What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Linkee-poo saddled up as pestilence, but is now dining on ashes

Jim Hines is putting on his annual fund raiser to help rape crisis centers.

Support rape crisis centers and enter to win an advance copy of The Snow Queen’s Shadow, by Jim C. Hines.

Seven Myths of Transmedia Storytelling Debunked. Interesting. Reminds me that once there is something new, everybody says, "We're it!" and they also say, "It's so over." "(Grokked from Chia Lynn)

As Tobias Buckell points out, solar power is coming down in price and is soon to match coal in generation costs. IIRC, the cost return of solar/wind installation is break even around 7 years. If we get that to 1 year, I have a feeling the market will explode. Of course, when that happens I expect all the government incentives to have expired. So get them while you can. If I ever build a house and have the extra funds, solar and wind will be a part of the installation.

Somewhat relevant to the day jobbery, a SEO rant.

Roger Ebert on the one-percenters. There's so much good commentary in there it's hard to decide on what to bring out. Yes, this. Banks robbing us blind, CEO's and Boards lining their own pockets instead of their shareholders, maybe it's this paragraph,
"What puzzles me is why there isn't more indignation. The Tea Party is the most indignant domestic political movement since Norman Thomas's Socialist Party, but its wrath is turned in the wrong direction. It favors policies that are favorable to corporations and unfavorable to individuals. Its opposition to Obamacare is a textbook example. Insurance companies and the health care industry finance a populist' movement that is manipulated to oppose its own interests. The billionaire Koch brothers payroll right wing front organizations that oppose labor unions and financial reform. The patriots wave their flags and don't realize they're being duped."

What does it say for our republic when a movie critic speaks truth to power more than almost anybody else?

Eric states some of my feelings about the recent budget battle and says it better than I could. Except for the "thanks you, sir, may I have another" feeling of this debate, that pretty much wraps it. Except for the thought that the fat lady is just warming up on this one. I'm sure I'll have more to say soon.


Anonymous said...

Ebert was never my preferred review, I liked Siskel better, but his non-movie columns are usually thought-provoking.

As for solar power, here's a link for you that is less positive about wind. In our township, it cost a farmer $22,000 to get a windmill installed - the vast majority of the money spent on the legal issues over zoning and permissions/permits. Crazy. His predicted break-even point is 15 years (based on current billing rates, not including sell-back, IIRC.) On a farm. Seriously.

I'd love to see some more passive solar/wind energy systems made more affordable, but the real issues are NIMBYism and the government wanting "its share." Why on earth should the government have any interest in this? It should be promoting this, not taxing it.

Anonymous Cassie

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Cassie, well that article isn't saying much that is new. Wind is a highly variable source, and the infrastructure to get it operational is lacking. But that's also for large scale wind farms, which I'm not entirely in love with.

And, IMHO, governments should be involved as the installation of large scale turbines should be a zoning issue. Unfortunately Ohio is truly backassward when it comes to renewable generation and energy conservation thanks to the influence of First Energy and AEP on both the state government, PUCO, and local governments. It was only recently that Ohio allowed net metering, and that was a decades long fight. It really was only when Federal Regulations changed that FE and AEP dropped their opposition.

For smaller installations, as long as building codes are followed for set backs, etc, I don't see it as being a real issue. There are some people who think solar cells and miniturbines are eyesores, but IMHO, they're a bunch of crustaceans who just don't like any change. Unfortunately those same people also are the ones who tend to end up in local governments (when we got rid of ours was when I was drafted in to replace them).

But then a lot of people are operating on decades old data and tech to make their decisions. Battery packs are more stable and durable now. The electrical systems necessary are "off the shelf". And the output of the products continues to grow (especially when you play with some of the military/NASA stuff).

It really is no longer the hobbyist or "green nut case" down the road. These things are becoming mainstream.

I'll give my own council credit. When we were approached about a solar installation for the VIllage Hall, once it was clear that we would only do it if we could qualify for the grants, there were no dissenting votes to go forward with investigating it. There were even questions of if we could roll it out for other operations in the village (like the sewer plant, which unfortunately requires 3 phase and a heavy draw, too much energy density for a solar setup).