August 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Energy Tough Love (climate change)
Current mood: chipper

I call this blog Energy Tough Love because I think that burning things up is a primitive behavior that we are BEYOND as a species. With the Political and Economic leadership we could quit this digging and burning behavior, leave resources in place for future generations that will need them and improve our lifestyle as a result. Let me be clear, all this digging and burning is interfering with what we all want, Life’s Necessities, Love, Family, Friends, Travel and Enterprise in no particular order. If we could Travel, for instance, without burning things up we would do more of it and have more fun at it. So this is a blog about thinking about and changing burning things up as a behavior.


This is not the answer you normally get, especially from an environmentalist. The answer you get is we have TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING to save the Earth!! While I am sometimes sarcastic about such “the sky is falling” mentality, I actually agree that global warming is a huge problem that will ultimately thin out the human herd. There is a remote possibility that it could lead to our extinction as a species. But when you really get “into” so called global warming you loose the big picture, which is what the oil conglomerates, the utility companies and fossil fuel mining companies WANT you to do. They want everyone to be dragged down into useless arguments about CO or CO2 or NOX or carbon particulates or actual world temperatures or worse yet world water temperatures or world sea levels. We can talk about that but it misses the big picture!


Is there global warming? Actually no there isn’t. What there is actually, is Global Weather Destabilization and Negative Local Sharp Variances. What a mouthful. 30 years ago a lot of “senior” environmentalists didn’t like that PHRASE because nobody would understand it (they thought) and it wasn’t sexy enough. So they chose to look at one short term phase, the very first one, and adopted Global Warming as the “only use phrase” to capture what will be a pretty horrendous experience for the humans going through it. Yes indeed the planet will warm up, but that is just the pleasant part of it. Earth only has so many mechanisms to establish equilibrium so once most of the ice melts, then the Earth is going to get real wet real fast…


So here we are 30 years later and the people who really like us to burn as much of everything as we can so they can make money, are saying “OK there is some warming, but it is not caused by Human Activity). So play this little thought game with me.

There are only five heat sources for the Earth. The Sun, Jupiter, The Earth’s core. The Moon, and hmmmmmm oh Man. There are other POTENTIAL sources like cosmic radiation, and long wave sources of energy but they are easy to measure. In addition if there were a noticeable change in those indices we would all fry before we could do much but print a few headlines and kiss our loved ones goodbye.

The Sun is in a cooling phase. Which makes what is going on locally even more frightening. Ironically it was the discussion of this cooling phase and its nonmanifestation that the BURNERS have latched onto to say no one know what’s going on – thus voile’ there is no global warming. So let me repeat, every Sun scientist agrees that the sun is in a cooling phase. The Moon only reflects light so since the Sun is cooling, the Moon’s impact is cooling too. Jupiter only minimally supplies energy to Earth, but as the second biggest entity in the Galaxy it contributes some. Is Jupiter heating up? Probably not but I usually interject the “alien” presence here for those who like the X Files or firmly believe in alien abduction. Maybe there are aliens out by Jupiter pointing a ray gun at us and heating up the planet. Then there is the Earth’s core. There is no evidence that the Earth core is getting hotter. In fact volcanic activity is in a historic period of decline that is often associated with a reversal of the magnetic field.  So who does that leave to be the “culprit” as it were, why us burners.  OOPS, there is nobody plausibly left and I did not have to mention one gas, no temperatures except the obvious that things ARE getting warmer and it looks pretty much like Humans are the cause. Just as a simple example for you gardening fans out there when I was born Illinois was a hard definite zone 5 on the back of all the seed packets. The saying for corn was “knee high by the 4rth of July”. Now we are considered a very temperate 6. The corn has tassels by the 4rth of July and is 8 ft. tall.

Nuff said

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hot Rocks Energy Generation

I call this blog ENERGY TOUGH LOVE because digging combustables up or cutting them down is so easy it is hard to stop. We, as a species have been doing it for 1000s of years and its a tough habit to break. But we are at a point where burning stuff up is damaging the environment to the point where its STOP BURNING OR DIE.

Lets Face IT, the Sun is on fire, and for all intents and purposes so is the center of the Earth. There is enough stuff burning already in our Solar System that we don’t have to burn more stuff. To prove the point below is a partial discussion of Geothermal steam generation on a scale that could rid ourselves of standard burning type electrical generating stations. 

Saturdays at 8.30am, repeated Mondays at 2.30pm

Presented by Alexandra de Blas

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Hot Rock Energy
Saturday 19 June  2004 

The idea of geothermal or hot rock power has been
around for years. Now it is one of the technologies
that might benefit from the Government’s low emissions
energy fund.

..Program Transcript
–>.. PRINT_CONTENT_START –>Scientists say that pumping water underground to heat it and drive clean electricity production is just around the corner.

The idea of geothermal or hot rock power, has been around for three decades, but realising the vision has proved difficult.

Now though, it’s one of the technologies that might benefit from the government’s low emissions energy fund.

Dr Prame Chopra from the Australian National University is a passionate advocate.

Prame Chopra: The idea is this, you find a place on earth where you can get access to rocks that are at high temperature inexpensively as you can. Everybody knows I guess that the earth gets hotter as you go deeper, in fact the centre of the planet is about the same temperature as the surface of the sun. In fact the deepest well that’s been drilled is only 12 kilometres deep anywhere in the world, and that’s cost billions of dollars, so accessing temperature at shallow depths is the key to making this technology work. Now there are plenty of places in the world where high temperatures come very close to the surface: volcanoes, and geysers and things like this come to mind immediately. Think of New Zealand or Japan or Indonesia, places like this. And of course Australia doesn’t have anything like that, we don’t have any active volcanoes on the mainland, so the original feeling about this technology for Australia was that we really didn’t have a significant resource.

For more of the discussion go to

The point being we don’t need to dig up coal anymore to heat water..we can do it directly from the source..but it takes the political will to do it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Energy Tough Love

Learning how you burn things up and when is the key to stopping burning things up. Learning how much it costs to burn is also incentive not to burn. Say gasoline prices rise to $4.00 per gallon. You might not necessarily sell your car but you would be very careful about when you buy gasoline, say in the morning when its cooler and where you bought it, like anywhere that sells it below $4.00. If you thought gas prices would come down you might postpone that trip to Denver or Miami until then…Oddly (very sarcastic here) in the place where you burn a bunch of stuff, your home, you do not have this basic information. You can change that according to the the New York Times..

“Ten times last year, Judi Kinch, a geologist, got e-mail messages telling her that the next afternoon any electricity used at her Chicago apartment would be particularly expensive because hot, steamy weather was increasing demand for power.

Each time, she and her husband would turn down the air-conditioners — sometimes shutting one of them off — and let the dinner dishes sit in the washer until prices fell back late at night.

Most people are not aware that electricity prices fluctuate widely throughout the day, let alone exactly how much they pay at the moment they flip a switch.”

You can change all of that by purchasing a digital meter for your house. They cost $100-200 a meter with memory and a wifi card and the local utility company should install it for free. Now I know the energy conservation purist out there will scream that the utility companies should do this and some are, like PGE. But why wait and you can scare the living beejeezus out of your utility company at the same time. They may not even have time of day rates yet and they probably will think that a future that was far off is here today.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Energy Tough Love

New Homes Partner Results in All States

Results 1 – 50 | All Results

ENERGY STAR mortgages are designed to help home buyers purchase an ENERGY STAR qualified new home by allowing the home buyer to qualify for a larger loan, reduce closing costs, and/or offset the cost of a home energy rating. The following is a list of ENERGY STAR lender partners and basic information about their ENERGY STAR mortgage programs. Please contact lenders directly for details and current information.

All Available Incentives

Select another partner type: Select another location:
Results 1 – 50 of 69 Next   All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Special Financing
Hoosier Mortgage Anderson, IN 765-622-1620 2006
Illini Bank Springfield, IL 217-547-9671 2007

This is a partial listing of banks that will offer Environmental Mortgages  at the Energy Star website. Illini Bank is currently offering them in Springfield, IL! I hope that someday this is universal for both the current housing stock and new builds. Just think what a change in mentality it would be if every housing lender in the country said to all their customers, “That house could use an energy upgrade and here is the deal I can put together for you”. The next time you buy or build a house, please ask about this program.

August 7th, 2007

Stopping burning stuff to be happy is easy once you get the hang of it. For instance lighting is a very simple way to at least cut down. I was asked by a Mayor of a pretty good sized town what was the greenest thing I thought he could do. My answer was ban incandescent lightbulbs tomorrow! When you think about electrical lighting its kinda like burning the candle on both ends. You are burning coal (or someother major source) at a power plant and then burning something to make light at the other end. This might have been acceptable 100 years ago but NOT NOW. At least not the way Thomas Edison wanted it done. Incandescents simply burn a wire inside a glass case until the wire breaks.

There are several ways to minimize this. If everyone switched to compact flourescent light bulbs right now, We could shut down almost all of the 100+ nuclear power plants or the equivalent of the “dirtier” coal fired power plants immediately. Compact flourescent light bulbs still burn things, in this case a electric modulating balast that interacts with a gas to produce light, but they are at least 5 times more efficient than a lightbulb and last 5 times as long. While this is an extreme example, I currently have a compact in my basement that i bought in 1990 and it is still going strong!!! It cost me $15 then, but that is now less than a $1 a year. How many of you can say that you spent $1 on bulbs last year? And they have gotten a lot cheaper. You can get them now on sale for $3.

2 to 200 Watt
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

you can find out more at,, or, and wikepedia has a listing on them as well

But there so much more out there. There is LCD lighting that is again, 5 to 10 times more efficient than compact florescent light bulbs. For day time lighting there are light tunnels to bring daylight into the house. My ultimate dream is to have biological lighting that is totally renewable but that is another blog. Today get rid of your incandescent bulbs. 

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Energy Tough Love
Current mood: hopeful
Category: hopeful News and Politics

I am starting this here but i hope to eventually hook up with Community Energy Systems web so i can continue writing there. The whole point of this blog is that the people’s of the world have to learn how to quit DIGGING things up or CUTTING things down and burning them.

By this I mean that burning coal, uranium, natural gas and wood has let us to a dead end as a civilization. But it is hard to stop burning stuff up because its so easy to do. In fact fires start spontaneously which means that it must be real easy to do. But its bad for us and its bad for the planet so we must stop. Yet like many easy things that you do it is hard to just quit so i am going to store comments here that point to the way to do that.

By the way I live in Riverton a little tiny town in Central Illinois and no I am not on a rampage against lawn mowers and barbeque grills…at least not just yet…more on that later. It is Suday  August the 5th 2007. Any comment are welcome

I call this weblog Energy Tough Love because its about Burning Behavior and how to switch to Earth Stewardship Behavior. Hell (excuse me) burning things up is easy, sometimes things just catch on fire by themselves. That is probably where we got the idea in the first place. Spontaneous Combustion aside, digging combustables up and cutting them down is a very primitive behavior that is 1000’s of years old. Humans probably should have given up such behavior a long time ago for Earth Stewardship Behaviors, but we have lacked the leadership to do so. Hopefully this blog will help foster ESBs while convincing people to stop burning things ONE fire at a time.

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