Palo Alto

I was ambushed today outside the Apple Store in Palo Alto by these two students (Lisa Day and friend) gathering support for Environment California.

The state is the 12th largest source of global warming pollution in the world, more than most countries. They’re also at the forefront of the fight to make a difference, with good old Arnie Schwarzenegger (now generally known as Governor) leading the charge.

But there still seems to be a lack of joined-up thinking in some quarters. Electrical power consumption is still rising. On 7th August a new record for power demand was set, coinciding with the peak of the heatwave.

So let me get this… the hotter it gets, the more power is consumed, presumably to run airconditioning. So as the planet generally gets hotter, more and more power is going to be consumed to keep the Californians cool.

Moving to greener sources of energy is definitely a step in the right direction, but mightn’t it help if people learned to use less power as well?

Many environmental objectives seem to be painfully far into the future – fuel cells, hydrogen, new wind farms. If every single person used the aircon for one less hour a day, today, it would start to make a difference with a zero lead time.

Is air-conditioning essential, or is it a luxury?

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