Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lots of spam lately... I've changed the blog e-mail settings here.

Happy Holidays to all.

Rev. Dan

Happy Holidays...

Christmas is coming near again, and a new year will soon arrive. Here's wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and joyful holidays no matter which you celebrate. Let's hope for a new year filled with peace, prosperity, joy, and compassion in 2008.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My new sax blog...

... is called "66 Sax" after my 1966 Selmer Bundy tenor sax, "Bello." (Serial number 411559 - and the name is a play on the English word for making a loud noise or yell, and the the Italian word for "handsome.")

You can check it out here: - including my healing Earth song, "Pacha Mama Prayer."

Regards and have fun,

Rev. Dan

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PS22 Chorus covers 1,000 Oceans by Tori Amos

What I like about what Pres-elect Obama is saying... that we must meet the challenges that face us TOGETHER.

For too long has the spirit of scarcity-based competition been fostered between our fellow citizens by partisan hacks and bloviators.

When's the last time we paid attention to what is written on the back of every quarter in our pockets; E PLURIBUS UNUM. This means literally, "United we stand."

Then he goes on to make the long-term success of this effort based in cleaning up our energy sources and modernizing them. That is the beating heart of the monster currently poisoning our biosphere.

I like what he says, and I am hoping to match it to what we all DO.

Rev. Dan

President-elect Obama 1st weekly National Address

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am going to actively seek those who believe...

...that it is our spiritual imperative to care for the Earth and act as responsible stewards on Her behalf.

I do not say worship the Earth, I say care for Her.

One of the rather more beautiful events that I attended recently was an inter-faith prayer for peace ceremony at the national headquarters for the Theosophical Society in America.

My wife and I live within an hour's drive of their national headquarters in Wheaton, IL and we were pleased to attend the event.

Each of the attendees was invited to speak on an example of how they'd found peace at some moment in their lives, and to say a prayer for peace from a prayer book filled with prayers from numerous spiritual paths from around the world. I chose a Native American prayer for peace to recite.

We closed the ceremony with a hand-holding circle and a chanted prayer that came to me during my trip to the Cahokia Mounds last year. "Heal the Earth, heal Mankind, in perfect ways, in perfect time." repeated five times.

We also on several occasions have been graced to walk the Labyrinth at the national headquarters in Summer and Winter solstice light ceremonies.

For a poem describing that visit, and the incredible experience I had there, visit HERE.

Blessings and light,

Rev. Dan

I See The Spammers Have Been Busy Here Too...

The "Join My Freebie Group" posts via my hacked send-to-post e-mail address have been deleted. I'll try to get more on top of things here as I'm able. It will probably be a little easier now that election season is over, and with such hopeful results.

Let's all pray that we get some concrete action on clean energy, which is at the heart of almost everything that ails us these days.

We indeed live in interesting times. I hope they are kinder than such usually are.

Rev. Dan

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Opportunities in Midwestern Renewable Energy

Learn how to get the inside track in the race to develop renewable energy in the Midwest

Receive detailed briefings on:
· Renewable initiatives in the Midwest — identifying the opportunities
· Impacts of RPS and other initiatives on project development in the Midwest
· Dealing with transmission issues in the Midwest
· Purchasing and developing renewable energy in the Midwest
· Assessing the financing market for renewable energy projects in the Midwest

Don't Miss the Pre-Summit Workshop:
"Renewable Energy Development & Finance Issues in the Midwest"-- This pre-summit workshop will address specific issues and development "wrinkles" that renewable energy projects are likely to encounter in the Midwest.

Workshop: Renewable Energy Development & Finance Issues in the Midwest
Monday, October 6, 2008, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Summit: Opportunities in Midwestern Renewable Energy
Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 9:00 am to 11:45 am

Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis Park Place
1500 Park Place Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416

FEE View Tuition Details

More Event Information - Reach the Response

For Want Of A Windmill...

For Want Of A Windmill...

In the 1860's a Jesuit Priest fashioned a whirligig dream,
Grew a business most successful,
'Till the days after WW II spinning water out of the ground,
All started in a little Wisconsin town.

Spin and whirl,
Pretty as a pearl,
Ornate wood or polished steel,
Pretty painted colors the life of many a farmer.

A Chicago company saw the light,
Bought the rights and moved North,
Fairbanks Morse landed in Beloit,
All was well that pumped the well.

In the 1920's an immigrant from Italy,
One Tuscan gentleman of little fame,
Landed and landed a job,
There by the river at Fairbanks Morse.

He found a wife and adopted a baby girl,
My own mother and grandmother,
So Noni cooked and Nono ground metal,
And my Mother married my Dad.

Spin and whirl,
Pretty as a pearl,
Ornate wood or polished steel,
Pretty painted colors the life of many a farmer.

Four children born there on the Rock,
Myself and my siblings all alive,
In the year 2000 I turned to poetry,
And fancied windmills could save the Earth.

I wrote poems of the graceful things,
Took my son to see them,
Blogged of the light and right,
And tilted at windmills for all I was worth.

Only just yesterday I find I'd have never been born nor they,
For want of a windmill in 1867,
The Poet who loves windmills exists because of a windmill,
Simply named Eclipse.


By Daniel A. Stafford
© 09/02/2008

My Grandfather worked for 44 years at Fairbanks Morse, which would never have located in Beloit, WI if not for the Eclipse windmill. The Eclipse windmill line was arguably the most successful water-pumping windmill in American history, and also served in many locations overseas. My Grandfather very likely would have ended up somewhere else if the Eclipse windmill wasn't invented and made in Beloit - and I and all my brothers and sisters would never have been. How ironic that I have been a promoter of windmills as a large part of the solution to climate crisis these past eight years.Tilting at windmills quite simply suits me.

Monday, September 01, 2008

What to do about polar bear drownings and arctic sea solar radiation absorption

8 Polar Bears Trying To Swim 400 Miles To Nearest Ice:


We should be creating artificial "ice islands" by making chains of white floating platforms that can be anchored in place to create open shipping lanes while giving the polar bears places to rest and hunt from. Such platforms could also reflect solar radiation back into space instead of letting it be absorbed into the seawater. This could literally help slow or mitigate many of the impacts of global warming. Such platforms could be inflatable, yet made of tough material the polar bears could climb on. They should be made of a material that will break down naturally in the ocean environment over time rather than traditional plastics, so that they wouldn't contribute to the plastic waste pollution problems in our oceans.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gulf Coast Prayers...

Gulf Coast Prayers...

Reading, hearing seeing, dreading.

The weak among us are running for their lives,
The live scattered and broken for three years,
Faded for many of us,
Ignored by the seemingly strongest of us.

The monster Gustav comes howling and all you can do is beg.

Beg the sky to be gentle,
Beg the sea to forgive and rock softly,
Beg God to forgive our errors and protect our brothers and sisters.

This is why many never went back home.

This comes before we're even close to cleaning up the last one.

If we could reach out and pull them North we would.

Pray, pray, pray - for mercy.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
08/31/2008 - copyright donated to public domain.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ideal Bite: (Heritage) Animal Farm

(Heritage) Animal Farm

Ideal Bite
Apple Picture Send to a Friend
Aug 13, 2008


More diverse flavors aside, making space for heritage food on your plate helps keep diverse animal species around - but since they're rare, these meats are tougher to find and can cost a bit more too.


The CIA purchased the movie rights to Animal Farm from George Orwell's widow and covertly funded the 1954 animated version as anti-Communist propaganda.


Then check out . . .
The Heirloom Seeds Tip
The SF Heritage Turkey Tip

Radio Button Radio Button Radio Button Radio Button Radio Button go
1 2 3 4 5

Will Narragansett turkeys survive, Orwell they go extinct?

The Bite
If we start a heritage foods revolution by eating 'em, they'll stick around (sounds crazy, but by creating a higher demand, it gives farmers more motivation to raise them). Go for meat from farms raising these select heritage breeds instead of conventional 'stock, and you'll help keep biodiversity alive. By, um...George, we think they've got it.

The Benefits
  • Benefits that aren't just allegorical fiction. Preserving heritage animals preserves biodiversity - and they may have beneficial genetics (disease resistance, climate adaptability) that more common breeds may not.
  • Saving species from total(itarian) extinction. Most livestock originate from just a few breeds. Example: Right now 75% of U.S. pigs come from three main species; about ten others are close to dying out.
  • More variety than your 10th-grade required reading. With heritage foods, you'll taste flavors you're not gonna find with conventional meats, which are bred for uniformity.

Personally Speaking
Thanks to the rich, almost ducklike flavor of the heritage turkey he bought for Thanksgiving last year, SF Local Bite Editor Mike had the best Thanksgiving leftover-turkey sandwiches ever.

Wanna Try?
  • Schmancier grocery stores (such as Whole Foods) often let you know via signage whether a meat is heritage or not - or try asking your butcher.
  • Heritage Foods USA - order select heritage foods online (prices vary).
  • American Livestock Breeds Conservancy - find out which species are at risk.
  • Slow Food USA - nonprof dedicated to preserving biodiversity in our food.

Take our quick survey and be entered to win 1 of 5 prize packs from Clean George!

Foward Tip  Blog Link  Save To My Bites

5-for-5 Sky Clean George Aug08
5-for-5 Banner Clean George Aug08



All above editorial suggestions are the result of testing and preference. No one can pay to be in a Daily Tip. Read more on our editorial policy.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Earth Policy News - Raising Energy Efficiency in a New Materials Economy - Part II

Earth Policy Institute Plan B 3.0 Book Byte For Immediate Release August 5, 2008  RAISING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN A NEW MATERIALS ECONOMY - Part II*  Lester R. Brown  There is a vast worldwide potential for cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by reducing the use of materials. This begins with the major metals--steel, aluminum, and copper--where recycling requires only a fraction of the energy needed to produce these metals from virgin ore, and with the recycling and composting of most household garbage. It continues with designing cars, appliances, and other products so they are easily disassembled into their component parts for reuse or recycling.              Germany and, more recently, Japan are requiring that products such as automobiles, household appliances, and office equipment be designed for easy disassembly and recycling. In May 1998, the Japanese Diet enacted a tough appliance recycling law, one that prohibits discarding household appliances, such as washing machines, TV sets, or air conditioners. With consumers bearing the cost of disassembling appliances in the form of a disposal fee to recycling firms, which can come to $60 for a refrigerator or $35 for a washing machine, the pressure to design appliances so they can be more easily and cheaply disassembled is strong.  Closely related to this concept is that of remanufacturing. Within the heavy industry sector, Caterpillar has emerged as a leader. At a plant in Corinth, Mississippi, it recycles some 17 truckloads of diesel engines a day. These engines, retrieved from Caterpillar’s clients, are disassembled by hand by workers who do not throw away a single component, not even a bolt or screw. Once the engine is disassembled, it is then reassembled with all worn parts repaired. The resulting engine is as good as new. Caterpillar’s remanufacturing division is racking up $1 billion a year in sales and growing at 15 percent annually, contributing impressively to the company’s bottom line.  Another emerging industry is airliner recycling. Boeing and Airbus, which have been building jetliners in competition for nearly 40 years, are now vying to see who can dismantle them most efficiently. The first step is to strip the plane of its marketable components, such as engines, landing gear, galley ovens, and hundreds of other items. For a jumbo jet, these key components can collectively sell for up to $4 million. Then comes the final dismantling and recycling of aluminum, copper, plastic, and other materials. The next time around the aluminum may show up in cars, bicycles, or another jetliner. The goal is to recycle 90 percent of the plane, and perhaps one day 95 percent or more. With more than 3,000 airliners already put out to pasture and many more to come, this retired fleet has become the equivalent of an aluminum mine.  With computers becoming obsolete every few years as technology advances, the need to be able to quickly disassemble and recycle them is a paramount challenge in building an eco-economy. In Europe, information technology (IT) firms are going into the reuse of computer components big-time. Because European law requires that manufacturers pay for the collection, disassembly and recycling of toxic materials in IT equipment, manufacturers have begun to focus on how to disassemble everything from computers to cell phones. Nokia, for example, has designed a cell phone that will virtually disassemble itself.  Patagonia, an outdoor gear retailer, has launched a clothing recycling program beginning with its polyester fiber garments. Patagonia is now recycling not only the polyester garments it sells but also those sold by its competitors. Patagonia estimates that a garment made from recycled polyester, which is indistinguishable from the initial polyester made from petroleum, uses less than one fourth as much energy. With this success behind it, Patagonia is beginning to work on nylon garments and plans also to recycle cotton and wool clothing.  In addition to measures that encourage the recycling of materials, there are those that encourage the reuse of products such as beverage containers. Finland, for example, has banned the use of one-way soft drink containers. Canada’s Prince Edward Island has adopted a similar ban on all nonrefillable beverage containers. The result in both cases is a sharply reduced flow of garbage to landfills.  A refillable glass bottle used over and over requires about 10 percent as much energy per use as an aluminum can that is recycled. Cleaning, sterilizing, and re-labeling a used bottle requires little energy compared with recycling cans made from aluminum, which has a melting point of 660 degrees Celsius (1,220 degrees Fahrenheit). Banning nonrefillables is a quintuple win option--cutting material use, carbon emissions, air pollution, water pollution, and garbage flow to landfills. There are also substantial transport fuel savings, since the refillable containers are simply back-hauled by delivery trucks to the original bottling plants or breweries for refilling.   Another increasingly attractive option for cutting CO2 emissions is to discourage energy-intensive but, to use a World War II term, nonessential industries. The gold and bottled water industries are prime examples. The annual global production of 2,500 tons of gold requires the processing of 500 million tons of ore, more than one third the amount of virgin ore used to produce steel each year. One ton of steel requires the processing of two tons of ore. For one ton of gold, in stark contrast, the figure is 200,000 tons of ore. Processing 500 million tons of ore consumes a huge amount of energy--and emits as much CO2 as 5.5 million cars.  >From a climate point of view, it is very difficult to justify bottling water, often tap water to begin with, hauling it long distance and selling it for outlandish prices. Clever marketing, designed to undermine public confidence in the safety and quality of municipal water supplies, has convinced many consumers that bottled water is safer and healthier than what they can get from their faucets. However, in the United States and Europe there are more standards regulating the quality of tap water than of bottled water. For people in developing countries where water is unsafe, it is far cheaper to boil or filter water than to buy it in bottles.  Manufacturing the nearly 28 billion plastic bottles used to package water in the United States alone requires 17 million barrels of oil. Including the energy for hauling 1 billion bottles of water every two weeks from bottling plants to supermarkets or convenience stores for sale, sometimes covering hundreds of kilometers, and the energy needed for refrigeration, the U.S. bottled water industry consumes roughly 50 million barrels of oil per year.  The good news is that people are beginning to see how climate-disruptive this industry is. Mayors of U.S. cities are realizing that they are spending millions of taxpayer dollars to buy bottled water for their employees--water that costs 1,000 times as much as the readily available tap water. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has banned the use of city funds to purchase bottled water in city buildings, on city property, and at any events sponsored by the city. Cities following a similar strategy include Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and St. Louis. (See additional examples at   Raising energy efficiency to offset projected growth in energy demand is an essential component of the Plan B blueprint to cut net CO2 emissions 80 percent by 2020, thus halting the rise in atmospheric CO2 and helping keep future temperature rise to a minimum. (See blueprint at Reducing materials use through the measures outlined here will help us attain this goal, moving the world closer to temperature stability.   * Go to to read Part I of Raising Energy Efficiency in a New Materials Economy.    #     #     #  Adapted from Chapter 11, “Raising Energy Efficiency,” in Lester R. Brown, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008), available for free downloading and purchase at  For information contact:  Media Contact: Reah Janise Kauffman Tel: (202) 496-9290 x 12 E-mail: rjk (at)  Research Contact: Janet Larsen Tel: (202) 496-9290 x 14 E-mail: jlarsen (at)  Earth Policy Institute 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 403 Washington, DC 20036 Web:   

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Earth Policy News - Solar Thermal Power Coming to a Boil

Earth Policy Institute Plan B Update For Immediate Release July 22, 2008  SOLAR THERMAL POWER COMING TO A BOIL  Jonathan G. Dorn  After emerging in 2006 from 15 years of hibernation, the solar thermal power industry experienced a surge in 2007, with 100 megawatts of new capacity coming online worldwide. During the 1990s, cheap fossil fuels, combined with a loss of state and federal incentives, put a damper on solar thermal power development. However, recent increases in energy prices, escalating concerns about global climate change, and fresh economic incentives are renewing interest in this technology.  Considering that the energy in sunlight reaching the earth in just 70 minutes is equivalent to annual global energy consumption, the potential for solar power is virtually unlimited. With concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) capacity expected to double every 16 months over the next five years, worldwide installed CSP capacity will reach 6,400 megawatts in 2012--14 times the current capacity. (See data at  Unlike solar photovoltaics (PVs), which use semiconductors to convert sunlight directly into electricity, CSP plants generate electricity using heat. Much like a magnifying glass, reflectors focus sunlight onto a fluid-filled vessel. The heat absorbed by the fluid is used to generate steam that drives a turbine to produce electricity. Power generation after sunset is possible by storing excess heat in large, insulated tanks filled with molten salt. Since CSP plants require high levels of direct solar radiation to operate efficiently, deserts make ideal locations.  Two big advantages of CSP over conventional power plants are that the electricity generation is clean and carbon-free and, since the sun is the energy source, there are no fuel costs. Energy storage in the form of heat is also significantly cheaper than battery storage of electricity, providing CSP with an economical means to overcome intermittency and deliver dispatchable power.  The United States and Spain are leading the world in the development of solar thermal power, with a combined total of over 5,600 megawatts of new capacity expected to come online by 2012. Representing over 90 percent of the projected new capacity by 2012, the output from these plants would be enough to meet the electrical needs of more than 1.7 million homes.  The largest solar thermal power complex in operation today is the Solar Electricity Generating Station in the Mojave Desert in California. Coming online between 1985 and 1991, the 354-megawatt complex has been producing enough power for 100,000 homes for almost two decades. In June 2007, the 64-megawatt Nevada Solar One plant became the first multi-megawatt commercial CSP plant to come online in the United States in 16 years.  Today, more than a dozen new CSP plants are being planned in the United States, with some 3,100 megawatts expected to come online by 2012. (See data at Some impressive CSP projects in the planning stages include the 553-megawatt Mojave Solar Park in California, the 500-megawatt Solar One and 300-megawatt Solar Two projects in California, a 300-megawatt facility in Florida, and the 280-megawatt Solana plant in Arizona.  In Spain, the first commercial-scale CSP plant to begin operation outside the United States since the mid-1980s came online in 2007: the 11-megawatt PS10 tower. The tower is part of the 300-megawatt Solúcar Platform, which, when completed in 2013, will contain ten CSP plants and produce enough electricity to supply 153,000 homes while preventing 185,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually. All told, more than 60 plants are in the pipeline in Spain, with 2,570 megawatts expected to come online by 2012.  Economic and policy incentives are partly responsible for the renewed interest in CSP. The incentives in the United States include a 30-percent federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar through the end of 2008, which has good prospects for being extended, and Renewable Portfolio Standards in 26 states. California requires that utilities get 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010, and Nevada requires 20 percent by 2015, with at least 5 percent from solar power. The primary incentive in Spain is a feed-in tariff that guarantees that utilities will pay power producers €0.26 (40¢) per kilowatt-hour for electricity generated by CSP plants for 25 years.  In the southwestern United States, the cost of electricity from CSP plants (including the federal ITC) is roughly 13–17¢ per kilowatt-hour, meaning that CSP with thermal storage is competitive today with simple-cycle natural gas-fired power plants. The U.S. Department of Energy aims to reduce CSP costs to 7–10¢ per kilowatt-hour by 2015 and to 5–7¢ per kilowatt-hour by 2020, making CSP competitive with fossil-fuel-based power sources.  Outside the United States and Spain, regulatory incentives in France, Greece, Italy, and Portugal are expected to stimulate the installation of 3,200 megawatts of CSP capacity by 2020. China anticipates building 1,000 megawatts by that time. Other countries developing CSP include Australia, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. (See map at  Using CSP plants to power electric vehicles could further reduce CO2 emissions and provide strategic advantages by relaxing dependence on oil. In Israel, a tender issued by the Ministry for National Infrastructures for the construction of CSP plants and a 19.4¢ per kilowatt-hour feed-in tariff for solar power systems are sparking interest in developing up to 250 megawatts of CSP in the Negev Desert. This would produce enough electricity to run the 100,000 electric cars that Project Better Place, a company focused on building an electric personal transportation system, is planning to put on Israeli roads by the end of 2010.  A study by Ausra, a solar energy company based in California, indicates that over 90 percent of fossil fuel–generated electricity in the United States and the majority of U.S. oil usage for transportation could be eliminated using solar thermal power plants--and for less than it would cost to continue importing oil. The land requirement for the CSP plants would be roughly 15,000 square miles (38,850 square kilometers, the equivalent of 15 percent of the land area of Nevada). While this may sound like a large tract, CSP plants use less land per equivalent electrical output than large hydroelectric dams when flooded land is included, or than coal plants when factoring in land used for coal mining. Another study, published in Scientific American in January 2008, proposes using CSP and PV plants to produce 69 percent of U.S. electricity and 35 percent of total U.S. energy, including transportation, by 2050.  CSP plants on less than 0.3 percent of the desert areas of North Africa and the Middle East could generate enough electricity to meet the needs of these two regions plus the European Union. Realizing this, the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation--an initiative of The Club of Rome, the Hamburg Climate Protection Foundation, and the National Energy Research Center of Jordan--conceived the DESERTEC Concept in 2003. This plan to develop a renewable energy network to transmit power to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa calls for 100,000 megawatts of CSP to be built throughout the Middle East and North Africa by 2050. Electricity delivery to Europe would occur via direct current transmission cables across the Mediterranean. Taking the lead in making the concept a reality, Algeria plans to build a 3,000-kilometer cable between the Algerian town of Adrar and the German city of Aachen to export 6,000 megawatts of solar thermal power by 2020.  If the projected annual growth rate of CSP through 2012 is maintained to 2020, global installed CSP capacity would exceed 200,000 megawatts--equivalent to 135 coal-fired power plants. With billions of dollars beginning to flow into the CSP industry and U.S. restrictions on carbon emissions imminent, CSP is primed to reach such capacity.  #     #     #  For more information on Earth Policy Institute’s goal of 200,000 MW of CSP worldwide, part of  a plan to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020, see Chapters 11-13 in Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, available at for free downloading.  For information contact:  Media Contact: Reah Janise Kauffman Tel: (202) 496-9290 x 12 E-mail: rjk (at)  Research Contact: Janet Larsen Tel: (202) 496-9290 x 14 E-mail: jlarsen (at)  Earth Policy Institute 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 403 Washington, DC 20036 Web:   

Monday, July 14, 2008

UW-Madison News Release--State Forest Response to Climate Change

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7/14/08  CONTACT: David Mladenoff, (608) 262-1992, djmladen@  SCATTERED NATURE OF WISCONSIN'S WOODLANDS COULD COMPLICATE FORESTS' RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE  MADISON - If a warmer Wisconsin climate causes some northern tree species to disappear in the future, it's easy to imagine that southern species will just expand their range northward as soon as the conditions suit them.  The reality, though, may not be nearly so simple. A model developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison forest ecologists Robert Scheller and David Mladenoff suggests that while certain northern species, such as balsam fir, spruce and jack pine, are likely to decline as the state's climate warms, oaks, hickories and other southern Wisconsin trees will be slow to replace them.   Why? Not only is warming expected to outpace the speed at which southern trees can migrate northward, but barriers to dispersal - particularly agricultural lands - will also likely delay their progress, says Mladenoff.   "The result is that northern forest biomass in the future - that is, the standing amount of forest - could decrease, because the trees that are there now will be experiencing less than optimal conditions," he says. "And the southern species aren't going to fill in as quickly as we'd like." He and Scheller report their findings in the current issue of Climate Research.  Mladenoff explains that trees "move" into new areas by producing seeds, which are then carried over short distances by wind, birds or mammals. Under the right conditions, dispersed seeds then grow into seedlings and eventually mature trees, which produce their own seeds to start the process all over again.  Already a slow process, dispersal becomes even slower when forests are broken up by farmland and urban areas - or fragmented - like they are in Wisconsin. Not only is less suitable habitat available overall, but patches of it can also be widely scattered, making it tough for seeds to cross the gaps. In particular, Mladenoff points to the wide band of agricultural land that runs across the middle of the state as a major obstacle to the northward migration of southern trees.  To arrive at their conclusions, Scheller and Mladenoff fed current satellite classification and forest inventory data for a 1.5 million-hectare area of northwestern Wisconsin into a model, LANDIS-II, that's designed to predict how landscapes will respond to climate shifts. Using two well-established sets of future climate predictions, they then examined changes in parameters such as forest succession, seed dispersal and tree growth during the next 200 years.  In the face of the scientists' predictions, is there anything woodland managers can do now? Mladenoff cautions people not to make any drastic management changes. But one thing managers might begin to try is assisted migration: testing how certain southern Wisconsin species - or even different genetic stocks of the same species - do when planted up north on a trial basis. A prime candidate for experiments like this might be sugar maple, says Mladenoff, which is already widely distributed across Wisconsin and is projected to "do OK" on moist soils in the north when the climate warms.   The state might even consider bringing back the field trials that used to go on routinely in the 1950s and '60s, he says, in which researchers would collect genetic variants of individual tree species all over the state and then plant them in many locations to see where they did best. Although time-consuming, an approach like this could help ease some of the uncertainty we're facing now.  "A lot of this is about our incomplete knowledge of how genetically diverse some species are," Mladenoff says, "and how adaptable they may be in different climates." ### - Madeline Fisher, (608) 890-0465,    **************************************************** For questions or comments about UW-Madison's email news release system, please send an email to:  For more UW-Madison news, please visit:  University Communications University of Wisconsin-Madison 27 Bascom Hall 500 Lincoln Drive Madison, WI 53706  Phone: (608) 262-3571 Fax: (608) 262-2331   

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

GM to build world's biggest rooftop solar station in Spain

GM to build world's biggest rooftop solar station in Spain

US automaker General Motors said Tuesday it will equip the roof of its factory in Zaragoza in northeastern Spain with solar panels to create the world's largest rooftop source of power from the sun.

The electricity produced by the 10 megawatt installation will be used by the plant, GM's biggest in Europe, and also be sold to the local power grid, a company spokesman said.

"GM's Zaragoza plant will become home to the biggest roof-top solar power station worldwide. This has significant potential to...(Full Story)


It fascinates me how a "US" company can do things like this to increase plant efficiency overseas, but close plants in the US and repeatedly kill the economies of small cities and towns in their own country. Why isn't this being done here? Why aren't the gas hog plants in the US being re-tooled to build fuel-efficient vehicles? They might as well be giving every US citizen the finger behind their backs. If I were Janesville's City Manager (Mayor?) or the one in charge of any of the other towns affected, I would lead a charge to seize the plant via eminent domain and then have the local citizens start up a community-owned competitor to make vehicles and other heavy equipment that are highly efficient and make sense.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

My New song - saxophone - Pacha Mama Prayer

It's kind of New Age Blues with a Native American beat, I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. (Of course, there's no way it could be performed live - it's all recorded in three separate tracks on the computer)

It's kind of New Age Blues with a Native American beat, I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. (Of course, there's no way it could be performed live - it's all recorded in three separate tracks on the computer) I play a 1966 Selmer Bundy. The below song was recorded using the sax and my laptop. Percussion is my hands on the table, and I'm doing vocals. The software used is Audacity & LAME MP3 encoder, both of which are free. I recorded this in three separate parts, first the saxophone, then the vocals, then the percussion. Time from melody concept to full recording was one hour. (Pacha Mama = South American equivalent to Gaia, the Earth Mother Goddess.)

I call my sax "Bello".

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Live Tonight

In "Live", The Sundance Channel's "Big Ideas For a Small Planet" series tackles one of the largest segment of materials and energy use in the global economy - housing and building.

Beginning with the "E-House," an experimental laboratory that a family actually lives in, new ideas for efficiency are continually explored. There may be a new super-clean, super-efficient fireplace design one month, or home cooling that uses ground water and a fan, and anything else that could be dreamed up.

Following with Michael Gainer's deconstruction vs. demolition wonder business, we see how old housing currently fill landfills at the end of its useful life, and how it can be disassembled and re-used in home improvement projects, sustainable furniture, and myriad other ways. A shining jewel of this method is that the character, charm, and intricate design of many earlier architectural features is preserved and even showcased. Additionally, new jobs are added to the local economy through this effort.

Finally, we wrap up with with modular recycling; housing built from used steel cargo containers. Add a room? No Problem! Lift off the roof and set a couple down next to your existing home, add in some wiring, plumbing, glass and other odds and ends, you just doubled your living space. Stack them on top of your existing house to build up. Start off with a multi-family dwelling such as a two-or three flat. Love wide-open views and a super-strong structure? Love leaving our forests standing and breathing in CO2? Here you go - check out the cool finishes and "skins" you can put on the exterior.

Living large definitely gets a smaller footprint in this uplifting, hopeful documentary entitled simply "Live." Runtime is 30 minutes, airs Tuesday, June 3rd at 9pm Eastern & Pacific on the Sundance Channel.



Dan Stafford
The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy & Hydrogen Journal

Monday, May 26, 2008

Evade Human Extinction Now!

Evade Human Extinction Now!

After watching The 11th Hour, an environmental film on a scale even greater than An Inconvenient Truth, I came away with several new understandings.

First of all, the climate change issue of global warming is really only the worst of a self-inflicted interconnected web of issues killing off species the world over. Together, all of these issues, from deforestation, to pollution, to killing off 90% of sea life, (something we've already done) are adding up to the perfect storm that will wipe the human species off the face of the planet in only a few generations if we don't act now. It isn't just global warming anymore. It isn't just pollution anymore. It isn't just species extinctions anymore. It isn't just crazy weather anymore. It isn't just overflowing land fills anymore. It's Evade Human Extinction Now!

As with everything else that is a result of a collective cultural insanity, framing the issue is one major key to solving it.

This Earth will continue spinning around the Sun whether or not we exist upon it. We are making the choice, in the next ten to fifteen years, whether or not most life, including humans, will survive on this planet. It is that simple, and that direct, and that urgent.

The good news is, once we have enough awareness built up out there, and the collective grass roots will to change, human society is capable of changing quite radically in a very short time. If Detroit can completely retool in six months during the 1940's from making cars to making tanks and airplanes, so can the rest of global industry.

Already, per The 11th Hour, there are over one million environmental activist organizations around the world beginning to act in concert to effect large scale change.

If we as a species do not follow their lead, the humankind can not survive more than another century or two on this planet. If we get it together, and work together, we can have a long and healthy run on this planet, and beyond. We can save the future of innumerable other species as well, many of which our own survival depends on in subtle but critical ways.

Watch The 11th Hour all the way through, and you'll see an integrated presentation of the problems we face during the first half. That alone is more than most other films on such subjects have achieved. Many present only one facet of a larger picture. The 11th Hour goes on to also present an integrated array of solutions. If there were unlimited time, perhaps many of those solutions could be explored more in depth, but there is plenty there to present the overall picture of a society of solutions instead of a society of destruction or of regression.

It is NOT necessary to go back to stone knives, berries, roots, and wearing skins. It is simply necessary to re-design modern society to be able to function withing the available resources and that preserves the diversity of life on this planet, including humans. Additionally, many possible resources we have available that would be beneficial instead of harmful are grossly under-utilized. In a strange way, this is actually good news, as it gives us something good to change TO.

Critically important is the concept that every person in global society votes, regardless of their age, every single time they make a purchase. Granted, what happens in the political voting booth has huge repercussions, but every day we vote with every bit of currency we spend as well.

So, to Evade Human Extinction Now, what we really need to do is love and respect life, use forms of energy that are beneficial to life, and respect the rights of nature to coexist with us. If we don't respect the rights of natural systems to exist, they will ultimately fail - and no technology can save us from the loss of our own right to exist.

Evade Human Extinction Now! - Our grandchildren and great grandchildren will be very grateful for it, and even we ourselves will end up with better lives as a result.

Choose life. I know we can do it. What I don't know is if we will do it.

With great hope,

Dan Stafford
Publisher: The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy & Hydrogen Journal
Publisher: The 1st Church of Healing The Earth

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How Green Does Your Garden Grow?

Untitled Document


May 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Organic Gardening is Great for You, Your Family and the Planet

Spring is definitely in the air. That means warm breezes, longer days and thawing ground. It’s also the start of gardening season in most parts of North America. Gardening is often described as the world's most popular leisure activity, and it's not hard to see why. There’s the ease of entry; the educational, psychological and physical benefits; the rich history; the family friendliness; and the generally low cost (despite that book about the $64 tomato). In fact, a number of observers have speculated that gardening actually grows in popularity during economic downturns, since people are likely to spend more time closer to home.

Naturally, gardening can produce beautiful blooms and delicious fresh produce for you, your family and your neighbors to enjoy. By growing your own, you can control exactly what goes in your food, so there is no question about the food or flowers’ organic status. Conventional flowers, for instance, are raised with tremendous amounts of pesticides (since they aren't consumed), but it's easy to get great results at home, even if you only have room for a couple of containers on a deck or balcony.

And don't forget that every plant you nurture takes a breath of carbon dioxide out of the air, helping to fight global warming. Greenery also helps naturally cool your outdoor space, reversing the heat island effect. It can shield your home from noise and prying eyes, and absorbs air and waterborne pollutants. Gardens also provide valuable habitat for wildlife, from bees to birds to larger creatures.

Some tips to help you fight frustration, and green that thumb:

1. Pull weeds instead of spraying chemicals. Conventional herbicides are usually poisonous, so you don't want your pets or kids wallowing in the residue or tracking it inside. Weeding is great exercise.
2. Cultivate good soil and compost. The soil is your foundation, so take care of it. There are entire books about how to get the richest compost, no matter where you live or how much room you have, but all you really need is a place to keep clippings and table scraps moist.
3. Water often, and in the morning if possible. You'll cut waste to evaporation and promote healthy plants.
4. Choose native and heirloom plants. You're likely to get great results with natives, and support the most wildlife. Heirlooms can be tricky because they often are susceptible to disease, so research the variety first. You may have to get creative to prop up their defenses, such as planting complementary crops or sterilizing your soil first with the sun.
5. Try organic treatments. Going organic doesn't mean leaving your garden to fend for itself. There are a number of plant-derived sprays showing up, even in conventional nurseries, to control wilts, insect pests and nutrient deficiencies. Get a book on organic gardening and start experimenting!

Gardening can be extremely rewarding. Don't get discouraged when you hit a bump. Some years you'll seem to get nary a tomato, but then the next you'll be blessed with so many of the sweetest, most glorious beefsteaks that you won't be able to give them all away.



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