Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘windmills’

Living Off the Grid

I believe in being prepared for some type of period when services may become scarce like food, water, electricity, etc.  I am not digging fallout shelters, but it does seem prudent to take some steps for insurance.  Living in an area where we have cold winters the possibility of surviving cold has me perplexed.  The subtitle to Living off the Grid certainly caught my eye; “A Simple Guide to Creating and Maintaining a Self-reliant Supply of Energy, Water, Shelter and More.”  I expected a more practical guide to providing/getting energy off of the grid, but what the book really should have been titled is A Rich Person’s Guide to Living Off the Grid.

Morning Drive

In radio lingo the “morning drive” is the period when you may be listening to their radio station as you commute to work.  These are often the times when put on some of their most desirable shows and if they can attract enough of you listeners they can charge more for advertising. 

I recently took a job (it actually turned out to only be a job…too bad) where my morning drive lasted just under one hour.  I always had the radio on, but I generally took much of time planning my day or as the stress level increased at work I used the time to figure out how to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.  This explains why it turned into just a job.

Tilting At Windmills

Blowback on windmills was the headline that caught my eye in the “letters” section of Pittsburgh’s Tribune Review.  The letter was from Sarah Howell, the vice president, public affairs, for the American Wind Energy Association.  Ms. Howell’s response to the original article titled The Windmill Sham was understandable given her position advocating windmills.

The original editorial piece was critical of the number of jobs created by government subsidies of the alternative energy industry.  The author made the mistake of siting actual data from the Spanish government showing that the actual cost of each new job was around $333,333.00.  Of course the response from the wind folks touted how many jobs were created because of government support/subsidy of the industry. 

Earth Day 2009 – Take 2

As a follow up to my Earth Day posting I would like to address some of the environmental issues that are frequently in the news.  A common thread of the news seems to be that the solutions are simple “if we spent enough money to promote” whatever solution is being purported.

Take wind power as an example.  I participate in some school presentations as part of my job and I talk about energy.  Invariably solar, wind, or hydropower comes up as part of the discussions.  Most students are taught or at least exposed to the benefits of these renewable sources of energy.  We need to build more windmills.


Most of you have heard of NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard).  Having worked in the environmental field for over 25 years, I have run into a few.  It is not unusual for a NIMBY to gleefully point to another community to put their; incinerator, recycling station, halfway house, bank, nucular (I know) power station, etc.