Question about heat loss to environment?


First house, about 50+ years ago, insulated, double windows etc. oil for heating. Oil system operated without electrcity. Oil was then relatively cheaper and electrical supply then not reliable.
Current house about 39 years, all electric heating. Electricity in this region now highly reliable, almost 100% hydro generated and now relatively cheaper. Also electricity considered ecologically 'friendly' . Very happy with decision back then, to go all electric. BTW there is no requirement here for AC; every month of year requires 'some' heating, especially at night when lights tend to be on.
So been feeling pretty good about our 'non-polluting' energy source and therefore a presumably small carbon footprint!
Question: But even though we are using a supposedly more ecologically friendly energy source than burning also polluting fossil fuel (oil, gas, coal etc.) the heat and other energy generated from the electrcity that comes into the home does escape into the environment!
So does that 'add' to global warming? Asking because cold water running down a river would not seem to add heat to te environment? Whereas after turning it into heat and allowing it to escape into the environment does so???????
In summary; cold water running by gravity down rivers hundreds of miles away drives electrcity generators. That electrcity is brought by high voltage transmission lines (with some losses) to our homes.
Where most (if not all ) of it is turned into heat in one form or another. No matter how efficient our lights and appliances and electric heating and cooking, TVs, computers, house tools etc.
So from an environmental viewpoint is our home acting as heat generator? It is of course well known that even in the coldest regions cities are a few degrees warmer because of the energy/heat loss from its buildings.
Curious: Because cold water running down a river would not seem to be adding any heat to the environment? Whereas turning its energy into electrcity and then heat which then escapes from our home might do so???
Rationale discussion/disagreement anyone?
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terry wrote:

Cold water running downhill puts out just as much heat as that that runs through a dam and thereby heats a house. All the energy from gravity speeding up the water is released to the environment when the water is slowed down by rapids and friction. Most of it probably goes into warming the water, which then warms the air.
Any hydropower you use to heat your jouse is power that cannot be sold to another region that would use it to replace fossil fuel generated power, so conserving is still helpful.
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terry wrote:

Well, the cold water running downstream to warmer climate will soak up the heat lost from your house. I think you're breaking even :o)
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wrote:

Thta's what trying to figure out! Are we just neutral; just transferring energy from one place to another or creating additional heat?
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terry wrote:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction? Sounds good to me, but I almost flunked physics :o)
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terry wrote:

Didn't I answer that above?
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You need to encapsulate your computer in three layers of plastic, and bury it in the back yard. The survival of the planet depends on it. You must do so in the next hour, or we're all going to die. You polluting capitalist pig.
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Christopher A. Young
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terry wrote:

Darnit! Don't give the Commiecrats any new ideas. You'll get us all slapped with a latent heat tax or an inertia tax or a caloric tax or an enthalpy tax or a ...........
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

I think there should be a carbon tax on all consumables...fight obesity and help the environment. Higher tax, depending on customer weight? :o)
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

But I have a glandular problem! Oh yea, government run health care will fix that. I'll starve to death in the waiting room.
TDD
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terry wrote:

It's turning out that there MAY BE NO Global Warming and therefore releasing Carbon is irrelevant. A massive document dump from the world's leading GW research institution indicates: a) Much of the data used was fake, b) The programs used to model climate are junk, and c) Active efforts were undertaken to silence critics. The government office in New Zealand was also recently shown to have been 'cooking the books.'
That's not to say that we should work on the pollution angle - I don't think we even know the NAMES of everything that comes out of a coal-fired smokestack.
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Carefully. Terry will call you names, being a good leftist. You holo-climate denier!
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My rationale is that Al Bore and the leftists are a pile of lying sack of manure. That "carbon footprint" is a bunch of hog manure. The planet is self adjusting. Burning carbon puts carbon dioxide in the air, which plants and algae used to make oxygen. Quit sticking your head in the NPR programs, and find something useful to do with your time. Like get a job as a logger, or farmer. At least they do useful work. That's my rationale.
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On Nov 27, 10:22pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Self-adjusting? Do you mean for all inputs? On what time scale? Does the "acceptable" planetary adjustment range coincide with the allowable adjustment range for habitation?
Does the self-adjustment factor in the rapid decrease in forested areas worldwide? More carbon can be dumped and more trees can be cut down and it doesn't affect the self-adjusting equation? Interesting. A bit stupid, but interesting.
How someone can believe that a farm/factory operation upstream can affect the people downstream, but deny that it scales up to a global corollary is very curious.
R
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On Fri, 27 Nov 2009 08:08:29 -0800 (PST), terry

I suppose that's true.
But it still costs you $ to waste the energy being pipped to your house.
And the energy is fungible - if you saved it, it could be redirected elsewhere and reduce someone else's carbon footprint, or used to recharge your Tesla.
J.
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    Now how about the damge to the eco system, plants animals and fish caused the the disruption of the dam?
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On Nov 28, 10:04am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Correct; that's why the term 'supposedly' more ecologically friendly was used. Some others will argue that damming the water not only disrupts/ diverts natural flows, leading to droughts etc., but also causes the rotting of flooded trees and other vegetation. Which then creates methane gas!
In the case of hydro-electric projects the water supposedly and eventually runs away below the dam to wherever it was going previously!
Can't win whatever method we use; eh? Hard to know what the REAL facts are!
BTW. It's unusually warm for this time of the year, here. Our well used, originally second or third hand, 16 to 18 plus year old snow- blower one, had bad bearings and had broke it's gears etc. It was unreliable for someone in late 70s. Someone took it for parts to fix up another one.
So we bought a brand new snow-blower this fall, (made in the USA btw). If like previous winters looks like it will get only occasionally use; maybe grand children will get to use it some 25 years from now? If we still have snow then!
Living close to the North Atlantic, each year, we seem to be seeing fewer icebergs (Ref the Titanic in 1912 etc.) which means fewer hazards to oil rigs off the North American coast! But if it keeps getting warmer we will be using less fossil fuel for heating anyway! So fewer rigs neeeded?
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BTW yesterday, Nov 29th, in this somewhat northern location, the outside temp. was so warm (and virtually no wind either) that in the morning we forgot to turn up the electric heat thermostats in the main part of the house (kitchen/family room etc.) from their overnight setting. Only noticed on way to bed around midnight! Nevertheless the house stayed warm enough with the normal wastage/loss of heat from a few lightbulbs, a bit of cooking, using the kettle to make tea etc. Thinking back the some 50 years or so, living here, we 'normally' would have had snow by now! Just what is happening? Must consider the use of a programmable thermostat some time!
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