No More Nuclear in Germany
Germany's nuclear decision is a relatively easy one. If it were France, which relies on Nuclear for more than 60% of its energy, it would be a different issue.
In the US, we consume about 8.5 Short Tons of Oil Equivalent Energy (STOE) per capita per annum. This compares to about 4.5 STOE per capita for Germany, which is hardly an industrial backwater. Buildings (commercial and residential) in the US account for about 3.4 TOE per capita. That's about 75% of the energy that Germany uses for EVERYTHING. And Germany has a very high standard of living.
So........ the challenges for the US are monumental but - I think - we ought to be demanding that builders and developers (and the banks that fund them) are required to meet far stricter energy consumption criteria than exist today. I'm not advocating more prescriptive regulations - I'm arguing for performance targets that must be met before planning or building approvals can be given. The construction industry in the US is way behind the 8-ball when it comes to innovation - especially in housing and materials. Its time we (the people) began demanding far more than the low-performance junk that so often gets built around the edges of our cities.
Be the First to Know
Exploring solutions presented in our special July/August issue on Appalachia
Getting to 350: Building Strategies for 21st Century Aspirations
Bowdoin College's Phil Camill offers a fresh perspective to the issues surrounding environmental change.
Designing the Future of the Earth Co-operatively.
United Nations Climate Change Conference (Dec 7-18, 2009)
People in the capital city of Vermont interested in new solutions.
This is the University of Vermont Solutions Group. We are based in and around Burlington, VT.