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European Countries taking
the lead—can we catch up?
|It appears that many European communities
are seeing the end of the fossil fuel era; nearly a million new jobs are
predicted to be created by the year 2020 as a direct result of the
increased use of renewable energy technologies. By the year 2020, over
12% of all electricity generated will come from renewables. Conventional
energy companies will lose less than 2% of their workforce as a result
of the shift to greater use of renewable energy. Job gains will be
greatest in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, with the greatest
increases in Germany, France and Italy. We in the USA need to petition
our Congressional leaders, as they are poised to support nuclear, a
non-sustainable power source. Since 1947, nuclear subsidies have totaled
$144 billion, while solar and wind technologies have received $5 billion
for that period of time.
WE COULD POWER
|The question is sometimes asked, how much land
would it take to supply all of the U.S.’s electrical needs with
photovoltaics? If all the modules were in one place, it would require a
space of land about 100 miles square, using today’s modules. About
half the area would be solar modules, the rest would provide the spacing
necessary to prevent the panels from shading each other. With the
increasing efficiencies expected in the near future, the area needed
would drop by 30%.
Carbon monoxide alarms offer
|Some older gas appliances (in particularly old gas refrigerators) may
be hazardous to your health by emitting carbon monoxide (CO). The two
best defenses against carbon monoxide are to have your fuel burning
appliances inspected by a qualified technician each year and to make
sure your fuel burning appliances have adequate outside combustion air.
The next best thing is to purchase and install a CO alarm that carries
the UL standard 2034, revised October, 1998. Alarms that met the UL
standard before the October 1998 revision are more likely to have false
alarms and may only have a one-year life on the sensor. If you have a CO
alarm, take a moment to see if the sensor life has expired.
A CO alarm will help give you an extra level of security against this
possible hazard; proper maintenance will prohibit problems and even save
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