I wish to echo your call for sharing and critiquing as the path to more
meaningful claims of green-ness.
The problems that you identify are quite real in terms of getting good EE
data. However, there are people working on these problems for LCA and other
tools such as Design for Environment (DfE). I am not as pessimistic as you
are about the availability of good data. One of the biggest problems is to
know what specific plant and energy source was used for a particular
product. The same name brand product produced at different factories can
have very different embodied energy content.
Some much more current data have been obtained by Ray Cole and his
co-workers in Vancouver. They published an article last summer with an
analysis showing that the old data were really quite bad. The 1981 DOE study
you mentioned was actually based on data from the early 70s. It is simply
not useful any more.
Hal Levin <email@example.com>
2548 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel. 408 425 3946 Fax 408 426 6522
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