Friday, January 30, 2009

So here's a cool little thing you can do to reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint, if, like me, you're incredibly cheap and are still using a CRT (one of those big old clunky monitors). I know, I know, I really should buy an LCD monitor. But in the meantime, I've downloaded free software that cuts the energy use of my CRT by blacking out the part I'm not using. (The white space on a CRT is created by directing an electron beam at the little red, blue, and green dots (phosphors) at the front of the screen, which uses energy to make them light up.) The beam doesn't get fired at the part of the screen that's black. To download this program for free, go to: It also helps to shrink the size of the screen area you're using to minimize the white space showing. And buy an LCD monitor as soon as you can! Note: Don't download the program if you have an LCD monitor, and remove it if you buy one. The program won't save energy if you have an LCD, and it may even use more energy.

Post your ideas for saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint!

Friday, January 23, 2009

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about global warming. You can find some of them at the sites listed to the right. I'm far from perfect in trying to reduce my carbon footprint, but I've found that when I can do something, it turns out to be worthwhile even besides the benefit of reducing CO2.

Take riding the bus (please). That's something I thought would be a chore here in Santa Fe, NM, where public transportation is a bit sketchy, but turns out it's more of an adventure. It does involve getting up about 45 minutes earlier, and we have to walk or bike a mile and a half to the closest bus stop, but that's kind of fun. Not only do I get some exercise, it's a pleasant scramble across an arroyo and some more-or-less natural high desert terrain.

A couple of weeks ago, I read about a young woman who died after stealing a car. She was being chased by the police, tried to pass another vehicle, and ran head on into a crane. I didn't think too much about it, except to feel sad about a senseless death. A couple of guys got on the bus a couple days later, and one of them started talking to me, mentioning that they were from Santo Domingo Pueblo. After a few minutes, he pulled a ring out of his pocket. "Did you read about that girl that got killed when she crashed into a crane? She was a friend of ours. This is her ring. We're trying to get back to Santo Domingo to bury it."

You may think you're helping prevent climate change, and you are, but it turns out you're getting even more than you bargained for.

Friday, January 16, 2009

In case you hadn't heard, there's a bit of a CO2/global warming/climate change problem. I think the fact that grabs my attention the most is that we've created CO2 levels in the atmosphere that are higher now than at any time over the last 650,000 years (see Union of Concerned Scientists FAQ #5 here.) Humans as we know them today didn't even exist 650,000 years ago.