Thursday, June 18, 2009

--National Impact of Global Climate Change Analyzed

The Obama administration released a report today detailed the expected effect global climate change will have on the United States. The New York Times Green, Inc. blog reports here.

Here's the most important part of that report for this blog: If global temperatures do indeed continue to rise, then demand for cooling technologies will exceed demand for heating technologies. Because builders tend toward the "Tighter Envelope" method of increasing energy efficiency, homes will continue to be utterly dependent on their increasingly powerful Air Conditioning units. But as temps rise and more AC units come online in areas ever further north, electric rates will rise and cooling will grow more expensive. This does not even take into consideration the fact that cooling homes creates a feedback loop: temps rise because of global warming, we turn on the AC, new power plants are needed to fill the demand for electricity to power the AC, new power plants contribute more greenhouse gases, more greenhouse gases cause temps to rise, and the cycle turns again.

Obviously, then, a home that heats and cools itself in better relationship to its environment will be in demand over the coming century. Many benefits will of course come from looking into new technologies. Old technologies, however, are forgotten only to our detriment.

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