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Innovate Renewables Energies


{Nature_and_Environment.96.4}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Thu, 06 Mar 2008 21:30:27 CST (4 lines)

I was just reading a magazine article in a waiting room about solar
thermal energy, which involves making steam in the desert using
mirrors. Apparently it works pretty well and is cheaper than other
forms of power generation in some instances.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.5}: James Files {riverrat} Thu, 06 Mar 2008 21:47:02 CST (2 lines)

Do we have the same dentist?  Do you rememeber what magazine it was?
Could it have been Discover?


{Nature_and_Environment.96.6}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Thu, 06 Mar 2008 21:54:21 CST (5 lines)

LOL on the dentist ;-) No, I blew it. I read something else at the clinic.

The solar thermal article is in NYT, so you can read it too:


{Nature_and_Environment.96.7}: ... {wren1111} Sun, 09 Mar 2008 17:06:38 CDT (HTML)

This a tangent, but on another website I read a comment which made me wonder about the efficiency of car fuel vs human fuel. I wouldn't know how to begin to figure this out, but it's worth thinking about.

Does also the production, distribution and preparation of x human energy food calories burn less than x gallons of gas?”

There is so much oil embodied in food production and distribution, that on certain assumptions bicycles have a mpg consumption which is no better than a car.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.8}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Sun, 09 Mar 2008 17:24:22 CDT (1 line)

We're going to eat less if we have cars?


{Nature_and_Environment.96.9}: ... {wren1111} Tue, 11 Mar 2008 20:31:35 CDT (HTML)

That's a good point Suzanne. A lot of people, especially in the USA, will eat the same amount whether excercising or not.

Still, I think it's worthwhile considering how much 'embodied fossil fuel' is in each calorie of food we consume.

I've been looking for some data on that and so far this is the best I can find.

Managing the Energy Cost of Food ""


{Nature_and_Environment.96.10}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Tue, 11 Mar 2008 20:40:12 CDT (8 lines)

That's a pretty good article. I never thought about conserving heat
while cooking, but they make a point that food preparation does take
energy, and if you use the right size of burner you'll use less of it.

Eating local will address the other energy concerns in that
publication, like food transportation and storage costs. Of course, to
build a good vegetable bed, we had to have concrete blocks and dirt


{Nature_and_Environment.96.11}: James Files {riverrat} Tue, 11 Mar 2008 23:46:06 CDT (2 lines)

We do very little inside cooking in the summertime here.  I do most
canning and jelly making outside.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.12}: James Files {riverrat} Wed, 12 Mar 2008 00:54:44 CDT (13 lines)

Beer from a bottle or aluminum can has about the same environmental
costs under current usage.

Glass would be better if we reused, rather than recycled, especially
if it didn't have to be shipped over long distances (transport weight
of glass eats into energy savings).  Aluminum can recycling is
widespread, more so than glass, and as such makes the use of cans have
some advantages.  However the mining of bauxite to provide 60% of
aluminum in cans (40% is from recycle) is extremely tough on the
environment as is the extraction process.

Hands down, a keg is the most efficient way to drink your beer.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.13}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Wed, 12 Mar 2008 15:01:46 CDT (1 line)

Unless you drink 6 a day ;-)


{Nature_and_Environment.96.14}: William Lynn {billcorno} Fri, 14 Mar 2008 23:59:37 CDT (15 lines)

   Not exactly relevant, I googled "calories per gallon of gas" and
got 31,000.  It says if a man riding a bicycle could run on gas, he
would get 972 mile per gallon.  (A 175 lb man uses about 34 calories
per mile.)

    Cars use about 1000 calories per mile (at 30 mpg.)

    More relevant, since agriculture bases it's production on
petroleum, I'd say whe're in a heap of trouble.  Especially with gas
prices rising and the fight for grain as fuel or food.

    Time to ramp up the survivalist mentality?  Or will technology
save the day?



{Nature_and_Environment.96.15}: Catching a Tornado {redleader} Sat, 15 Mar 2008 01:35:52 CDT (3 lines)

   This a really innovative idea for renewable energy!!


{Nature_and_Environment.96.16}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Sat, 22 Mar 2008 13:39:30 CDT (21 lines)

Converting raindrops to energy:

Okay-- sounds viable, though the first comment after the article makes
the point that rain already is used through hydro turbines. Again that
sounds reasonable on face.... however that comment is ignoring that
the captured energy still allows the water to flow to the turbines
with no effect on the hydro capacity. What is captured and converted
is the kinetic energy of the raindrops. No making craters in the soil.
Do I think this a viable alternative --- not by a mile.

The other 'solutions' in the article are creating limited amounts of
energy by walking or through fibre energy from clothing. Again
possible for some dinky amount. I can tell you how to harness wind
energy by fixed lines to trees or the expansion of metal rods fixed at
one end --- silly, silly, but they do work.

Yes, we will need silver b-bs rather than a one ultimate answer...
hunting for either still ignores the real problem.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.17}: James Files {riverrat} Sat, 22 Mar 2008 13:59:23 CDT (4 lines)

If one lived in a rainforest or other area with near daily rain, a
water powered turbine could be used to power a generator, although an
old fashioned water wheel with a nylon water collection chute might
well provide more efficient turbine energy for research facilities.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.18}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Sat, 22 Mar 2008 14:28:30 CDT (3 lines)

I understand resiliency James :-) The engineers' KISS principle does
hold. The more complex we make a system the more likely some minor
fault will cause breakdown.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.19}: ... {wren1111} Sat, 19 Jul 2008 14:52:42 CDT (4 lines)

Jatropha's Promise: A Perennial Crop That Fights Deserts and Grows



{Nature_and_Environment.96.20}: ... {wren1111} Sun, 24 Aug 2008 20:41:47 CDT (6 lines)

<b>Gut Reactions</b>

The termite’s stomach, of all things, has become the focus of large-
scale scientific investigations. Could the same properties that make
the termite such a costly pest help us solve global warming?


{Nature_and_Environment.96.21}: James Files {riverrat} Sun, 24 Aug 2008 22:17:50 CDT (7 lines)

good link.  Interesting little sidenote in that article about them
collecting cow patties from a TX farmer and making him sign off on the
intellectual rights to any discoveries.

A reminder that no matter what the science comes up with, someone is
gonna get rich and the consumer will still get screwed, in spite of
the fact that his taxes paid for much of the basic research.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.22}: Chris {cjl} Mon, 08 Sep 2008 02:01:22 CDT (1 line)

So I can just post here, easy as that?


{Nature_and_Environment.96.23}: James Files {riverrat} Mon, 08 Sep 2008 09:11:44 CDT (1 line)

Yes indeed, welcome aboard.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.24}: swellyn {swellyn} Mon, 08 Sep 2008 16:22:59 CDT (HTML)

Yay! Another Cafe' person!!


{Nature_and_Environment.96.25}: James Files {riverrat} Mon, 08 Sep 2008 22:20:41 CDT (19 lines)


Depending on what you like, we most likely have it at the cafe.  That
also means we probably have a lot of what you don't like.  If you are
looking to get to know folks in a supporting friendly environment
Coffeehouse or Nook may be your cup of tea.  If you want to talk (or
even argue) politics, Politics is the place for you.  If you want to
argue about politics in almost no holds barred environment, Currents
is good.  Both of those places, as well as the Science forum talk
about environmental issues as well.

If you want to weigh in on an issue, feel free to do so.  If you want
to include info from another site,  quote a few lines and include the
link in quotes as in "".  The quotes are necessary to keep
long links together if they exceed one line.

If you like to hear people bitch and moan, we even have places for
that.  Feel free to email me (or most other folks here) by clicking on
our nickname if you need any other info.


{Nature_and_Environment.96.26}: Dave Allen {raddad} Thu, 25 Sep 2008 15:25:32 CDT (6 lines)

regarding posts:4-6 solar thermal is happening here in the valley of
the sun. Well, southwest of here, Mesa-Phoenix anyway...

Looking forward to seeing more activity in this forum!


{Nature_and_Environment.96.27}: ... {wren1111} Sat, 06 Jun 2009 19:09:41 CDT (HTML)

The Mouse That Roared: Vermont Feed-in Tariffs Become Law " feed-in-tariffs-become-law/"

Out West, a Legal Victory for Rainwater Harvesting " rainwater-harvesting/"


{Nature_and_Environment.96.28}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:41:47 CDT (11 lines)

Wren --- I'm 'mostly' in favour of harvesting rainwater but that
article hasn't considered some consequences. Self sufficiency
collection isn't automatically the correct solution and long term
beneficial. Depends on how that water gets used but quite a lot can
exit the system through evapotranspiration. Water rights in the west
are truly complex ... historically established grants based on a far
smaller population and their needs. The more senior the right the less
effect of many collecting roof runoff --- the less senior the
established rights the more impact.  Robbing  Peter to pay Paul
doesn't mean sustainability --- just some  political choice of who
gets entitled to limited water.


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