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Saving energy in line with summer:A proposal

By: catfuraplenty , 4:40 AM GMT on June 14, 2009

European countries, for the most part(and I know many have changed to a more western way of doing things), had it right. They know how to act during the summer. We talk about saving money, saving energy, saving water, lowering energy bills and gas consumption,yada, yada, yada. But do we? Do we utilize commonsense, going with the flow of the heat rather than acting like everyone lives in San Diego, CA, a comfortable 70ish year around?

I hear ya, I'm getting to the point.

Open early, I'm talking about 5am and stay open to 10am. Then close during the hottest part of the day and reopen at say 5PM and close at 11PM.

How does this save energy? You probably already know this but I'll point out savings anyway, because it's my blog...:P

1. Opening during the coolest parts of the day and staying closed during the hottest parts of the day will save energy across the board. Companies will use less electricity to keep their stores cool. This will also be reflected in the heavy load placed on the power grid that accompany daytime spikes. Without that huge demand at peak daylight hours, we can cut down usage by staying in our offices, in our houses and off the streets. Savings on electricity across the board.

2. With no great reason to have to stay on the roads during the hottest parts of the day, we will use less gas sitting there idling in the heat, giving off more green house gases, etc. This will also cut down on the radiant heat that a city generates anyway in the middle of the day. All that concrete + all those motorized vehicles on the road ramps up the heat to much higher than it should be. Plus we could cut way back on the production of ozone. In Houston (close to where I live) ozone and other particulates are generated and don't dissipate as they should do to our heat and humidity. Many times we get warnings that the air is unhealthy to sensitive individuals (which really means if you breath, stay indoors). In the evenings these levels typically drop off.

3. Going with the heat instead of against would probably save lives and/or make us feel a whole lot better. Doing what needs to be done in the cooler (relatively cooler) parts of the day we don't expose our bodies to extremes of heat. We also don't expose ourselves to the extremes of being in a super heated environment then going into air conditioned buildings and back out into the unforgiving summer day. We'd save on having to use so many sun screen products and cut back on water consumption. We know we need to conserve water as well as electricity.

During the winter months, we do the opposite. Open when the sun is up and close when the sun is down. Isn't this supposed to be why we invented daylight savings time? Maybe I'm wrong about that. I haven't checked on the original meanings of this odd time switch but certainly it had to be done for more of a reason than making us all grumpy and bleary eyed twice a year.

This saving energy stuff may not work in all states or in all cities. Houston, which is miserable in the summer, spring and fall but glorious about two months of the year could institute the summer schedule nearly year around. We have far more heat than we ever have cold. And going to the summertime opening and closing schedule would save us money pretty much all the time.

But in places like North Dakota, I imagine (since I don't live there) that a winter schedule 8 months of the year or so would save them energy, water, etc.

Where ever you live. In whatever climate. Going with nature is the only way to really have an impact on our energy and water savings. It won't amount to a hill of beans if we go to alternate sources of energy if we also try to ignore what nature is trying to tell us; mainly don't buck the system.

Those are my 2 cents worth. And if you find you want to know what it is like to be out during the wee hours, read the blog that was just before this one. :)

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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10. SATxKat
7:32 PM GMT on June 14, 2009
Interesting blog. Around here the farmers in the 'good old day's' used to hit the fields as soon as it got light, work until noon, and then take a siesta until late afternoon before going back out. I don't know if they follow the same thing now that many have air-conditioned tractors.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. catfuraplenty
7:28 PM GMT on June 14, 2009
Miss Bug, :) I'm fine. The last few months have seen me busy with more things than can be written here but a lot of the craziness came to an end with the birth of my grand nephew, Walker, about 2 weeks ago. The announcement of his June arrival had been anticipated for months, plus hubby and I have been trying to get the trailer fixed up before the hurricane season arrived. Hubby took a new job.... you know, the stuff that happens when you think you are spinning your wheels then suddenly realize, you are that stationary, you are just living. ;)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. palmettobug53
2:38 PM GMT on June 14, 2009
Cat! How you been, girl?

Just trying to do quick fly-bys this a.m. to say hello. Slept in and I need to get off the computer and get busy with my Sunday chores.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. seflagamma
2:30 PM GMT on June 14, 2009
I apologize to you in public. I was wanting to participate in your blog and posted twice to no response. You are correct, I should have mailed you. Please accept my apology.
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6. catfuraplenty
7:29 AM GMT on June 14, 2009
MN, it's funny you should talk about living underground. My husband and I have often spoken about that. We even looked into buying one of those old missile silos that about a decade or so ago were being sold my the government. Some silos are probably still for sale but they are so far from anything (which I guess was the point, lol) that the people who wanted them were mainly self-sufficient.

I'm anything but self-sufficient. And we will probably always have to live close by a vets practice so...

I posted this topic because I was talking to my husband about it tonight and he said, I should write it up here. I don't know what I was thinking. Now, please hand me a gun, I wish to shoot myself in the foot. :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. MNTornado
7:17 AM GMT on June 14, 2009
Your idea is a suggestion is something that could and probably should be looked into. I have to wonder though if that would lead to other problems with day to day functioning. It's hard to get people to change their ways. Many ideas are being looked at and I suspect some of the old ones will start coming back into consideration such as living underground, making buildings from materials that reflect heat instead of absorbing it, etc. One of the new ideas that has been suggested and tried is putting grass and plant life on top of the flat roofed buildings. This causes the building to not absorb all the heat and actually has be shown to actually reduce the heat levels in cities with skyscrapers.

The underground thing actually works well in summer and winter as the temperature underground is much more constant. The main problem with this is that we as humans need to be exposed a minimum about to the sunlight so that we can generate certain chemicals we need to maintain our physical and mental health.

There are many people that are looking into the various possibilities. You might try and research who are these people or agencies and make you suggestions to them. It's possible that no one else has thought of this and done any research into it.

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4. catfuraplenty
6:59 AM GMT on June 14, 2009
Jittery, I've watched videos on cruises to Alaska. They always look so inviting. I know winters there are supposed to be brutal, but I've never been.

My husband and I laugh about the fact that I rarely get cold anymore. He threatens to take me to cool lands but he once said he was afraid I would contribute to global warming by melting the ice we stood on. :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. catfuraplenty
6:57 AM GMT on June 14, 2009
I'm sorry gamma, it was not intentional. I wish you had pm'ed about this and I would have rectified it instead of making a public thing into a private one before accusations were made.

I have never now, nor ever, tried to slight you. Had I realized I would certainly have apologized. I apologize now and for the record, no participation on anything I write is required.

Thank you for visiting.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. jitterymoose
6:49 AM GMT on June 14, 2009
Hi, catfur :-)

Folks don't think it gets HOT in Fairbanks, but it does. It's hard to get used to humidity again, too. :-) As for daylight.... the sun is now rising at 249am and it sets the NEXT DAY at 1249am. We don't get the whole sun-never-sets thing going on, but we're at 24 hours of visible light, and I'm TRYING to enjoy it -- especially since, June 22nd, we start losing time, and it ROCKETS to darkness beginning in September. Today was nice and cool, though, with highs only around 60, and then there was this thunderstorm, and it's dropped into the 50s headed for the 40s. Nice. :-)
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1. seflagamma
4:51 AM GMT on June 14, 2009
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Wife, cat herder, dog wrangler, jewelry maker, fossil hunter, artist, museum docent and watcher of passing clouds.

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