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sustainability Archives - Michaels Energy

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Performance Programs, Ouija Boards, and Mark Twain

By Energy Rant No Comments
I could not compete with my former self and Gene Simons from last week, but I went back to the Gallup psychoanalysis barrel for more inspiration. I don’t want to write about myself unless it helps you understand why I’m so, uh, peculiar. Like Mr. Simons, I’m an insatiable consumer of information, maybe not books so much – although I’m sure I broke personal records since the Covid – but digital publications, interviews, conference papers, and journals. The psychoanalysis says, “It’s very likely that you rely, to some extent, on your passion for reading to help you launch conversations. Engaging...
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Gene Simmons

Performance-Based Programs; Do You Have the Delusion?

By Energy Rant No Comments
Employees at Michaels get a free psych-x profile (it’s not my area of expertise) to determine personal strengths through Gallup. My top strength is “context,” which means I’m a historian. What does this mean? I observe history, including my mistakes, others’ mistakes, and continuously analyze human nature. For example, I watched a webinar[1] last week on how to be a “rock star” of success. You’ve heard of others called a “rock star,” right? “Rock star” made lists of overused terms years ago. The presenter said, (paraphrasing) “it doesn’t matter whether the person is a customer, supervisor, owner, or employee; all...
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Cah Tawk

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Sustainability 2 Comments
This week’s feature presentation is one of my favorites for saving energy: automobiles.  Let’s take this recent post from Fuel Fix and dive right in. The first one I read is “make sure your gas cap is broken or missing.”  That’s right.  You can save 3 cents per gallon if it is broken or missing.  I think they need some proofreading.  I suggest using a well-oiled and fully functional gas cap.  Where they get the 3 cents per gallon savings, I have no idea.  That’s like saying a 20 minute power walk will reduce the energy content of a milkshake...
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Facility Management, Taliban Style

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Investments 2 Comments
Possibly the greatest thing about energy efficiency is there is no limit to learning. In what other occupation can engineers work with social scientists, urban planners, economists and 16th century Mongolian art majors?  Last week I attended a presentation by Christopher Russell, energy efficiency and finance swami, or is it guru?  The higher ranking one.  Or maybe I should just call him Colonel Russell. His presentation started with the tale of two college campus facility managers, Doug and Dave as I recall, with names changed to protect the guilty.  I’ll call them Dick and Harry for double protection. It doesn’t...
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Monty and Me

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Sustainability One Comment
Back in August I wrote about our “non-energy policy” and that our federal administrations since Nixon have vowed to reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, especially from hostile regions - and exactly the opposite has occurred.  We are better positioned to control our energy destiny right now, for decades, more so than any time in my life. Technology for tapping conventional fossil fuels has vastly outstripped and expanded the gap between inexpensive fossil fuel supply and alternative energy sources.  Unfortunately or fortunately, this is reality.  Two major energy sources being tapped of course include natural gas from shale...
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No Policy?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Utility Stuff No Comments
As administrations and congresses come and go, one thing remains the same: “there is no clear energy policy”, and “we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil”.  Neither one is ever addressed. First, what the heck is a clear energy policy anyway and are we sure we want one?  When the government messes with any market, the result is always negative for consumers and in some cases bordering on catastrophe.  The only exception I see is utilities, which lend themselves to monopolistic efficiency.  You may need to lie down after that head-spinning oxymoron.  But seriously, in order to have...
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Machete to Sustainability

By Sustainability No Comments
This Geography guy really needs to get out of the classroom and the city for that matter once in a while.  Modern agriculture is probably demagogued and more poorly understood than energy efficiency, and since this opinion piece addresses both I will dispense with its shredding. I grew up on the farm 30 years ago in southern MN and northern IA, and I stay in touch spending a week each year reliving my childhood farming days.  My elder brothers still run the place.  They grow maybe 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans and raise and market maybe 25,000 hogs per...
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B.A.N.A.N.A.S. – Go Bananas

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy, Sustainability No Comments
This was a dopey high school cheer of my older brother’s and sister’s sporting days in high school.  “Go bananas.  B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Go bananas!”  How lame.  What does it mean?  I much preferred, “Watermelon.  Watermelon.  Watermelon rind.  Look at the scoreboard and see who’s behind.  You! You! You! You!”  This was always led by the rowdy crowd after the opposing team’s cheerleaders would do a dopey skit, like the banana thing. One of the first posts I wrote was Renewable NIMBY, that people purport to be in favor of renewable energy unless they have to look at it or pay for...
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The Unholy Holiday Tree

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Sustainability No Comments
If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog you must have disagreed with something or maybe more strongly taken exception or offense to something.  In this week’s post, maybe I can pick up everyone else. Christmases were great when I was kid.  It was by far my favorite holiday.  I couldn’t wait for my mom to put up the same crappy artificial tree every year.  It consisted of a broomstick like trunk with holes drilled to support the “branches”.  The branches consisted of twisted No. 9 wire with plastic pine needles that I guess may be best described as...
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Feral Cat, What Say You?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, LEED, Stimulus, Sustainability One Comment
Back in August I came close to posting a blog “Enough of the Empire State Building Already” but that one faded away.  In case you never read anything about energy savings and sustainability, the building is undergoing a $20 million renovation to improve energy efficiency.  The project would shave the facility’s $11 million energy bill (a cool $4 per square foot) by 38%.  Johnson Control ran ads in every trade magazine I get and various publications, including major newspapers, ran articles by the dozens. Coming in a close second to the Empire State Building was the Northland Pines High School...
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