We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, January 9. 2012
The Earbug Epidemic
Treating Cosmo like porn
New Regulations Crush New England Fisheries - Even local Democrats are crying foul.
Lee Smith asks us to imagine a Middle East without Christians
Nasty ad which reflects poorly on Newt, but the Dems will do the same
Gallup: Obama in trouble
E-Verify as a wedge issue
Can Romney's commitment to expediency be a substitute for reliable conservative instincts?
,,,for generating continuous main power, solar is a green toy
Tracked: Jan 09, 06:29
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Bain Capital was lingering out there and the Dems were keeping it in reserve to use against Romney. Newt is doing a service by getting it out in the open now so it can be old news come the time people start paying attention.
As someone that is near total deafness from natural causes I have been warning all of those near and dear to me, ever since the first Sony Walkmans, about the hazards of these infernal ear buds.
All to no avail and here we are, 20% of the nation with hearing loss, mostly self inflicted....YIKES!
It's not just New England fisheries that are being crushed - those in Florida are suffering, too. Red Snapper, the most popular fish served by Red Lobster, fishing is banned. That means that folks order the fish are getting fish illegally harvested by non-US fishermen. NOAA says it is moving to regulation in the Gulf, too.
And it's not just the fishermen. The people who supply fishermen with fuel, bait, tackle, boats, trailers, and everything else used are hurt, too.
This is another example of a big, bully government destroying people's lives.
There are reasonable limits to harvesting of any wild creatures. The trick is figuring out what is reasonable.
Overharvesting led to the near-extinction of American Bison, extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, and the near-total destruction of the coastal Cod fishing industry. Tragedy of the Commons. We are grossly over-fishing Blue Fin and Swordfish today, which our kids will not appreciate.
Trouble is, there does not seem to be any federal survey. Florida fishermen report that they are catching, and throwing back, as many or more Red Snapper as ever. While state fisheries agents are frequently seen at docks checking on catches, and the state makes telephone surveys of licensed fishermen, no one has ever reported seeing a NOAA representative surveying anything. The local Recreational Fishing Alliance head has advertised both at meetings and on radio programs for anyone who has talked to a federal representative to call. No one has done so, so it would seem there is no federal survey - only statistical falderal.
With solar, do low hanging fruit first. Also "heat with air, store with water".
1st. - conserve energy (wear a sweater, turn down hot water, turn off lights, use a fan instead of A/C, use a room A/C vs central A/C , insulate, plant a tree on your south side, etc)
2nd. - Solar air (days-7 year ROI) Pretty cheap to make with free tempered glass you can locally source. Also look at solar cooling.
3rd. - Solar water (7-12 years ROI) for heating and/or hot water. It's becomes a less efficient system when pushing temperature up for hot water, but still worth it.
4th. - Solar P/V (20+ years ROI) It's the most expensive electricity you'll prepay for twenty years.
If you do low hanging fruit first, then the size and cost of your PV system will reduce dramatically.
This year, I'm going to build four solar air heating systems for next winter, (two moveable, two permanent). Then I'll build a large solar water system on my south wall for both heating and hot water. Eventually I'll put in a small PV system on my roof since we do net metering here.
I recently installed a small (8-panel, 8 x 225W) PV system on my house, mostly to see whether it was worth the expense to go to a full system that could generate all of my daily power needs (18 kWh). Federal and state tax credits paid for 65% of the cost of the system. My payback period with the tax credits is slightly more than 5 years; without the credits, the payback period is 3X longer, which would make the project infeasible. One notable thing I learned from this exercise is that solar systems are oversold (who knew?). Each dealer I spoke to quoted me a wildly optimistic system efficiency and hence ROI.
Based on my experience, I'd say the first thing anyone thinking about a PV system should do is to knock around 20% off the efficiency a dealer quotes you (most of them will cite a figure for the DC power their system generates, not the AC power you actually need, which right there amounts to ~20% lower efficiency). Also keep in mind that the efficiency of a solar panel is highest when the sun is directly overhead, but drops rapidly once the sun is more than 45 degrees from the vertical (i.e., on a cloudless day, expect only 4-5 hours of measurable output).
To put things in perspective, keep in mind that a single solar panel generates only enough electricity during those limited peak hours to power just 2 (!) ordinary household incandescent light bulbs---which is not a heck of a lot of power when you think about it---while the full, unsubsidized cost of a single panel for a system like mine is about the same as that of 400 of the most expensive CFL light bulbs. For some people, doing things like simply shutting off lights that you aren't using may be an equally good or even better investment versus solar.
New Regulations Crush New England Fisheries
Well, can't say that they didn't see this coming.
The problem is so complicated, so fraught with inter-governmental, inter-industry politics that nobody is telling the truth, every issue is a major one and all parties are resorting to hyperbole, invective and flat out lies in pursuit of their own agendas. Simply put, the NOAA/Regional Fisheries Councils/FWS system is irretrievably broken. Nothing can save it unless the entire system is thrown out and rebuilt from scratch and that just won't happen.
There are too many operators chasing increasingly smaller stocks of fish. The fish they do catch are smaller in size, not mature and in some cases by-catch laws require the disposal of otherwise marketable fish.
Back when I was a teenager, it wasn't a big deal to catch a 10 lb cod in Marblehead Harbor, or pollock and even occasionally haddock in the winter. Summer and winter flounder were abundant almost to the point of being considered trash fish. - you caught a flounder you looked at your buddy with the exasperated "not another damn flat fish" look as you threw it back. It was not uncommon for bluefin to cruise between Halfway Rock and Marblehead Light in pursuit of herring and on one memorable day, I latched onto a 100 lb bluefin right off Naugus Head in my 13 ft Boston Whaler Sport - fish was almost as big as the boat we were in.
Today, the inshore fisheries are all but gone with the exception of stripers, bluefish and small flounder. I've seen parades of small draggers within 100 yards of Misquamicut Beach in Westerly, RI looking for winter flounder literally digging up the sea floor and getting nothing.
Frankly, it is about time that the NE fishing fleet started to be down sized - in particular the in-shore fleet. I'm sorry for those folks who have had the same boat in their family for 50 years and this is part of their heritage, but their lifestyle can't be maintained by current practices and they can't operate profitably - it is time to get out and do something else.
This isn't the only problem however, The article mentioned EPA's Jane Lubenchenko as the culprit, but that is not the case. The real enemy is the Pew Environment Group one of the Pew Charitable Trust entities. Lubenchenko is just one of the PEG's many minions in government service. The Pew Trust had it's fingers in many areas of government to the level that Goldman Sachs wishes they had. PEG has single handedly shut down huge swaths of South Carolina's reef system, almost 80% of California's sport fisheries in the Catalina area - the list is too long to even begin to detail. They are powerful and they are trying their best to destroy the entire recreational and commercial fisheries industries. PEG is even trying to extend it's environmental activism reach inland to the Great Lakes, major river systems and large reservoirs.
It's a huge mess and one that I fear will never be solved.
Speaking of GOP debates...where has our resident political commentator gone? It's been a long time since the last Doc update and I need my marching orders.
Last time I talked to Doc - actually about this very same subject - I pleaded, I begged, I offered our first born child (which we don't have because we adopted but don't tell him that) - hell, I offered to pay him money, send hookers, beer and my wife's stash of Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (eight bottles) - all to no avail.
His reply was something along the lines of (and I'm paraphrasing here):
Bleep bleep bleep guys bleep bleep bleep want political bleep bleep bleep bleepity bleep bleep bleep can bleep bleep bleep because I don't bleep bleep bleep have the bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep time or the bleep bleep bleep inclination.
Or something like that. :>)