Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill and Efficiency

At work today, while waiting for an amazingly slow computer to respond (really, it's like watching grass grow!), I picked up the June 7th copy of Newsweek with heavy coverage on the Gulf Oil Spill. I blogged a bit about the Spill and something we can do about it here.

I feel physically ill thinking about this, and have mostly avoided media coverage on it. I can't look at photos. I don't want to be stunned and depressed, I want to DO something, have contacted my salon (see above link), am pondering other ways to help.

But I digress. While reading and waiting on uber slow computer, I came across this article by Daniel Gross. I thought it was thoughtful, pointed, poignant. I loved the ending....which calls for, not extreme measures to tap resources, but extreme efficiency so we can use less.

Which makes me want to talk about my husband, who passionately teaches one aspect of this topic, building science. It's a funny story about how he got into this line of work, one that I'm too tired to relate tonight. But I'm so very grateful that he's found something so wonderful to do that he loves so much!

What he does, simply put, is teach people how to audit homes and buildings and look for ways to make them much more efficient, and also safe. It's essentially physic; pressure, air flow...someday I'll take his class so I can understand it better. But it's good stuff, and dispells a lot of myths about building techniques with hard science to back it up.

One of the neat things about this stuff is that making a building more energy efficient is sustainable in multiple ways. Less use of energy has obvious benefits, in light of the Gulf Spill and other related issues. But it's also financially sound, a win win, if you will, better for all. Sometimes something as simple as $300 worth of caulk can save the occupant thousands in heating and cooling costs over the life span of the caulk (15 years give or take).

There's so much more I'd like to say about it all, but don't really have the vocabulary or understanding yet.  But stay tuned if this interests you, I'm sure to have more soon.