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solar energy

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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Saving Energy, or Not: Mixing Breezes, Ice Blocks, and Toilet Paper

By Energy Rant One Comment
Four years ago, I wrote about a few home energy-saving tips in Refrigerator Sitcoms and Lethal Toaster Ovens. I said I would need to write a series because there are so many, mostly bad, energy saving tips to write about. With four years passing, it is more like a movie sequel than a TV series. Knowing the “why” behind anything helps it stick, like training. Here goes. The Ceiling Fan Famous advice for ceiling fans is to have them move air down (counterclockwise) in summer, and up in winter. A ceiling fan can do two things only. It can generate...
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Tesla Powerwall and the Disruption of Rational Thought

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 3 Comments
Howitzer Explosion Guy.  That was the nickname Wayne Campbell of Wayne’s World gave to Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s correspondent for the Gulf War in 1991.  “Sheeyeeaaah.  I’m so sure.”  “He just made it up for the war.”  Too bad Wayne isn’t still doing his show from his parents’ basement on community access channel 10 in Aurora, Illinois.  I would like his assessment of Elon Musk.  Pierre GQ Manly – like Larry Ellison[1], minus the useful products. One thing is for sure, solar panels of the photovoltaic type are certainly sexier than, oh, a fractionally expensive building surgery that provides equal quantity...
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Oh Behave

By Energy Efficiency 8 Comments
I swear we were introduced to the food pyramid when I was in grade school but a little web searching gives me just a couple – the one from 1992 and the new and improved one in 2005. The 1992 edition is shown in Figure 1.  If you can’t read it, good. The 2005 vertical colorful edition with the stickman and skewers for hands and feet is shown in Figure 2. For 2011 (Figure 3), the USDA has switched to this brilliant “plate” that looks like a pie chart developed by a group of kindergarteners employed by Microsoft, except I...
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Galactically Stupid

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability 2 Comments
Some weeks I struggle a little to decide on a topic.  It isn’t for lack of topics for they are like natural gas reserves – at one time I wondered whether I’d be able to find a topic every week.  But like natural gas reserves, as I “worry” about running out of topics, the topic list is vastly outstripping demand.  This week it was easy. I watched the state of the union address last week, or I should say I started watching the state of the union.  It doesn’t matter who is president, from Reagan through Obama, I can only...
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