Tiny Houses Are Not For Everyone – Even if it is pretty nice in a pretty nice town

In a pretty nice part of town even. I like them, so I’ll just let her talk.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90407740/why-i-hate-living-in-my-tiny-house?utm_source=digg

Why I hate living in my tiny house

Small backyard houses get a lot of attention as a solution to the housing crisis, but it’s a different idea in theory than it is when you try to put it into practice.

When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.

I still live there—partly because rents in Oakland have surged more than 50% in less than a decade, and in a neighborhood where a typical one-bedroom now goes for more than $2,800, I can’t afford to move. I recognize the value of this type of tiny house, called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU, in theory. In built-up cities with little extra land and residents who fight development, adding tiny cottages in backyards is one way to help address the housing shortage. The small size saves energy and curbs my shopping habits, since there literally isn’t any room for, say, another pair of shoes. But I also question how well tiny homes make sense as a solution for long-term housing—and in some cases, as in the even tinier houses sometimes used as housing for people experiencing homelessness, I wonder if they can sometimes distract from other, more systemic solutions that are necessary.

As tiny houses go, mine is larger than some. One nearby shed-like cottage currently for rent on Craigslist is 120 square feet; another, which rents for $1,600 a month, is 200 square feet. A few miles away from me, a village of 8-by-10-foot tiny houses on wheels is under construction for homeless youth, with a separate communal kitchen and communal bathrooms. Hundreds of others are currently living on the street in much tighter quarters in vehicles or tents. While there’s no official definition for a tiny house, they’re generally said to be around 500 or fewer square feet, making my place somewhat medium-size as far as tiny houses go.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Right To Repair Movement – Could it repair the Earth

This starts out as a technology issue. Farmers wanted to repair their tractors. Smart phone users wanted to repair their phones. But it turns out that if you follow that thread it leads to wanting to repair everything. Our broken economic system. To fixing Silicone Valley’s technology spew. Fixing our infrastructure so that it works. Not descarfing it and getting new. Maybe even preventing Global Warming. Too tall a task. Maybe not.

https://repair.org/standards

Green standards for electronics establish a consistent set of environmental leadership criteria for the design, use, and end-of-life phases of electronics. Since their initial development, green U.S. electronics standards have successfully pushed manufacturers to incorporate key performance criteria, including requirements for recycled plastics, the reduction of hazardous materials, end-of-life management, and energy efficiency. Historically, by setting a high bar and rewarding significant advances in green design, such mandates have shaped electronics design for the better.

Yet these standards—both in and out of development—have become increasingly ineffectual, as electronics manufacturers now constitute a large voting bloc on most U.S. green standards groups. Standards are arduous to update, and the criteria are often too easy for manufacturers to achieve. Thus, electronics standards, more and more often, fail to function as tools of environmental leadership. Industry and purchasers rely on these standards for guidance in identifying sustainable products—which further perpetuates the low bar that has been set.

U.S. green standards could again lead, were they to integrate challenging, inspiring green design criteria, including (but not limited to) guidelines for increased reuse and repair. Unfortunately, manufacturers have consistently opposed stronger reuse and repair criteria. As a result, green standards have systemically failed to incorporate strong policies that would enable repair, reuse, and product life extension for electronics.

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Go there and consume the whole website. Mor next week.

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This Is A Very Clever Sight – It is very helpful too

Don’t take my word for it. Go there and see.

Future of Energy Savings: Upcoming Improvements in Technology to Reduce Energy Costs and Consumption

1. Magnetized Refrigerators

Research and development of new refrigeration technologies has helped to increase residential energy savings. It is estimated that refrigerators sold in the U.S. use about 60% less energy today than they did twenty years ago. While the cost of an energy efficient refrigerator can be more expensive, in the long term, the cost to keep it running is much more cost effective than a less efficient model.

In order for companies to sell refrigerators that are eligible for energy savings, they must meet specific Energy Star program requirements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the criteria for this program.

As part of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy?s funding program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up on a magentocaloric refrigeration research and development project. Their goal is to build a residential refrigerator that consumes 25% less energy than the current competition. Instead of using vapor compression, the team is using a technology known as the magnetocaloric effect (MCE). It?s a process where temperature is controlled by a changing magnetic field. This approach eliminates the use of

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More next week.

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Global Warming Is Speeding Up On Us- Here is part of the problem

One day I was in Mason City at my parents house, my mom said that “they” are  going to build a wind turbine catercorner from Patty Jackson’s mom’s place. I was really surprised. I said who is “they”. She said I don’t know but they their headquarters are up where the civic center used to be. So I drove out toward rt. 136 but I saw nothing. I got to researching it and here are the two stories I found. Check out the dates.

https://www.pekintimes.com/article/20090415/NEWS/304159939

Mason County plans for wind farms

HAVANA — The Mason County Board took the first step Tuesday toward adopting an ordinance to regulate wind farms in unincorporated Mason County. With several proposed wind farms throughout the county, Mason will soon follow in the footsteps of other central Illinois communities and be host to the wind powered energy sources.

HAVANA — The Mason County Board took the first step Tuesday toward adopting an ordinance to regulate wind farms in unincorporated Mason County. With several proposed wind farms throughout the county, Mason will soon follow in the footsteps of other central Illinois communities and be host to the wind powered energy sources.The board did a first reading of the ordinance Tuesday, said City Clerk Bill Blessman. Adoption of the ordinance will be considered at the county board’s May meeting, he said. The main point in Tuesday’s reading, said Blessman, was to make the proposed ordinance available for public viewing.

The proposed ordinance sets forth various regulations for turbines and wind farms built in Mason County. According to the ordinance, 1,000-foot setbacks are required between towers and any primary structure, and all towers must be placed at least 1.1 times the tower’s height from public roads, transmission lines and communication towers.

https://www.lincolncourier.com/x2011266604/Wind-picks-up-in-Mason-County

Wind picks up in Mason County

Two different wind farm corporations have been securing leases in Mason County, according to county officials, who say the tax revenue a wind farm could bring would be welcome.

Two different wind farm corporations have been securing leases in Mason County, according to county officials, who say the tax revenue a wind farm could bring would be welcome.

Mason County Board member James Miller said two wind energy companies have secured leases in Mason County, though the specifics of the companies’ plans are still unclear. The securing of leases is typically the first thing wind companies do before testing and, ultimately, obtaining the permits to erect the turbines. Overall, the process can take a few years.

However, when completed, the wind farms could prove a financial boon for the county which has lost population since the 2000 census — something that affects tax revenue for local governments in the county.

“The county would love to have (the wind farms), and for the school districts this is a big deal,” Miller said. “Some one or two or three of them would benefit.”

Please notice the last article was in 2011. 9 years later it is still “ongoing”/ At this rate they will put up the turbines when the prairie catches on fire.

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Got there and read. More next week.

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Energy Efficiency In The Home – A fan sends me an excellent guide

I know it has been a while since I have put anything up about Residential Energy  Use, which is where this BLOG started out but we get requests from organizations to get a plug and so here you go.

Tyler <tyler@greenteensclub.org>
To:info@censys.org
Aug 7 at 1:01 PM

Hi there,

My name is Tyler and I’m a member of GreenTeensClub. We’re spreading resources that help make our planet a little healthier, like this home energy efficiency guide: https://www.basementguides.com/basement-and-home-energy/

I think your site is a great place to share this resource: http://censys.org/date/2015/05

The page includes the biggest culprits of energy waste in a home, tips for locating the source of energy-waste issues, and how to lower your bills while reducing your footprint.

Please help us spread awareness of the importance of making homes more energy efficient. Even if we only get a few people to make minor changes, then we’ve made a huge difference.

Thanks!
Tyler

GreenTeensClub

Basement And Home Energy

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Commercial Airplanes Are A Huge Cause Of Global Warming – People say no way

Her is why I say that Airplanes are the prime culprits of Global Warming. First: They Fly High. While fossil fueled Power Plants and Surface Transport Fleets emit huge green house gases many of them are mitigated before they can have much of a green house effect. But most jets fly right up there. I mean even some prop planes do too.

Second: The Fuel. Especially military flight fuel is bloody near kerosene.

Third: There are so many. It may be a myth but after 911 when so many planes were grounded the tempeture dropped a degree.

So this is kinda cool. Maybe we should call them personal air taxi’s or something. Yes they will be expensive. So what.

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/14/18535971/electric-airplane-aircraft-aviation-clean-energy

Aircraft fuel is notoriously dirty. This airline is betting on clean electricity.

Harbour Air wants to become the world’s first all-electric airline and start flying passengers by 2022.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that air travel is a massive and growing problem for the global climate.

In the US, transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and aircraft account for 12 percent of transportation emissions. US air travel reached a record high last year, pushing up overall emissions even while the power sector saw a decline.

To make matters worse, demand for flights is growing. Emissions from air travel are poised to spike up to sevenfold globally by 2050 if nothing else changes.

That’s why it’s so urgent to decarbonize air travel. Yet the technical challenges are immense. Alternatives like carbon-neutral biofuels remain far too costly. And the stodgy rules in the heavily regulated, risk-averse aviation sector lag far behind advances in electric drivetrains.

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They are currently flying small electric planes on a regional basis.

Go there and see the future. More next week.

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Two Weeks Ago I Said Trees Would Beat Global Global Warming

This week’s articles says – Not Likely. I say the trees are a good start. The point is that some people argue for trees or solar panels in the desert for instance. But the desert is an ecosystem that trees or solar panels would disrupt. Deserts are not “throw away” ecosystems. So we can only deploy so much of each. This is why i think geothermal is the ultimate solution.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2019/07/10/reforestation-climate-change-plant-trees/#.XS870XtOnct

planting trees
Planting trees, while beneficial to the planet, is not an easy solution to climate change. (Credit: Janelle Lugge/Shutterstock)

Last week, a new study in the journal Science highlighted the role forests could play in tackling climate change. Researchers estimated that by restoring forests to their maximum potential, we could cut down atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25 percent — a move that would take us back to levels not seen in over a century. Though the study brings hope in the fight against climate change, other experts warn the solution is not that simple.

The study, led by scientists at ETH-Zürich, Switzerland, determined the planet has 0.9 billion hectares of land available to hold more trees — an area the size of the continental U.S. Converting those areas into forests would be a game-changer for climate change, the authors suggested.

“[The study] is probably the best assessment we have to date of how much land could support tree cover on our planet,” says Robin Chazdon, a forest ecologist and professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut not involved in the study, But she is quick to point out that restoring forests is not as simple as it sounds.

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Go there and think. More next week.

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If We Plant Trees We Can Beat Climate Change – This is Bob Croteau’s solution

What they don’t tell you that you would have to plant enough trees to cover North America TWICE. That is a trillion trees. Now we could do that. The cool thing is that saplings soak up huge amounts of Carbon so we might get a decade of Global Cooling which we could use. But we would need a second solution for Ocean Acidification. I am sure we could do the acid thing eventually. Still, getting a trillion trees? Well we shall see.

https://www.dw.com/en/planting-1-trillion-trees-could-stop-climate-change-argues-study/a-49478494

News

Planting 1 trillion trees could stop climate change, argues study

Planting a massive number of trees is the most effective way to combat global warming, scientists have said. Reforesting an area the size of the United States could capture two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions.

A report from Swiss scientists published on Thursday said an effective way to stem the catastrophic consequences of climate change would be to plant about 1 trillion trees. This would take up an area roughly the size of the United States, but there is more than enough room, according to the study published in the journal Science.

“Every other climate change solution requires that we all change our behavior, or we need some top-down decision from a politician who may or may not believe in climate change, or it’s a scientific discovery we don’t yet have,” researcher Tom Crowther told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “This one is not only our most powerful solution — it’s one that every single one of us can get involved with.”

Over decades, the growing trees could suck up nearly 830 billion tons (750 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to the study. That’s about as much carbon pollution as humans have spewed in the past 25 years.

Crowther added, however, that while this was a cheap solution, it would not work without emissions cuts. Researchers emphasized that there are also behavioral changes that would work faster, such as cutting animal products out of one’s diet.

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Go there and read. Hope it happens in my life time. More next week.

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Reducing Our Energy Consumption Is Job One – Here are some ways to do it

In a way the goal for a sustainable planet has always been peak energy, peak people and peak consumption at stable levels. These are ways towards peak energy. I suppose it is the easiest of the three.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/14/homes-that-produce-their-own-energy-might-be-the-future-and-california-is-inching-closer.html

Powering the Future

Net-zero energy homes have arrived — and are shaking up the US housing market

Noah Higgins-Dunn

@higginsdunn

Key Points
  • In California most new homes and multi-family residential buildings up to three stories high will include solar rooftop panels beginning in 2020.
  • Net-zero energy homes can produce as much energy as they consume and are built to optimize energy efficiency through airtight construction of roofs, walls, windows and foundations.
  • The U.S. has an estimated 5,000 net-zero energy single-family homes today; California could add 100,000 a year.

In 2013 De Young Properties built a single-family house in central California that defied nearly three generations worth of homes the family business had constructed. It was a net-zero energy building — it had the potential to produce as much energy as it would consume in a year. De Young didn’t build another one for four years, but within that period the company refined its designs to be more energy-efficient and technology-focused and drove down costs.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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They Include Natural Gas – It is still a good day

All the stuff I have been posting lately is real good news and I am so happy about it. If there is plastic in our food sources (especially fish) and the planet virtually shuts down because man has denuded it. What does it matter? I am trying to be optimistic but it is tough.

https://news.yahoo.com/britain-set-first-coal-power-103853088.html

World

Britain set for first coal-power free week in over a century

By Susanna Twidale

Reuters

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Britain, the birth place of coal power, is set to go seven days without electricity from coal-fired stations for the first time since its 19th century industrial revolution, the National Grid operator said on Wednesday.

Britain was home to the world’s first coal-fueled power plant in the 1880s, and coal was its dominant electric source and a major economic driver for the next century.

However, coal plants emit almost double the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a heat-trapping gas blamed for global warming – as gas-fired power plants, and were moved out of Britain’s cities from the late 1950’s to reduce air pollution.

As part of efforts to meet its climate target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared with 1990 levels in the next three decades, Britain plans to wean itself completely off coal-fired power generation by 2025.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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