Solar Power

Excellent article on the Gulf Oil Spill: Living in Alabama, with the oil spill: Ryan Dezember

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 07/18/2010 - 13:37.

I was moved today by coverage in the Cleveland Plain Dealer of the Gulf Oil Spill - Living in Alabama, with the oil spill: Ryan Dezember - props for this personal and eye opening guest editorial today - from the PD: Dezember is a reporter for the Mobile Press-Register in Alabama. He is a graduate of Kent State University, and a Bay Village native. Some key observations:

That morning, I caught my first whiff of the pungent odor outside my house some five miles north of the beach. So stifling was the acrid smell that before making the connection to the spill, I figured that someone in my neighborhood was getting a new roof.

Such is the prognosis that federal wildlife officials have decided that there is virtually no chance any of the 50,000 or so sea turtle hatchlings that emerge from the northern Gulf's beaches each summer would survive in their now-toxic natal waters.

The consequences of losing the entire $1.5 billion summer tourism season will be far-reaching. Right now is the season's peak, and the glassy towers that line the beach are emptier than they were in the dead of winter.

Early in the morning of June 23, the spill's pall claimed its first local casualty. William Allen "Rookie" Kruse, a 55-year-old fisherman, sent his crew on an errand at a Gulf Shores marina and -- while they were still within earshot -- put a pistol to his head and fired.

The first rule of the Art Of Surviving Cleveland is PROTECT YOUR DNA!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 07/15/2010 - 14:00.

Art of Surviving Cleveland

The first rule of the Art Of Surviving Cleveland is PROTECT YOUR DNA!

As reported on realNEO: "what we have learned after sampling and genetically profiling many gull families is that colonies close to integrated steel mills transmit DNA mutations to their offspring more frequently than those at rural sites. In addition, the closer the colony to steel mills, the higher the mutation rate".  Further, "Our genetic analyses of environmentally exposed mice revealed that offspring from the steel site inherited nearly double the frequency of DNA mutations compared to their rural counterparts. Clearly, air pollution near integrated steel mills can induce genetic damage. At this time we cannot identify the class of chemical pollutant responsible, but suggest that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, by-products of coal combustion, are a likely candidate."

In other words, and further: if you want to live a long, healthy, normal life and perhaps have offspring... DON'T live, work, eat, visit or play near a steel mill or any coal-burning facility... DON'T DO THIS:

Air Quality Advisory for Northeast Ohio - Thursday, July 15, 2010 - Ozone - Hot summer, folks!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 14:57.
07/15/2010 - 00:00
07/16/2010 - 00:00
Etc/GMT-4

NOTE: So far this year, NE Ohio has experienced ozone exceedances of the USEPA health-based standard on April 15, May 27, June 18, and July 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 15.  Hot summer, folks!

Earth sweating 
Northeast Ohio -
Temperatures will be in the 90's tomorrow, and humidity will be very high.  The wind will be almost calm in Northeast Ohio.  Consequently, an Air Quality Advisory is being issued for the counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit for Thursday, July 15.

Location

Northeast Ohio
Your Street The Air You Breathe
Your City, OH
United States
Phone: 1-800-air-suxs

An Open Letter From Someone Who Matters About Something That Matters To Real Citizens of NEO

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 07/09/2010 - 10:12.

Broken Air Pollution Monitoring Station in Cleveland, Ohio, on an UNHEALTHY DAY
Broken Air Pollution Monitoring Station in Cleveland, Ohio, on an UNHEALTHY DAY - July 5, 2010

As highlighted in my posting on realNEO July 8, 2010 - "Texas regulators are failing to properly monitor, control and enforce federal emission standards! Like in Ohio?!" - I've concluded that "Ohio regulators are failing to properly monitor, control and enforce federal emission standards, and that I believe that political, business and environmental leadership are hiding the violations of polluters by causing ineffective and so publicly harmful and dangerous pollution control practices here, which are made possible by government failure here to really monitor, control and enforce federal emission standards."

Further, I make clear, "the Sierra Club and the Federal EPA are taking legal action AGAINST the Texas STATE REGULATORS and the world's largest corporations because they are not in fact protecting the environment, as required by the Federal government," I go on to report "I have been compiling evidence of corrupt and/or incompetent pollution control in Ohio for many years, and have now formally requested the help of the Sierra Club and their affiliates around the world to force change upon Ohio regulators who are failing to properly monitor, control and enforce federal emission standards here."

I conclude: "As I am seeking real, good outcomes for here - elimination of physical harm from Mittal and other excessive polluters in this region - like being realized through real environmentalism in Texas, my role in this community is not Mr. Nice Guy. I am the uncompromising polluter-killer who makes the Sierra Club seem like a breath of cool fresh air on an astoundingly dangerous Cleveland July afternoon, like today..."

Right on cue, like a breathe of fresh air, I recieved copies today of correspondence from the Sierra Club addressing this very issue, and I asked permission to share that on realNEO as public information and motivation for citizens to engage the government on these issues

Texas regulators are failing to properly monitor, control and enforce federal emission standards! Like in Ohio?!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 18:20.

Bicyclist in Cleveland Flats during unhealthy smog conditions

Real bicycle commuter riding to work in a lumber yard in the Cleveland Flats. His work didn't cause this smog.

Why am I so hostile toward Ohio leadership?

Must be the poison in the air!

And, the life in hell lived by real environmentalists.

Consider what is necessary to clean up the air in environmentally-compromised Texas, where "Environmental groups say Exxon Mobil refinery violates U.S. air law" - "The environmental groups' legal maneuvers are part of broader accusations by the organizations and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that Texas regulators are failing to properly monitor, control and enforce federal emission standards."

You think it is any easier to deal with the greatest corruption on Earth - the corruption of our environmental laws - right here in highly corrupt, polluted, old-economy Northeast Ohio?

US EPA Forecast for Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, OH - Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 2nd Worst Air Pollution in America

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 01:47.
07/08/2010 - 00:00
07/08/2010 - 13:59
Etc/GMT-4

Now in our sixth day of high temperatures, high humidity, high levels of air pollution harm and considerable human suffering, the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain area of Ohio now has the distinction of being on the U.S. EPA's Forecast list of 5 worst pollution locations in the county for July 8, 2010 - and our pollution monitoring equipment is not working consistently in the region, so our air pollution is likely worse than recorded and/or reported by the EPA. So, if the EPA finds real NEO #2 in America for pollution, I'm quite sure we are in fact #1.

Not a reason for LeBron to remain in Cleveland. Definitely a reason to stop burning coal in Northeast Ohio and world-wide.

EPA AirNow Forecast for Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, OH - July 7, 2010 - Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:28.
07/07/2010 - 00:00
07/07/2010 - 23:59
Etc/GMT-4

AirNow PM 2.5 readings for America 0707/2010 12 AM

By all standards, the environment in Northeast Ohio this week is harmful for all citizens. In addition to daytime temperatures in the 90s, there are high levels of pollution in the air - the region has been under air pollution advisory conditions since July 3 and the crisis is far from over. While our temperatures are not as high as some parts of the Eastern United States, the pollution is worse in few places in the country... only conditions in southern Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky are as poor or worse right now. And much of our regional pollution monitoring equipment is broken right now, so our conditions may be far worse than reported.

Location

Northeast Ohio
All Streets
All Cities, OH 44112
United States

Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Ohio - Center for Integrative Environmental Research, University of Maryland - July, 2008

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 00:56.

Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Ohio -  July 2008
A Review and Assessment Conducted by The Center for Integrative Environmental Research, University of Maryland

CONCLUSIONS: The state of Ohio's greatest challenge is likely to be in adapting to climate change along its waterways and on Lake Erie, as this is where the most significant economic and ecological impacts will occur. Building and maintaining an alternative transportation infrastructure would allow Ohio to maintain its vibrant manufacturing industry amidst sea-shipping uncertainty, but the costs of the sort of adaptation needs to first be researched. Natural areas such as forests and lakes will suffer from climate change. The ecological integrity of Ohio’s natural landscape will be threatened in the coming century and it is recommended that management of resources be carefully monitored to ensure the wellbeing of the economic and cultural functions that depend on them. Lastly, because flooding events are likely to occur more often, preparations to prevent and mitigate floods and flood related disasters could be made ahead of time.

NE Ohio Air Quality Advisory Sat. 6/26/10

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 06/26/2010 - 00:13.
06/26/2010 - 00:00
06/26/2010 - 23:59
Etc/GMT-4

Air Quality Advisory Issued for Northeast Ohio

Saturday, June 26, 2010 due to Ozone Concentratio

Northeast Ohio- There is potential for high ozone pollution levels Saturday, June 26, due to high-temperature conditions. Pollution may reach levels considered "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" during the afternoon or early evening hours in areas not subject to rain.

Tip of the Hat and Props to PD's Michael McIntyre - First Reporter to Recognize "A new cash crop" for Ohio

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 15:41.

Tip of the Hat and Props to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael McIntyre, and his Tipoff column today - First Reporter to Recognize "A new cash crop" for Ohio.

I look forward to discussing this initiative in detail with Michael and others in the media and public, as it is important to educate the community on the economic benefits we will receive from "Growing a Bright Green NEO PAC for Legalization & Commercialization of Cannabis Crops, Products & Services".

Here is Michael McIntyre's correct and intelligent impression of our initiative to make Northeast Ohio the Open Source Capital of the Brightest Greenest State of Earth:

A new cash crop

Some Northeast Ohio boosters are pushing for a new product to revive the local economy: Marijuana. And, no, stoners, they're not talking about boosting sales of Doritos.

Norm Roulet of the RealNEO blog announced last week that a political action committee, Real Green NEO PAC, was formed to push for a November ballot issue for "enlightened legalization of cannabis crops."

RECOMMENDATION: Legalize commercial hemp production, the sooner the better to capitalize on first mover advantage

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 06/20/2010 - 11:12.

In 1998, Canada legalized hemp as a product and began national development of hemp related industries. Prior to making that decision, analysts consider the economic cases for and against developing the hemp industry in their nation - a major decision - and they decided: RECOMMENDATION: Legalize commercial hemp production, the sooner the better to capitalize on first mover advantage. Since then, Canada has certainly taken a "first mover" advantage with the hemp industry and developed a bright green economy, with $10s billions in national benefits providing 100,000s of jobs in their nation, in about a decade.

Looking forward to legalizing the industrial hemp industires for Ohio and America, look back to the late 1990s, when Canada as a nation decided it was time to be independent of foolish American legacy policies and develop their hemp industries, which has been a great decision. In brief, here is the recommendation of Commercial Hemp Cultivation in Canada; An Economic Justification:

 

Legalize commercial hemp production, the sooner the better to capitalize on first mover advantage
Granting of permits should be under the ministry of agriculture, and the process simplified to reduce the risk of not being able to guarantee supply (the most substantial risk for potential industrial end users)
Canadian grown seeds are essential to ensure hemp's competitiveness:

Effect of Power Plants on Local Housing Values and Rents - "3-7 percent decreases in housing values and rents within two miles"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 06/19/2010 - 11:00.

The people of Northeast Ohio should be highly concerned about our air pollution, for many reasons. A most recent reason for concern: the May 2010 study "The Effect of Power Plants on Local Housing Values and Rents" finds "3-7 percent decreases in housing values and rents within two miles of plants with the semiparametric estimates suggesting somewhat larger decreases within one mile. In addition, there is evidence of taste-based sorting with neighborhoods near plants experiencing statistically significant decreases in mean household income, educational attainment, and the proportion of homes that is owner occupied". That is a strong analytic foundation for finding much of Cleveland is statistically worth significantly less than cleaner areas of Northeast Ohio and cities in America (as also reflected in our low property values here).

How Biomass Energy Works - From the Union of Concerned Scientists

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 14:28.

How Biomass Energy Works - From the Union of Concerned Scientists

To many people, the most familiar forms of renewable energy are the wind and the sun. But biomass (plant material and animal waste) supplies almost 15 times as much energy in the United States as wind and solar power combined—and has the potential to supply much more.

There are a wide variety of biomass energy resources, including tree and grass crops and forestry, agricultural, and urban wastes. It is the oldest source of renewable energy known to humans, used since our ancestors learned the secret of fire.

Biomass is a renewable energy source because the energy it contains comes from the sun. Through the process of photosynthesis, chlorophyll in plants captures the sun's energy by converting carbon dioxide from the air and water from the ground into carbohydrates, complex compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. When these carbohydrates are burned, they turn back into carbon dioxide and water and release the sun's energy they contain. In this way, biomass functions as a sort of natural battery for storing solar energy. As long as biomass is produced sustainably—with only as much used as is grown—the battery will last indefinitely.

"Importing coal to produce electricity is a drain on Ohio's economy"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 11:34.

The June 15, 2010, Toledo Blade published an important editorial titled To curb Ohio's costly coal bill, fix U.S. energy policy, by Jeff Deyette, assistant director of energy research and analysis in the Union of Concerned Scientists' climate and energy program, and Alan Frasz, vice president of Dovetail Solar and Wind in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, that leads-off with an important observation most residents of Ohio find hard to believe... "When you turn on your coffee pot in the morning, the power likely comes from coal, which generates 85 percent of the electricity in Ohio. According to a new report, three-quarters of that coal comes from elsewhere".  Yes, Ohio is ADDICTED to dirty, expensive, environmentally destructive imported coal - Ohio electricity ratepayers spent $1.5+ billion in just 2008 on imported coal - Ohio is the 5th biggest imported coal junkie in America, and we have the pollution to prove it.

As the authors of this informative editorial point out:

Importing coal to produce electricity is a drain on Ohio's economy. Ratepayer dollars are diverted out of state, instead of being spent locally on renewable-energy projects and energy-efficiency measures that can provide the same electricity service while directly benefiting residents and creating jobs.

The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, "Burning Coal, Burning Cash," ranks states that are net importers of domestic and foreign coal. Ohio is one of 38 states that depend on imported coal. The state spent $1.5 billion on net coal imports in 2008, making it the fifth most dependent state.

First Energy's Bay Shore plant in Oregon imported all of its coal, shelling out $64 million mostly to Wyoming. Most domestic coal comes from Wyoming, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Some states import coal from overseas, as far away as Colombia and Indonesia.

It doesn't have to be that way. Ohio has significant wind, biomass, and solar-power resources, and we've only started tapping into that potential. 

This is for Nicole and for all of our kids – and theirs to come.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 15:55.


Dear Friend,

Two days on the Louisiana Gulf Coast last week changed me in profound and gut wrenching ways.

My throat burned and my head foggy and dizzy from the Gulf's toxic fumes, I returned home and shared my pictures and my flip-camera video with my wife, Fran, and 13-year-old daughter, Nicole.

Question of the Day: Are you boycotting BP?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 06/12/2010 - 10:53.

The most important aspect of industrial hemp farming, the most compelling thing hemp offers us, is fuel

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/11/2010 - 23:27.

Hemp as a Fuel / Energy Source

By Jeremy Briggs

Biodiesel fuel from Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil can be used as is in bio-diesel engines. Methyl esters, or bio-diesel, can be made from any oil or fat including hemp seed oil. The reaction requires the oil, an alcohol (usually methanol), and a catalyst, which produces bio-diesel and small amount of glycerol or glycerin. When co-fired with 15% methanol, bio-diesel fuel produces energy less than 1/3 as pollution as petroleum diesel.

Energy and Fuel from Hemp Stalks through Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is the technique of applying high heat to biomass, or organic plants and tree matter, with little or no air. Reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants and automobiles can be accomplished by converting biomass to fuel utilizing pyrolysis technology. The process can produce, from lingo-cellulosic material (like the stalks of hemp), charcoal, gasoline, ethanol, non-condensable gasses, acetic acid, acetone, methane, and methanol. Process adjustments can be done to favor charcoal, pyrolytic oil, gas, or methanol, with 95.5% fuel-to-feed ratios. Around 68% of the energy of the raw biomass will be contained in the charcoal and fuel oils -- renewable energy generated here at home, instead of overpaying for foreign petroleum.

I paid $.05 extra at Marathon to F***BP today

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/11/2010 - 19:40.

When I think about it, I always avoided BP before Deepwater - totally do now - they always seemed highest cost with the least local authenticity and creativity of the brands, markets and products. From a personal perspective, I saw them take over SOHIO and do little for the old home town, and then vacate - barely know SOHIO ever existed, yet I think the old HQ is still called the BP building - new BP ownership rejected our Oldenburg, which wound up in a different format and venue, by City Hall - what about them has there ever been to like, from the NEO perspective? That they are British? Our beer is better - they live on a tiny island and try to rule the world - they took over America to try to escape their own pollution and unsustainability in the first place...

Identifiable effects on public health which may be expected from the presence of a pollutant in ambient air, e.g. Heart Attacks

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/07/2010 - 12:00.

As a result of old science, politics and industry dominating energy, health and environmental planning and development of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, Ohio and America, citizens here must confront the realities of too much pollution in our air today, with certainty of growing air pollution worldwide in the years ahead. As such, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter finds our pollution causes cardiovascular and respiratory problems and death... topping a long list of cumulative harm pollution causes people and society. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter forms the scientific foundation for the review of the primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) in America, and "accurately reflects “the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of identifiable effects on public health which may be expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in ambient air”".

As I've long written on realNEO, Northeast Ohio has a pollution crisis and does a poor job or monitoring our pollution, putting citizens' lives in danger. How much in danger is the subject of this lengthy EPA analysis. In short, you are certainly being harmed greatly by the high levels of PM clearly released into the air in Northeast Ohio, especially near major roadways and coal burning facilities that are source points, like Mittal and MCCO. For example: "Epidemiologic studies that examined the effect of PM 2.5 on cardiovascular emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions reported consistent positive associations (predominantly for ischemic heart disease [IHD] and congestive heart failure [CHF]), with the majority of studies reporting increases ranging from 0.5 to 3.4% per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM 2.5".

Assessment of Power Plants That Meet Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emission Performance Standards - Final Report - 4/22/2010

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/04/2010 - 08:00.

The chart above presents some of the most important data in the world for citizens to understand about the future physical and economic health and well being of all people on Earth, and for all life on Earth - the Total Levelized Costs of Electricity including TS&M shown in Exhibit ES-11 is the cost breakdown from the ASSESSMENT OF POWER PLANTS THAT MEET PROPOSED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION PERFORMANCE STANDARDS - November 5, 2009 - REVISED 4/22/2010 that demonstrates that all the technologies available and in immediate development to burn coal to generate utility scale power at the emissions standards set for California are more expensive than generating electricity by wind - significantly more expensive. Solar has better economic value than coal as well.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just conducted a comparison of the relative impacts of various financial, technological, and wind resource variables on the LCOE from utility-scale wind projects and found a base case range of $54-74/MWh.