Archive for June, 2010

alternative energies

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

If you look up alternative energy technology you’ll find articles of hope.  Energy freedom is a term to be  embraced.  I once lived in  a home we heated with a wood burning stove. heating our Wisconsin home cost nothing more than the price of a chainsaw.  It was a lot of work and I do prefer flipping a switch to stoking a wood burning stove at 2 am,  if the source of energy at the other end of that switch isn’t harming our exquisite planet.

Do you think there are energy sources out there for our near future that won’t harm the planet?   Michael Parfit writes for the National Geographic.  He has researched energy alternatives and summarized his findings nicely.  To read the entire article for yourself go to…

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0508/feature1/text3.html

He states…

the world’s concern over energy has haunted presidential speeches, congressional campaigns, disaster books, and my own sense of well-being with the same kind of gnawing unease that characterized the Cold War.

Martin Hoffert of NYU discussed on PBS.org…

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/warming/beyond/

If you were to transplant someone from 100 years ago into the year 2000, the things we do now would certainly seem magical to them.  We’re only limited by the creativity of our scientific imagination and by our will to try to find the solution.

Professor Hoffert opens eyes and minds.  He explained that most of the technological advances of the last 100 years were driven by the military and by fear.  The market (on the other hand) will only support technology if it shows a profit within 3 years.

He introduced some pretty fantastic scenarios of mining uranium and platinum from other planets and bringing it back here to power our fuel cells and nuclear reactors. There is also an idea that would only work if us planet dwellers got along and worked together.   The idea involves the dark side of the planet buying energy from the sunny side.  Space based solar collectors would collect energy from the sun and send it to us and our switches.  I am all for anything that doesn’t involve me chopping wood or harming the planet.

What professor Hoffert proposes is a policy in which developed nations initiate programs of research and development for dramatically and drastically transformative systems of energy production on the Earth. Not all of these are going to work. But the ones that are successful — and there is a possibility that several of them might be successful in some combination — will totally transform our civilization and bring us into changes that are as dramatic as the changes that took place between the end of the 19th and the end of the 20th centuries.

This is so exciting!  Who wouldn’t be excited about a new renewable energy future. Especially after watching newscasts of dead or dying pelicans smothered in oil and that sad dolphin that gasped its last breath on national television.

There is a facility of  smart people assembled by the US government called The National Renewable Energy Laboratory. http://www.nrel.gov/.  Go to their website and just peruse the great things going on there. I just wish they had more influence on the market.

Hitting us in the pocket seems to be the only way to inspire us to conserve resources.  There are just too many of us and resources are getting scarce.  We have to go farther out to sea to find oil, we have to spend more money to have clean water fall from our taps. Some of us care about leaving a clean and livable planet to our offspring and others of us just don’t want prices to go up in the immediate sense because of “scary global warming crap” they say is made up by governments to control us.  I say the market makes up garbage propaganda to control us into buying what they are selling.  (You don’t need Febreze if you keep your house clean).

Derek Thompson a staff editor at Atlantic Business statesWhen something is free, you tend to use more of it. It’s true for buffets and open bars, and it’s the same with carbon. Today producers and consumers can burn coal and drive gas-guzzlers without fully paying for their contribution to rising carbon dioxide levels. Carbon emissions have a cost, but carbon emitters don’t pay the price. Economists call this a “market failure.” You can call it, “a recipe for toasting the planet.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/06/why-carbon-pricing-matters/58386/

I just threw this little guy in here because he is so damn cute…

Second-generation biofuels use biomass-to-liquid technology, they include cellulosic biofuels from non-food crops.   http://bioenergycenter.org/what-is-bioenergy/
Bio energy is my personal favorite and our National Bioenergy Center is doing wonderful things to change us from having to continue with oil drilling and coal mining and shale blasting for fossil fuels.  Folks in Haiti made a living chopping wood until there were no more trees in Haiti, Folks in Afghanistan made a living growing poppies and selling Opiods to the point where the whole country is stoned and angry, Folks in the US and Canada have made a living in the fossil fuel industry for so long they are mortified of the idea of no more need for fossil fuels. They — and we need to move up. Many people I have met in the US are already living “off the grid”, with wind and solar.

The future of the planet and it’s ecosystem are more important than the stock market.  I believe that the truly smart players will be the ones figuring out how to make money from doing what is right for the planet.  Difficult step for those movers and shakers out there.  It will be a step up into the breezy sunshine.

Water

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
Good Morning!
water_coffee

While drinking my hot beverage made from the beans of a tree and paying my water bill I started thinking more about water.  Coffee bean trees grow because of water and my coffee is brewed in water.

Water keeps our exquisite Earth alive.  It saves us and our earth from being like other lifeless planets.  Of course, we nor the earth would be alive long if all the earths water was contaminated. 

 

water in you

   Water plus carbon and a few other minerals make us.

This critter is savoring that little orb of clean water the way I am savoring my coffee right now.  I am a lifeless mineral glob without my Java.

To give anything life, to keep anything alive it must have water.

Water is so life giving that I think maybe God is water and we are drilling for –> well,  you get my point?


“The biggest ecological disaster in history”

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
the following is an excerpt from an e-mail I received.  to read it in it’s entirety please go to

Here on the sunny beaches of Florida where I sit, gazing out at pristine Gulf Beaches and blue waters, one would never suspect that a black, cancer lurks over the blue horizon.

My beach is preparing this Memorial Day for festivities on the beach. There is a bandstand, vendors booths and a planned midnight fireworks display that occurs right off my front balcony. There is no sign of disaster.

All is quiet like in the hours before Pearl Harbor. People are sunning on the beach, the sky is perfectly blue with a few wisps of white cloud. The sea is like a lake.

You will forgive me for believing as I do, that in this moment all is well on the Gulf.

As proof of this well being, as I write, I see brown pelicans flying in formation. If you have seen brown pelicans fly you will know that they fly on wind currents with military precision. With skill surpassing any human pilot, they perform death defying dives, with bombing accuracy, nose first into the sea.

I bet I can count six species of plover, heron, egret, and terns right now without getting out of my seat.

So what was that about cancer lurking out there? Is it a mirage?

I am afraid not. The signs are everywhere. The local health food store is collecting supplies for the Bird Sanctuary. It seems that Dawn washing liquid cleans fouled feathers. The call is out for human and animal hair donations. Did you know that hair clippings soak up oil?

What is not being handed out, is respirators. Thats just a fancy word for gas masks.

You see up in Louisiana, a few hundred miles from where I sit, the biggest ecological disaster in history…. I am sorry, let me rephrase that, THE BIGGEST ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN HISTORY, IS IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT.

BP, the British Petroleum Corporation that is responsible for this disaster, is as deep into loss control as the fragile coastal breeding grounds of Louisiana are into death.

That’s right folks. They are dead. They can never come back. Well never may be too strong a word. Lets just say when my kids have children, my grand kids will not see life there.

You see it has taken a millennium for the brush to seed and grow in the salty coastal marshes to the point that there are huge “prairies” of salt tolerant plants. The roots of this brush are mangroves, an endangered bush whose roots hang in the water like the tendrils of fire works on the Fourth of July.  They are safe refuge for small critters (a nursery for fish), and they harbor spawning fish, crabs, shell fish, oysters, and plankton. They are the nesting ground for many endangered fowl, from pelicans to eagles.

It is the cradle of life for the entire Gulf and beyond into the Atlantic Ocean.  This is Gods incubator for the seas.  (Gods incubator is covered in oil).

BP figures that if the word gets out how toxic this mess is, then BP will be facing potential lawsuits for years to come!  So along comes BP’s corporate liability limit men in their $1000.00 suits.

They have determined that if anyone is seen wearing a gas mask at work while cleaning the spill, that will prove that the workers are working in a highly toxic, cancer causing, environment.  BP needs to create the appearance that everything is fine and safe and that working waist deep in oil sludge and gasoline fumes is just hunky dory.  Its no worse than sunscreen and a day on the beach.

Today, BP is still pumping millions of gallons of poison on top of millions of gallons of toxic crude oil into the Gulf.

I sit here on the beach and weep for the sea turtles and the dolphins and the whales, and I wait for tonight’s fireworks on the beach.

Sincerely

Jeffrey Solomon

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My latest letter to the White House…

I campaigned for President Obama.  I am an advocate of alternative energy.  Some may consider me ignorant to the ways of power and money.  I consider them ignorant  to the ways of sustainability and humanity.

I am asking that President Obama use the power of the United States government to keep coal and oil from destroying any more of our fragile gulf ecosystem.  I am greatly disenchanted with any oil spill and how they are responded to.

Cost is guiding decisions and the oil companies aren’t paying it; we are.  Why aren’t we demanding to know what legislators are doing?  Politicians don’t like talking about spills and contaminations — we must force them to0.

Could it be because somewhere along the line some oil money got them there.  Every politician in office today is there because of oil money. (and coal money).  I dare you to prove me wrong.

Yes, I’m angry, very very angry.

Give me my faith back in this administration and provide some results to Americans that we are truly proud and powerful to do what is right.  Not just bumbling through other countries with destructive power.
Please keep this place clean for those who will come after we are gone.

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