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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:06 pm 
I remember a satirical barb in John Howard Kuntsler’s book, The Long Emergency. Anyone wishing for a technological fix to the problems of the world was investing in the magic of Jiminy Cricket. Not anymore.

At the time of the publication of the book (2005), I wholeheartedly agreed. While renewables were steadily making progress and there was at least some discussion about Kyoto Accords and carbon credits, the outlook on the tech front to solve food issues, transportation issues, environmental issues, and socio-political confrontations was mired in places like M.I.T. and Berkley, or at unattainable, unreachable, think tank towers. At times they sprung a leak and local food movements, green chambers of commerce, and innovative builders reaped the harvest from the ‘way ahead of us’ crowd and brought back some practical solutions implemented on the local level. Everything from water harvesting to cold frames to homemade solar water heaters re-emerged from their developmental cocoons woven back in the 1970’s. Tech solutions generated in the abstract, far away from the problems that everyday people experienced, were not the answer. And as for oil…..the peak was inches away, and the collapse soon to follow.

I was a believer. Dyed in the wool. Farmer’s markets. My own goat cheese. Big raised beds. Lots of chard. Canned tomatoes. Frozen tomatoes. Trading basil. This is the way the New World Order is to be and if you can’t see that, well, there must be something fundamentally wrong with you. And that’s that.

And that was that, until I took a plane trip that took me over Phoenix and Los Angeles and San Francisco and Portland and Seattle and finally, Vancouver. I was reintroduced to a much larger world than my vegetable garden. And the problems of that world, which I thought I could solve to a limited extent in my own back yard, were suddenly thrust against the reality of my inescapable connection to those larger, much more complex world workings in those big cities on the coast and everywhere else on the planet. Solutions, obviously, were local to start, but if they didn’t encompass the Big Picture (and I was still plugged in to the Big Picture with every breath, meal, and drink I took), then failure, really big failure, was assured.

I don’t know about you but I used to like to play Pick-Up-Sticks. If you remember, they all fall down on each other and you carefully lift each one back up, one at a time. Where several sticks cross over one another, that for me is the model for where we are. Each stick is both a problem and a solution, and the intersection where the most sticks touch is where we should address our brightest brainpower. For me, that spot is energy.

Let me first say that I believe in renewables and conservation. They are front row in the energy problem solving equation. And that equation is fairly straightforward: you solve energy, you solve environment (fossil fuels/carbon), you solve energy, you solve transportation, you solve energy, you solve economy, you solve energy, you solve population (ease of existence depressurizes population). It is the hub solution, the center of the wheel, and as the I Ching says, it will not hold.

It won’t hold because the problems are outstripping the technological progress that has been brought to ‘market’ in the last seven years. A Tesla sportster at $150,000 isn’t going to help solve transportation much, even if they plan to bring cheaper products to the streets. And it’s the same with solar panels. Kept alive with tax credits and green commitments, they are not advancing fast enough to stop the hemorrhaging of our planet from the greed and need. And the farmer’s markets and local cheese….artisanship is excellence, but it isn’t survival. Small is beautiful, but our problems far outstrip the potential.

All this is said, of course, as a set up for what I think is a real turning point in the crisis. A real Jiminy Cricket moment. I thought I was going to wish upon a star, instead, a galaxy opened up. There are black holes, all right, but there are also magnificent suns.

A company called Intelligentry is one of those suns. I know they should shoot the PR firm that came up with the name, but if you can overlook that for a second, I will help you pick up your jaw from the floor. I have been following the ups and downs, the good news/bad news of product development, the scientific claims and the howls of fraud about this company and its product for a while. I am now convinced its time has come. So let’s play a game….

What if you could run ten houses using 10 kw per house for seven years for $7.00? What if you could have an electric car with 275 horse power that could run for 18 months without filling up, and when you did, it costs as much as a six pack of beer? What if you could operate planes, trains, freighters, well pumps, power grids, buses, just about everything that is currently run on fossil fuels today, on a new type of engine that ran on air? Right now, your bullshit meter is off the charts. I know, mine was too. But now, the biggest problem is how to face a fact that what was impossible, is now possible. And it’s scary.

The engine developed by Intelligentry uses what they term a ‘plasma transition process’, or pseudo plasma. The fuel used is a combination of noble gases (helium, argon, neon, etc.) and isn’t a perpetual motion machine, it transitions the gas into plasma and back, driving a piston creating torque and electricity at the same time, like a car piston and alternator. The gas, however, isn’t burned (consumed) in the process. There is no heat. There is no exhaust. Only an abundance of useable power.

You can Google them. You can see the motor (about the size of two garbage disposals with a gear box in between). You can read the crazy history of the motor and its original creator, Joseph Papp. You can read about the challenge posed by Nobel physicist Richard Feynman, his attempt to discredit the machine, and his failure to do so. And you can also read about a dozen very radical Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENRs) and new forms of solid state energy producers (like small batteries that never run out), or Defkalion reactors or cavitation energy generators…..all mind blowing, under radar, some hypothetical, some nuts, but all seemingly wonderful and spanking new solutions to the most vexing energy problems of our time. Right at our door step. Right now.

The ‘tell’ in a scam is usually when they ask for money. They show you the peas under the walnut halves, you put your money down. You lose. Intelligentry isn’t taking more than the 120 stockholders it has right now. It starts manufacturing this year in Texas, Utah, and Washington state. There is no ‘tell’. There is no shuffle. It is going to be able to master the production of 2 cylinder engines that produce 275 hp. and 205 kws for $275 in three years, and a 6 cylinder engine producing 1,100 hp (820 kws) that is the size of a small kitchen table.

These innovations are not miracles. They are not ‘new physics’ but new frontiers within the scope of existing science. Just as cigarette lighters appear to be magic to disappearing jungle peoples, these advances thrill us with both magic and wonder. They hold endless possibility and they hold the possibility of sham. But that is the nature of wishes, on stars and everything else; they expose our vulnerability to hope.

I stand in wonder at these new developments that have come at the precise time in our history to make a magnificent difference. It is not wishful thinking or putting all our eggs in some bizarre technological basket. We created the atlatl to stun rabbits. We made the friction to make fire. We carved the wheel. We mapped the stars, and we can get back on the road to getting to them when we solve the energy crisis of our time, leaving no one behind to struggle for light, heat, food, and the movement that weaves us together.


R. Earnheart
Silver City


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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 9:04 am 
Correction: James Howard Kuntsler, not John.


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 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:02 am 
whoa nellie !!!
i feed you this special feed and you're no longer a polluting nag, spewing effluent everywhere. now you'll eat pseudo plasma and all the beggars will ride. all 7 plus billion of them.
now we'll need cement, steel, rubber, copper......
what's that patent number again?
i can free up some of the time i've left.
i've got a barn and some tools.
and i've got callouses in need of maintainence.
and beer ?
we could start drinkin' @ noon !

that patent # ?


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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:10 pm 
A web site to follow regarding low energy nuclear reaction and other 'free energy' developments is www.pesn.com. Reviewing their top five picks has always been of interest. The patents for the noble gas engine are available on the web site of the manufacturer. The most interesting development corresponding to the noble gas engine roll out has been some emerging R&D money from none other then IBM. In a new book entitled Bottled Lightning: The New Lithium Economy(Seth Fletcher), the Holy Grail of batteries is noted to be the lithium/air battery. The book has hardly been out a year before IBM announces a research/production partnership to produce the battery which, if successful, can contain the equivalent charge in electricity as does gasoline in joules (units of energy). Coupled with the noble gas engine, you can create an almost carbon free anything.

I don't discount the allure of a good apocalypse now and then, but the repetition of the end of the world is tiring. Even the cover story of Newsweekis on the verge of declaring the existence of a multiverse. Our problem lies in what we think we know and then, not allowing room for knowing more. I don't mind being called out for investing mentally in the possibility of radical new energy solutions. After all, automobiles were once touted as being a useless fad. By horse owners.
rearnheart


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 Author: JimK
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:04 pm 
Richard
Its fun to believe in magic and often hard to understand. My faith is in science and for me its the best methodology to determine reality. When these inventors, and I admire many of them that are not snake oil salesman, can get their theories and experiments published in a professional journal, then I will show more interest. There are still some basic laws of thermodynamics that have never been proven wrong so I will continue to believe in those laws until they are proven wrong. I know that sometimes it difficult to get a new idea accepted by the established scientific community but it still seems to be the best method we have for testing reality.

I myself will wait until the inventors have something that is commercially available before I get too excited. I admire there persistnce often working for decades and they often seem to be ready to introduce their product within the next year. Sort of like hot fusion research.


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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:26 am 
JimK, I know you to be a brilliant researcher and advocate of the accuracy of climate change data and a front line respondent to that impending conflict, and yet you would choose to defend the second law of thermodynamics rather than to address the propagandist dribble posted occasionally on these pages. I also know that you were aware of James Kirk's middle name before most people, so in ways we both have one foot in the ocean of possibility and one foot on the shore of what's up. I find that believing that we have not reached the boundaries of our understanding, even in the fundamentals of science, allows investment in the possible, then the probable, perhaps even the irrational. After that, the doors of our limited perception are kicked open, with only stars on the other side.
rearnheart


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 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:34 pm 
out of all the visitors to this forum, r, you have hooked 2 into responding.
what can we do with this ?
can these 3 find a consensus ? a plausible path to knowlege?
a route to a carbon neutral presence for our species on earth ?

i've a little time exploring the environment-energy question.

and, boy !, i've got answers ...

and sometimes they seem so simple and easy ! but then i visit the nodes and cul-de-sacs of the internet and discover lots of other answers different and often diametrically opposed to mine, delivered with confidence, plausibility and evidence.

not enough solid evidence often.

enough to sow doubt.

enough to confirm at least that the tools of science, often applied with prejudice , ham fisted certainty, with a closed mind, with a mean spirit, are the best tools so far for understanding the universe, for changing our relationships with the world and our fellow humans. for making this planet comfortably habitable for me and my fellow species.


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 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 7:07 am 
I believe that the biggest problem with our problem is that the focus of energy on energy is always to make more and not to use less.

Consuming less will be the ultimate solution, likely a lot less.

I don't know how many of you have been involved in Senator Bingaman's Green Energy Task force (one example out of many that I could present). It started out as the Green Energy and Jobs Task Force, and the name was intensely discussed with numerous proponents wanting Green Jobs to get top billing, which I think it did for a while. After maybe a year, Green Jobs was no longer even in the title. I was pressing for conservation to get top priority as a Green Energy source, or at least equal attention. The result of more than a year of pressing the point is that there is mention of insulation from local cardboard in the documents, but no substantial plan for conserving energy in general.

The dream of cheap, abundant, environmentally benign energy is intoxicating and alluring. The thought of the use of fossil fuels suddenly going extinct does make a person a bit giddy. But it fails to address our most fundamental destructive tendency, which is a gluttonous desire for more, more of everything, and faster, too.

What we seem to lack, as a species, is the ability to consume conservatively. Someone needs to invent a solution for that.


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:03 pm 
yes, the term "Voluntary Simplicity" has disappeared from discussion, even disappeared from our vocabulary. Alternatives have so often become a way to keep business as usual. Biofuels for fighter jets and tanks comes to mind. Huge solar arrays to run wall size personal television sets or cloud computing not thinking about the heavy resources required to produce and maintain.


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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 6:05 am 
Unless 3 to 4 billion people disappear overnight in some mysterious and horrible calamity (where the living will envy the grateful dead), it is imperative to address what our current problems are and not what what we would like for them to be. Billions of people on this planet have never had the luxury of clean water or electric lighting or smoke free cooking. Talk to them about conservation. And while I enthusiastically support renewables and the low hanging fruit of conservation, in the race to having them be an effective remedial tool for current environmental problems, they are trailing population growth/demand and the corresponding consumptive decay of consumer society. Anyone who has flown over a mountaintop removal or driven past a copper mine (hint, hint) is aware of the fact that consumer demand for raw materials is killing us, but literally billions of us are so embroiled in the day to day (or have our heads buried in our iphones) that this disaster becomes invisible. Advocating local everything, advocating the cessation of industrial society, even pining for an apocalypse, isn't really a solution oriented position anymore.

Energy and growth are vastly wordy issues to be covered. They are irrevocably intertwined. It is my current thinking, after spending years in the advancement and advocacy of green technologies and local sustainability, that they aren't enough to outpace the Venus effect or half a dozen other potential planet killers we have created. Radical energy options (and that's everything from liquid batteries and non-neutrino hot fusion to noble gas engines and LENR's) are now a necessity, not a distant possibility, if we are to avoid creating planetary misery beyond our limited experience. This does not, in any way, devalue the existence or necessity of conservation or renewables. Not in the least. Success depends on their unity. But without some great leap forward (sound familiar?) we cannot, in my opinion, bridge the gap between our survival and our doom.

Evidence of how increases in energy and material wealth create less consumption are in existence around the world. Current population declines in Europe, the Netherlands, Japan, Russia (for societal reasons), and elsewhere will soon be followed by declining demand for energy and goods (as well as raw materials). But they are unfortunately balanced out by the growth in China (which will also reach an equilibrium with an aging population and a younger, smaller work force) and India which, at this juncture, could go either way. As societies reach a stabilizing point where the struggle for existence is tempered by material wealth, the pressure to reproduce to maintain social norms and survival patterns (a left-over from our agrarian roots) is shed, and lower birth rates with their inherent consumption follows.

The cry goes out to 'live off the land", to return to a slower, more loving life, a greener life of animal concern and neighborhoods and artisan everything, from making my own wine to biking to my own hand crafted furniture shop. This is a beautiful vision of the world and I embrace it. But the view from above is that in the race to planetary survival, this view will be second unless there is an intervening moment, a technological surge, that will assist us in helping those around the world to a taste of life free of disease and despair while we redesign the way we live in industrial society to a way that bonds us once again with the earth.

I deeply respect the work done by Gordon and others in their efforts to glean an once of sense from a pound of bullshit in government and those who survive by it. Senator Bingaman may be a loss and he may have done well to create the cmte. on which you served, but remember as well, that it was he and Dominici that created the energy bill in 2005 that gave away $35 billion to date to the oil and gas industry in tax credits. Anything done in that wake that appears 'green' is a bone to the starving. And because people are so vested in their opinions, I really don't expect this conversation to be embraced. I have made a turn in thinking that may appear to be rooted in fantasy but I assure you, it isn't.

My intention remains to lift life, by whatever means necessary.

rearnheart


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 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 7:10 am 
I am not advocating a Luddite attitude against better technology. I am only trying to point out a serious, and generally unacknowledged dynamic, where more-n-better always eclipses less-n-better.

Examples:
Bingaman's Green Jobs and Energy Task Force became the Green Energy Task Force.
The SC/GC Office of Sustainability became the Office of Solar Photovoltaics.
The Forest Products Lab Woody Biomass Utilization Grant program became the Burn Woody Biomass to Make Energy Grant program.
The Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition Annual Policy Meeting became the Create National Policy for Burning Biomass for Energy Meeting.

Always more energy, lots of support for more energy.

Almost no support for better efficiency, avoided embodied energy, and reduced energy loss. Energy conservation is a rich and complex opportunity, but we are not even picking the low hanging fruit in a significant way.

There should be nothing oppositional about developing better technologies and reducing consumption, but there is. When you wish upon a star, don't let the smoke get in your eyes.

I only want parity.


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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:43 pm 
"Voluntary simplicity" is an affectation of the rich, for only the rich can surrender a necessity. Sometimes we don't realize how energy wealthy we are until we start conserving, and then a different kind of wealth emerges. But there is no such luxury for the poor. It's almost like a Sun Tzu line: Only the powerful can surrender. The weak have no choice. And scaling back in energy use means different things to different individuals. For some it's CFL's, for others it's shooting their TV's and getting a bike. One does what one can energetically afford to do. But this does not mean that less of anything is better, for this is a sliding scale judgment call. I think I would say rather, that 'enough is better'. Just to have enough for your needs...has a nice moral ring to it.

I am also not surprised that every cmte. and group mentioned in Gordon's note has changed its focus to energy. But just as solar electricity is energy for the rich, I would be very interested in what others think of as the immediate future of energy production (and conservation, and efficiency) besides the obvious push for fracking and off shore, that applies to all of us.

rearnheart


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 4:04 pm 
Ah, the rich, good place to start.


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 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 5:29 pm 
I'm smelling the deep and rich vein for real discussion being tapped here. I don't have much time for it this evening but I wanted to add some compost before the soil dries out.

I have been struggling to develop a coherent strategy for a long time but have had trouble getting it solid. The drift has been consistent though, and I'm discovering others drifting in the same direction.

The "local" thing is much bigger than gardens and bread, and it's much broader than voluntary simplicity. It needs to take a few cultural leaps, though, and one of them is local financing. PACE (property assessed clean energy) is a great idea but it has been dunked by the Big Boys. Why? Because of who gets to be first in line to get paid back. Another why? Because there isn't big and easy money in it. What there is in it is a way for anybody, including the poor, to pay the upfront costs of energy upgrades so that the mindless energy waste can stop, so we can save money, so that we can cut our global energy use by 30%? 40%? So we need to do PACE locally, without the blessings of the Bigs. How? Bring 10% of what local folks are "investing" on Wall Street and put it into a PACE fund that we manage. Lynda Aiman-Smith and I are working on that, anyone else want to help?

Local financing has many more facets, every one just as purty as PACE. But you have to have a little bit more vision and courage than to give your dough to a mutual fund or gamble it on the stock market.

Round-a bouts. The more I think about that one, the better it sounds. A quiet money machine at every intersection for every driver, saving another how many percent(?) in our fossil fuel use.

Local building materials. We are on the cusp of revolutionizing the way buildings are built, but it will mean a protracted struggle with the status quo. Want to build highly efficient and beautiful homes using 75% local materials instead of 10%? Come on, help me.

Want more free water and the capacity to grow nice things everywhere in our desert town? And save money as a community? Let's make water harvesting from roofs and streets a cultural norm.

There's plenty more. Waiting for a miracle bringing more abundant cheap energy is not part of the strategy. That might be what it will take, but I ain't waiting.


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 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:49 am 
we started with a new kind of engine. pseudo plasma !
here's a link to a slide show of electric vehicles and a discussion of electric vehicles by people with engineering backgrounds.
i found this interesting because of the wide range of ideas, the clear obstacles to a consensus within this group of respondents, and the relatively high degree of technical sophistication evident.
Click Here For The Discussion


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 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:26 am 
"In principle, the graphene can be tailored to detect a range of different things," said McAlpine, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton. "It can be configured to detect DNA or certain viruses. Here, we detect a single bacterium."

see picture of a cow's tooth here:

http://www.rdmag.com/News/2012/05/Manufacturing-Wireless-Tooth-Tattoo-Detects-Harmful-Bacteria/?et_cid=2673207&et_rid=210384967&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.rdmag.com%2fNews%2f2012%2f05%2fManufacturing-Wireless-Tooth-Tattoo-Detects-Harmful-Bacteria%2f

what should i give up to lead the sustainable life ?

graphene ?
the transistor ?
antibiotics ?


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 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:40 pm 
try this take on energy:the low energy nuclear reaction.
pons & fleischman.
http://futureinnovation.larc.nasa.gov/view/articles/futurism/bushnell/low-energy-nuclear-reactions.html


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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:17 am 
Thanks for posting this link, H. It is a perfect example of expanding the science of current understanding and not promulgating a fantasy. What we think we know in current understanding is expanding, like our universe, every day. If we are to survive to evolve into whatever we are going to become, solving how we live gently in the world is the quintessential priority. And energy, how we create it, how we conserve it, how we use it, remains in the nucleus.
So now, NASA and who knows else is doing advanced LENR research (like Defkalion) and IBM is going for the lithium/air battery. Intelligentry just moved in to a new facility in Utah in order to have classes on an engine technology they can reproduce (but not explain) just in time for their production roll-out in the Fall. I shall watch for sparks.
rearnheart


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 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:47 am 
here's a take on energy and renewables from an english physicist:
http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables.html


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 Author: kbarr
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:31 am 
Something about this thread reminds me of deus ex machina.


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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:51 am 
http://pesn.com/2012/06/19/9602113_A_Vi ... eligentry/


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