german engineering

All of those things could have taken SEVERAL Years to complete.You have to ask yourself, “How badly must my house have been designed for me to have to do all this work”? The answer is VERY badly. The big housing push in post WWII America led to many bad practices. But let’s face it our population went from 60 million to over 325 million in 3 decades and energy was a nickle or less a kilowatt. That is just an excuse I know but it is all I got. Hostility to our environment is a genetic trait for Americans. Having a Capitalistic Economy does not help because it has a total disregard for the environment. It is in fact dismissed as an externality.  Is Capitalism psychotic? Look at how it treats the only home we have got. It defiles it.

So hear is a look at more earth friendly models.

Three Extreme Eco-friendly Houses of the Future

Published by Nelson Doyle
November 9, 2008, Category: Ecology

The most extreme eco-friendly houses of the future reduces the environmental impact on the planet and demonstrates how less means more quality living.

With so much attention being drawn towards the perils of our planet and the environmental impact that a global population is causing on natural resources, some forward-thinking companies and individuals are developing new ways to solve our housing needs and the future impact to the environment once built. It requires creative people like these to develop solutions to solve critical issues like the ones we have to deal with in today’s environment.

The majority of eco-friendly houses share similar engineering characteristics such as; smaller living spaces and recycled building materials incorporated into the design. Some houses incorporate solar panels, wood-burning stoves or other energy-saving heating and cooling appliances. The potential costs saving on utility bills, property taxes, home maintenance, and furniture would more than make this kind of living ideal for single or duel family housing.

Ewok-Style Tree House


I could post the photos but out of respect I will say please see the article for more.


This Ewok-style tree house designed by Canadian carpenter Tom Chudleigh saw the future and built it.

Portable Martin House-To-Go

Honestly, this has to be the most practical house on the planet that is eco-friendly to the extremes. Live anywhere and change your scenery when the mood strikes in your own portable house. The Martin portable house-to-go is built to the highest building standards and is weatherproofed with NASA-approved insulation to endure in extreme weather conditions.

Dome House

The Japanese are amazing engineers in both housing and technology, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that a prefab home manufacturer Japan called “Japan Dome Housing Co., Ltd., developed an amazingly energy-efficient, extreme weather durable, Styrofoam expandable modular igloo-shaped kit house. Oh, yes, it’s true. The house of the future that can be purchased and assembled by you and two or three of your friends in just a matter of 3-days if you work around the clock or about a week if you take your time.


More tomorrow.


I have said it before and I will say it again Energy Efficiency sucks because it implies that we can keep doing what we have been doing if we just use less energy. WRONG. The growth model of capitalism and the growth model of religious dominance were always doomed to failure because they were at the heart delusional. The Earth is finite and we ain’t moving to another planet anytime soon if ever. Oh wait, first I must say:


Community Energy Systems is a nonprofit 501c3 organization chartered in Illinois in Sangamon County. As such we are dependent on public donations for our continued existence. We also use Adsense as a fundraiser. Please click on the ads that you see on this page, on our main page and on our Bulletin Board (Refrigerator Magnets) and you will be raising money for CES. We say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all who do.


The point has also been made that what we save in the residential market will only get “used” in the industrial market anyway. What we need is a whole new society design…That will take nearly cataclysmic events to produce.

Jeff Rubin's Smaller World

A blog about how weaning our economy off oil means some fundamental changes in the way we live, and other things

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 6:12 AM

Why energy efficiency means higher consumption

Jeff Rubin

Buddy, my furnace repairman, tells me it’s time to buy a new furnace. And I’d better act quickly if I still want to order the old mid-efficiency model. In the New Year, I have to buy a high-efficiency one, which, of course, costs twice as much.

Welcome to the brave new world of energy scarcity—it’s not only smaller, but also more costly. As energy prices continue to climb, you can expect to pay more, not less, for all the new energy-efficient cars and devices for your home.

But don’t count on actually saving any energy.

Efficiency may be the holy grail of the economist, but it’s a total head fake for the conservationist. And while one is being used to promote the other, the two concepts are as different as day and night.

The fact that the high-efficiency furnace generates more heat for a given amount of fuel burnt doesn’t necessarily mean I will end up with any fuel savings. As the cost of my heating falls, might it just allow me to set my thermostat higher? If so, my energy savings go right up the chimney.

That’s just where all the energy savings in the auto industry have gone over the last four decades — up the tailpipe, actually. Despite all the efficiency gains mandated by rising CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards, your average North American car consumes just as much fuel today as it did back in the early 1970s. Sure, the engine is 30 per cent more efficient, but now it’s hauling around an SUV that’s driven about a third more per year than a vehicle was back then.

And it’s no different in your home. Don’t be fooled by the fact that even today’s kettle has to meet some government-mandated energy-efficiency standard. Your house consumes a lot more energy than your parents’ did.



Community Energy Systems is a nonprofit 501c3 organization chartered in Illinois in Sangamon County. As such we are dependent on public donations for our continued existence. We also use Adsense as a fundraiser. Please click on the ads that you see on this page, on our main page and on our Bulletin Board (Refrigerator Magnets) and you will be raising money for CES. We say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all who do.


Will High Speed Rail become a fast way for the general public to get around at a reduced energy cost? Or will it become a fast way for the Wealthy to commute from city to city? Will Union Pacific and the other big railroads carve up small towns in the rural areas while doubling and tripling freight traffic? Only time will tell. BUT here is Union Pacific’s take on it from the The State Journal Register.


Joseph Bateman: Rail upgrade needed for passenger service, not freight


Posted Nov 04, 2009 @ 12:04 AM

Last update Nov 04, 2009 @ 06:58 AM

Contrary to the headline and opinions expressed in the Oct. 25 article “High-speed rail spending to be a boon to freight rail companies,” Union Pacific does not need for its freight operations the improvements contained in IDOT’s proposal for high-speed passenger service in the St. Louis-to-Chicago corridor. The public expenditure required for track capacity and other improvements needed on the UP line for high-speed passenger service is necessitated by the increased frequency in passenger service (10 to 18 daily trains) and the increase in maximum passenger train velocity (79 to 110 mph), not by the increased UP freight operationsPlans to build our new Joliet intermodal terminal, which could result in additional UP traffic in the corridor, were announced long before high-speed passenger rail or stimulus funding grabbed the national spotlight. Union Pacific currently has adequate capacity on our existing rail corridor infrastructure to support growth in freight train volumes. If the time comes when we might require additional capacity, we will build and finance it ourselves, just as we have done throughout our 23-state, 32,000-mile network for nearly 150 years.Nonetheless, we think it is important for Springfield residents to be aware of misconceptions and facts regarding this project that have not been widely reported:* Union Pacific did not ask for higher-speed passenger trains on our line. We are responding to requests from the state of Illinois and others to host this service on our line.* One high-speed passenger train consumes the equivalent track capacity of two to three freight trains. Even without freight train growth, a computer simulation of the corridor demonstrated that double track infrastructure is needed to meet required levels of service and reliability for IDOT’s four-hour express passenger schedule.

* UP always has been willing to review any mitigation alternatives the city of Springfield may propose for the Third Street corridor, including grade separations. To date, we have received no suggestions for mitigation from either the city or county.

* Congested urban areas such as between Sangamon and Iles avenues in Springfield require speed restrictions, most likely in the 40 to 50 mph range, not the 110 mph maximum speed envisioned elsewhere in this corridor. Passenger trains will operate even slower in the downtown area because of the station stop.

* The maximum number of trains running through the Third Street corridor would be 40 combined passenger and freight per day, assuming maximum growth of UP’s business over the next 10 years. In contrast, there would be 60-plus trains per day using the 10th Street corridor to accommodate Union Pacific, passenger and Norfolk Southern trains.

* At-grade road-rail crossings in Springfield would be blocked by 40 trains for a total of approximately 65 minutes per crossing per day, not five hours per day. Unnecessary speed restrictions or inadequate rail capacity provisions, however, would create bottlenecks that will add to blocked crossing time.

* Constructing a bypass for UP on the 10th Street corridor would require displacing many residences and businesses to accommodate the required double track and grade separations. In addition, a new connection track at North Grand Avenue would be required through or near an area now occupied by housing, the ballpark, Memorial Stadium and tennis courts.

High-speed passenger rail ultimately boils down to a public policy decision. If private freight rail infrastructure is to be used for passenger service, then federal grant policy requires that sufficient infrastructure capacity must be provided to efficiently and reliably handle both existing and future freight and passenger service on demand. That infrastructure must be paid for by the party precipitating that need, in this case, the sponsor of expanded passenger train operations.

Joseph Bateman is vice president for public affairs of Union Pacific.


I plan on writing a response, so if the SJ-R doesn’t publish it then I will put it up as a post.


Obama and Merkel switched to renewable and conservation. Whom or who is right?

How The World Works

Peak oil? Don’t worry — Obama’s on the job

Energy efficiency gains could slake the world’s oil thirst. Thanks, in no small part, to the current administration

What if, as a result of efforts to fight climate change and boost energy efficiency, global oil demand peaked in the foreseeable future? You could argue that such an achievement would be one of the most historic accomplishments of human civilization to date, proof, indeed, that we are civilized. It’s a task that will require lots of hard work all over the globe, but based just on the actions taken by President Obama in his first year of office, in the United States, we have made real progress toward that goal.

The International Energy Agency, reports Spencer Swartz in the Wall Street Journal, is predicting that even if China and India continue to consume ever more oil, overall, the world’s appetite for crude is slowing down.

The IEA, which advises rich nations, such as the U.S., on energy matters, is set to use its closely watched annual World Energy Outlook report to forecast that improved energy-efficiency measures in developed nations, as well as climate-change legislation, will help to slow the rate of global oil consumption.

Swartz reports that Deutsche Bank is bold enough to predict that “global demand will peak by 2016 … due to efficiency gains and technology improvements in electric vehicles.”

This kind of thing doesn’t happen by accident. Yesterday Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $38 million worth of grants to Alaska, Kansas, Utah and West Virginia to “support energy efficiency and conservation activities.”


It is Jam Band Friday –

Everyone in this country has been programmed by rampant science fiction to believe that everything for the future comes from outer space. So the Japanese launch a press release about using a satellite to beam microwaves back to Earth.

Let’s see, first you have to clean up the 13,000 pieces of space debris…then you got to up our payload capacity and multiple the number of vehicles available by at least 1,000. Just to START such a project. Hell we can barely generate enough capacity to keep the International Space Station running  which is 160 volts in DC. Which gets us back to this final meditation on “living off the land”. There are somethings we will have to give up on and the first one is Space Flight. Why? Not because of the money and effort that could spent elsewhere. Not because of the hellishness of the logistics. NASA’s dirty little secret is Cosmic Rays. They would destroy any unshielded human and that is why the International Space Station is not in geosynchronous orbit or higher. Stewardesses and Pilots who regularly fly at high altitudes are exposed to enough Cosmic Rays to have a slightly higher chance of developing some cancers. That is why NASA limits the space station stay for astronauts to under a year. But what is the point of going out there?


If we replaced that with

Quality of Life

As a principle the world would be a much nicer and longer lived place.


For those of you who want what you need and a simpler life there are many resources out there

Tips for Off-Grid Living – How To Live Off The Grid

Off Grid Solar Power ArrayWelcome to our free online resource for off-grid living.
We are here to help you along in the rewarding challenge of living off of the power grid. Whether you are a veteran off-grider living in an RV or cabin in the woods, a seasoned rural farmer, a third-generation rancher – or someone just looking to get out of the rat race – we have the information you seek.

What to look for when buying real estate off the grid >>

Though sometimes a challenge, the many benefits of living off grid make it all worthwhile. How can one describe the feeling of running your house or business off of clean energy sources like natural gas and propane, or renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro? Who could explain the effect being out of the city and suburbs has on your sense of well-being? How many of us would enjoy more fresh produce grown organically on our own property?

This website isn’t just about owning property that happens to not be connected to the big power company’s grid. It is about living closer to the land; Being responsible for the culture, values and environment we leave behind to our children; knowing that life was meant to be enjoyed, rather than working in a tiny cubicle to earn enough to accumulate stuff we didn’t need in the first place.

Well, that’s what it’s about for me at least. But more importantly:
What is living off grid about to you?


You can even be a Dad and do it:

Living Off The Grid

Ever wish you could just unplug from your current hectic life?  Maybe quit your stressful job, move to a farm with several acres, and spend your remaining time living off the grid.  Yeah, me too.

The problem is that this type of lifestyle seems so simple, but is terribly difficult to pull off these days.  Why?  Because we have become slaves to our stuff – myself included.  We have our houses, our cars, our expensive hobbies, our electronic gadgets, our new furniture, our designer clothes, etc.

We spend the majority of our lives working to pay for the stuff that keeps us from living a life with more freedom.  Along the way we usually manage to accumulate debt buying more stuff than we can afford.  So then we spend even more time working to repay the money we borrowed to buy the stuff that we work to pay for in the first place.  Whew!  It’s a vicious cycle.

Photo courtesy of iLoveButter

How To Break The Chains of Stuff?

So how do we break the cycle?  How do we join others who are living off the grid?  It isn’t easy.  I believe the very first step is to stop accumulating stuff.  Draw a line in the sand (or on your front porch), and vow not to allow anything else to enter your home unless it is a necessity or improves your quality of life in some way.  If something qualifies under those two conditions, you must save for it and pay cash.  No more borrowing!

The second step is to take a look around your house, and your budget.  Are you paying for things that you could really live without?  The $40 gym membership, or the $15 Netflix membership, may not seem like much by themselves, but how much of a nest egg would be required just to cover those expenses?  I mentioned the multiply by 25 concept in a previous post.  The idea is that you can estimate how much of your nest egg would be required to maintain your current expenses.  I used Netflix as an example:


The movement is not just limited to the US.

Top govt advisor attacks Big Power


— by Alexbenady, 30 Oct

Simpson: Local hero

Simpson: Local hero

The UK is in the grips of a power cartel, says an insider from the governing UK Labour Party.

That cartel actively hinders the fight against global warming by lobbying for its own narrow commercial interests at the cost of local democracy and the future health of the planet.   It’s an argument that off-gridders and anti-capitalist campaigners will be familiar with. It’s not really what you expect to hear from an advisor to Her Majesty’s Government. Yet it is precisely the belief of Alan Simpson, who occupies a place close to the heart of political power in Britain as  energy advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband and Member of Parliament for Nottingham South.

>>Keep reading Top govt advisor attacks Big Power Your Comments: 0
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Some people even thrive in an “off the grid” living:

By Greg Seaman Posted Jun 9, 2009

In the summer of 1980, my wife, three-month old son and I moved “off-grid”. We loved living in San Francisco but wanted to live a simpler, more independent lifestyle, and so we bought a small cabin with land on a rural island in the Pacific Northwest. Since there were no services to the island, our home had no electricity. Residents of the island had to create their own electricity or do without.

Now here I sit, almost 30 years later, with the kids grown and their rooms empty, and with some time to reflect on our experience living and raising a family off-grid. But before even considering the challenges and solutions in dealing with our energy needs over the years, one observation seems to leap out: how little things here have changed. We’ve done very little over the years to enhance our energy needs, aside from installing two solar panels last year to power the computer I’m using to write this article. (Alongside my computer on the table here is a kerosene lamp, and a candle for added light.) This lack of change is testament to the feasibility of off-grid living, and my vision for the upcoming years is to keep things pretty much the way they are.

But keeping it simple hasn’t always been simple. We had to learn alternate methods of preserving food, how to build things without power tools, how to cook on a wood stove, how to clean diapers without a washing machine, entertain ourselves without TV, and accept that many common tasks can take longer and be more difficult without electricity. Here are the main challenges we encountered in living off-grid, and how we managed with them.


For much more:


Oh yah and the people that made the song famous:


While there was huge howling on both the right and the left about Barack Obama winning the Nobel Prize, I think it was mainly because they don’t understand that we are shifting from a “growth” paradigm to a “sustainable” paradigm and the Nobel people were publicly recognizing that fact. I think if they all knew what that meant, they would be howling even louder. What Barack and company have understood is that standard politics is about to become irrelevant. That is that the Growth method of economics is about to become obsolete and with it a whole way of life.

The sustainable economics of Elinor Ostrom

2009-10-14 17:56

It was not by chance that Elinor Ostrom was awarded this year’s Nobel prize in economics.

Global warming, along with the preservation of the quality of our environment, has become the most pressing issue facing the human race.

The presentation of this year’s Nobel prize in economics to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson–in particular Ostrom’s dedicated researches in the inter-relationship between mankind and our ecological system, thus ensuring the sustainability of our water, forest, fishery and other shared resources–should serve as a loud and clear alarm to mankind, who have now come face to face with ecological disasters of unprecedented proportions.

Environmental initiatives continue to thrive in all corners of the Earth. Although many people are well equipped with the knowledge of protecting our environment, few will actually turn that knowledge into practical actions, resulting in the piling up of trash, severe river contamination, illegal logging as well as ill-planned and uncurbed developments. The quality of our environment has deteriorated further, culminating in a broad array of hygiene issues and illnesses.

Elinor Ostrom spent her teenage years in the depth of the Great Depression and the subsequent second world war, when resources were scarce and potable water a rarity. She grew vegetables in her own yard, and made her harvest into canned food. This opened up her eyes to the realisation of the necessity to work with other people for the common interests of all when resources were in short supply. Such a realisation had laid a solid foundation for her future scientific research works.

Judging from this perspective, it therefore came as no coincidence that she was given the Nobel.

It is an undeniable fact that environmental degradation has resulted in global warming. Even in Malaysia, the average atmospheric temperatures have risen over the past three decades.


Summarizing her findings about the “tragedy of the commons”:

1. We must value the strategy of a more balanced overall development: In the past, due to the lack of overall development concept and plans, our developments have been concentrated in large cities while the well-being of rural residents was overlooked.

For instance, we moved polluting factories from cities to outlying areas and adjacent rural communities. We should have instead formulated a set of preventive guidelines to curb environmental degradation. The success of environment protection depends very much on the monetary expenses as well as manpower, financial and equipment inputs; and priorities and timetables should therefore be set.

2. An environment evaluation system must be put in place. Works on all new major construction projects, manufacturing plants and public gathering places, should begin only after environmental impact assessments have been carried out.

3. Promote a sense of responsibility in nurturing the necessary expertise. Future entrepreneurs must come to the full realisation that the prevention of environmental degradation is a responsibility which they are obliged to, and the money invested in the equipment for the prevention of environmental degradation should be seen as part of the essential operating cost in their production and service delivery. At the same time, they should also establish research bodies aimed at grooming expertise to fight pollution.

Not believing in the “tragedy of the commons,” Ostrom has put her entire lifetime’s effort in the researches on outlying and underdeveloped communities, living over a very long period of time with their impoverished residents.


The 2 types of economies are on a crash course:

The Clash Over Clean Power

Utility chiefs are juggling the conflicting goals of green energy and low rates—and self-interest reigns


What makes the task even more difficult is a fundamental clash between the two goals that Rowe, Rogers, and other CEOs say they are passionate about: keeping power prices low to benefit customers and averting the potential catastrophe of climate change. The effort to curb emissions, after all, will significantly raise the price of coal-fired and other fossil-fuel-generated electricity and make alternatives more competitive.


Some countries are already there:

The future of energy happening now in Germany

Friday, 16 October 2009 08:01

Germans are leading the way in the clean energy revolution.  From huge smart grid projects and massive wind and solar farms to smaller micro-generation projects at the home to new appliances Germany is taking energy efficiency very seriously.

Germany passed legislation more than 20 years ago that required utility companies to pay homeowners who generated renewable power.  Since 1990, carbon emissions there have been reduced by 23 percent as a result of forward-thinking policies and by embracing innovative technologies.

The country is now conducting tests that will determine if homes can produce all of their energy needs and sell excess back to the power grid.  Operating under the label E-Energy, the project will include tens of thousands of homes in six separate regions.  The €140 million project has attracted many of the world’s largest energy and technology firms who have agreed to help pay for the effort.  Germany believes that a similar nationwide program could conserve 10 terawatts of energy annually – an amount equal to the yearly consumption of 2.5 million homes.

The Germans are also working on offshore wind farms and massive solar power installations to be built in Africa.  Several energy companies are working on the solar project that will eventually feed clean energy into Europe’s power grid.  Schemes such as these can eventually provide up to a third of the country’s requirements, according to estimates.


The point being, that the Nobel Committee picked people that reflect that…the “Growthers” just don’t get it and never will:

Nobel Prize Winners For 2009

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009

Elizabeth H. Blackburn

Carol W. Greider

Jack W. Szostak

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

Thomas A. Steitz

Ada E. Yonath

The Nobel Peace Prize 2009

Barack Obama

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009

Charles K. Kao

Willard S. Boyle

George E. Smith

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009

Herta Müller

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009

Elinor Ostrom

Oliver E. Williamson


I did not say it up front but Elinor is the first woman to get the Nobel Prize for Economics -Yaaaaaa


This was an eye catching headline and hundreds of bloggers posted it. But what are they really accomplishing here. If the people have electric water heaters maybe they are accomplishing something. If the people have gas water heaters then the impact is much less. You have off loaded an inefficient gas heater for an efficient one. But if you installed a solar water heater well…then you would be doing something. This is just a publicity stunt…AND apparently it worked:,volkswagen-plan-would-rev-up-power-for-apartments.html

Volkswagen plan would rev up power for apartments

by Aurelia End Aurelia End Wed Sep 9, 11:06 am ET

Salzgitter,Germany – Automotive giant Volkswagen and a small German power company unveiled Wednesday a plan to build up to 100,000 mini power stations in apartment house basements. The generators would run off more or less the same natural-gas- powered engines as those that currently drive some

Volkswagen Golf cars. Exhaust heat from the engines would warm up water for showers and central heating.“It’s a true revolution in the electricity business,” said Christian Friege, chief executive of Lichtblick, a small “green energy” supplier to homes and offices which teamed up with
Volkswagen for the project. The plan, sealed with an agreement at Volkswagen’s Salzgitter factory in northern Germany, is a challenge to big utilities that generate power with huge steam turbines driven by nuclear or coal heat. Germany’s infrastructure could help make the plan a reality, with gas, mostly drilled in Siberia, already being piped to most city streets in Germany. Volkswagen said the “green” internal-combustion engines it has developed for cars were quiet enough to operate in building basements and emitted 60 per cent less carbon dioxide than comparable thermal power plants. Lichtblick, based in Hamburg, is a company with 550,000 customers and a focus on supplying non-nuclear electricity. Engineers said the key to the system’s success would be a home power station’s efficiency, with up to 94 per cent of the energy in the gas used for heating or to make electricity, whereas gas-fired power plants only use 40 to 60 per cent..


This was YAHOO’s take on it:

Home power plants project unveiled in Germany


Home power plants project unveiled in Germany

AFP/DDP – A technician of German automaker Volkswagen’s adjusts a mini gas-fired power plant at the VW plant …

BERLIN (AFP) – An ambitious project was unveiled in Germany on Wednesday to install mini gas-fired power plants in people’s basements and produce as much electricity as two nuclear reactors within a year.

The Hamburg-based renewable energy group Lichtblick and its automaker partner Volkswagen say the plants would produce not only heating and hot water but also electricity, with any excess power fed into the local grid.

The two firms said the concept of “SchwarmStrom” (literally, “swarm power”) would allow Germany to abandon nuclear and coal power stations sooner and help compensate for the volatility of renewables like wind and solar power.

The plants also reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60 percent compared to conventional heat and electricity generation, they added in a joint statement.

In the coming year the programme will install 100,000 of the mini plants, producing between them 2,000 megawatts of electricity, the same as two nuclear plants, Lichtblick and VW said.

“SchwarmStrom is revolutionising power production in Germany. It clears the way for more renewable energy and an exit from power from nuclear and coal,” the statement added.


These people ran it too:


America is the home of instant gratification. There IS nothing more instant than the automobile and capitalism and nothing more American than the car. At no time in the history of humans have people been able to go some place distant at a whim. The Odyssey remains a famous work precisely because it takes Odysseus 10 years to get home and he never got out of the eastern Mediterranean. For a historical perspective it took mankind 50,000 years to get around the world. Yet I can just get in my car and for a few hundred dollars drive to California. How dumb is that…better yet how irresponsible? For that priviledge 32,000 people (roughly) a year die. That figure has not changed since 1962.

That is again roughly 1,536,000 people. That is more casualities then most major wars. Driving put the casual in casualities. Staggering numbers when compared to Vietnam, or Korea and especially compared to the various  incursions in the Arab or Persian Gulf (Iraq, Kuwait, and I include Afghanistan). So let me be clear, I hate the internal combustion engine and not just the one under your hood. But cars do not make any sense no matter what powers its drive train, whether its bio-diesel, electricity or water. It is a bad use of resources. If you need to cover long distances…take the damn bus. If you have to get to the store RIGHT NOW…take your bike. You want to go really really long distances…take the freakin train… But every last one of us having a 2000 lb. car (many weigh much more) that carries 50 lbs. of fuel (usually much more) and transports one 300 lb. human (usually much less) is just stupid. There really is no other way to characterize it dumb dumb dumb.

Please also do not misunderstand me. As long as people have traveled they have died in transit. Think the Titanic here, sometimes in spectacular numbers:



A traffic collision is when a road vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or geographical or architectural obstacle. Traffic collisions can result in injury, property damage, and death.


Phrases commonly used to describe collisions include: auto accident, car accident, car crash, car smash, car wreck, motor vehicle accident (MVA), motor vehicle collision (MVC), personal injury collision (PIC), road accident, road traffic accident (RTA), road traffic collision (RTC), road traffic incident (RTI), smash-up and fender bender.

As the factors involved in collisions have become better understood, some organizations have begun to avoid the term “accident,” as the word suggests an unpreventable, unpredictable event and disregards the opportunity for the driver(s) involved to avoid the crash. Although auto collisions are rare in terms of the number of vehicles on the road and the distance they travel, addressing the contributing factors can reduce their likelihood. For example, proper signage can decrease driver error and thereby reduce crash frequency by a third or more.[1] That is why these organizations prefer the term “collision” rather than “accident”.

However, treating collisions as anything other than “accidents” has been criticized for holding back safety improvements, because a culture of blame may discourage the involved parties from fully disclosing the facts, and thus frustrate attempts to address the real root causes.[2]


Road crashes causing death, injury, and damage have always happened since animals were domesticated. History tells people who were the victim of such incidents. Louis IV of France died in 954 after falling from his horse, as did at least two kings of England: William I (William the Conqueror) in 1087 and William III in 1702. Handel was seriously injured in a carriage crash in 1752.[3]

The British road engineer J. J. Leeming, compared the statistics for fatality rates in Great Britain, for transport-related incidents both before and after the introduction of the motor vehicle, for journeys, including those by water, which would now be undertaken by motor vehicle:[4] For the period 1863–1870 there were: 470 fatalities per million of population (76 on railways, 143 on roads, 251 on water); for the period 1891–1900 the corresponding figures were: 348 (63, 107, 178); for the period 1931–1938: 403 (22, 311, 70) and for the year 1963: 325 (10, 278, 37).[4] Leeming concluded that the data showed that “travel accidents may even have been more frequent a century ago than they are now, at least for men“.[4]

Irish scientist Mary Ward died on 31 August 1869 when she fell out of her cousins’ steam car and was run over. She is believed to have been the world’s first motor vehicle accident victim.



A truck crash.

In the United States the calculable costs of motor-vehicle crashes are wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, motor vehicle damage, employers’ uninsured costs, and administrative expenses. (See the definitions for a description of what is included in each component.) The costs of all these items for each death (not each fatal crash), injury (not each injury crash), and property damage crash was: Average Economic Cost per Death, Injury, or Crash, 2006: Nonfatal; Disabling Injury; $55,000; Property Damage Crash (including nondisabling injuries) $8,200; Death; $1,210,000; Expressed on a per death basis, the cost of all motor vehicle crashes—i.e. fatal, nonfatal injury, and property damage—was $5,800,000. This includes the cost of one death, 197 property damage crashes (including minor injuries, 54 nonfatal disabling injuries). This average may be used to estimate the motor vehicle crash costs for a state provided that there are at least 10 deaths and only one or two occurred in each fatal crash. If fewer than 10 deaths, estimate the costs of deaths, nonfatal disabling injuries, and property damage crashes separately.

Defined in sections 2.3.4 through 2.3.6 of the Manual on Classification of Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents (7th Edition) ANSI Standard D16.1-2007 are defined by severity motor vehicle injuries Estimates are given here of the costs by severity of injuries.

Road incidents result in the deaths of an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide each year, and injure about forty times this number (WHO, 2004).



Divorce your Car! Ending the Love Affair with the Automobile (New Society Publishers, ISBN 0-86571-408-8), written by Katie Alvord and with a foreword by Stephanie Mills, proposes that automobiles have lost their value as a convenience and have become a hindrance, even an addiction. “Today’s relationship with the automobile inflicts upon us pollution, noise, congestion, sprawl, big expenses, injury, and even death. Yet we continue to live with cars at a growing cost to ourselves and the environment.” [1] There are several arguments for her thesis presented throughout the text as well as some suggestions for how to wean one’s self from automobiles.[2]


The book was well received by critics and has been hailed by environmentalists as a realistic description of the current situation in which we live. Alvord cites many sources throughout the text to back up her claims, however there have been complaints that some of them are biased, originating from sources with an apparent agenda, such as Asphalt Nation. Jay Walljasper of Utne Reader claims the book is “A clear-headed approach to reducing or even eliminating our dependence on cars, Divorce Your Car! [is] full of common sense and fresh insight.”

About the Author

Katie Alvord, born in northern California, is a freelance writer, environmentalist, and avid bicyclist. A graduate of the University of California at Davis and with a Master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Alvord has worked with many non-profit agencies focused on environmental issues. She has had articles printed in such publications as E Magazine, Wild Earth, and The Urban Ecologist. In 1992 she received several awards, including the Clean Air Champion award, for her self documented experience of divorcing her car while living in a rural part of Sonoma County, California.[4]

[edit] Main Points

[edit] Supporting Arguments

In the book, Alvord states that air pollution from cars is damaging to the health of humans directly because of contaminants in pollution and indirectly through the destruction of the environment and contribution to global warming.[5] Oil spills, acid rain, and dirty rivers are some of the results of widespread use of cars, according to Alvord. The destruction from oil spills can wreak havoc on entire ecosystems.[6] In addition to the cost of the car, an owner can expect to pay much more in repairs and upkeep throughout the car’s life.[7] Additionally, tens of thousands of people die every year from car crashes, and hundreds of thousands are injured.[8]

[edit] Solutions

Alvord proposes that there are benefits to walking, cycling and using mass transit beyond saving the Earth, such as exercise, money conservation, and self reliance.[9] By modifying land use, financial policies, and urban infrastructure, efficiency can be increased world wide and society can learn to function without a car in every household.[10] With the advent of the Internet and decreasing phone prices, it is more efficient to work from home or video conference online in many circumstances, and just as effective. This not only reduces pollution but can save money for businesses.[


It’s Jammin Band Friday. Not only that but I have spent so much time this week hyping the Wind Power 2009 conference/convention that I thought I should end on a surfin note:

It is a little know fact that the moon is moving away from the Earth at about an inch per year. We know this because on one of the Apollo Landings (quick for those of you who don’t believe that they ever happened -CLOSE Your Eyes) they placed an aluminum block on it’s surface. Since that time and with intensifying accuracy we have been bouncing lasers off of it and this has allowed us to determine the distance to the moon (its original purpose) but the unexpected find that that distance is widening…Anyway this means that eventually the Moon will drift away into space. I think we should harvest its today power while we can. I mean in a million years or so it could be gone. Here is a huge thought problem for you…Where will it go?..Whoa


We The People 

Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness:  Health Care is a RIGHT 

Solar Power  The Wave of Tomorrow!!!
The three devices  The Syphon Wave Generator , The Floating Wave Generator and The Under The Bottom Generator
could have a major effect in stopping global warming by converting ocean waves into electricity.
Click Here to see the new Syphon Wave Generator video on You Tube!!
            The Syphon Wave Generator           The Floating Wave Generator          The Under the Bottom Generator
Patent No. 7355298     04/08/2008               Patent No. US 7315092    01/01/2008          Patent Pending No. 61204580
                              The Three inventions are being developed by Green Wave Energy Corp
Click these links for more information and videos
  There will soon be a new video of a working Floating Wave Generator producing Hydrogen and Real Power and The Under the Bottom Generator!!

How about a power plant for less than $1 per watt to construct and install?
Click here for more information!

For Energy Saving Products including:
Wind Mills   Solar Collectors  and  Power Save Products
go to  GWEC  

These units could produce enough power to replace most oil, coal and nuclear power plants with 100% solar produced electricity.  The Syphon Wave Generators would produce enough electricity at such a low cost they would make it possible to separate the hydrogen from ocean water and  store it in power cells to use in our cars and trucks. We would also be able to convert homes now powered with heating oil to electric heat saving billions of gallons of oil per year. I estimate one square mile of Syphon Wave Generators, in good locations with average two meter waves, would produce as much power as ten nuclear reactors.  1,000,000,000 watts!
Today we are growing more and more crops to convert into fuel to run our cars. These crops could feed every hungry person in the world.  I find this unconscionable. We could and should be using our farm land to grow food crops and use the solar power to power our world. We could do this and the Syphon Wave Generator and the Floating Wave Generator are tools to help make this happen.

Thanks for your interest
G Edward Cook


October 02, 2008

Wave power generator cranks up off Portuguese coast, and Oregon may be next

Pelamiswavepower The world’s first commercial wave power project has cranked up at last three miles off the Portuguese coast, CNN reports. The first phase is expected to generate 2.25 megawatts, enough power for 1,000 homes, according to the Guardian.

“If successful, a second phase will see energy generation rise to 21 megawatts from a further 25 machines providing electricity for 15,000 Portuguese homes,” CNN says.

The generators, made by a company called Pelamis, are three red cylindrical converters (shown here) which are partially submerged in the Atlantic Ocean. “Moving up and down on the endless waves of the open sea, they convert motion into electricity, without emitting any of the carbon dioxide that is warming the planet,” the Guardian notes.



Novel Wave-Powered Generators Deployed in Sea Trials off Florida Coast


Technology from SRI International Offers Clean Energy Production from Ocean Waves

Wave BuoyST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – August 3, 2007 – SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research and development organization, announced today the deployment of a prototype buoy-mounted, ocean wave-powered generator off the coast of Florida in the Tampa Bay. Beginning today, SRI will test the wave-powered generator for approximately two weeks. The deployment is part of a program sponsored by HYPER DRIVE Corporation, Ltd., a Japanese company focused on development and deployment of wave-powered generators around the world.

SRI’s wave-powered generators can be deployed on existing ocean buoys that use batteries as their energy source. SRI’s new generator utilizes patented electroactive polymer artificial muscle (EPAM™) technology, and offers a renewable method to continually power ocean buoys. SRI will use instrumentation that allows remote monitoring of the generator’s output energy as well as wave height and buoy motion. Assisting the Menlo Park, California-based research team are researchers in SRI’s new Marine Technology Program, which is located in St. Petersburg, Florida. SRI is also working with Artificial Muscle, Inc., an SRI spin-off company and the exclusive licensee of EPAM, in the development of the EPAM components for the wave-powered generators.

“HYPER DRIVE is excited to work with SRI on this important application of EPAM technology,” said Shuji Yonemura, CEO, HYPER DRIVE. “We see great potential in applying this technology to wave-power generation around the world in the near future.”

“When SRI International opened its operations in St. Petersburg earlier this year, we anticipated great strides in marine research like we see today,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker. “This energy-generating technology is a perfect fit for an industry based in St. Petersburg, which was designated Florida’s first and only green city by the Florida Green Building Coalition.”




Proving once again that there is little new under the sun (or the waves) is this 1932 version of the wave power generators that we showed here and here. It works on the basis of an “inertia motor” where “When a wave starts to lift the hollow sphere, the massive weight inside, because of its inertia, resists the movement and exerts terrific pressure in the lower cylinder. Finally the inertia of the weight is overcome. Then it possesses momentum. When the sphere reaches the crest of a wave, the combined effort of the momentum and the recoil of the huge, semi-elliptic springs exerts an equal pressure in the upper cylinder. The tremendous pressure is applied to oil, which, in turn, operates a special turbine which runs a generator. The current is conducted to the shore by submarine cable.” ::Modern Mechanix


Heaven Let The Light Shine Down – indeed


We started at Grab-A-Java at 1702 S. 6th ST in Springfield IL near the corner of South Grand and 6th ST. The nice owner Meg even gave us some free muffins…She says that she has a FaceBook page but for now a Photo and a yahoo citation is the best I can do:


It was so windy the registration forms were literally being ripped from our hands. A good group showed up:




Doug and Paul got to talk to the Channel 20 man about the Club and CES. Sorry Paul I did not get a real good picture of you until the end. I did not see the show so I do not know how it turned out. They are going to use the piece again on Saturday.



Then it was time to RIDE. vrrrrooom



To Overturf PowerSports who were very very good to us:

1622 N. Dirksen Parkway. Dennis and his wife Karen gave us a $50 gift certificate and got us some nifty shirts, hats and mini-soccer balls from SYM:



Then it was on to the Phillips 66 Gas Station in Rochester IL:

Where the nice manager Bobbie Patel gave us free soft drinks.



Then it was on to the Alamo in Chatham:



310 N Main Plz
Chatham, IL 62629



Then to Mike Carter’s Westside Automotive where Jim and Sam sell scooters. They served us the best Brauts ever:



That is one of my best friend’s son, Joe Means. It was so good to have him along for the ride.



Finally and saving the best for last we drew for the prizes at the Hoogland Center for the Arts:

Paul McAdamis is both the Club President and the WINNER with 3 8s. I could not have organized the 1st Annual CES Earth Day Poker Scoot for The Springfield Scooter Club without him. Thanks Paul!



Oh and THANKS to Katie for driving the Chase Truck.


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