Solar Farm Converted To A Coal Mine -Yah, I know, that is never going to happen

Sorry I was trying to be funny. This is actually really good news that should have happened a long time ago. You know, like when Global Warming could have been prevented. Reluctantly getting it right when it is too late is like the orchestra on the top deck of the Titanic. Ahh but that’s the cynic in me. Put on a happy face and believe.

Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way

In Martin County, Ky., where coal production has flatlined, entrepreneurs are promising that a new solar farm atop a shuttered mine will bring green energy jobs.

Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. — For a mountain that’s had its top blown off, the old Martiki coal mine is looking especially winsome these days. With its vast stretches of emerald grass dotted with hay bales and ringed with blue-tinged peaks, and the wild horses and cattle that roam there, it looks less like a shuttered strip mine and more like an ad for organic milk.

The mountain is poised for another transformation. Hundreds of acres are set to be blanketed with solar panels in the coming year, installed by locals, many of them former miners. The $231 million project, which recently cleared its last regulatory hurdle, may well be the biggest utility-scale coal to solar project in the country.

It would be a desperately needed economic boost drenched in symbolism: Renewable energy generated from a shuttered mine in the heart of Appalachia, where poverty grinds on in the aftermath of the coal industry’s demise.

In many ways, the project is a test case for whether a region once completely dependent on digging fossil fuels from the ground can be revived by creating clean energy from the sun. As coal continues to decline — the number of jobs nationwide fell to about 40,000 last year from 175,000 in the mid 1980s — supporting former coal communities is seen as vital for what has been termed a “just transition,” in part to ward off backlash against attempts to decarbonize.


Go there and read. More next week.


Springfield Announces Earth Awareness Fair – I have mixed feelings

I have always thought that the City of Springfield should pony up and call the event Earth Day. Further more, I think they should have it ON Earth Day. But as I have gotten older and some would say, “more reasonable”, I have come the conclusion that the sympathies behind it are good. Having it on the weekend is also a lot more family friendly. Still the Zoo is not centrally located and I doubt seriously if Mass Transit will overcome that. Here is what I know.

City of Springfield 2022 Earth Awareness Fair
Rivas, Adena R. <>
To:Rivas, Adena R.
Thu, Feb 10 at 1:28 PM

Good Afternoon,

I am sorry for the delay in getting this information to you. I had an unexpected delivery- two baby girls on New Year’s Eve. While I will be out until early March, I wanted to let you know that we will be having a physical Earth Awareness Fair this year. Due to Covid-19 and reasons concerning social distancing and crowd control, the Park District has agreed to host the Fair again this year. We have also partnered with SMTD to provide shuttle service for event attendees throughout the day. Both of which is very exciting! The Fair will be held on Saturday, April 23 from 11 am – 4 pm.

While we would prefer all participants to take part face-to-face, we will have the online portion available again this year for those interested.

The online platform will only be used for PDF’s, web links, videos, etc. We will have all information consolidated on the City’s Earth Awareness Fair webpage or

All online information must be submitted no later than Friday, April 8.

On the attached registration form, which is due no later than Friday, April 1– earlier submissions are always acceptable, please make sure to check the box specific to how your organization and/or business would like to participate.

Any questions please let me know.

Thank you in advance for your support this year.

Adena Rivas

Programs Coordinator

217.789.2255, ext. 5244


City of Springfield,IL Public Works

Municipal Center West

300 S. 7th St., Springfield, IL  62701

Recycling is a good thing. Please recycle any printed emails.



City of Springfield partners with the Springfield Park District to host this year’s Earth Awareness Fair at the Henson Robinson Zoo located at 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr.

Event will be held on Saturday, April 17 from 11 am – 4 pm.

Pre-registration and tickets are required for entry. Entry will be limited to 50 attendees every hour. Contact the Henson Robinson Zoo for event tickets by going to their website or by calling 217.585.1821

  • For those uncomfortable or unable to come to the Fair, we have an online platform that offers a wide variety of information in downloadable and online viewing format.
  • Please click on corresponding links below.

Earth Awareness Fair Facebook Page

Check out past year events and pictures as well as stay current on all the latest event news by going to our Facebook page at

COVID-19 Guidelines

Public health guidelines related to COVID-19 will be strictly enforced.


Go There or be square. More next week.


When Utility companies Scream Bloody Murder – You know something is going right

Passed ON. That is what all this ruckus is about. What does the non technical phrase – pass on mean? Large corporations always say things like, “if you tax us we’ll just pass the costs on customers”. Well that assumes the government is going to let you do that. If the government says, “Nope – can’t do that”. Well, like 2 yros, they can cry and pout, but they can also get sent to their collective rooms. Leave it to PG&E and FLP to try to weasel out of the future.

Then who are these environmental groups in the headline, oh media writer? Its one group in California. Towards the bottom of the piece, and I mean the BOTtom – he says MOST environmental groups are “closer to solar’s position”. Great reading if you are stuck inside by a foot of snow and road conditions that are dangerous. Thank you very much.

Florida and California consider changes that could ‘decimate the rooftop solar market,’ experts say

·Senior Climate Editor

California and Florida are considering revoking a policy that has encouraged homeowners to install rooftop solar panels — causing fear among solar panel owners and installers, and creating divisions in the environmental community.

Utility companies in the two states, some sympathetic politicians and even some environmental advocacy groups are taking aim at subsidies to purchase and install solar panels because they say those costs are ultimately passed on to other ratepayers.

The crux of the issue is a practice called “net metering,” in which the electricity solar panel owners send back to the grid is removed from their monthly bill. The credits are applied at the same retail rate at which electricity is sold to consumers. That’s a higher rate than the wholesale price at which utilities buy electricity from large-scale producers. For example, if the retail rate is 30 cents per kilowatt hour, the amount a utility would pay a bulk producer — like a commercial wind farm — might be 15 cents per kilowatt hour. The difference covers the costs of building and maintaining the electric grid and the utility’s other overhead costs. (Utilities’ profit margins more typically come from their capital investments.)


Go there and read as much as you can stomach. More next week.


These People Protect Nuclear Waste For 20,000 Years – Hahahahaha

Excuse me.

NRC fines owner of former nuke plant for 2nd security lapse

·2 min read

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — For the second time in as many months, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has fined the owners of a former New Jersey nuclear power plant for security-related violations.

The agency said Wednesday it fined Jupiter, Florida-based Holtec Decommissioning International $50,000 for security violations at the former Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in the Forked River section of Lacey Township.

The plant was one of the oldest in the U.S. when it shut down in 2018.

The fine involved a company employee working as an armorer at the plant.

In an investigation that concluded in March 2021, the NRC determined the armorer “deliberately failed to properly perform required annual material-condition inspections of response unit rifles, and falsified related records.”

The plant has several fortified bunkers from which armed security staff can fight off attackers. The NRC said the violation was the work of “a now-former security superintendent.”



Go there and read. More next week


Trouble With Wind Turbines – Everything that is not true of turbines

Let me say from the get go, that i support Wind Turbines one hundred percent. I have friends that hate them. Mainly because they consider them BIG eye sores. They bother me because they kill a lot of birds, thought the manufacturers are trying to do something about that.

The thing that really bothers me, and you see can it in the article, is that the Republicants make it a cause celeb with false claims about the Turbines, mostly human health related – likes Trump’s – they cause cancer comment. They get everybody riled up and angry because they think it will get people to vote for their candidates in elections and in the end it just screws things up for everyone involved. On top of that the wind farms get built (usually) and nobody is happy.

“Corrosive Communities”: How A Facebook Fight Over Wind Power Predicts the Future of Local Politics in America

In small towns around the country, wind turbines are doing something to the locals.

Posted on December 17, 2021, at 11:35 a.m. ET

Bad vibrations abound. Many of them are obvious: We can sense them, measure the damage they do, try to counteract or avoid them. Others exist in a range outside the limit of normal human perception. Most of us go about our lives oblivious to these. But sometimes a person gains a new kind of awareness, one that gives form and name to the hidden forces in the air, in this country, at this moment. Such a person may become obsessed, tormented, desperate. Such a person may feel obligated to act.

Erik and Chantelle Benko live in rural Sidney Township, Michigan, about 45 minutes northeast of Grand Rapids. They moved there in 2016, to a ramshackle ranch on 40 rolling acres, where they planned to breed American quarter horses and set up an equine-assisted psychotherapy practice. Getting the place in shape took several hundred thousand dollars, they said. But it was worth it to raise their two boys in a place where people knew each other and treated each other with respect, where kids got the first day of hunting season off from school, where you couldn’t pump gas without making friends with the clerk. The first night in his new home, the sky was so clear, Erik Benko said, “you felt like you could reach out and grab a handful of stars.”

One day in October 2020, a post on the Facebook page for the Sidney Township Neighborhood Watch seized the Benkos’ attention. Jeffrey Lodholtz, a member of the township planning commission, had published a screenshot of a text message from Jed Welder, a local farmer and township trustee. Like hundreds of rural and agricultural communities across the country, Sidney Township, open, gusty, and short on cash, was receiving interest from a wind energy company. Wind farms can bring municipal tax benefits, construction jobs, and payments for fallow or devalued cropland. The planning commission was considering a new law to set standards to encourage developmen


Go there and read. It is a very long article. More next week.


Screw Batteries – Alternative energy doesn’t need them

That’s right. Batteries are great for houses and cars, but that’s about it. For every other purpose there are better alternatives and for large scale reproduction of power. This is the newest and the best.

Gravity Could Solve Clean Energy’s One Major Drawback

Finding green energy when the winds are calm and the skies are cloudy has been a challenge. Storing it in giant concrete blocks could be the answer.

In a Swiss valley, an unusual multi-armed crane lifts two 35-ton concrete blocks high into the air. The blocks delicately inch their way up the blue steel frame of the crane, where they hang suspended from either side of a 66-meter-wide horizontal arm. There are three arms in total, each one housing the cables, winches, and grabbing hooks needed to hoist another pair of blocks into the sky, giving the apparatus the appearance of a giant metallic insect lifting and stacking bricks with steel webs. Although the tower is 75 meters tall, it is easily dwarfed by the forested flanks of southern Switzerland’s Lepontine Alps, which rise from the valley floor in all directions.

Thirty meters. Thirty-five. Forty. The concrete blocks are slowly hoisted upwards by motors powered with electricity from the Swiss power grid. For a few seconds they hang in the warm September air, then the steel cables holding the blocks start to unspool and they begin their slow descent to join the few dozen similar blocks stacked at the foot of the tower. This is the moment that this elaborate dance of steel and concrete has been designed for. As each block descends, the motors that lift the blocks start spinning in reverse, generating electricity that courses through the thick cables running down the side of the crane and onto the power grid. In the 30 seconds during which the blocks are descending, each one generates about one megawatt of electricity: enough to power roughly 1,000 homes.

This tower is a prototype from Switzerland-based Energy Vault, one of a number of startups finding new ways to use gravity to generate electricity. A fully-sized version of the tower might contain 7,000 bricks and provide enough electricity to power several thousand homes for eight hours. Storing energy in this way could help solve the biggest problem facing the transition to renewable electricity: finding a zero-carbon way to keep the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. “The greatest hurdle we have is getting low-cost storage,” says Robert Piconi, CEO and cofounder of Energy Vault.


Go there and read. More next week.


Home Solar Power Is Cheap And Effective – Go for it now

First off. This piece claims to be all you need to know about Home Solar Electric. It is not. But when you do all the things they TELL you to and THEN put them together. Then you are nearly there. BUT they do not include all the research you have to do on equipment manufacturers, convertors and batteries. Sigh. But they get A’s for optimism.

What You Need to Know About Converting Your Home to Solar

Let us be your guiding light.

Popular Science

  • Whitson Gordon


If you live in an area with abundant sunlight—hello, fellow southern Californians—you’ve probably thought about installing solar panels on your roof to save on your electric bill. But with so much information, it can be hard to know where to start.

Look no further—start here

Between the different types of panels, financing, inverters, and other jargon, researching solar energy can feel overwhelming at first. That’s why I recommend starting at a solar quote comparison site like EnergySage, Solar-Estimate, or SolarReviews (the latter two are run by the same people).

Both EnergySage and Solar-Estimate act as educational resources and comparison shopping tools to help you field bids. I’ve been using EnergySage, which is chock-full of articles explaining the technology involved. You can also watch videos, look at their buyer’s guide, or start getting quotes. Their Solar 101 series of articles will help you understand the basics, and when you’re done, scroll through the site’s “Learn About Solar” sidebar to read even more articles that’ll give you a feel for the process.

To understand what your home requires, though, you’ll need to look up how much electricity you use. If your bill tells you the average amount of electricity you use each month, make a note of that, or calculate a quick and dirty average yourself. The more information you have on your usage, the more accurate an estimate you can get from installers.


Go there and read so much. More next week.


Carbon Sequestration – Suck it up buttercup

I used to think that “air filters” or carbon capture methods from “fresh” air directly were a bunch of baloney or poppycock. Pick your adjective as you may. But lately I have been changing my mind.This is partly because of the scale ( 10 thousand) and partly because of their energy source. In this case geothermal is, for human purposes, endless. If those sources were located around the world and enough of these were built at those sites they could save the day. Then all we would have to figure out is how to get it back out of the oceans and large lakes. Still it’s a start.

The Quest to Trap Carbon in Stone—and Beat Climate Change

On a barren lava plateau in Iceland, a new facility is sucking in air and stashing the carbon dioxide in rock. The next step: Build 10,000 more.

IT was undoubtedly the most august gathering ever convened on the uninhabited lava plains of Hellisheidi, Iceland. Some 200 guests were seated in the modernist three-story visitors’ center of a geothermal power plant—the country’s prime minister and an ex-president, journalists from New York and Paris, financiers from London and Geneva, and researchers and policy wonks from around the world. Floor-to-ceiling windows looked out on miles of moss-carpeted rock, luminously green in the September morning sunlight. Transmission towers marched away to the horizon, carrying energy from the power plant to the capital, Reykjavik, half an hour’s drive away.

The occasion: the formal unveiling of the world’s biggest machine for sucking carbon out of the air. The geothermally powered contraption represented a rare hopeful development in our climatically imperiled world—a way to not just limit carbon emissions but shift them into reverse. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir declared it “an important step in the race to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.” Former president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson predicted that “future historians will write of the success of this project.” Julio Friedmann, a prominent carbon expert at Columbia University, hailed it as “the birth of a new species” of planet-saving technology.

Jan Wurzbacher and Christoph Gebald, cofounders of Climeworks, the company behind the carbon capture plant, strode up to the front of the room together. The fresh-faced Germans, both 38, were dressed in nearly identical white shirts and blue suits. They spoke in well-rehearsed, Teutonically accented English. “This year could turn into a turning point in how climate change is perceived,” said Wurzbacher (slightly taller, stubbly brown beard). “Thirty years down the road, this can be one of the largest industries on the planet,” enthused Gebald (slightly broader, curly brown hair).


Go there and read. Alot. More next week.


Handling Hanfords Radioactive Waste – It has been a fiasco from the begining

What genius decided to put Hanford Nuclear Site so close to the Columbia River that it is about to ruin it for good? Actually whose idea was it to put in a river valley in the first place? They really could have done a much better job. I mean look at the other World War II sites like Tennessee and New Mexico. It is almost collectively like they said, ” Heh’ lets do something like Rocky Mountain Flats in Denver.  But we well do it better”. And now after 80 years and one 12 story failed attempt, they are “excited to get going” with the attempted clean up. Sometimes I do not want to admit I am part of the Human race. sigh.

‘Doggone exciting.’ Historic treatment to begin on decades-old Hanford nuclear waste

·6 min read

Hanford is close to starting the first large-scale pretreatment of the millions of gallons of radioactive waste stored for decades at the site.

In about two months it could start operating around the clock, preparing waste to be fed to the $17 billion vitrification plant to turn it into a stable glass form for disposal.

Hanford officials say that will be a historic moment.

“Being on the verge of the first use of large scale tank waste treatment on the Hanford site is pretty doggone exciting,” said John Eschenberg, president of Hanford’s tank waste contractor, Washington River Protection Solution.

The Department of Energy announced on Tuesday that construction and the readiness assessment of the Tank-Side Cesium Removal. or TSCR, system at Hanford had been completed.

“What a lot of people don’t recognize is the start of tank waste treatment actually starts when TSCR operations begin, so we will be actually treating waste on the industrial scale in just a few months for the first time in the history of the site,” said Brian Vance, the DOE Hanford manager.

The system, placed next to a Hanford underground waste storage tank, was developed in three years as a workaround to the Pretreatment Facility, which stands 12 stories high and covers an area larger than a football field at the vitrification plant.

The Pretreatment Facility was planned to separate waste into low-activity and high-level radioactive waste streams for treatment, but after possible technical issues related to high level waste were identified in 2012, construction on the building stopped.

DOE changed course, deciding to start treating just low activity radioactive waste first and delay treatment of high level radioactive waste for more than a decade.

It estimates that about 90% of the waste in underground tanks could be treated and disposed of in a lined landfill at Hanford as low activity waste.


I dare you. Go there and read. More next week.


Upheavals Caused By Clean Energy – All the tree huggers make it look like pixie dust

By “pixie dust” I mean that a lot of environmentalists make it sound like there will be no chaos from fossil fuel use to renewal energy systems and that is not true. Dislodging fossil fuel will result in job loses, factories closing and possibly the lack of transportation (for example) for chunks of the population. Especially those not preparing for it now. Lives will be lost. This is the fault of capitalism but it is what we have. Also the reverse is true, as demand for clean energy grows, whole resources will be created from scratch (rare earths for instance). The earth will be scarred, employment will be created with much wrenching and tearing. Lives will be lost. Capitalism will prevail. Just think of what happened when oil and gas took over and from the Luddites. This is a Really Long article about all of that and it only scratches the surface.

It is not hard to understand why people dream of a future defined by clean energy. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow and as extreme weather events become more frequent and harmful, the current efforts to move beyond fossil fuels appear woefully inadequate. Adding to the frustration, the geopolitics of oil and gas are alive and well—and as fraught as ever. Europe is in the throes of a full-fledged energy crisis, with staggering electricity prices forcing businesses across the continent to shutter and energy firms to declare bankruptcy, positioning Russian President Vladimir Putin to take advantage of his neighbors’ struggles by leveraging his country’s natural gas reserves. In September, blackouts reportedly led Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng to instruct his country’s state-owned energy companies to secure supplies for winter at any cost. And as oil prices surge above $80 per barrel, the United States and other energy-hungry countries are pleading with major producers, including Saudi Arabia, to ramp up their output, giving Riyadh more clout in a newly tense relationship and suggesting the limits of Washington’s energy “independence.”

Proponents of clean energy hope (and sometimes promise) that in addition to mitigating climate change, the energy transition will help make tensions over energy resources a thing of the past. It is true that clean energy will transform geopolitics—just not necessarily in the ways many of its champions expect. The transition will reconfigure many elements of international politics that have shaped the global system since at least World War II, significantly affecting the sources of national power, the process of globalization, relations among the great powers, and the ongoing economic convergence of developed countries and developing ones. The process will be messy at best. And far from fostering comity and cooperation, it will likely produce new forms of competition and confrontation long before a new, more copacetic geopolitics takes shape.

Talk of a smooth transition to clean energy is fanciful: there is no way that the world can avoid major upheavals as it remakes the entire energy system, which is the lifeblood of the global economy and underpins the geopolitical order. Moreover, the conventional wisdom about who will gain and who will lose is frequently off base.


Go there and reeeeaaad. More next week.