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Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] OT: The Water-Energy-Connection

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  • Lee Dekker
    Your thinking is both unusual and refreshing. So many times I think along those same lines and then realize that 99.9% of the public does not think that way at
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 31, 2006
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      Your thinking is both unusual and refreshing. So many times I think along those same lines and then realize that 99.9% of the public does not think that way at all. Most simply can't comprehend what you're talking about even though it is extraordinarily simple. When pressed to consider thoroughly the energy requirements needed to do something like bring purified water to their tap, most people balk at the mental effort. When I go off about all the energy required to do this or that, most don't get it and some don't want any part of that kind of thinking. And who can blame them. It's scary thinking how dependent we all are on cycles of energy use we never see or even have to consider. The "good life" we live is thoroughly dependent on our continuous consumption of the Earth's finite stored energies and naturally we don't want that to change. The fact that almost everyone knows the predominance of the energies we use are finite only makes this kind of thinking exercise more
      repugnant to most.

      Try it out sometime. Take the conversation back to the original energy consumed (for anything, but water will do) and work forward. It's amazing how many heads pop into the sand. When someone talks about all the energy a building will require to heat and cool and light, remind them of all the energy that has already been burned up in the construction of the building. Try to take them on a little reverse trip to explore all the energy used in the construction. The mining and smelting and rolling and transporting of the steel, the cooking of the concrete, the mining and smelting of the copper, the formulation of various rubbers, plastics and chemicals from petroleum and all the thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel used by all the workers and construction equipment and delivery vehicles. And of course, there's much more.

      Most don't get it and quite a few just can't let their brains process the information. It's much more pleasant to just believe that things appear out of nowhere. And when we are done with those things, it's more pleasant to imagine they just somehow magically disappear. So as usual, we have met the enemy, and it is us.

      On a brighter note, there is certainly enough non-finite energy falling on Arizona each day to purify, pump and reuse every drop of water consumed.

      murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote: Living in the high desert of Arizona, as a homeowner, I having found
      myself thinking a lot about the connection between my home's energy
      use and water. It isn't just a matter of conserving water as a
      resource, but also being aware of the energy that goes into purifying
      water and pumping it to me.

      This quote is from a Tucson paper, the other day:

      http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Currents/Content?oid=oid%3A88379

      >"Here's a kicker," he says. "Thirty percent of the potable water
      >consumed in an average single family home in Tucson is cast in the dirt.
      >It's used for irrigation. Another 30 percent in the house goes down the
      >toilet. And we go to such a huge expense purifying this water to deliver
      >to every home.

      When we stop to consider how heavy water is (and so it must take
      energy to pump), and the amounts of chemicals and energy it must take
      to make potable, it is sobering to think that a lot of energy and
      resources are wasted, when we waste water. I find myself looking at a
      flow of water from the tap in my home, and thinking of it as an
      electric current. And, when we run the tap, sometimes we are not even
      using the water itself, but rather the force of the flowing water to
      clean a dish.

      Well, I'm sure there are many ways we can all think of, to try to
      conserve water. Since my area of study is generally energy
      conservation, I have perhaps not had sufficient focus on water, and
      its connections to general resource conservation, and the ways in
      which it inevitably relates to conservation in Energy. Perhaps some
      of us are reluctant to look at water because it is another
      technological area, and we want our energy conservation musings to be
      nice and neat and as easy as in the past?






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    • murdoch
      ... I ve always thought there s more to it than acknowledging that folks don t want to hear it. It has something to do with the need not to ask them to figure
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 31, 2006
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        >Try it out sometime. Take the conversation back to the original energy
        >consumed (for anything, but water will do) and work forward. It's
        >amazing how many heads pop into the sand. When someone talks about all
        >the energy a building will require to heat and cool and light, remind
        >them of all the energy that has already been burned up in the
        >construction of the building. Try to take them on a little reverse trip
        >to explore all the energy used in the construction. The mining and
        >smelting and rolling and transporting of the steel, the cooking of the
        >concrete, the mining and smelting of the copper, the formulation of
        >various rubbers, plastics and chemicals from petroleum and all the
        >thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel used by all the workers and
        >construction equipment and delivery vehicles. And of course, there's
        >much more.
        >
        >Most don't get it and quite a few just can't let their brains process
        >the information. It's much more pleasant to just believe that things
        >appear out of nowhere. And when we are done with those things, it's more
        >pleasant to imagine they just somehow magically disappear. So as usual,
        >we have met the enemy, and it is us.
        >
        >On a brighter note, there is certainly enough non-finite energy falling
        >on Arizona each day to purify, pump and reuse every drop of water
        >consumed.

        I've always thought there's more to it than acknowledging that folks
        don't want to hear it. It has something to do with the need not to
        ask them to figure out how to conserve, or show empathy for
        conservation, but to devise a better global system, more attuned to
        human habits and foibles and realities, within which individuals can
        see their way clear to trading and living with each other in a way
        that leads to conservation.

        If that sounds pie-in-the-sky, or simply daffy or confused, ok, but
        the thing is: you can't reach a goal unless you at least articulate
        it. So, I don't expect to reach such a system in my lifetime. Yet,
        better to articulate my fallible opinion that we need such a thing,
        than not to articulate it.

        With respect to finite fuel supplies (the limited resource we focus
        upon here) we can cite examples of how the global systems within which
        we presently work are not sufficiently working to keep us from
        disaster. When I buy gasoline at the pump, for example, I am not
        paying for the damage I do to your air (and mine), and the property of
        everyone, and so on.

        But, devising system that does a better job of accounting for finite
        resources, and property damages accruing under use of some resources,
        is a goal that will be as worthy 1,000,000 years from now as today.
        And we haven't finished devising it, and we have work to do.

        It is a government philosophy issue really, so I reckon we can
        continue (if we have inclination) in the alternative energy politics
        yahoo group, as I do not wish to take this group too far off-topic
        (unless there was an outcry that many feel it's on topic).

        Certainly we have had one poster here recently, staying within talking
        about fuels and vehicles, who has done a good job of pointing out that
        with respect to depletion of finite oil, we have practiced wishful
        thinking that depletion alone would solve many problems relating to
        oil, in a timely fashion, but this wishful thinking of ours may not
        hold true.... depletion alone is taking its time about driving oil
        prices up, it is not (on its own) acting sufficiently swiftly to
        forestall property damage or global economic and military conflict.
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