actually prosper together. Kharbanda notes that a lot of skepticism about the economic benefits of environmentalism comes from a misunderstanding or underrepresentation of facts. The HEC hopes to bridge this disconnect by providing clear, concise and credible information materials to support what they believe to be the best course of action for Indiana’s environment.
The 2013 Agenda
The goal of HEC’s 2013 legislative agenda is simple: demonstrate why the environment matters to the economy. “We were very sensitive to the fact that the state is facing some significant economic challenges,” says Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director for HEC, “and we want to advance policy initiatives that we know will both improve the economy and the environment.” 6
Engaging Governor-Elect Pence’s Office
HEC hopes to find common ground with governor-elect Pence and his office and proceed from there on advocating for environmental issues. “We made a very early effort several months ago to meet with some of candidate Pence’s policy team to share our views and to find areas of common ground… we’re hoping that spade work might lead to a sense of their already knowing who we are and their willingness to engage,” says Kharbanda. Besides this initial groundwork, the HEC is hoping to participate with governorelect Pence’s office in regular meetings. Through these regular meetings they will continue to find and build on common ground while advocating for environmental issues. They are hoping to operate under Pence’s idea of civility in a democratic government, which encourages dialogue and engagement between two different groups.
On Jan. 23 The Nature Conservancy will be sponsoring Conservation Day at the Statehouse from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event focuses on giving community members a chance to interact with their legislators and voice their opinions and concerns on environmental issues. The day will also include a presentation on the Indiana Conversation Alliance’s 2013 Legislative priorities and salient talking points. Participants are encouraged to stop by when they can or stay for the whole event! For more information or to register please find your region on nature.org/ourinitiatives. For more on HEC: hecweb.org
WATTS & WHATNOT
Earth in the unbalance
Self destruction continues, unabated
Election results mean everything stays pretty much the same Sorry to be just a wee bit cynical, but there’s not a lot to expect from our “new” government, locally or nationally, after the recent election. Without a push from the bottom (us), Obama will not make the changes necessary to slow the tsunami of greenhouse gas emissions. And on a statewide level, we already know where Mike Pence stands. When asked by NUVO News Editor Rebecca Townsend if he was concerned about climate change, his reply was, “I think the issue of climate change — and the cause of any climate change that’s occurring — is a subject of scientific debate.” Sadly, Mike Pence doesn’t seem to realize there isn’t any scientific debate about climate change. Ninety-seven percent of climatologists, worldwide, agree that humans, through the emission of greenhouse gases, are creating climate change.
Greenhouse gas emissions = climate change = extreme weather
in fact, that when it comes to greenhouse gases, fracking does not actually improve upon coal’s contribution. An additional problem with fracking is that natural gas is abundant — as is coal — and so instead of moving toward increased energy efficiency and CO2 reduction, fracking just makes us think we can continue to consume and discard at our present rate.
coal plants are going to be built, worldwide, essentially severing our ties with nature. The annual waste of time wherein the nations of the late, great planet Earth get together to not do anything that reflects that they get the reality of what’s happening, took place in Doha. Call it D’oha! As only an impassioned speech by the lead negotiator of the Philippines delegation, Naderev Saño, broke through the fog — for 15 minutes at least.
Arctic ice hits all time low
Fracking got big, REAL big
The planet’s poster canary child in the coal mine, the Arctic, continued to show us the vulnerable state of our environment as ice cover shrank to an all-time low. According to the Associated Press, “The ice cap at the North Pole measured 1.32 million square miles … 18 percent smaller than the previous record of 1.61 million square miles set in 2007...” Summer sea ice would cover an area around the size of the lower 48 states. What with the summer melt, it’s about half that. To illustrate this rapid, dramatic change, a three-man crew (American, Canadian and a Swede) sailed a fiberglass sailboat through the McClure Strait in northern Canada. The ice-packed route, you see,
As coal was met with more disfavor in 2012 than in any previous year, hydraulic fracturing became the savior of our addiction to economic growth — a growth that appears to only enhance the wealth of the very richest. This process, known to smirking schoolboys across America as fracking, has had rocket-like growth, and on the face of it appears to be preferable to coal’s emissions, like mercury. Fracking has its problems, however, and anyone who saw Gasland knows what some of them are — local water systems contaminated by the drilling process. But what isn’t so well known is the methane leakage from these drilling sites, so much methane,
^ ^ comic by stephanie mcmillan
In 2012, we got better at connecting the dots of climate change and extreme weather, which nature-loving people everywhere are hoping will provide the impetus for our fossil fuel industry to experience a collective epiphany and choose the planet over profits. (I’ll pause here while you either laugh or cry.) As NASA’s James Hansen said in August of this year: “The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change.” I’ll bet the 2012 drought will be connected to climate change as well, but I’ll wait for conservative scientists to total up their data. And then came a little sassy something called Sandy, putting the phrase “climate change” on everyone’s lips. I hate to celebrate such a disaster as this, but if it contributes to the awakening that we are ruining the planet, then it will have not been in vain. Around Thanksgiving, we got a real thumping by a series of stories that indicated just how far down the road to ruin we are, from a World Meteorological Society report that we headed for a 7 degree rise (Fahrenheit) by 2060. A story in the London Guardian nailed it, so to speak, with a story that some 1,200
By Jim Poyser
see, ain’t so packed with ice no mo! The sailboat is named Belzebub II, perhaps a reference to just how devilish this ecoApocalypse is becoming. As if things couldn’t get worse, Prof. Peter Wadhams, one of the world’s leading ice experts, predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years. In an email to the London Guardian he said: “Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades’ time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have been put forward.” If we’re seriously putting geoengineering ideas on the table, then we are seriously screwed. Meanwhile, though Shell was run off by drifting ice, drilling began in earnest. In fact, countries all over the earth are vying to compete for oil extraction opportunities in the Arctic Sea area. With the ice gone, the field is wide open. Talk about a feedback loop. Fossil fuel consumption leads to greenhouse gases being trapped in the
troposphere which leads to heating which leads to melting polar ice caps which opens up new drilling opportunities to slurp up and burn even MORE fossil fuels. Woo-hoo! Not to be outdone… Antarctica had to get in the game. A new study suggests that beneath the Antarctic ice lurks billions of tons of methane lurk, courtesy of a vast, ancient forest. It will be ‘game over, dude,’ when it comes to climate change, though some would argue — James Hansen, referring to the pursuit of Canadian tar sands oil for the Keystone XL Pipeline — ‘game over’ is already over. The Pine Island glacier is showing another crack. Who knows when this Mother of all Icebergs will crack off and go sailing?
^ ^ comic by stephanie mcmillan
WATTS & WHATNOT
The drought, the heat … the horror Surely someone has made a t-shirt by now: I survived the Drought of 2012 (and all I got was this synthetic t-shirt made in China). The worst drought in half a century ravaged the United States, along with other parts of the world.
Run on sunshine... We’ll show you how
MPI Solar 8 1 2 - 3 3 4 -4 0 0 3 o r 8 6 6 - 7 6 5 - 5 1 5 6 w w w. m p i s o l a r e n e r gy. c o m 8
WATTS & WHATNOT In June & July, almost 5,000 heat records were broken, the hottest month ever recorded being July. This followed a trend, of course, as nine of the ten hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. Agriculture was devastated. Alternative feed rations for beef and dairy cows have inspired farmers to seemingly absurd extremes, feeding their herds anything they can that replaces starchy sugar normally delivered by corn. This includes — I am not kidding — gummy worms.
Warming seawater awakening The Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Connecticut shut down in August, sending a shudder — as opposed to a Fukushima paroxysm — through the nuclear energy world. The shutdown was because the seawater used to cool the plant’s generating unit became too warm. This was a notable event: the first time any U.S. nuclear plant was shut down because of intake water temperature problems.
2012: The year the debate ended For the second year in a row, in 2011, global investment in renewable energy outpaced investment in fossil fuels. According to
Worldwatch Institute, $257 billion was spent on renewables; $217 billion on fossil energy. Renowned climate skeptic Richard Muller had a conversion earlier this year. He came out with a dramatic flourish, writing in the New York Times, and being interviewed and cited everywhere. For not only had he decided that that climate change is real and people are causing it, his research support came from the Koch brothers. The American Meteorological Society had a convention in August and emerged with the following statement: “There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities.” Bill McKibben’s article in the Rolling Stone went viral and was talked about everywhere I went. And this, despite the fact there was a bunch of math in the article. Republicans started to rebel against their party’s anti-science stance; Bob Inglis, even the Christian Coalition! A river in New Zealand became a “person.” An all-cardboard bike went into produc-
tion, costing $9. The Heartland Institute went too far with their Unibomber billboard campaign and even lost some funding. There’s an app for that! Yup, there’s even an app now to track climate change. It’s called Fragile Earth. Burger King made a promise that by 2017, all their eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs. Wal-Mart has joined Field to Market, an alliance of other Fortune 500 companies, endeavoring to make agriculture more sustainable. Renowned mountaintop removal opponent Larry Gibson died of a heart attack in September, at the age of 66. FDA tackled BPA in the battle of the acronyms… and won. That’s right, the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A, present everywhere in plastic from water bottles to CDs to dental sealants, was outlawed from baby bottles and sippy cups. So stop crying, ya buncha little babies!
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Making the invisible visible:
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ENERGY USE story by jim poyser • photos by mark lee
first met Shahzeen Attari at a Society of Professional Journalists Conference in Miami, 2011. She was invited to the conference because of her expertise studying human psychology and perceptions of energy use. An Assistant Professor at Indiana University-Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Attari was on a panel called “Climate Change As a Cultural Issue.” As part of her presentation, she stated her two main areas of study. 1) Making the invisible, visible: In other words, how do we understand how much energy we are using by our daily activities? 2) Why don’t people act? Exploring issues of motivation around decreasing one’s energy consumption — as well as responding to climate change. As for the first area of study, her work was translated into a quiz by slate.com, tracking one’s understanding of energy use. Here’s a sample question: Assume a 100-watt incandescent light bulb uses 100 units of energy per hour. How many units per hour do you think the following appliances use? • A compact-fluorescent light bulb of the same brightness? • A desktop computer? • A laptop computer? • A stereo • A dishwasher? I did not do well on the test, overestimating some while underestimating others. (Correct answers for this portion of the test are at the end of this story.) Attari and I recently spoke by phone. Indiana Living Green: Let’s start off with your interest in making the invisible, visible. SHAHZEEN ATTARI: Some of my previous work has shown that people severely underestimate energy consumption for devices and activities that in reality actually consume a lot of energy. For example, if you were to ask someone how much energy a dishwashing machine would use in an hour, on average they would tend to underestimate it by factor of 800 times less than what it actually consumes.
one else act out those effective behaviors. ILG: It's easier if someone else does it. ATTARI: And that is the huge challenge we are facing right now- how to effectively change human behavior to decrease energy consumption without decreasing welfare or happiness. ILG: How does your research find its way to the public? For example, the study that ended up on slate.com. ATTARI: Slate contacted us to build awareness among its readers about energy consumption for Earth Day. We worked with them to launch their online survey, that was taken by over 13,000 people, which is fantastic. So all of these people are taking the test and at the end they say, "Oh my goodness. I didn't realize I how much energy different devices consume in one hour!" I think this sort of creative outreach starts attacking the information deficit model. It tries to make people a little more informed about how much energy they consume by their different activities.
Shahzeen Attari and her dog, Savannah, on her porch in Bloomington.
This underestimation may be due to people thinking about low energy using devices, such as a light bulb or a laptop computer, when they think about energy consumption in general. They may tend to anchor on these small activities when they're thinking about large activities, and that leads to an underestimation because they tend to insufficient adjustment their perceptions for larger energy consuming activities. This phenomenon is called “anchoring and insufficient adjustment”. Another reason why people may not know how much energy different appliances use is because we tend not to pay that much attention to energy use in general. ILG: So are there ways to make our energy consumption more visible to us, more available to our cognitive working memory? ATTARI: Some researchers are working on using real-time energy consumption feedback of how much energy different appliances use minute-by-minute to make energy use more visible to people. Our research group (Indiana University, Columbia University and Arizona University) currently has a study in Manhattan where we are looking at real-time energy use data from participants in a building. We are trying to answer the following question: does providing energy consumption information in such a granulated way the best way of presenting information so that people understand how much energy they are using? The jury is still out. ILG: That speaks to the other area of your research: motivation. ATTARI: Right. I'm currently working on a project where we found biases in what people are willing to do themselves to decrease their energy consumption versus what they want others to do to decrease their energy
consumption. So when you ask someone for the single most effective thing they can do to conserve energy, they tend to list easier behaviors and behaviors that may not be very effective, like turning off the light when they leave the room. However, when we actually reframed the question and ask, what is the single most effective behavior that other Americans can do to decrease their energy consumption, responses changed quite dramatically. People talked about driving less, carpooling, walking instead of driving, etc. So the behaviors are much more effective, but they are much harder to do.
ILG: What are you currently working on? ATTARI: The current work I'm looking at is two-fold. Understanding whether real-time feedback actually makes a difference, and whether the difference is sustained over a long period of time. This is a very important issue, especially as more and more utilities are moving towards smart metering and smart grids. We need to know how much information to present to people, and we need to know what people do with that information. Do they change behavior? Is that behavior change maintained over a long period of time? Are there any spillover effects? Those are the types of questions this study is trying to answer. The second study that I already mentioned investigates motivation deficits, that is why is it that people choose the easier, less effective behavior for themselves and the harder, more effective behaviors for others? I think this finding illustrates that simply educating and informing people about effective behaviors is not enough. Behavioral scientists also need to work on finding the right motivation to helping people adopt efficient technologies and lower their energy consumption.
ILG: Let’s back up, did you say that when they were asked what other people could do, they suggested carpooling and walking? ATTARI: Yes. Pretty interesting finding. We are linking this finding to a theory called the “Fundamental Attribution Error” or also called the Actor-Observer Bias. So what that means is that you understand as an individual why your behaviors are constrained, you know about your situational factors, but you might not know about other people's situational factors. You might think that you can't drive less than what you're already doing, but other people could. So maybe they should be doing these more effective behaviors. So I am working on exploring two separate models of why people do not act: the information deficit model and the motivation deficit model. The information deficit model basically says that people don't know what behaviors are really effective so that is why they do not do them. The motivation deficit model says that people may know what behaviors are really effective, but they do not want to act out those behaviors because they lack compelling motivation, that is, let someILG
ILG: You have a new paper, entitled "Changing Household Behaviors to Curb Climate Change: How Hard Can It Be?” So, how hard is it? ATTARI: Using previous research that identified energy saving behaviors, we asked people how easy or difficult these energy-conserving behaviors would be to adopt in their lives. Specifically: “Please indicate how easy or hard it would be for you to make each of the following changes. ///
Please consider all aspects of the changes, including the physical or mental effort required, the time or hassle involved, and any relevant monetary costs.” Some examples of the behaviors we were interested in were changing your washer setting, changing your thermostat setting, changing your bulbs, switching to an energy-efficient washer, buying a more fuel-efficient car, tuning your car, etc. We simply asked people to rate each of the identified behaviors on a scale from 1-7, where 1 is extremely easy and 7 is extremely hard. What we found is that on average none of these behaviors were in the “somewhat hard,” “very hard,” or “extremely hard” categories. All of the behaviors were clustered in the “extremely easy,” “very easy,” “somewhat easy,” or the “neither easy nor hard” categories.
SHAHZEEN ATTARI BORN: In Mumbai, India and grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. EDUCATION: Ph.D., In Engineering and Public Policy & Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, 2009 B.S., In Engineering Physics at University of Illinois, 2004 Currently an Assistant Professor at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
GLOSSARY Fundamental Attribution Error (AKA ActorObserver Bias): You understand why your behaviors are constrained, you know about your situational factors, but you might not know about other people’s situational factors. Information deficit model: people don’t know what behaviors are really effective so that is why they do not do them. Motivation deficit model: People may know what behaviors are really effective, but they do not want to act out those behaviors because they lack compelling motivation. Single Action Bias: When people are faced with a whole variety of problems, they tend to do one or two things to address any specific problem before moving on to the next problem. Description-Experience Gap: people respond differently to the same quantitative information depending on whether it is described or experienced.
ILG: Give us a specific example. ATTARI: Changing your washer settings from hot to cold, that is washing your clothes in cold water, was viewed as between “very easy” and “somewhat easy”. ILG: Extremely easy, yeah. ATTARI: Changing 85% of your bulbs to CFLs in your home was also viewed as very easy. A few behaviors were relatively harder, such as carpooling to work with other people, line drying your clothes, and insulating your windows. If we are trying to communicate to individuals which behaviors they should change, let's go after behaviors that save a lot of energy, but that are also extremely easy to do, before we get to behaviors that save a lot of energy but are harder to do. Another challenge is a phenomenon is called the Single Action Bias, a term coined by Elke Weber. When people are faced with a whole variety of problems, they tend to do one or two things to address any specific problem before moving on to the next problem. So rather than just telling people to turn off the lights or change one light bulb, as experts we should recommend behaviors that are much more effective as people may just incorporate one behavior change to address climate change before they move on to other challenges they are currently facing. The other question which we did not answer in this paper, is how do you get people to actually incorporate a portfolio of behaviors as opposed to only one behavior to decrease their energy consumption? So how can we overcome the Single Action Bias? That is still something behavioral scientists still need to investigate.
THE QUIZ QUESTION ANSWERED! Assume a 100-watt incandescent light bulb uses 100 units of energy per hour. How many units per hour do you think the following appliances use? • A compact-fluorescent light bulb of the same brightness? (Answer: 27) • A desktop computer? (Answer: 140) • A laptop computer? (Answer: 48) • A stereo (Answer: 128) • A dishwasher? (Answer: 1800) Take the test yourself at: slate.com/articles/health_and_science/green_ room/2011/04/take_slates_energy_quiz.
from the residential sector. Scientists have recommended that behavior change can account for a significant reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions (see the “Behavioral Wedge” paper by Dietz et al.). So how do we decrease that 20%? In the portfolio of behaviors that we should be doing in order to decrease our carbon dioxide emissions, let's go after the behaviors that are easier to do and save a lot of energy and let’s try to incorporate a portfolio of behaviors rather than just one thing.
ILG: So where does climate change come into this particular study?
ILG: When I think about motivation and climate change, what I've seen, especially in the past 2 years, are extreme weather events increasingly tied to a warming
ATTARI: Roughly 20% of our carbon dioxide emissions in the United States come 12
planet. Most notably, Hurricane Sandy brought climate change into the conversation. Are you finding in your research with your students — or just in your life in general — that the invisible is being made increasingly visible. ATTARI: Research shows that extreme weather events may become more extreme and prevalent with climate change. However, we cannot say that Sandy was caused by climate change, but what we can say is that storms are becoming more and more extreme and more frequent; warming tends to increase hurricane activity. Most people think of climate change impacts only occurring in the future, and behavioral economics has provided strong evidence that most of us care a lot about things that are happening in the immediate moment as opposed to things that happen in the near future — and even less for the distant future. I think that these types of extreme events are compressing time; they are making us get a taste of what is to come, however I am weary of whether experiencing these extremely catastrophic events leads to long-term learning and overcomes our shortsightedness in dealing with global climate change. ILG: Like Deepwater Horizon. I thought that was going to be a pivotal moment, and it turned out not to be. ATTARI: So that's another challenge for climate change: future generations will get impacted and it is people that are distant from us in time and geography. So how do you make the invisible visible? How do you make these impacts of climate change more visceral to people? There's another phenomenon in psychology called the Description-Experience Gap or the finding that people respond differently to the same quantitative information depending on whether it is described or experienced. Scientists have been describing the science of climate change and the impacts that are arising, using information and graphs. It may be worthwhile to help people experience some of the impacts in a controlled setting and see if the experience would lead to changes in understanding and behavior. ILG: You've been viewing people, researching people, designing studies to understand this phenomenon better. Do you think people will actually be able to alter their behaviors? ATTARI: As an optimist and a scientist, I have to have hope in people. This may be the first time in history that a species can change their current behavior consciously to avoid severely negative impacts in the future. History also shows us that people have a great potential to adapt. The question is how do we get people to adapt with more foresight?
Lighting the way
LED Technology in Indiana story by ginnye cubel photo by michelle craig
normous opportunities exist in the sector for energy efficiency, cost savings and environmental benefits and yet, most advocacy for smarter lighting stops at the screwing in of a CFL bulb. That’s about to change. Another form of lighting is less expensive, more efficient and more environmentally friendly – and its advent is happening right here in Indiana. Jacob Stoner, along with his sister Margaret and wife Juliet, manage A Brighter Idea (ABI), a company marketing and selling a line of LED light bulbs that are beating their contemporaries at energy efficiency, cost savings and environmental benefits. ABI, a branch of Jacobsparts — a parts adapter company created out of Jacob’s basement in 2006 — is the forerunner in the state of Indiana for selling LED light products. While LED technology is nothing new, it is only in recent years that manufacturers have been able to manipulate the technology to produce a more cost-effective, eco-friendly and better quality light than previous LED products. “We have more control over it,” Jacob notes, “we can adjust the color temperature pretty much to whatever we want and we can get the brightness as bright as we need it to be.” Currently, ABI primarily works with businesses to provide energy audits and outfit their buildings with LED lights. The company plans to expand into the residential market within the next year by partnering with local retailers to sell LED products and by eventually opening up their own store. Hoosier natives and former IUPUI students, Jacob (27), Margaret (24) and Juliet (26) plan to keep the business local. “We’d love to expand later on but we’re really interested in being able to work directly with our customers in the community,” said Margaret, “help getting this technology to the Indianapolis area where we grew up and where we live.”
Energy and cost efﬁcient lighting LED lighting products are unmistakably the most energy-efficient lighting options out there today. They are over 85 percent more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 8 times longer than CFLs. They also emit about 80 percent less
Margaret, Jacob and Juliet; an LED mod squad; check them out at abilights.com.
heat than incandescent bulbs — and less heat means less energy. This amount of energy efficiency makes the LED bulbs great option for buildings looking to gain LEED certification points. ABI has also noticed a significant number of older buildings wanting to utilize their low-energy product as their wiring systems sometimes can’t sustain the large energy demands of incandescent bulbs. (Note: due to a government program, incandescent bulbs are slowly being phased out.) LED lighting products offered by ABI are cost effective on multiple levels. Consumers can currently purchase LED light bulbs at a hardware store, but the higher prices inevitably push consumers to just pick up a much cheaper option. And while you can’t (yet) pick up an ABI LED light at your local store you can order their products online for substantially lower prices than the hardware stores. “This is where our business is exciting,” Jacob said, “by working directly with consumers we’re able to offer them at prices that make sense now. Moreover, because the LED bulbs last for about 20 years (based on average use) it drastically reduces the frequency of replacement. In comparison, an incandescent bulb would need to be replaced 40 times within the same time frame. So while the LED bulbs may initially be more expensive than an incandescent bulb, over the years they pay for themselves. ILG
Now the biggest draw of all — LED lighting products are significantly more environmentally friendly than both incandescent and CFL products. LED lighting products outrank incandescent and CFL products in terms of carbon emissions, waste and even safety. A single LED light bulb will, on average, over its lifespan, prevent half a ton of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere. This makes it far cleaner than incandescent and even CFL bulbs, which require more energy and thus create more carbon emissions. And because LED only needs to be replaced once every 20 years, the amount of waste generated from dead bulbs is drastically reduced. Not to mention that ABI’s LED products are often recyclable. Additionally, LED light bulbs are substantially safer than its contemporaries. While there’s nothing too dangerous about an incandescent bulb (unless you happen to break it and expose yourself to sharp shards) CFLs pose a serious safety risk if broken due to the mercury vapor inside. Contamination of air, water or soil can lead to health issues such as mercury poisoning. “LED really takes it to the next step,” said Jacob, “and that’s why we’re confident in 50 years LED is going to be the ubiquitous lighting technology.” ///
Energy eco-efficiency Energy saving programs available story by jordan martich
GREEN UTILITY PROGRAMS
hen Wanda Fuqua was asked about her home’s energy problems she had no idea how to answer. The 78-year-old widow had lived in her Indianapolis Near Eastside home since 1988, when she and her husband became residents of what was then a bustling, friendly neighborhood. In over 23 years she hadn’t worried much about the amount or quality of insulation in her home, about low-flow showerheads or faucet aerators. Fuqua’s neighbor told her about the Near Eastside Neighborhood Sweeps Program, a Marion County initiative to outfit residents with the resources to make their homes more energy efficient. The program is partnered with the statewide Energizing Indiana, the Ecohouse Project and local utilities like Indianapolis Power and Light, to empower residents by using the combined purchasing power of entire neighborhood blocks for better windows, faucets, fluorescent light bulbs and appliances. “I think they’re doing wonders for people,” Fuqua says. The focus on the Near Eastside is piggybacked onto the positive momentum driven by the Super Bowl Legacy Project committee’s rehabilitation of the community. Most of the houses in the area were built in 1935 or earlier which means that little insulation was used in their construction. For some, the monthly cost of electricity is greater than their rent or mortgage payments, making this an area in need of help from the city. Kristen Trovillion, project manager at the city’s office of sustainability, works to connect neighbors through community centers and leaders. Together, they help residents attain an average energy savings of 15 percent, sometimes even up to 25 percent. “We just feel like it’s important to lead by example,” Trovillion says. “It’s important to prepare for utility bills that could increase.” The Sweeps Programs begins by sending energy advisers to conduct a survey of the home’s key issues. They check for air leaks, drafts, cold spots, hot spots, moisture and gaps in insulation. They then fill these in with caulk and sealing foam. Low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators installed in the kitchen and bathrooms can reduce water usage by up to 25 percent. 14
^ photo by mark lee
Wanda Fuqua took advantage of the Near Eastside Neighborhood Sweeps Program to increase her home’s energy efficiency.
In Fuqua’s home, the attic and basement were in desperate need of attention, and plastic coverings were put under doors to reduce moisture and air flow. Those interested in the program can apply online at neareastsidesweeps.com. Fuqua now is able to keep her thermostat at a lower setting, allowing her gas furnace to run less often and for shorter amounts of time. She hopes that her tenant and neighbor on the other side of her double home — who is also on a fixed-income — will take advantage of the program. “I really appreciate what those folks came out and did for me,” Fuqua says. “I know she could really use the help that I got.” By combining grant money from the federal and state levels with money from utilities, the Sweeps Program has done more than 360 assessments, with a goal of 800 — and they expect to do more. In addition to providing these services, the program offers a long list of tips for the utilities customers to reap the benefits of eco-efficiency. Participants are invited to contact local contractors and vendors about replacing older furnaces and appliances, installing programmable setback thermostats and energy-efficient windows. The program uses government incentives and rebates to offset the cost needed to increase ///
Indianapolis Power & Light Co. – The Green Power Option - Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) ranked the IPL option as No. 1 for offering the lowest incremental cost to its customers. - A typical customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours in a month and enrolled at the 100 percent level would pay only $1 additionally. - The current green premium is only $0.00150 per kilowatt-hour (one-tenth of a cent). - From renewable energy purchased from Midwestern wind farms. - In 2011 IPL’s green power customers’ purchases of renewable energy accounted for about 88,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to taking more than 17,000 cars off the road for a year. - Homeowners may participate at 100 percent, 50 percent and 25 percent. Duke Energy – GoGreen Indiana - Customers can purchase a minimum of two 100-kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks of green power for just $4 a month. - Your 200-kWh commitment equates to about 20 percent of an average residential customer’s electricity use and helps to avoid 4,800 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions each year. - As of the beginning of 2011, Indiana customers have supported over 19,576.6 MWH of Green-e certified wind power. Contributions currently support the Benton County wind farm in Indiana. - Apply online at duke-energy.com/indiana.asp.
the participant’s energy savings. If you don’t live in the Near Eastside neighborhood, or in Marion County for that matter, you can still take advantage of Energizing Indiana, the EcoHouse Program and rebate and incentive programs. Energizing Indiana provides the energy assessments, income-qualified weatherization, school programs and commercial and industrial rebates to communities across the state. The EcoHouse Program offers loan consultation and loan programs for Hoosiers wishing to make their homes more comfortable and energy-affordable through various upgrades. No matter where your home is in Indiana, these programs are here to help you. Comparable initiatives exist in all 50 states, but Indiana is set apart by the participation of almost every utility provider, statewide. Fuqua urges friends in church, neighbors and anyone within earshot to take advantage of a program like the one that helped her. “If I could tell the difference, I know that other people could too,” Fuqua says.
Heating your home Geothermal worth the investment story by jordan martich
any homes this winter will cost thousands to heat using gas and oil. These are not cost-effective fuels — and their use is contributing carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Howard Newport and Gary Holt, owners of Precision Comfort Systems in Westfield, offer an alternative heating system, one that uses a renewable source and state-of-the-art technology to keep Hoosiers comfortable in the cold and the heat. Holt and Newport have over 30 years of experience with geothermal systems: 60 percent of their revenue is related to geothermal energy and they install 200 units per year. They also have a metal shop to make custom ductwork, instead of relying on outside contractors. At the end of November last year, Ron Holtzer had a bored-loop geothermal system installed in his Sheridan home. For years he’d struggled to justify the initial cost, but after recommendations from friends, he decided it was time. Holtzer’s 30-year-old oil furnace was costing him $3,600 a year in heating bills. He was told he would save 75 percent a year, but Holtzer doesn’t expect that much. If he can save around $2,000 a year it will be worthwhile for him. “It’s the closest thing we have to becoming totally green,” Holtzer says. “Obviously, you have a fan and need electricity to run the pump, but geothermal is just so much more commercially developed than anything else.” The system and installation cost $20,000 for the over 100-year-old farmhouse, which required the unusually large investment. The high cost reflects additional ductwork done in Holtzer’s home — most customers don’t require this. A 30 percent federal tax credit takes the total down to $14,000, and Holtzer expects, at most, a seven-year payback. He also doesn’t need to worry about oil furnace repairs, which can be complicated and costly. “This thing seems like it’ll be rock solid for a long time,” Holtzer says. “I shouldn’t have to change anything but filters.” Geothermal loop systems use the ground to displace and absorb heat, depending on the seasonal needs of the customer. By harnessing the solar heat that has been transferred and stored in the ground in the winter, geothermal system owners receive cheap, renewable, and clean energy for
^ submitted photo
and $1,304.88 to heat with an electric heat pump. A geothermal heat pump is projected to cost $767.58 to heat this same home. The cost and payback for a geothermal system depends on the size of the home and on the surrounding terrain. The type of installation and system can be adapted to most any situation, but costs vary depending on those variables. The average residential closed-loop system costs around $16,000, reduced to about $11,000 with the tax credit, compared to the average high-efficiency furnace which costs around $8,000. Mark Hopper of Westfield owns three acres of property which has a buried fourloop geothermal system. His home’s previous LP gas furnace was touted as efficient, but the heating bills (gas and electric) added up to around $700. Now he averages $150 a month for electricity, gas no longer being necessary. Hopper says that the system paid for itself in less than five years. “To me it was a no-brainer,” Hopper says. “When you run the numbers, I don’t know how you could possibly argue with it.” Additionally, Hopper doesn’t have to worry about the shifting prices of the refined products of gas and oil. With a 50-year warranty on the system and service checks twice annually, Hopper’s geothermal system will outlast many furnaces by decades. “It doesn’t matter how cold it gets or how hard the wind blows — it just plugs away,” he says. Hopper’s positive experience with alternative energy has him considering wind and solar generation on his property. Tax credits, grants and programs for these alternative sources of energy could make geothermal affordable for everyone.
^ photo by mark lee
Ron Holtzer, above, installed a geothermal heating system, above right, to cut heating costs.
their home. In the summer the warmth that’s pumped out of the home becomes a waste product, which can get reintroduced to the system to heat the home’s water for bathing, cooking, or even swimming pools. The financial benefits of geothermal energy are clear and simple: eliminate gas bills, use renewable energy for heat, pay less and save more. Pile on the low environmental consequences and this should be popular with the eco-friendly and the thrifty, but — compared to other heating systems — only a few in Indiana utilize the resource beneath our feet. The initial cost of the system and its installation make the switch to geothermal expensive. Even those with older natural gas furnaces will replace them with a newer model before thinking of geothermal. Geothermal’s initial cost is becoming affordable through state and federal tax credits, incentives and grants. Residents installing a geothermal system in Indiana receive that previously mentioned 30 percent tax credit — with no cap — through the residential energy tax credit . After the installation, most customers can recover the initial investment in heating savings in just four to five years. Based on heating cost projections from Precision Comfort Systems, an average 3,200-square-foot home costs $3,383.36 to heat with an oil furnace, $2,979.97 to heat with a high-efficiency propane furnace, ILG
For more on Precision Comfort Systems: precisioncomfort.com ///
voices by Michael Greven
as a sign of progress
The strongest and most resilient economy in the western world has arguably been that of Germany. On a recent trip there I was impressed to learn that they weathered the recession and have an unemployment rate around four percent. One of their areas of substantial growth in the past decades has been in the development and harnessing of renewable energy. Not too long ago, Germany was home to some of the most polluted areas on earth. These areas included the industrialized Ruhr Valley and former eastern Germany. Their industries relied heavily on very dirty brown coal. It is noteworthy that Germany has a climate very similar to Indiana. To meet their needs for sustainable growth and a cleaner environment Germany turned its focus to renewable energy — with great success. Furthermore, recognizing the dangers of nuclear energy, Chancellor Angela Merkel, a conservative politician and a trained physicist, has declared that
erships to factories are covered by solar panels, and windmills in appropriate areas are commonplace. Germans have recognized that decentralized power production can play a pivotal role not only in powering their economy but also in providing income to more of their countrymen through energy production. We must really take a hard look at how we obtain energy in our country. The statement “Clean Coal” is an oxymoron. Coal is mined at great expense to the environment and the miners doing the work. Nearly 70,000 men have died as a direct result of their involvement in the industry. Mountaintops are removed, forests laid to waste, rivers ruined and wildlife eradicated — all in the name of cheap energy. The recent natural gas bonanza — via fracking — has many Americans anxious about the safety of their groundwater supplies. Consumers have been lulled into a sense of complacency by the endless misstatements by the coal and oil industries. For the above enumerated reasons and the fact that renewable energy is no longer impossibly expensive, all consumers should review their opportunities to become part of our nation’s en— Michael Graven ergy solution. We are all part of the solution! I would also invite you to think about which politicians are discussing not only the environment we live in today, but also the environment future generations need to be able to inhabit.
“Consumers have been lulled into a sense of complacency by the endless misstatements by the coal and oil industries.” all German nuclear power plants should be shut down by 2020. That is a powerful statement from a conservative leader in a country with few natural resources. Where will the energy come from to power the German economy and sustain the lifestyle to which Germans are accustomed? Renewable energies such as wind, solar and biogas will be leaders. Many large farms not only have solar arrays on their barns or wind turbines in their fields, but are also producing energy from the methane of manures. The roofs of everything from auto deal16
Michael Greven of Ecosource Inc. is currently working in Eldoret, Kenya, with the IU Kenya program. Learn more about the excellent work IU and Purdue are doing by going to ampathkenya. org. While in Kenya, Greven is focused on fostering solar energy and renewable design.
peace learning center by Tim Nation
What is your piece
of the elephant?
Recently in Indianapolis, I had a chance to be inspired and educated by Rev. Allan Boesak, a human rights activist who worked in partnership with Bishop Desmond Tutu to end apartheid in South Africa. He is spending this school year teaching at Christian Theological Seminary and Butler University. He reminded us that justice is at the heart of a peaceful society no justice, no peace. How do you judge the level of justice? Take a look at how the least in society are treated and you will get a clear picture. Later as we shared our thoughts on Rev. Boesak’s presentation, one of my friends was concerned there was nothing mentioned about the environment – an essential piece of peace in his mind. Another person reminded him that people who do not have their basic human needs met will not care about the environment. This is a common occurrence. Many of us have concerns and issues we see as more urgent and primary than others. Disagreements are inevitable. Remember the story of five blindfolded people who were placed around and then asked to describe an elephant? One touches a leg and says it is a big tree. Another feels the tail and says it is a rope, another feels the trunk – you get the picture. Maybe that is where we are at – describing a piece of a larger picture we cannot see. Maybe the elephant for us is the peaceful and just society we see from our limited point of view. Think about it. We all know a wide range of people who focus on different parts of a larger puzzle. Some are concerned pri-
marily with the national debt and government spending, others homelessness, hunger, education, clean water, air and/or land. Rather than ranking needs and our dreams, perhaps we can approach things knowing we do not see the entire picture – thanking others for informing us rather than debating why our concerns are more important. There are many sides to every issue and not just two. Many times our response is to debate – a winner/loser equation. Other times we will seem to agree by saying “yes” and then finishing the sentence with “but”. Instead of “yes, but” we can say “yes, and” to build on each other’s understandings. A peaceful and just society is multi-dimensional – we need everyone to care and give their contributions to get closer to that ideal. In collaboration with over 60 local businesses, community, government and faith organizations we launched Focus 2020 to give Central Indiana a forum to share and learn. We started in November with a Chautau-
Instead of “yes, but” we can say “yes, and” to build on each other’s understandings. — Tim Nation
qua at the Athenaeum and a youth Chautauqua planned for April 27. Right now we are holding a series of workshops and dialogues that are presented at different times and places to be accessible. Please consider being a Focus 2020 graduate by attending 16 hours of learning activities and one Chautauqua – held every six months. Focus 2020 graduates will be eligible for community action grants. Get involved at infocus2020. org to help us build a peaceful and just community. ILG
sierra club by Bowden Quinn
Power companies …
must meet the efficiency challenge
THANK YOU, INDIANA,FOR A GREAT INAUGURAL SEASON. WHEN YOUR 2013 EVENTS HEAT UP, WE’LL BE HAPPY TO KEEP THEM COOL. UNTIL THEN, WARMEST WISHES!
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Energy Outfitter specializes in air sealing and insulation upgrades DOE reports 80% of homes built before 1980 do not have adequate insulation
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Only 10 percent of the electricity used by traditional incandescent light bulbs produces light. The rest ends up as heat. Basically, they are warming devices that keep us from bumping into the furniture. Compact fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diodes have their drawbacks. They are more expensive than incandescent bulbs and they aren’t right for every lighting situation, but costs are coming down and their lighting quality is improving. Most importantly, because they use less electricity and last longer than old-fashioned bulbs, they pay back their higher prices many times over by lowering electric bills. Despite the cost-savings, people have been slow to adopt the more efficient bulbs, so the federal government stepped in to speed the transition by setting standards that started going into effect this year. That action has so outraged some anti-government patriots that they are hoarding enough incandescent bulbs to last their lifetimes, asserting their God-given right to waste money. Which would be fine if the rest of us didn’t have to pay higher electric rates as utilities keep building more power plants to meet rising demand, to say nothing of the pollution that the plants produce. Improving efficiency is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to meet energy demand. Government standards for lighting and electric appliances are as important in improving our lives as better gas mileage requirements for vehicles. Indiana recognized the value of government support for energy efficiency three years ago when our utility regulatory commission ordered utilities to reduce demand in incremental steps over 10 years. Some investor-owned utilities have never been happy about this mandate and they may try to convince the
legislature this year to overturn the commission’s order. That would be a big mistake. Rather than relaxing the requirement, we should make it stronger. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which oversees electric power use in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, says that efficiency can meet 85 percent of increased electricity demand in that region over the next 20 years. That’s in a part of the country that has taken efficiency seriously for some time. In Indiana, where we are just starting to get into the game, we might achieve even greater gains. Utilities should set aggressive goals for meeting future electricity demand through efficiency. The place to start is in the 20year plans that they submit to the regulatory commission every two years. In 2011 the Tennessee Valley Authority published a 20-year plan that calls for between 3,600 and 5,100 megawatts of savings through efficiency and shifting the timing of electricity demand. That’s the equivalent of eliminating seven to ten good-sized power plants, either by retiring existing plants or avoiding the need to build new ones. Our utilities have never shown that kind of enthusiasm for efficiency. For example, in Duke Energy Indiana’s 2011 plan, it forecast saving only 825 megawatts by 2031. The commission proposed a new planning rule in 2012 that opens the process to public participation. To its credit, Duke has said it will comply with the proposed rule in preparing its 2013 plan. I attended its initial public meeting in December and I was impressed by the planning staff ’s apparent openness to public input. The company has scheduled three more public planning sessions this year. We’ll see if they result in higher efficiency targets in the plan it will file in November.
Bowden Quinn is Conservation Director for the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter.
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The ApocaDocs’ Pre-Apocalypse News & Info Quiz (PANIQuiz) tests your knowledge of current environmental news. Brought to you by the ApocaDocs, Michael Jensen and Jim Poyser. Check your results (at the bottom), then see www.apocadocs.com to find out more.
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T, At last year’s Greening the Statehouse Forum, I had the pleasure of meeting green car expert, Jim Motavalli, who wrote this article: 8 Facts and Myths About Warming Up Your Car in Winter. He says that idling is totally unnecessary – that the most any relatively newer car needs is 30 seconds of warm up. In fact, he says that, “Over a year of five minutes of daily idling (which causes incomplete combustion of fuel), the “Anti-Idling Primer” estimates that the operator of a V-8-engined car will waste 20 gallons of gasoline, which not only produces 440 pounds of carbon dioxide but costs at least $60.” By my calculations, your neighbor is wasting a minimum of $540/year, not to mention the 3,960 lbs of carbon emissions. You may try printing that article and leaving it under her windshield. Or perhaps you could share page 4 of the Indiana State Asthma Plan, highlighting where the Indiana State Health Commissioner states that vehicle emissions are a controllable environmental factor affecting our state’s more than 560,000 cases of asthma. She may be interested in knowing that in Spring 2011 our Indiana State Legislators passed a mandate (IAQ Rule 410 IAC 33-4-3) that requires all schools to minimize exhaust fumes from entering buildings and to reduce air pollution around school property. The goal is to improve the health of students, staff, parents, and community members through reduced vehicle emissions because studies show that vehicle exhaust can cause lung damage and respiratory problems. Of course, the neighborly thing to do might be to offer to scrape her car on frosty or snowy days, thus opening a line of communication about warming up her car and air quality. Piece out, R 22
1. What threatens the record pace for wind turbine production in the U.S.? __ a. A conspiracy of birds __ b. The fall of Greece __ c. The record pace of photo voltaic production __ d. The record pace of fracking __ e. The tax credit for renewable energy not being renewed
2. What is a 14 year old Kansas girl doing about climate change? __ a. Refusing to learn to drive __ b. Swearing off iPhones __ c. Self-immolation __ d. Suing the governor __ e. Clicking her heels together
3. According to one researcher, why are sea levels rising faster than expected? __ a. Because everything is in a hurry these days. __ b. Previous projections didn’t take critical feedbacks into account. __ c. Superstorm Sandy __ d. Previous projections had hurt feelings as a result of critical feedbacks. __ e. Previous projections were written by weenies.
4. At what rate are we progressing in cutting carbons, compared to the annual five percent needed to meet goals? __ a. Already beating it! __ b. What are carbons? __ c. Half-way there! __ d. Less than one percent __ e. Haven’t even started
5. What was especially remarkable about the recent northern crossing of the Arctic Circle? __ a. Most of the crew was eaten by polar bears. __ b. It was accomplished in a sailboat. __ c. They were shot at by Shell employees. __ d. It was iced in for a full month. __ e. The crew all got tans.
6. According to fracking opponents, how much water does it take to open a well in deep shale? __ a. The equivalent of my beer intake for a weekend. __ b. The equivalent of nothing. __ c. The equivalent of a small lake. __ d. The equivalent of the beer intake for a college football game. __ e. The equivalent of a Hollywood starlet’s swimming pool.
7. What does a new technological breakthrough in solar energy storage involve? __ a. The sun __ b. Rust __ c. Kites __ d. Switchgrass __ e. Human hair
8. According to a poll, how does gender play out when it comes to belief in global warming? __ a. Women are from Venus, men are from the dying Earth. __ b. They are about the same. __ c. More women believe than men. __ d. Did they ask hermaphrodites? __ e. More men believe than women.
9. According to a story by Doc Jim, who is the perfect climate change educator? __ a. Your high school home ec teacher. __ b. James Hansen __ c. Yoda __ d. Your local broadcast meteorologist. __ e. Your mom.
10. What was recorded as a new low for the United States? __ a. Participation in carpooling __ b. New AIDS cases __ c. Death rate __ d. Birth rate __ e. Concern for climate change
Answers: 1. (e): The tax credit for renewable energy not being renewed (Reuters); 2. (d): Suing the governor (LJWorld) 3. (b): Previous projections didn’t take critical feedbacks into account. (Geological Society of America); 4. (d): Less than one percent (Reuters); 5. (b): It was accomplished in a sailboat. (CTV); 6. (c): The equivalent of a small lake. (Crain); 7. (b): Rust (American Technion Society); 8. (c): More women believe than men. (Omaha World-Herald); 9. (d): Your local broadcast meteorologist. (NUVO); 10. (d): Birth rate (Live Science).
Since it started getting cold, my elderly neighbor has been warming her car for up to 45 minutes or longer every morning before she goes wherever she goes (to work? to get Depends?). Being an air-breathing human, it bugs me to no end that she’s letting her car spew pollution just for the sake of a warm ride, even though her new-ish car surely takes only a few minutes to heat up. The problem is that I’m not on speaking terms with her, so I don’t know how I can get her to see the error of her ways. Are there laws in Indianapolis banning the idling of unoccupied cars? Is there some kind of flyer I can anonymously leave warning her that she’s killing the planet for her grandkids? Thanks for your advice! T
Look for the February issue of ILG on stands January 28
The Three “R”s Reduce Repurpose Recycle
The Psychology of Energy Use