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Re: GSBN:Cemento (combined responses)

Responses to, and inspired by, Graeme, Chris, Martin, Rikki, and Darrel follow.

At 07:14 PM 6/30/2007, Graeme North wrote:
...does anybody know the latest world wide CO2 emission levels so we
can gauge the latest % of world total CO2 emissions contributed by
the cement industry?

        It trails WAY behind the transportation and energy sectors.
But it's another thing among so many that we can directly address
with the choices we make.

        None of the globally comprehensive C02-emission references I
know of uses data newer than a few years old.

        Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Economic Sector (dated 2005, the
data seems to be older)
<a  target="_blank" href="http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/data_tables/cli2_2005.pdf";>http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/data_tables/cli2_2005.pdf</a>

        Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Source 2005 (dated 2005, the
data seems to be older)
<a  target="_blank" href="http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/data_tables/cli3_2005.pdf";>http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/data_tables/cli3_2005.pdf</a>

        For those of us in the U.S. (and anybody else interested), see
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggrpt/carbon.html";>http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggrpt/carbon.html</a>

At 08:14 PM 7/1/2007, Chris Stafford wrote:
A copy I had, by the way written by Alex Wilson...

        Thanks for pointing that out. I should have included the
byline even if the author wasn't my boss... oops.

Unfortunately fly ash, in this country, will soon be loosing its
"green" status.

        I hadn't heard this - I'm glad you took the time to drop a
line about it. I forwarded your note around the editorial staff, in
case it hasn't hit their radar yet.

At 04:52 PM 7/2/2007, Martin Hammer wrote:
... was interested to hear Chris Stafford's comments about it
becoming less available/suitable in his (northwest) part of the US.

        I wonder if it's more than regional, or going to be. There
was a story on NPR the other day about how Montana coal is decimating
the Appalachian coal industry. While Montana's coal is easier to
extract - less embodied energy - it's dirtier, as Chris pointed out,
and has less energy potential, so you have to burn more.

At 12:31 PM 7/3/2007, Rikki Nitzkin wrote:
Check out the book "Radical Simplicity".  Its time we un-complicate our lives.

        I second this. I've been fortunate to meet the author, Jim
Merkel, a couple times. Amazing, inspiring guy. He's going to be at
the regional Natural Building Colloquium in New York for a couple
days this year
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.peaceweavers.com/bws/";>http://www.peaceweavers.com/bws/</a>

        I'm hoping for some kind of galactic energy burst when he
and David Eisenberg are in the same place.   :)

At 01:43 PM 7/3/2007, Darrel DeBoer wrote:
Stuart Cowan / Sim Van der Ryn's book, Ecological Design...
mention[s] almost in passing that 97% of the energy used in
buildings in the U.S. is "maintenance energy" which is what is
required to heat, cool and fix. In those terms, strawbale
construction is simply a cheap form of insulation, and the
energy-intensiveness of any of the materials pales in comparison.
(but I still want to stop using cement anyway!)

        Unfortunately, there are people who use that logic to
relieve themselves of the responsibility of making wise material
choices. (You're not one of them, and I'm not trying to put words in
your mouth. Your work speaks loudly for itself.)

        David Eisenberg (there he is again) once wrote, "This
reminds me of the argument I've heard that embodied energy in a
building is dwarfed by the operating energy and so is insignificant
and can be ignored. I think that the embodied energy is typically
quite significant by itself, meaning that operating energy is
enormously significant... in other words, I agree that the ratio is
important and we need to focus our actions where we get the most
effective results, but that doesn't justify ignoring significant
impacts because they are smaller relative to other impacts."

Mark Piepkorn

USA Today has come out with a new survey:
Apparently three out of four people make up
75 percent of the population.
  - David Letterman