This fallï¿½s football games on my TV seem sponsored by so many environmental messages I almost miss the beer ads.
Electric utilities, car makers, oil companies tell me about their commitment to the Earth and the future, in commercials populated by forest vistas and cute kids.
The words blur in my ear as Iï¿½m told to turn down my thermostat, go to a Web site for energy-saving ideas, or simply to believe in this or that corporationï¿½s commitment to a better world.
The promotions too often represent hollow hops onto the anti-global warming bandwagon. They may be more than irritating, if their feel-good images imply easy solutions.
The Future of Electricity column this month takes a more substantive look at what faces us.
That column describes a report by scientists who considered ways to control carbon dioxide emissions widely blamed for changing the worldï¿½s climate.
They conclude greenhouse gas goals can be reached, but it wonï¿½t be easy. Their seven-point agenda includes low-cost solutions like energy efficiency. Other suggestions require expensive research and then development, such as capturing carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and storing the gas underground.
Kentuckians especially need to know about these energy realities because of the role coal plays in giving our state some of the lowest electric rates in the country. Will we be able to limit the carbon dioxide emissions that come from burning coal, and still keep those rates lower than most other states? We need to ask and answer some tough questions in the coming years.
Kentucky Living will continue to bring you the right questions and background to make intelligent decisions on these all-important issues.
In the meantime, using energy more efficiently offers a significant solution that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and electric bills.
Electric co-ops lead in energy efficiency as well. You may have heard of energy- saving compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Theyï¿½re nothing new to electric co-ops.
Kentucky electric co-ops have been handing out free promotional compact bulbs at their local annual meetings since 2003. Theyï¿½ve distributed more than 400,000 bulbs, saving Kentuckians more than $4 million, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 78,000 tons.
Thatï¿½s more than fuzzy words and pretty pictures.