More coverage in the news, frequent public statements by politicians of all ranks and colors, and personal observations of small and more drastic changes in our backyards have made it clear to all but a few that our world is changing and that we will all have to adjust to new circumstances. The first thing that will require adjustment is how we produce and consume energy.
The world has seen energy crises before and weathered them just fine. This time, though, it seems that Global Warming will compound the impact of any energy shortages. Oil prices will not come down again to levels where they were 10 or 20 years ago. Yes, oil supplies will last another 20, 50, or maybe even 100 years. But oil will become increasingly difficult to get to, and it will become increasingly expensive, and so will other forms of fossil energy.
Dr. Heet believes that the way homes are designed and built in the United States will have to change radically as a direct result of this development. Consequently, homes will become more expensive as better technologies replace inferior practices.
Stick-built, framed homes have a very low thermal mass and are difficult to heat efficiently. Fearing for its profit margins, the home building industry will lobby against any improvements with all its might, though. Home owners cannot and should not wait until energy efficiency is mandated by legislature and building codes, which will take decades. There are things that can be done today, and this site wants to be a forum and a platform for exchanging ideas about improving the energy-efficiency of the American home.