Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thanks for Nothing!

Where have we heard that before? Usually not in a good way. ” Nothing” can have negative and positive meanings and it’s the positive ones we’re after here today.

But “nothingness” raises a whole host of concepts applying to everything from philosophy to energy and – believe it or not – they’re all related. Really. And what’s more they can be totally confusing.

So it’s best if we stay away from the philosophical argument that “proves” “The existence of any thing cannot have come from nothing or no thing nor could it have ever existed at all.” Had enough?

This field will lead you anywhere from Einstein (E=MC2) to the big bang theory and all we are really reaching for is a lot less usage of those forms of energy that continue to pollute our air, water and ecology.

So in our roundabout way we are saying to you “thanks for not using that energy.”

For not turning it on when not necessary;

For not investing in Coal and Oil corporations;

For not encouraging the promoters of mining more coal and drilling for more oil;

For not raising the thermostat when not really necessary

For not leaving the car idling when parked

For not putting recyclable items in the trash

For not using high wattage lamps

For not leaving the oven or stove on after cooking is done

For not letting water leaks or drips to continue

And in return we thank you for the things you do

Such as helping our children to understand the need for careful use of energy;

And supporting all the organizations and individuals who are dedicated to the careful and considerate use of energy in all areas of life.

Because, you will find that our children and their children will thank us all for our efforts to provide a cleaner and safer world for them in the future.

Who’s Being Windy?

Ok so we’re called “windy” - we do talk a lot – mostly about green, clean energy. And while we all know that hydropower is the best, cheapest and cleanest energy available – wind power certainly has its place and that’s so in spite of those who say “Not in my backyard.”

Like many of the other energy forms – renewable and not – there are arguments for and against that sometimes get pretty heated (involving, we must add, emotional energy)

And as always, we must deal with cost, reliability, distribution of product (usually electricity) and effects on the ecology. Some also argue about the effects property values and sightlines or unsightliness, believe it or not.

But pretty or not, there is a lot to be said about harnessing the wind especially when it means moving cleaner air by replacing coal and oil burning generators.

Some towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut have taken the step of using wind power to provide electricity to their citizens at low rates while making major profits.

The town of Hull, Massachusetts has had an active interest in wind power since the early 1980’s. At that time the town installed a 40 Kilowatt turbine on an 80 foot tower at a cost of $75,000.; The unit installed adjacent to the Hull High school, produced a respectable amount of power until in March of 1997 a windstorm damaged the unit beyond compare.

However, on review it was seen that the windmill had reduced the high school’s bills by over $21,00o during its term and in 1998 a group of citizens met to plan what they called “repowering” the site.

By 2001 plans had progressed to the point where a bid was accepted from Vestas, a Danish company to install a 660 Kilowatt unit on a 50 meter high tower. This unit was so successful that in 2006 a second much larger unit, called Hull Two, was installed. Between the two, savings in excess of $300,000 were achieved in addition to providing free power to the town’s street lighting.

Recently the town of Scituate in Massachusetts has granted a contract to a private company for the installation and operation of a windmill expected to save the town up to $300,000 per year, reducing, it says, “the town’s carbon footprint by 3 million kilowatt-hours per year.”

In spite of many “nay-sayers” whose arguments we will examine later, the Don Quixote’s of the 21 century have something to say – let’s listen