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Just look at glacier photos from the 50's to today. Not good at all. Sickening really...

I drive an electric vehicle plus use wind/solar/some hydro electricity to help out with my part. Anyone else going solar or sustainable?

It's going to take all of us doing our part.

Last edited by Boris
@Boris posted:

. Anyone else going solar or sustainable?

It's going to take all of us doing our part.

I burn wood for our house heat and heating water.  I know the smoke it creates is not good, but at least the trees in the summer are doing good.  We use mostly tops from harvested oaks and walnuts and dead elm that would just rot away.   If I was younger I would invest in solar too. But just couldn't see the return at my age.    And let's face it, Wisconsin on the average is not the sunniest place in the USA.

Doesn't have to be but I get your point overall.  Let me see what I can whip up in 5 to 10 years time.  Get some rural micro power stations cooperatively running on wind, solar, thermal and cow shit.

You know, I just thought of it but I wonder how much heat energy you could pull from a 8 to 12 foot shit pit?  Maybe tack that on the digester process.

Last edited by Henry

I burn wood here in Colorado, got one going right now. Our wood is pine and Aspen, lot of it is beetle kill, not as many live healthy trees.  I too am to old to go solar.  Out here Colorado, Utah, Arizona etc there should be some kind of real incentives for solar/wind on new construction.  Unlike the Midwest we get plenty of sun ( My town gets 300+ days a year) and way too much wind.

I think that's the overall problem.  Asking individuals to put in infrastructure that isn't cost efficient doesn't address a large scale problem.  Where I'm at right now the existing utility company is doing an excellent job of investing in solar and wind arrays throughout the counties it serves.

The choice for the individual should be the investment in utilities doing the right thing and applying market pressures.  I'm fond of the idea of cooperative efforts on a small scale with direct participation but the most effective methods are forcing existing utilities to sell clean energy.  Those actions would likely go much further than install solar panels or the like.

In my head, small scale co-op energy production is more of a carrot and stick approach to getting people involved in clean technologies.  If they can see the benefit in their wallet all of sudden their political/social bent disappears.

It'll be the next generations that develop large scale innovations.  We just have to keep the ball rolling for their sakes. 

It's a little late in the game for me to incorporate  solar, wind or other alternative energy source but I would be all in if I were a younger man.

Though they may need refining I believe the answers to generating or harnessing alternative/renewable energy sources are already on the table. I think the biggest hurdle holding up any real progress on the alternative energy front is convincing people to believe the science  behind global warming/climate change. The powers that be and their baffle them with bullshit approach to issues like this and others needs to stop. Good luck with that eh.

I had the epic thread on climate change here about 15 years ago with, don't remember his name.  I've seen the data trending since the 90's when it was still fringe.  People studying it since the 60's have seen it since at least that time, James Hansen for one. 

POS: There is now global awareness of the issue and it looks like there is a global majority that understands what is going on and where it is headed.  I couldn't say that 15 years ago.  Technology continues to make advancements in renewable generation and energy efficiency as more and more money gets poured into these efforts.  Things are finally reaching a point where the benefits are outweighing the costs and investing is improving bottom lines.  This is even before adding in the costs of increased natural disasters that are amped up by a warming climate.

NEG: We're way behind on how fast all these things need to happen.  And based on the damage the loud minority of climate deniers and science deniers (including big oil's delay tactics) can do, it's difficult to see things accelerating quickly enough to avoid some really dire conditions in the next 20-30 years.  We need a big shift and we need it in the next 10 years.

In trying to find a silver lining, I have seen polls that show up to 75% of voters 20-50yrs old do want efforts made to address climate change.  Biden's team has been talking a big game about addressing the issue but we'll see what that really means.  There was a lot of hope on this front when Obama was elected too but he really didn't do anything until his last year in office.  I realize he had his hands full with the recession but it was disappointing nonetheless.

For you guys saying you're "too old" for renewables, etc.: Unless you plan on burying your home with you, there is still value to going in that direction.  Homes with renewables (partially powered or fully off the grid), or any other high energy efficiency measures sell for a premium.  You'll be leaving something of greater value behind whether you will it to heirs or sell it.

So glad to see this thread!

While "big oil" has a long way to go, they have been pumping billions into renewable energy over the past decade.

Take a drive through many parts of Texas and you will see pump jacks and wind turbines, often on the same parcel/tract/lease.

We may be too late, but that is no reason to not continue down the path of trying to stem the tide or reverse the trends.

If people and government aren't dumping money into MIT research for compact fusion, not fission, fusion reactors it is an absurdity.  I see there may be a push for "compact" fission reactors that produce 10% of what a normal plant does and can be placed in more areas.  This worries the shit out of me but at the same time the clock is ticking.

I've argued about everything from grease powered cars onward on this site.  I think my favorite comment, and this isn't a slight, was from Juanny Zamboni talking about hydrogen cars.  He suggested we wouldn't know the impact of a car producing excess water.  I'm not saying to you don't have consider the effects of new technologies but I'll take extra water and dump it in the desert than assured destruction with fossil fuels.   

I'm pretty sure Juanny Zamboni is Rex Tillerson.

Last edited by Henry

Oh, and just a note for you old cooters understandably questioning the investment.  I just started my grad program and during orientation we were talking with previous students.  One guy was a carpenter who is now involved with an organization to upgrade energy efficiency on older houses in poorer communities.  He just started up a program putting in solar panels and other green technologies for anyone looking for help with these types of projects.  He's in Minnesota but it's worth seeing if the state you're in has knowledge of projects like this.

Last edited by Henry
@Boris posted:

Just look at glacier photos from the 50's to today. Not good at all. Sickening really...

I drive an electric vehicle plus use wind/solar/some hydro electricity to help out with my part. Anyone else going solar or sustainable?

It's going to take all of us doing our part.

All of my vehicles are hybrid and i will eventually make the electric vehicle jump.

One thing I am doing hopefully very soon is going with geo thermal heat and cooling.  Basically let the earth do my heating and cooling for me.

@DH13 posted:

I started with a degree in physics and finished with a masters in architecture, emphasis on sustainable design.  I'd be glad to add anything I can to the discussion or answer questions if there are any.  But there is a ton of info out there on almost anything you're interested in.

I'm a tiny house/urban green space nut.  I'm doing a Master's in political advocacy and leadership.  I really want to setup an organization for large scale urban farming with a cross over to rural energy farming.  Biggest thing is making contacts.

Last edited by Henry

Yes it is, as with any such endeavor.  DM me if you think I might be able to help.  I know some people and know of some people in Chicago, NYC maybe MSP.  My wife's BFF's husband is in solar advocacy in CHI.

You must be familiar with Will Allen and Growing Power's story.  Gotham Greens and their facility on the roof of Method's plant in Pullman, Chicago.  Roof Crop will lease your roof space where they will grow crops to sell to local restaurants.

Other sustainability thinkers I follow: Bill McKibben (Deep Economy), David Orr (Earth In Mind), Paul Hawken (The Ecology of Commerce; Drawdown are must reads), Amory Lovins.  There is a "climate futurist" on twitter, Alex Steffen, who is always a compelling read.

I'm not sold on tiny houses because it doesn't allow enough density in an urban context and it requires a lot of transportation to amenities in a rural setting - unless you are self-sustaining.  I think there is a place for them in a green economy but it shouldn't be too big.  It's great to minimize and optimize a single family home, if that's what you absolutely have to have.

I have yet to see much optimism for market scale fusion in the near future, much less "pocket-fusion".  People in that space like to say they're perpetually "20 years from scalable fusion".  But hey, there's always a chance. 

Last edited by DH13

Tiny houses are more of a novelty for me not so much a green solution.  I think design aspects more viable.

As far as urban agriculture I'd really like to study what the Netherlands is doing as far as hydroponics.  I'd love to convert blighted commercial properties into community enterprises.  I'd also like to bring the down home, aw shucks methods into a community kitchen by teaching canning and food preservation.  Hands on nutrition and cooking classes.  I want to see harvest festivals places previously known as food deserts.

I appreciate the info and I'll definitely hit you up for contact info in the future.

@The Heckler posted:

All of my vehicles are hybrid and i will eventually make the electric vehicle jump.

One thing I am doing hopefully very soon is going with geo thermal heat and cooling.  Basically let the earth do my heating and cooling for me.

We did geothermal when we built in 2011. Got 1/3 of the cost back immediately on taxes and I'm sure we made up the difference in price of conventional by around 2018.

For you guys saying you're "too old" for renewables, etc.: Unless you plan on burying your home with you, there is still value to going in that direction.

No doubt. In my case it's determining how much the initial investment would be and would it be worth going in debt ( If I need to ) to get the ball rolling.  I realize the "initial cost" is totally dependent on how much energy you want to generate but living on a modest fixed income the start up cost does come into play for me.

Forgive my ignorance. I'm not the smartest guy in the world when it comes to topics like renewable energy (or anything for that matter lol)  but I do believe that continuing to be dependent on fossil fuels is literally a dead end road.

Thanks for the interesting, thought provoking ideas that have been brought up in this thread.    

@ammo posted:

Henry, check this out.   https://www.superiorfresh.com  It is right on I-94 south of Eau Claire at Northfield.

Is that your daughter?

That's excellent.  I need to start making contacts too.

One thing that makes me laugh about organic.  When you see sheet sets that are made with organic cotton I roll my eyes.  I'm not eating my fucking sheets.  The buzzwords people use to sell shit and then dilute the actual meaning.

Last edited by Henry