Kakfa, Absurdity, and an Irrational Energy Policy

One of Life’s Absurdities – An Energy Policy from HellI happen to share my birthday (July 3rd) with Franz Kafka. According to the Writer’s Almanac:

He found love and happiness in the last year of his life, with a woman named Dora Diamant. Even though Kafka was suffering excruciating pain from tuberculosis, Diamant later said, “Everything was done with laughter,” and “Kafka was always cheerful. He liked to play; he was a born playmate, always ready for some fun.”

Seriously? Read more ›

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Posted in Renewables - Politics

Celebrating the Solar Impulse

Celebrating the Solar ImpulseYesterday’s ground-breaking landing in Hawaii (pictured left) of the solar PV-powered aircraft “Solar Impulse” after its trip across the Pacific is a time for celebration.  The triumph goes far beyond the astonishing accomplishments of materials science and solar photovoltaics themselves; it’s an announcement of the beauty that is to come, the promise of what will happen when the world derives its energy from its nearest star, which showers upon us 6000 times more power than all seven billion of us consume. Read more ›

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Posted in Photovoltaics

From Digital Trends: NewWind’s Arbre à Vent Is a Wind Turbine Designed for Cities

From Digital Trends: NewWind’s Arbre à Vent Is a Wind Turbine Designed for CitiesA friend writes: Happy 4th of July!   I was at a coffee shop yesterday, and they had all these European magazines. I came across an article: THIS ‘TREE’ GENERATES ENOUGH ELECTRICITY TO HEAT YOUR APARTMENT.  I thought you’d enjoy it.

Thanks for thinking of me.  Yes, I’ve seen this.  Obviously, it’s designed as a novelty, rather than as a serious attempt to build a cost-effective way of generating electricity, but it’s a pretty cool idea nonetheless.  Historically, I haven’t gotten too excited about stuff like this, but maybe I should be a little more jaunty to my approach to the subject.

 

 

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Posted in Wind Energy

A New Energy Paradigm, and a New Perspective Towards the Old One

A New Energy Paradigm, and a New Perspective Towards the Old OneIn response to my post Energy Policy: Taking a Stand Against Fossil Fuels, frequent 2GreenEnergy commenter Cameron Atwood writes:

Change is always obstructed, no matter how needed or wise, but the forces are growing, aligning and massing – technology, money power, profit motive, people power, self-preservation, sustainability and morality – all with compatible ends in view… with the common core focus on moving from fossil sunlight to modern sunlight.  This represents hope for the continuity and evolution of civilization, as opposed to the deadly and crises-laden devolution into deprivation, chaos and conflict that will attend further delay. Read more ›

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Posted in Fossil Fuels

From Guest Blogger Julie Palmer: EU Looking to Get Tough on Companies Over Energy Audits

EU Looking to Get Tough on Companies Over Energy AuditsIt is no secret that companies contribute on a massive scale to overall carbon emissions through their operations whether local, national or global. But the question for a long time has been what to do about it and how to encourage enterprises towards practices that help reduce the scale of their carbon footprints.

Well, within the European Union (EU) at least, one important policy in this context relates to energy audits, through which companies can gain a better and more accurate sense of how they use or misuse non-renewable energy resources. The hope and expectation is that by investing in these so-called ‘green’ audits, businesses will become more willing and able to reduce their energy use and save money in the long term. Read more ›

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Posted in Efficiency

More on Setback to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

More on Setback to the U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyIn my recent post called “Setback to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency” I noted:

Environmentalists everywhere were saddened that the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Environmental Protection Agency with its recent ruling invalidating the EPA’s regulation of mercury and other toxic chemicals that are emitted from power plants.  But at the same time, as much as I hate to say it, the ruling is a validation of common sense…..The EPA’s position was that it could do its thing without regard to the costs incurred by the power plants.  Really?  How smart was that?  Read more ›

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Posted in Fossil Fuels

Profile of a World-Changer: George Sand

Profile of a World-Changer: George SandMost of us suffer under the delusion that we, as individuals, are powerless to make much difference on a planet that’s home to more than seven billion people—not to mention some enormous corporate interests that are intent on preserving our current murderous practices vis-à-vis our environment.   That’s why it’s a good idea to celebrate the lives of people who, fortunately for us all, simply didn’t fall into that psychological trap.

It’s the birthday of French author George Sand (pictured with Frederic Chopin), thus a good opportunity to consider how single individuals can change the course of history.  According to the Writer’s Almanac: Read more ›

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Posted in Sustainability

The Future Always Looks Like the Past, Until….

 electric vehicles charged with renewable energyNot being a “car guy,” I’m unimpressed with concept cars that show the future of automotive design—especially as they suggest perpetuating of the basic paradigm that has been with us for 100 years: big, sleek, expensive compartments that run on gasoline and shuttle us and our belongings around.

Automakers are in the process of realizing, much to their horror, that the world is making sweeping changes to the overall line of thinking in transportation (which is why Uber is currently valued at $50 billion). Read more ›

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Posted in Electric Vehicles

Admittedly Off-Topic: The Word of the Day

Admittedly Off-Topic: The Word of the DayI enjoy the discussions that I routinely have with my mother on “the word of the day” on dictionary.com.  Here’s what I wrote to her re: today’s word: “contradistinction,” meaning “distinction by opposition or contrast”:

The reason I don’t use “contradistinction” is that I regard it as redundant.  “Distinction” already implies the concept of “contrasted against.” 

I have a friend who uses the word “prewarn,” apparently unaware that “warn” means to give advanced notice of danger; one doesn’t warn someone of something that has already happened. Of course, there are people who admonish “be careful!” when someone has bumped his head, but that’s really idiotic. 

 

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Posted in Sustainability

From Guest Blogger Charlie Hill: What You Can Do With a Rotary Dryer?

What You Can Do With a Rotary Dryer?Fossil fuel resource is limited in this world. Coal, oil, gas will someday go to the end of its destiny. Government and institutes are advocate substitute fuel. Biomass energy is emerging and growing rapidly in recent years, not only because they are sustainable, but also less pollution.

Many agricultural and forest residues could be used for biomass briquettes production, rather than simply burning. Many materials, like sawdust, wood chips, barks, stalk, bagasse, vinasse, husk and hull, are dried and briquetted/pelleted. Read more ›

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Posted in Biofuels
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