Allow me to direct you to the appropriate site for Agendas: Selectmen's Meeting
Monday, June 30, 2008
Allow me to direct you to the appropriate site for Agendas: Selectmen's Meeting
Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii
California Funds Solar Water Heating Systems
New Federal Law Offers Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Purchases
California Regulators Unveil Solar Power Plan
Solar-Power Push Heats Up /top_stories/article/37518
Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any other state, with about 90 percent of its energy sources coming from foreign countries, according to state data.
In New Jersey, incentives can cover 60 percent of the costs.
Starting in January, a federal tax credit will knock off 30 percent of the cost of a solar-electric or solar-thermal system up to $2,000.
Recycling CFLs is Finally Easy to Do!
Simply bring in your expired, unbroken CFL bulbs, and give them to the store associate behind the returns desk. The bulbs will be handled by an environmental management company that will coordinate CFL packaging, transportation and recycling to maximize safety and ensure environmental compliance.
In addition to recycling CFLs, The Home Depot plans to introduce more dimmable compact fluorescents within the year. Home Depot’s bulbs contain 2.3 to 3.5 milligrams of mercury, which is below the National Electrical Manufacturers Association recommendation of 5 milligrams or fewer. It is a small amount, equivalent to the volume of the steel ball in the tip of a ballpoint pen. By comparison, home thermostats contain about 1,000 times more mercury than the common CFL.
The company says it sold more than 75 million CFL’s in 2007, saving Americans approximately $4.8 billion in energy costs and preventing 51.8 billon pounds in climate-changing greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere over the life of the bulbs.
The Home Depot is not only encouraging consumers to change their light bulbs. It’s doing the same in its own stores. The company expects to save $16 million in annual energy costs by switching all of its U.S. Light Fixture Showrooms to CFLs by the fall of 2008.
The CFL recycling program is an extension of The Home Depot's Eco Options program. Eco Options, launched in April 2007, is a classification that allows customers to easily identify products that have less of an impact on the environment.
Switching from traditional light bulbs to CFLs is an easy change consumers can make to reduce energy use at home. According to the EPA's ENERGY STAR(R) program, if every American switched one incandescent bulb to a CFL, it would prevent more than $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 800,000 cars.
NOTE: Consumers can also recycle CFLs at any IKEA store.
The Division of Local Services has just released the following new Informational Guideline Release (IGR 08-102 ) Guidelines for the Application of School Building Assistance Grants. This IGR (Supersedes IGR 06-101):
Sunday, June 29, 2008
In a recent article in the Telegram, Massachusetts Republican Senators said:
Sen. Michael R. Knapik, R-Westfield, complained the state was ignoring the need for more power supplies.
Another Republican, Sen. Bruce E. Tarr of Gloucester, said the bill would restrict electrical supply at a time when the state needs more power. “There is no doubt we need to be exploring renewables … but does that mean we need to restrict ourselves on our supply of energy?” he asked.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
For almost 8 years, wealthy Cape residents and energy lobbyists have waged a battle that has delayed approval and construction, and more significantly, forced consumers to pay more for their power.
Isn't it time to expect aggressive support for WIND on Beacon Hill?
When your elected official tells you that coal sequestration is a viable solution to our energy crisis and global warming, you might want to ask the source of his information. And you might want to review his campaign contributors.
As a footnote: I received a comment that appeared to be from Donald Lambro, the Washington Times Journalist, whose columns are superficial and indicate a lack of comprehension of complex topics, but instead repeat think tank rhetoric, designed to conceal the facts. I invite a google search for any who are interested.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The print media is in decline, since the younger generation does not seem to read newspapers.
John Gatti Jr.
113 Briarwood Avenue
Southbridge, MA 01550
Each day brings new media cuts, further diminishing our access to quality news and investigative reporting.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.
"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
Galvanized by the national demand for clean energy development, solar companies have filed more than 130 proposals with the Bureau of Land Management since 2005. They center on the companies’ desires to lease public land to build solar plants and then sell the energy to utilities.
According to the bureau, the applications, which cover more than one million acres, are for projects that have the potential to power more than 20 million homes.
All involve two types of solar plants, concentrating and photovoltaic. Concentrating solar plants use mirrors to direct sunlight toward a synthetic fluid, which powers a steam turbine that produces electricity. Photovoltaic plants use solar panels to convert sunlight into electric energy.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The per capita energy consumption and the GDP to CO2 emissions were included here:
Hot in here?
The following statement was included by ENN:
Where does the water piped into our homes go? The average American uses about 100 gallons of water a day. The French and Germans use about 60 gallons a day per capita, and people in some tribal communities use fewer than 10.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The Energy Challenge Mounting Costs Slow the Push for Clean Coal
Coal generates 54% of our electricity, and is the single biggest air polluter in the U.S.
The following represent words of James Hansen (link to total comments at end):
Again a wide gap has developed between what is understood about global warming by the relevant scientific community and what is known by policymakers and the public. Now, as then, frank assessment of scientific data yields conclusions that are shocking to the body politic. Now, as then, I can assert that these conclusions have a certainty exceeding 99 percent.
The difference is that now we have used up all slack in the schedule for actions needed to defuse the global warming time bomb. The next president and Congress must define a course next year in which the United States exerts leadership commensurate with our responsibility for the present dangerous situation.
Otherwise it will become impractical to constrain atmospheric carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas produced in burning fossil fuels, to a level that prevents the climate system from passing tipping points that lead to disastrous climate changes that spiral dynamically out of humanity’s control.
Changes needed to preserve creation, the planet on which civilization developed, are clear. But the changes have been blocked by special interests, focused on short-term profits, who hold sway in Washington and other capitals.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
RMI's position on nuclear power is that:
Nuclear power plants are not only expensive, they're also financially extremely risky because of their long lead times, cost overruns, and open-ended liabilities.
Contrary to an argument nuclear apologists have recently taken to making, nuclear power isn't a good way to curb climate change. True, nukes don't produce carbon dioxide — but the power they produce is so expensive that the same money invested in efficiency or even natural-gas-fired power plants would offset much more climate change.
And of course nuclear power poses significant problems of radioactive waste disposal and the proliferation of potential nuclear weapons material. (However, RMI tends to stress the economic arguments foremost because they carry more weight with decision-makers.)
There’s a catch, though: the private capitalmarket isn’t investing in new nuclear plants, and without financing, capitalist utilities aren’t buying. The few purchases, nearly all in Asia, are all made by central planners with a draw on the public purse. In the United States, even government subsidies approaching or exceeding new nuclear power’s total cost have failed to entice Wall Street.
This non-technical summary article compares the cost, climate protection potential, reliability, financial risk, market success, deployment speed, and energy contribution of new nuclear power with those of its low- or no-carbon competitors. It explains why soaring taxpayer subsidies aren’t attracting investors. Capitalists instead favor climate-protecting competitors with less cost, construction time, and financial risk. The nuclear industry claims it has no serious rivals, let alone those competitors—which, however, already outproduce nuclear power worldwide and are growing enormously faster. RMI
Monday, June 23, 2008
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett Notes Peak Oil 50th Anniversary
Florida CFO: Don't End the Oil Drilling Ban
Alex Sink, Florida Chief Financial Officer, said Friday she is not in favor of offshore drilling because of the negative effect it would have on Florida’s $60 billion tourism industry.
“I think this is a very shortsighted approach to put our economy at risk for oil drilling along the coast when we all know that the first drop of oil wouldn’t even come for ten years,” Sink said. CNBC
Something that takes 22 years to deliver significant results hardly qualifies as a "short-term" solution.
Why would it take so long? To vastly oversimplify: First, the government has to identify properties to be leased and hold a lease sale. Then, winning bidders need to contract with drilling rigs (all of which are booked for the next five years, according to the New York Times), drill exploratory holes and analyze core samples - "They drilled 75 holes in the North Sea before they figured out the geology" sufficiently to begin drilling productive wells, says Lucian Pugliaresi, president of the oil industry-funded Energy Policy Research Foundation Inc. And then, if oil is found, companies would have to order and put in place production equipment, build pipelines to get the oil to shore, and get various permits and environmental analyses every step of the way.
Presented by ExxonMobil: McCain Proposes $300 Million Energy Prize
Ariz. Senator Wants To Give $1 Per American For Developer Of New Auto Battery
“Because I believe so strongly in this, I favor Senator Obama’s position, which is to go to 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses over Senator McCain’s position, which is to go to 70 percent,” Mr. Clinton said, according to Reuters. “But that’s light years ahead of where Republicans have been.” NYT
The United States and other nations argue that oil production has not kept up with increasing demand, especially from China, India and the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries say there is no shortage of oil and instead blame financial speculation and the falling U.S. dollar.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose $1.20 to $136.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Business chiefs urge carbon curbs
Aviation is the fastest rising source of emissions, despite efficiency gains
A coalition of 99 companies is asking political leaders to set targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and to establish a global carbon market.
Discussions of energy, global warming and alternatives require more than a knee-jerk response accepting current policy and a superficial understanding. It makes greater sense to work to understand complex issues and move toward a sustainable future that solves the global warming issue. Since the US consumes per capita + 30 % more than our EU counterparts, conservation seems the most sensible beginning.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Courtesy of a nemasket participant, the following Brockton Enterprise article posted:
Charlie Horse to power up on sunshine
Just in time for the summer solstice, the Charlie Horse Restaurant will power up 54 rooftop solar panels today that are expected to pay for themselves in three-and-a-half years.
Both the manufacturer and the installer are Massachusetts companies.
CapeCodToday offers the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) report that predicts continuing increases in energy costs, but includes:
The report says that consumers and the market likely will respond with demand response measures that help reduce energy consumption during times of peak prices, energy efficiency and conservation measures, and technological innovations that could usher in changes that help reduce costs and improve value, as they did in other competitive industries such as telecommunications.
CapeCodToday reports on the favorable ruling for Cape Wind:
Major victory for Cape Wind against Alliance, others
As energy costs hit all-time record highs
Barnstable Court ruling favors Cape Wind
The relentless opposition to America's first offshore energy project by a group of super-rich owners of shore front homes as news reports indicate the heating the average home here will nearly double this winter, from $3,000 to $6,000, and as the cost of driving to work doubles as well, received negative reactions from many on Cape Cod yesterday. Some asked "where will I find the extra $6,000 next year?"
Hopefully, those lamenting the high cost of energy will empower themselves and reduce those costs within their control by employing the tips and techniques readily available to all.
From MSNBC, a commentary on state policy that has hampered development of alternative energy production:
State talks a great green energy game, but leaves production to neighbors
For example, a 300-megawatt wind farm off Buzzards Bay -- first proposed in 2006 by a subsidiary of Jay Cashman Inc. -- is still waiting on the state to author an oceans-management plan to move the project forward.
Likewise, a decade-long battle over permits for a 15-megawatt wind farm on Brodie Mountain in the Berkshires has left a coalition of local utilities, the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co., in limbo. A 50-megawatt biomass project in Russell faces similar problems, as it has struggled to secure some 25 permits and allay locals' concerns over transportation issues.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Heating and cooling
In summer, keep shades drawn to keep the cool in.
In winter, open shades to let the sunlight to help warm rooms.
In winter, keep your thermostat cooler at night or when the house is empty.
Install a programmable thermostat to heat and cool rooms only when necessary.
Plant trees around your house to cut cooling costs in summer.
Insulate your walls and ceilings.
Install a light-colored or reflective roof.
After heating, refrigerators and freezers are generally the home's next two big energy eaters. Other appliances follow closely. Together, these items account for nearly eight tons of heat-trapping emissions per household per year.
Upgrade to Energy Star products. Not all appliances are equal. Whether you're in the market for a new fridge, toaster or air conditioner, look for Energy Star choices, which offer the best energy savings.
Size counts. When in the market for an appliance, make sure you buy what suits your needs. Items too large or too small waste electricity and your money.
Unplug. Your electric meter is often adding up kilowatt hours when you don’t think you’re using an appliance. Unplug toasters and cell phone and other chargers when they’re not in use. Don't use air fresheners that have to be plugged in.
Use power strips. Cable boxes and video game boxes, and to a lesser extent TVs and VCRs, use almost as much energy when they're off as when they're on. Make it easy to turn them all the way off—plug them into a power strip and turn off the whole strip.
Lighting accounts for about 21 percent of commercial energy consumption and about 12 percent of home energy consumption. In terms of heat-trapping pollution, that means the lights in the average household produce just over a ton of carbon dioxide each year. Here are a few steps to lower those numbers.
Use energy-efficient lights. Changing just one 75-watt bulb to a compact fluorescent light cuts roughly 1,300 pounds of global warming pollution. They also last up to 15 times as long and save you money. (Learn how to pick the best bulbs.)
Turn off lights. A good chunk of lighting expenses is from rooms that stay unnecessarily lit.
Use natural light. Open shades and use sunlight to help light rooms.
Install motion-sensors so that lights automatically turn on when someone is in the room and turn off when empty.
Energy Tips #1
MMPA to offer online municipal compensation database
Monday, June 02 2008
Starting next month human resource professionals and municipal managers across Massachusetts will have access to a new online municipal compensation database.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Pump Up the Volume
China's carbon emissions were the highest in the world in 2007, exceeding those of its closest rival, the United States, by 14 percent, according to a new study from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. The NEAA also found in a study last year that China was the world's top polluter in 2006, a finding some other energy agencies disputed. However, the emissions increase in 2007 was so massive -- 8 percent, according to NEAA -- that there's now little doubt China's in the lead in overall carbon emissions. Its booming economy, terrible energy efficiency, and substantial appetite for coal are thought to be the main drivers of the increase. According to the study, China's emissions jump last year accounted for about two-thirds of the world's total greenhouse-gas increase in 2007. Some things haven't changed, though. The U.S. is still the world's pollutingest nation on a per-person basis; its citizens out-polluted the Chinese by nearly four to one. GRIST
The world's largest retailer also plans to introduce hybrid trucks into its fleet of more than 7,000 trucks later this year, said Matt Kistler, senior vice president of sustainability for Wal-Mart.
"With gas at $4 a gallon, we're keenly working on reducing costs," Kistler said at a conference on climate change at the British Embassy.
Kistler said to reach the goal of increasing fuel efficiency, Wal-Mart has reduced the size of its diesel tanks to lighten the truck load and has outfitted the trucks with more fuel-efficient tires.
Wal-Mart has worked on more high-tech initiatives such as a system that allows a driver to turn off the engine but keep the refrigeration component running.
"I think we're on plan to hit the target" of 25 percent increased fuel efficiency by the end of 2008, Kistler said. "We're hoping to roll out some more things."
Wal-Mart has set a goal of one day using only renewable energy and creating zero waste, and it has challenged its suppliers to remove nonrenewable energy from their lives.
Because of its status as the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart is considered one of the few retailers with enough heft to make direct changes to global energy consumption. Reuters
We have a future filled with rapidly improving technologies and great potential that excludes fossil fuels.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Massachusetts Accountability and Oversight Dealt Another Blow
by: John Gatti Jr
Award winning investigative journalist Joe Bergantino of WBZ CBS Boston's Channel 4 Investigative I-Team has departed the station after 22 years. This departure is most shocking and the meaning not only to viewers but to those who want to report, waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption and are considered sincere "whistleblowers". This loss of a key confidential ally is immense and will not easily replaced. Bergantino's departure has shaken the underground advocates network of "whistleblowers". A major ally in the lonely battle against government, business, labor, and consumer waste, fraud, and abuse is being lost.
Bergantino was a consummate trusted professional with a deep heart and soul that went to extremes to shield his sources always protecting and never exposing. His longtime associate Paul Twomey and later Maggie Mulvihill were always considerate and sensitive to conscientious persons having the courage to talk and come forward.
Joe Bergantino's many investigative stories ranged from Boston's Central Artery "The Big Folly", political corruption, to business scams, and the priest sex abuse scandals.
Under his leadership, Bergantino was one few Boston investigative reporters regardless of impact on his career who dared to take on the sham of the Boston Big Dig from the outset standing up to the Democratic Administration of Governor Michael Dukakis and later of succeeding Republican Governors of Weld, Celluccci, Romney, Swift, and even the current Governor Deval Patrick. From the $2.3 billion mismanaged project to the over $16 billion today, Joe Bergantino had the courage to expose waste and abuse often alone.
Bergantino was dismissed, belittled, attacked. and dismissed for his reporting on the Big Dig from the special interests of the Big Dig Artery crowd of developers, contractors, labor bosses, local and national politicians, consultants, and vendors.
Joe Bergantino's formula was accuracy and cutting through rhetoric of falsehoods. Bergantino was always willing to meet with sources around the clock to listen, process information, and determine the right course of action. If the information being received would result in gross or additional economic harm, he would advise and step back always working to protect the person coming forward. Bergantino if determined the information was not presentable to the broadcast medium would advise other methods.
However, in the era of the Big Dig various federal and state designated oversight agencies could not be trusted. This ranged from the local FBI undergoing the fallout of the Whitey Bulger Scandal to the political appointees of both Democratic and Republican local US Attorneys and State Attorney Generals. Their track records of prosecutions, recovery, and oversight are almost non existent.
Bergantino continued on exposing the Big Dig always giving sanctuary to any and all who contacted him or his usual staff of one in a no nonsense professional manner. Boston CBS4 even in years of high revenues never gave adequate resources to Bergantino to do his stories. Yet, he continually moved on achieving excellence and high quality journalism.
The current economic difficulties facing both the broadcast and print media is making investigative journalism harder to achieve. Information being received in the 21st century is much different than before. The citizens are not reading newspapers and watching news programs or holding government accountable at all levels. The instantaneous ability of the internet to give us the now now coupled with cable news has made the dissemination of our news different as newspapers, magazines. radio, and local television stations struggle to survive.
John Gatti Jr :: Massachusetts Accountability and Oversight Dealt Another Blow