Today is Earth Day- did you get a gift? I must admit, I did not get anything. I have no idea what to get- I will probably just get a plant or something. I think I read somewhere that this Earth day the Earth is 40 YEARS OLD. And I must say it looks pretty good (although I think it has had some work done). Yes there are some cracks and crevices- Haiti looks a little wrinkly, and some of the tectonic plates definitely need to be replaced.
That’s why we all have to do our part. I am thinking of getting a Hybrid car- it’s a cross between a Yugo and a poodle- it’s called a Poogo. But I can’t even trust a battery to run a flashlight let alone my car.
Which reminds me: every time I buy a new package of batteries I go through the same stages of grief. First, Denial. I firmly believe that this will be the first package of batteries ever manufactured that I will be able to open with just my hands. I look for the little tab that says, “OPEN HERE.” I look all over for it. “PULL HERE, STUPID!” I can’t see anything. “NOT THERE, OVER HERE- ARE YOU A FUCKING MORON OR WHAT? YOU GRADUATED FROM SYRACUSE? FIGURES….” There is no tab. Next, Anger. I want to meet the person that designed this package. I want to butter him up with a little small talk, how’s the wife, the kids, etc. and make him feel at ease and light-hearted as we walk in the park, admiring nature. Then I shove him into a 10-foot pit that I have dug and covered with leaves. At first stunned, he regains his senses and pleads with me to throw down an i-phone so he can call for help, or at least pass the time surfing for internet porn. I say nothing for two hours, then throw in the i-phone, wrapped in hard seamless plastic. I watch and laugh diabolically as he ruins his incisors trying to gnaw the package open.
Then, Bargaining. I plead with the batteries to just come on out of the package willingly. Just this once. They decline. Then, Depression, where I just don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning, knowing that I can’t get those goddamn batteries out of the package. Finally, Acceptance, where I realize I will have to spring for another 20 bucks for the AC adaptor.
Anyway, alternative power is becoming a much higher priority. They are considering building a wind farm off the coast of Nantucket. Indian tribes are against that particular location, since some Indians were buried on the planet Earth, where they are thinking of building the wind farm. Congress has provided for tax credits for the proliferation of alternative energy, but what they should do is put the turbines right there in the Senate chamber where the wind is. Growing up on a wind farm is much less work than a regular farm- no milking cows, planting things, picking things. You just water those big wind things every once in awhile and they’re good to go- it’s a breeze. I have seen a giant hi-tech wind generator on top of our neighbor’s barn. It has a rooster on top and the letters, N, S, E, and W, which probably stand for something to do with the output or amperage.
Clean coal is another option that’s getting a lot of airtime these days. But clean coal is very expensive to produce, since it comes out of that mine so darn dirty. If you toss it in the washer (NOT with the delicates) using a little Tide you should be fine.
Hydro-electric power uses current to provide current. For instance, the two generating stations on the U.S. side of Niagara Falls provide 2,700 kilowatts of power, enough to supply one quarter of the electricity in New York State, as long as they don’t use their hair dryers all at the same time.
So if you live next to a coal mine, with a raging river on your property, with no trees to block the sun and constant 60- 65 mile-per-hour winds, chances are you will never have to pay one cent to run your appliances. But I have to tell you that sounds like an awful piece of property, especially in this real-estate market. Plus, one day you are going to wake up and say, “I have ZERO energy today,” and no one is going to feel sorry for you. You sound like a bit of a whiner to me.
Incidentally, Solar energy is produced in photovoltaic cells. The sun excites the electrons in these cells, possibly by telling them that they are going to Disneyworld. The cell produces DC power, which is then transformed via inverter to AC voltage. This AC/DC conversion is similar to taking kilowatts that enjoy Liza Minnelli concerts and changing them into ones that like working with power tools.
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