If The University Of Illinois Can Do This For Itself Why Not The Rest Of Champaign

‘Green’ residence

 hall to be first for U of I



CHAMPAIGN — A $23 million residence hall under construction in Champaign will be the first at the University of Illinois to be certifi-ably “green.”

The eco-friendly features of the 262-bed Presby Hall include a geot-hermal system to heat rooms and water, water-saving plumbing, as well as environmentally friendly lighting and paint.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building, expected to be the first U of I residence hall to receive certification from the U.S. Green

On the Net

Presby Hall: www.presbyhall.com

Building Council, is planned for this summer.

The Champaign-based McKinley Presbyterian Church and Founda­tion, which owns the property, took the initiative in pushing for a green hall, the private foundation’s direc­tor said.

“We wanted to be responsible. We wanted (the building) to be sustainable, and we wanted to give back to the world,” Heidi Weatherford told The (Cham-

paign) News-Gazette.

There are construction chal­lenges.

One is the installation of the pricey, $650,000 heating system, which will use ground-source pumps to keep the building warm.

To install pumps and many miles of tubing, some old trees along a nearby street must come down, though new trees will be planted to replace them.

Weatherford said while the geot-hermal system is expensive, the costs will be recouped by the $40,000 in annual energy savings.

“The upfront costs are signifi-

cant,” she told The Associated Press on Saturday. “But the finan­cial payback is almost immediate.” Factoring in the energy savings, Weatherford said, the heating sys­tem could pay for itself in about 10 years.

The Illinois Clean Energy Foun­dation recently awarded the foun­dation $100,000 to help pay for Presby Hall’s green features.

The university itself has said it plans a major renovation of a clus­ter of residence halls called Six Pack, saying it hopes that project also will get the green certifica­tion.

Chicago Well On The Way To Being The Greenest City In America


• Museum to build

‘green’ home

CHICAGO — A three-story, fully functioning “green” home is going to be built on the cam­pus of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Museum officials say the house will showcase the latest innovations in renewable re­sources and smart energy con­sumption.

For instance, guests will be able to see how wastewater from the shower and bath can then be used for toilets.

The 2,500-square-foot home is expected to be open to the public for nine months begin­ning May 8. It will be the basis for an exhibit called “Smart Home: Green Plus Wired.”

The modular home is being built on an assembly line in De-catur, Ind.

It’s expected to arrive at the museum in late February for final interior work, furnishing and landscaping.

At Lot Has Happened In The Local Press – Springfield is Starting to get it.

Drought could force nuclear plants to close



LAKE NORMAN, N.C. –Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.

Utility officials say such shut­downs probably wouldn’t result in blackouts. But they could lead to shockingly higher electric bills for millions of Southerners because the region’s utilities may be forced to buy expensive replacement power from other companies.

Already, there has been one brief, drought-related shutdown at a reactor in Alabama.

“You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants,” said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an environ­mental group critical of nuclear power. “This is becoming a cri­sis.”

An Associated Press analysis of the nation’s 104 nuclear reac­tors found that 24 are in areas experiencing the most severe levels of drought.

All but two are built on the shores of lakes and rivers and rely on intake pipes to draw bil­lions of gallons of water to cool and condense steam after it has turned the plants’ turbines.

Over the next several months, the water could drop below the intake pipes altogether. Or the shallow water could become too hot under the sun to use as coolant.

Iran On The Other Hand Has Only One

But they seem just as upset as the rest of us about what the industrialists are doing to the planet.




The oil gas and petrochemical industries should stop the development projects that do not fully value the integrity and balance of the eco- systems of wetlands in Persian Gulf


PERSIAN GULF is not the dumping ground of residues and waste materials of the oil and petrochemical industries


 The government should announce its plan for natural resource management for fulfillment of its justice promotion program (generation and inter generation)

It is a great site because it offers an English translation. Thanks to them for that.

There is a STORM Coming MA!

That’s right there is a wave of storms heading towards Riverton Illinois the home of Community Energy Systems. So the blog is a little hasty today because I may need to unplug the computer and flee to the basement. This blog has been an itch waiting to be scratched. My last name is Nicodemus and while scanning a list of environmental groups to do the German piece yeasterday I came across this:




Recent News:
  • NWP exceeds Charity Navigator’s criteria for a Four Star (top rating) national nonprofit organization ( January 2008 )
  • REI generously awards a $5,000 grant to NWP’s Apprentice Ecologist Initiative™ ( January 2008 )
  • NWP Apprentice Ecologist™ interviewed by Woman’s Day (readership > 20 million) for volunteer opportunities article ( January 2008 )

Apprentice Ecologist Initiative™

We engage youth (especially at-risk and low-income kids and teens) in environmental stewardship projects worldwide, including beach, river, and mountain trash cleanups, wildlife habitat restoration, and native tree planting ($500 scholarship for top project). Recognized by the U.S. EPA, Gov’t. Lead


Help Make a Difference

Help protect wildlife and our environment and help build future conservation leaders with your gift donation today. With a generous gift of $50 or more, you will receive your choice of a free Special Gift. Meet the people and organizations that support NWP as key Sponsors & Collaborators.


Focus: Desert Ecosystems

We have a strong regional focus on the delicate arid ecosystems of the American Southwest, especially in New Mexico and Arizona. Our local volunteer-based projects include native plant restoration, trail rehabilitation, riparian protection, wildlife conservation.


Focus: Tropical Ecosystems

Our Apprentice Ecologist Ambassador™ program has strong roots in Tropical Africa, especially in Ghana, Senegal, and Cameroon. Our grassroots projects include native tree planting in deforested regions, environmental education, litter removal, and plastic bag control (to help prevent malaria).

Youth Volunteers

Hours Volunteered

Trash Removed (lbs.)

Native Trees Planted





Area Restored for Wildlife (acres)

Number of Countries Represented

U.S. Dollar Value of Volunteer Time*

Value of Your $50 Gift Contribution**



$ 318,758

$ 410

In case you wonder…I have no idea who this is and am no relation to him but I sure wish I was.

Since Germany Is One Of The World’s Leaders In Energy Conservation Infrastructure

I thought it would be kinda interesting to look at their environmental Groups.

Wikipedia lists these:



Ahhh if I only spoke German you say:

Welcome to ROBIN WOOD e.V.

Most pages are still in german…

You would like to know more…? ROBIN WOOD Magazine…
  • press releases
  • order books, broschures, …
  • ROBIN WOOD in your city? – Regional Groups
  • specialized groups: Energy, Forest, Tropical Forest, Traffic
  • interesting WWW-links
  • search this site!
  • about the Magazine
  • Magazine index
  • some articles as sample readings
  • subscription
Help us… Who we are…
  • become a member
  • donations
  • about ourselves
  • addresses

Briefkasten © ROBIN WOOD, 1996-2008

And they list these sites as well:

Bundesverband Bürgerinitiativen Umweltschutz e.V. (BBU)
Friends of the Earth
Global Witness
Global 2000
Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg
International Council for Local Environmental
Kritische Aktionäre
Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU)
Naturland – Verband für naturgemäßen Landbau e.V.
Öko-Institut e.V.
Umweltbundesamt (UBA)
Wasserforum Bremen

But these guys are pretty radical so you watch out now. You might end up chaining yourself to the gate of the next nuclear power plant that they won’t build.

Its Weird Bird Friday – we all TGI(WB)F every week

If you drop in at TGIF and show them this page they will give you a free drink!



Or maybe they will just throw up! This is our first grizzley weird bird Friday but not our last.

I know this is the second week of Daily HAHA pictures but these guys have great pictures…take a look.

Aptera – Three Wheeled Car that seems Ready to go

This was reported by USA Today and is followed by a report on a test “Ride Along” From the LA Times. 


  • 3-wheeled Aptera aspires to car-pool lane 


CARLSBAD, Calif. — Bored working as an engineer for a biotech company,

 Steve Fambro began to dream of a better way to get to work.

Why not design a fuel-efficient car that would allow a single drive

r onto California’s car-pool lanes?

YOUR OPINION: Would you buy one of these? Why or why not?

“Most people thought I was crazy,” Fambro recalls.

Some might still wonder when they see what emerged: a futuristic

 commuter car powered by electricity with a skin of epoxy resin,

not sheet metal. And perhaps oddest, it has three wheels, not four.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Carlsbad | Aptera

The Aptera, with a range of 190 miles between charges,

is intended to sell for around $30,000.

It’s an example of how high gas prices are encouraging

entrepreneurs to give the car business a try. From electric

high-performance roadsters to low-speed runabouts,

start-ups are trying to take advantage of interest in

alternative technologies.

Aptera is being developed in a tidy industrial park here,

a few miles north of San Diego. CEO Fambro, 41, and COO

Chris Anthony, 31, a former stockbroker who also runs a

boat-making shop, have about 15 employees so far,

mostly fabricators and engineers.

At present, Aptera has one working prototype of its electric car.

A hybrid gas-electric version is being built. Production is

scheduled for later this year.

Fambro says about 400 potential buyers have slapped d

own a $500 refundable reservation to get in line. Having

received its start with an investment from company start-up

 incubator Idealab, Aptera is currently looking for another

 round of financing. Anthony, who spends most of his time on

 investment matters, says he has attracted interest.

They are drawn by the unique design.

The prototype features high-tech touches such as rear and

side cameras instead of rear-view side mirrors to further r

educe wind drag. There’s a solar panel on the roof to

provide a bit of extra power.

Making the car out of laminates slashes its weight to about

1,500 pounds, making it potentially one of the lightest cars

 on the road. Less weight means longer range. The company

 also hopes to use off-the-shelf lithium phosphate batteries

that are proven and safe, Fambro says.

Even though there is a lot of work left to be done, Aptera

has an advantage when it comes to development time. The

three-wheel design — two in front, one in back — means the

resulting vehicle will be classed as a motorcycle in many states,

 including California. The testing and red tape required to market

a motorcycle is less rigorous than for a four-wheel car. “It allows

 us to leapfrog into the market,” Fambro says.

What Follows is a drive along by LA Times Susan Carpenter


The result is a future-is-now vehicle that’s spacious, stylish, comfortable, eco-conscious, high-tech and so unusual looking that at one point during my time with the Typ-1, all the cars and pedestrians within a one-block radius were staring and/or snapping pictures.

Because the Typ-1 is a prototype, I wasn’t able to drive it myself, but I did take a ride in the passenger seat. I just opened the DeLorean-type door, slid into the mod, green-and-white interior, closed the door behind me and strapped on my seat belt. Aptera Chief Executive and co-founder Steve Fambro turned the key to fire up the electric motor, pressed the pedal with the plus sign on the floor to accelerate, and we were off.

According to Fambro, the Typ-1 is capable of 80 mph and could travel up to 70 miles on a single charge while sustaining that speed, but he never took it up that fast and we didn’t travel anywhere near that far as we cruised SoCal suburbia. The fastest we went was probably 45 mph, at which it felt stable. Taking corners, we went even slower, so I couldn’t tell how it handled, but Fambro says the Typ-1 has been “designed for natural stability” and incorporates a traction control system that, in theory, can handle a 1G circle on par with a Honda Civic.

Riding in the Typ-1 is sort of like being in a high-tech fishbowl. There’s incredible visibility from all sides except the back, which is equipped with a rear-view camera that displays whatever’s happening behind the vehicle on a trio of computer screens.

The center of each of those three screens also displays the vehicle’s speed, voltage and power, while a touch screen at the center of the dash controls the navigation system, stereo and other gauges, such as the odometer and temperature reading.

The Typ-1 is unusual for any number of reasons, the most notable being the body. Its water-worthy shape is formed from high-tech fiberglass that isn’t just lighter than steel but 10 times stronger, according to Fambro. The Typ-1 has yet to be crash tested, but Fambro says the crumple zone on the Typ-1 is longer than that of a typical car, and the crush strength of the roof and side doors is stronger than what’s been mandated for a regular passenger vehicle.

Austin Texas – The Energy Conservation Heaven

If evey city in the US was like this we would clearly be on the winning side:



Customer Care Commercial Residential Energy Efficiency About Us
Programs  |  Tools and Tips       

Caulking is one of many measures that can improve your home’s energy efficiency.Direct Free Home Improvements questions to
Austin Energy Customer Care Contact Center

phone: (512) 974-7827
e-mail: Free Home Improvements      Power Saver™ Program
Free Home Improvements
Help for the Income Qualified
Austin Energy offers free home-energy improvements to customers with low-to-moderate incomes. Improvements reduce energy costs and enhance comfort.
If needed, Austin Energy provides materials for and installation of:

Attic insulation
Minor duct repair and sealing
Caulking around plumbing penetrations
Weather stripping around doors
Solar screens

General Qualifications

You must be an Austin Energy electric customer
You must occupy the home you want weatherized—if you rent, you must have lived in the home for at least three months
The residence must be a single-family home, mobile home, or duplex
Homes with an appraised value of more than $150,000 (excluding land value) might be ineligible
Austin Energy requires documentation to verify income and/or disability status for everyone 18 and older in your home

Renter Qualifications

You must have lived in the rental home for at least three months
Household income must meet the listed eligibility guidelines
The residence must be a single-family home, mobile home, or duplex
The owner must agree to the improvements and sign an Austin Energy Rental Release Form (pdf)
The renter must be prepared to provide a copy of the lease/rental agreement

Power Saver™ Program—Saving Energy Together  


Alternative Energy Action Network – nice list of other energy warriors.

2 links below. I like the first once best because it has a cool list of folks:







International Association for Energy Economics
Journal and newsletter devoted to economic issues of energy supply and demand; organization seeks to gather both professionals and those interested in these issues form an economic standpoint

Collection of studies and reports from Doug Koplow, on energy subsidies and ongoing legislation: good analysis of the recent energy bill.

Energy Future Coalition
Nonpartisan alliance that seeks to identify energy policy options with broad political support.

Union of Concerned Scientists – Energy
We have much in common – among the five steps to take on global warming, UCS states “Yet, we invest far more in subsidies for the fossil fuel and nuclear industries today than on R&D for renewable energy or advanced vehicle technologies. For instance

Renewable Energy Policy Project
Advocacy and discussion groups on renewable energy options. Not terribly active, but occasionally updated

Natural Resources Defense Council
General (US) environmental organization, but with a strong emphasis on clean energy policy

Global Energy Network Institute
Organization focused on bringing electricity to the world through a global electric grid, similar to the global reach of the internet.

Solar Catalyst Group
Nonprofit consortium of business, government, investors, labor, and environmental and community groups and individuals working to catalyze the solar energy portion of a renewable energy future by creating a mass market for solar photovoltaics. Increa


Space Solar Power Workshop
Group advocating for space solar power development; a specific plan for a congressionally chartered space solar power company seems to be in the works.


International Solar Energy Society
Renewable energy in all its forms. Unfortunately too much focus on small scale, rather than large scale, solutions (typical).


Other sites with generally realistic coverage of energy and climate issues:
Energy Bulletin
The Oil Drum
Real Climate
Technology Review
Jerome’s diary