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NYT: R-Wing Stupid About CA Temp Control

Thank Gaia we have the priests of global warming at the New York Times to explain these things to our stupid selfish selves:

Arthur H. Rosenfeld, a California Energy Commission member, said reducing electricity use could prevent power cutoffs.

California Seeks Thermostat Control


January 11, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — The conceit in the 1960s show “The Outer Limits” was that outside forces had taken control of your television set.

Next year in California, state regulators are likely to have the emergency power to control individual thermostats, sending temperatures up or down through a radio-controlled device that will be required in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages.

The proposed rules are contained in a document circulated by the California Energy Commission, which for more than three decades has set state energy efficiency standards for home appliances, like water heaters, air conditioners and refrigerators. The changes would allow utilities to adjust customers’ preset temperatures when the price of electricity is soaring. Customers could override the utilities’ suggested temperatures. But in emergencies, the utilities could override customers’ wishes.

Final approval is expected next month.

“You realize there are times — very rarely, once every few years — when you would be subject to a rotating outage and everything would crash including your computer and traffic lights, and you don’t want to do that,” said Arthur H. Rosenfeld, a member of the energy commission.

Reducing individual customers’ electrical use — if necessary, involuntarily — could avoid that, Dr. Rosenfeld said. “If you can control rotating outages by letting everyone in the state share the pain,” he said, “there’s a lot less pain to go around.”

While the proposals have received little attention in California, the Internet and talk radio are abuzz with indignation at the idea…

The broader stir on the Internet began when Joseph Somsel, a San Jose-based contributor to the publication American Thinker, wrote an article a week ago on the programmable communicating thermostat, or P.C.T.

Mr. Somsel went after the proposal with arguments that were by turns populist (“Come the next heat wave, the elites might be comfortably lolling in La Jolla’s ocean breezes” while “the Central Valley’s poor peons are baking in Bakersfield”), free-market (“P.C.T.’s will obscure the price signals to power plant developers”) and civil libertarian (“the new P.C.T. requirement certainly seems to violate the ‘a man’s home is his castle’ common-law dictum”).

Word of the California proposal hit the outrage button in corners of the Internet, was written about in The North County Times in Southern California, and got a derisive mention on Wednesday on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program.

The fact that similar radio-controlled technologies have been used on a voluntary basis in irrigation systems on farm fields and golf courses and in limited programs for buildings on Long Island is seldom mentioned in Internet postings that make liberal use of references of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” and “Big Brother,” the omnipresent voice of Orwell’s police state.

Ralph Cavanagh, an energy expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an interview that at a time of peak electricity use, “most people given a choice of two degrees of temperature setback and 14th-century living would happily embrace this capacity.” …

Oh, if such systems have been used in irrigation systems than it is all right of course. After all, the only choice is having this system or going back to the 14th century.

Really, what kind of a news article is this?

Instead of presenting the facts, The Times chooses to mock the obviously valid complaints that have been brought up.

No matter how you spin it, this program will take away something most consider a right. The right to be comfortable in your own home if you are willing to pay the price.

Luckily, those superior beings at the California Energy Commission and those at the New York Times know what is really best for us.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 11th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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