Friday, December 14, 2012

New York Times continuing love for fossil fuels-A comment and Times Pick

I am posting this on TGIF evening here in Sweden just in case any New York Times reader decides to visit my blog after reading my comment on the Cohen article at the URL below
Cohen, following what seems to be standard practice at the New York Times, writes enthusiastically about America's great fossil-fuel future. Each such NYT article faithfully fails to recognize that other countries are making great strides toward making renewable energy a major fraction of their energy production.
In my comment I try to make clear to American readers that they systems here in use on Apelgatan (my street) are preferable to oil and natural gas burner systems, not only because they do not use fossil fuel but also because they are so much more pleasant to have in one's basement than a fire-hazard, fume producing, space demanding (oil tank for example) system.
The picture of the white box I mention in the quoted part of the comment below is to be seen at my November 23, 2010 post. I would like to bring this more up to date here, but not tonight.
If only I could get American readers to tell me why they prefer to have oil or natural gas burners! The first paragraph in my sample below tells you what I thought about those technologies.

I state my basic reason in very simple terms. I retired to Linköping, Sweden in 1996 and at that time had an oil burner in the home from which I am writing. That oil burner was like all those I had in a long lifetime in MA and NY, a pain.

Here in Sweden I was able to switch to distance heating (DH) at the same time (8 years ago) that my neighbor was switching to ground source geothermal (GSG). Since then we have had error free, silent, non polluting heating of home and water while at the same time being able to make our basements just like the rest of the house.

It is -18 C outside and in my basement a small white box 13" x 24" x 38" is taking the heat from the incoming water and keeping me warm-silently! That incoming water has been heated by burning municipal waste-no landfills. My garbage becomes biogas.

Same with GSG-no injection into the ground of contaminants, no air contamination, and renewable forever.

Larry Lundgren (pics of that white box)


  1. A standard heating unit in US cost about $7,200 A ground geothermal system cost $27,000.

    1. You forgot that you then do not have to buy any oil, you now have more space in your basement, you have no fumes and on and on. Sorry I never saw this until now in 2014.

  2. Larry,

    I just read your comment on the New Yorker about Obama's upcoming 2nd Inaugural. I wish I had written it.

    Lowell Thompson
    (Just google my name) or go to to find out more about me.

  3. Concerned Citizen, AnywheresvilleMarch 19, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    DUDE! come on. You do not tell us what this conversion to geo thermal COST. Did the Swedish government subsidize the entire cost? What do you pay in taxes over there in Sweden? that would be MOST instructive.

    Why do I have natural gas? Because my house was built to be heated with it. Because my region sits on vast, vast natural gas reserves. Because for 100 years (up until the 2000s), it was very cheap. Because it is efficient. Because it doesn't pollute. Because I have a silent, efficient gravity furnace that has not cost me one dime in almost 30 years.

    My budget for gas, in a climate every bit as brutal as Linkoping, is about $55 a month. Some years it has been as high as $81, and in a few years of the natural gas "bubble" (price manipulation and artificial), it got up to $117. This is for a 1720 square foot home, four stories tall, built in 1926. Furnace dates from maybe the late 1940s. Home has little insulation, except the back sunroom and attic, which I insulated and drywalled in the 90s to R-38 standards. Excepting these areas, all windows are original uninsulated 1920s vintage.