Attention, Electricity Hogs

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How to Offset Your Wicked Electricity Habit

This morning at 7:46 am EDT, the United States passed the 300 million population mark. The run up to this milestone seems to have been accompanied by a predictable amount of vague hand-wringing about the problems a larger population will create.Ironically, this vague commentary was often accompanied by a long recitation of previous dire predictions (mostly from the '70s) that were pretty much completely wrong.

Maybe complex systems are hard to predict?

But avoiding predictions is no fun. So, having reviewed lots of information about the latest complex system whose behavior we'd like to predict -- i.e. the earth's climate in the distant future -- I wondered if there was actually something folks who are worried about climate change could do? Buying a Prius is one thought, but transportation carbon dioxide output only represents 13 percentof the total, and new cars a tiny fraction of that.

Then there's the debate about whether the total energy to produce the complex systems in the Prius generates more carbon dioxide than the Prius fails to emit while running. And you'd have to be bored to death every time you drove it.

The biggest part of the carbon dioxide pie (nice image, huh?) is actually from electricity and heat production, responsible for about 25 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.We and our beloved readers undoubtedly have above average electricity usage, since powering those big tube amps and plasma TVs consumes some serious joules.

So,I searched for a way to offset emissions from those sources.Turns out you can pay to completely offset your electric and heat greenhouse gas emissions.Terrapass and CarbonFund are in the business of funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.You just send them a check, and they build more power windmills or carbon sequestration facilities.Worth a look.

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