Balancing Act: Planning for a Sustainable Wisconsin Crispin Pierce, Ph.D. 28 December 2005
Outline • What Makes Wisconsin Special • What are Sustainable Choices • Energy sources • Transportation • Housing density • Sustainable Choice Summary • Questions
Why care about energy, transportation and housing choices? • Affects our health (e.g. current fine particle emissions kill thousands of people each year) • Affects our pocketbooks (e.g. billions of dollars spent on disaster cleanup and insurance) • Affects our children and their children (e.g. clean water, clean air, fishing, hunting, a safe environment)
Energy • What forms of energy do we need?
Advantages Large US reserves Known technology Potential for lowering mercury emissions. Disadvantages Nonrenewable Acid rain Mercury in fish Particulate matter Global warming Energy: Coal
Advantages: Known technology Infrastructure exists Disadvantages Nonrenewable Air pollution (NOx, particulates, CO) Drilling, piping, and refining effects Global warming Energy: Petroleum
Advantages Very low emissions Relatively safe Disadvantages Major water needs for cooling Extremely toxic spent fuel materials Extremely long half-lives of these wastes Energy: Nuclear
Advantages Renewable Very low impact Local generation Disadvantages Need constant windy conditions Batteries for storage Startup costs Energy: Wind
Advantages Renewable Local generation Low impact Disadvantages Need regular sunlight Storage impractical Startup cost Energy: Solar Heating
Advantages Renewable Local generation Creates electricity Low impact Disadvantages Low efficiency Batteries for storage Startup cost Energy: Solar Photovoltaic
Advantages Renewable Local generation Simple Disadvantages Particulates Local deforestation Energy: Biomass
Transportation • What’s important about our transportation?
Advantages Known technology Variety of engine sizes Disadvantages Relies on nonrenewable fuels Air and noise pollution Global warming Transportation: Internal Combustion Engines
Advantages Much more fuel efficient Quieter Reduced air pollution Disadvantages Still relies on nonrenewable fuels Higher battery cost Transportation: Hybrid Engines
Advantages Water vapor exhaust Disadvantages Energy needed to purify H2 Explosion potential Distribution system Transportation: Fuel Cell
Advantages Utilizes renewable ethanol Greatly reduced global warming Disadvantages Current laws allow increase in gas guzzlers w/flex fuel car Distribution system Transportation: Flex-Fuel
Housing Density • What is important about our housing?
Advantages Country land cheaper Initial country living Appearance of safety Disadvantages Added commute time, cost and pollution Increased taxes for roads Destruction of farms, open space, forests, wetlands, etc. Housing Density: Suburbs
Advantages Short/no commute Close to businesses and friends Lower tax costs for infrastructure Preserves natural land functions (e.g. clean water supply) Disadvantages Higher land costs Requires more planning Housing Density: Urban
Sustainable Choice Summary • Energy • Conservation • Wind, solar, biomass emphasis
Transportation • Raise fuel economy standards • Hybrid engines • Flex-fuel vehicles http://images.securedwebform.com/stock/300/toyota/prius/2002/4sa.jpg
Housing density • Urban, multiple use design http://www.homesalameda.org/graphics/urban.jpg
Information Sources • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control • Natural Resources Defense Council • Oklahoma Sierra Club