Juneau Saves Electricity in a Hurry
July-August 2008 Editorial, Home Energy Magazine
By Alan Meier, Editor

What do you do when the price of electricity suddenly jumps fivefold? This was the dilemma faced by the residents of Juneau, Alaska, when an avalanche suddenly cut the transmission line to their source of cheap hydropower. The answer is conserve, conserve, and (in case you weren’t paying attention), conserve. In only a few weeks, Juneau’s electricity consumption fell 30% (see Figure 1).

This represents the largest and fastest regional reduction in electricity consumption without blackouts in recent history. Juneau easily surpassed the 2001 record held by Brazil—20% in a few months—and California’s 15% reduction in response to Enron and its friends.

From The Onion – 2003 The New Energy Bill

Congress is reworking legislation that addresses the nation's electricity transmission problems.

What's in the new energy plan?

  • Blackouts outlawed

  • Reddy Kilowatt to come out of retirement to address crisis

  • Improvements in power grid to more efficiently divert blame for electricity outages to Canada

  • Americans asked to no longer pour electricity directly down drain

  • Total deregulation of industry to free up companies to invest profits in updating the power grid

Kotler, Philip. Social Marketing
New York: 1989
ISBN 0029184614

Pages 102 and 154

Social marketers can use a variety of motivators to induce learning. For example, a social marketing campaign to change people’s perceptions of conserving electric energy used television and newspaper advertising to convey a fear message: “It is good to have electricity. Save, so you will not lack it.” The campaign took place right after a popular television show in Israel in 1980 that dramatized Israel’s overuse of electricity.

James Howard Kunstler, “Virtual Is No Refuge From Reality - For children, no escape from America’s car-dependent, cheap-oil fiesta
Elm Street Writers Group 9/26/2003

One of the extremely painful lessons of our time, I’m convinced, will be that the virtual is not an adequate substitute for the real. It will be painful because the notion of virtuality has become a psychological crutch for a culture that is
recklessly destructive of real places, real experiences, real relationships with real people, and real notions of purposeful, decent behavior.

One of the most popular beliefs of the computer era has been that virtual places are every bit as okay as real places. This idea gained popularity in direct proportion to the spread of immersively ugly, monotonous, dysfunctional suburban environments through the 1980s and 90s.

James Kunstler “No War For Oil? Forget about it in sprawl-dominant culture
By Elm Street Writers Group 7/1/2003

What oil gluttons get, whether they are Republican realtor jingoists or Democratic leftist peacenik commuters, is war. Walking down the street of my traditional small town the other day I saw a bumper sticker that said it all: “War is not the answer.” I emphasize, a bumper sticker. On a car.

But you see, war is the answer if you insist on a car-dependent, oil-addicted mode of living. Nobody in my crowd of middle-aged, ex-hippie, environmentally enlightened, putative political progressives has opted out of the American drive-in utopia. In fact, all spring they were driving down to the peace marches outside the post office. Now the Law of Perverse Outcomes is biting them on the butt.

James Howard Kunstler. The Long the Emergency: surviving the converging catastrophes of the 21st century
New York: 2005
Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN 0871138883

Pages 29-30

It is a little hard to say what Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush really thought about America's oil predicament, because both affected to subscribe to a branch of evangelical Protestantism that posited an "End Times" apocalyptic scenario for the near future, meaning that it wouldn't matter what happened to the world very far into the 21st century because the kingdom of Jesus was at hand. Where Reagan and George H. W. Bush only pretending, or did they actually believe the future was irrelevant?

During the Clinton presidency, baby-boomer hippies had matured into yuppies who enjoy the benefits of cheap oil so much (and were so spoiled by it) that they sell easily into a consensus trance regarding America's energy future: party on.

James Howard Kunstler. The Long the Emergency: surviving the converging catastrophes of the 21st century.
New York: 2005
Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN 0871138883

Pages 191-92

The reason that everything in the real world does not fall apart at once is that the flow of entropy faces obstructions or constraints. The more complex the system, the more constraints. A given system will automatically select the paths or drains to get the system to a final state -- exhaust its potential -- at the greatest possible rate given the constraints. Simple, ordered flows drain entropy at a faster rate than complexly disordered flows.

Hence, the creation of ever more efficient ordered flows in American society, the removal of constraints, has accelerated the winding down of American potential, which is exactly why a Wal-Mart economy will bring us to grief more rapidly than a national a collaboration of diverse independent small-town economies. Efficiency is the straightest path to hell.

Michael Woods,  In Europe, expatriates have a leg up on gas prices
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Monday, May 31, 2004.
(Michael Woods can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-202-413-0294.)

BARCELONA, Spain—The gas pump whirled at the filling station along the A9 highway in France and stopped at a figure that meant ... $60?!

Actually, that wasn’t bad. The compact Ford Focus rental took only three quarters of a tank. Of regular. It’s that each gallon cost the equivalent of $5. High gas prices got you down? Trying to drive less? Wish you could ditch the whole four-wheel lifestyle—the gas bills, the car payments, the insurance premiums, and that jerk tailgating you on Interstate 279?

Welcome to Europe, where sticker-shock gas prices have been part of the landscape for a long time, and where most people have adjusted by simply giving up on cars.

Jeremy Sinek, “The Joy of (not always) Driving” from the Shifting Gears Column in World of Wheels
Canada’s Auto Magazine July 2002
Pages 1 - 2   www.wheels.ca/Stories.cfm

Since you’re reading this magazine, I’m going to make a giant leap of logic and assume that you love cars and you enjoy driving.

Not for you the notion of a motor vehicle as merely an appliance or “tool, personal transportation, for the use of.” Cars, to you, are intrinsically interesting driving is an act of emotion, not mere motion.

That being the case, I have proposal that may shock you.

Drive less.

Am I nuts? The editor of a car magazine telling people to cut back on the driving: No, I’m serious: if you’re serious about how much you like to drive, do it less.

This Guy Can Get 59 MPG in a Plain Old Accord. Beat That, Punk
Dennis Gaffney
January/February 2007 Issue MotherJones.com / News / Feature

Drafting 18-wheelers with the engine off, taking death turns at 52 miles an hour, and other lessons learned while riding shotgun with the king of the hypermilers on a midsummer Saturday in a sprawling Wisconsin parking lot, about a dozen people are milling about a candy-apple red Honda Insight. They're watching Wayne Gerdes prepare for his run in Hybridfest's mpg Challenge, a 20-mile race through the streets of Madison. Wayne is the odds-on favorite to win the challenge, in which drivers compete to push the automotive limits not of speed and power—a desire those gathered here consider old-fashioned and wasteful—but for the unsexy title of Most Fuel-Efficient Driver in the World.

From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

Without Contraries there is no Progression.

Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate,
are necessary to Human existence.

From these Contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil
Good is the passive that obeys Reason.
Evil is the active springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven, Evil is Hell.

From The Unquiet Grave by Cyril Connolly

It is more important, in fact, to be good than to do good things because being, rather than doing, is the state which keeps us in tune with the order of things. Hence Pascal’s reflection that all the evil of the world comes from men not being able to sit quietly in a room. Good is the retention of energy; evil a waste of it, energy which is taken away from growth. Like water, we are truest to our nature in repose.

US Department of Energy, National Association of Manufacturers. Energy Efficiency: The Competitive Edge
December 1990
Page 3

While some fear they must start by buying their way to energy efficiency, the fact is that many can begin by managing their way to savings. At a General Motors plant, employees received monthly reports which visually demonstrated through computer generated graphics the cost of neglecting to turn off lights and equipment. The awareness campaign resulted in 50 percent less energy wasted on lighting and 86 percent energy wasted on major equipment, saving more than $309,500 a year.

Rodes, Barbara K., and Rice Odell. A Dictionary of Environmental Quotations
New York: 1992
ISBN 0801857384

Page 275

Do not plan long journeys because whatever you believe in you have already seen. When a thing is everywhere, then the way to find it is not to travel but to love it.

--AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354 - 430), City of God

Fernando, Pessoa. The Book of Disquiet
New York
: 1991

ISBN 1852422041
Page 76

The only traveler with real soul I’ve ever met was an office boy who worked in a company where I was at one time employed. This young lad collected brochures on different cities, countries and travel companies; he had maps, some torn out of newspapers, others begged from one place or another; he cut out pictures of landscapes, engravings of exotic costumes, painting of boats and ships from various journals and magazines. He would visit travel agencies on behalf of some real or hypothetical company, possibly the actual one in which he worked, and ask for brochures on Italy or India, brochures giving details of sailings between Portugal and Australia.

Kunstler, James Howard Home from Nowhere
New York, 1996

Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0684811960

Page 25

Much of what makes European cities tolerable are remnants of the pre-industrial ages, particularly the public spaces associated with history—the ancient civic plazas, the market and cathedral squares, the military parade grounds, the palaces and playgrounds of the aristocracy—and the agreeable human scale of all these old things. The streets of these cities often have the intimacy and meandering character of ancient cow paths, which many once were.

Kidd, Chip. Fast Company
October 1999

Page 129

TAKE THE AVERAGE PARKING LOT WHERE EVERY DAY you come across a clever device: the speed bump -- that elongated, bread loaf-shaped piece of macadam lying across the pavement.

What makes the speed bump a good design? It's a simple but highly functional object that's foolproof. It's not what you would call decorative -- but it doesn't need to be. There's a purity of design to it, based on plain common sense. Often, the simplest and the most effective solutions aren't dictated by style. In fact, the only real piece of dogma that I was ever taught in school was that form is strictly determined by the function it needs to perform. Accordingly, the generic parking-lot speed bump is a supremely elegant solution to the problem of getting people to slow down.

Frost, Robert. “The Literate Farmers and the Planet Venus”.

Here come more stars to character the skies,

And they in the estimation of the wise
Are more divine than any bulb or arc,
Because their purpose is to flash and spark.

Allen, Steve. Dumbth: The Lost Art of Thinking.
New York
ISBN 1573992237

Page 361

Darkness

When I was very young I feared the dark,
But now I see it’s the more natural state.
We come from an eternity of it,
Blink briefly in the light, and then return.

Most of the earth’s best work is done in darkness.
And only surface things can know the sun.
The oil, the diamonds, the coal, the iron
Come from the undercrusts eternal night.

Wright, Steven. The Wisdom of Steven Wright.
Downloaded from his web site.

Power outage at a department store yesterday; twenty people were trapped on the escalators.