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?