Thanks to LimerickTango for this link...
Some actual hard numbers on saving energy to digest...short and sweet...
And here is another that Ms.Hedgehog sent me several days ago...more in depth...
Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap
My thought is that we all really need to be thinking in terms of "tending towards zero" in terms of our energy usage.
Here's why. I have a friend who has an earth sheltered passive solar house at about 8,700 feet in elevation in Colorado. They have a couple of wood stoves, some thermal mass for heat storage/release, and propane for the cooking range and as a backup heat source. It's a nice house in the Sante Fe southwest territorial style, with saltillo tile floors and stucco walls. Nice and warm and bright and cozy and homey. Probably about 1,500 square feet.
Their electricity bill in the winter? About $25.00. 100 years ago, hell, less than that - most folks were living happy, healthy, productive lives with ZERO energy. ZERO carbon footprint.
So, I know it can be done. There are lots of people today who are living completely off the grid. We've been brainwashed into thinking it's the American Dream/capitalist way to use energy - lots of it - more more more, better better better. More appliances (although more energy efficient), a wine cooler, a mondo SubZero, a snowmelting system for your driveway and your roof, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda. I've built some houses where the appliance budget - ONLY the appliance budget mind you - has been $50,000. We've been brainwashed and advertised into an economic system designed to separate us from our money. The middle and lower classes have found that it's been taking 110% percent of your income just to make ends meet. Hence the credit crunch/crisis/crash.
That's why people using little/no energy, living off the grid, have been branded as "strange", "hippies", "unAmerican", "pinko commie fags". I think it's actually the most American and patriotic thing you can do to try to conserve the Earth's resources. Walk the walk and talk the talk. I was watching "The Matrix" last night, for the 93rd time, and caught something Morpheus said. (paraphrasing) "There's a difference between 'knowing' the path and 'walking' the path..."
Think ZERO and you will be taking BIG steps in the RIGHT direction. We just need to get about 1 billion folks to start thinking ZERO.
Walk the path. Be a ZERO HERO. Hell, I might even try to sell some t-shirts.
Which also goes to this - one of my favorite sayings - by Ghandi - "BE the change you wish to see in the world..."