Energy conservation initiatives require major attitude change

Energy conservation initiatives require major attitude change by Judy Stewart, August 22, 2012, Cochrane Eagle
Albertans regularly use more energy per day than most people around the world. In fact, we consume more than our fair share of everything the Earth provides, including food, water, land, resources, etc. Everything we consume takes energy to produce. The more we consume, the more energy we require to remove our waste from the Earth’s surface. So, it was refreshing to discover that on Dec. 10, 2007, town council adopted the Town of Cochrane’s ‘Partner’s For Climate Protection’ Energy Consumption Reduction Plan for Municipal Operations and the Community: Curbing GHG Emissions through Sustainable Action. That plan’s goal is to reduce energy consumption, and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the town’s facilities and operations and within the community. … We need a heightened consciousness that much of the energy we consume comes from fossil fuels, which are finite resources. Most of the “easy to find” fossil fuels have already been found. As Albertans turn to more unconventional sources of energy, for example oil and gas produced from hydraulic fracturing, energy costs to produce each barrel increase. The cost of the tremendous amounts of water being used to produce unconventional oil and gas has to be factored in. The Cochrane Sustainability Plan’s targets to achieve energy responsibility and innovation are that by 2029, 30 per cent of Cochrane’s energy is to be derived from low-impact renewable resources, and per capita energy use is to be 30 per cent of 2009 levels. Council and all of us have to think about the energy we use, the energy we waste and where that energy comes from. The town may want to review their plan and wonder aloud why investment of finances and personnel in their Environmental Management System petered out since 2007. Has the town undertaken any of the recommendations in the plan to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2017? Have citizens done anything to reduce their energy consumption to achieve the target reduction in community emissions by 6 per cent of 2007 levels by 2017? Does anyone know, or care?

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