Commentary

One easy fix

climatwe strike

Climate striking students in Washington state Friday/Wikimedia Commons

The climate kids are right. Adults aren’t providing very good role models in the war against global warming.

Anchorage and all of Alaska could take the lead here to show them by example with two easy steps:

  1. Ban school buses except for kids with handicaps.
  2. Set up a schedule of escalating fines for parents who use a motor vehicle to pick up or drop off their kids at school.

Say maybe $5 for the first offense with every offense thereafter increasing by a fiver? That’s 20 trips to the school for only $100. If you want to keep on driving your kids to school, think of it as both your punishment for putting carbon in the air and your chance to help fund education.

Sans cars and buses, kids would need to walk, run, bike, skate, ski, or skateboard to school. A generation or two back, this is what kids did.

It was healthy exercise good for them then. It would be that and more now.

Public health

Call it exercise-plus. Not only would they get the health benefits of moving, they’d also get the psychological benefits of understanding what it means to sacrifice – no matter how small this sacrifice – for a good cause.

And they’d be better prepared for the school day. Here’s what neuroscientist and brain researcher Wendy Suzuki says about exercise:

“Better mood, better energy, better memory, better attention.”

In her TED talk, she calls, “exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today.”

Teachers ought to be all down with this idea. Why?

“…The most common finding in neuroscience studies looking at effects of long-term exercise,” Suzuki notes, “is improved attention function dependent on your prefrontal cortex.”

Ask any teacher, and they will tell you improved attention function would help a whole lot of students and sometimes the whole class.

But wait, there’s more.

The obesity crisis

Nearly a third of high school students are overweight or obese, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and thte half of that group who qualify as “obese” plus the rest of the obese children, cost $14 billion a year in direct health costs, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The State of Obesity website maintained by the Foundation also notes the obesity rate among those ages 12 to 19 has quadrupled in the U.S. since 1980.

Exercise is no cure-all for obesity, but it doesn’t hurt. And if you have to be overweight, all the research indicates its better to be fit and overweight.

Lastly, there is the issue of government spending. The Anchorage School District is spending $25 million on transportation. Even if that was cut in half, it would mark significant savings.

ASD buses, according to the budget, cover 3.2 million miles per year. The Carbon Footprint Calculator indicates buses driven that many miles would generate over 300 metric tons of carbon or about 670,000 pounds or the equivalent of 2.7 million QuarterPounders from McDonald’s to translate this into something most teenagers can understand.

Sum total

So to review for Anchorage, getting rid of most ASD buses and fining parents who drive their kids to and from school would:

  • Send a message that “we’re trying” to children who don’t think adults are doing enough about global warming.
  • Take a bite of hundreds of thousands of tons out of ASD carbon emissions.
  • Save school districts millions of dollars.
  • Help produce fitter, healthier children.
  • Improve brain functions.

What’s not to like here? Why shouldn’t Anchorage set an example for the nation?

 

 

 

 

 

64 replies »

  1. Steve o and Bryan . Rough calculations. And rough ideas applications. Line loss is directly related to voltage, temperature and line size . Bigger cooler higher voltage lines = less loss . Aprx 4” cable or line looses 3-4% per 1000 miles . So to Seattle from anchorage aprx 5% loss . Maybe 7% if not straight. The trick is a 1 ft line super well insulated under ocean when possible to keep cool . . So 12,000 miles from pole to pole is aprx use 4” line = line loss of aprx 40% . Step that up to a 1 ft line the loss is only about 15-20% after you add in additional distance due to not being straight. Say I’m off by 100% . That’s still only a line loss of 40% . Why not use a 2’ cable or 4’ or 8’ now the loss is next to minimal. Use a striated graph to intersect most large cities. Then break off for small ones . You get the idea. Obviously this doesn’t count electricity lost in production or in distribution. Distribution has the highest loss due to small lines. ( huge loss) Now what’s important is there is really only an importance to enter separate hemisphere. 3-4000 miles . ( to get opposite daylight hours and somewhat alternate seasons to reduce need for electrical storage . All of a sudden solar becomes probable when looked at hemisphere to hemisphere and one side of earth to another. Distances of 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Pole to pole is only marginally important. Full earth interconnected grid with multiple green power sources is within reach . Especially if along the grid are substations and power generation plants that utilize local logical power sources . North slope – natural gas and solar , rest of Alaska natural gas solar tidal geothermal wind ,small scale hydro ect . Same for rest of world . Whatever clean sources are economically logical to the area . I see little reason not to cover deserts largely with solar panels. ( I like em ) obviously this is just a thought and perhaps there are better options. Incredible rough idea. Generally speaking there would be little line loss because the majority of power could be produced and utilized near its source. The grid would be for adverse weather and evening when power needs were low . Personally I think all man made substances should be covered with panels. Their are clear ones for windows and flexible ones for fabric and cars lamp posts ect ect . Im sure people who are actually smart could think of plausible functional ideas far better than my off the cuff . Maybe it’s better to advance the usage of more localized power sources like we have now but to implement more green energy rather than an ambitious grid . My opinion the grid would be beneficial long term . Mathematicians could figure it all out.

    • Opinion,

      I’m not up to date on the cost of high voltage line, but the longer the line the more it costs obviously. The worlds longest ultra-high voltage line was built in China and just recently put into service at a cost of almost 6 Billion dollars, it’s 1,100 KV and can transmit 12 gigawatts over about 2,000 miles. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-02/world-s-biggest-ultra-high-voltage-line-powers-up-across-china

      The bigger the diameter of line the more it weighs obviously. I would suspect that at a certain point the diameter of the line would necessitate it being buried instead of going overhead, that would add additional costs. If you Google the Changji-to-Guquan project and click images you can see just how massive the towers they made for this 1,100 KV line are. Just looking at some of the pictures the line itself looks to be about 2″ diameter, the bigger the diameter the more the cost.

      Running a line as far as you are suggesting would benefit by being DC, both in cost and line loss. But at some point it would need to be converted to AC. It’s been talked about generating power on the North Slope using gas and sending down a DC line to the population centers to the south for years. The money just isn’t there to do that, among other considerations. However solar panels, as you know, generate in DC. So your idea of filling deserts with solar panels and sending the power along a long distance DC ultra-high voltage transmission line might some day make sense monetarily speaking.

      Localized generation at this point in time is almost always less expensive than building huge power plants in the middle of nowhere and transmitting that power over great distances. Grid scale solar panels in the deserts of the Southwest might make some kind of sense, but they also take up an extreme amount of land for a relatively small amount of power. We are currently sitting in a glut of natural gas, and will be sitting in that glut for the foreseeable future. Cheap fuel in localized generation sources that do not require expensive long distance transmission lines is where we are headed for the next 20-50 years. Natural gas will replace coal, at least in the US within a generation, unreliable renewables will also help expand natural gas generation. If energy storage can somehow make a quantum leap in the next decade then all bets are off. But one thing is proven time and time again, people want cheap power and they want it on demand…solar and wind do not offer either at grid scale at this time.

      • I agree on wind rarely reliable except the chain , certain passes and specific coastal areas . What you said on everything else makes sense . Except the concept of renewables being unreliable. I’m subject to fewer shorter power outages than any of my on grid neighbors . Sun ,geo thermal , and tides all keep creating almost indefinitely . I definitely agree on natural gas and that will be very useful especially when electrical demands are higher due to electrical cars . Thanks for reply

  2. Solar energy is the key . Proove me wrong. Can you see how it would work? Can you think out of the box? Or are you just a talking mouth with no on the ground expierence ? Any one can say it won’t work . Who can make it work- . Don’t be a propagandist

    • Opinion, solar is doable for a homestead and that is about it. The panels are too expensive. The batteries are expensive and bulky and hard to dispose of. They also are made in China, the worst environmental offender of them all. Funny how nobody protests them. Think they give a chit? Nah! Nuclear Power is the cleanest, most efficient form of energy currently available.

      • Bryan , how do you know this ? Numbers please. You are politically and socially up to date but extremely mistaken as to what’s possible mechanically. Do you have any experience in the field of electrical installation or generation? You provided no new idea , only the talking points of the uniformed and inept . What keeps our earth warm and supports all life ? Think about it . What made your precious oil ? The food you eat . Think about it . Put some real thoughts into it and don’t just blabber other people’s ideas ,

      • I see your point. Of course the sun supports most life on earth but, harnessing that power in a productive way is NOT only NOT reliable but, certainly not cost effective nor efficient at this stage. Nuclear power has been around and has proven safe and could generate all of Alaska’s energy needs and then some. But, since Alaska sits on active plates I suggest good ole fashioned natural gad and oil. Coal might work as well.
        I am not sure what numbers you are looking for.

      • Anyone looking for real life examples of Solar Parks that are financially viable options for energy can look to Massachusetts.
        Harvard and MIT have nice set ups and several dozen other “parks” are scattered throughout the state along with thousands of homes with panels.
        “Exceeding projections again, cumulative solar PV capacity in the state reached over 2 GW (2,000 MW) at the end of 2017…
         The American Solar Energy Industries Associationforecasts that another ~1.5 GW of solar PV will be installed in the state over the next four years (2018-2021).”
        (Wikipedia)

      • CA has installed a lot of solar in the past decade, they have done massive projects that cover square miles of land and only generate up to 600 MW. Some of these solar installations convert solar rays into heat and they use that heat to make steam and drive a steam turbine. When clouds pass overhead the solar heating goes away, the same thing happens when the sun sets. These solar plants use natural gas to offset or even out their generation, some of them have been in trouble for causing more emissions than regular natural gas power plants. The large scale solar arrays completely destroy thousands and thousands of acres and require a lot of water to keep them clean. Many of them kill birds and other animals, like the ones out by Vegas that practically vaporizes birds daily. Solar works best at this time in small scale residential and business installations where the cost of power is high and the grid can support unreliable generation, and of course it only works now because of all the heavy subsidies. Solar will never work on a large scale in Alaska because when we have ample sunlight we don’t use as much power, we use more power in the winter. This is the same situation with the proposed Susitna dam except instead of sunlight it’s water. The low angle of the sun on the horizon also causes problems for solar here, even in the summer photovoltaic solar panels will never approach their nameplate rating.

      • Steve O,
        These solar parks do not need to produce energy all year to be economically viable as a partial solution since they sell electricity back to the grid as they produce it.
        Just like many businesses in Alaska only provide revenue into the fall so too will these new parks…the grid will just burn gas to augment demand in winter until panels can produce energy again in the spring.
        ADN did a story last year on the owner of the solar park here in Willow and he said if the first year turned out good he would add more…seeing that it is doubling it’s size…I would say it is “working out” OK up here in “Alaska”.
        Obviously adding panels to houses and continuing to offset the grid while weaning off of the gas is the long term solution to sustainably.

      • Steve,

        The small solar park you are talking about isn’t grid scale. I looked up the article, https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/environment/2018/09/03/commercial-solar-is-about-to-become-a-reality-in-alaska/ 100kw is what they installed using 408 panels on 17 acres, that is background noise on the Alaskan grid. Since solar panels only put out their rated capacity under the most ideal conditions the 100kw number is a complete misnomer. But let’s just for the sake of argument go with the 100kw number. According to the and article they are selling their power at $0.09/kwh that would equal $9.00 per hour under ideal conditions, the article said this project cost $200,000-300,000 (pretty big range and I would guess the actual number to be higher). It would take between 22,222 and 33,333 hours to pay off the initial investment, or between 2.5 and 3.8 years of around the clock production at full rated capacity…something that will obviously never happen. Being realistic we can easily double that time to between 5 and 7.6 years just due to winter, we can further extend that time just due to the low angle of the sun, weather, night, dirty panels, equipment breakdown, and whatever other factors we want to throw into the mix. That is all before considering paying for maintenance, operation, and any permitting and legal requirements…oh and that these panels are being subsidized by up to 30%.
        I know it feels good to see solar panels, but it just doesn’t make sense here unless you have no other options.

        Solar has a place, it’s just not in wholesale power, and definitely not in Alaska.

      • Steve o , you are not correct except in analysis of willow project. Well intentioned idiots . They used fixed panels in a bum location. Or maybe people at play . If you want to generate solar power and create cost effective power on a large scale at moderate costs . Think outside the damn box !! The current installers do it all wrong . There are multiple ways to get real performance out of panels. In Alaska put them on a mountain outside anchorage. In a bowl that keeps snow a long time use the natural damn terrain to focus the lights into panels . Where that’s not possible use mirrors. Always always have a hood or roof in an area without trees !!! . For commercial power never use fixed direction panels . Auto tracking. Main thing is natural terrain in snow fields create free light . If it’s done near sea level shape the ground to make massive collector with light colored rocks . Or painted rocks . Or similar ideas . Panels become effective when operating near max . Absolutely no shade . For commercial power to actually make a dent in Alaskans needs we need an interstate grid – Fairbanks then connect whole world and I mean whole world. It’s always light somewhere . Super low light areas like southeast and chain should use micro hydro and the tides . Chain is wind possible. A worldwide grid reduces need for storage to almost nothing. When power is in excess for certain areas pump high mountain lakes full of water . Use as a battery for hydro . Get those nuclear engineers to work out ideas better than mine and I guarantee you where there’s a smart man and will power a way becomes apparent. Currently our installers are in Stone Age . I can say that as I have a brother who taught about it in China and Australia and another brother who used to own a solar installation buisness. My own personal solar generator system uses some of these methods and works shockingly well . Britain has a few good studies. If you see panels that aren’t covered with mirrors / reflective material like tin foil white paint whatever and the ground shaped for collection it’s someone who forgot to turn on their brain . Ever seen a large system that utilized this ? Nope ! And they make solar look like a failure. Wake up engineers !!! Our school systems suck and it’s proof if we can’t even get energy we need from the sun ! We are stuck in Stone Age .

      • I have travelled all around the country. From personal experience, solar farms are the most hideous site on the environment next to wind farms. I’d even say worse than litter. Opinion, how could you justify destroying Alaska’s pristine beauty over acres amd acres of hideous, unsightly, inefficient solar panels?

      • Bryan , you may have a point. I don’t agree that they look hideous. I like the color . To me function is beauty . I take a different tact when I see a huge blinking cell phone towers interrupting the view . To certain mind sets all industrial is ugly. You may be that type . If so let’s start a movement to only walk , ride bicycles, or animals, sail boats and no more industrial power. ( only power machines by hand . Hand make everything. No atv for hunting, no motors or fumes . ( kids walk to the bus or home school) now we are back to Craig’s suggestions and I’m on board 100% heck perhaps we could make earth homes and no longer need heating or cooling systems just 5 ft of dirt . I’m on board . A cleaner environment. I used to hand wash clothes and everything when I was a kid . No washing machines or dryers . It was a good time . All the wood was cut with a sweep saw and those that went to school biked 3 miles in the dark through creeks . No headlights. Yep that’s the solution. I agree let’s do it . Clean air and strong bodies. The winters wood cutting with a sweed saw an ax ,pulling – carrying in big logs made a strong young man . I would be smart to do that again.

      • Bryan, that was a good era . Our horse pulled in all the logs for the house I lived in . We used hand saws and chisels to make it . We ate from the garden ,bear , moose , salmon , trout ,wild berries . Not many store items . The goats milk was good and the chickens tasted better . Craig was right , time to ditch modern living.

      • Opinion,

        Good luck getting interstate electrical connection in Alaska, the tie line between Bradley Lake and the rest of the railbelt just burned up any guesses as to how long that will take to replace and how much the cost will be? Try running a line through a foreign country to connect us to the lower 48 over thousands of miles, the line loss alone would prove that idea unfeasable add in maintenance and operation and it’s a losing proposition. Even if we tried to connect the railbelt to Canada it would cost hundreds and hundreds of millions, if not billions. Who’s going to pay for that?

        I’ve owned solar and I know it’s positives and negatives. It just does not work in Alaska for anything other than remote locations where there are no other options or very limited options.

      • Steve -o , what you are miss understanding is the reason solar doesn’t work for main stream folks is because the application technology is not advanced. If you put the technology of nuclear into the installation and application of the panels you would see enough efficiency advancement to make it cost effective. You are looking up out of a hole and can’t see the sun . I’m being derogatory just a picture. You probably had your panels installed by the book . Those methods are guaranteed failure. If nuclear physicists were working on solar installation there is high likelihood the cost of energy generated would drop . As to your statement about grids . You are mistaken. Electrical Grids cover the Us . My family has been in power and telecommunications infrastructure for a long time . I have a grasp of what can be done . Sure you need infrastructure and power generation capacity throughout. Tesla had ideas that may be applicable. Yes a current top to bottom hemisphere might be tough but the poles are currently not contested with much violence. It’s easy to say no something won’t work. It’s tougher to find a solution. We went to the moon . Nuclear is not the answer unless you put the reactors on the moon and find a way to get the power to earth . IMO So Steve o I know you are exceptional at reasearch and it’s implications, I challenge you to find a green source of power that trumps nuclear . You can do it . As to nuclear -it’s similar to theft or cheating, yes it can be done and gets great immediate results financially or genetically but should it be done and will it effect the future? Are we so close minded we can’t find a better solution?

      • Steve o , ( I meant not derogatory). ( as to the hole analogy) My sincere apologies for the writing mistake . I have seen you are very smart and grounded. I just think someone of your caliber can find a better solution than something that inherently poses great risk . My solar generation system was done on the cheap . 20 k . I run washers dryers 3000 ft modern home , mow lawns with battery, showers , modern appliances freezers , fridges , pumps ect ect . I generate enough power for 3 homes in March and April . My supplemental gasoline fuel for regular generator is only couple hundred dollars in November december . I’m in Stone Age and I can see the light . The limitation is clearly storage . If I can do this on a primitive system, engineering could do this effectively on large scale . Granted I use propane for hot water heater but like I said my system was cheap and primitive yet very effective.

      • Steve o , look up artec . We have interconnected grids all over Alaska already . ( the problems of interstate grid you mentioned are mostly already solved) Then think under sea lines wherever needed . We already have under sea cables . The trick is diversification. Hydro power storage as possible, eventual world grids . Ever wonder why oil companies are investing in green power ? Ask yourself why is Saudi Arabia building the most massive solar farm to date ? They want to make money . They see the writing on the wall financially . Alaska has massive geothermal potential. I have friends who study it for power generation application other countries fully utilize it . It’s not rocket science. Diversity in power generation is key . Whatever is functional locally . I’m not against natural gas . I am against reliance on nuclear and petroleum products that cause excessive air and water pollution especially in habitat of humans. That’s just not bright for long term . Your statement about the grid being damaged by fire has no bearing on green energy. Any energy is at risk of fire . Personally I prefer each family generated their own power on their property . Reduces a weakness in our culture. For green energy storage is the problem not generation. The obvious other option is hydrogen. If you don’t like grids or huge water storage ,Excess solar power could split water and produce a storable commodity. There are so many many options. It’s time to apply our knowledge.

      • Steve and Bryan . The solar arrays that utilize excessive mirrors to concentrate the sun / killing birds isn’t the way to go . A more moderate concentration system is better. IMO . Has to be balance.

      • Opinion, I will agree with you and even long for the past in many cases. But, the reality is the Chinese would blow through us like chit through a goose. I mean, it all sou ds good but on a national level wind or solar cannot keep up with the demand. Our arch enemy has no problem with coal, nuclear power, or polluting the environmemt to get ahead.

      • Bryan, I agree China is a concern. Interestingly they are largest producers of solar power. They are creating a history of getting ahead . The amount of education money they spend on solar, Ai , drones and robotics is impressive. Yes China is a problem. Hopefully trump can get a handle on them before it’s to late . It’s tough to compete with a country with no or few ethics. Socially, environmently ,genetics or Ai . The real danger I see though is ourselves. Destroying our civil liberties and making a precedent of throwing ethics aside in the race for safety and technology. Need to make sure our government and county stays a shining icon and worth fighting for . If we pollute our nation in the race for supremacy- what did we win ?

      • Opinion,

        We are kind of getting down a couple different trails on this one.

        I don’t have a problem with solar, I’ve owned it. Where I had my panels was in an area closer to the equator with plentiful sun, they were stationary but generated plenty of juice. I would have to dig through my old records, but offhand the array would generate a little more than 1,000 kwh for a monthly average. Solar has it’s place, it’s just not as a grid scale supplier of bulk electricity at this point especially in Alaska. We just need to be realistic as to what solar can do and how it is made, massive mining is required to get the metals required, most of the hardcore environmentalist don’t want to mine anything. I agree with you when you say if advancements are made and we are able to harness the power of the sun then all our power needs will be met…and then some. Look up what a Dyson Sphere is, talk about mind blowing use of solar activity or at least the idea of it.

        The railbelt goes from Homer to Fairbanks, other than that I can think of only one other interconnected system in Alaska and that would be in a portion of SE. The reason the lower 48 is as interconnected as it is has to do with population density, the same reason we only have a few interconnected areas in Alaska. Moving electrons from one point to another with little or nothing in between can be done, it just costs a lot and a lot of juice is lost along the way. Moving power across a continent just isn’t done. The closest thing to moving power great distances in bulk was back during the Enron era when costs were so high in CA that plants in Texas were shipping as much power as they could on the lines to keep the lights on. They were selling power at up to and in some cases even over 100 times the actual cost, so if they lost half or 3/4 of what they pushed down the line they made bank…I’m not sure how much is lost when moving power that far, especially during the hot summers of the Southwest.

        Can we do better, sure we can always do better, and we should always strive to do so. But we need to be realistic or we end up sounding like AOC and her 12 year number.

      • Steve o , thanks ! Keep in mind no one famous ever Said can’t . Once you’ve said “can’t” it changes something in your brain that makes it less possible to make advances. I’ve done a lot of very hard projects and physical efforts with very little resources and found little use for the word . As to AOC there are no fears there. She’s just fear mongering for attention or something similar.embaressaing product of our time . I haven’t really looked at the negatives from mining the materials for solar . I’m sure there are some . Uranium mining can’t be much better. Keep up the good fight . Just start looking for other options in case nuclear isn’t advanced to full scale . Thanks for discussion

      • Example- my home uses aprx 40-60 kWh per day . Aprx 1200 + per month = a Alaska energy vost value of aprx 200$+ month or 2400$ + per year .( I’m going to call it 2000$ per year for simple math and because two months out of year I supplement with gasoline a 400$ cost aprx for the whole year . Roughly 240$for those two months the remainder interspersed I’m far enough off grid it would cost over 500,000$ to get power to me if I laid my own line and fought for rightof ways so we will dismiss that as inherent costs to get power .) so my system gives a 2000$ minimum value per year. It cost me 24,000$ to set up . 16 batteries 6 volt = 48 volt bank sealed in the house . I have 20 panels. 255 watts . 4500 watt inverter and a 4,000 dollar Honda gen 6500 watt . That’s now 10 years old .so it will take 12 years to pay off my investment. I’m currently on my 7 th year . Batteries last 7-10 years ( 5000$) . Panels have 25 year warranty. My system will be paid off after aprx a total of 12-15 years . Anything after that is money in the bank for an on grid person. My system collects sun all day long due to panel positions. Rain sun shine . It’s a very primitive archaic set up . I get a 1500$-3000$ tax rebate for solar per year so I basically get free power but we will ignore that for now. At any rate it’s hard for me to imagine that a commercial grade system wouldn’t benefit the grid if out of box thinking was applied to panel maximization. If a dumb ass like myself can equal out then a well trained ingenious engineer can make it happen in a cost effective manner. I have southern exposure but it’s not perfect. One acre homes would struggle as I cleared trees in a fight with mosquitoes. Just sayin it can be done if done right.

      • I think you give too much credit to engineers, I stopped doing that along time ago. They went to school and learned how to do everything the exact same way as the guy or gal next to them.

        I looked through my documents, I had a 6.6 kw array and I was getting just over 1,000 kwh per month average year over year or about 33 kwh a day. That was in an area much much closer to the equator with more than plentiful sunshine, granted they were stationary panels. If you are able to get more than 1,000 kwh per month average on a 5.1 kw array in Alaska through rain or shine, then you must have some kind of secret that the engineers haven’t been able to figure out.

      • Steve o , you have a good point about traditional schooling. Tends to suppress individual ingenuity. So I may be over estimating who can do what. Needs to be engineer plus inventor plus a buisnes man. As to solar the batteries are the week point so sacrifices must be made to maximize their usefulness and acknowledging their weaknesses. Panels must be set up to get first and last sun of day . Some charge just prior to dark and charge immediately at daylight. . Batteries can only take energy at certain rates and only take in a certain amount, and really struggle if they go without constant input . Fixed panels one angle one direction are pretty much doomed . Alaska has at least two advantages over equatorial for sun reception. Long daylight days combined with reflective snow completely off sets the poor sun in October November December. Current installers are not maximizing to off set those three months. We currently are getting almost 12 hours of usable daylight. The problem is during October part of November we have no snow to create free light or reflective light whatever you call it . So artificial reflective materials must be put into place with ground shape and man made reflectors . When January 15 rolls around we have lots of snow that naturally offsets the lack of daylight. If panels ar angled correctly,not at the sky but at collection system almost vertical. February – April are intense energy production month and I can’t take advantage because I have inadequate storage. Panels must be covered so they don’t hold snow or rain . The main thing is if panels are fixed and not mobile it absolutely cannot be pointed solely south . If you get a few clouds during noon time power production is shot . Batteries can’t handle that . Current installers are struggling with the hedge your betts concept and are hoping for that premium moment of sun collection which is rare in Alaska . Obviously solar must be not relied on without supplemental that’s available to area . South east has hydro and geothermal, the chain has tidal , wind , geothermal, interior has geo thermal, and wind in mountains. The important thing is to utilize what’s locally available Cook Inlet has second highest tides in the world massive opertunity , and not try to use something that works for someone else somewhere else . Germans using solar is very marginal idea as they have rain clouds and little snow for free light. They need a different natural power source local or worldwide power grid . Though Britain has made advancements. I’m very pro natural gas untill we implement better options. The amount / quantity of natural gas and solid gas ( ? ) called ice is unbelievable! Relatively cheap and fairly clean. China is making claims beneath the sea.

      • Good discussion on Solar Panels…
        I have been on the fence with the returns on just one homestead in AK as opposed to larger solar parks that sell back to the grid since large battery banks are not needed in the commercial setting.
        Just for comparison I run a 1,600 sq ft house off the grid with an Honda EU 3000 generator and a small battery bank of 4 (6 volt) batteries with an Inverter.
        I had the electrician wire in a dozen or so DC lights around the house the function whether or not the Inverter is on.
        I only run the genie about 4 to 6 hours per day and burn about 1.5 gallons of gas.
        All my kitchen appliances are on propane though as is my emergency heat source.
        Overall it would be hard for me to invest in a 20K solar system since my current utility expenses are only $220.00 a month with both gas bills.
        I figure after 10 years you need a new genie and new batteries, so I kept it simple and use all LED lights inside and out.

  3. Delingpole: Climate Strike Kids Would All Fail This Elementary, Global Warming Test…

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/20/ok-climate-kids-go-on-strike-but-not-till-youve-done-this-quiz/

    I believe that all children should be free to bunk off school to attend today’s Climate Strike. But only if they can get at least 80 percent of the answers right on this climate quiz prepared by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    Here is a taster:

    By how many degrees has the world warmed in the last 20 years?

    a) 0.3 C b) 0.8 C c) 1.5 C

    How many degrees Celsius has the world warmed since the pre-industrial period?

    a) 10 C b) 3 C c) 1 C

    It is thought that there were between 5,000 and 15,000 polar bears alive in 1960; how many polar bears are alive today?

    a) more than 28,000 b) 5,000 to 10,000 c) fewer than 4,000

    There is, I would suspect, barely a child alive that has been through the green indoctrination process which passes for education in our schools who would be able to answer more than half these questions correctly.

    (The answers are, of course, 1 a, 2 c and 3 a)

    So what we’re witnessing today is the bizarre phenomenon of tens of thousands of schoolchildren protesting over an issue which they do not remotely comprehend. And then being applauded for it by adults who – astonishingly – are even more stupid than the kids.

  4.  New poll out for 2020 primaries:
    “Iowans on Board With Climate Action as Impacts Hit Home…
    7 in 10 registered Iowa voters support government action to address climate change…
    77% of voters are more likely to support candidates who favor increasing funding for renewables…
    77% say extreme weather a serious problem where they live.”
    Seems like Climate Action and Renewable Energy discussions are not just happening on the “left” these days…

    https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/news-events/poll-iowans-on-board-with-climate-action-as-impacts-hit-home/

    • Maybe the good, WOKE people of Iowa can tell this bimbet, Greta Thunberg to go and protest in China. America has done more good in the world than this losers country. Oh, and she can sail to Hong Kong on her $5 million yacht to protest with the good people there who REALLY have something to protest. Snowflakes…..

      • Bryan,
        Are you just jealous of her boat?
        Maybe your man Trump can compete with a Carbon Neutral Vessel of his own?
        You got to admit it is way better than Al Gore flying around on his jet to Climate Talks.
        It take money to get to the Political Pulpit these days…that is no different for liberals or conservatives.

  5. Most, if not all, of these children are simply to young to understand that in their lifetimes carbon emissions in the US have dropped substantially. I can forgive these young people their ignorance because they do not have the life experience to know better, they probably do not even know how to find that information. I cannot forgive grown adults who deliberately remain ignorant, because they should know better. We are doing something to lower carbon emissions, the people who are pushing anthropogenic global warming do not want to acknowledge this fact, instead they brainwash our children into thinking nothing is being done. Why would adults who should know better use their children as a pawn in this conversation? It’s because, as Craig points out, it is easier to use your words than to actually do something. These kids don’t know what they are protesting, they don’t know the facts about anthropogenic global warming, and they surely don’t care to fix the problem.

    • “Democrat presidential candidates took part in the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Iowa Saturday, which featured 10,500 sizzling steaks.

      Their participation follows weeks of climate change alarmism from the presidential candidates, many of whom have signaled support for limiting beef consumption in order to combat what they say is a looming climate catastrophe.”

  6. I can’t imagine a better example to support ending compulsory public funded education. Schools are indoctrination centers for the Church of Woke.

    • Yes, funnel them all into the Universal Church, that’ll fix the all of that ‘WOKE’ crap. If that, however unlikely, fails try the Baptists. If they get limp, lateral off to the Mormons. After they all zero out, there is always the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      • Sure Bryan…
        Some Austrian Physicist (Fred Singer) starts a Climate Denier Club with (NIPCC) as it’s Acronym and fights the 97 percent of scientists who are part of the awareness movement on Climate Change throughout the World…
        “Singer was aware of the science of climate change from as early as 1968.
        It could all have been very different.
        He was undeniably a skilled rocket scientist with outstanding credentials.
        It was during the 1970s and ‘80s, within the community of Koch funders and funded think tanks in Virginia, that his scepticism started to percolate.”
        Sound familiar?
        Koch brothers buying a scientist to speak their “Double Talk” to all…

        https://www.desmogblog.com/2014/12/10/fred-singer-granddaddy-fake-science-retires-sepp-president

    • Steve: it isn’t a listening problem. it’s a doing problem.

      to reduce carbon emissions, significant socio-cultural changes are needed. nobody in this country wants to make them – right or left.

      the left might claim they want to make them, but just try to eliminate buses within 3 miles (an hour’s walk) of all schools. those liberal soccer moms will rip you a new one.

      much the same is likely to happen if you return to zoning that puts local grocery stores within walking distance of homes. they’ll be up in arms about the potential “traffic,” because despite being all in for reducing carbon emissions they all drive everywhere.

      a carbon tax might help – although the right will be up in arms about that – to push everyone toward electric cars which COULD reduce emissions, but only if we figure out ways to produce enough electricity without the use of huge amounts of hydrocarbons and now we’re back to another battle: NUCLEAR POWER!

      realistically, i think we’re screwed until someone comes up with a decision for the first functional fusion reactor.

      • I say just enjoy your life. Let your kids enjoy their life because it will be no different (environmentally speaking) than yours. Same ole seasons, same ole tides, same ole temps, etc.. Carbon Tax is dog whistle for scam. So, so, soooo glad most normal people aren’t buying that leftist BS.
        Steve S, you kill me, you profess to be some Independent intellect, yet you beg to be controlled and your wallet drained over a Leftist, Democrat sanctioned lie.

      • Craig,
        I agree with much of what you are saying…
        Just try and tell the Teamsters that you are eliminating busing kids to school.
        Political nightmare…
        Which is mostly the Stonewall we as society face with the issue of Climate Change.
        I will say many people are listening and some are making life changes to live “greener”.
        Of course riding my bike 5 miles to the P.O. won’t solve the problem, but it does save me money and helps me stay fit in the process throughout the week.
        I also noticed that it looks like the commercial Solar Panel System in Willow is expanding and doubling the amount of panels onsite…
        Must be financially profitable to switch to cleaner sources of energy…of which nuclear is not.
        Mostly at this point as consumers in America it comes back to an old Ghandi saying:
        “Be the Change you wish to see in the World”

      • Steve S, can you say FEDERAL RABATES (Willow)? Solar panels are the least cost effective form of energy there is. Solar isn’t even in the running compared to clean, efficient nuclear energy. I mean, you compare the Wright Brother’s to an F-15?
        All these local gov solar farms are nothing but taxpayer nightmares thrust upon them by the Obama Admin. Watch to see how much savings YOU reap in Willow. After all you paid for those solar panels, I hope you get some sort of monthly deduction.

    • The assumption being made here is that CO2 is the cause rather than the effect. If you look at CO2 levels over the last several ice ages, it is a lagging indicator by perhaps 600 – 800 years, as CO2 dissolved into and diffuses out of the ocean as they cool and warm. And if it is a lagging indicator, it can’t possibly be the cause.

      The problem with the IPCC over the last 20 years (at least) is that it has written conclusions first and gathered data to support those solutions second, exactly the opposite of the scientific method. Worse, none, absolutely none of their work has ever considered the impact of variable solar output, which is kind of a big deal.

      Over the last 1000 years, at least four global cooldowns correlate nicely with times of quiet sun – the Wolf, Maunder, Sporer and Dalton minimums, for instance. And we are sliding nicely into what looks like yet another Grand Solar Minimum that may last until mid-century if you believe the Russians. While correlation is generally not causation, four data points in the last 1,000 years is most certainly something not to summarily ignore.

      Our problem isn’t heat. It is cold and we live in a cold part of the world. Frosted over solar panels in December in Wasilla aren’t going to do a lot to keep things warm. A few reactors (heat engines) or a CTL plant or two will. Cheers –

  7. Bans on plastic are a strategy. The goal is a ban on guns by citizens. The objective is taking down democracy. The GND is not about saving the planet, its about control of the economy. Sure, some of the greens are kooks, but the Leftists are strategic thinkers. They have increasing control of education and media. They are coming for your guns.

    • Ban on plastic bags = ban on gunz. Got it! You are a loon, nothing more. The lengths you cats go to to link the unlinkable is breathtaking.

      • Having raised aras, reds, plyms, and legs, go screw yourself, twinkie. Try some gull eggs, then come back.

    • Craig , I understand you were giving an example of irony (or the current brainwashed actions of -do as I say not as I do ) with the cars , thank you for your realism. The information about obesity and the correlation of exercise with positive brain function really strikes a cord . Those type of here-and nows keep me grounded. It’s a good reminder to stay healthy with a functional brain . I worry more about the brain damaging chemicals in exhaust and petroleum usage than carbon . You’ve made a pretty good documentation that carbon itself isn’t our biggest danger . Pretty mild and possibly neutral.

    • i expected that. it sort of underlines the problem. no one really wants to do anything to reduce emissions. they’d much rather argue about who has the best intentions.

      did you see any climate day stories about kid’s telling their parents: “from now on, i’m walking to school. you can try to drive me, but i will not get in the car. from this day forward, i’m going to do my part. it might be an infinitesimally tiny part, but at least it’s something.”

  8. Let’s add parents who drive their kids to the bus stop to the list! I currently pass a bus stop right before the middle school pick up and there are parents/kuds waiting in cars- and it’s not even winter!

  9. The climate alarmists are playing into the globalists hands complete tools they are . It’s a distraction trick . Similar to a magician. Watch my hand / while your wallet disappears except in this case it’s watch global warming while your civil liberties disappear. It’s a concerted effort to distract us from the real issues at hand. Poor school systems, water /air / food quality issues , collateral murder of civilians in foreign countries by our military, family degradation and civil liberties issues. Watch my hand folks ! Focus on the hypothetical ( scary climate ) while your quality current and future life goes to heck What a bunch of darn tools . Educate those you care about.

  10. LIST OF DOOMSDAY PREDICTIONS THE CLIMATE ALARMIST GOT WRONG

    Here is the source for numbers 1-27. As you will see, the individual sources are not crackpots, but scientific studies and media reports on “expert” predictions. The sources for numbers 28-41 are linked individually.

    1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975
    1969: Everyone Will Disappear In a Cloud Of Blue Steam By 1989 (1969)
    1970: Ice Age By 2000
    1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By 1974 and Food Rationing By 1980
    1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030
    1972: New Ice Age By 2070
    1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast
    1974: Another Ice Age?
    1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life
    1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent
    1980: Acid Rain Kills Life In Lakes
    1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend
    1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s
    1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs
    1988: Maldive Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (they’re not)
    1989: Rising Sea Levels will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000
    1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019 (it’s not)
    2000: Children Won’t Know what Snow Is
    2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat, and Dairy
    2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024
    2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018
    2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013
    2009: Climate Genius Prince Charles Says we Have 96 Months to Save World
    2009: UK Prime Minister Says 50 Days to ‘Save The Planet From Catastrophe’
    2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014
    2013: Arctic Ice-Free by 2015
    2014: Only 500 Days Before ‘Climate Chaos’
    1968: Overpopulation Will Spread Worldwide
    1970: World Will Use Up All its Natural Resources
    1966: Oil Gone in Ten Years
    1972: Oil Depleted in 20 Years
    1977: Department of Energy Says Oil will Peak in 90s
    1980: Peak Oil In 2000
    1996: Peak Oil in 2020
    2002: Peak Oil in 2010
    2006: Super Hurricanes!
    2005 : Manhattan Underwater by 2015
    1970: Urban Citizens Will Require Gas Masks by 1985
    1970: Nitrogen buildup Will Make All Land Unusable
    1970: Decaying Pollution Will Kill all the Fish
    1970s: Killer Bees!

    Sorry, Experts… Sorry, Scientific Consensus… Only a fool comes running for the 42nd cry of wolf.

    Don’t litter, be kind to animals, recycling’s for suckers (it’s all going to end up in the ground eventually), so stop feeling guilty… Go out there and embrace all the bounty that comes with being a 21st century American — you know, like Obama, who says he believes in Global Warming with his mouth but proves he doesn’t with the $15 million he just spent on oceanfront that we’re told is doomed to flooding.

  11. I have a novel idea. Let’s just bring back the insane asylums and put liberals and most Democrats of today back where they belong. One has to only turn-on CNN, MSDNC, or watch their protests, listen to their “demands”, or their causes and realize they are insane and shouldn’t be taken seriously. “Squeeky wheel gets the oil” I guess. How any sane person can take those lunatics seriously is beyond me. They are master’s of deception, spin, lies, and fabrications. Sadly the young are too stupid to understand or know this.

    • When both sides of the political divide believe members of the other side are functionally insane, we have a real problem. This is why the left is trotting out the red flag laws. Any of them can drop a dime on any of us and an obliging leftist judge will sent the SWAT team to your front door just to make sure. Think of tens of thousands of Ruby Ridges or Waco’s every day. What possibly could go wrong? Never forget that in the last days of the Soviet Union any opponent of the regime was deemed mentally ill and sent to a Gulag for “treatment.” Cheers –

      • agreed. a good start to solving a lot of our problems would be for people on opposite sides of the political spectrum to stop calling each other names. just bite your tongue, and stick to the substance of the discussion.

        what do you think the odds on that happening?

      • Some of the people are insane but those people are the useful idiots. The ones coming up with the strategy are very strategic. The endgame is control of the economy. GND is about more about the economy than the environment.

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