Re: Kyoto

From: Jonathan Clarke (
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 00:04:04 EDT

  • Next message: Vandergraaf, Chuck: "RE: Kyoto"

    Hi Chuck

    Your example illustrates the problems of lifestyle, expectation and perception.
    I grew up in the tropics were temperatures were frequently 39 and over, and
    spent nearly 5 years in the desert when the day time temperatures were often
    over 40 in summer. We never had air conditioning and learned to live with it.
    Of course houses were also designed in such a way as to allow maximum
    circulation. even today, were I to live in those areas again and be able to
    afford airconditioning, I would only bother with the sleeping areas. To some
    extent the same applies to heating. I was amazed when I visited the US and
    Canada to degree to which buildings were heated to near tropic temperatures when
    to could have been cheaper for people to wear a few more clothes (it was only
    early autum). How next door neighbour, a Canadian, has twice the heating bill
    that we do simply because she insists in closing the house up and heating it
    round the cloth as soon as there is a chill in the air and keeping it like that
    for 6 months of the year. She has lived here for 20 years and should be used to
    it by now. Of course once houses are designed and built for year round heating
    and cooling it becomes difficult if not impossible to be able to live
    comfortably in them any other way. I seem to remember that the per capital
    domestic energy consumption in North America is higher than that of Europe or
    Japan, presumably this is a reflection of lifestyle, not different climates.


    "Vandergraaf, Chuck" wrote:

    > Bjorn,
    > Lest we concentrate too much on cars, it's well to look at all our energy
    > requirements. You have now been in the US for six months, you say. In
    > another four months I would like to see your comments about the need for air
    > conditioning in Chicago when the temperature and humidity reach triple digit
    > numbers (temperature in Fahrenheit).
    > Walk (don't drive!) to your closest supermarket and look at the produce
    > section: none of those bananas, oranges, grapefruit, papayas are native to
    > Illinois. How did they get there? How did you get to Chicago from Europe?
    > Rowboat? I think not.
    > I'm not, for a moment, suggest that we should not travel, that we should not
    > fly across the Atlantic or the Pacific, or that we should do without air
    > conditioning. What I do want to stress is that we are dealing with a very
    > complex issue that hits us to the very core of our life style.
    > Chuck Vandergraaf
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Bjoern Moeller []
    > Sent: Friday April 20, 2001 7:25 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Kyoto
    > --- "M.B.Roberts" <>
    > wrote:
    > >
    > > Take cars ; our hire car in the USA last summer only
    > > did about 20 - 24 mpg - we had asked for a Camry
    > > but got some Oldsmoblie 4WD . When that broke down
    > > we got a Camry which gave nearly 30 .
    > >
    > > In the UK I drive a Ford Contour/Mondeo which gives
    > > 35 mpg with similar driving. It has only marginally
    > > less passenger space than our hire cars and I have
    > > driven it similar distances across Europe.
    > >
    > > This alone makes a considerable reduction in gas
    > > usage.
    > >
    > > (On performance my 1.8 litre Contour with manual
    > > gearbox is better than either of the American
    > > cars)
    > >
    > > Am I being too green?
    > >
    > > Michael Roberts
    > >
    > > P.S. Will American oil prospectors working in
    > > Scotland get back at me!!
    > >
    > A brief comment from another European (after all,
    > aren't most white Americans also European?) that has
    > now lived in the US for about 6 months (which of
    > course makes him an expert on every detail and
    > minuscle in American culture).
    > It seems to me that there is an esthetic problem here.
    > Americans tend to like big cars, at least cars that
    > are bigger than most European cars. Take the so-called
    > SUVs, they are on every street corner and tollway.
    > They're huge, and they drive just like tanks (yes I
    > have driven one), and I wouldn't want to know the gas
    > mileage they make.
    > If it is true that Americans like big cars (with big
    > engines), the problem is not merely environmental, but
    > additionally esthetic, or auto-cultural if you like.
    > Then it is not just a matter of changing people's
    > opinion on the environment, but more so of creating a
    > new culture of cars. Take the cool Mercedes A Model
    > for instance, why isn't that car introduced in
    > America? (Now the A Model migt be in parts of America
    > where I haven't been, but at least it is not in
    > Chicago) It is obvious, I think; because there is no
    > market for such a cool car here. In Europe this car is
    > very popular (at least in Scandinavia it is),
    > especially in the larger cities (not very many of
    > those, though). Why not in Chicago or any other
    > car-friendly American metropole?
    > Just my quick thoughts.
    > Bjorn Moller
    > E-mail:
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