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Karel Rogers, PhD – Affordable

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

I think the key issue on affordable is, affordable for whom?  If you’re making enough money, it doesn’t matter what the price on anything is.  If you’re short of money, it becomes a real problem.  It can also be taken from the perspective of affordable for nature and the ecosystem we live in, and many of our current behaviors are not affordable for nature, even though that’s not a money based afford.  And so, whether something is affordable or not has a whole lot to do with who’s doing the affording.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Carbon Footprint

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

Carbon footprint is a measure of how much fossil fuel intensity is involved in your life.  It also can be taken from the standpoint of the carbon dioxide you breathe out of your body.  I understand it takes something like 15 trees to support a single individual’s ability to breathe because trees take in carbon dioxide and put out oxygen.  So if we’re going to take in oxygen, there has to be a source of it.  Fifteen trees for every person breathing, and so, you know, the question that can be asked is, do you own your own trees or are you using someone else’s?  Similarly, when we use fossil fuel, it takes the trees, soaking in carbon dioxide, to pull that out of the air.  And so your carbon footprint is how much excess carbon you’re putting into the air.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Carbon Offsets

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

One complicated game people can play when it comes to lifestyles that produce excess carbon into the atmosphere, is to purchase carbon offsets.  Carbon offsets are kind of a shell game with carbon, which allows a person to do things like buy an acre of rainforest in exchange for having a house that’s bigger than it otherwise would need to be for their needs.  That acre of rainforest, presumptively, would have been cut if the person hadn’t bought the acre of rainforest.  Games would be played like, contribute to this non-profit and we’ll save this much, something or other, in return for giving you free license to drive a hummer.  Those are the sorts of things that are possible with carbon offsets.

At the same time, each of us has to think in terms of the 15 trees that we need to keep alive in order to soak up the carbon dioxide we breathe.  And that is one real honest version of a carbon offset.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Climate Change

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

Climate change is the same thing as global warming.  Global warming, on the other hand, is terminology that leads people to believe that every place you are on the earth is going to get warmer.  Climate change has more of the implication that we’re dealing with a chaotic system, which means that some places get wetter, some places get dryer, some places get hotter, some places get colder, some windier, some less wind, and so on.  It’s important when you think about climate change, to recognize the difference between climate and weather.  Weather is what’s going on outside at any given point in time, whereas climate is the sum total of the highs and lows of temperatures, extremes of wind and weather events and so on, that make it so that particular species of plants and animals can live in particular regions.  Changing climate means we’re literally taking a chance on everything that humans depend upon for stability in our civilization.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Energy Crisis

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

The energy crisis started for us back in the 1970’s with oil shocks that occurred then because we were running out of our domestic sources of oil. Then we started addressing the issues with a variety of different technologies and so on, but in short order all of that was forgotten and because of how markets work, oil imports replaced what we couldn’t produce domestically. Right now what we are facing is that same kind of peak production which has occurred now though on a global level, and increasing demand from countries around the world has brought us to an energy crisis. And this crisis is essentially a crisis of how much energy we have been wasting rather than the amount of energy we have been using.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Green

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

Green, nowadays, is a word to market all kinds of nasty things that, because unwary people, you know, try to do the right thing, and if they hear the word green they equate that with being environmentally friendly.  I think green should be a trigger to each of us that says I need to investigate this carefully, and once I know for sure what they’re doing actually is positive for the environment, then be a faithful consumer of that particular thing.

On the other hand, just because you put a label, green, on a house or a car or anything else doesn’t make it green.  It doesn’t make it environmentally friendly.  As a matter of fact, many extremely nasty things are running around under the guise of green.

Karel Rogers, PhD – LEED

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

The acronym, LEED, stands for Leadership in Environment and Energy Design.  It’s a system of things that can be done when areas are developed, buildings are built, that allows the builders, the developers, to choose from lists of various things that reduce the impact on the environment of doing that particular building, and largely to mix and match a whole variety of different techniques that make it so that that building, later, has a much smaller energy footprint, which pays whoever buys it back over time, in terms of lower energy bills.  LEED buildings also protect water resources, which is a very, very important issue for our ability to live in this place over the long term.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Looking Ahead

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

So, in nature, nature in and of itself, and this system on earth that we live in, is the system which is inherently renewable and healthy and abundant and a place where there’s rest for the soul and for the spirit of a person.  We’ve gotten off track as a culture, to the point where we have this frenetic chase of crap, essentially, that really doesn’t benefit us.  It doesn’t benefit anything around us.  And I think as we get to true solutions to the energy problem, we’ll get to some good solutions for some of the social and spiritual problems that we’ve been feeling.

I can give you one example of that.  The style of development that has come about and become real rampant over the last 20, 30, 40 years, the sprawling kind of development, what that does is isolates people in spots, away from where they can get food.  You only can get to or from that spot if you’re old enough to drive a car, and not too old to drive a car.  Community is lost.  There are many of these subdivisions where people don’t even know their neighbors because when they leave their home, they walk into their attached garage, hit the garage door opener, get in their vehicle and take off.  That sense of front porch is lost.  You don’t even see or recognize the people you’re living near.

And so, I think as we solve our energy problems, it’s possible for us to also solve a whole suite of social problems that have come about because we’ve essentially set up our system so that there’s inherent waste of energy built into our, you know, daily activities.  A home can be more comfortable with different sources of energy, especially if you aren’t sitting and worrying about what your gas bill is going to be.

So I think we have real potential for a lot of health, well being, abundance and good things in our future, if we get our act together with energy.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Peak Oil

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Video Transcript:

Peak oil is a popular phrase that’s used today to represent the idea that globally we’re starting to run out of oil.That is there is kind of a bell shaped curve worth of easily accessible oil present in the earth, we’ve now, or sometime in the near future, in the recent past, hit the top amount of that oil which is available, and as demand increases right past what is available, so demand is not based on how much supply is present there. Demand is inelastic. And so, from the standpoint of what people are seeing, it looks like there’s plenty of oil left in the ground.On the other hand, I’ve read that the OPEC nations, Saudi Arabia in particular, has been pumping salt water down their oil wells for some period of time to keep their production up.That isn’t any indication that there’s going to be tons of oil in the future.As a matter of fact, if you look at the size of oil fields that are being discovered now versus what was discovered 20 years ago, the size of the oil fields are getting progressively smaller, which would indicate that we’re on the downhill side of when the peak amount of oil, readily accessible oil, is available.

As we run out of readily accessible oil, certainly other kinds of oil will be developed, for example, oil shale.That, however, will be more expensive and a different grade of oil than we’ve been currently getting.

Peak oil is a popular phrase that’s used today to represent the idea that globally we’re starting to run out of oil.That is there is kind of a bell shaped curve worth of easily accessible oil present in the earth, we’ve not, or sometime in the near future, in the recent past, hit the top amount of that oil which is available, and as demand increased right past what is available, so demand is not based on how much supply is present there.Demand is inelasting.And so, from the standpoint of what people are seeing, it looks like there’s plenty of oil left in the ground.On the other hand, I’ve read that the OPEC nations, Saudi Arabia in particular, has been pumping salt water down their oil wells for some period of time to keep their production up.That isn’t any indication that there’s going to be tons of oil in the future.As a matter of fact, if you look at the size of oil fields that are being discovered now versus what was discovered 20 years ago, the size of the oil fields are getting progressively smaller, which would indicate that we’re on the downhill side of when the peak amount of oil, readily accessible oil, is available.

As we run out of readily accessible oil, certainly other kinds of oil will be developed, for example, oil shale.That, however, will be more expensive and a different grade of oil than we’ve been currently getting.

Karel Rogers, PhD – Problems Solutions (2009.10.03)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009
Video Transcript:

The key problem that I see dealing with energy is that we have billions and billions of dollars invested in fuel inefficient vehicles, in coal fired power plants, in nuclear power plants, in Rub Goldberg grid system, which has been jerry-rigged time and time again to get us through one change or another change.  We have our homes set up in very inefficient, ineffective ways.  We’re building many, many more new structures that are energy inefficient.  That paradigm and that investment that’s been made in old outdated technology is literally tying us to decisions that we otherwise wouldn’t make if we were starting from scratch.

For example, some people say nuclear power is the solution to the problem.  You should know that a nuclear power plant can only work in conjunction with a coal fired plant, because a nuclear power plant is going to run full board, generating electricity into the grid, no matter what’s happening.  It has to have an external source of electricity to keep running.  A coal fired power plant, on the other hand, is kind of like a rheostat on the grid and the amount of electricity that’s in the grid so that if you need a little more power in the grid when everyone turns on their air conditioner on a hot day, then all you have to do is throw a little more coal on the fire and whamo, you’ve got more energy into the grid.  Nuclear power plants can’t do that.

So, the solutions to this whole thing, I definitely agree with Al Gore’s challenge to the US, that within a 10 year period we have a modern, updated energy grid system which isn’t losing 70% of its energy from where the energy is produced to where we use it.  An updated grid system that allows individual homeowners to have their own wind power, little windmill, generating electricity so that their meter can run both forward and back.  In other words, we distribute throughout out activities where power is generated and where power is used and, you know, more of a give and take sort of a system.  Our old grid system can’t function like that, and that’s part of the hesitancy, partly why people are so upset and having trouble dealing with the idea of alternative energy.  To be real frank, alternative energy does not work well with this old grid system.  It was designed and built for coal fired plants and nuclear powered plants.