Environmental Stewardship Resolution
Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds, and Church-Related Activities"
passed at the 143rd Annual Convention (October 27-29, 2000)
"THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the staff and membership of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota engage in building actions and cultural activities with prayerful considerations about the impact these actions will have on our Earth home. Ways we will live into this approach are concentration on reduction of energy and resource usage through retrofitting and/or replacement of inefficient heating/cooling, plumbing and ventilation systems."
Thoughts on how to implement this concept
by Bert Whitcombe
A basic, common understanding of thermodynamics is essential to environmental stewardship in these times. No math, no complex physics, just what’s happening in the world (the universe) of heat and cold and how it affects our church community, the earth and ourselves. The most direct savings are monetary; they also include resource conservation and global warming reduction.
As far as how the hot and cold thing works, first and foremost heat moves to cold. So when we say that the cold is leaking in, we feel a cold draft, actually the heat is leaving, it’s doing the moving. This has caused some to speculate that the universe is destined to seek stasis, a steady state, achieving a universal temperature, which has lead others to speculate on physical and Meta-physical stuff, but that’s another matter.
Another important principle is that the desire of heat to move to a cold place is not constant. The greater the difference between the hot and cold places, the stronger the heat’s desire is to leave.
For instance, in Minnesota, when its –10º F outside and 70º F inside the heat is very anxious to be going out into the cold, which makes its desire to go out much greater than that of most Minnesotans.
When it comes to those warm houses and churches there are two ways for the heat to leave, warm air leaving and radiation loss.
Taking up ‘air infiltration’, being the term used in the trade, odd seeing as it’s actually the heat leaving, not the cold coming in. Ok, ok, you can actually feel cold air coming into a room when the outside door is open, but it is coming in (positive air flow) because warm air (negative air flow) has left.
Time for another part of the thermal saga, warm air is lighter than cold air, which is soon to become important information.
Ok, warmth wants to leave, how do we stop it?
And onto the radiation issue. By preventing the air from leaving as per above we have taken the first step – but heat has a very great desire to leave so we need to create an additional obstacle, we need to thicken the envelope with thermal resistance, insulation.
This resistance issue also is not constant. There are two factors:
Addressing thermal loss:
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA
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