Thursday 31 July 2008 1.54pm
there are people complaining about fuel prices going up. This is however, inevitable, and people shouldn't complain about it, they should be
thinking about how to use less of it.
The average inside house temperature 80 years ago was 13 deg. now it's risen to nearly 20. You don't need a warm house - if you're cold, put a cardigan on.
A lot easier said than done. I can't improve the thermal efficiency of my flat by 30% every year when fuel prices rise by the same amount - I'd be living in a tiny cube by now, breathing recycled air. Thermal insulation is extremely expensive and can take decades to recoup depending on the building.
The temperature suggestion is too simplistic. How many times do can we keep decreasing the temperature by a degree? 5 years in a row and we're living in inhospitable abodes. We may as well move back into caves in 10 years. How many old folks do you know who can survive in 13 degrees? Have you actually tried?
The answer isn't energy conservation - that's going to do SFA in the medium to long term. The key to maintaining our standards of living is getting cheaper (and cleaner) energy. By my estimates, it turns out that a 100% efficient 125km2 grid of solar panels will provide pretty much all of the energy the world is currently using. So we just need to improve solar panel efficiency from 20% to 100%.