Wednesday, January 28, 2009

kilocalories = Calories (w/ a capital "C"): Response to a Brother

"Kilocalorie" is the "Calorie-term" (big "C") the public generally uses when dealing with measurements of energy.
(We can convert kilocalories to joules--used by physicists and other scientists; or to BTUs--used in the energy industry, etc. ... However, I believe most folk can most easily think in "Calories".)

o We need ca. 2000 kilocalories (or Calories) of food intake per day for body maintenance depending on weight, activities, metabolism/metabolic rate, etc..

Folk who make <$2 per day make it on 1500-5000-10,000 Kilocalories per day*.

We in the U.S. (and in many other parts of the "developed" world--or the Haves in "less developed") make it on 200,000 to 400,000+ kilocalories per day*. [We need to bring the 3 billion or so folk making it on 10,000 kilocalories up to 10-50,000 kilocalories per capita per day (for "quality life")--and we need to come down to that (or risk serious species destruction).] ...
One can do a little playing round with the numbers--and do a little thought-experimenting and modeling-- and see that if we did that, we'd solve many of our problems: energy "needs", energy-greed impacts on other species, etc.
Of course the daunting challenge is: coming up with the socio-political/economic system redesign to make this happen--and making a smooth transition to truly sustainable community. It is obvious that a free-enterprise, libertarian, capitalistic, trickle-down/deregulated economic system will not get us there!

o There is quite a bit of carpooling in this south central Texas region (though not percent-wise)--and plenty of websites dealing with car-pooling. (In the 80s/90s I "carpooled" to Austin from San Marcos in a van.) ... But this is a "band aid" approach.

o Increased efficient use of home insulation (and other means of effectively maintaining a comfortable home in a sustainable way) is needed--and penalty/incentive strategies/tactics should be employed to increase cost-effective, ecologically-sound home insulation. (A major energy "leakage" is in rent & owned homes of the poor--and some in the environmental community in San Antonio, and other communities, are attempting to address this in a comprehensive and long-term way).

Communication in a face-paced chaotic world of ca. 7 billion humans is really difficult!**
*[Of course this includes all our food, fiber, shelter, transport, recreation, luxury, ... "needs".]

What is written herein includes basic vocabulary and concepts of fundamentals of biology/ecology that every citizen should develop--through public schooling, continuing education from public institutions, public service announcements communication/shortcourses, etc. and reading--in order to develop and realize critical thinking skills.


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