There are some that say yes. There are some they say no. But if you read to the end the Europeans window are better.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/qa-spotlight/do-europeans-make-better-windows-we-do

Do Europeans Make Better Windows Than We Do?

Differences in testing protocols yield different U-factors, but do European manufacturers have a ‘secret sauce’?

Posted on Oct 15 2012 by Scott Gibson
It should come as no surprise that Europe, home of the Passivhaus standard, produces some outstanding windows. Some builders of high-efficiency houses in North America turn to European window manufacturers for their glazing, even though some U.S. and Canadian producers also offer high-performance products of their own.Is there a way to compare the performance data on windows from these two sources? That’s what Steve Young, now planning a Passive House in Climate Zone 5, would like to know.

“I have read many blogs and Q&A pages from this web site and I am still somewhat confused about European windows,” Young writes in Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The original BAD idea behind this bill was that Excelon’s Nukes were not profitable so they needed a subsidy from the State of Illinois or they would have to shut down. That subsidy would come from including the Nukes as part of Illinois’ Clean Energy Portfolio. Yah right, like Nukes are a clean source of energy. But this 2016 version rolls Clean Coal, Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power into the same package. Just how bad is this Bill? There is no such thing as Clean Coal.

http://www.illinoispeoplesaction.org/uploads/1/2/6/2/12620849/update-_kill_sb_1585.pdf

HELP US KILL EXELON’S BAILOUT BILL!
Less than a week ago, Exelon– the owner of Illinois’ nuclear power industry and one of the largest energy companies in the world– introduced a new bill to the Illinois Senate. SB 1585 is disguised as a “new generation” energy plan for our state, but is nothing more than a giant bailout for Exelon.
To make things worse, Exelon is using their energy monopoly to strongarm our lawmakers, threatening to close 2 nuclear power plants if the bill doesn’t pass by May 31st.  SB1585 takes tax dollars out of our
hands, and puts them straight into the pockets of Exelon.
Our tax dollar should not be used to keep dangerous nuclear energy in business. Instead, our tax dollars should be invested in the clean energy future that our state and planet needs!
BEAT BACK THE EXELON SHAKEDOWN!
3 Things YOU can do THIS WEEK!
1. Electronically
Submit a Witness Slip AGAINST this bad bill!

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Go there and read. More important, do everything they say ans show up at the State Capitol if you can More next week.

 

 

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I am so used to thinking about radiation as dangerous and creepy, that this article comletely caught me off guard. How about you?

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-radioactive-animals-become-tools-pests-and-political-statements

How Radioactive Animals Become Tools, Pests and Political Statements

Far from Chernobyl, turtles, rabbits and cows make nuclear cleanups an educational mess.

In the late 1970s, a worker at South Carolina’s Savannah River Site nuclear reservation peered into a seepage basin and spotted a small, out-of-place turtle. Scooping it out of the nuclear waste, the worker toted his new charge to a nearby ecology lab, where he figured they’d know what to do with it.

As he walked in the lab door, a radioactivity counter began beeping. The lab technician tested the mud on the worker’s shoes, figuring he’d tracked in some of the site’s contaminated muck. When the shoes came up clear, the confused technician tested further. After a few more swipes, the culprit emerged: It was the turtle.

Though this was the first radioactive turtle found at the Savannah River Site, it was far from an anomaly—there or elsewhere. Across the world, such creatures scurry, swim and fly among us. Unlike popular representations might lead us believe, most of them lack grotesque deformities, special abilities, or weird proclivities for pizza. Instead, like that turtle, many of them are totally healthy and happy—living relatively normal lives and, unless we try to eat them, posing little direct threat to humans.

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Go there and read. It is fascinating. More next week.

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I was going to write something positive today. You know Sunday is Mothers Day. Tomorrow is National Solar Power Day. But, today the press announced that a forest fire had started south of the main town in the tar sands of Alberta AND that if it got into the tar sands themselves it could burn forever. Forever! 80,000 people have been evacuated on a single road north and  who knows where they will seek shelter.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article75446407.html

May 4, 2016 12:54 PM

Residents evacuated as fires threaten Canada oil sands town

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Go there and cry. I mean read. More next week.

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I have written letter to the local paper, The State Journal Register, arguing that if we don’t stop carbon emissions on this planet we will “burn ourselves off the planet”. I was called extreme. I have been lectured by my cousin about being to pessimistic. He says, Humans are inventive and we will solve the problem. Well OK, is this the beginning of that? I hope so.

Alongside 174 Nations And Holding His Granddaughter, John Kerry Signs Paris Climate Accord

Climate

Alongside 174 Nations And Holding His Granddaughter, John Kerry Signs Paris Climate Accord

A majority of the world’s nations gathered at the United Nations on Friday to officially sign the Paris climate agreement born out of the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in December. A record 175 nations officially signed the agreement, the most to have signed a U.N. agreement on an opening day.

“More countries have come here to sign this agreement today than any other time in human history, and that is cause for hope,” Leonardo DiCaprio, U.N. Messenger of Peace, said during the opening ceremony which marked the beginning of the signing. DiCaprio also called climate change the “defining crisis of our time,” and called for fossil fuels to remain in the ground in an effort to cut carbon emissions.

Despite the fact that over a hundred countries officially signed the agreement Friday, there is still work to be done to make the treaty effective in the eyes of international law. For the treaty to officially “enter into force” — which means that key provisions would become binding — at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions must both sign the treaty and approve it domestically. Domestic approval of the treaty means different things for different countries. In the United States, it most likely means entering as part of an executive agreement, which does not require the approval of Congress. For other countries, like Mexico, some sort of legislative approval is needed before the treaty can be ratified domestically.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The budget impasse is hurting Illinois when it comes to investing in renewable energy. This is getting ridiculous. Rauner’s quest to destroy public sector unions has got to stop. This lady spells it out in no uncertain terms.

http://www.sj-r.com/opinion/20160419/michelle-knox-illinois-must-act-now-to-fix-its-clean-energy-policies/?Start=1

Michelle Knox: Illinois must act now to fix its clean energy policies

Posted Apr. 19, 2016 at 10:05 PM

In 1970, more than 20 million people worldwide took part in the first Earth Day. Millions more will take part in Earth Day 2016.

As someone who delivers both wind and solar energy to customers in Central Illinois, I can attest to the need to fix Illinois’ energy policy — and quickly. I plan to be among those participating in a rally at the state Capitol in Springfield this week, during which we will deliver a strong message to Illinois leaders: by the time Earth Day 2017 arrives, it is critical that Illinois will have taken steps to reform our state’s out-of-date energy policies or we will lose clean energy jobs to other states.

Any day that goes by — let alone another year — without such a fix puts our state at risk of losing out on jobs and investments in this competitive field.

Fortunately, lawmakers have the chance to bolster our clean energy economy at the time we need it most. The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (SB1485/ HB2607) would create more than 32,000 jobs and deliver more than $1.6 billion in savings to electricity consumers, while making vast improvements in public health. This bipartisan legislation would double the current standards for energy efficiency while increasing the targets for electricity generated by renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to 35 percent by 2030, up from the current target of 25 percent by 2025.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This is not the point of the article but it IS my point. If most mammals, like us, are going to survive then we are going to have to leave all of the carbon that we can in the ground. By the way natural gas is no “bridge” to the future. Methane is a lot more potent green house gas. It is carbon that must be left in the ground too. So expect the natural gas companies to follow suit. The sooner the better.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/13/news/companies/peabody-coal-bankruptcy/

The largest U.S. coal company just filed for bankruptcy

Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal producer, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday in a U.S. court, citing “unprecedented” industry pressures and a sharp decline in the price of coal.

The company said it will continue to operate while in bankruptcy, while working to reduce debt and improve cash flow.

“Peabody has a new management team, outstanding workforce, unmatched asset base and strong underlying operational performance that represent a key driver in the company’s future success,” CEO Glenn Kellow said in a statement announcing the Chapter 11 filing.

In addition to plummeting coal prices, the company cited weakness in China’s economy, overproduction of domestic shale gas and ongoing regulatory challenges as reasons for its declining prospects.

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Go there and read celebratorily. More next week.

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Yes I am a Headline Whore. But this is a very real nitty gritty get your hands dirty post. Most of the posts here are about environmental theories, or solar power writ large. But many environmental issues involve a compost pile and turning them, or washing off crud from recyclables. In this case if you have grass, and live in town you have to cut it. That means you have maintenance things to attend to. So here they are.

http://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/lawn-mower-repair/lawn-tractor-maintenance-tips/view-all

The Family Handyman

Lawn Tractor Maintenance Tips

Professional tips that prevent expensive repairs

Following the lawn tractor maintenance advice in your tractor’s manual is the best way to keep it humming along smoothly. But owner’s manuals usually only tell you basically what to do and when to do it—they seldom include the tips and real-world wisdom gained through experience. So we asked veteran mechanics which steps are the most important and how to make lawn tractor maintenance and tubeless tire repair faster and easier.

You’ll save too. Dealers typically charge more than $200 for routine maintenance that includes an oil change and new spark plugs and filters. But you can do all these things—and more—in just a few hours. A lawn tractor maintenance kit from your dealer (less than $75) might cost a few bucks more than buying parts separately but ensures that you get all the right stuff. And new tubes for a tubeless tire repair cost from $5 – $15.

Clean the mower deck

Remove the belt guards and blow off the debris that wrecks belts and pulleys. Scrape away any debris buildup under the pulleys with a screwdriver.

(thus it starts)

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Go there and read a heck of a lot. More next week.

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Anytime the indigenous people perform ceremonies on the water I talk about it. Because if anything needs healing our major waterways do. But as I was typing the headline I thought, “what should I really call them”. After some research it appears Indian and American Indian are not as bad as I thought. I personally like First Americans. Best line from the research was, “I don’t like to be called Indian because India is half a world away”.

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

ORTONVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A small group of indigenous people and their supporters are walking about 240 miles along the Minnesota River to raise awareness about the need to protect water.

The weeklong journey began last Friday from Big Stone Lake in Ortonville and will end this Friday at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers near Minneapolis. About 20 people were expected to participate, some of whom planned to walk for just one day. Members will carry water in a copper vessel along the river byway.

Such walks foster a spiritual connection with water, Ojibwe elder Sharon Day, who lives in St. Paul and serves as the executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force, told The Free Press of Mankato.

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Go there and pray. More next week.

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Attempts to generate electricity from tidal and river flows has had some success. People that tried to generate electricity from ocean waves have struggled. They may be on the edge of real change and I find that to be exciting.

The promise of ocean wave power has enticed, and eluded, engineers for 40 years

sea change

The promise of ocean wave power has enticed, and eluded, engineers for 40 years

It’s 1974. A man stands on the Scottish coast and stares out to sea. His dark hair is ruffled by the wind, while his mind is fixed on a new, pressing problem: How can all the teeming, crashing power of the ocean be harnessed to produce electricity, in a world that has just discovered it can’t rely on cheap oil forever?

That man, and his colleagues, are still searching for the answer.

For four decades, the problem of how to create an economically viable business producing power from waves has fascinated a specialized group of engineers, many of whom are concentrated around the sea-beaten coast of Scotland. Inventors have created all sorts of strange and wonderful devices to coax energy out of the water; investors have poured millions of pounds into the effort.

The problem is arguably one of the most perplexing in energy production. And maybe, just maybe, the answer is getting closer.

Seeking lovely, smooth lines

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Go there and read. More next week.

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