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2007-08 Seminars


"Lowering Green House Gas Emission through Better Buildings -- What is Possible?"

Prof. John Scofield
Oberlin College

Abstract
Energy Security and Global Climate Change are two of the greatest problems facing our nation, and indeed, the world at large. Solving these problems will require huge technological advancement and investment in transportation that is not powered by petroleum and alternate energy sources for buildings and industry, as well as carbon capture and storage technologies. Such solutions will take years to develop and require major technological breakthroughs. Meanwhile, the cheapest and fasted route to reduce GHG emissions is to improve the efficiency with which we presently use energy.

Buildings offer the greatest opportunity for efficiency gains. An intensive national effort to fully deploy existing, cost-effective technologies could substantially reduce our nationís energy consumption and GHG emission at significantly lower cost than any other option. Moreover, research and development into promising technologies can provide a steady stream of energy savings through efficiency for years to come.

These are the issues I will address in my talk from the perspectives of a physicist.