Friday, August 29, 2008

...And Then McCain Got It Wrong

Once again this is not political, I simply want to say that choosing the governor of a state in which they pay citizens to ignore the plunder of the land for vice president is not exactly 'cool'. (no pun intended) Never mind this candidate is a woman, never mind she is a mother, (once again, no pun...) never mind she has a story, (?) they are drilling everything that moves in Alaska. We don't need to continue on this course. We have to pursue alternative energy sources, not oil. I'm sorry about ranting here, I simply cannot believe that I am the only one who 'gets' this. The oil lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington, I don't think we need someone who has catered to that industry a heartbeat away from being the leader of the free world, if, that is , McCain succeeds. Please say it isn't so. We are heading in the wrong direction for sure if we send a signal such as this. Let us all in a loud voice declare that we will not pursue this kind of agenda. Alternative energy sources that include only renewable sources is the way to go. I am an engineer and I have been asked to come to Alaska to continue this bankrupt energy policy of 'drill for oil' recently. I will refuse, although I certainly could use the money. I hope that we as a people will understand that this is the way that we Americans could restore our country to the greatness that we once knew.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Al Gore Has It Right!

This is not a political diatribe, it simply is something that is happening in this season of politics. Al Gore spoke at the Democratic National Convention and he made several references to the enviroment and clean renewable energy. He made reference to the fact that the current regime (and I must call it a 'regime') has not made even a small effort to move forward in time and start looking for alternatives to fossil fuel. This is not something we should pursue, it is something we must pursue for our sakes and our children's sake. Our sitting president is an oil man, from an oil family. He is putting his own fortunes ahead of our futures. We , the taxpayers of the United States are subsidizing the fossil fuel industry at a rate of over two hundred billion dollars per year. The fossil fuel subsidies could pay for a new beginning with regard to the use of renewable energy. Fossil fuel subsidies have no place in our current society. We must use those funds to provide renewable sources of energy, clean and safe energy. I'm speaking about solar, wind and water power. We are subsidizing global warming, pollution and violent weather changes. As long ago as 1991 we had enough harnessable wind energy in three states to satisfy national electricity needs. (the three states are North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas) Imagine with the advances in technology what that means today in the year 2008. This is no longer a 'dream', it is a reality. We have to give alternative energy the opportunity to work. If we don' t we are doomed to failure, fossil fuels are not renewable, they are not clean, and they are not cheap. We can do this together, for more information click on the title of this post to go to my website. Let's save the Earth for our children, let's save it for our grandchildren, and let's save it for our own peace of mind.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Solar Power vs Solar Energy

The terms 'Solar Power' and 'Solar Energy' are used interchangably, however the terms have different definitions. Solar Energy is utilizing the radiant energy from the Sun. Solar Power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either by photovoltaics and concentrating solar thermal devices, or the utilization of thermoelectric converters, solar chimneys or solar ponds. (some of the latter are experimental) When we consider building design, solar energy (and shading) are considerations. In order to conserve heat that the Sun delivers, thermal mass is used. Optimization of the light in buildings is called a 'Daylighting' technique. Solar water heaters are used in many applications including swimming pools and domestic hot water. Farmers use greenhouses to lengthen the growing seasons, as well as pumps that derive power from solar cells (photovoltaics) in order to move water for grazing animals. In order to harvest salt, as well as clean waste streams, evaporation ponds are used. In order to increase the supply of potable (drinking, cooking etc.) water, solar distillation and disinfection methods provide water for a great many people around the world. There are many simple uses for this renewable energy and the prospect for a great deal more. Keep reading, there will be more to follow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Alternative Energy-Conversation With A Friend

My friend's name is Gary, after reading my post from 08/22/2008, Gary told me of an idea he'd been looking at for some time now. He has an idea for using perpetual motion devices using renewable energy in order to generate power. Gary is not an engineer or scientist by profession. He is an old world craftsman of sorts. He has a small business in the construction trades wherein he installs ceramic and all other forms of tile. He is capable of doing beautiful work in this genre, for all types of projects. (I saw him do a wonderful marble display for a client's final resting place) Therefore I was surprised that he had given using forms of alternative and renewable power sources any thought. He described a simple way to harness energy from a source readily available, as well as clean and reliable. I am happy to know that among my casual friends there are those that are as concerned as we are about this problem. We have made a pact to see that Gary gets to research his ideas and try to bring them to fruition. I would like to hear from anyone who is of a like mind. Renewable energy is not a pipe dream, we can do this if we work together!

Friday, August 22, 2008

We Have to Switch Now!

Today I spoke with a man who heard me make an off the cuff remark about renewable energy in a 'gas and go' store. He was concerned, he's a boat captain and he's noticed things that are not good. He's noticed certain breeds of fish are no more, flotsam and jetsam are strange and alien. We have seriously damaged our eco-system, but it's not too late. We can save it, we have to try at least. Renewable energy is solar, water, and wind. We have the technology to make use of all of these options. We don't have the desire, money is clouding the issue.
We have all fed at that stand, and some of us still are there, oil refineries, coal fired power plants etc. I am as guilty as anyone, I was an engineer for a quarter of a century, the last ten years I changed my focus. I can still make a great deal of money perpetuating this crime against nature, however I have children and grandchildren. What kind of legacy are we leaving our offspring? I am advocating the immediate cessation of power generation utilizing fossil fuel, we have to switch to renewable sources of energy for our power needs. You won't have to give up anything, you can still have all of the gadgets you want. But we have to begin immediately. If we don't, this crisis will become a disaster. Stay tuned, I'll explain completely in future writings.
If you have any thoughts, write I'll listen.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It seems there is something for parents to gnash their teeth and wail about every day. Now there is a study suggesting that our children are preoccupied with video games this year. (duh) The cost of all of this gaming is far more harmful than pornography or drugs. I didn't know that we considered this practice exposed our children to morally bankrupt material, more so than drugs or pornography. I don't know, maybe this study was done tongue-in-cheek. My seventeen year old son plays various titles from Madden, to Grand Theft Auto. He's an honor student and he plays violin with amazing fervor and talent. The games have not corrupted him, I have always kept an eye on what he plays and we talk about what he is playing and what it means to him. Someone talk to me about this one.