We’re at war. Putin decided that your freedom doesn’t matter. That if he so wishes, he can take your home, your freedom, your life. We can't fight him directly, but if we act together, we can hurt him in the only asset he has: his energy.
Hi Tomas, good message here! I would like to refine your points a little because conserving energy in buildings is my current profession.
First, I am more conservative than you about legionella. I advise keeping the hot water circulating at 60 C and cooling by dilution at the point of use. 60 C is sterilizing, not just retarding the bacteria that cause legionella.
Second, for office buildings and the like, evaluate when they are needed and turn off lighting and HVAC unless requested. Modern buildings can be controlled using occupancy sensors rather than timers and schedulers.
For latitudes less than, say, 35 degrees, air conditioning and dehumidification use tremendous amounts of electricity, much of this derived from oil and gas. Saving power in the summer reduces natural gas demand, so it can be diverted to Northern Europe in the winter.
A little-considered issue in bigger buildings is the amount of air exhausted. That air has to be replaced by fresh air, which has to be cooled and dehumidified or heated. Most air is exhausted from restrooms, reasonably enough. But the fans are often “always on” and on at full speed. This can be modified to an as-needed basis if the engineering is done well. The amount of fresh air has to track with the exhaust.
Your thoughts on diversification of energy sources is spot on. Oddly enough, the earthquakes generated by oil production come from disposal of the rather nasty water that comes up with the gas and petroleum. Pumping that water down a 5 km deep well leads to a 5 km tall water column. The pressure from that water column causes the quakes. Cleaning up the water or very careful injection can avoid the quakes.
Tomas, I agree with your theme of reducing the West's dependence on the Russian energy, which is reflected in my "like" vote.
However, your statement that the support for the war is waning in Russia is inaccurate. Today, (7 September 2022), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) has issued a report "My Country, Right or Wrong: Russian Public Opinion on Ukraine," https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/09/07/my-country-right-or-wrong-russian-public-opinion-on-ukraine-pub-87803 , which details Russian opinions. Figure 1 of the report shows only mild reduction in support. In March, 53% supported the war definitely and 28% mostly, for the total of 81%. In June, the numbers were 47% + 28% = 75%.
The Russians blame not Putin but the West for their economic decline. The Russians are habituated to the sanctions since 2014. The economic loss is balanced with the national pride about the Russian strength and significance, and the Russians rally round the flag.
I used to think that opinion polls are unreliable because people would not want to risk their freedom by giving answers that contradict the government views. But the authors of the CEIP report assert that the Levada Center poll was conducted according to the international standards.
Excellent. You are using your position to advance the moral arc of the world. You make me proud to be a supporter.
Some argue that big corporations are responsible for the bulk of emissions and energy consumption, using that defeatist position to rationalize their lack of personal accountability. There's truth to that claim, of course, but they fail to understand the cumulative impact personal choices have on the zeitgeist. When regulation is absent, personal choices fill the gap. Companies that have gone greener and have invested in DEI haven't done so (in many cases) because they've been compelled by regulation. They've done it to attract top-flight talent who value such things. Leadership is also not immune to those cultural influences, making them more likely set greener policies. It's not a silver bullet, but personal choices matter. Thank you for enumerating many of the ways in which we can make an impact. I know my old house could use an insulation upgrade.
One thing you did not mention is recovery and reuse of waste heat . Many industries emit a lot of waste heat in exhaust air and in the process water they sewer. This is low grade energy but it can be used to heat or preheat domestic or industrial water and to heat building air. The business I worked in considered heating air or water with primary energy an energy sin at least 40 years ago but we still generated a lot of waste energy in our air and water effluents that could heat all of the building air and domestic hot water in our little city.
Excellent. Thanks. Your insights are always relevant. I am one of your avid reader. Alain Roy
Natural gas is methane, CH4, not H2 or hydrogen. Fracking results in fugitive emissions of methane, which is about 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. We know that climate change mitigation requires new reserves of oil, gas and coal to remain in the ground. Climate change will result in wars over declining quality and quantity of food and water. Be careful about what you ask for.
If I want to install solar panels in my house, here in Madrid, I have to pay 21% of taxes VAT. Why is that, how a country like Spain don't yet lower taxes on panels.
Great article Tomas. Side note : I noticed you used an AI generated image, probably made through MidJourney, am I right ? ;)
Thank you for the additional data, Victoria. Highly relevant. I make an effort to limit the wishful thinking, but the bias is hard to fully check. I’m glad you make part of those checks and balances!
This is a naive American version wrt how force and power work... as well as negotiating peace by saving energy! you're just "...fighting Russians until the last Ukrainian". We, Ukrainians, created this joke in 2015, cause it was bloody obvious back then how US was going to play this.
Write a piece on who starts proxy wars, why, and how it is going. If you can't, then don't venture into these topics, because if you're not helping peace, you ARE shedding peoples' blood by spreading one-sided 100-level propaganda.
As an European I believe what you write to be correct. I do however question the role of the US in this War. US benefits first hand by being able to sell gas to Europe so why would they want this War to end? Unless the global economy unhinges they also are gambling in my opinion.
The problem is not that "Putin believes in the law of the strongest. I’m stronger than you, I can do whatever the fuck I want."
The problem is that the other leaders did not believe or understand that all rule based systems are prone to be abused by the strongest man on the block, which given enough time is always guaranteed to show up.
Power projection is how humans have settled disputes for millennials because unlike rules power projection is impeachable by bringing more power to the table.
Have you read the work of Jason Lowery?
Thomas, good and useful article regarding the technical advice's. Nevertheless, I think your introduction is a bit simplistic and will deserve, I am sure, another and more scientific analysis with much less pep talk, focusing on the reasons of a war where there are no innocents. When you say Putin is a threat for the Free World, that is true, but, why has the Free World failed integrating Russia? What forces (under the Free World "correct"/"acceptable" umbrella) were acting and awake the monster?
The evidence of engineers does not support your statement ; in any event electricity prices are clearly linked by the natural laws of economics to natural gas prices and will rise, with or without Ev's and with or without the economies that you suggest