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There are ways of doing our day to day activities that do not involve burning something that will result in particulate and gasses polluting our atmosphere.  We can use wind and solar power generation for all of our needs. And on the plus side we will no longer be getting billed by a corporation that meteres out the power our tax dollars paid to develop the infrastructure of. And as a plus plus wind and solar power generation does not require millions of miles of wires to get to your home. You can create your own power and not have the risk of much more highly energized power lines going everywhere and maintained by those that look no further forward than the next quarterly earnings report.

We have to make these changes on an individual level as the corporate structure has firmly embedded itself into our political process to the point where the general welfare is no longer a concern if it impeded profit generation.

Scientists have pieced together a picture of Earth’s climate, dating back hundreds of thousands of years, by analyzing a number of indirect measures of climate such as ice cores, tree rings, glacier lengths, pollen remains, and ocean sediments, and by studying changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun. [1]

The historical record shows that the climate system varies naturally over a wide range of time scales. In general, climate changes prior to the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s can be explained by natural causes, such as changes in solar energy, volcanic eruptions, and natural changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations. [1]

Recent climate changes, however, cannot be explained by natural causes alone.Research indicates that natural causes are very unlikely to explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century. Rather, human activities can very likely explain most of that warming. [1]

We did this to ourselves, it is up to us to fix it.

Many greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for long periods of time. As a result, even if emissions stopped increasing, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations would continue to increase and remain elevated for hundreds of years. Moreover, if we stabilized concentrations and the composition of today's atmosphere remained steady (which would require a dramatic reduction in current greenhouse gas emissions), surface air temperatures would continue to warm. This is because the oceans, which store heat, take many decades to fully respond to higher greenhouse gas concentrations. The ocean's response to higher greenhouse gas concentrations and higher temperatures will continue to impact climate over the next several decades to hundreds of years.[1] [2]

To learn more about greenhouse gases, please visit the Greenhouse Gas Emissions page and the Greenhouse Effect section of the Causes of Climate Change page.

Because it is difficult to project far-off future emissions and other human factors that influence climate, scientists use a range of scenarios using various assumptions about future economic, social, technological, and environmental conditions. The slideshow above provides more information on these scenarios in the "Estimating the Future" section.

So how do we put the brakes on these pollutants on our own?

This is Wisconsin's comprehensive examination of wind power for home use

And here is a guide to making your own.

I started the process of designing my wind turbine by Googling for information on home-built wind turbines. There are a lot of them out there in an amazing variety of designs and complexities. All of them had five things in common though:

A generator

Blades

A mounting that keeps it turned into the wind

A tower to get it up into the wind

Batteries and an electronic control system

I reduced the project to just five little systems. If attacked one at a time, the project didn't seem too terribly difficult. I decided to start with the generator. My online research showed that a lot of people were building their own generators. That seemed a bit too complicated, at least for a first effort. Others were using surplus permanent magnet DC motors as generators in their projects. This looked like a simpler way to go. So I began looking into what motors were best for the job.

A lot of people seemed to like to use old computer tape drive motors (surplus relics from the days when computers had big reel to reel tape drives). The best apparently are a couple of models of motor made by Ametek. The best motor made by Ametek is a 99 volt DC motor that works great as a generator. Unfortunately, they are almost impossible to locate these days. There are a lot of other Ametek motors around though. A couple of their other models make decent generators and can still be found on places like Ebay. This web site talks about the virtues and vices of various Ametek motors when used as generators.

Solar is a bit more difficult to DIY due to the intensive process needed to make power generation in that manner. But there are a variety of commercial options available to suit any home.
A small solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) system can be a reliable and pollution-free producer of electricity for your home or office. Small PV systems also provide a cost-effective power supply in locations where it is expensive or impossible to send electricity through conventional power lines.

Because PV technologies use both direct and scattered sunlight to create electricity, the solar resource across the United States is ample for home solar electric systems. However, the amount of power generated by a solar system at a particular site depends on how much of the sun's energy reaches it. Thus, PV systems, like all solar technologies, function most efficiently in the southwestern United States, which receives the greatest amount of solar energy.

Because of their modularity, PV systems can be designed to meet any electrical requirement, no matter how large or how small. You can connect them to an electric distribution system (grid-connected), or they can stand alone [10610](off-grid). You can also use PV technology to provide outdoor lighting.

You can make a difference in our future. But it is up to you to take the first step.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kosowatt and DK GreenRoots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good diary, tipped and rec'd (5+ / 0-)

    It's past time for the 99% to do what we can. Beachbabe always talks about vegetarianism, and of course there's recycling, but it's clear that those things will not be enough. It's hard for us in 99% to make such deep infrastructure changes, but I'm afraid we're going to have to. I wish that instead of walking out of Rio last year people had decided to discuss this issue instead. All the greatest climate activists were there.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:59:13 AM PDT

    •  Vegetarianism is one of the quickest and easiest (3+ / 0-)

      .... steps for buying some time to make the harder changes. It's something almost everyone can do. I know there are people with food allergies and sensitivities who have very few choices for proteins. For example, we had to use a special formula for our son with beef protein after the 1st 6 mo, because he couldn't tolerate something (everything?) I was eating, and couldn't tolerate any other formulas. He had the most agonizing colic in history before we found the option. We were very careful introducing "real" food for him, and he seems to have no problems, now, but for a portion of his life, beef was absolutely essential.

      However, for the majority of people, it's really easy to switch to a plant-based diet. One could even look at it as a nominally short-term thing: if we get the other stuff done, we could probably afford to return to meat eating, albeit on a smaller scale, and with a focus on more chicken, and less mammal.

      For other really easy things, in addition to recycling:
      Composting food scraps (there are apartment-sized worm composting systems), and an end to idling cars: turn the key off while stopped, turn it back on when you're ready to go. One of my favorite features in most hybrids is the auto-off feature when you stop, even if the gas engine would normally be recharging the battery at that time.

  •  Oh, and on a meta note (8+ / 0-)

    The "nuclear is the magic bullet" types will be by shortly to try and discredit your diary, I'm sure.

    I've never understood that mentality, but have run across it more than once. What puzzles me is that there are plenty of people, like me, who are persuadable that nuclear maybe needs to be part of the mix, at least for a while, mostly because we've left it so long to do anything about this problem, and the window is rapidly closing. But sort of like with one kind of gun supporter, nothing less than complete obsessive devotion to the cause will do. (No, ONLY NUCLEAR CAN SAVE US! If you believe in renewables at all you're A COMPLETE IDIOT! Kneel before nuclear, son of Jor-el!)

    Expect also to get folks who believe there's no hope and we should all crawl into bed with a cheesecake and wait for death, as Colbert says:  The New Abnormal

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:01:19 AM PDT

  •  We absolutely need to change our mindsets about (2+ / 0-)

    what "energy independence" means in general (and this is
    beginning to happen), and in the corporate/governmental world in particular.

    Love how your diary focuses on what a sustainable world looks like from an individual perspective!  

    Si se puede.

    This mindset change is the only way we will
    successfully deal with realities such as the discovery of shale oil deposits around the world: we can't let old economic reflexes dictate our future.

    http://adriantout.blogspot.com/...

    Interesting how green organizations are a factor in considering the development of the Australian shale oil.

    Warning: this blog page ends with a different topic--the nefarious end met by the blogger's family dog. Very sad.

    The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

    by Ignacio Magaloni on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:09:45 AM PDT

  •  I vote that we put our minds together -- (4+ / 0-)

    and find some way of getting our governments to sign a collective treaty to keep the grease in the ground.  With the almighty market in charge, one person's fossil fuel conservation is another person's cheaper fossil fuel price.  Pushing fossil fuels out of the market solves that problem, as does becoming a non-market society, i.e. "socialism."

    "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:33:03 AM PDT

  •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades
    We can use wind and solar power generation for all of our needs.
    Wind and solar electric power generation cannot meet 100%  of northern climate demand for residential, commercial and industrial space heating, process heating, steam generation and water heating.

    All of these heat demand applications are ill suited to be met via electric generation.

    Electric resistance heating is not a widescale, feasible or desireable for utilization in place of natural gas combustion.

    In addition, there is no way to use alternate energy to generate iron from iron ore in iron and steel operations.
    That operation can only be done with a carbon source and generation of carbon monoxide process gas for iron oxide reduction to iron.

    •  Germany did it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      Are they a tropical paradise?

      •  Well, they are doing it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, JeffW
        Germany did it.
        They haven't replaced all of their fossil fuel use with renewables yet, but they are working hard on it.

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:08:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They are a long way from their... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        ...2050 goal of 50% renewables. They are on the right track, but they've got hurdles to overcome.

        One more thing: For most people wind power DOES require miles and miles of power-lines. What we need are upgraded ultra-high voltage lines that "leak" far less power than is currently the case. Solar thermal electricity generation at utility scale will also require miles of transmission lines. Not everybody can put solar panels on their roofs or in their backyards.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:52:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is there any iron ore left? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Also how come we can use electric to heat to much higher temps for other processes?

    •  This is true. (3+ / 0-)
      In addition, there is no way to use alternate energy to generate iron from iron ore in iron and steel operations.

      That operation can only be done with a carbon source and generation of carbon monoxide process gas for iron oxide reduction to iron.  

      Some "metalurgical" coal will continue to be needed as a chemical precursor to iron.  That's not the same thing as burning coal for energy.  

      Why not?  

      Wind and solar electric power generation cannot meet 100%  of northern climate demand for residential, commercial and industrial space heating, process heating, steam generation and water heating.
      Just because we're not doing it now doesn't mean that it can't ever be done.  And even if 100% proves to be impossible, it's still a good idea to approach it as closely as possible.  

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:05:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tiny House movement + Solar = interesting. (3+ / 0-)

    Less space to heat/cool, fewer smaller more efficent lights/appliances make solar a much better prospect these days.

    We have a different need -- we (gasp) are studying the pros and cons of spending a year in an RV to scare up a little business -- but the drivers are the same.  Smaller space = smaller electric need = solar more interesting.

    For example, we've been looking at some monocrystalline panels from Grape Solar that offer 18-19% efficiency with  decent capabilities in lower light levels at about $1.50 per WPH.  Not exactly cheap, but you don't need many of those running all day to handle small and efficient electric requirements overnight.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:26:19 AM PDT

    •  The tiny house movement has yet to really... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, mimi

      ...take off, which is too bad. One thing about living in a bigger house is that you want to fill it with more stuff. And when you pass over to the other side, your heirs will be stuck dealing with all that stuff, much of which will not interest them and not be worth anywhere near what you paid for it with your underpaid labor. So better not to have it in the first place.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's not forget (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    There are grant programs to help with solar installation. Also, I learned recently that it's possible to make nuclear reactors that cannot melt down. The waste, I gather, isn't as hot and can't be weaponized, which is why we don't use them.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:05:12 PM PDT

    •  Let's wait and see how those reactors work... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      ...after they've actually had a commercial-sized one up and running for 5 to 10 years. So far, it's all theory.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:01:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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