Massey Mine Accident Could Have Been Prevented – But not by Blankenship

It’s jam band friday –

He was too busy buying judges and worse yet funding Climate change deniers and Cap and Trade deniers. And I am not the only one to think so:

Don Blankenship: Seventh scariest person in America

Massey Energy CEO is a really bad dude

avatar for David Roberts

by David Roberts

24 Oct 2006 4:40 PM

The venerable print magazine Old Trout was recently relaunched with a splashy issue on “The Thirteen Scariest Americans.” I was asked to write up the scariest American from an environmental point of view.

The choice was not difficult. The scariest polluter in the U.S. is Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy. The guy is evil, and I don’t use that word lightly.

The issue is out now. (Look for it on a newsstand near you!) The folks at Old Trout have given me permission to publish an expanded version of the piece after a suitable period of exclusivity. So watch for that at the beginning of December.

In the meantime, check out three things.

First, there’s this longish New York Times piece on Blankenship from Sunday. In the usual style of mainstream reportage, it is studiously neutral in tone, woefully downplaying the environmental destruction Massey does and the thuggish tactics Blankenship has imposed. But you can get a pretty accurate general picture of the guy.

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This is actually a repost:

The Coal Baron
Don Blankenship
CEO, Massey Energy

In an age when most CEOs are canny enough to at least pay lip service to the realities of climate change, Blankenship stands apart as corporate America’s most unabashed denier. Global warming, he insists, is nothing but “a hoax and a Ponzi scheme.” His fortune depends on such lies: Massey Energy, the nation’s fourth-largest coal-mining operation, unearths more than 40 million tons of the fossil fuel each year — often by blowing the tops off of Appalachian mountains.

The country’s highest-paid coal executive, Blankenship is a villain ripped straight from the comic books: a jowly, mustache-sporting, union-busting coal baron who uses his fortune to bend politics to his will. He recently financed a $3.5 million campaign to oust a state Supreme Court justice who frequently ruled against his company, and he hung out on the French Riviera with another judge who was weighing an appeal by Massey. “Don Blankenship would actually be less powerful if he were in elected office,” Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia once observed. “He would be twice as accountable and half as feared.”

On the national level, Blankenship enjoys a position of influence on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has led the fight to kill climate legislation. He enjoys inveighing against the “greeniacs” — including Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Al Gore — who are “taking over the world.” And he has even taken to tweeting about climate change: “We must demand that more coal be burned to save the Earth from global cooling.”

In more unguarded moments, however, Blankenship confesses that his over-the-top rhetoric is strategic. “If it weren’t for guys like me,” he says, “the middle would be further to the left.” He also admits that his efforts to block climate legislation are ultimately self-serving: “It would probably cut our business in half”.

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yah that kind of guy…

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Healthcare And Alternative Energy – If a Bank can do it why not a Hospital

it’s jam band friday –

Way to go Farmers Bank. They put up a Wind Turbine in Mt. Pulaski. When you think about it, Hospitals manytimes have some of the tallest buildings in town and the most financial muscle around. So why don’t they all sprout wind turbines and solar panels? Please see yesterdays Post.

Wind blows energy to area bank

Mount Pulaski wind

Crews work to install the blades on a 10,000-watt wind turbine being installed to help power the Farmers Bank of Mount Pulaski on the city square in Mount Pulask Wednesday.
By John Reynolds
GateHouse News Service
Thu Mar 25, 2010, 06:05 AM CDT

Mount Pulaski, Ill. –

A high-tech wind turbine that can generate 10,000 watts of power was installed near Logan County’s oldest bank Wednesday.

The turbine, which sits atop a 120-foot tower, will supply about half, or possibly more than half, of the electricity used by Farmers Bank of Mount Pulaski.

The apparatus cost about $65,000, some of which will be offset by tax credits, said Rick Volle, president of Farmers Bank, which was established in 1872.

“There’s a lot of these going up on a larger scale. We think it’s something worth doing,” Volle said. “…We are figuring about a 12-year payoff on it, and it has a life of about 30 years.”

Installation of the turbine on the square in Mount Pulaski drew a crowd of about two-dozen people. They watched as a crane lifted the tower into the air and workmen slowly moved the base over to a concrete pad. The turbine, complete with blades, was already installed on top.

By 12:15 p.m., the tower and turbine were in place. It now stands across the street from the historic Mount Pulaski Courthouse where Abraham Lincoln argued cases.

“I guess it’s progress for our town, and the bank in particular,” said Mike Cyrulik, who watched the work from across the street. “I think it’s going to be a great addition to town.”

Cyrulik was one of the first people to stop and watch. When the big crane took over, more people came out from downtown shops to see the tower rise into the air.

“It’s pretty interesting for a little town,” Cyrulik said.

Mount Pulaski, about 25 miles northeast of Springfield, sits on a hill that rises above the surrounding farmland.

John Wyss, owner of Central Illinois Wind and Solar, the company that installed the turbine, said downtown Mount Pulaski is a good spot for the new technology.

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Some progressive hospitals are catching on.

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Ann Arbor Veteran Affairs hospital gets wind turbine

By Steve Pepple

December 02, 2008, 7:06AM
Eliyahu Gurfinkel | The Ann Arbor NewsDarryl Snabes, left, and Jeff Means are responsible for the installation of a wind turbine on the roof of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System building. Snabes is the local project manager and Means the regional energy manager at the VA.

A small wind turbine now spins atop the Ann Arbor Veteran Affairs hospital, contributing to the hospital’s utility needs while satisfying a new federal requirement for renewable energy.

Hospital administrators installed the vertical turbine last month as part of an ongoing plan to generate about 7.5 percent of the hospital’s energy needs from renewable energy, including wind and solar, by 2012.

“It’s a baby step, but we’re optimistic,” said Jeff Means, energy manager for VA hospitals in Michigan and nearby states.

The turbine and its installation cost about $100,000. If it is successful in generating enough energy, the hospital could install additional turbines and solar panels to generate energy, Means said.

The turbine, which weighs about 1,000 pounds, is 16 feet tall and 3 feet wide. As the wind spins the vertical turbine, a generator in its base sends direct electrical current through several boxes to transform the power into alternating current to be used by the hospital.


There’s a strong wind agona blow.

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What Your House Should Have Looked Like In The First Place – Last day of residential efficiency meditation

It’s Jam Band Friday –

So we end this meditation where we have been for 3 days on building a house that does what it should, make your life cheap and comfortable. This all started with an Energy Audit. Could that get you to build a better home in the future? Sure it could. It just depends on how important the planet Earth is to you. It is very important to me. Other people think of it as their personal toilet.

Your Future Home’s Roof Will Be Eco-Friendly Too

BY Kit EatonFri Oct 9, 2009

Scientists at MIT have invented a smart roofing material that takes a new thermal-management approach to eco-design. It’s a different approach to previous efforts, of which there are many. We’ve rounded them up for you, starting with the latest, below.


MIT’s Black and White Solution

MIT’s Thermeleon material is a composite of layers that makes it thermochromic–on exposure to heat it changes color from black to white. It works by sandwiching a common polymer between flexible plastic layers, with a black one at the back–when cold the polymer solution stays dissolved and the black rear face shows through, and when it heats up the solution condenses to form light-scattering droplets.

The upshot is that when the sun is shining a roof tile covered in the material is white-colored, scattering up to 80% of the sunlight back and thus keeping the building beneath the roof cooler. The result is a 20% reduction in cost to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature in the summer, a figure which also comes with an eco-friendly drop in the electricity supply demands. During winter, of course, you’d prefer your roof to capture as much heat as possible from the sun, which is where the black coloring is handy–the tiles scatter just 30% of incoming solar radiation then.

The team’s working on micro-encapsulating the chemicals, so that in future they may work as a paintable or spray-on coating, and then if the prices drop to match the innovation, the tech could also find much use in the developing world


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Why haven’t we done things like this for years:

Dow Chemicals’ Covert Solar Tiles

If your house design calls for a shingled roof instead of a tiled one, and you live in an area where theft of expensive roof-top solar panels is a problem, then Dow Chemicals has a neat trick.

Its Solar Shingles use thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide technology to make them cheap and light, and they’re designed to be intermingled with traditional asphalt roof tiles on a roof. That makes for easy installation, and lower visibility to street-level thieves.

solar roof shingles

And there you have it: Proof positive that in the future, our building roofing will do much more for us than keeping the sun, wind, and rain off our heads. They all make good sense, of course, since traditional roofs spend all their time staring at the sun rather than harnessing its rays for energy. Now if there were only a clever hybrid of all these different ideas…


With credits to:



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Then there is the really far out stuff:

Eco tree houses – the homes of the future

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Published: 5:00PM BST 16 Sep 2008

A model of the proposed tree house (left) and an illustration of how one might look (click to enlarge)

Tree houses grown specifically for modern living could be the eco-homes of the future.

Scientists from the US and Israel have developed the trees that can be shaped into the structure of innovative homes.

The ingenious tree houses naturally provide shade and can also be used to process waste and reduce carbon emissions.

The researchers at Tel Aviv University and a branch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are confident the first prototype home could be ready in just ten years.

Plantware, the organisation behind the technology, have already built bus-shelters, park benches and traffic lights using the advanced techniques of airoponics, where plants are grown without soil.

Now they have built a model for a tree house to be used in cities.

The extraordinary structure is build from actual tree roots that are grown to be mallable and then hardened into a structure like steel girders. The houses can be equipped with solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity and even convert human waste into valuable nutrient for the living tree.

Different species of trees could be chosen for different environments so for example, willows could be used in England and giant American redwoods in California.

However at the moment the tree homes would be prohibitively expensive to all but a few.


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This is a really long article so I will get you started and list the 3 architects. Watch out the prices will kill you, but you can do the same things without the expense.

From The Sunday Times
January 20, 2008

Building the future: eco-architecture

Home gave three leading eco-architects different budgets and one brief: to create a sustainable urban family dwelling. Our correspondent is impressed by the result

Brooke Coombes House

So, you want a stylish green home, but think it will cost the earth? Think again. Home asked three leading exponents of sustainable design to come up with the ultimate green new-build house to suit three very different budgets – and the results were spectacular.

All had the same brief: to design a home for a young part-time teacher and her husband, an IT specialist. The imaginary couple have two children, aged nine and seven, and own an end-of-terrace plot on a tree-lined street of Victorian houses. The house can’t be taller than neighbouring three-storey homes, and must be as green as possible.

Dan Burr, 40, an associate partner at Sheppard Robson, which has offices in London and Manchester, has come up with a three-bedroom, 1,500 sq ft home costing £250,000 (plus land costs). Burr was the design director on Britain’s first zero-carbon house, the Lighthouse, built in Watford last year. The building meets level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with which all new homes in Britain will have to comply by 2016.

Justin Bere, 48, principal of the north London-based firm Bere Architects, designed a four-bedroom, 1,800 sq ft home costing £400,000 (plus land costs). His residential projects include Focus House, built in 2006 in Finsbury Park, north London, which won the Riba London Region Award 2007, among other prizes. His practice is a devotee of PassivHaus, an established German style of energy-efficient construction.

The third property is a five-bedroom, 2,500 sq ft home costing £600,000, designed by the husband-and-wife team Catherine Burd and Buddy Haward, both 41. Based in northwest London, they devised the low-energy Brooke Coombes House, in Ealing, west London, which in 2002 won the Riba Manser Medal, and are designing 600 sustainable homes in the Rochester Riverside scheme at Thames Gateway.

Their EZ House has three key principles: its construction must incorporate local materials from sustainable sources and low-energy build methods; it must consume little or no energy, so conserve or generate it on site; and the flexible design must have non-load-bearing internal walls, so that it can be adapted to the changing needs of the occupants

The sectional house

Sheppard Robson: 020 7504 1779,

The PassivHaus

bere:architects: 020 7837 9333,

The EZ House

Burd Haward: 020 7722 0788,


Next week I go back to the environment. So much has been happening on the energy and the environment front that I have been dieing to print but…well meditations go where ever they will.


Where An Energy Audit Can Lead – We started this meditation on caulk and CFL’s

[we are coming up on Herbie Hancock’s 70th birthday so..]

It’s Jam Band Friday – ( )

But the discussion leads directly to considering the use of you own generation devices. People have been trained over the years to “pay their energy bills as they go”. What if you paid your energy bill before you used it. Electricity is not a commodity and energy services are your birthright. OoopS there I go again getting all radical. But it is not radical to be thrifty. It is not radical to be kind to the Earth. It is not radical to teach your kids sustainable practices. The internal combustion Engine is primitive and must be gotten away from. The days when we could just burn large amounts of “stuff” and consume large amounts of “stuff” are over, whether we like it or not…anyway here’s some solar POWER…

Introducing Andalay AC

The First Plug and Play Solar Power System

Built in Reliability & Safety Solar systems must last decades in the harsh environment of your roof. But years of sun, wind and rain can corrode the different metals and eat through unprotected wiring found on ordinary solar systems. Both lead to a failed investment.

Andalay, the next generation in solar power systems, engineered away these flaws with its award-winning revolutionary design. Protected wiring, assembly in a quality-controlled factory environment, and superior framing, grounding and wiring deliver a system that is built to provide decades of reliable solar power performance. Learn More » Maximum Lifetime Performance With Enphase micro-inverters built right into each panel, Andalay delivers decades of powerful performance. Unlike ordinary solar panels where their power production varies from hour to hour, each Andalay panel consistently operates at its maximum power potential. Additionally, these revolutionary panels continue to operate at maximum power even if one panel goes down compared to ordinary panels where the malfunction of one panel from shading or other failures takes down all of the panels. As a result, these revolutionary panels can perform 5% to 25% higher than ordinary panels. Learn More » Beautiful Appearance on your Roof In addition to its unparallel reliability, Andalay’s award winning design showcases a sleek, beautiful, design that compliments your home. With 80% less parts and fewer penetrations to your roof, Andalay’s slimmer panels, invisible electrical cabling and hidden mounting system take up less room on your roof while showing off a revolutionary design. The end result is an attractive system that ends electricity bills and fights green house gas. Learn More »


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Solar electric power, known as photovoltaic (PV) technology, makes use of the abundant energy from the sun. It can be used in a wide range of products, from small consumer items to large commercial solar electric systems.

Few power-generation technologies have as little impact on the environment as solar power.
It quietly generates electricity from light and produces no air pollution or hazardous waste.
It doesn’t require liquid or gaseous fuels to be transported or combusted. And because its energy source—sunlight—is free and abundant, it can guarantee access to electric power.
Learn More


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SLI: On-site and Online Solar Training and Certification
Promoting Sustainable Living through Inspirational Environmental Education

About Us
Online Workshops
Solar Living Center
Other Programs
Support Us

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HomeAbout Us

About Us

Established in 1998 as a spin-off from Real Goods Trading Company, the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization whose mission is to promote sustainable living through inspirational environmental education. The Institute provides practical, education by example and hands-on workshops on renewable energy, green building, sustainable living, permaculture, organic gardening and alternative, environmental, construction methods.

The Institute is headquartered at the Solar Living Center, a gorgeous 12-acre renewable energy and sustainable living demonstration site visited by nearly 200,000 people annually in the heart of Northern California’s wine country in Hopland, California. Since its inception nearly two million visitors have experienced the Solar Living Center.

The nonprofit Solar Living Institute depends upon your support to continue to offer you rich educational programs. Please support the Institute by joining our Membership Program, making a gift online, becoming an intern, or volunteering.

Newsletters 2010
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Residential Solar

Affordable Solar takes you through the process of powering your home with solar. One-stop and turn-key, we do it all for you.

Solar 101

Learn the Basics

System Sizer

Enter your information and find your system and cost.

GT Kits

Go here to buy pre-packaged kits.

Installer Network

View our map of residential solar installers.

How It Works

Learn more about how solar works in Solar 101.

Example Systems

Example systems that are currently up and running.

Residential Solar

There are many terms for Residential Solar Energy System such as Grid-Tie (tied into the energy grid), Residential Solar, and Home Solar, but they are all the same thing: a solar electric system that provides clean and renewable power from the sun.


Happy Birthday


So What To Do Next – Subscribe to a magazine

Boogie down brothers it’s Jam Band Friday -( )

Now that you have spent the last couple of years getting to know your energy systems in your home and doing something about it. What is next? Solar Panels, Solar water heaters, a Wind turbine? Slow down little guppy. You could even start with a solar cooker. However I suggest you read and think a little first. I mean a meditation on food and a solar cooker could take you to places you have never been.

Jobs for Energy Auditors Gain Momentum Nationwide

Cover photo: Erik Pierson of Recurve, a San Francisco Bay Area home performance contractor, discusses an upcoming home energy audit with Regina Loureiro of San Jose. Photo by Lou Dematteis

Jobs for Energy Auditors Gain Momentum Nationwide

January/February 2010 Feature

by Patricia Leiser

It is anticipated that most, if not all, large U.S. cities will adopt programs to improve the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings.

Continue reading “Jobs for Energy Auditors Gain Momentum Nationwide”


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The more you read and research the more you will know what your next move is. My question is when does the audit end, and more importantly did the audit prompted you into other behaviors. Are you riding your bike more?

Making Sense
Making Sense: of Solar-Electric System Costs
What would it cost to power your home with solar energy? Use these simple guidelines to get your solar start today.
Tools of the Wind-Electric Trade
Tools of the Wind-Electric Trade
The tools you need for a successful wind-electric installation.
Intro to Hydropower
Intro to Hydropower: Part 2: Measuring Head & Flow
Part 2. How to measure the two most important variables used in determining your site’s hydroelectric potential.
Solar Water Heating Systems Buyer's Guide
Solar Water Heating Systems Buyer’s Guide
Pick the perfect solar hot water system for your climate and site.
Be Cool
Be Cool: Natural Systems to Beat the Heat
Beat the summer heat with these basic passive cooling strategies.
EV Snapshot
EV Snapshot: Chevy S10 Conversion
A step-by-step tour of Mark’s clean, electric conversion of a Chevy S10 pickup — guaranteed to make you rethink your next vehicle. With some effort and a little money, you can convert your gasoline engine car to run on electricity—for cleaner, greener local driving.
Efficiency Details
Efficiency Details: For a Clean Energy Change
Put these top ten tips to use and make your household more energy efficient and renewables-ready.
How to Install...
How to Install… A Pole-Mounted Solar-Electric Array: Part 1
How to install a pole-mounted solar-electric array— part one, sizing and setting the pole.


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And for the policy wonks

The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE’s Energy Economics Education Foundation
Volume 31, Special Issue
Download Entire Issue Now

ADAM’s Modeling Comparison Project – Intentions and Prospects
Ottmar Edenhofer , Brigitte Knopf, Marian Leimbach and Nico Bauer
View AbstractDownload Now

The Economics of Low Stabilization: Model Comparison of Mitigation Strategies and Costs
Ottmar Edenhofer , Brigitte Knopf, Terry Barker, Lavinia Baumstark, Elie Bellevrat, Bertrand Chateau, Patrick Criqui, Morna Isaac, Alban Kitous, Socrates Kypreos, Marian Leimbach, Kai Lessmann, Bertrand Magne, Serban Scrieciu, Hal Turton, Detlef P. van Vuuren
View AbstractDownload Now
Transformation Patterns of the Worldwide Energy System – Scenarios for the Century with the POLES Model
Alban Kitous, Patrick Criqui, Elie Bellevrat and Bertrand Chateau
View AbstractDownload Now

Technology Options for Low Stabilization Pathways with MERGE
Bertrand Magne, Socrates Kypreos, and Hal Turton
View AbstractDownload Now


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And then for the strong at heart.

AHE Featured on the Cover of the Sept/Oct 2009 edition of Home Energy Magazine!AHE Featured on the Cover of the Sept/Oct 2009 Edition of Home Energy Magazine!

Energy Efficient Home Solutions

Advanced Home Energy (AHE) is the leading Home Performance contractor in the San Francisco East Bay. AHE provides expert guidance and services to home owners who want an energy efficient home and want to reduce their personal environmental impact.

Home Performance

Home performance is an energy efficiency strategy in which contractors address homes as whole systems, rather than in discrete components. Home performance contractors integrate expertise in all areas affecting home energy use; insulation, windows, heating and cooling, water heating, etc.. By integrating treatment of all factors in a home’s energy use, AHE services are solution-oriented, cost-effective, and easier for consumers to use than traditional efficiency methods.

Home Energy Audit

We provide a home energy audit to diagnose all the components of of a building. We then identify the areas for greatest potential and create a work package that is tailored to the unique issues of the home. By using our services home owners reduce their monthly utility bills, reduce their carbon footprint, and make their home more comfortable throughout the year


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Once you read this you will be ready to go gogogogo

Current Issue
January/February 2010 Issue 1 • Volume14
Cover Story
  • Community Wind – the development of locally owned, utility-scale wind farms – is one of the fastest-growing segments in the U.S. wind industry. Community Wind projects are developed and owned, in part, by members of the communities in which they’re developed. A typical project ranges between 5MW and 80MW, although they can range both higher and lower. Most importantly, this approach to development leads to a genuine sense of community involvement and acceptance. [More]


Nothing wrong with reading and being smart.


Insulation – What a way to end the week

It is Jam Band Friday – ( )

Humans burn at 98.6. If we lived in a perfectly insulated and airtight world we would have to vent our homes in the winter. Some people in colder climates have those homes, but us’ens in the uninsulated leaky drafty Midwest don’t. I tell people to put as much insulation WHEREVER they can.

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These people favor fiberglass and are trying to dis’ cellulose:

FAQs About Residential and Commerical Insulation

What does insulation actually do for my home?

What areas of my home should be insulated?

How do I know how much insulation I need for my home?

What is R-value?

Where do I find R-value information when I go to buy insulation?

What are the options when choosing insulation?

How can I be sure I’m getting the best performance from the insulation in my home?

Are there rebates available for installing insulation?

If I am adding more insulation to my home do I need to remove what I already have?

What Kind of Insulation Do Builders Use on Their Own Homes?

What does insulation actually do for my home?

Fiber glass insulation keeps your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, because insulation resists the flow of heat. Heat is a form of energy and always seeks a cooler area – flowing out of the home in the winter and into the home in the summer. By reducing heat flow, a properly insulated home uses less energy for heating and cooling.

In addition to being an energy saver, fiber glass insulation also acts as a sound absorber. When installed in walls and ceilings, it can reduce the transmission of sound from one room to another or from the outside. In today’s noise-laden environments, more and more homeowners are soundproofing their homes.

A well-insulated home increases the overall comfort of the home and adds to its resale value. Whether your home is new or old, it pays to insulate.

What areas of my home should be insulated?

Insulation is not just for attics and outside walls. Insulation should also be installed in other areas of your home such as ceilings with unheated spaces, basement walls, floors above vented crawl spaces, cathedral ceilings, floors over unheated garages or porches, knee walls, and in between interior walls (especially bathrooms), ceilings or floors for extra sound control.

How do I know how much insulation I need for my home?

The amount of insulation in a home varies depending upon where you live. NAIMA has developed recommended levels of insulation for various climate zones. These recommendations are based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Energy Conservation Code which is the model building code for the United States.

Click here to visit to learn about what zone your home is in and how much you insulation you need.

What is R-value?

Insulation is identified and labeled by R-value. “R” stands for resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

Where do I find R-value information when I go to buy insulation?

Insulation is identified and labeled by R-value. “R” stands for resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. Manufacturers of insulation products print R-values of their products either on the bags or on the labels. In most cases, R-values are also printed on the facings of fiber glass batts and rolls.


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You can use just about anything as insulation.

The Proper Choice of Insulation

The proper choice of insulation depends on its final use. In most applications, good resistance to heat flow is not the only thing you will have to consider. In specific situations, insulation may also need some of the following properties:

  • resistance to high temperatures
  • resistance to moisture flow (can it reduce the movement of water vapour?)
  • resistance to air movement (can it act as an air barrier?)
  • a fire-rated protective covering

Once you have matched the material properties with the specific application, consider the following installation factors:

  • Is it relatively easy to install?
  • Is it the best buy for the space available (either high insulating value per dollar if you have lots of open space, or high insulating value per thickness if space is restricted)?
  • Is it available locally?
  • Will it be easy to install the insulation to fill the space completely?
  • Can it conform to surface irregularities?
  • Is it rigid enough to provide support for finished materials or resist pressures against its surfaces?
  • Does one insulation require more accessory products than another (fire protection, framing, air and vapour barrier)?

In short, the choice of insulation will largely depend on how it will be used. Different types of insulation are commonly used for insulating wallsbasements and attics. Fortunately, particular insulation jobs will quickly eliminate some materials, making the choice much easier.


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Batt or Blanket Insulation

Loose-Fill Insulation

Mineral Fibre

Cellulose Fibre

Glass Fibre

Mineral Wool (Slag and Rock Wool)


Rigid Board Insulation

Glass-Fibre Boards

Expanded Polystyrene

Extruded Polystyrene

Polyurethane and Polyisocyanurate Boards

Phenolic Foam Boards

Spray-Foam Insulation

Polyurethane Foam

Semi-Flexible Isocyanurate Plastic Foam

Phenolic Foam

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Just copying all the types of insulation tuckered me out.

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Taking A House Window Out Of Service – Get rid of the darn thing

It’s Jam Band Friday –

During the height of the summer and for most of the winter there are windows that you can probably do without. I hate windows. Even when you dress them up they are Energy Dogs. So here is an easy way to get rid of them. This only works for windows that move. Cut 2 pieces of plywood roughly 2 inches bigger than the window casement. Glue as much styrofoam insulation (R Board) as you can to each piece of plywood centered into the cavity of the window space. Drill 2 holes in each piece of plywood centered in the top and the bottom quadrant of each piece of plywood. Open the window so that the 2 panes are in the center of the window case. Fit the pieces of the plywood over the outside and the inside of the window. Insert long bolts through the two holes and tighten nut and washer to either the inside or the outside piece of plywood depending on which way you ran the bolts. You can even run a light bead of caulk around the two piece of plywood, the washer and the bolt head for complete air tighness. All done. Problem solved. Window gone.

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However if you are into appearances well you can invest in systems that accomplish some of the same goals.,,1210347,00.html

I always wanted to get those last 2 back together again. If you have big bucks you may want to get shutters that actually work. Not the decorative ones you usually see.

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Looking for Shutters?
Let us help.


From sleek contemporary styles to rustic charm, nothing adds value to your home like Shutters. Designed to last a lifetime, they are beautiful, versatile and control ventilation and light with unmatched precision. Our Design Consultants know how to use the beauty of your windows to inspire feelings of rest, drama or excitement.

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~Window Shutters

You can find both exterior and interior window shutters in a variety of colors and materials.

View all Plantation Shutters

Fauxwood Shutters


More on windows tomorrow. God I hate those things.

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Back To The Residential Market – The Environment is important and so is the Community

Community Energy Systems’ is about where they meet. That is in the home. So it is Jam Band Friday and we need to get back to it.

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This may be one of the best residential sites I have ever found and it is in Britain. Go figure. I mean if you scroll down and look at all the stuff it is pretty amazing.

I am going to focus on what is called Distributed Generation today that really emphasizes getting solar and wind out into the community.

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The idea is simple lease everyone’s roofs and put generation on them.

By Manu Avinash .G , S4, EEE, CET and
Krishna kumar .G , S4, EEE, CET

ABSTRACT- distributed generation, defined as generation located at or near the load centres, is being recognised as an environment friendly, reliable, and secure source of power which not only has minimal negative social impacts but also serves to promote social welfare. This paper aims to bring out the salient features of distributed generation from an economic and social perspective. The paper to identify the distributed resources available in India and proposes methods to tap them. It also studies the social consequences of wide spread deployment of distributed systems and their accommodation into the new liberalised energy market of India.

Most of the electricity produced today is generated in large generating stations, which is then transmitted at high voltage to the load centres and transmitted to consumers at reduced voltage through local distribution systems. In contrast with large generating stations, distributed generation (DG) produce power on a customer’s site or at a local distribution network. DG technologies include

  • Engines,
  • Small hydro and gas turbines
  • Fuel cells
  • Photo voltaic systems etc

Although they represent a small share of the electricity market they play a key role for applications in which reliability is crucial, as a source of emergency capacity, and as an alternative to expansion of a local network, in developed economies where uninterrupted power supply is essential. In developing countries like India, where the generation is inadequate to meet the demand, reliability and energy security are of lesser importance. Developing country can tap the potential of DG to extend their present generation capacity in an environment friendly and cost friendly manner.

The paper is divided into two parts first part examines the various DG technologies and their merits and demerits and the second part studies the social impact of large scale deployment of small, mini and micro projects in India.

Distributed generation, is defined as generation located at or near the load centres [1]. They generate electricity through various small-scale power generation technologies. Distributed energy resources (DE) refers to a variety of small, modular power-generating technologies that can be combined with energy management and storage systems and used to improve the operation of the electricity delivery system, whether or not those technologies are connected to an electricity grid. . Projects are generally developed by either the user to avoid the purchase of power from the grid or an energy service provider who then retails the power to the site.

Commercial energy technologies include:

  • IC engines
  • Gas turbines
  • Micro turbines
  • Energy storage technologies

Renewable energy technologies include:

  • Fuel cells
  • Solar photovoltaic
  • Wind & Wave Energy
  • Hydro electric energy

Some of them are discussed below:

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Don’t take their word for it. Pretty much everybody now agrees that it has its place in the world.

What are the Potential Benefits of DG Systems?

Consumer advocates who favor DG point out that distributed resources can improve the efficiency of providing electric power.  They often highlight that transmission of electricity from a power plant to a typical user wastes roughly 4.2 to 8.9 percent of the electricity as a consequence of aging transmission equipment, inconsistent enforcement of reliability guidelines, and growing congestion. At the same time, customers often suffer from poor power quality—variations in voltage or electrical flow—that results from a variety of factors, including poor switching operations in the network, voltage dips, interruptions, transients, and network disturbances from loads.  Overall, DG proponents highlight the inefficiency of the existing large-scale electrical transmission and distribution network.  Moreover, because customers’ electricity bills include the cost of this vast transmission grid, the use of on-site power equipment can conceivably provide consumers with affordable power at a higher level of quality.  In addition, residents and businesses that generate power locally have the potential to sell surplus power to the grid, which can yield significant income during times of peak demand.

Industrial managers and contractors have also begun to emphasize the advantages of generating power on site.  Cogeneration technologies permit businesses to reuse thermal energy that would normally be wasted.  They have therefore become prized in industries that use large quantities of heat, such as the iron and steel, chemical processing, refining, pulp and paper manufacturing, and food processing industries.  Similar generation hardware can also deploy recycled heat to provide hot water for use in aquaculture, greenhouse heating, desalination of seawater, increased crop growth and frost protection, and air preheating.

Beyond efficiency, DG technologies may provide benefits in the form of more reliable power for industries that require uninterrupted service.  The Electric Power Research Institute reported that power outages and quality disturbances cost American businesses $119 billion per year.  In 2001, the International Energy Agency (2002) estimated that the average cost of a one-hour power outage was $6,480,000 for brokerage operations and $2,580,000 for credit card operations.  The figures grow more impressively for the semiconductor industry, where a two hour power outage can cost close to $48,000,000.  Given these numbers, it remains no mystery why several firms have already installed DG facilities to ensure consistent power supplies


As EF Schumacher said – – Small IS Beautiful.

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Fred Singer – He has been making up science since he said cigarettes wouldn’t kill you

Of course he has been in favor of bad air for 50 years…so at least he is badly consistent….

Oh it’s Jam Band Friday and I am going to do something a little different….today i bring you the Grammy Picks by State Journal Register writers Rhys Saunders, Brian Mackey and Brian Murphy. Caution – most of these songs I have never heard –


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He lies about the atmosphere, he also lies about his credentials

18 November 09

Fred Singer, lacking nobility, still claims the Prize

Climate skeptics are, not surprisingly, hitting the European speaking circuit in the weeks leading up to the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen. But what is surprising is that notorious global warming denier S. Fred Singer was described at a skeptic conference today as a Nobel prize winner, a flat out lie.

According to a Belgian journalist who alerted DeSmog to Singer’s appearance today at a skeptic conference in the European Parliament building, Singer was described in event materials as:

“a reviewer of IPCC reports, he shares the 2007 Nobel peace prize with Al Gore and 2000 others.”

The idea that Fred Singer shares any part in the IPCC/Gore Nobel prize is laughable, of course.  Other than Mr. Gore, the Nobel committee recognized only the IPCC authors, and they all received framed Nobel certificates.  If Singer can produce a framed Nobel, I’ll produce my Olympic gold medal (Singer must eat cereal too, I sure enjoy the prizes inside, although I’ve never seen a Nobel peace prize before).


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Last week at the Copenhagen climate summit, we saw Christopher Monckton, the head of the delegation for the oil industry-friendly Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), accuse young climate change activists of being “Nazis” and the “Hitler youth.”

Another member of Monckton’s Copendenier delegation is a gentleman by the name of S. Fred Singer, who is well known to our team at the DeSmogBlog.

Readers might say why are you picking on this guy? You did not post much extra stuff about a lot of the earlier people?  The answer is that he is that he is the only one purporting to be a scientist…and he is from that bastion of lying and cheat…George Mason University. God typing that made me feel unclean.

In fact, we once received a letter from Singer’s lawyer threatening to sue us after we reported that Singer once did work for the cigarette lobby. We never heard back from Singer after we sent along all the research behind our claim.

Like Monkcton, Singer has an “expert” opinion on many subjects. Not coincidentally, many of these expert opinions greatly assist the work of various industries looking to avoid being saddled with expensive health and environmental regulations.

Our research team recently came across a 1996 Washington Times article by Singer, titled Anthology of 1995’s Environmental Myths [pdf]. In the article, Singer outlines “five topics that demonstrate distortion or misuse of science in shaping policies.”

The five are: global warming, the hole in the ozone, second-hand tobacco smoke, the “Radon scare” and toxic substances in our food.

Take a read of Singer’s article and ask yourself this: what would our planet and people be like today if we had listened to Singer’s advice 13 years ago? Then ask yourself: why would anyone in their right mind trust his supposedly “expert” opinion – or the opinions of those in his delegation – here at the Copenhagen climate talks.

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But the real deal is this:

The Hack Scientist
Fred Singer
Retired physicist, University of Virginia

A former mouthpiece for the tobacco industry, the 85-year-old Singer is the granddaddy of fake “science” designed to debunk global warming. The retired physicist — who also tried to downplay the danger of the hole in the ozone layer — is still wheeled out as an authority by big polluters determined to kill climate legislation. For years, Singer steadfastly denied that the world is heating up: Citing satellite data that has since been discredited, he even made the unhinged claim that “the climate has been cooling just slightly.” Last year, Singer served as a lead author of “Climate Change Reconsidered” — an 880-page report by the right-wing Heartland Institute that was laughably presented as a counterweight to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s scientific authority on global warming. Singer concludes that the unchecked growth of climate-cooking pollution is “unequivocally good news.” Why? Because “rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests.” Small wonder that Heartland’s climate work has long been funded by the likes of Exxon and reactionary energy barons like Charles Koch and Richard Mellon Scaife.


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Don’t worry Radon Gas won’t hurt you. What a scientist hahaha

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David Rat-cliffe – But with a name like that why is he 8th on the list

It’s Jam Band Friday –

See my list of 17 would have just included the industry heads…And I may do my own list at some point. There are no Petrochemical company heads here. There are no refinery heads listed here. There are no lumber company heads here. There are few financiers here. There are some enablers and that is good because they get overlooked. But I think they’re included them here for the shock value.


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This guy would have been at the top of my list. He runs one of the most despicable companies on the planet. Southern Company’s pollution contributions percentage wise are on par with China, India, South Africa and Brazil. But here he is 8th.

Ratcliffe joined Georgia Power as a biologist in 1971. At Georgia Power he coordinated environmental monitoring and compliance programs in and around power plants.

A native of Tifton, Georgia, Ratcliffe received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Valdosta State University in 1970. He received a law degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1975 and is a member of the Georgia Bar Association.

Ratcliffe is a member of the following boards:

  • Edison Electric Institute (Director) (Vice Chair; Chair Elect 6/2008-6/2009)
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Director 2002-2007; Chair, 2004-2006)
  • CSX Transportation (Director)
  • Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
  • Georgia Chamber of Commerce (Chair, 2005)
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • Georgia Research Alliance (Chair, 2005-2006)
  • Woodruff Arts Center (Trustee; Chair, 2004 Campaign)


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So without further adieu (sorry bad joke):

The Power Player
David Ratcliffe
CEO, Southern Company

Ratcliffe, the head of America’s second-dirtiest electric utility, has assembled an army of 63 lobbyists — almost twice as many as any other company — to defeat climate legislation. It’s a pro-carbon dream team, anchored by Jeffrey Holmstead of Rudy Giuliani’s law firm, who worked on behalf of utilities like Southern as a top clean-air official under George W. Bush. The reason for the lobbying blitz: Southern burns a lot of coal — its largest plant produces more carbon pollution than all of Brazil’s power plants combined — and new limits on emissions being considered by the Senate could cost the utility some $400 million a year. That’s why Ratcliffe continues to deny the reality of global warming: “I don’t believe there’s an impending catastrophe,” he says, insisting that the environment will simply “adapt to changing realities.”

“The value of his stock trumps everything,” says Carl Pope, head of the Sierra Club. “It’s hard to imagine a more cynical attitude. But no doubt he genuinely sees it that way — his bottom line is the measure of the world.”


Thank god it’s the weekend. I feel like I need to take a shower.

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