Saturday, January 28, 2012

New York Times In Defense of Clean Energy continued

This post was originally addressed particularly to any New York Times reader who might have seen comments on the lead editiorial in the New York Times on 28 January. Since there have also been 100s of comments filed on a series of columns and reports by or having to do with Joe Nocera and Keystone 2, I note that interested readers should look at my energy posts in October and November 2011.

All of these posts start from the fact that anyone who lives in one of the Nordic countries is quite familiar with energy technologies apparently unknown to NYT staff including Joe Nocera and David Brooks. This post still is concerned primarily with the lead editorial on 28 January but is relevant to the Keystone discussion.

The editorial on the 28th had the strange title In Defense of Clean Energy, as if one had to defend Clean (Renewable) Energy. Only in America does one have to "defend" clean energy, apparently, given Republican and Tea Party love of fossil fuels.

So here a short report on new Renewable Energy developments in Gothenburg, Sweden and at Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont.

In Gothenburg, Gothenburg Energy, in cooperation with American General Motors, has just christened the largest wind turbine in Sweden. The turbine, for reasons unknown named Big Glenn is 145 meters high and will produce 15 million Kwh/year. This is equal to the annual production of all 10 of the other turbines that surround Big Glenn, those each about 50 meters high. I write this while on one of those islands in the distance, where I can look out over the water you see in the picture.

 Those other 10 turbines look like this one in a Wind Farm at Brahehus Castle on E4, a famous historic site. On one side of the road a wind farm, on the other magnificent Brahehus. No conflict between 21st century renewable on one side, a magnificent view on the other (Have not been able to find my Brahehus pics. What I wanted to show that on one side of E4 one looks out over Brahehus Castle and the lake, very beautiful. As you do so, a sizable wind farm is in back of you, but it does not affect the view. One Swedish reader has noted that when he drives up from Gränna, he finds the wind turbines disturbing. I have to check that out, but since there was no scenic wonder in the rather scraggly forest where the turbine farm is placed, I am skeptical.)

A wind turbine on  the east side of E4 at Braehus Castle
On the other side of the Atlantic, a small ray of hope, again from Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. You can read about and see Champlain’s first venture into geothermal at my earlier blog post a few clicks below at 11/23/2010.

Here below you see the artist’s rendition of the new dorm project at Champlain College consisting of buildings that will be heated and cooled by the next geothermal system under construction. Ground Source Geothermal (GSG) works. If you are in Burlington, take a look.

 Imagine, all these buildings heated and cooled by a system that you will not be able to see and that will not be emitting greenhouse gases as in the "good old days" when all such were heated by fossil-fuel systems.

Champlain College has entered the 21st century, when will the University of Vermont take that step? And, for that matter, when will the New York Times publish its first serious article on GSG?

 Here you see Big Glenn with all 10 of his neighbors. Note that all these wind turbines are placed in an industrial area where off to the right there remain giant cranes in the Gothenburg ship-building district.

And here is Big Glenn seen from Rivö, the high-speed catamaran ferry that was returning me to the mainland on 30 January 2012.

Take this boat (a pre-catamaran ferry) to see Big Glenn-Nästa, Styrsö Bratten!
Written while on that island (Styrsö) you see at the end of the boat's wake!


  1. You should read (and might like) the book "Coming in from the cold" about Swedish energy efficiency ca 1988 or so - I can only imagine what's happened in the past 20 years (ground sourced heat pumps commonly used etc)- and how far ahead of the United States Sweden was at the time.

    1. I hope this reaches you. Assuming you are reading this, thanks for the book title. There is a strange twist, however. My daughter Julie worked at the Kellog Nature Center in New Haven, Connecticut many, many years ago. The Center had a perfectly functioning ground-source geothermal system with a display I believe showing how much money it saved. Your apartment blog is great, I am translating a medical manuscript right now for researchers here (Swedish to English) but will look more carefully at your apartments later. Thanks again. Larry

  2. ***race is the product of racism***

    No, race is the product of groups being in different environments resulting in the genetic clusters that population geneticists observe today.

  3. I am well aware of the literature for which you give an example. The "race is a product of racism" is not my "invention" but a quotation, as I believe I was careful to indicate,from Dorothy Roberts' book Fatal Invention. The thought is not original with her, as she also is careful to note.

    Since she devoted 6 years to her research for that book, and since she treats your assertion with great care and impeccable logic, I may finally take the position that if you, the reader, have not read her book, then you may not be ready to take part in the discussion.

    I appreciate your comment here and wish I could have replied directly via an Email address. I hope to create a new post for my blog tonight.

    You can send an Email to me if you read this since my Gmail address is given in my blog.