I have used the removal of clothing point myself to point out to people the
advantages of what in Australia are regarded as cold weather. Great minds truly
to think alike :-)
I agree with all your points.
"Vandergraaf, Chuck" wrote:
> I have found that it's better to live in a moderate-to-cold climate because
> one can always add clothing to keep warm, but there is a limit to how much
> clothing you can remove. ;-) I have read somewhere that loose fitting garb
> actually helps cool you by providing an airflow (updraft) between the
> clothing and the body, so there may be an optimum.
> The reason North American cities are so spread out is no doubt due to cheap
> and portable energy and affordable private cars. We all (well, many of us)
> want to have a grass buffer between ourselves and our neighbours and prefer
> to live in detached houses rather than in apartment buildings. As long as
> portable energy remains cheap, we will continue to do so.
> As far as I know, there are only three ways to turn this suburbanization
> 1) increase the cost of portable energy
> 2) make it difficult to drive in cities and encourage increased use of
> public transit
> 3) rely on people to make a conscious decision to move closer together
> Increasing the cost of portable energy will come automatically when our
> resources run out or when society decides that "it's a good thing" for
> prices to go up.
> Encourage the use of public transit can be done by providing free public
> transit and use the money to fund this by cutting back on building roads.
> This is a case of "social engineering" and may not be acceptable to the
> public. IOW, politicians that advocate this won't get (re)elected.
> The third option is not likely to be a viable one as long as the advertisers
> and the media tout the advantages of suburbia.
> Problem is that, if we don't do something proactive, we will live with the
> consequences and these will include massive dislocation and disruptions.
> For example, those of us who live in suburbs would see the price of our
> homes plummet if the cost of portable energy goes through the roof. Since,
> for many of us, our home is our investment, we have a vested interest in
> maintaining the status quo: "après nous, le deluge."
> Chuck Vandergraaf
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan Clarke [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Saturday April 21, 2001 2:07 AM
> To: Vandergraaf, Chuck
> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Kyoto
> Hi Chuck,
> As I said in my original post I grew up in the tropics (8 degrees N of the
> equator to be precise). temperatures were in the 30's all year round with
> humidity to match. We survived quite well. One indeed gets used to it,
> although having an air-conditioned bedroom does make sleeping easier.
> Well, one has to compared energy consumption of N America to somewhere.
> not perfect, there are enough similarities in standard of living and climate
> make some comparison between N America and Europe possible. It won't happen
> over night, but N America may have to move towards a more European approach
> issues such as urban design. this will of course take decades, but when you
> consider the change in urban design in the 20th century it does seem an
> impossible goal. The political will must be there, and that is a different
> "Vandergraaf, Chuck" wrote:
> > Jon,
> > I agree with most of your comments. However, as you probably know, living
> > in the desert with temperatures in the 40s is not the same as living in a
> > humid climate with temperatures in the 30s, like Chicago. I spent three
> > years in Michigan and five in Pennsylvania and the summers were not
> > conducive to sleeping. I suppose one can get used to it. But you are
> > correct, modern houses are not designed to take advantage of natural air
> > circulation. IMHO, the last 50 or so years, houses have been designed
> > cheap energy in mind. Our house was built in 1968 when oil was 18
> > cents/Imperial gallon (that was before we went metric). Windows were
> > glazed and the walls are built with 2x4s. Since then, I have had triple
> > glazing installed all around but, even with the current energy costs (now
> > electric for us), the pay back time for adding additional insulations is
> > very long.
> > When the oil crisis hit in ~1973, there was some footage on TV featuring
> > people complaining about the high costs of heating: these people were
> > dressed in short-sleeved shirts, in the winter! The idea of a sweater
> > crossed their mind.
> > As I pointed out to my e-mail to Michael Roberts earlier this evening,
> > switching to a less energy intensive lifestyle is not easily accomplished
> > without major dislocations. In the first place, it is very expensive to
> > increase the insulation of houses. Second, there is the general
> > inertia" that is central to an unwillingness to change. Let me give you
> > example. I listened to a presentation this afternoon about the public
> > perception of nuclear power. One way nuclear power could be more
> > in Canada (and help Canada come closer to meeting its "promised" goal for
> > the Kyoto Protocol) is to institute a "carbon tax." A tax on fossil fuels
> > based on the carbon content (highest for coal, lowest for propane) would
> > drive Canada to nuclear energy (again) and lower the emission of
> > gases. Yet, instituting a carbon tax is considered political suicide at
> > moment and might result in the province of Alberta (oil and gas rich)
> > separating from Canada.
> > Where I take issue with you is the comparison of energy consumption in
> > America and elsewhere. The climate in most of Canada and much of the US
> > continental. We are situated in the middle of the continent and our
> > winter temperature can drop to -40 although -30 C at night is more common,
> > with winter highs typically -15 C. In the summer it's not unusual to have
> > highs of +30 to +35 C. We are close to lakes and rivers (Canadian Shield)
> > we have the added humidity.
> > What is often ignored in the energy discussions is the vast distances (our
> > town is at the end of a highway and the nearest town is 25 km away), our
> > energy-intensive industry (e.g., aluminum, smelting, and other primary
> > industries). As Canada evolves to more secondary industry, the energy
> > consumption will decrease.
> > BTW, last time I was in Japan in a summer, the stores in one of the
> > provincial capitals had their doors wide open and the air conditioning
> > full blast, to entice shoppers into their stores! Yet, if Japan uses less
> > energy per capita than Canada, it must be because the houses are much
> > smaller, apartments use less energy to heat than detached homes, the
> > is not as severe, and the population density is much higher which means
> > public transit can be much more efficient.
> > Chuck
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Jonathan Clarke [mailto:email@example.com]
> > Sent: Friday April 20, 2001 11:04 PM
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Cc: email@example.com
> > Subject: 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
> > over, and
> > spent nearly 5 years in the desert when the day time temperatures were
> > 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
> > 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
> > and
> > Canada to degree to which buildings were heated to near tropic
> > when to could have been cheaper for people to wear a few more clothes (it
> > only early autum). How next door neighbour, a Canadian, has twice the
> > bill that we do simply because she insists in closing the house up and
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > or Japan, presumably this is a reflection of lifestyle, not different
> > climates.
> > Jon
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