Proposed: National Center for Sustainable Technologies

by Heather Rae

The Brunswick Naval Air Station on the midcoast of Maine is on the Pentagon’s list: the base realignment and closure process, a recurring cost-cutting procedure, also known by the acronym BRAC, has targeted the Brunswick station for closure in 2011.

In April 2005, The Times Record ran an editorial by Walt Rosen, a retiree from the Commission on Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences. Rosen proposed turning the base into a national center for sustainable technologies, including residential and industrial uses.

Walt Rosen died last year. His idea is worth repeating, as developers and government begin the wrangle over what to do with the Brunswick land. The Brunswick Sustainability Group is gathering ideas from around the globe to put some fire under Rosen’s proposal, from Freiburg-Vauban in Germany to Dongtan in China. The Sustainability Group and Walt Rosen’s proposal should be at the table with developers and government.

Summary
This is a plan for use of a portion of the 3,000-acre site if and when the Brunswick Naval Air Station is decommissioned. Existing structures on the site are mostly hangars and housing units, easily adaptable to the proposed project.

This proposal would create a National Center for Sustainable Technologies that will promote research, education, training and demonstration of what have been termed “sustainable” or “appropriate” technologies — that is, procedures and practices that utilize alternatives to fossil fuels and minimize or eliminate the production of heat-trapping combustion products that can cause global climate change, and some of which are toxic to humans and other organisms. These alternatives utilize renewable energy sources such as solar radiation, biomass, wind and tides.

The heart of the project, and of the center, will be a planned residential community and industrial park showcasing state-of-the-art sustainable technologies.

Background
Conversion from fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) to renewable alternatives would free our society from dependence on these finite energy sources and from the toxic byproducts of their use. Because the supply of these alternative energy sources is essentially unlimited, and because their use is nonpolluting, they are termed “sustainable,” a term that distinguishes them from energy sources such as petroleum, of which the earth has limited stores, and the extraction and use of which creates pollution and causes global warming.

Rising fuel costs, global warming (caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gasses), and concerns about the security of overseas sources of petroleum have combined to reawaken recognition of the desirability of moving to renewable alternatives to fossil fuels.

It is proposed to make part of the BNAS site a national center for such efforts. Properly implemented, such a center will provide jobs, training and revenue to replace what will be lost to the state and the community by the base closing. Demonstration projects and other training opportunities will draw people from throughout the country and beyond for education and training in the development and use of renewable and sustainable technologies. Just as agriculture colleges and the National Institutes of Health play host to graduate students and senior investigators, so will the proposed Sustainability Institute.

A model sustainable community
Successful large-scale planned communities are those of James Rouse in Columbia, Md., and Reston, Va. Another is the Disney Corp.’s Celebration, Fla. Design of these communities focused on motor traffic and pedestrian flow and on distribution of residential and commercial areas and civic amenities. Energy generation, consumption, conservation and recovery was left to local practice.

At the heart of this proposed development will be a planned residential community in which the objective in design and function will be maximization of the use of renewable energy — largely solar energy captured on site. Systems for the recovery of energy from biomass will be deployed wherever and whenever feasible. Homes — and where possible public facilities and businesses — will be furnished with biomass recovery systems (such as dry composting toilets), solar space and water heating, fuel cell technologies and photvoltaics.

Manufacturers of the required hardware will be given incentives for locating in a community industrial park, thereby providing employment and training opportunities for residents of the community.

Much planning will be required to establish policies concerning management of the community and eligibility for admission to residence there. Among the strategies and policies to be considered are low-interest or interest-free mortgages, leases, co-op governance, individual or community gardens, preferential placement in on-site jobs and internships.

Potential development and demonstration programs: glass-house food production; heating with biogas generated on-site from municipal sludge and cultivated biiomass; a wind farm (if wind velocities are sufficient to generate the electricity required by a small community); sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry; ecological restoration; photovoltaic hardware production and research; hydrogen fuel cell research and demonstration; and electricity generation from tidal flow.

Resources
Our community is richly endowed with people and programs that can provide the relevant expertise. These include the Bowdoin College Environmental Studies Program; USM’s Muskie Institute; the Chewonki Institute’s biodiesel and hydrogen research and development programs; Morris Farm; Wolf’s Neck Farm; the Maine Center for Economic Policy; the Maine State Planning Office and its director of Energy Independence.

The SPO’s “2003 Directory of State Energy Programs and Reources” reveals a wealth of relevant businesses and programs already active in Maine, providing a highly supportive environment for this project.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has a Web site that provides a wealth of information on relevant programs, demonstrations and literature.

Implementation
At least a year of intensive research and planning will be required for the preparation of detailed proposals for the funding and implementation of this concept. A planning grant will be essential for proposal preparation.

A 50-acre to 100-acre Peace Park in, or bordering the residential area, can include a solar-heated swimming pool and community center, bike paths, playing fields and demonstration organic gardens. Indeed, it was Hersch Sternlieb’s idea for a Peace Park on the BNAS site that triggered this proposal.

Heather Rae, a contributor to cleantechblog.com, manages a ‘whole house’ home performance program in Maine. In 2006, she built a biobus and drove it from Colorado to Maine. In 2007, she begins renovation of an 1880 farmhouse using building science and green building principles.

7 replies
  1. Jay Draiman
    Jay Draiman says:

    MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY – THE ENERGY EVOLUTION –R11In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change. “Energy drives our entire economy.” We must protect it. “Let’s face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy.” The American way of life is not negotiable.Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, Ocean-Tidal, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption. (Sales tax on renewable energy products should be reduced or eliminated)The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy. (This can be done by amending building code)In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer at market price), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause. A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task. As an inducement to buy hybrid automobiles (sales tax should be reduced or eliminated on American manufactured automobiles).This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) (rainwater harvesting, water conservation) (energy and natural resources conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.”To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”Jay Draiman, Energy ConsultantNorthridge, CA. 91325Feb. 8, 2007P.S. I have a very deep belief in America’s capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis–the one in 1942–President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X’s 5 hrs per day X’s 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 24 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence. (Installation should be paid “performance based”)Installation of renewable energy and its performance should be paid to the installer and manufacturer based on “performance based” (that means they are held accountable for the performance of the product – that includes the automobile industry). This will gain the trust and confidence of the end-user to proceed with such a project; it will also prove to the public that it is a viable avenue of energy conservation.Installing renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage.Nations of the world should unite and join together in a cohesive effort to develop and implement MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY for the sake of humankind and future generations.Jay DraimanNorthridge, CA 91325Email: renewableenergy2@msn.com

  2. TC Hazzard
    TC Hazzard says:

    As I have said to many people here in Maine, we have a lot of skills for building renewable machines. At a minimum, I would like to see BIW build towers for wind turbines, Brunswick Technologies build the blades out of carbon for these machines, etc. They would not even have to worry about R&D. They could likely build GE's designs under a technology transfer agreement given GE's backlog. The Brunswick/Topsham base would be a great place to site this kind of industry.

  3. Yehuda Draiman
    Yehuda Draiman says:

    Global Warming – Man Made or Natures Cycle R1By Yehuda Draiman, Energy Analyst The debate: Is the observed global warming natural or man made?Global Warming or natural climatic rhythm?Global Warming Man made or natural cycle? There are numerous pros and cons as to the cause of Global Warming.After some study and research I share with you the various opinions. This consensus in this on-line article represents the views of some researchers and forecasters, but does not necessarily represent the views of all scientists. It was not the intention of this article to discount the presence of a human-induced global warming element or to attempt to claim that such an element is not present. There is a robust, on-going discussion on climate change within the scientific community.One degree. On a thermometer, it doesn’t seem like much at all. But that degree has sparked intense debate among experts who monitor the temperature on Earth. In a new report issued by a leading group of scientists and meteorologists, research shows the planet has warmed one degree during the last 100 years. That report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change asserts that Earth will continue to warm between 2 and 10 degrees during the next century.Those researchers believe that global warming could be boosting the planet’s temperature. Global warming is a phenomenon of temperatures rising on Earth. Scientists have said that some human activities cause gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide to build up in the atmosphere. Those gases trap heat closer to Earth’s surface giving the planet a worldwide fever. Many experts say two chemicals — carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide — are most responsible for global warming. Cars, trucks and factories around the world emit those chemicals everyday. Once in the atmosphere, those chemicals act as big reflectors, bouncing back sun rays to the Earth and warming the planet. But there are scientists, climatologists and weather watchers who believe that the warming trend is not an aberrant threat, but part of a natural cycle of warming and cooling on Earth. “We just haven’t been around long enough to know if it’s a fact,” said CNN weather anchor Orelon Sidney. “The Earth is more than 4 billion years old and humans haven’t been around that long. So this could just be a part of cycle.” The scientists who believe the Earth is warming say years of research are needed to determine why. Dr. Lonnie Thompson, a researcher at the Byrd Polar Research Center located at Ohio State University, is among those attempting to discover the causes of global warming. He spends many months away from his home in search of answers. Thompson’s latest trek to the Andes Mountains showed substantial changes in a glacier. “The glacier we have been studying has been melting at an unbelievable rate,” Thompson said. “Where there was once ice, there is now a lake.” Thompson photographed the new lake and glacier to show “obvious changes in our world because of temperature increase,” he said. Thompson said a warmer earth could lead to more erratic weather. “If energy in the system — the heat on the Earth’s climate system –increases, then you’re going to have more water vapor. More water vapor feeds more storms — larger hurricanes, maybe larger snowstorms too.” As a meteorology student at the University of Maryland, Antony Chen is among those who would watch for those weather changes. He is part of the next generation of researchers who will have to figure out what’s behind the cause of the temperature bump. Chen says we have to look at the big picture then determine what changes people should make on the local level. “We need to know what’s going on in the atmosphere, the magnitude of changes we are making to our climate system,” Chen said. “Then we can start coming up with solutions.” Professor Bruce Doddridge is one of Chen’s professors and is encouraged by the caliber of young people he’s seen entering the earth sciences. “I’m impressed with the variety of smart and intelligent people coming through that can do this work,” he said. Doddridge concedes that there are many potential causes of global warming, but said he believes the new technology could help assess and solve the problem. “The issues are becoming more complicated,” Doddridge said, “but I think the tools we have to work with are becoming more sophisticated.” Many experts say two chemicals — carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide — are most responsible for global warming. Cars, trucks and factories around the world emit those chemicals everyday. Once in the atmosphere, those chemicals act as big reflectors, bouncing back sun rays to the Earth and warming the planet. But there are scientists, climatologists and weather watchers who believe that the warming trend is not an aberrant threat, but part of a natural cycle of warming and cooling on Earth. “We just haven’t been around long enough to know if it’s a fact,” said CNN weather anchor Orelon Sidney. “The Earth is more than 4 billion years old and humans haven’t been around that long. So this could just be a part of cycle.” The scientists who believe the Earth is warming say years of research are needed to determine why. Dr. Lonnie Thompson, a researcher at the Byrd Polar Research Center located at Ohio State University, is among those attempting to discover the causes of global warming. He spends many months away from his home in search of answers. 1. The authors of Unstoppable Global Warming – Every 1,500 Years, say that history, ice core studies and stalagmites all agree on a natural cycle at roughly that interval that is superimposed on the longer, stronger ice ages and interglacial phases. They point as evidence of this natural cycle to the “Climate Optimum” – a period of warmer and wetter weather than the present Earth’s climate, which took place 9,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago, and a cooling event 2,600 years ago. During the Roman warming period from 200 BC to around AD 600 North Africa and the Sahara were wetter and supported crops. In more recent times they point to the medieval warming of 900 to 1300, when Eric the Red’s descendant’s colonized Greenland and the Little Ice Age of 1300 to 1850 which saw the Norse dairy farmers on Greenland grow short from malnutrition and eventually die out. Mr. Avery, a former US agriculture official whose celebrated earlier book was Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic: The Environmental Triumph of High Yield Farming suggests that the natural cycle of warming and cooling may come from variations in cosmic rays which have been linked to cloud formation. This theory was validated in a recent paper in a Royal Society journal by scientists from the Danish National Space Centre who showed that sub-atomic particles – cosmic rays from exploding stars – play a major role in making clouds. During the past century cosmic rays became scarcer as vigorous activity by the sun forced them away. So there was less cloud cover to reflect away sunlight and a warmer world, according to the Danish scientists.2. Policymakers have been arguing for nearly a decade over what to do about global warming. Noticeably missing from this debate has been any mention of the fact that natural fluctuations in the Earth’s temperature, not Man, are the likely explanation for any recent warming.Proponents of the global warming theory repeatedly cite a 1.5° F temperature increase over the last 150 years as evidence that man-made CO2 is dangerously heating up the planet and will cause huge flooding, severe storms, disease and a mass exodus of environmental refugees. Based on this, the Clinton Administration and its environmental allies want Congress to ratify a treaty that will hike consumer prices 40 percent and cost the American economy $3.3 trillion over 20 years. But the apocalyptic predictions on which they justify these drastic steps are totally unsubstantiated and ignore some fundamental truths about the Earth’s climatic behavior.The fact is, the planet’s temperature is constantly rising and falling. To put the current warming trend in perspective, it’s important to understand the Earth’s geological behavior.Over the last 700,000 years, the climate has operated on a relatively predictable schedule of 100,000-year glaciations cycles. Each glaciations cycle is typically characterized by 90,000 years of cooling, an ice age, followed by an abrupt warming period, called an interglacial, which lasts 10,000-12,000 years. The last ice age reached its coolest point 18,000 to 20,000 years ago when the average temperature was 9-12.6° F cooler than present. Earth is currently in a warm interglacial called the Holocene that began 10,700 years ago.Although precise temperature readings over the entire period of geologic history are not available, enough is known to establish climatic trends. During the Holocene, there have been about seven major warming and cooling trends, some lasting as long as 3000 years, others as short as 650. Most interesting of all, however, is that the temperature variation in many of these periods averaged as much as 1.8° F, .3° F more than the temperature increase of the last 150 years. Furthermore, of the six major temperature variations occurring prior to the current era, three produced temperatures warmer than the present average temperature of 59° F while three produced cooler temperatures.For example, when the Holocene began as the Earth was coming out of the last Ice Age around 8700 B.C., the average global temperature was about 6° F cooler than it is today. By 7500 B.C., the climate had warmed to 60° F, 1° F warmer than the current average temperature. However, the temperature fell again by nearly 2° F over the next 1,000 years, settling at an average of 1° F cooler than the current climate.Between 6500 and 3500 B.C., the temperature increased from 58° F to 62° F. This is the warmest the Earth has been during the Holocene, which is why scientists refer to the period as the Holocene Maximum. Since the temperature of the Holocene Maximum is close to what global warming models project for the Earth by 2100, how Mankind faired during the era is instructive. The most striking fact is that it was during this period that the Agricultural Revolution began in the Middle East, laying the foundation for civilization. Yet, Greenhouse theory proponents claim the planet will experience severe environmental distress if the climate is that warm again.Since the Holocene Maximum, the planet has continued to experience temperature fluctuations. In 900 A.D. the planet’s temperature roughly approximated today’s temperature. Then, between 900 and 1100 the climate dramatically warmed. Known as the Medieval Warm Period, the temperature rose by more than 1° F to an average of 60° or 61° F, as much as 2° F warmer than today. Again, the temperature during this period is similar to Greenhouse predictions for 2100, a prospect global warming theory proponents insist should be viewed with alarm. But judging by how Europe prospered during this era, there is little to be alarmed about. The warming that occurred between 1000 and 1350 caused the ice in the North Atlantic to retreat and permitted Norsemen to colonize Iceland and Greenland. Back then, Greenland was actually green. Europe emerged from the Dark Ages in a period that was characterized by bountiful harvests and great economic prosperity. So mild was the climate that wine grapes were grown in England and Nova Scotia.The major climate change that followed the Medieval Warm Period is especially critical as it bears directly on how to assess our current warming period. Between 1200 and 1450, the temperature plunged to 58° F. After briefly warming, the climate continued to dramatically get colder after 1500. By 1650, the temperature hit a low of 57° F. This is regarded as the coldest point in the 10,000-year Holocene geological epoch. That is why the era between 1650 and 1850 is known as the Little Ice Age. It was during this time that mountain glaciers advanced in Switzerland and Scandinavia, forcing the abandonment of farms and villages. Rivers in London, St. Petersburg and Moscow froze over so thoroughly that people held winter fairs on the ice. There were serious crop failures, famines and disease due to the cooler climate. In America, New England had no summer in 1816. It wasn’t until 1860 that the temperature sufficiently warmed to cause the glaciers to retreat.The significance of the Little Ice Age cannot be overestimated. The 1.5° F temperature increase over the last 150 years, so often cited as evidence of man-made warming, most likely represents a return to normal temperatures following a 400-year period of unusually cold weather. Even the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the chief proponent of the Kyoto Protocol global warming treaty signed in December 1997, concludes that: “The Little Ice Age came to an end only in the nineteenth century. Thus, some of the global warming since 1850 could be a recovery from the Little Ice Age rather than a direct result of human activities.”Leading climate scientist Dr. Hugh Ellsaesser of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory says we may be in for an additional 1.8° F of warming over the next few centuries, regardless of Man’s activities. The result would be warmer nighttime and winter temperatures, fewer frosts and longer growing seasons. Since CO2 stimulates plant growth and lessens the need for water, we could also expect more bountiful harvests over the next couple of centuries. This is certainly not bad news to the developing nations of the world struggling to feed their populations.Thus, far from being a self-induced disaster, global warming is the result of natural changes in the Earth’s climate that promises to yield humanity positive benefits. In the geological scheme of things, the warming is not even that dramatic compared to the more pronounced warming trends that occurred during the Agricultural Revolution and the early Middle Ages. Moreover, there is strong evidence that this long-needed warming is moderating. All things considered, global warming should be viewed for what it is: A gift from the often fickle force of Nature. Enjoy it while you can.3. Global warming is a natural geological process that could begin to reverse itself within 10 to 20 years, predicts an Ohio State University researcher. The researcher suggests that atmospheric carbon dioxide — often thought of as a key “greenhouse gas” — is not the cause of global warming. The opposite is most likely to be true, according to Robert Essenhigh, E.G. Bailey Professor of Energy Conservation in Ohio State’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. It is the rising global temperatures that are naturally increasing the levels of carbon dioxide, not the other way around, he says.Essenhigh explains his position in a “viewpoint” article in the current issue of the journal Chemical Innovation, published by the American Chemical Society.Many people blame global warming on carbon dioxide sent into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels in man-made devices such as automobiles and power plants. Essenhigh believes these people fail to account for the much greater amount of carbon dioxide that enters — and leaves — the atmosphere as part of the natural cycle of water exchange from, and back into, the sea and vegetation.”Many scientists who have tried to mathematically determine the relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperature would appear to have vastly underestimated the significance of water in the atmosphere as a radiation-absorbing gas,” Essenhigh argues. “If you ignore the water, you’re going to get the wrong answer.”How could so many scientists miss out on this critical bit of information, as Essenhigh believes? He said a National Academy of Sciences report on carbon dioxide levels that was published in 1977 omitted information about water as a gas and identified it only as vapor, which means condensed water or cloud, which is at a much lower concentration in the atmosphere; and most subsequent investigations into this area evidently have built upon the pattern of that report.For his hypothesis, Essenhigh examined data from various other sources, including measurements of ocean evaporation rates, man-made sources of carbon dioxide, and global temperature data for the last one million years.He cites a 1995 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel formed by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988 to assess the risk of human-induced climate change. In the report, the IPCC wrote that some 90 billion tons of carbon as carbon dioxide annually circulate between the earth’s ocean and the atmosphere, and another 60 billion tons exchange between the vegetation and the atmosphere.Compared to man-made sources’ emission of about 5 to 6 billion tons per year, the natural sources would then account for more than 95 percent of all atmospheric carbon dioxide, Essenhigh said.”At 6 billion tons, humans are then responsible for a comparatively small amount – less than 5 percent – of atmospheric carbon dioxide,” he said. “And if nature is the source of the rest of the carbon dioxide, then it is difficult to see that man-made carbon dioxide can be driving the rising temperatures. In fact, I don’t believe it does.”4. Is human activity warming the Earth or do recent signs of climate change signal natural variations? In this feature article, scientists discuss the vexing ambiguities of our planet’s complex and unwieldy climateNewspaper headlines trumpet record-breaking temperatures, dwindling sea ice, and retreating glaciers around the world. Concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases responsible for scalding temperatures on Venus and at least 33 degrees C of normal warming here on Earth, are on the rise. Our planet seems destined for a hot future!But is it really? Or are we simply experiencing a natural variation in Earth’s climate cycles that will return to “normal” in time?Correlations between rising CO2 levels and global surface temperatures suggest that our planet is on a one-way warming trend triggered by human activity. Indeed, studies by paleoclimatologists reveal that natural variability caused by changes in the Sun and volcanic eruptions can largely explain deviations in global temperature from 1000 AD until 1850 AD, near the beginning of the Industrial Era. After that, the best models require a human-induced greenhouse effect.In spite of what may seem persuasive evidence, many scientists are nonetheless skeptical. They argue that natural variations in climate are considerable and not well understood. The Earth has gone through warming periods before without human influence, they note. And not all of the evidence supports global warming. Air temperatures in the lower atmosphere have not increased appreciably, according to satellite data, and the sea ice around Antarctica has actually been growing for the last 20 years.It may surprise many people that science — the de facto source of dependable knowledge about the natural world — cannot deliver an unqualified, unanimous answer about something as important as climate change. Why is the question so thorny? The reason, say experts, is that Earth’s climate is complex and chaotic. It’s so unwieldy that researchers simply can’t conduct experiments to check their ideas in the usual way of science. They often rely, instead, on computer models. But such models are only as good as their inputs and programming, and today’s computer models are known to be imperfect.Most scientists agree that no single piece of data will likely resolve the global warming debate. In the end, the best we can expect is a scientific consensus based on a preponderance of evidence.5. 30 Natural Global Warming Episodes Have Occurred During the Past 5,000 Years. David Dilley of GWO has discovered a powerful natural forcing mechanism that controls global warming cycle, hurricane track landfalls, El Nino cycles and many other climate weather cycles. David Dilley of Global Weather Oscillations Inc., Ocala Florida, has completed groundbreaking research on Global Warming. This research found that the current global warming episode is a “Natural Recurring Cycle”, and that this current cycle will begin to diminish as early as 2015, and no later than 2040. Mr. Dilley’s 15-years of ongoing climate research has uncovered a very powerful external forcing mechanism that causes shifts in regional weather cycles, and the world’s climate. This forcing mechanism is called “the Primary Forcing Trigger Mechanism”, or PFM. The PFM is a cyclical forcing mechanism that can be forecast years in advance, or even traced back through the earth’s climate history. The major influence of the PFM on the earth’s climate is that it causes the world’s dominating regional high-pressure systems to shift position, or become displaced from their normal seasonal position. Because the PFM is cyclical, the earth’s weather and climate is likewise cyclical. As an example of an induced PFM climate cycle, the subtropical high-pressure system in the central South Pacific normally causes the ocean’s water temperature to stay relatively cool in this region. Dilley’s El Niño research (see link) explains that the PFM cycle induces a shift in the position of the high-pressure system where El Niños form. The resulting wind shift then triggers the formation of an El Niño by inducing a rapid warming of sea surface temperatures. Dilley says that research going back to 1915 showed 24 such PFM cycles and 24 El Niño occurrences. This research is currently under peer review and will go to a leading climate journal this summer. Further research by Dilley and Global Weather Oscillations, indicates that this same PFM forcing mechanism displaces high-pressure centers in such a way to control the tracks of hurricanes from one year to the next. (See hurricane link) Knowing how and why this forcing mechanism controls weather cycles opened the door to the ground breaking global warming research. Mr. Dilley states that the current global warming cycle is without a doubt the result of a known external “natural” forcing cycle. According to Dilley, most government officials, climatologists and meteorologists are looking only at the increase in temperatures and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels over the past 50 to 100 years. These correlations and findings are only representative during global warming episodes. When you take into account nearly 30 other global warming episodes over the past 5 thousand years, it becomes very apparent that CO2 levels cannot be the forcing mechanism that has caused global warming, but rather Long-term PFM climate forcing cycles. These cycles likely displace high-pressure systems and the polar jet stream northward during an approximate 200-year recurring PFM forcing cycle.the years 1050 to 1205 AD. The peak warming of this cycle lasted 90 years from 1090 to 1180 AD, as delineated by the red box. The second global warming cycle was from 1285 to 1415 AD, with a 65-year peak from 1315 to 1380. The third global warming episode was from 1440 to 1590 with a 50-year peak from 1520 to 1570. The fourth was from 1700 to 1845 with a 45-year peak from 1740 to 1785. Finally, the current global warming episode began about 1910 and the peak about 1950, or about 57 years ago. The graph and research indicates that each global warming cycle has duration of 130 to 160 years, and the peak of each cycle has duration of 50 to 90 years. Analyses of the 5 warming cycles and the history of PFM cycles, indicates that the current cycle is about the same duration as the one that occurred about 900-years ago. Therefore, the current global warming cycle will run from 1910 to 2060, with the duration of the peak warming occurring between 1950 and 2015. The peak warming will level off around 2015 and then begin diminishing rapidly by no later than the year 2030 to 2040. Once cooling begins it will only take 20 to 30 years to cool to the lowest part of the cooling cycle, temperatures much like what was recorded in the 1800s. In addition to the 5 global warming cycles found during the past 1000-years, it should be noted here that a total of approximately 30 global warming cycles have occurred during the past 5000 years, with the warmest cycle occurring approximately every 1000-years, and the peak of the warmest cycle having a duration of 60 to 90 years. Referring to the 5000-year graph, the present long-term warming cycle can be seen on the right hand side of the graph, and 4 other long-term warm cycles date back 5000-years on the left side of the graph. Analyses of the 5000-year graph indicates that long-term warming cycles have durations as short as 500-years as seen in the 2 cycles labeled A, to as long as 1000-years as seen in cycle C nearly 4500-years ago. Further analyses of cycle durations indicates that if the current long-term warming cycle which began in the year 1500 AD was of the same duration as cycle A, the peak of the current warming would of ended back in the year 1750, and it did not. In addition, if the current cycle was the same duration as cycle B, the peak warming of our current global warming cycle would have ended in the year 1900, and it did not. Now let’s take a look at cycle C. in the next paragraph..Further research by Research by Global Weather Oscillations indicates that the PFM climate forcing cycle normally occurs in cycles of 5. Therefore looking back 5 warming cycles and 5 PFM cycles, we find cycle C that occurred 4,500 years ago and had a 1000 – year duration of the entire warm cycle. Using the mid-point of this cycle (500-years), the current long-term warming that began around the year 1500 AD will peak around the year 2000 AD, and end by 2500 AD. Reconstructed Carbon Dioxide CO2 and Temperature Proxies Past 400,000 Years. The graph below shows reconstructed Ice Core temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations over the Antartica from near present time back 400,000 years. Of particular importance is that this graph shows 5 Natural Cycles during the past 400,000 years and as temperatures rise the carbon dioxide concentrations also naturally rise, thus mirroring the cyclical temperatures. It is well known throughout the scientific community that warmer temperatures can hold more water vapor, and water vapor absorbs and holds carbon dioxide. Thus these 5 Natural Cycles during the past 400,000 years mirror the 200-year global warming cycles shown early. Therefore, it is likely that the peak of all 30 global warming cycles during the past 4,000 years likewise had carbon dioxide concentrations very similar to the values found today. Thus, carbon dioxide levels are not the cause of global warming….all global warming cycles are “Natural”.Natural Global Warming Cycles …. Putting it all together The current long-term 1000-year warming cycle began about the year 1500 AD and will continue to near 2500 AD. This current long-term cycle will consist of 5 cyclical short-term global warming and cooling episodes. The world is now in the third of the 5 short-term cycles, and the warmest of the 5. The first short-term global warming episode peaked between 1520 and 1570 AD, followed by a cooling period until the next global warming episode peaked between 1740 and 1785. Temperatures remained cool throughout the 1800s to early 1900s, and then the third short-term global warming episode began. The peak of this current global warming episode began in earnest around 1950 and will level off as early as 2015, and no later than 2030-40. Then within 20 years temperatures will cool rapidly to the same levels as seen in the 1800s. The global warming cycles are approximate 200-year cycles, so the next global warming cycle will peak about 150-years after the end of the current cycle, or about the year 2200. This will be the 4th of 5 cycles within the current 1000-year primary warm cycle, and it will not be as warm as the current episode. Global warming research has found 5 natural global warming cycles during the past 1000-years, and approximately 30 global warming cycles during the past 5 thousand years. In conclusion – let the reader make up his own conclusions. Data compiled by Yehuda Draiman, Energy Analyst – 6/14/2007

  4. YJ Draiman
    YJ Draiman says:

    AMERICANS INSATIABLE THIRST FOR ENERGY MUST BE MODERATED R2By YJ Draiman, Energy Development SpecialistAs you know, many serious problems are associated with our insatiable thirst for energy. The reason is simple: To gain the energy we must burn the fuels. The combustion, by the way quite inefficient, causes huge gaseous emissions polluting the air and forming an invisible screen responsible for the famous “ green house effect ”, i.e., blocking the dissipation of heat and thus causing the feared warming up of our planet, with deadly consequences for nature and man.There is only a finite amount of oil in the world. Everybody knows this. Someday, we’ll run out. It will be gone. Meanwhile, our insatiable thirst for oil — which we burn — has put enormous sums of money into the hands of fanatics who hate us and everything we stand for, and who use that oil money to fund the terrorists who murder Jews and Americans wherever they can. We can’t burn oil forever. And it’s bad strategy to base our economy on cheap oil when we have to buy at least some of it from our enemies. Optimists tell us that the free market will eventually deal with the problem. Their theory is that as oil gets harder to extract cheaply, the price will go up; then other forms of energy will become economically attractive and we’ll switch over to them.Here’s why their optimism is nothing short of suicidal. First, there’s no guarantee that without intense government-funded research and financial incentives now, the new energy sources will be available in quantities large enough to replace oil when it does run out. In other words, if we wait until it’s an emergency, our economy could easily crash and burn for lack of energy sources sufficient to drive it. It’s easy to supply energy for an economy that’s only a tenth the size of the world’s economy today. The question is how many people will die in the resulting chaos and famine, before new free-market equilibrium is established? Second, how stupid do we have to be to wait until we run out of oil before acting to prevent its waste as a fuel? Petroleum is a vital source of plastics. We could use it for that purpose for hundreds of generations — if we didn’t burn any more of it. But if we wait till we’ve burned all the cheap petroleum, it won’t be just fuel that we have to replace. Third, market forces don’t do anything for our national defense, our national security. We had a clear warning back in the 1970s with the first oil embargo. What if terrorism in the Middle East specifically targets all oil exports, from many countries? And even if they keep the oil flowing, why are we pumping money into the pockets of militant extremists who want to destroy us? Why are we subsidizing our enemies, when instead we could be subsidizing the research that might set us free from our addiction to oil? You notice that I haven’t said anything about polluting the environment. Because this is not an environmental issue. In the long run, it’s an issue of whether we wish to provide for our children the same kind of prosperity that we’ve luxuriated in as a nation since World War II. It is foolish optimism bordering on criminal neglect that we continue to think that our future will be all right as long as we find new ways to extract oil from proven reserves. Instead of extracting it, we ought to be preserving it. Congress ought to be giving greater incentives and then creating mandates that require hybrid vehicles to predominate within the next five years. Within the next fifteen years, we must move beyond hybrids to means of transportation that don’t burn oil at all. Within thirty years, we must handle our transportation needs without burning anything at all. Predicting the exact moment when our dependence on petroleum will destroy us is pointless. What is certain is this: We will run out of oil that is cheap enough to burn. We don’t know when, but we do know it will happen. And on that day, our children will curse their forebears who burned this precious resource, and therefore their future, just because they didn’t want the government to interfere with the free market, or some other such nonsense. The government interferes with the free market constantly. By its very existence, government distorts the market. So let’s turn that distortion to our benefit. Let’s enforce a savings program. But instead of putting money in the bank, let’s put oil there. Oil in the bank … so our children and grandchildren for a hundred generations can slowly draw it out to build with it instead of burn it. Oil in the bank … so we’ll be free of the threat of fanatics who seek to murder their enemies — including us — with weapons paid for at our gas pumps. Do you want to know who funded Osama bin Laden? We did. And we continue to do it every time we fill up. You don’t have to be an environmental fanatic to demand that we control our greed for oil. In fact, you have to be dumb and a fool not to insist on it. But … foresight just isn’t the American way. We always seem to wait until our own house is burning before we notice there’s a wildfire. Oh, it won’t reach us here, we tell ourselves. We’ll be safe. Talk about foolish optimism. Fair Threat to World Economy But Oil Boycott Improbable Energy Efficiency Must Be North America’s Priority but Canada and U.S. Fail on Energy Efficiency Policies “The despots of the moderate Middle East are non-players save for their oil in the ground… My concern is that my grand kids might see parts of the Middle East turned into a nuclear waste land, and Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves. The world community needs to see a checkmate within the next 60 – 90 days. Failing that, Iran and Syria will be emboldened.” Reiterating an almost universal view on the panel, this CEO emphasized that the world’s seemingly The Chinese contribution to the energy crisisThe quest for resources. The dynamic Chinese economy, which has averaged 9 percent growth per annum over the last two decades, nearly tripled the country’s GDP, has also resulted in the country having an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. The PRC has been a net importer of petroleum since 1993, and has increasingly relied on African countries as suppliers. As of last year, China was importing approximately 2.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d), which accounts for about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 bbl/d – roughly a third of its imports – came from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville).To get some perspective on these numbers, consider that one respected energy analyst has calculated that while China’s share of the world oil market is about 8 percent, its share of total growth in demand for oil since 2000 has been 30 percent. The much publicized purchase, in January of this year, of a 45 percent stake in an offshore Nigerian oilfield for $2.27 billion by the state-controlled China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) was just the latest in a series of acquisitions dating back to 1993 whereby the three largest Chinese national oil companies – China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), and CNOOC, respectively – have acquired stakes in established African operations.Our insatiable thirst for Middle East energy is “the oil [that] feeds the fire.”This idea that we can live in a homogenous cul-de-sac suburban development in our plastic homes driving 50 to 100 miles to work in a 4700lb SUV to our middle management job at Bed Bath and Beyond and expect this way of life to just continue on indefinitely with no consequences represents mind boggling ignorance and negligence towards our future. The “American Dream” is a relic of the Baby Boomer generation and will die with our parents and grandparents. To quote author James Kunstler: “Suburban development in this country represents the single largest misallocation of wealth and resources in the history of the planet.”So could a 900 acre photo voltaic array power a major metropolitan grid. No, probably not. But the question isn’t how do we squeeze enough energy out of the technology to accommodate our seemingly insatiable thirst for electricity and fuel but rather how do we cut the fat and waste out of our civilization and our lives and actually live WITHIN our environment with some sort of sustainability. There is no one technology that will provide all our solutions. It will have to be a combination of wind turbines, solar and hydroelectric excluding the remote possibility that some new form of energy production (i.e. cold fusion or something equally fantastical) is unleashed on the world by CERN or ET. These power plants will operate primarily at a local level servicing on a much smaller scale than what we here in North America have been so used to in the last 70 or so years.If the American public’s insatiable appetite for automobiles continues, uncurbed by any sense of responsibility, someone must, like a parent with a selfish child, at least start slapping wrists. Perhaps we should ration gasoline, and insist that all cars meet a miles-per-gallon minimum — one higher than many sport utility vehicles, for example, achieve now. The rationing would not be a wartime figure, of course, but a reasonable amount allowed for business and pleasure. Americans consume the largest portion of gas in the world and cry the loudest about the price. The government should repeatedly increase the price of gasoline in an effort to slow our country’s insatiable thirst for oil. Utilize the excess profits and taxes to fund research and rebates for renewable efficiency and renewable energy.YJ Draiman, Energy Analyst – 6/19/2007

  5. YJ Draiman
    YJ Draiman says:

    Homeowners can cut energy bills by making their houses more energy-efficient R2HOMEOWNERS can practically hear the meters ticking as their air conditioners fight this summer’s sweltering heat.But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things they can do to ward off high energy bills now–and once winter sweeps in.Just ask THE ENERGY EXPERT, who conducts residential energy audits as National Energy Efficiency Auditor.”The most common problem is air infiltration,” he said, “where unconditioned air meets conditioned air.”THE ENERGY EXPERT, who uses smoke pencils to detect leaks and infrared scans to check insulation, windows, attics and roofs, said poorly insulated “room additions” over garages top the list of energy wasters.”Builders don’t always sheathe the back side of the drywall in insulation, so hot attic air infiltrates the room,” he said. “There’s only one piece of drywall keeping the hot air out.”THE ENERGY Experts’ solution is to install energy-efficient foam board with an aluminum-foil backing behind the drywall. A recent job cost about $300 and or insulation and attic fans in the attic – there is also a rebate and tax credits (check with your local utility). (Insulation in the attic and attic fans reduce energy consumption substantially).”It pays for itself in one season,” THE ENERGY EXPERT said.Homeowners typically spend about $1,600 a year to heat and cool the house, turn lights on and off, and operate appliances, said spokeswoman for the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy.But they can cut those expenses by as much as $600 by switching to more energy-efficient products and taking a variety of other energy-saving steps.Those can be as simple as replacing a 15- to 20-year-old refrigerator with a new Energy Star model, which uses about a fourth as much electricity as an older appliance, and/or putting compact florescent bulbs or LED bulbs in at least the five most commonly used light fixtures in the house. You should also replace burned out motors/compressors with energy efficient multi-stage motors.”Compact fluorescents cost more up front, but you really make it up because they use somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the energy required for an incandescent and they last 10 times longer,” the Energy Expert said. “Plus, they don’t burn as hot, so they don’t heat up the place during the summer and your air conditioner has to work less hard.”A good place for homeowners to start in determining how their energy usage stacks up is to log on to the Home Energy Saver at homeenergysaver.lbl.gov.Developed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, this site calculates energy use and savings tips based on information that users provide. Type in a ZIP code and up pop the energy costs of an average home and an energy-efficient home for that area.The program also includes a questionnaire that asks for more detailed information so it can provide a customized answer. It also has links to sites that provide a wealth of information about its energy-saving recommendations.On various utility companies Web sites, shoppers can order a similarly helpful gizmo called Watts Up? Plug in any standard 120-volt appliance or electronic device, and it will analyze such things as current draw, incoming voltage and cost of operation. The Watts Up? Basic model costs $89.95 and the pro version costs $123.95.Rather leave audits to professionals? Some auditors offer a standard audit for $100 that includes a visual inspection of the house and its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. An expanded audit, which costs $200, includes tests to check for leaks in air ducts and the house’s air-tightness.Your local utility company may do audits, also has a list of providers on its Web site.Low-income homeowners can get help for free through the Aging weatherization assistance program.”We go into the house and do various tests to find problem areas,” said the Energy Consultant. “What we do in most cases is make minor repairs and blow in insulation.”Last fiscal year, many families got help through the federally funded program.Sometimes, however, the most effective ways to trim energy usage are the easiest, the Energy Expert said.Putting up weather-stripping, for example, is something anyone can do yet many people overlook, he said. The same goes for changing a heating system’s air filters on a regular basis or a set-back thermostat.The Energy Expert also recommended installing ceiling fans and programmable electronic thermostats. A fan can make a room feel cooler so the air conditioning can be turned up, and a programmable thermostat automatically lowers the heat setting while homeowners are at work and raises it just before they return.The Energy Expert has also learned that putting the screens/shades on the south-facing windows of the house in the summer will help block out some of the sun’s fierce heat. In some states especially the western parts of the United States temperature at night falls to 50-60 degrees – open the windows and shut the air-condition and or utilize a fan to bring in the fresh cooler air – it is also healthier and reduces indoor pollution. In areas of the country that have a high humidity – you can install a dehumidifier in the summer to reduce energy cost and a humidifier in the winter.”I take the screens and or shades off in the winter,” The Energy Expert said.Increasing a house’s energy efficiency not only lowers the owner’s bills, it also raises the value of the property. According to an EPA-funded study done in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, a house’s value jumps $10 to $25 for every $1 the owner is able to save on annual fuel/energy bills. You can also utilize rainwater and grey water to reduce your water and sewer bill. Some utility companies will allow you to install a sub-meter for the water used for landscaping, swimming pools and ponds – which eliminates the sewer charge from that portion of your water bill.”You’ll get a better price because you can show them your heating and cooling bills, which are reasonable and not outrageous,” said The Energy Expert, national energy-management coordinator.The Energy Expert oversees many Energy Saver Home programs, which inspects houses as they’re being built to insure they’re properly insulated and sealed. The inspections cost $250 and come with a year-long warranty. For an added service The Energy Expert will perform a site inspection for the installation of Solar/Photovoltaic system for the home and/or business and its benefits, costs, rebates, tax credits, financing and ROI.Prospective buyers of energy-efficient houses can get a break, too.”Some mortgage companies will allow you a better debt-to-income ratio,” The Energy Expert said. “They know your electric/gas utility bills will be less so you’ll have more income to put toward your mortgage.”YJ Draiman – Energy Savers 6/29/2007 – renewableenergy2@msn.com

  6. Jay Draiman
    Jay Draiman says:

    To accelerate “IMPLEMENTATION of ENERGY EFFICIENCY, CONSERVATION, RENEWABLES and Reduction in the use of fossil fuels”. The U.S. government can initiate an aggressive program to encourage and expedite these concepts, reduce demand by spurring a revolution in energy productivity initiating: One promising idea is to make energy efficiency trade-able, much in the same way as we trade oil and natural gas, or, indeed, carbon emissions. A system making energy efficiency trade-able in the U.S. — companies would be able to sell credits when they exceeded new standards — would quickly reduce total energy consumption while limiting carbon emissions. Adding a market mechanism to trade efficiency gains would make energy efficiency standards more palatable to industries that have resisted them in the past and expedite implementation of energy efficiency and fuel efficiency. – “Money makes the world go round”.YJ Draiman, Energy analyst8/31/2007

  7. YJ Draiman
    YJ Draiman says:

    Confronting the Challenges of Tomorrow
    While Cherishing Today

    Our world today confronts current economic hardship, which represent both a challenge and an opportunity for us to assert our ability to work together for the good of all. Efforts to combat abuse and waste have fallen short. Many countries around the world suffer from the shortage of resources such as water and energy, which threatens their stability and whose capacity and resources disable them from containing the panic, thus necessitating, in such a situation, assistance for those countries in dealing with the crisis. Our world also confronts numerous environmental challenges such as limited and declining natural resources, climate change, drought and desertification, all of which require the redoubling of worldwide efforts to address them in order to safeguard the right of future generations to a secure life.
    YJ Draiman

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