Don’t think you’re powerless. You are not.
Put solar panels on your roof or in your back yard. Buy an electric car. Use solar power to charge your batteries as well as supplement the electricity for your home.
Use less electricity at home. Replace the gas you’re using now with solar power.
It’s real, it’s measurable, it’s beneficial and it’s available now. And you could not get the solar charger from the company I work for. You’d have to use a competitor for that (although we’d be happy to put the solar panels on your roof).
Do it. Seriously–if you live in the American Southwest or West Coast, you really should do it.
Putting solar panels on your roof is one of the least cost-effective means of mitigation possible, even with the current rock-bottom prices of solar panels. Better to lobby for a carbon price and let the market decide how to do the mitigation in the most cost-effective way possible. (Assuming you believe mitigation to be necessary, which I do not.)
Well, to each his own. When the fuel is free the question is how long does the system last? And we don’t know because a lot of the systems first put up in the 70s are still producing.
I’m happy to wait until parity is achieved, particularly if that scenario is as close as people like Ray Kurzweil say it is. I can’t see that waiting a few years is going to be significant in climate terms, but it certainly is in economic terms. Where I live (Canberra, Australia) domestic solar panel owners get paid a feed in tariff of 60 cents a KW hour for all the electricity their panels generate, even if they use it all themselves, so this accounts for some of my anti solar panel bias. (I don’t approve of the wealthy getting a hefty subsidy at the expense of the poor.)
The number one change is to make the house more efficient in the power it requires.
In Houston, the only solar being widely adopted is to add solar powered roof vents to cool attics in the summer.
The help a lot by cooling attics which reduces the heat load on cooling systems.
Very true and I wonder why it isn’t emphasized more. Solar is usually designed to save between 15% and 30% of electricity consumption. Energy efficiency can save up to one-third–sometimes more. However, our experience to date is that people who are ‘conscious’ enough to go solar have already picked the low-hanging fruit for energy efficiency savings. And the people who haven’t made real moves on energy efficiency already tend to be pretty stubborn about it.