POWER DOWN: literally the easiest thing you can do to consume less energy

Fossil Fuel Protest Graphic
image is from website: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/climate/
Negative Impacts of Natural Gas

Don’t be fooled by the hype. Natural gas is a dirtier fuel than coal,  says Mark Ruffalo. Sure, natural gas burns less carbon dioxide than coal, however, it burns significant amounts of methane gas, which is far worse.  

After watching Ruffalo’s 2016 documentary, Dirty Fuel-Clean Energy: The Choice is Now” AKA: Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now”, I was alarmed at the rapid environmental destruction and human health crisis as a result from natural gas industry’s shale oil extraction known as fracking. Even more disturbing is the concept of federal mineral rights where landowners are forced to deal with invasive fracking well operations on their property. Water becomes contaminated as toxic run-off that was contained inside of the shale is released by the explosive extraction process.  Another side effect is earth quakes.

Currently, the mineral rights are given to these giant oil extraction rigs for the pursuit of natural gas. Federal law permits the leasing of privately owned land for its mineral reserves to oil extraction corporations. Landowners cannot say no to fracking rigs. This was the repeated message over and over again in the film.  If there were stronger property rights in place, federal government oil companies would not have the loophole to extract natural gas from any place with mineral shale. It’s a system of federal law over personal property rights. This needs to be challenged. 

The big oil companies drilling and extracting must be accountable for the damage done to millions of people and the environment. Furthermore, the federal government must stop looking for profit and start taking responsibility for the destruction caused by leasing the mineral rights out to big oil.

Our country is 85% dependent on fossil fuels. Radical change in energy systems is needed. If we hadn’t discovered fracked natural gas, the effort to deal with climate change would have moved us far more quickly into renewables.

Fossil Fuel Protest Graphic
LEAVE THE OIL IN THE SOIL ! The image is from the greenpeace.org website. https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/climate/

Linked Sites/References (copy & paste into your browser if you prefer):

An overview of gas, pollution, and climate change:
The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking: Annual Review of Environment and Resources
fracking vehicles graphic
from website: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2015/05/pros-and-cons-of-fracking-5-key-issues/

Advocate the willpower to restrain consumption.


Harvard’s Top 5 Steps to Reduce Your Energy Consumption

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Understanding Phantom Energy (The vampire energy – draining our resources)

Understanding Phantom/Vampire Power

Invest in power strips and surge protectors (amazon link)

Use a power strip to reduce your plug load to turn all devices off at once. Flipping the switch on your power strip has the same effect as unplugging each socket from the wall, preventing phantom energy loss. 

Devices like televisions, microwaves, scanners, and printers use standby power even when off. Some chargers continue to pull small amounts of energy, even when plugged in (a good judge of this is if a charger feels warm to the touch). In the US, the total electricity consumed by idle electronics equals the annual output of 12 power plants (EPA).

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Shutdown your computer, the biggest energy users in office buildings. Turn your monitor off at night and ditch the screensaver. Today’s computers can be turned on and off over 40,000 times. Opting to shut down over using a screensaver does not affect your computer’s lifespan. (EnergyStar). So power down!

Turn Off the Lights….       Just one switch and you’re done!  

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LED bulbs are the most energy efficient lighting option. LED bulbs use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs (Energy Star) – contain no mercury, and last about 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs (DoE).

Energy-saving links:

Learn more about electricity:

  • Safe Electricity.org
  • Electricity Generation Solutions

    “How can we generate electricity for the whole world without burning fossil fuels? How do the means of transmitting, storing, and efficiently using electricity need to evolve?
    These questions are critical for addressing emissions, especially given the current push to “electrify everything,” from cars to home heating. We need a mosaic of solutions, centered around electricity efficiency, production, and a more robust electrical system.”

Knowledge is Power:

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