architecture


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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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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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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Sure everybody in power down there says it was a robbery gone bad but she was assassinated. I mean the cops that were suppose to be guarding her were guarding the wrong house blocks away in another neighborhood. Damn those damn dams.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/gunmen-murder-honduran-environmentalist-leader-160303181349473.html

Politics

Honduras: Environmentalist Berta Caceres shot dead

Berta Caceres, who won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, has been shot dead at her home in the town of La Esperanza.

| Politics, Human Rights, Environment, Latin America

Honduran environmentalist leader and winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize Berta Caceres has been shot dead at her home in the town of La Esperanza.

Caceres was killed early on Thursday by two assailants who broke into her home, a member of her group, the Indian Council of People’s Organizations of Honduras, said.

“Honduras has lost a brave and committed social activist,” fellow activist Tomas Membreno said in a statement.

Caceres, a mother of four, led opposition to a proposed dam on the Gualcarque river, considered sacred by the Lencas.

She had previously complained of receiving death threats from police, soldiers and local landowners because of her work.

Activist Carlos Reyes described the assassination “a political crime by the government”.

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Go there read. More next week.

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Especially if you listen to the Bernie Sanders supporters. (I also must quickly add that as a nonprofit organization CES doesn’t endorse any political candidates, just their energy policies) Her opponents say that she is for Fracking. I see no evidence of that. They say she is a Wall Street sellout. Compared to the rest of the field, I do not see that either. But here is what I do see.

https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_natural_resources

Hillary Clinton

See also: Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016/Natural resources
Energy development
  • In a December 17, 2015 radio interview with South Carolina radio station WGCV-AM Hillary Clinton said she is doubtful of the need to drill for oil or gas off the eastern seaboard of the U.S. She said, “I am very skeptical about the need or desire for us to pursue offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, and frankly off the coast of other southeast states.” Her comments came despite the Obama administration putting forward proposals that would open up vast tracts of the ocean for fossil fuel extraction.[1]
Climate change
  • Hillary Clinton, on January 18, 2016, signed a pledge to power at least half of the nation’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2030. The pledge was devised by NextGen Climate, a San Francisco-based environmental advocacy organization, which was founded by philanthropist, environmental activist and Democratic donor Tom Steyer in 2013. The group is affiliated with NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC[2]
  • In response to the Paris Agreement adopted on December 12, 2015, Clinton released the following statement, in part: “I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change. … We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge.”[3]

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This baby has it all. Its got cost effectiveness, generation, and storage. This in just over 6000 acres. Congratulations to all of the people involved.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3031659/sustainable-it/worlds-largest-solar-plant-goes-live-will-provide-power-for-11m-people.html

 

World’s largest solar plant goes live, will provide power for 1.1M people

Up to 11% of the world’s electricity could come from concentrated solar by 2050

The world’s largest solar power plant, now live in Morocco, will eventually provide 1.1 million people with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year.

The $9 billion Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant could eventually start exporting energy to the European market.

The Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), paid for with funds approved by The World Bank, is located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, about 6 miles from Ouarzazate town. It began operation on Thursday. While the World Bank and other development partners provided financial support, the Noor solar plant is a wholly Moroccan project.

“With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology,” Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb, said in a statement. “The returns on this investment will be significant for the country and its people, by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment, and encouraging new industries and job creation

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I know that this is part of the motive and the profit to do solar equipment deals. It would be a better model if they told you about it up front and then split the RECs with the buyer or homeowner.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/01/green-energy-rec-rooftop-solar-panels

The Problem With Rooftop Solar That Nobody Is Talking About

Where does the green energy from your panels really go?

 

A couple of years ago, Steven Weissman, an energy lawyer at the University of California-­Berkeley, started to shop around for solar panels for his house. It seemed like an environmental no-brainer. For zero down, leading residential provider SolarCity would install panels on his roof. The company would own the equipment, and he’d buy the power it produces for less than he had been paying his electric utility. Save money, fight climate change. Sounds like a deal.

But while reading the contract, Weissman discovered the fine print that helps make that deal possible: SolarCity would also retain ownership of his system’s renewable energy credits. It’s the kind of detail your average solar customer wouldn’t notice or maybe care about. But to Weissman, it was an unexpected letdown.

To understand his hang-up, you need a bit of Electricity 101. If you have solar panels on your roof, the electrons they produce flow across the electric grid like water, following a path of least resistance. As they whiz around, electrons are impossible to track and look identical, whether they’re coming from solar panels, a coal plant, or whatever. But there is value in keeping tabs on the renewable ones, so energy wonks came up with renewable energy credits (RECs), a tradable financial instrument that corresponds to a certain amount of energy produced by a certain renewable source like solar or wind.

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I know that solar financing makes eyes glaze.  Go there and read anyway. More next week.

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CWLP had been on the path towards renewable energy and maybe erecting a wind turbine or a solar panel field. This is sad, because many of us for years have tried to get Springfield off its addiction to coal. But as Clark Bullard says this seems to be ending.

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20151005/OPINION/151009761

 

Clark Bullard: Unclear if CWLP’s proposed rate changes are fair

 

  • City Water, Light and Power's Dallman power station is pictured in this 2012 photograph.Clark Bullard

    • Posted Oct. 5, 2015 at 10:03 PM

      When a monopolist offers you a price adjustment, it is wise to ask who wins and who loses.

      Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power is asking aldermen to restructure electric rates by increasing the meter charge while reducing the energy charge. The stated goal is to stabilize annual revenue.

      It is not labeled a rate hike, but CWLP admits small users will get bigger bills, while large users will get smaller bills. The proposal would penalize customers who counted on fast payback of the premium they paid for energy-efficient appliances, light bulbs, air conditioners or solar panels. It would reward large users who waste energy.

      To ease the pain and spread the joy, the utility proposes a four-year phase-in process.

      Extreme weather events are causing larger year-to-year revenue fluctuations for utilities everywhere. It is not surprising to see them trying to control their revenue stream by reducing customers’ ability to control their monthly bills.

     

     

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    As I continue my mad cap romp over the internet search for “home energy services”, this website is the next one I like.

    https://www.directenergy.com/home-services/solar

    Power Your Home for Less!

    Take control of your electricity bill. Go solar.

    Direct Energy Solar

    Your Sun. Your Power. Your Way.TM

    People everywhere are discovering the quality of our custom system design, the ease of our premier process, the accuracy of our system performance, and the peace of mind of our worry-free guarantees.

    Why are People Going Solar?

    • Financial Savings — your monthly bill will be less that your current bill.
    • Energy Independence — lock in your own electricity rates!
    • Home Value Increases — solar panels have been shown to increase value.
    • It’s Great for the Planet — reduce your carbon footprint!

    Why choose Direct Energy Solar?

    We’re Up On Your Roof First
    Before we present you with a sales proposal, we come to your home, measure how much sunlight your roof receives and custom-design your system. We don’t guess by looking at your house online. Because we take accurate measurements before you meet with one of our solar consultants, you will know exactly what your system will produce, and we guarantee it. You will also receive accurate forecasts of your solar payback and ROI.

    Our Installation Process is Worry-Free
    We want to make the process of going solar easy for you. Our team of solar experts personally handles every detail throughout your entire experience to turn a complex process into one that’s smooth and carefree for you. Our professionals take care of everything, from precise measurements of your roof to post-installation paperwork for grants and rebates, and everything in between. Our installation process is fast and efficient, so you’ll be saving in no time.

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    Go there and read. More next week.

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    I don’t care if you are a Red State or a Blue State. Who could be opposed to something like this?

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/New-York-to-Build-Worlds-Most-Powerful-Smart-Energy-Lab

    New York to Build World’s Most Powerful Smart Energy Lab

    Superior computing power will help drive New York’s REV.

    Katherine Tweed
    March 26, 2015

    The New York Power Authority and SUNY Polytechnic Institute will partner to build the world’s largest research and development facility focused on energy technology innovation.

    New York State has goals of eliminating electricity peaks, enabling distributed energy resources and incorporating more large-scale renewables as part of its Reforming the Energy Vision proposal.

    The yet-to-be-built facility, the Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), will allow the New York Power Authority, distribution utilities and private companies to test everything from sensors on the grid and automation technology to novel power electronics and cybersecurity across the entire power grid.

    “This is new and innovative and will allow New York state to lead the country in energy development, smart grid and other technologies and provide economic benefit to the state,”

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    Go there and read. More next week.

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