While everyone is worrying about energy costs and the greenhouse gases produced by power plants, it turns out that the average American is using LESS than energy than before. The reason? The country’s population shift to the more moderate and warm climates of the American West and Southwest. Turning on the air conditioner for part of the year uses less energy than heating the house over a long winter (improved insulation in new construction probably has something to do with this too). Is this what some of those mysterious messages have been about?

Researcher Michael Sivak did 3 studies, based on 1960 and 2006 population data for the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, which account for 54% of the US population, and found that while the energy demand for cooling (air conditioning) increased by 23% percent from 1960 to 2006, the demand for heating (which dominates the combined demand) decreased by 14% percent. Overall, the nominal energy demand for both heating and cooling dropped 6%.

He says, “The relative increases in population in more moderate climates and, at the same time, in warmer climates imply a reduction in the combined energy per person: The shift to more moderate climates because of narrower ranges between winter and summer temperatures, and the shift to warmer climates because it is more energy-efficient to cool than to heat.”

One problem with the nation moving south: A water shortage, which is already affecting many of these states.

Here’s more good news: We’re holding an absolutely delightful conference at a spiritual retreat in beautiful Joshua Tree, California from October 16-18. This may be your only chance to see the pilot of Whitley’s reality series, which was not picked up by the cable network it was made for. It can’t be shown publically, but Whitley can screen it and that’s one of the exciting events we have planned for you, so don’t hesitate: Get your tickets now!

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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