Friday, February 27, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Clean Coal!

We here in Alameda are lucky that our local power company, The Bureau of Alameda Telecom and Green Electrical Municipal Power (BATGEMP), provides us with 100% "green" electricity. They are able to do this is by using Clean Coal, an energy technology that is backed by everybody—Environmentalists, the Coal industry who creates it, and of course President Obama. Well, it's opposed by a few "reality-based" nut-cases but we won't worry about them.

Now, we all know about the benefits of burning coal, and of course Clean Coal is even better! Here's a great video about Clean Coal. (There seems to be some kind of typo in the text right at the end, so I would just ignore that part if I were you.)

One of the great things about Clean Coal is that it allows us to burn coal, which some short-sighted people over the years have argued is not particularly good for the environment, in a clean fashion. It's so clean, you can take a bath in it, in fact. Ever since I learned that our electricity comes from such clean sources, my family has boosted our electrical consumption in order to "vote with our pocketbooks" for this kind of technology. We hope that you will too.

Here are some ideas on how to consume extra electricity so that you can encourage more production of Clean Coal:

  • Wash your clothes, but take them out before the final spin cycle. Carefully put your dripping clothes into your dryer (it is all-electric, isn't it?) and start it up. Be sure to check on your clothes every few hours to make sure that you have not over-dried your clothes.
  • Put a humidifier and a dehumidifier into the same room and let them "fight it out."
  • If you have an air conditioner—a necessity in Alameda, really—you can also do the same by using it at the same time as your electric heaters. If you don't have an air conditioner, just open a window for a similar effect, but do try to get an air conditioner installed as soon as possible.
  • In case you haven't removed those dangerous compact fluorescent bulbs from your light fixtures, replace them immediately…with Halogen bulbs, if at all possible, so that your rooms feel sunnier.
  • Give your fireplace a break and heat your home with your hair dryers. (But be sure to do it safely—remember that we have been asked to have fewer fires.)
  • Buy rechargeable batteries! Yes, I know this is counterintuitive, but here's the twist—charge them up using Alameda electricity, and then send them as presents to your out-of-town friends. Just be sure to tell them to send them back to you for further recharging after they run out, or just dispose of them if that is not convenient.
  • Turn your electric water heater up to the highest possible setting. Not only will this encourage BATGEMP to send more Clean Coal power your way, it will keep your water safe and disinfected. Can't get much greener than that!
  • Leave your refrigerator and freezer doors propped open. You will probably need to adjust their thermostats slightly to compensate.
  • Do not turn appliances off, ever. You may need to think "outside the box" for this, because some appliances were not meant to be left on for long periods of time. We all know that turning electrical appliances on and off shortens their lifespan, so figuring out a way to keep your appliances on will reduce wear and tear as well as encouraging the production of more Clean Coal. For example, use duct tape to hold down the handle on your toaster so that the toast doesn't pop up (thereby turning off the toaster and breaking the flow of electricity). Just keep a fork handy to pull the toast out manually while the heating coils stay cookin'.
If we all set a goal to increase our electricity usage by 200% here in Alameda, just think how much more Clean Coal will be produced—and by doing so, we'll be greener and cleaner than ever!


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Kim said...

This is the one of the most idiotic articles I have read, perhaps ever! How could you be so ignorant?!? I believe you should do some research on "clean coal" before you praise is so much, and no matter your support or not, your horrible tips for increasing energy usage is appalling!!! Why don't you do some research and see how your increased usage of so-called "clean coal" is affecting families throughout Appalachia and then see if you still feel good about yourself! I'm angered at the mere fact I live in the same town as someone so ignorant!