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NewsXtra Audio: The People Versus Big Oil
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elbowdeep



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 395

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How many people are going to generate their own power to charge their electric car batteries? .001%?


I think you might be surprized at how popular it actually is!

I've been involved in a few little projects here and there, and am raising awareness to all that will listen, that producing your own power isn't that big of a deal, even if it is just to reduce/supplement what you are already getting from the grid. I'm concentrating on wind/solar OFF-grid systems (as being grid-tied gets into a lot of extra $$ and headache)

Please check out this place...
http://everdale.org/ been to a few workshops there, and they are totally self-sufficient, a goal I have, and many more like-minded people are aiming for. Something to strive toward.

Also check out http://hydrogenappliances.com/
They are into the bleeding edge of low-tech in off-grid solutions, and I just love the simplicity of their systems. Too bad they treat their potential customers like assholes. But that's another story... Wink

I'm cutting the chains slowly... one by one.
ED

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Ormond



Joined: 14 Apr 2006
Posts: 1556
Location: Belly of the Beast, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I experimented with getting off the grid now and then in the 80's. I found it's a matter of choice.

For two years I used a wood stove for heat. You buy the wood in advance before winter comes on. Be sure and get more than you expect to need.

Keep in mind I'm not talking about real and full self sufficiency here. Just getting off the Conglomerate power grid. Using local resources, paying local business or individuals for things like batteries, charge time, (or not--you'd be surprised how many outlets exist in public parks.). Coal, wood, water.

For lighting, I used kerosine lamps. You'd be surpirsed how much light a Coleman lantern can provide for reading. A five gallon can of kerosine is plenty for the winter.

For radio and even a tiny DC powered television, I used a marine battery. The kind of deep cycle battery used for boats--and wheel chairs. I had two 12 volt ones. They hold a charge a week or two, depending on use. A transitor radio uses very little current. A small DC powered tv of course uses more.
I had a $30 battery charger and could re-charge the batteries in a park where I found an outlet.
I didn't watch much television, maybe a hour or two a week. Mostly radio.

Water was from a gravity fed cistern, water was purchased and delivered by truck monthly, or when needed.

My utility bills plummeted.
After a couple of weeks withdrawl from the ease of flicking switches and surround sound and gizmos, a new reality opens up which is ever much as rich as the simulated reality of electric powered living.

The only snag is the internet. That didn't exist in the 80's. Now unhooking from the grid is mainly the problem of having to limit your weekly internet time...since you'd have to use a school or library to answer email.
Haven't checked into it, but maybe there's already a DC powered laptop and satellite internet available. I don't know about that.
Honestly, I often miss the ancient way of writing missives and sending by post. Less likely to be snooped, believe me. Since nobody writes letters anymore, I don't think the HomeSeca is opening the mail much. They've got us all on the world wibe web.


As for transportation. Cars have become a necessity in most of the US. Too bad. My grandfather used to bitch that a horse only cost a few hundred to buy, and outlasted a car. All you had to do was feed them and have a barn. Not only that, they will come back for you if you should happen to fall off.
For long distance travel, or heavy loads, steam engines powered by coal work fine. For air travel, I wouldn't mind taking longer to get there by airship. I mean like derigables-- 'zeppelins'. I've heard those are going to come back into use anyway--to replace heavy transport like diesel trucking. Why not for air travel?
And 'terror proof'. Can't imagine smashing a Zeppelin into a skyscraper or the Pentagon, can you?

Who needs any more than that, really? Just move close to where ever you need to earn your livelihood.

Of course....horses are now an illegal form of transportation, because they got in the way of the auto traffic.

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elbowdeep



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 395

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Just getting off the Conglomerate power grid.

Exactly. But they want you to stay connected. They keep forgetting to mention that you CAN afford your own power system, and for those that figure out that they CAN afford it, and it's quite easy, they just create regulations to prevent you from going off-grid. i.e. by-laws for "towers", and BS about noise pollution (small wind-turbines)

There are some major strides in small wind-power that everyone should be aware of. In the past there were many technical issues with dealing with various speeds of wind and charging systems. Check out my friends at TrueNorth Power. They've been testing the OB1 for a while now, and we are waiting on results...
http://www.truenorthpower.com/OB1KWgallery.html
http://aeromag.com/OB1.html and the Commander controllers. Typically wind turbines are designed for optimal output at a certain wind-speed, outside of that range, they lose output, however from what I've been researching, the charging profile on these new turbines takes advantage of a wider range of wind speeds, as it "gears up", and "gears down", all electronically. We are just waiting for them to be finalized.

If you are interested in this, there is also
http://www.bergey.com/ which is quite popular.

At Everdale, they operate that house EXACTLY as they would a regular home. They have a hybrid power system, wind turbine and solar cells, plus solar-hot-water heaters (supplemental). They are grid-tied, but last time I was there they weren't drawing any power, nor feeding any back. When standing at the base of the turbine, you can't even hear it above the noise of the wind through the trees 300 yeards away.

The straw bale constuction of the home is HIGHLY energy efficient, they barely need any heating in the winter, and in the summer, air-conditioning is not required.

Just simple design elements to take advantage of the sun should be commonplace in all architectural designs, but, we live in a time of McMansions that are designed for curb appeal, rather than their true function, and that is to support life.


PS - Remote (two-way satellite)internet is quite mainstream now...
http://www.starband.com/
http://www.galaxybroadband.ca/Galaxy_Broadband_residential_solutions.html

There are hundreds more dealers... generally, it is twice the cost of regular 'cable' or 'DSL'.

Reducing my wattage, get rid of CRT and switch to LCD.

A remote internet connected PC for under 150Watts (peak) is not an outrageous prospect.

Considering that our governments are in the business of making MORE WASTE and getting you to CONSUME MORE ENERGY, all the while telling you to Reduce. They are totally hypocritical. For instance, where I live, there is a Bylaw BANNING the hanging of laundry on a clothesline outdoors to dry. Instead, this promotes using a clothesdryer in the home, which consumes lots of energy (much of it wasted by expelling the hot air outdoors). To me, using a clothsdryer (in the summertime especially) is blasphemy, and should be illegal. Anyhow, we've been hanging ours up on the clothsline for years now, and the by-law officer hasn't come round... I can't wait for a 'do-gooder' to report the "eyesore", so I can have a good rip at them, and take this example of stupidity to court. Laws like these are beginning to be contested all over.

Bests!
ED

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Continuity



Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 1716
Location: Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For instance, where I live, there is a Bylaw BANNING the hanging of laundry on a clothesline outdoors to dry.

WTF?!? Are you *serious*?!? That is *pure* crazyness.

Like you mentioned, the cost and energy required to run an electric clothes dryer is *huge*, and to be doing that on sunny, breezy days is just lunacy. I seriously think that you should petition this mad rule, and point out to all concerned just how eco-unfriendly it is (as well as costly) to the powers that have set these rules.

How much of an 'eyesore' is it to be drying your clothes in your own back garden, anyway? Fuck 'em.

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Continuity



Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 1716
Location: Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mental.

I *know* - let's set up a simulated desert enviroment in the middle of Alaska for holidaymakers so that they won't have to actually *go* anywhere! That's also a solid, humanitarian, efficient proposal, is it not?

The limits of peoples' greed and stupidity seems to know no bounds. But we already knew this, didn't we?

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elbowdeep



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 395

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
WTF?!? Are you *serious*?!?


Absolutely.

Here is one article on the fight some have waged...
Quote:
Let them fly, so they can dry: Clotheslines are back in Kanata

You can now peg your clothes without fear in Kanata, Ontario.

Pity the people of Kanata, Ontario. Not for them the glorious smell of freshly dried laundry as it's pulled off the clothesline. Clotheslines, you see, are banned in most of Kanata. But one city councillor has waged a 10-year battle to see the anti-clothesline rule hung out to dry. Alex Munter is the Ottawa councillor who represents Kanata. He was in Montreal today.

http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/national/clothesline_270502.htm


I actually live in a region where the ban is still in effect.

Glad that humanitarian effort in UAE is putting smiles on their faces. If they want to simulate being in the Northern Hemisphere, why not also impose a clothesline ban on them too, and install oil-burning clothesdryers in each of their homes, so they can run full-throttle during the summer months? Hey, and hand each of them a free snowshovel on the way into the snow-dome, and they can experience the 'fun' of clearing 12' high snowdrifts (so they can get their SUV's out of the garage, of course) (it came with the Aspen lodge stocking stuffer)
Wink

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rabbiosi



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...

Neither stockpiling wood for the winter, putting windmills on cars nor combating laundry drying rules seem attractive options.

With regards to:
Quote:
The electric car has batteries. And those batteries must be recharged. And how much pollutia is created to make the electric energy to charge those batteries? (Or are they recharged by magic?) Case closed.

... each to their own.

A real alternative source could be nuclear energy:

Quote:

Now there is of course an energy source, whose technology is also well-known and well-tested since a long time back, and which is much superior to all others including also oil, that plentiful substance which is so important for modern civilization today. That's nuclear energy, with its enormous development potential. In one respect, that of providing fuel for motor vehicles, it still cannot replace oil, but for all other energy uses it already today is clearly superior. Was it perhaps a move in the direction of nuclear energy development that Bush meant to advocate, when he said that the USA was "addicted to" oil?

http://www.rolf-martens.com/UNITE%21%20Infos/webstyle1/unite_info_249en.html

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