Tuesday, 9 July 2013

In reply to KevinKat , ” Argh baby penguin so cute. He can live in my apartment it’s always cold there! ”
Kind, in a way, to offer to share your cold apartment with the penguin but maybe that’s not taking in the big picture.
Air conditioning uses heat exchanger where heat is transferred from inside your apartment to the air out side. So outside gets a tiny bit warmer and inside quite a bit cooler. This process requires energy, a high percentage of which for your flat will probably come from fossil fuel. This will have released CO2 which is contributing to changing the climate for cute penguins.
However we are all locked in to systems that are difficult to change. I’ve heard using a fan uses less energy ? I drove my car to work today. I’m just looking at what is possible in theory.
I previously quoted from Jeff Rubin’s book, ” Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller ” p 273 about energy use of houses in U.S.A. I have checked out the figures I quoted. He used a children’s reference page. I looked at another – U.S energy information administration eia.gov which is different:
” How much gasoline does the United States consume ” the answer – 3.1 billion barrels in 2011
If one barrel = 1700 kwh then 3.1 billion barrels would generate 5270 billion kwh
If one house uses 11,000 kwh per year then 3.1 billion barrels could supply 500 million houses per year
There are 125 million houses in U.S.A so transport oil could provide 4 times amount needed
From wikipedia article on ethanol production
In 2011 U.S produced 13.9 billion gallons of ethanol from corn which was added to gasoline at 10%. This matches the 134 billion total gasoline consumption by vehicles in U.S.A in 2011 quoted by eia
In 2011 U.S grew 64 million hectares of corn in total of which one third went to ethanol production
So 20 million hectares of corn for ethanol = 200,000 square kilometers
1 hectare could easily support a pony so you could support 20 million ponies from the area of land
currently used for bioethanol.
The U.S equine marketing association estimates there are already 11 million horses in U.S.A
This could bring the total to 31 million horses for pulling americans in fine carriages. Impressive ?
There are currently 250,000,000 cars in U.S.A so my scheme to turn U.S.A over to horse transport
can only find 12 % of current. Oops again. My thoughts are pie in the sky.
However at least doing this would give more crop rotation – an end the vast monoculture of GM corn.
An extra 200,000 square kilometers with grass & clovers and other plants useful to bees & other insects
would help conserve biodiversity
Looks like a 220 million bicycles will still be needed.
Growing hay for horses would only use maybe one third the fertilizer of growing corn and lots less energy – you’d only need to cut grass, turn a few times and bale. Transport of hay would be major task.
Maybe it is more energy efficient to grow oats to feed humans directly and get them to cycle ? But get to work without sweating by horse & carriage. Trouble is that if horses were on same road as cars they would probably cause road blocks and increase fuel consumption thus erasing any advantage
Probably just a tail pipe dream ?

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