Confessions Of An Energy And Environmental Activist – Why a mechanic’s car never works,

a carpenter’s doors are never square and the wiring in an electricians house is always scary. Because you never do at home what you do at work. I never had this problem in New Orleans or when I moved back from Springfield. We owned our house in New Orleans and I put a lot of easy low cost energy improvements there. In Springfield, I had rentersitis and was working for Planned Parenthood, Lowe’s and the Sara Center and was not focused on energy issues.

When I moved in with Cathy in 2004 you would think I would have thought about maybe doing an energy audit but I was still working for the Sara Center and I was really absorbed by that project. I also assumed that if there were major problems Cathy would have found them by that time. She moved in in 1999 and had actually replaced the furnace with a really efficient one for the time. I guess by the time I got around to helping to start Community Energy Systems in 2007 my mind had been cleared by our fight to save our rather full and large (25 x 12 ft.) shed. That event marked the beginning of not only cursing the previous owner but realizing that there could be real problems with the house. I had never met a roof that I couldn’t get to stop leaking before I met this shed…

I tried caulk. I tried Plastic Tarps. The Leak just got worse to the point where something really had to be done. It was rotting away. In the interim Cathy and I had been discussing getting a metal roof for the house. I had reservations mainly because Cathy wanted the metal roof because she want a “clean water” cistern system to use in the garden. A conventional roof was about 6,000 $$$ and a metal roof was like 15, 000 $$$. Finally I said to her, look we got to do something about the shed or tear it down which means we are going to have to spend money to hold the line until we get our new roof.

So we tore off the roof and immediately found the problem. There were 3 sets of shingles on the roof. To get ready for the sale to Cathy the previous owners had put a brand new set of shingles over 2 old sets. It was the oldest set that was causing the problem. They were so old that they had become water ABSORBENT! So we had to tear off a perfectly good set of shingles to get at and out of the real problem which had OBVIOUSLY been going on before the sale of the house and the previous owners knew about it. Very nice folks.…

Scroll down to the post 5/30/2009 and you can see a picture of what the roof looked like under the new shingles. It was nasty. The water damage to the roof and the eves was extensive. Eventually however we got all that repaired and we put on a self adhesive roll roofing which cost about 300 $$$ and the cost of a laborer to help me was about 1,200 $$$. We had a lot of scrap lumber from our new and improved bathroom project. So we got off pretty cheaply.
But that got me to thinking. What else could be hiding in the house that had similarly been covered up? The answer to that when I found it was huge. After Cathy’s son moved out of the attic I had torn out the early 1960, very nasty carpet and cut it into strips so Cathy could use it as weed suppressing pathways in her garden.


The other area of the house that we were having trouble with was in the basement. We had a room mate living there for years who had a dog. She bought a house and moved out so I tore the basement apart and cleaned it up. We had water problems, drainage problems and the whole thing was painted putrid green.

So I shut off the HVAC vents, shut the door to the attic and sealed it. What a mistake that was. More tomorrow.


My 19 Year Old Panasonic Light Capsule Died Today – I am so sad

I can barely post today I am so wracked with grief. 19 years is longer than I have been with anyone. I could tell you stories. When I lived in New Orleans it was our “vacation lamp”. So for 12 years in a row no matter what else it did it was on for two weeks solid in all kinds of weather. It wasn’t even supposed to be an outdoor lamp. But I put it there anyway. It kept watch over my dieing wife in her final days with it’s softwhite light. Lately it has been in the basement in our laundry room. A retirement home of sorts, where it only had to shine once in awhile.

Who CARES if Michael Jackson’s died? I want my light bulb back! Sob… It just sort of flickered this morning and then it went out…in memorial:

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Technical Details

  • 25-watt bulb replaces standard 100-watt incandescent bulbs
  • Cool, white lighting for bright illumination
  • Up to 10,000 hours of burn time
  • Consumes 70 to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulb
  • Starting temperature as low as -22 degrees F for reliable outdoor lighting

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Pansonic Energy Efficient long lasting compact fluorescent lamp suitable for indoor / outdoor operation. Replaces standard incandescent 120V light bulbs. Over 70%-75% saving energy cost compared to standard incandescent bulb and 10,000 hours long life compared to 1,000 hours of standard incandescent bulb. Available in two designer color: Warm Color or Cool Color. Energy Star Standard. Note: Not suitable for use with dimming circuit, sensor, or photocell devices.

From the Manufacturer
This 25-watt, Panasonic fluorescent bulb burns bright indoors and out, replacing standard incandescent 120-volt light bulbs for a 70 to 75-percent energy savings. The bulb offers 10,000 hours of brilliant cool lighting compared to the 1,000 hours you get from standard incandescent bulbs. Available in two designer colors, warm and cool, this bulb is not suitable for use with dimming circuit, sensor, or photocell devices.

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I feel so bad because I bitched about paying 10 $$$ for the little guy when new. That is about 53 cents a year. Cheaper than an incandesent and it paid back in three years…

At the funeral one man said:

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Light but…, January 28, 2004

By John Kwong (Los Angeles, CA USA) – See all my reviews

The light from the bulb is excellent, the warm light feels like day light, while the Verilux daylight really feels too strong on the blue spectrum to me, at least I don’t see the same color under the sun light.The Panasonic bulb is great except it takes a while to reach full brightness(like 20 sec. or so). and it starts very dim. The 15w looks like a 20w. incandlescent for the first 5 sec. if you have not turned on the light for a while(10 minutes). which might annoy some people. Yet I don’t have problem with other bulb flourscent light with such a long delay such as Verilux.


Kind of made him sound like a dim bulb but he was brighter than I.


The Slow Local Food People Are Pretty Cool – I have been hanging out with the Lawn to Food Types lately

It’s Jam Band Friday –

While I have understood for like 40 years that “scarcity” was the real environmental issue and that “over population” was its cause, many people are just waking up to that. On the energy front, an example would be that for the last 100 years we should have been rationing oil and using it for only the things that it was absolutely necessary for. Guess what? Gasoline and Plastics are two that would not be remotely near the top of the absolutely necessary list. Plastic bags would be ludicrous. Similarly, food should have been planted everywhere. I mean everywhere, yards, parks, ditches. Over the last 100 years good land should have been totally devoted to food and bad land left alone. We did not do that. In fact we did the exact opposite. If 100 years ago every couple could have produced no more that 2 kids….THINK about what our world would be like…Anyway the peak oil people and a lot of environmentalists are suddenly realizing that Thomas Robert Malthus was right:

We (homosapien) have suffered die backs before. People like to ignore the fact that Malthus had already been RIGHT when he wrote his first pamphlet. Populations of Humans, and our close cousins Neanderthal, Erectis and Hablis have fluctuated radically in the last several million years. This to the extent that the cousins are extinct. No one has ever considered that we just got lucky on that one or even worse yet that we only made it because we could hang on. That is, when our numbers get small we cooperate and stave off the end by any means necessary. These episodes are called “bottle necks” in the populations sciences and they are frightening to contemplate. Just as an example sometime roughly 50,000 years ago there may have been as few as 5,000 humans on this planet in an area the size of New York State in eastern South Africa. Humbling isn’t it? Why did we go from a population of several hundred thousand spread all over the Mediteranian and the Middle east…maybe even extending to the west coast of India…BACK to our home in Africa? Was it war, volcanic eruptions, changes in climate, famine or even disease? Who knows but this planet can not sustain 9 billion people. It just can’t. So maybe the reason I have taken up with the agricultural types is that old marijuana saying, Food will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no food.


So here are a couple of food ideas from the people at Peak Oil:

Urban farms the wave of future?

Published Friday June 26th, 2009

Permit granted for experimental farm in Moncton neighbourhood


It’s always risky to count your chickens before they’re hatched, but it looks like a go for a plan to raise egg-producing hens in a suburban Moncton neighbourhood.

The Greater Moncton District Planning Commission has granted a local group a one-year temporary permit to run an urban experimental farm. The project, sponsored by Post Carbon Greater Moncton, will involve the keeping of up to four hens within the city boundaries. The group hatched the plan as a response to concerns that rising oil prices will one day force people to return to being more involved in their food production.

Is having your own hens laying eggs all it’s cracked up to be? Will the quiet hamlet (or is that omelette?) of Sunny Acres West (or is that Sunny Side Up Acres?) ever be the same? What’s the best way to run a hen-house without running off half-cocked?

That’s what the folks of the local post carbon group hope to find out through a careful study. This is not simply a “let the chicks fall where they may” approach to the issue of farm animals and humans co-existing in an urban setting, but rather something that will be carefully monitored.

And bad puns aside — the “eggspectations” of the headline is Post Carbon spokesman Michel Desjardins’ own contribution to this article, lest anyone think we’re making fun — the purpose is serious. Desjardins said yesterday the pilot project is a step towards more self-sufficiency and food security in the region. “We think food security and self-sufficiency will be a huge issue in the future.”


Then there is this:

Contact: David Zaks
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Projected food, energy demands seen to outpace production

MADISON — With the caloric needs of the planet expected to soar by 50 percent in the next 40 years, planning and investment in global agriculture will become critically important, according a new report released today (June 25).

The report, produced by Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s leading global investment banks, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, provides a framework for investing in sustainable agriculture against a backdrop of massive population growth and escalating demands for food, fiber and fuel.

“We are at a crossroads in terms of our investments in agriculture and what we will need to do to feed the world population by 2050,” says David Zaks, a co-author of the report and a researcher at the Nelson Institute’s Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment.

By 2050, world population is expected to exceed 9 billion people, up from 6.5 billion today. Already, according to the report, a gap is emerging between agricultural production and demand, and the disconnect is expected to be amplified by climate change, increasing demand for biofuels, and a growing scarcity of water.

“There will come a point in time when we will have difficulties feeding world population,” says Zaks, a graduate student whose research focuses on the patterns, trends and processes of global agriculture.

Although unchecked population growth will put severe strains on global agriculture, demand can be met by a combination of expanding agriculture to now marginal or unused land, substituting new types of crops, and technology, the report’s authors conclude. “The solution is only going to come about by changing the way we use land, changing the things that we grow and changing the way that we grow them,” Zaks explains.

The report notes that agricultural research and technological development in the United States and Europe have increased notably in the last decade, but those advances have not translated into increased production on a global scale. Subsistence farmers in developing nations, in particular, have benefited little from such developments and investments in those agricultural sectors have been marginal, at best.


Me I am headed for the refrigerator:


George Will And Robert Murray Defend The Carbon Economy With Lies

The State Journal Register is just the same old Republican Rag that wants to shine Big Coals boots to stay in business. They ran 3 Right Wing Pundits today and 2 of them Commented on the Green Economy. One who says it won’t work and the other who says that Cap and Trade will destroy the US Economy. The first one, George Will:

Who admits in the very article that the report he cites is the product of,  a right wing radical libertarian economist, was published by a right wing think tank that opposes any change in energy policy besides “Drill here, Drill now” and that has neither been replicated nor peer reviewed. BUT none the less it is TRUE to point out that Spain has an unemployment rate of 18% (which is disputed by many) and that every green electricity production job costs  700,000 to 1.5 million $$$ counting subsidies and green corruption.

The unemployment figures are probably 3 to 4 % lower then he reports and at 12-14 % where the United States will end up by September or October BECAUSE we are in the greatest economic downturn since the GREAT Depression (though no one can tell me what was so great about it) that was caused by rightwing attacks on our financial sector, our housing sector and on labor (car manufacturers). These are his wealthy buddies yah know. He then tosses off another “source”, a report by rightwing Missourian, Kitt Bond who may or may not know anything about economics which comes to a similar conclusion, “Oil good when cheap – Wind and Solar bad” and concludes that a failed policy in EDUCATION will have the same results in ENERGY policy. Did George have a cup of coffee today? It is always tough when your biases show like your butt crack. 

George Will: Reality of green spending not promising


Posted Jun 25, 2009 @ 12:02 AM

WASHINGTON — The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating “green jobs” in “alternative energy” even though Spain’s unemployment rate is 18.1 percent — more than double the European Union average — partly because of spending on such jobs?Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report which, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration’s green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.Calzada says Spain’s torrential spending — no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources — on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada’s report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies — wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation — sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency — of capital. (European media regularly report “eco-corruption” leaving a “footprint of sleaze” — gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs from elsewhere in Spain’s economy.:}

Normally I would not even dein this kind of obvious “paid to play” kind of Drivel, because if I wrote a blog for everytime George Will was wrong or lying I would never get anything done, but when the SJ-R follows that with an attack on Cap and Trade (the industries OWN proposed solution) written by known liar and coal mine owner Robert Murray that is just way over the line. Please note their web site: 

These people are proud that they are longwall miners and mountain TOP destroyers and even ash producers. To wit:

Murray is the largest privately owned coal company in America
Murrary Energy CorporationProducing approximately 30 million annual tons of bituminous coal that provides affordable energy to households and businesses across the country. We have eight (8) underground and surface mining operations, plus 40 subsidiary and support companies. Transporting coal via truck, rail and waterways, we operate the second largest fleet of longwall mining units in the country. With a support team of 3,000 hard-working, dedicated, and talented employees in six (6) states, Murray Energy Corporation provides efficient, safe, and affordable high-quality coal to the country’s leading electric producers, domestically and abroad.

Energy, Efficiency, Effective leadership . . .
Celebrating 20 years of building America’s energy future, and utilizing the industry’s most modern mining technologies today to enhance safety, improve productivity and reduce costs. We credit our employees and talents of the team assembled to provide this reliable, low-cost energy source. Murray is transforming America’s most abundant natural energy resource into electricity, powering America’s future. Murray Energy’s team, from the CEO to the coal miner, along with their effective managers use state-of-art technology and engineering principles, all to the production of energy..

Commitment . . .
Is the driving force behind Murray Energy producing and delivering to get the most reliable and affordable energy supplied to our customers. From our leadership and management, to our workforce, commitment is the center of our focus to produce every ton of coal safely, efficiently, and to provide the most affordable energy for the benefit of all Americans and the Country


And he says:

Robert Murray: Waxman-Markey bill will destroy U.S. coal industry


Posted Jun 25, 2009 @ 12:04 AM

Perhaps the most destructive legislation in our country’s history will be voted on, maybe as soon as next week, in the U.S. House of Representatives — the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill. It is a misguided attempt to address climate change.It will have adverse and lingering consequences for every American.It will raise the cost of electricity in our homes, the fuel for our cars, and the energy that produces our manufacturing jobs, with little or no environmental benefit.Further, independent experts estimate that it will cost Americans more than $2 trillion in just over eight years. All Americans in the Midwest, South and Rocky Mountain regions will be drastically affected because the climate change legislation will destroy the nation’s coal industry and the low-cost electricity it has provided to these regions for generations. Wealth will be transferred away from almost every state to the West Coast and New England.The most abundant and by far least expensive energy source in our country for generating electricity is coal. America’s coal reserves rival the energy potential of Saudi Arabian oil.


Nowhere does he cite actual sources or anything else. No one at the SJ-R calls him on it or points out that “Cap and Trade” was very effective at getting rid of sulfur dioxide.  If coal were not such a nasty energy source we would not be getting rid of it. WHAT doesn’t he understand about “Leave it in the ground”?


Deep Geothermal Energy – From the winds of the Jetstream to the Bowels of the earth

I haven’t updated this particular topic area for awhile. I think this may hold the future for us all. Deep drilling for geothermal heat rates 3 pages in the New York Times Online. My. Maybe the rich and powerful are starting to get it.;em&%2359;amp

Deep in Bedrock, Clean Energy and Quake Fears

Published: June 23, 2009

BASEL, Switzerland — Markus O. Häring, a former oilman, was a hero in this city of medieval cathedrals and intense environmental passion three years ago, all because he had drilled a hole three miles deep near the corner of Neuhaus Street and Shafer Lane.




The Danger of Digging DeeperInteractive Graphic

The Danger of Digging Deeper


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Christian Flieri for The New York Times

An earthquake halted Markus O. Häring’s geothermal project in Basel, Switzerland.

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He was prospecting for a vast source of clean, renewable energy that seemed straight out of a Jules Verne novel: the heat simmering within the earth’s bedrock.

All seemed to be going well — until Dec. 8, 2006, when the project set off an earthquake, shaking and damaging buildings and terrifying many in a city that, as every schoolchild here learns, had been devastated exactly 650 years before by a quake that sent two steeples of the Münster Cathedral tumbling into the Rhine.

Hastily shut down, Mr. Häring’s project was soon forgotten by nearly everyone outside Switzerland. As early as this week, though, an American start-up company, AltaRock Energy, will begin using nearly the same method to drill deep into ground laced with fault lines in an area two hours’ drive north of San Francisco.

Residents of the region, which straddles Lake and Sonoma Counties, have already been protesting swarms of smaller earthquakes set off by a less geologically invasive set of energy projects there. AltaRock officials said that they chose the spot in part because the history of mostly small quakes reassured them that the risks were limited.

Like the effort in Basel, the new project will tap geothermal energy by fracturing hard rock more than two miles deep to extract its heat. AltaRock, founded by Susan Petty, a veteran geothermal researcher, has secured more than $36 million from the Energy Department, several large venture-capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Google. AltaRock maintains that it will steer clear of large faults and that it can operate safely.

But in a report on seismic impact that AltaRock was required to file, the company failed to mention that the Basel program was shut down because of the earthquake it caused. AltaRock claimed it was uncertain that the project had caused the quake, even though Swiss government seismologists and officials on the Basel project agreed that it did. Nor did AltaRock mention the thousands of smaller earthquakes induced by the Basel project that continued for months after it shut down.

The California project is the first of dozens that could be operating in the United States in the next several years, driven by a push to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases and the Obama administration’s support for renewable energy.


IN Australia where it holds huge potential, as it does on the whole ring of fire.

Australia opens round 2 of the Geothermal Drilling Program

Enlarge ImageAustralia opens the second round of the Geothermal Drilling Program and Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP invites geothermal companies to submit applications for funding under this round of the A$50 million (US$39.8 million) program.

Written by: lxrichter
Picture: Habanero, Drilling Rig, Geodynamics (source: Geodynamics)
Reported today, Australia opens the second round of the Geothermal Drilling Program with “The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP inviting geothermal companies to submit applications for funding under Round 2 of the A$50 million (US$39.8 million) Geothermal Drilling Program, which opened today.

Round 2 funding will provide grants of up to A$7 million (US$5.6 million) on a matching-funding basis to support the drilling of deep geothermal wells and help finance geothermal proof-of-concept projects.
Geothermal energy producers pump water below ground (sometimes as deep as 5 kilometers (3.1 miles)), where it is heated by ‘hot rocks’. The heat energy is then used to generate electricity.

Ferguson said: “Geoscience Australia estimates that if just one per cent of Australia’s geothermal energy was extracted it would equate to 26,000 times Australia’s total annual energy consumption. “Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source with enormous potential in Australia; however, the Government recognizes technical development costs are high.

“The Australian Government is pleased to be able to support drilling at the first stage of development as part of its A$4.5 billion (US$3.5 billion) Clean Energy Initiative.

“Geothermal energy is important because it has the capacity to produce baseload power, diversify Australia’s energy supply and increase our energy security.

“The Australian Government has set a target for 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation to come from renewable sources by 2020; a policy which will likely require an additional 45,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity generation from renewable sources.


HOT Rocks Rock

There Is Enough Wind Power To Generate The Electricity To Power The Entire World

A very hairy paper from three Harvard Grad students purports to show that especially the USA, Canada and China have all the wind power that we need to generate all the electricity we currently need. The rest of the world does too but not within it’s own confines. In other words some areas like say the Tibetan Uplands have way more than they need and maybe landlocked Germany does not. So they would have to trade but the net wind power to generate the electricity exists according to:

Xi Lu, Michael McElroy, and Juha Kiviluoma in: 

IN the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America – I tend to believe these guys-

But all I can show you here is the abstrat because the 6 page paper is in PDF:


Global potential for wind-generated electricity


  1. Xi Lua,
  2. Michael B. McElroya,b,1 and
  3. Juha Kiviluomac

+Author Affiliations

  1. aSchool of Engineering and Applied Science, Cruft Lab 211, and

  2. bDepartment of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 100E Peirce Hall, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; and

  3. cVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P. O. Box 1000, 02044 VTT, Finland
  1. Communicated by James G. Anderson, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, April 29, 2009 (received for review November 6, 2008)



The potential of wind power as a global source of electricity is assessed by using winds derived through assimilation of data from a variety of meteorological sources. The analysis indicates that a network of land-based 2.5-megawatt (MW) turbines restricted to nonforested, ice-free, nonurban areas operating at as little as 20% of their rated capacity could supply >40 times current worldwide consumption of electricity, >5 times total global use of energy in all forms. Resources in the contiguous United States, specifically in the central plain states, could accommodate as much as 16 times total current demand for electricity in the United States. Estimates are given also for quantities of electricity that could be obtained by using a network of 3.6-MW turbines deployed in ocean waters with depths <200 m within 50 nautical miles (92.6 km) of closest coastlines.



  • 1To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
  • Author contributions: X.L. and M.B.M. designed research; X.L. and M.B.M. performed research; X.L., M.B.M., and J.K. analyzed data; and X.L., M.B.M., and J.K. wrote the paper.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

  • Freely available online through the PNAS open access option.


They have pretty pictures too.

For a not so bad summary:

Wind could power the entire world
Jeremy Hance
June 22, 2009

Wind power may be the key to a clean energy revolution: a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science finds that wind power could provide for the entire world’s current and future energy needs.

To estimate the earth’s capacity for wind power, the researchers first sectioned the globe into areas of approximately 3,300 square kilometers (1,274 square miles) and surveyed local wind speeds every six hours. They imagined 2.5 megawatt turbines crisscrossing the terrestrial globe, excluding “areas classified as forested, areas occupied by permanent snow or ice, areas covered by water, and areas identified as either developed or urban,” according to the paper. They also included the possibility of 3.6 megawatt offshore wind turbines, but restricted them to 50 nautical miles off the coast and to oceans depths less than 200 meters.

Using this criteria the researchers found that wind energy could not only supply all of the world’s energy requirements, but it could provide over forty times the world’s current electrical consumption and over five times the global use of total energy needs.

Turning to the world’s two largest carbon emitters, China and the United States, the researchers found that wind power has the potential to easily supply both nations.

Windmill for pumping water in Kenya

Wind turbines for power generation in Maui.

“Large-scale development of wind power in China could allow for close to an 18-fold increase in electricity supply relative to consumption reported for 2005,” the researchers write. “The bulk of this wind power, 89%, could be derived from onshore installations. The potential for wind power in the U.S. is even greater, 23 times larger than current electricity consumption, the bulk of which, 84%, could be supplied onshore.”

Expanding their view to the top ten carbon emitters, the researchers found that Russia, Canada, and the United States (in this order) had the greatest capacity for wind power. However, they note that much of the area available for wind power in Russia and Canada is far from any cities, making their construction costly. In addition, the authors note that the public may oppose wind turbines in particular areas, especially remote, ecologically sensitive regions. Still, they conclude that “despite these limitations, it is clear that wind power could make a significant contribution to the demand for electricity” in most high carbon emitting countries. 


Todd Woody reported last week that the wind energy industry now employs more people than coal mining. That is 85,000 jobs in wind – a 70% increase from 2007 – to coal mining’s 81,000 jobs.


From Infinity And Beyond – Electricity from kites…yes yes Kites

After an extended meditation like I just concluded on the Federal Energy Tax Credits (please click 2008 elections, international environmental groups and religion categories for more examples),  I am always at a loss for where to go next. I find it useful to just blow it out! So from Live Science and Yahoo I bring you some of the most implausible energy thoughts ever encountered by man:


Powerful Ideas: Miles-High Kites Could Generate Electricity

By Charles Q. Choi, Special to LiveScience

posted: 22 June 2009 08:21 am ET

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1 of 1

wind power from kite and turbine
Airborne turbines like these depicted in this illustration could generate electricity from strong high-altitude winds. Credit: Ben Shepard, courtesy Sky WindPower

Editor’s Note: This occasional series looks at powerful ideas — some existing, some futuristic — for fueling and electrifying modern life.

The sky might literally be the limit for wind power — rotors spinning miles high could help supply electricity worldwide.

“There is a huge amount of energy available in high-altitude winds,” said researcher Ken Caldeira at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, Calif. “These winds blow much more strongly and steadily than near-surface winds, but you need to go get up miles to get a big advantage. Ideally, you would like to be up near the jet streams, around 30,000 feet.”

All told, if wind turbines miles above the planet were tethered to 10 percent of the world’s land, there is enough energy in these jet stream winds to meet world demand 100 times over, researchers said.

Jet streams are meandering belts of fast winds at altitudes between 20,000 and 50,000 feet. They shift seasonally, but are otherwise persistent features in the atmosphere. Jet stream winds are generally steadier and 10 times faster than wind near the ground, making them a potentially vast and dependable source of energy.

But how to capture the wind so high?

Kites and tethers

A number of technological schemes have been proposed to harvest energy from these high-altitude winds, including tethered, kite-like wind turbines lofted miles high. Up to 40 megawatts of electricity could be generated by current designs and transmitted to the ground via tether.

Using 28 years of weather data, the researchers developed the first-ever global survey of high-altitude wind energy.

“We found the highest wind power densities over Japan and eastern China, the eastern coast of the United States, southern Australia, and north eastern Africa,” said researcher Cristina Archer, an atmospheric scientist at California State University in Chico.


You can go to the Energies site to see the scientific part of the study:

Mesoscale Simulation of Year-to-Year Variation of Wind Power Potential over Southern China

Steve H. Yim 1 email, Jimmy C. Fung 1,2 email and Alexis K. Lau 1,3,* email

1 Institute for the Environment, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
2 Department of Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
3 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 27 April 2009; in revised form: 27 May 2009 / Accepted: 1 June 2009 / Published: 3 June 2009

PDF Full-textDownload PDF Full-Text (1202 KB)

Abstract: The objectives of this study are to combine historical observations and state-of-the-art numerical models (MM5/CALMET system) to map the spatial distribution of wind resources in high resolution, and to help foster a deeper understanding of the wind power potential over southern China (Guangdong). Hourly wind fields were simulated for three entire years (2004-2006). It found that almost 70% of the time, the wind speed along the coast of Guangdong is over 5 m/s, which is deemed a baseline magnitude for typical wind turbines. Spatial plots of the wind speed and power and their variations over Guangdong Province for the three years are also presented.




For the SEX part of it…Generating energy from the jet stream …well it is awful high up there (40-50 miles), really really cold (100 degrees below zero) and really close to the cosmic rays…and it has been around for awhile. I mean looking up is to dream right?


Posted by admin | Green News | Wednesday 21 January 2009 2:43 pm



Dutch astronaut Dr Wubbo Ockels has successfully demonstrated i Netherlands his new energy concept. He has flown a high-flying energy kite, creating kinetic energy from huge radio-controlled highflying kites. He has designed ‘ladder-mills’ to store the kinetic energy and convert it into electricity.
Three such ladder-mills provide enough electricity to power one city. The experiment was carried out along the northern coastline of The Netherlands where there’s usually more than enough wind to raise the gigantic kites into.The radio- controlled, high-flying kites can create some 10,5kw electricity each, Dr Ockels told a local radio station.High-altitude kites could be used to generate clean energy at a cost comparable with that of fossil fuel generation , researchers claim.The “Ladder-Mill” is a chain of controllable wing-like kites attached to a looped cable stretching more than five miles into the sky.Strong high altitude winds acting on the “kitewings” produce as upward force on one side of the loop and a downward force on the other, causing it to rotate.The slowly turning cable drives a power generator in the Ladder-Mill base station.Although the concept sounds far fetched, its developers at Delft Technical University in the Netherlands hope to build a working model in the next four years.

They claim one Ladder-Mill could generate 100 megawatts of electricity, compared with only a few megawatts from a conventional wind turbine.

Winds at 30,000ft are 20 times more powerful than at sea level.

Professor Ockels, an ex-astronaut and head of the European Space Agency’s education office, told The Engineer magazine: “Above a certain altitude there is a massive amount of wind power.



Did you know that people have even tried to use kites for COMMERCIAL FISHING?

Kite applications

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The kite is used to do certain things; one kite or many kites are applied to achieve certain purposes, objectives, or tasks, that is: applications. Humans have applied the kite to bring perceived benefits during peace and war alike. New applications for the kite continue to be found. Only some innovative applications appear in national patents; others are communicated in newspapers, magazines, books, and internet pages. Air kites, water kites, bi-media kites, fluid kites, gas kites, kytoons, paravanes, soil kites, solid kites, and plasma kites have niche applications that are furthering the interests of humans. Non-human-made kites have applications; some spiders make use of kiting.


If you click on 17 or 24 you can see the energy apps. By the way # 24 is funded by Google.


Feds Form 5695 That You Use To Claim The Big Ticket Items In The Stimulus Package

I know that this is an obvious ploy for google numbers but I am the original google whore. I tried to get the PDF file from the Feds converted to a Word file so we could become the goto site for such things but I failed miserabley…(psss. it jam band friday – )

All I succeeded in doing was getting the instructions but I think even they are instructive. In fact I will put the locations of the forms 5695, 3800 and 8910:


There was a comedian whose whole stick was to read the tax code in a very high minded and serious tone and used to cause audiences to roar. This was the case because we have all had our tax code moments, because we can imagine little people in offices dreaming this shit up, and because we can see people taking advantage of it.

General Instructions

Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code.

What’s New for 2008 Nonbusiness energy property credit expired. You cannot take the nonbusiness energy property credit for property placed in service in 2008.

Credit expanded. You can now include costs for qualified small wind energy property and qualified geothermal heat pump property in figuring the residential energy efficient property credit.

What’s New for 2009 Nonbusiness energy property credit available. The nonbusiness energy property credit will be available for property placed in service in 2009. The credit is available for items such as high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, water heaters, windows, doors, and insulation. The amount of the credit will be limited by the amount of any nonbusiness energy property credit you took in 2006 or 2007.

Qualified solar electric property. There is no limit on the amount of qualified solar electric property costs when figuring the residential energy efficient property credit.

Purpose of Form

Use Form 5695 to figure and take your residential energy efficient property credit, including any credit carryforward from 2007. :}

Apperently you can not be a human and take advantage of this but if you are a Home well you are in like Flin.

Who Can Take the Credit

You may be able to take the credit if you made energy saving improvements to your home located in the United States in 2008. For credit purposes, costs are treated as being paid when the original installation of the item is completed, or in the case of costs connected with the construction or reconstruction of your home, when your original use of the constructed or reconstructed home begins. If less than 80% of the use of an item is for nonbusiness purposes, only that portion of the costs that are allocable to the nonbusiness use can be used to determine the credit.

Home. A home is where you lived in 2008 and can include a house, houseboat, mobile home, cooperative apartment, condominium, and a manufactured home that conforms to Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.

You must reduce the basis of your home by the amount of any credits allowed.

Main home. Your main home is generally the home where you live most of the time. A temporary absence due to special circumstances, such as illness, education, business, military service, or vacation, will not change your main home.

Special rules. If you are a member of a condominium management association for a condominium you own or a tenant-stockholder in a cooperative housing corporation, you are treated as having paid your proportionate share of any costs of such association or corporation.

Subsidized energy financing. Any amounts provided for by subsidized energy financing cannot be used to figure the credit. This is financing provided under a

federal, state, or local program, the principal purpose of

which is to provide subsidized financing for projects designed to conserve or produce energy.

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit

You may be able to take a credit of 30% of your costs of qualified solar electric property, solar water heating property, fuel cell property, small wind energy property, and geothermal heat pump property. This includes labor costs properly allocable to the onsite preparation, assembly, or original installation of the property and for piping or wiring to interconnect such property to the home. This credit is limited to:

                      $2,000 for qualified solar electric property costs,

                      $2,000 for qualified solar water heating property costs,

                      $500 for each one-half kilowatt of capacity of qualified fuel cell property for which qualified fuel cell property costs are paid.

                      $500 for each one-half kilowatt of capacity of qualified small wind energy property for which qualified small wind energy property costs are paid (not to exceed $4,000), and

                      $2,000 for qualified geothermal heat pump property costs.


I could let this stuff go with out comment but then that is nearly impossible. So if I spend money to cut down my neighbors tree so I can get my solar access back, is that tax deductible?

Qualified solar electric property costs. Qualified solar electric property costs are costs for property that uses solar energy to generate electricity for use in your home located in the United States. This includes costs relating to a solar panel or other property installed as a roof or a portion of a roof. The home does not have to be your main home.

Qualified solar water heating property costs.

Qualified solar water heating property costs are costs for property to heat water for use in your home located in the United States if at least half of the energy used by the solar water heating property for such purpose is derived from the sun. This includes costs relating to a solar panel or other property installed as a roof or a portion of a roof. To qualify for the credit, the property must be certified for performance by the nonprofit Solar Rating Certification Corporation or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed. The home does not have to be your main home.

Qualified fuel cell property costs. Qualified fuel cell property costs are costs for qualified fuel cell property installed on or in connection with your main home located in the United States. Qualified fuel cell property is an integrated system comprised of a fuel cell stack assembly and associated balance of plant components that converts a fuel into electricity using electrochemical means. To qualify for the credit, the fuel cell property must have a nameplate capacity of at least one-half kilowatt of electricity using an electrochemical process and an electricity-only generation efficiency greater than 30%.

Costs allocable to a swimming pool, hot tub, or any other energy storage medium which has a function other than the function of such storage do not qualify for the residential energy efficiency credit.  

Qualified small wind energy property costs.

Qualified small wind energy property costs are costs for property that uses a wind turbine to generate electricity for use in connection with your home located in the United States. The home does not have to be your main home.

Qualified geothermal heat pump property costs.

Qualified geothermal heat pump property costs are costs for qualified geothermal heat pump property installed on or in connection with your home located in the United States. Qualified geothermal heat pump property is any equipment that uses the ground or ground water as a thermal energy source to heat your home or as a thermal energy sink to cool your home. To qualifiy for the credit, the geothermal heat pump property must meet the requirements of the Energy Star program that are in effect at the time of purchase. The home does not have to be your main home.

Married taxpayers with more than one home. If you or your spouse lived in more than one home, the credit limits would apply to each of you separately. For qualified fuel cell property, the homes must be your main homes. If you are filing separate returns, both of you must complete a separate Form 5695. If you are filing a joint return, figure your nonbusiness energy property credit as follows.

:} So what do you want to be when you grow up little Johnny? Tax payer A or Tax payer B?

1.        Complete a separate Form 5695 for each home through line 21.

2.        On one of the forms, complete line 22. Then, figure the amount to be entered on line 23 of both forms and enter the combined amount on line 23 of this form.

3.        On the dotted line to the left of the entry space for line 23, enter “More than one home”. Then, complete the rest of this form.

4.        Attach both forms to your return. Joint occupancy. If you occupied your home jointly, each occupant must complete his or her own Form 5695. To figure the credit, the maximum qualifying costs that can be taken into account by all occupants for figuring the credit is $6,667 for qualified solar electric, solar water heating, or geothermal heat pump property; and $1,667 for each one-half kilowatt of capacity of qualified fuel cell or small wind energy property (not to exceed $13,333 for qualified small


wind energy property). The amount allocable to you is the lesser of:

1. The amount you paid, or

2. The maximum qualifying cost of the property multiplied by a fraction. The numerator is the amount you paid and the denominator is the total amount paid by you and all other occupants.

These rules do not apply to married individuals filing a joint return.

Example. Taxpayer A owns a house with Taxpayer B where they both reside. In 2008, they installed qualified solar water heating property at a cost of $8,000. Taxpayer A paid $6,000 towards the cost of the property and Taxpayer B paid the remaining $2,000. The amount of cost allocable to Taxpayer A is $5,000 ($6,667 X $6,000/$8,000). The amount of cost allocable to Taxpayer B is $1,667 ($6,667 X $2,000/$8,000).

Specific Instructions

 Also include on lines 1, 5, 9, 13, or 18, any

labor costs properly allocable to the onsite

preparation, assembly, or original installation

of the property and for piping or wiring to interconnect such property to the home.

Line 1

Enter the amounts you paid for qualified solar electric property. See Qualified solar electric property costs on page 3.

Line 5

Enter the amounts you paid for qualified solar water heating property. See Qualified solar water heating property costs on page 3.

Line 9

Enter the amounts you paid for qualified fuel cell property. See Qualified fuel cell property costs on page 3.

Line 13

Enter the amounts you paid for qualified small wind energy property. See Qualified small wind energy property costs on this page.

Line 18

Enter the amounts you paid for qualified geothermal heat pump property. See Qualified geothermal heat pump property costs on this page.

Line 25

If you are claiming the child tax credit for 2008, include on this line the amount from line 12 of the Line 11 Worksheet in Pub. 972.


Right about now you are saying I can’t take anymore. Why did I ever think about doing these energy improvements. Get me out of this tax hell. But there is more.

If you are not claiming the child tax credit for 2008, you do not need Pub. 972.

Line 28

If you cannot use all of the credit because of the tax liability limit (line 26 is less than line 23), you can carry the unused portion of the credit to 2009.

Paperwork Reduction Act Notice. We ask for the information on this form to carry out the Internal Revenue laws of the United States. You are required to give us the information. We need it to ensure that you are complying with these laws and to allow us to figure and collect the right amount of tax.

You are not required to provide the information requested on a form that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless the form displays a valid OMB control number. Books or records relating to a form or its instructions must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any Internal Revenue law. Generally, tax returns and return information are confidential, as required by section 6103.

The average time and expenses required to complete and file this form will vary depending on individual circumstances. For the estimated averages, see the instructions for your income tax return.

If you have suggestions for making this form simpler, we would be happy to hear from you. See the instructions for your income tax return.


Now all you have to do is make copies for your records, double check that everything is signed, put it all in an envelop with the proper postage and address, mail it off and PRAY…have a nice day.


Feds Credits To Trade In An Old Inefficient Car – It’s called the Clunker or the Gas Guzzler Bill

It is not law yet, but if it will become law and it looks like it will. Waiting to buy a new car until it passes could be well worth it. I say this because it is unclear whether you will be able to take advantage of both the Clunker Bill and the Tax Credit for buying specific cars. In other words if you trade in an old car (getting a government rebate) and buy a Prius (getting a Tax Credit) would both apply? If they would you could get like nearly 10K off the price of the car making Prius or any other hybred car affordable. Since it is a House of Reps. Bill on first read in the Senate I can not tell you what it will say in the end but as I say, first the Proposed Tax Credit.

Not there silly here:|/bss/|

Title: To accelerate motor fuel savings nationwide and provide incentives to registered owners of high polluting automobiles to replace such automobiles with new fuel efficient and less polluting automobiles.
Sponsor: Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] (introduced 6/8/2009)      Cosponsors (59)
Related Bills: H.R.2640
Latest Major Action: 6/11/2009 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 74.


Interpreted in a sick way here:

Bailout Watch 554: Cash For Clunkers Passes House

By Edward Niedermeyer
June 10, 2009

The House of Representatives has passed Rep Betty Sutton’s $4 billion scrappage scheme [download full text here], reports CNN Money. The bill now goes to the Senate. Under Sutton’s bill, clunkers with a combined 18 miles per gallon rating or worse would be eligible for a scrappage rebate. Purchasing new vehicle which exceeds its replacement’s rating by four miles per gallon would earn a $3,500 rebate. Improve the combined EPA average by 10 mpg and snag $4,500. Offer good for one year. Or until we tear through $4 billion in a wholesome, American display of redemptive consumption. I’m sorry, I mean “shore up millions of jobs and stimulate local economies . . . improve our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The [Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save] act demonstrates that we can free ourselves from the false argument of either you are for the environment or you are for jobs. You can do both, you must do both.” As the bill’s author modestly puts it.

CNN Money »


I hate to be pessimistic but anytime you involve the Feds, the House and the Senate in legislation that directly effects, OIL, Gasoline and the Internal Combustion Engine, I think you have troubles ahead my friend. Here is a site that is very optomistic:

A ‘Cash for Guzzlers’ website was launched to help keep consumers informed and aware about the pending approval of the Cash for Guzzlers bill. The measure, if approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama, would offer up to $4,500 in the form of a voucher for consumers who would trade in their old gas guzzler for a more fuel efficient car.

The new bill aims at improving environmental conditions by encouraging consumers driving old cars to trade in their vehicle for a voucher of up to $4,500 that can be used towards the purchase of a more fuel efficient vehicle. If passed, the new bill could lead to the purchase of over 1 million fuel efficient cars, a measure some say could help the US become less dependent on foreign oil. The bill is expected to be passed before Memorial Day weekend.

According to the proposal, consumers would get a $3,500 voucher if they trade in a car that gets less than 18 mpg for a new car with mileage of at least 22 mpg. Vouchers of $4,500 would be awarded if the new car gets at least 10 mpg more than the old.

More information for consumers is available at the recently established website for the Cash for Guzzlers bill,


This one kinda thinks NOT:

Gas-guzzler voucher plan hits roadblock Calif. senator criticizes compromise for failure to boost fuel economy

By Kevin Freking
Associated Press

WASHINGTON: Legislation that would give car buyers a government voucher up to $4,500 when they trade in gas guzzlers hit a speed bump in the Senate amid concerns that a compromise between the White House and House Democrats doesn’t go far enough to protect the environment.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who authored the ”cash for clunkers” bill in the Senate, said Wednesday that she can’t support the compromise announced last week after House Democrats met with President Barack Obama on global warming.

”Essentially what it means is that perfectly good vehicles would be scrapped, so that vehicles with below average fuel economy could be purchased,” Feinstein said.

Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township, introduced the House version in March, reviving an effort that failed in Congress earlier this year.

The program is supposed to serve two purposes: Help the struggling automobile industry and the environment by replacing gas guzzlers with more fuel efficient autos.


Stay tuned. It is going to be a long global warming summer.


Feds Tax Credits For New Cars – What a bold attempt

With gasoline prices headed towards 3 $$$ and consumers sitting on their hands, this is not a bad first attempt to get the internal combustion engine off the road. Discussing this credit takes us away from residential issues but unless you live in one every household in America is effected by this. The more money you save the more you can put back into your house. You might want to wait until the Gas Guzzler or “Clunkers”  law goes into effect because you could get a whole lot more money with 2 credits…depending on how they word it…but that is a subject for tomorrow. First the Tax Credits.

Not there silly here:

Cars Hybrid gasoline-electric, diesel, battery-electric, alternative fuel, and fuel cell vehicles   Based on a formula determined by vehicle weight, technology, and fuel economy compared to base year models There is a 60,000 vehicle limit per manufacturer before a phase-out period begins. Toyota and Honda have already been phased out. Credit is still available for Ford, GM and Nissan.For more information visit: Exit ENERGY STARUse IRS Form 8910 PDF Exit ENERGY STAR for hybrid vehicles purchased for personal use.Use IRS Form 3800 PDF Exit ENERGY STAR for hybrid vehicles purchased for business purposes.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles   $2,500–$7,500 The first 250,000 vehicles sold get the full tax credit (then it phases out like the hybrid vehicle tax credits).Effective January 1, 2009.

1Subject to a $1,500 maximum per homeowner for all improvements combined.

Efficient Cars

Starting January 1, 2009, there is a new tax credit for Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, starting at $2,500 and capped at $7,500 for cars and trucks (the credit is based on the capacity of the battery system). The first 250,000 vehicles sold get the full tax credit (then it phases out like the hybrid vehicle tax credits).

Tax credits are available to buyers of hybrid gasoline-electric, diesel, battery-electric, alternative fuel, and fuel cell vehicles. The tax credit amount is based on a formula determined by vehicle weight, technology, and fuel economy compared to base year models. These credits are available for vehicles placed in service starting January 1, 2006. For hybrid and diesel vehicles made by each manufacturer, the credit will be phased out over 15 months starting after that manufacturer has sold 60,000 eligible vehicles. For vehicles made by manufacturers that have not reached the end of the phase-out, the credits will end for vehicles placed in service after December 31, 2010. See the IRS Website for updated information Exit ENERGY STAR.


So if you are wandering around wondering what are the most efficient cars I could buy. Well:

Greener Choices 2009

A Selection of Gasoline Vehicles that Score Well












I can go into more detail. for that you will have to go to the website…I was not able to copy the total graph.


For really clean cars:

Magazine: Green Car Journal

Hello -My friend gives me copies of this magazine because he knows I am an MPG nut :Electric Cars & Hybrid Cars | Green Car .comIt doesn’t spend too much time saying what’s wrong with the automotive industry. It’s focus is to spotlight the good things that are happening. Here are some example articles from the features section :

Preview: 2010 Ford Fiesta for U.S. | Green Car .com


Ford Motor Company, responding to customer demand for smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles, is accelerating its efforts to bring six small vehicles from Ford’s respected European lineup to the North American market sooner than originally planned. To accomplish this, several of Ford’s large assembly plants will be converted from truck and SUV production to build the new-to-America models.

The automaker is banking heavily on its EcoBoost gasoline turbocharged, direct-injection engine technology and engine downsizing to reduce fuel economy by 20 percent and lower CO2 emissions by 15 percent. Plans are to have the capacity to build more than a million North American four-cylinder engines by 2011. 

Kewet’s New Electric City Car | Green Car .com


 When it comes to promoting the use of battery electric vehicles, Norway is probably the world’s leader. Helping are policies like exemption from road taxes, tolls, and parking fees as well as permitting EVs to drive in bus lanes. The result is that the Th!nk, once planned as a Ford product, is back in production. Now it has a competitor in the form of the Norwegian-built Buddy.

Like the Th!nk that was born in 1991 as the Pivco City Bee, the Buddy has a history that also dates back to that same year, when Knud Erik Westergaard founded Kewet in Denmark to produce the Kewet electric car. In 1995, production was transferred to Nordhausen in the former East Germany. By 1998, Kewet was bankrupt with over a thousand Kewet electric cars and vans built. Rights to the Kewet were acquired in 1999 by Kollega Bil A/S in Norway. With a name change to Elbil Norge AS, it is now offering the improved sixth generation of the model, now simply called the Buddy. It’s aimed initially at the Norwegian market but plans are to distribute the car throughout Europe. …

These guys want mileage and they want it now.