Is living GREEN really possible? Start with Solar!

2 Feb

The stomach churning  news about our rapidly failing economy seems to get more painful every time I turn on CNN or FOX News….

As I watch cable, “people paid to know the answers” make predictions on how and when things will turn around.  Analysts seeking their 15 minutes of fame play the blame game as to how we got into this mess in the first place. It doesn’t matter how we arrived here, folks…

The fact is: “We’re here.” No matter which side you’re on, be it Republican, Democrat, or Independent…

America has experienced a mind-boggling crisis of leadership on almost every front. You don’t have to be a “paid commentator” to see that leadership so poor  can’t be  easily explained away, without using terms like “utter incompetency” or “criminal negligence.”

Still, in spite of the horror of all the negative headlines… for most of us, life goes on pretty much as usual.. if the distinct possibility of losing your credit, your job, and your home is “usual…”

We all know that when it gets bad, we need a good leader to get us through the desert and into the “promised land,” even if we have to drag us  there, kicking and screaming!

moses

And good leadership is is never more important than in times of economic disaster… but it is really put to the test in times such as these. America needs to heal, and we need to do it, one step at a time.

What does Ronin think about all of this? I know that you’re just dying to find out, hmmm? Well? Are ya? Okay, since you twisted my arm… I think that “Green Living ” is a good place to start the healing.

The incoming Obama administration talks a lot about supporting alternative energy and green technologies. With great fanfare, President Obama has released a plan that includes the following goals:

* Help create 5 million new jobs by investing $150 billion over the next 10 years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.

Solar can do this.

* Put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars to be built in America.

Solar can do this.

* Ensure 10% of the electricity in the United States comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25% by 2025

Solar can do this.

* Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Solar can do this.

Ahem… President Obama, if you’re listening: “SOLAR can do this!”

The planet is hardly “standing still.” With global energy consumption expected to double between 2005 and 2030, new legislation and regulations, and growing consumer demand and awareness are driving growth in energy-efficient end products, particularly in the appliances, lighting, home entertainment systems, computing and communications, and automotive markets.

This is a boon for those of us looking to streamline our existence, by co-existing. And saving energy puts cash back in our pockets.

Demand for hybrid and electric vehicles, for example, is increasing as a result of the pressure to cut carbon emissions and concerns regarding the stability of supply and the cost of oil.

tesla-electric-carDon’t hate me cuz’ I’m beautiful! LOL!

If you don’t like that one, how about this one? Hmmm? I give you “The Ultimate Aero EV!”

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Shelby SuperCars recently announced plans to produce an all-electric version of one of their current cars, the Ultimate Aero, also known as the world’s fastest production car. The new model will be powered by their revolutionary All-Electric Scalable Powertrain (AESP) will provide 100% torque at 0 RPM and better performance compared to traditional internal combustion engines. With a 1,000 horsepower twin motor and 800 ft-lb of torque the car will be able to achieve 60mph in 2.5 seconds and have a top speed of 208mph. According to the company, using a patented new technology (“Charge on the Run”) the battery will charge in 10 minutes and have a 150-200 mile range.

Now, I just hope that these technologies will prove themselves and then quickly “trickle down” to us “little people.” That would mean more affordable electric cars for the rest of us. And, you know I live for an affordable electric car that goes 200+ miles per hour. But where do the groceries and the baby stroller go?

(Fear not, for “Screamin’ Green 200+ mph,” I’ll strap my wife to the hood, like a deer!) LOL!

FYI: The car in this video has a 387 cubic inch, all aluminum, twin turbo intercooled V8 gas engine. Can’t wait to see how they figure out how they also plan to draw enough juice from a 220v plug to power up the batteries, in 10 minutes! It sounds like a cool goal!

Now, if my blog makes me a cool “Eleventy Million Bucks!” I’ll be able to afford one. Okay, maybe just the gearshift knob…

interior

Oops! I know… I know… Never wave a sexy car at Ronin… I’ll forget about everything else! Oy Vey!

Now where was I? Oh yeah…

These same concerns are also fueling demands to make conventional gasoline, diesel-powered, and “alternative fuel” automobiles even more efficient. As we move forward, scientists, engineers and even software geeks (remember that “job-creation” part?) will play a key role in the development of  more efficient vehicles and other products that we depend on in our daily lives.

Can President Obama really have an impact on America?

After all, the Republicans saber-rattle at the “Stimulus Bill,” the Democrats are trying to figure out how much of their “pie” they will lose to Obama’s new “watchdog actions on Congress,” and Independents are still “tearing their hair and gnashing their teeth…”

According to my “Magic 8-Ball,” the Obama presidency can bring about new tax incentives and “green initiatives” for power conservation in a huge range  of  products, from consumer goods such as TVs and white goods to enterprise-storage equipment. BTW: Magic 8-ball says; “Outlook Good.”

The Obama presidency will need to make and show an economic change quickly in order to make good on his “lofty” campaign promises. The President will need to call in his troops to help him achieve his goals. He has expressed strong support of “Clean and Green” technologies and if he acts effectively, he CAN achieve those goals.

It isn’t going to be easy, but an increased emphasis on scientific development, renewable energy, high-tech and infrastructure renewal ( the Internet II project, for example) should actually accelerate America’s growth.

Just how much progress can we make? Well…  we’ll just have to wait and see.

Everyone hopes that  President Obama will make wise decisions that will have both long- and short-term benefits for the economy. I think he has the ability to inspire the country. He’s already proven that. What America needs is a healthy economy that produces a need for its products.

If Obama can help America embrace “Living Green,” we can all start to heal and see almost immediate results.

It’s a given that it isn’t just “us” suffering this horrid economic downturn.  The world’s economic balance will be affected in ways we can’t clearly imagine or predict, despite what all the “contradicting analysts” on Cable TV say.  America must be hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. What we do know is that although we don’t know what the future holds, we must be well-positioned to face and overcome the challenges that America may be faced with.

Everything we use should be designed to go full-circle. You can never throw anything away that could be reused or recycled, and we must teach our children to do the same.

I was recently reminded of a National Geographic article reprint entitled “What On Earth Are We Doing?” National Geographic really needs to reprint this, and get it into classrooms! You don’t have to hug a tree to realize that the environment is that important.

So where do we start?

Obama wants 10% of energy resources in the United States to come from renewable sources, by 2012. That’s actually doable.

Solar can do this.

The “Energy naysayers” say that solar and wind are just idealistic nonsense. They claim that both of these potential areas of energy growth aren’t reliable or efficient. To them, I say this…

“Phhhhfffffft!”

Solar panels and wind turbines create electrical energy, by using semi-conductors to play a vital role. And, I admit that solar panels have a significant problem, But, it’s a problem that existing technology (analog semi-conductors) can remedy!

Just like the battery in your car, a bad cell in an array of solar panels can seriously compromise the amount of power generated by the array. And, if just one panel in an array of solar panels is impaired by shade, be it a tree, a chimney, or another building, the electrical output for the entire array is compromised.

Here’s how to fix it: Adding semi-conductor based modules that monitor and regulate energy to the panels (and how it’s used) can lessen this problem dramatically, and improve the panel’s efficiency.

Now, some of these “miracle modules” are already available. The problem is that demand isn’t large enough yet to make them affordable to you and me. Let’s hope that Obama uses his clout to push these new “Smart Power” technological break-thrus into the mainstream, so that we can help him use them to achieve his goals, and ours.

And so ends another broadcast day… this ends our daily broadcast…

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Next time, we’ll talk about more “Ronin’s Rules of Homebuilding,” I promise!

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin

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2 Responses to “Is living GREEN really possible? Start with Solar!”

  1. sharebear_11300 November 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    There is now another company that plans to start production of an all electric sadan that can fit 5 adults and 2 carseats in it and run for 300 miles on one charge. You can find more on it at http://www.teslamotors.com/
    Now if I could just afford it…

    • renaissanceronin November 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

      You’re speaking, of course, about the very cool, and very stylish Tesla Model S…

      I’d love to have one of these. I bet that most of us would. Of course, you’re going to have to pony up $50,000 and change for the stripped down “base” version.

      Yeah, you’ll get a tax credit, but if the Government is broke, are you gonna get it? Hmmm…

      And, it’s still $50 large to play. It takes a long time to reach pay-off… when the price of admission is so high.

      When they (ALL the car manufacturers) start announcing that they’re going to build American Electric Cars (we need the jobs), for Americans (we need the cars), that we can AFFORD (we need the “clean” fuel efficiency), I’ll start paying attention.

      I don’t need it to go “0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds…” Hell, I don’t need it to go 120 miles per hour. I need it to go to Walmart… at a price I can afford.

      Until then, it’s just “pie in the sky…” funded by taxpayer dollars.

      And I’m not that tall. That “pie” is outta my reach. It’s probably out of your reach, too.

      I haven’t even got the $3000 (plus professional installation) for the Home Charging Station (not included in the price of the car) to plug this baby into…

      Don’t get me wrong. I think that Tesla is cooler than crap. I’d buy their stock in a minute. I’d be proud to have one of their cars in my driveway. I’m definitely a fan. They’re just (sigh!) out of my league…

      I’m starting to think more and more about modifying one of those Cushman Farm/Nursery Carts, and using that “to go to the store.” They’re like Golf Carts with a flat bed. Buy one used, and then “fab it up” until you get what you want.

      It’d be a three speed… “Fast, Faster, and… Um… I think I soiled myself…” 🙂

      It could seat 6 (like I know 5 other people who would get into a car with ME…) and I’d still have room for some bags of Chef Boyardee Ravioli! It may not go 120mph, but it’ll get to Walmart dependably, and I’ll still have $35,000 or $40,000 left over for Campbell’s Chunky Soup… easy…

      (Sigh…) If wishes were fishes…

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