Easy efficiency steps could slash global power demand, report says

Thoreau said the preservation of the world was in wildness, but it might be in light bulbs. A new report says efficiency improvements could cut global energy-consumption increases by more than half over the next 15 years. From replacing bulbs and improving insulation to rejiggering government regulations, “the opportunities are huge, and yet they are being left on the table,” says Diana Farrell, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, which issued the report. With the U.S. responsible for nearly a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions and electricity generation accounting for 71 percent of U.S. household emissions, many are pushing for changes at home. “One of the great mysteries is why the public has not shifted faster to fluorescent bulbs,” says Alexander Lidow, head of the frighteningly named power-saving equipment manufacturer International Rectifier. It’s no mystery to us. Change your product name from compact fluorescent bulbs to Tickle-Me Wii Brites, and watch the magic happen.