Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Renewable Energy-Even in America

2My major comment area of choice in the New York Times is Renewable Energy but unfortunately I rarely am given an opportunity to comment since the Times does not offer readers much information about renewable energy technologies.

So today, November 29, 2017, I begin a post titled Even In America to report that I have discovered that Even in America there is a company that provides advanced technology like the technology I often report on from my Swedish perspective.

Waste to Energy Technology

Waste to energy technology is used to heat most Swedish cities through the "fjärrvärme" system or distance-heating system, referred to in the US as district heating.. My Swedish city, Linköping, was the pioneer in providing such a system with a start back in the 1950s. We have here in Linköping at the Gärstad Plant what I have referred to often and recently as the world's most advanced system. You can see the Gärstad plant by clicking on my May 2017 post in the list at left.

But a few days ago thanks to I discovered that a facility is being built in Denmark that may be even more advanced than Gärstad. Here is a picture of the CopenHill plant built by the Danish Company Babcock and Wilcox.

Discovery of that plant led to another discovery, that Danish Babcock and Wilcox is constructing a similar plant in West Palm Beach, Florida. Will be adding photos ASAP - this note 12/28/17.

                                                   Even In America
CopenHill waste to energy plant in Denmark - to be completed in 2018.
The roof is a ski and snow-board slope - Will there be snow?

And here below is the "Even In America" plant
 in West Palm Beach Florida

This waste-to-energy plant was designed and built by Danish
Babcock & Wilcox and was completed in 2015. It has never been
mentioned in the New York Times with one exception - in 2017
the Times had an article about garbage - a very negative article - and
there without any information was mention of this plant.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

En spegelbild av samhällets haveri

Right now, the New York Times is running a story about Patrik Hermansson, a young Swede who went undercover with what the Times euphemistically insists on calling the alt-Right in America. There are about 250 comments in print so far at and many of them refer to Sweden.

I have just filed my 2d comment there at 08:47 svensk tid 9/20 drawing upon Stefan Jonssons important article in DN today, which appears under the headline "En spegelbild av samhällets haveri", more specifically a mirror image of the downfall of Swedish society.

In that 2d submission - not yet reviewed and therefore not yet "in print" I promise to provide a picture of the NMR marchers in front of Svenska mässan on Sunday. These marchers did not have a permit but as Professor Jonsson points out, they were not only allowed to march but were given police protection. Here is that picture.

Caption from DN NMR drar förbi Svenska Mässan under söndagens tillståndslössa demonstration needs no translation


This URL will take you to my 1st comment and thus not only to the article in the Times but to the comments, which are well worth reading. Many of them refer to Sweden and several are by Swedes. This URL only takes you to my comment if you are using a laptop computer. If you use your smartphone you will get to the article and can click on comments to read comments.
Stefan Jonsson's article is in DN Kultur today 9/20

Monday, June 12, 2017

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2017 - Part I

Eventually, probably back in Sweden, I will create a montage of my experiences at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. But here today I will try to insert one video, not of musicians but of my dance partners whose line of descent like mine goes way back in Sweden.

I came down Church Street to the place that has non-stop live music outside in a tent. The music was playing and there were two women dancing right in back of the band and singer. Turned out they were mother and daughter. So I joined in right away all of us mostly in sync. There was no one I could enlist to film all of us so here is a clip of my two partners, just imagine me thewhat they are doing.

Then we talked and guess what they are mother and daughter - names in a book I do not have here - and grandfather Samuelson came from Sweden perhaps when my grandparents were coming over also. He would up in Jamestown, NY, where my great uncle Roy Lundgren wound up. They had visited the torp in Sweden where a returning Swedish soldier back from the wars when Sweden was Bernadotte country was given land. I visit a similar place at my Tree In The Pond in Linköping where returning soldiers were given land and maybe a cow or other animal.

I hope they find my blog and correct the details. Now to the Charleston Dancers and then a lesson they gave to a school class. That was a first take above, now let's have our first class.

OK they got their first moves, here is their first take as dancers

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tales of Two Cities - Linköping and Burlington

I was visiting Muddy Waters Coffee House in Burlington and write now from Speeder and Earl's Coffee neither your ordinary Starbucks place of residence. And listening to those around me led me to enter in my book above a new approach to looking at my two countries via the two cities I often use, Linköping SE and Burlington VT USA, in NYT comments.

Instead of pointing to one as offering something better, I let them tell their stories, so here I start.

I am a frequent resident of Coffee Shops where I often write. So here is what I wrote at Muddy's just to get started. The map is of my surroundings and of the people around me. These are just first notes on what I could hear and see. Just now I cannot get the text to land to the right and I have to leave. I simply note that in my 21 years in Sweden I have never been in a Coffee House where ev/eryone around me is engaged in so many different things as these people were. And I will also note that within minutes I had found an individual working on one of my passions, renewable energy, and specifically something mastered in my home city in Sweden, the systematic conversion of food and human wastes to biogas that runs the cities buses and many other vehicles. That's all for now. Just me

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Heating a Swedish City

The New York Times recently gave us readers a new columnist Bret Stephens who led off with three columns about energy that suggested that his first assignment was to tell us readers, some of whom know a bit about renewable energy, that the US had best stick with fossil fuel since renewable really is not up to the job.

What he revealed is that he does not know much about renewable energy. He asked us to pose questions, some of which he would answer. My question was simple. Bret why do you and the New York Times seem to believe that there are only two forms of renewable energy technology at present, solar and wind? No answer.

Exhibit A in my list was a statement that Swedish cities are heated by using a readily available fuel, solid-waste from which as much as possible plastic has been removed and in my city from which food waste is separated for conversion to biogas.

Times comments have no place for pictures so I went out to the Gärstad plant in Linköping, probably the most advanced such plant in the world, and took a picture. Here it is.
Two glass houses located at the Linköping North Exit to E4, car in photo headed west.
Gärstad plant, Tekniska verken, Linköping, Sweden
Imagine, no coal must be mined, no bedrock fracked to produce natural gas, no transport of coal, natural gas, or oil from far off places. Simply collect waste in the city, add forest-product waste at some of the incinerators and heat this city of 150,000 people.

What this means for me, an American as well as Swedish citizen, is that here in Sweden I am freed from the periodic failure of my American hot water heaters, always electric, and from the oil burners that were terrible. Also freed from the odor of oil, the danger of gas, and the giant oil tank in the cellar. 

Instead a small white box in the basement where the incoming hot water gives its heat to two systems, one the system feeding hot water to the radiators that heat the house, the other the system that sends hot water to bathrooms and kitchen. Completely silent, maintenance free, best I have ever experienced.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Tree, Two Swans, and Some Foxes - Forward Looking With Reflections

 The Hummingbird and The Pine Tree - Ties 
Kira Jane Buxton

appeared  @ where a 
     A commenter observed: "Exquisite- Both reflective and forward looking."  
so here beginning on Annandag Påsk

A Tree, Two Swans, and Some Foxes - Forward Looking With Reflections 


A Tree in a Wheat Field Becomes The Tree In The Pond
I had just returned from the USA and had arrived at km 3 of LOK Milen, the 10 km
trail I used to run so often, passing by wetlands, wheat fields, and pastures along a small stream, at km 3 and again at km 8. But on this day in 2011 all that had changed, the
stream had been dammed and there before me a single tree, Alnus glutinosa, a
European Alder, surrounded by a pond, Ullstämma sjö, the perfect mirror.

Alnus thrives best in a wetland environment but being in deeper water was too much, The Tree in The Pond was no longer alive by the next early spring in 2012 but still stands in 2017, the source of an infinite variety of reflections making its reflection, at least, a living thing.

The ponds, this one Ullstämma with The Tree in full flower, were not created to provide mirrors for trees, however beautiful the reflections might be. The dam  - right edge of the image - was built in April 2011 in order to create new waterfowl habitat to bring back the Swedish sångsvan, Cygnus cygnus, that had almost become extinct many years earlier and many other threatened species.

Success came quickly. Ullstämma sjö is the pond in the distant background. This larger pond, divided in two by the dirt road crossing Ekängen sjö was found by a pair of swans that are two specks of white barely visible in the foreground of the image, a pair I have been studying ever since from 2011 to the present, April 2017.

The cycle begins. The sångsvan pair, together for life, pick one of the small rocky islands, make the nest and the female lays her eggs, keeps them warm, and waits. And then, without fail since 2011 the cygnets (baby swans) appear, six to eight in number, here eight.

From then on the cygnets are a shared responsibility of the pair of parents. Often with one parent leading a single file of cygnets and the other guarding the last in line. Sooner or later, at least one young is not there the next day. We never know what took that one, often one who cannot quite keep up when they are feeding on land.

Always together - except - when the male takes to the air like a rocket flying low, then a great arc above and a landing to spend some time alone. But always returning. The ties that bind are very strong.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bill McKibben at New York Times - Trump takes us back to the 19th Century

Today, 26 January 2017, Bill MicKibben (Middlebury College, VT) observes that Donald Trump with the stroke of a pen returns the USA to the 19th Century. I immediately filed a comment similar to countless earlier comments filed in which I simply name renewable energy technologies that are perfect climate-friendly replacements for the coal and tar-sand oil Trump wants us to burn.

That  comment at the URL below takes you to McKibben's column as well.

A Times comment consists of 1500 or fewer symbols, no pictures or figures. In many older posts in this blog I show the technologies that are standard here in Sweden but present only in isolated cases in my New England, USA.

During the day I hope to add images and URLs here. But in case anyone visits this blog after reading the comment I at least want this simple post to be OnLine.
Perry Hall - Admissions at Champlain College
Ground-Source Geothermal Heat Pump Technology (GSG) heats and cools this building (above) at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. It was the College's first test of this method. In contrast with wind and solar renewable, GSG is completely invisible. But if you visit  Perry Hall you till see the steel caps on two wells, water is pumped up in one, water is returned in the other. The warm water is fed to the heat pumps in the basement of Perry Hall and then returned the source deep below. This is a so-called Open system, little used in Sweden, but used here at Perry Hall because the underlying geology made this a best choice according to the designer.
Top of borehole, this is all you see, 

In Sweden, population 10,000,000 there are 400,000 GSG installations, the majority used to heat (potentially cool) homes and small buildings. Here on Styrsö, an island a short ferry ride from Göteborg, is the drill rig putting in a 120 meter borehole at the home of a friend. The entire job was completed in one day, the next day, the house was heated entirely by warm water warmed at the heat pump inside next to the kitchen,  about the size of a refrigerator, and circulating through the radiators, each with its own thermostat. My neighbor here at Apelgatan has the same system. The yard on Styrsö and the one next door reveal no trace of the borehole under the lawn. GSG is, by the way, the absolutely best system as concerns climate-change.
Typical drill rig used to create GSG borehole
for single-family home. The next day the
rig was gone and in the spring the lawn was
restored and hid any sign of the renewable energy
system heating this home.
The major renewable energy technology used in Sweden and other European countries but not in the US on a similar scale is solid-waste incineration to produce electricity and heat. It is clear from reading comments at McKibben and many other Times articles that US readers who write about incinerators have never seen an advanced-technology incinerator like this one in Linköping.

Gärstad solid-waste plant, Linköping, Sweden as seen from E4 near
the Linköping North exit.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Empathy at The New York Times

I'm crossing Sweden as usual in the Bus4You doubledecker and discover that the New York Times has yet another column on empathy, this time by Thomas Friedman. I filed a comment that contains a line referring to  an assertion by psychology professor and author Paul Bloom (see Room for Debate 12/29 and review of Bloom's new book on empathy.

The assertion by Bloom: We can only/find it easiest to empathise with people who look like us. He says that is what the research shows.

Not at all true for me, how about you?