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global warming

ice cream

Amazing Refrigerant Facts

By Energy Rant No Comments
Does anyone make ice cream at home these days? That was one of our favorite treats as kids – back when we had three network channels and no recording devices. I’m not going to look into modern ice cream makers for home, but I’ll bet they have cheaters that don’t require ice and salt. Why is salt used with ice to freeze ice cream? Read on to find out. Anyway, I found an early-patented “refrigeration system” (1793) that used ice and salt with charcoal and blankets for insulation. The simple mechanical refrigeration cycle was invented in the early 1900s. Mechanical...
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Turbulence, Tribes, and Climate Change

By Energy Rant No Comments
The topic of climate change is fascinating to me because I love to learn why people believe what they believe. I wrote last week that climate change policy is firmly and forever intertwined in political warfare. Does anyone stand alone on an island isolated from their tribe on anything?  Maybe five out of one hundred on an issue or two, but for the most part, no. This is where I come in – I love stirring the pot. A few months back, a friend forwarded a link to Global Warming for the Two Cultures, by Richard LIndzen, Professor of Meteorology,...
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Dig Some Wind – Blown Away by Inversions

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
As children, some engineers liked to take things apart to see how they worked – and maybe even put them back together. That was too much work for me, but I was curious. I would intently watch my Mom as she accelerated the 1970s Ford Galaxy 500[1] down the road. What was she doing to make it shift gears? I had to know! Of course, it was an automatic transmission. Today, I see some scientific claims, and I can’t help myself but to dig in and find the big lie, er, the big why. This week’s adventure started two months...
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Powering Lives at Lowest, Convenient Cost

By Energy Rant No Comments
I spent last week at the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) National Conference in New Orleans. Our industry is in transition once again. Substantial changes are on the horizon. Let’s recap some highlights and lowlights in the utility and demand side management industries the past few decades. As nuclear power was going to be too cheap to meter in the 1970s, the oil embargo, Jimmy Carter sweater speech, and the Three Mile Island nuclear accident resulted in a radically different direction for our energy future. On the heels of the above, and the global cooling threat (check out the...
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Connecting on Climate Change

By Energy Rant No Comments
The day before Thanksgiving, news and talk shows were chattering about topics to avoid at the Thanksgiving table. Topics included Trump, Hillary, Russia, Russia, Russia, a lot of U.S. House Representatives and Senators, Hollywood, NFL players, and in-laws, to name a few. I think you could easily add climate change to the list. It would probably be easier, and more socially acceptable, to discuss Charlie Rose’s peccadillos than climate change. There is a middle ground for climate change. It is occupied by 0.8% of the population. To come to solutions for issues like this, each side has to actually believe...
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Electricity Supply – Listen and Watch the Herd or Prepare for an Ugly Ending

Electricity Supply – Listen and Watch the Herd or Prepare for an Ugly Ending

By Energy Rant One Comment
Ross Shafer delivered the keynote speech at AESP’s 2016 National Conference in Phoenix a few weeks ago. Mr. Shafer is a former late night talk-show host/comedian, game show host, author, and speaker. His message for AESP was excellent. He was engaging and funny, but most importantly, he presented sound, valuable advice for business; specifically customer satisfaction and experience. I cannot recall a single thing of substance he said that I disagree with. In fact, I passed along much of his advice to our team at Michaels via The Daily, our employee-only blog. One area of advice from Mr. Shafer was:...
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Progress?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
I was becoming concerned this week at rant time, Sunday morning, 9:00 AM.  We had our company picnic the day before on an overcast and nearly perfect day in cheese land.  Sunday was similar.  There were orioles, grosbeaks, yellow finches, house finches, ruby throated hummingbirds, downy woodpeckers, red breasted woodpeckers, cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees and other customers freeloading on our smorgasbord of bird offerings.  But then while reviewing my sources, one of which is the Google energy efficiency updates, emailed promptly at 4:51 PM CDT everyday, I came across this cheery piece.  There’s the topic of the week. It started out...
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The Smoking Gleick

By Energy Rant, Government, Sustainability One Comment
Last week I described a hypothetical, unethical scam to achieve a desired outcome, which leads up to this week’s rant, which I didn’t have space for last week. I first came across this in The Wall Street Journal editorial page.  The Heartland institute, which I had never heard of, or at best I forgot about, is a global-warming-crisis skeptic.  From the horse’s mouth, they believe global warming is real, that man contributes, but they are skeptics of the alarmism and the magnitude of man’s impacts. They are a privately funded non-profit and yes, they get money from big oil just...
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Bombast from the Heresiarch

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy, Sustainability No Comments
I’ve moaned about global warming, aka, anthropogenic climate change, aka man-made global warming off and on over the past couple years so this week let’s get down to business. I’m all in favor of cost effective, as in benefits/cost ratio, reasonable environmental policy, resource preservation, and the minimization of irreversible damage.  I wouldn’t be passionate about what I do or spend Saturday mornings doing this rant every week if I weren’t.  I am also a professional engineer, which carries ethics of protecting the public health and well being.  Well being would include financial soundness, which is where the cost effectiveness...
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Green is Dead

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Investments, Stimulus, Sustainability, Tax Stuff No Comments
This week in Coon Valley, where I’ve lived for 15 years, we were hit with frost that ended the growing season for unprotected plants.  I have said for years that the first killing frost is always around the first of October, depending on the timing of cold fronts, but this year was earlier than normal – earlier than its been for many years I think (I’m getting old so I’m becoming a walking almanac like your grandfather is/was). To the point, I thought, the killing frost may be symbolic of the death of “green,” I don’t think the death of...
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