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Recently in California, several solar projects were approved for installation in the desert. I really worry that we are just trading one ecological problem for another. A desert is a particularly fragile ecosystem and damage can take centuries to repair.

I highly recommend reading “Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air” by David JC MacKay. It is available electronically for free (one copy for personal use) at http://www.withouthotair.com/

On the website are also several short summaries if you don’t have time to read the entire book right now. I found this book to be particularly interesting because it takes a systemic view of the energy consumption problem. It also explains energy use in simple terms that the general public can understand, while also using science and mathematics (rather than emotion and opinion).

As technology advances, I hope we’ll find ways to create greener energy with a much lower ecological footprint. But in the end, I think the answer is we have to learn to use less energy – much less.

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    1. Jim Spath
      Diogo:  The proper etiquette on SCN is to look for contact information on the business card.  If their address is not listed there, then they are not open to random requests, or they have not updated their card yet.
      (Mary – please forgive me for jumping in here; doing my SCN moderator thing).
      Jim
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      1. Diogo D'Olivo
        I know Jim, I looked there before, but as she did not put her contact there, I figured out that maybe I can try via comment.
        I fshe does not want me to contact her, she will probably not answer!!
        tnx anyway for your concern.
        cheers
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  1. Paul Centen
    Hi Mary,

    here in northwest Europe we have windmill parks, built by investment funds, etc. You see them overall. So one might think “…. green!”.

    A research (about 20 years ago) about windmills on moorland disclosed the absence of bees (due to the moving shadow of the windmill leaves). Bees are necessary for pollination of specific plants. So that impact will change the biotope and the habitat as well. What’s the “damage” once moorland becomes forest?

    Putting windmills in the Northsea? Due to the salt water maintenance becomes costly. Do we have other alternatives?

    What you mentioned already: save energy. But why do we do that much business travel? The argument “face to face meetings are more efficient” indicates only areas for further improvements. In 2008, I blogged on that topic, but it didn’t impact. “It’s still an honor to participate in person” and send the bill to the employer.

    Kind regards Paul

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