Governance by those who do the work.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Given that energy-audits and most of the related services are free to Massachusetts households yearly, why are annual participation rates only a few percent?
The largest obstacles to greater participation may be related to everyday suspicions about offers for free services:
* "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is."
* "If it will save me money, why are they giving it away?"
Countering these suspicions is an uphill battle, as most of the "free" offers people encounter come with hidden agendas. If a nominal fee were charged, then it would still give people cause for inaction, thinking "an energy-audit probably won't be worth the fee".
Another commonly heard objection to getting an energy-audit is the belief that one will not live in her current residence long enough to justify effort or expense. This article suggests that we look for motivations beyond the energy savings themselves.
People are less critical about participating in activities organized around civic or charitable purposes. Even residents without children are often willing to support local school fundraisers.
Unlike energy-audits, those fundraisers involve familiar goods or services like baked goods and car-washes. To motivate people to participate in an unfamiliar process, it makes sense to frame the activity as a competition, a popular meme in contemporary life. Making that competition be between a few towns (for energy-audit participation rate) increases the chances for winning from the hit-by-lightning odds of lotteries or singing competitions to plausible, achievable levels.
A prize to benefit a town will motivate civic-minded citizens to participate. If the prize is a green energy source (such as a solar array), then even climate-change deniers must acknowledge that the prize will save the town (and their taxes) money; such savings are valued beyond their true economic worth in contemporary American society.
For a prize benefiting the town, the town's or school's infrastructure for communicating with residents could be harnessed to promote participation.
As for the prize itself, the publicity generated by the competition should be very attractive to green-energy companies, who may be convinced to supply the prize at reduced or no cost.
Because energy-audits can be done annually, these competitions could be repeated each year (perhaps without the previous winning towns).
The energy-audit participation rate competition is an all-winners proposition:
* Energy-audits become widely used and accepted;
* a town wins a green-energy source which lowers their energy costs;
* all participants save money on energy costs;
* electric utilities avoid the need to construct new generation capacity; and
* fossil-carbon pollution is reduced.
I am talking with NextStepLiving about setting up an energy-audit competition northwest of Boston.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Lu, S.; Jaffer, A.; Jin, X.; Zhao, H.; Mao, X.; ,
IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
Nov.-Dec. 2012 (vol. 32 no. 6) pp 26-35
Saturday, September 8, 2012
A recent letter to the editor of the "Bedford Minuteman".
The IPCC says*:
More frequent extreme weather events are predicted to accompany global warming, in part as a consequence of projected increases in convective activity.
The projected increase from 1993 to 2012 is roughly 14% in the Northeast US.
With an increased incidence of severe weather we should also expect to see an increase in tree damage such as fallen limbs and toppled trees. The increase in power outages in recent years is not inconsistent with severe weather having increased 14% in Bedford since 1993.
In addition to causing power outages, power lines being knocked down by tree limbs create a hazard requiring specialists from NStar to repair them. In areas with buried utility cables, downed limbs and trees can be cleared immediately by homeowners and emergency personnel.
In the face of this growing problem, it would make sense for the Town of Bedford to set as a long-term goal the elimination of utility-poles in favor of buried cables. The advantages to Bedford would be:
- Reduction in outages of power, telephone, video, and data services due to severe weather;
- Elimination of electrocution hazards due to downed power lines;
- Faster clearing of damaged trees and downed limbs from roads and yards;
- More robust street trees not weakened by pruned centers;
- More attractive neighborhoods;
- More authentic-looking Historic districts.
Bedford Global Warming Action Coalition
* Section 220.127.116.11 "Extreme Weather Events" in
"The Regional Impacts of Climate Change"
by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Monday, February 27, 2012
I have updated http://voluntocracy.org/Fructose (Excess Fructose Content of Foods) with the new data.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
But today, Peter Oliver posted a solution:
As a workaround, put the following in your .emacs: (setq ring-bell-function (lambda () (start-process "canberra-gtk-play" "*canberra-gtk-play*" "canberra-gtk-play" "--id" "bell")))This solution also works for Ubuntu-10.10.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
In a shell, run lshw. In its output find the string after "driver=" in the *-network sections (my computer had one for wired and one for wireless). Then (as root) edit /etc/pm/config.d/config so that those driver names appear on the right-hand side of SUSPEND_MODULES= in double-quotes, separated by spaces. For example:
That fixed my dv7. I rebooted after making the change, so I don't know if rebooting is necessary.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
A paper on marbling, which I wrote with Shufang Lu, Xiaogang Jin, Hanli Zhao, and Xiaoyang Mao has been accepted for publication:
Lu, S.; Jaffer, A.; Jin, X.; Zhao, H.; Mao, X.; ,
Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE , vol.PP, no.99, pp.1, 0
- ► 2011 (14)
- ► 2010 (13)