Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sealing HVAC ducts and adding insulation won't help

The following letter is a reply I submitted to the article titled "Austin Climate Protection Program tries to ramp up its work, Jake Stewart, former soldier, sees the work as a security issue".

"The program aims to reduce carbon emissions, which scientists link to global warming..." is an editorial and can not go unchallenged as a "fact" Asher. The recent fallout of the Climate Research Unit in the UK (ClimateGate) is vivid proof that climate scientists have yet to form a consensus on the link, if any, between CO2 and temperature. This Climate Protection Plan is having some draconian side effects for Austin homeowners. The Austin Energy Conservation and Disclosure Ordinance mandates an energy audit for homeowners at the point of sale. However, if the abode is a mobile home without a foundation, a condominium, or a home less than 10 years old, those homeowners can use 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month and be exempt from the ECAD. Non-compliance of this ordinance is a Class C misdemeanor and up to a $2000 fine. To add insult to injury, Mr. Stewart, you work for a public utility, -a monopoly. If I wished to buy electricity from another provider as an Austinite, I can't. Austin Energy sells me their product as a monopoly, then tells me how I must use it. Lee Leffingwell and Brewster McCracken, either of you can send me a check for $300, that should cover the cost of a mandatory energy audit for my home. It's your "great" idea, so you pay for it. Sealing some HVAC ducts in a single-family home and adding more insulation will not abate the need to build more power plants. Solar panels don't produce electricity at night and solar generates very little electricity under a cloudy sky. Austin's hand-wringing over a harmless trace gas in the atmosphere is laughable and a serious misallocation of capital and resources.

John Barksdale

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