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Harnessing Wind Energy from Cars, 30 April 2007
Snipped from Archinect.com, this article shows a brilliant application of harnessing wind energy -- "Average vehicle speeds on the valley highways are approximately 70 mph. Using average annual wind speeds of 10 mph as a baseline, each single wind turbine will produce 9,600KwH of energy, annually (enough to fully power my 700 s.f. apartment). This power production estimate will increase exponentially with an increase in wind turbulence speed. I believe that the wind stream created over the freeways by our primary mode of transportation will create an average annual wind speed well beyond the baseline of 10 mph."

My modification to the proposal? Install the turbines underneath existing overpasses thus reducing the construction costs. Also, there is some discussion that the addition of a turbine above a freely moving freeway will reduce some working drag that is benefiting the car already, thus reducing the efficiency of said fuel. By placing them on existing overpasses, the loss of drag already is taken by the overpass. The turbine can harness the effect of the vehicle pushing and pulling through the space below the overpass.

posted by Michael Damphousse permanent link - (0) comments
New York City is Greener than all of Massachusetts?, 11 April 2007
Scientific American says today that the New York City is The Greenest Place in America. They state that "The state of New York 'uses less energy, on a per capita basis, than any state in America.' The average New Yorker 'generates less than a third of the carbon emissions that the average American does.' And here's why: Yes, it houses 8.2 million citizens and uses an enormous amount of energy to do so. Its electrical load, more than 12,000 megawatts, is as large as all of Massachusetts. Yet because the buildings are dense and thus more efficiently heated and cooled, and because 85 percent of all trips in Manhattan are on foot, bike or transit, New York City uses dramatically less energy to serve each of its citizens than does a state like Massachusetts."

Time to buy a bicycle for my 6 mile commute.

posted by Michael Damphousse permanent link - (0) comments
Colin Beavan - No Impact Man, 10 April 2007
Colin Beavan was recently on Colbert to talk about his year without toilet paper. Despite my only recent interest in living a low impact life, to see someone trying for No Impact is a huge challenge. Colbert did rip him fairly well, but Colin did quite well. Especially as Colbert ran 2:30 on a microwave with nothing in it just to waste energy. lol

posted by Michael Damphousse permanent link - (0) comments
Castro, Corn and Capitalism, 08 April 2007

I never in my life thought I would be looking towards Fidel Castro for ethical words about economy and renewable resources, but just as he has suprised the world by remaining in power all these years, he has suprised us again by writing a deathbed manifesto on the evils of corn based ethanol. His country may be suffering from the rising price of corn, but we all will be suffering from the negative benefit of corn based biofuels. It all sounds good, but when one considers how much petrol based energy goes into the production of corn based energy, it begins to make less sense. The article from the Economist is reproduced on Soyatech. I point you to a more detailed and studied commentary from Ronald Cooke.

posted by Michael Damphousse permanent link - (0) comments
Save a Tree, 03 April 2007
FACTS ON JUNK MAIL from the Native Forest Network

  • The average person gets only 1.5 personal letters each week, compared to 10.8 pieces of junk mail.
  • Each person will receive almost 560 pieces of junk mail this year.
  • That's 4.5 million tons of junk mail produced each year!
  • 44% of all junk mail is thrown in the trash, unopened and unread.
  • Approximately 40% of the solid mass that makes up our landfills is paper and paperboard waste.
  • By the year 2010, it is predicted to make up about 48%.
  • 100 million trees are ground up each year to produce junk mail.
  • Lists of names and addresses used in bulk mailings are in mass data-collection networks, compiled from phone books, warranty cards, and charity donations (to name a few).
  • Your name is typically worth 3 to 20 cents each time it is sold.

Need I say more? Save a tree and gain the few minutes back that are stolen from you by direct mail companies while you sort, recycle and manage their unsolicited waste.

posted by Michael Damphousse permanent link - (0) comments