We've seen great progress and continued challenges in 2015. While this year will go down as the warmest in recorded human history, there is optimism that 200 governments will take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. still produced about 50% of our electricity from burning coal this year and the alternative renewable sources of solar and wind are rapidly increasing up to about 5% nationwide. Conventional nuclear power and burning natural gas accounted for about 40%. Hydroelectric power from dams also add about 5%. We did not make much progress in reducing our demand on fossil fuels which will only come through new innovative inventions - maybe several are on the way including hydrogen fuel cells, fusion, capturing wave energy, and small modular nuclear reactors. One of the breakthoughs that occurred in 2015 was Tesla Energy announcing capturing sunlight with solar batteries using Powerwall.
This year auto makers were hit by the VW scandal cheating on emissions testing while Toyota and other brands announced new hybrid models. These events hit home as we shopped for green cars and hoped the new "clean diesels" were for real -- luckily the news broke before we made a regrettable purchase and opted for a hybrid instead. More on this in future blogs.
2015 is the year of the drought although lack of precipitation in the western U.S. is several years in the making. Despite an El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean bringing 2 feet of snow to the Sierra Mountains, most of California and large parts of Oregon, Washington, and Nevada are still in extreme to severe drought today.
This year for the first time Colorado has a Water Plan and is developing other plans to deal with natural resource issues. We still use groundwater to make snow and this year we continued to see competition among ski areas for who could open earliest in the season.
And in 2015 we launched this website blog and company Conserve & Pro$per LLC to be a non-commercial and independent source of information on how we can take action for improving our lifestyles. Please share your ideas and thoughts about the year!