How To Drive Fossil Fuels Out Of The Economy – The title is very deceptive

While this article is not click bait per se, the first sentence talks about Roosevelt and WWII. You know, the Big One that he used to take over the economy for almost 10 years. Ask yourself, “Would any USA President use emergency powers OR The War Powers Act to purge the economy of fossil fuels”? The real answer is a resounding NO. Then he proceeds to discuss a “PLAN” that is more of a “thought experiment” or a model with some “results”.

None-the-less it is entertaining. And to be fair possible. But somebody has got to light a really really really large fire. Every pun intended.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/21349200/climate-change-fossil-fuels-rewiring-america-electrify

How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly

The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035.

In the runup to World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enlisted the entire US economy in an effort to scale up production of war material. All of the country’s resources were bent to the task. In 1939, the US had 1,700 aircraft; in 1945, it had 300,000 military aircraft and 18,500 B–24 bombers.

By the time the war was won, the economy was up and humming with a massively expanded workforce (drawing in women and African Americans) and turbocharged productive capacity. Investments made during the war mobilization yielded a robust middle class and decades of sustained, broadly shared prosperity.

A similar mobilization will be necessary for the US to decarbonize its economy fast enough to avert the worst of climate change. To do its part in limiting global temperature rise to between 1.5° and 2° Celsius, the US must reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. To achieve this, the full resources of the US economy must be bent toward manufacturing the needed clean-energy technology and infrastructure.

FDR began with two questions. First, he asked not what was politically feasible but what was necessary to win the war. He also asked not how much funding was available in the federal budget but how much productive capacity was available in the economy — what was possible.

Saul Griffith is trying to answer those same questions on climate change: what is necessary, given the trajectory of global warming, and what is possible, given the resources in the US economy.

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It is a Vox long read. So go there and read forever. More next week.

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Tiny Houses Do Not Equal Happiness – It takes a change of MIND to be HAPPY

A little house for me is 800 square feet. That’s what my wife and I have if you discount the storage space and the plant room in the basement. During the spring, summer, and fall months, we spend a lot of time outdoors in are yard or up until March doing other things in other spaces. Whether its an apartment or a rental house, that’s pretty much the way I have always been. Whether there were one of me or two of us.

The idea that small is better has always seemed to be suspect to me. Anyway, here is one take on the down side of a Tiny House. And yes, I still believe Small is Beautiful.

 

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/tiny-houses-look-marvellous-but-have-a-dark-side-three-things-they-don-t-tell-you-on-marketing-blurb?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Pocket Worthy   –  Stories to fuel your mind.

Tiny Houses Look Marvellous but Have a Dark Side

Three things they don’t tell you in marketing blurb.

The Conversation

  • Megan Carras

Tiny houses are everywhere. They’ve received heavy coverage in the media and there are millions of followers on dozens of pages on social media. While there is no census for these homes, they have seen a surge in popularity in the decade since the Great Recession – witness the prolific growth of tiny house manufacturers, for instance. Originating in the US, tiny homes have also been popping up across Canada, Australia and the UK.

Tiny houses are promoted as an answer to the affordable housing crisis; a desirable alternative to traditional homes and mortgages. Yet there are many complexities and contradictions that surround these tiny spaces, as I discovered when I began investigating them.

I have toured homes, attended tiny house festivals, stayed in a tiny house community and interviewed several dozen people who live inside them. My research took me throughout the US, from a converted accessory unit squeezed between two average size homes on Staten Island to a community in Florida full of cute and brightly coloured tiny structures – appropriately located just down the road from Disney World. Here are three things I unexpectedly discovered along the way.

 

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I am sure there are thousands of people that are happy with their Tiny Houses. Go there and read. More next week.

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Singapore Solves A Serious Energy Issue – If only Bloomberg would get to it as well

Now if the Bloombergs of the world would tackle their issues, maybe the Earth would make some progress.

Solving the Global Cooling Problem

As air-conditioning sucks up more and more energy, Singapore finds a greener way to keep cool.

In Singapore, close to the Equator, temperatures regularly rise above 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) — but inside the soaring glass greenhouses of Gardens by the Bay, the country’s award-winning botanical park, it’s a pleasant 24 degrees.

The daffodils and tulips of the flower dome, along with two dozen nearby towers that are normally full of bankers, shoppers, residents, hotel guests and gamblers, are chilled by what is probably the world’s largest underground district cooling system. It’s a giant air conditioner that is attempting to solve one of the biggest problems of global warming: How to stay cool.

(moving right along)

That means a massive drain on power — more than a third of the world’s electricity could end up being used to cool buildings and vehicles — with an equivalent jump in carbon emissions if, as is the case now, most of that extra generating capacity relies on fossil fuels.

The rise of global cooling has prompted research and development into ways to make systems more efficient using heat pumps, solar-power, evaporative coolers and other technologies. One of the most effective is to build a system that uses a large central plant that can cool several city blocks.

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Go there and read a lot. More next week.

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HillTopper Wind Farm – It looked magnificent

During this pandemic I have been getting rid of my housitis by driving around in my car. No touching. No talking. Just driving. At first it was close to Riverton, like to Williamsville or places in Springfield like Lincoln Land Community College or Washington Park. One day I thought, “Let’s drive to Mt. Pulaski” which is about 20 miles away maybe. I had forgotten that they had built a wind farm just shy of there. What a glorious sight. Right along the highway. I was amazed. I pulled off the road in wonder. My faith in humanity was renewed.

(I know this is a company site but it has wonderful Pictures. I can neither vouch for this company nor advise any sort of dealings with this company. I am simply reposting its website)

https://www.enelgreenpower.com/stories/a/2019/01/hilltopper-and-sustainable-future-of-energy-with-egp-ppas

HillTopper wind farm creates energy solutions for a sustainable future

Published on Thursday, 17 January 2019

excerpted:

A Wind Farm “Made in the USA”

Located in Illinois, the US state with the sixth highest installed wind capacity, HillTopper is an example of how our projects contribute to local socio-economic development.

By purchasing wind turbines produced from a local business, HillTopper contributed 50 million dollars directly to the local economy: a clear example of the care Enel Green Power has for the communities that welcome us. As Enel Green Power, we provide sustainable, clean, reliable and affordable energy to several companies, with the goal of creating new value in the heart of Illinois.

The 185-MW wind farm uses General Electric turbines manufactured in the United States and, through a collaboration with Trinity Structural Towers, located just a few kilometers from the site, we’re fostering the growth of the local economy.

The local manufacturer provided about half of HillTopper’s 74 turbines. At nearly 90 meters tall, they provide 570 GWh of energy every year. This power can cover the energy needs of more than 46,300 American households.

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Go there and read all their corporate speak. But look at the picture and imagine the possibilities. More next week.

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Americans Would Not Know Good Design If It Bit Them ON The Ass

These people have been conserving massive amounts of energy for years. Americans, Russians and Chinese, NOt So MucH. You know – energy exuberance and all that poppycock.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/a-design-concept-is-transforming-the-energy-efficiency-of-buildings.html?utm_source=digg

How a decades-old design concept is transforming the energy efficiency of buildings

 

Key Points
  • The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs.
  • Could a shift in the way they are designed make them more energy efficient?
H/O - Goldsmith Street Norwich
Goldsmith Street, in the English city of Norwich, won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2019.
Tim Crocker

The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs, whether it’s an office block in the middle of the city or a small house in the suburbs.

Think of a building’s temperature: It can be regulated by radiators, fans and air conditioning systems, while basic actions such as opening and closing a window or door can also be effective. Today, smart technology allows many of these appliances to be controlled remotely using smartphones.

You only need to look at your monthly utility bill to know that living in a building — be it large or small — costs money.

The impact of buildings on the environment is also a concern. According to the IEA, final energy use in buildings hit approximately 3,060 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2018, up from 2,820 Mtoe in 2010.

Fossil fuels’ share in buildings’ energy use was at 36% in 2018, the IEA says, a small drop compared to 38% in 2010.

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Go there and read. Its all you’ve got to do, right? More next week.

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Germany Shuts A Nuke – The Power Industries sputter complaints

Don’t do it! You’ll never replace it! Make you more dependent on oil and natural gas. Stop. Wait. what do you think you are doing….. HaHA it is so funny when an industry that never should have been created (too cheap to meter) dies off. All I can say is Tah Tah. don’t let the screen door hit you in the ass.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-shuts-down-atomic-plant-as-nuclear-phase-out-enters-final-stretch/a-51845616

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2011/03/15/in-panic-germany-to-shut-pre-1980-nukes/#38e2062f6881

please note:  this originally appeared in the nyt but it is an associate press piece and the Times kept screwing with how I  posted it with a stupid algorithm so I posted the forbes page instead. Then realized that it was a 2011 so I then posted the deusche welle piece as the update.

Germany Shuts Nuclear Plant as It Phases Out Atomic Energy

By

BERLIN — Germany is shutting down one of its seven remaining nuclear power plants as part of a planned phase-out of atomic energy production by the end of 2022.

Utility company EnBW has said it will take the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant off the grid at 7 p.m. (1800 GMT) Tuesday. The plant’s license to operate expires at midnight.

Under Germany’s “energy transition” plan, the country aims to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources over the coming decades. The government agreed earlier this year to stop producing electricity from coal-fired plants by 2038 at the latest.

Proponents of nuclear power argue that shutting down the remaining reactors will endanger Germany’s energy security, making it more reliant on greenhouse gas-producing coal and gas and on electricity imported from neighboring countries that still have atomic plants.

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Go there a celebrate. More next week.

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We Are Going Over The Climate Cliff – At least these people are trying

Natural Gas will be the death of us. Let me repeat that. Natural Gas will be the death of us. Why? Because Capitalists will sell it as a bridge to renewables and humans will die half way across the bridge. Let’s be honest, METHANE is a much more corrosive long lasting green house gas. While using natural gas will decrease the Volume of green houses gases. It will speed up Climate Change. Humans do not want to face up to what is killing us – Greed sped on by a pernicious economic system. If we stopped venting green house gases tomorrow it would be a 100 years before the effects wore off. We are not stopping today, are we?

Illinois offering affordable solar installation for low-income housing

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Mist Showers Conserve An Amazing Amount Of Water And Energy – How come I never heard of it

I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of a mist shower. So I am putting this up as a very very long public service announcement. But if everything it says is true, I gotta get me one. It should be amazing.

https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/10/mist-showers-sustainable-decadence.html

« How to Make Wind Power Sustainable Again | Main

The Carbon Footprint of the Daily Shower

The shower doesn’t get much attention in the context of climate change. However, like airplanes, cars, and heating systems, it has become a very wasteful and carbon-intensive way to provide for a basic need: washing the body. Each day, many of us pour roughly 70 litres of hot water over our bodies in order to be “clean”.

This practice requires two scarce resources: water and energy. More attention is given to the showers’ high water consumption, but energy use is just as problematic. Hot water production accounts for the second most significant use of energy in many homes (after heating), and much of it is used for showering. Water treatment and distribution also use lots of energy.

In contrast to the energy used for space heating, which has decreased during the last decades, the energy used for hot water in households has been steadily growing. One of the reasons is that people are showering longer and more frequently, and using increasingly powerful shower heads. For example, in the Netherlands from 1992 to 2016, shower frequency increased from 0.69 to 0.72 showers per day, shower duration increased from 8.2 to 8.9 minutes, and the average water flow increased from 7.5 to 8.6 litres per minute. [1]

In many industrial societies it’s now common to shower at least once per day

 

 

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Go there and read and read and read. I may never take a shower again. More next week.

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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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