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Archive for October, 2007

Rainy Days at Green-Trust

Fortunately we are getting rain today. I say fortunately, becuase it means our existing well is getting recharged. It does mean we are taking a break from drilling the new well. We have been running into issues as our sandy soil is filled with glacial till, which causes the drill to move back and forth as it hits these small round rocks, and we end up with a uneven drill hole. Solid rock would be easier to drill through.

I did get the new Outback MX-60 MPPT Charge Controller installed this morning, as well as 550 watts of PV, connected serialy for a 100vdc input. The MPPT controller matches this to our 12vdc battery bank.

The MX60 also features Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), which seeks out the maximum power available from a solar array and uses it to recharge the batteries. Without this feature, the solar array does not operate at the ideal operating voltage and can only recharge at the level of the battery voltage itself. The MX60 “sweeps” the array’s operating voltage at user-determined sweep intervals to track the Maximum Power Point (MPP) of the PV array.

I also set up two web based ip camera systems for a friend to keep track of deer and security at his camp in the woods while in Florida for the winter.

The rest of the day is dedicated to lectures and assignments in my online Bachelors (Network Management) program from Westwood College.


New reading material on the environment and security of energy supplies

We recently read two new books, one on the health of our planet, and one on what we must do as a nation to secure our energy supply. We recommend both of them, and encourage you to read the reviews at

1. WHERE WE STAND: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet by Seymour Garte, Ph.D.

2. Freedom from Oil: How the Next President Can End the United States’ Oil Addiction by David Sandalow, Brookings Institution scholar

Steve Spence


WHERE WE STAND: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet

WHERE WE STAND: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet (AMACOM Books; October 9, 2007) by Seymour Garte, Ph.D.

In WHERE WE STAND, Garte makes the case that the environment is in better shape than we have been led believe. He presents evidence that human and environmental welfare have been improving steadily for the past two decades. When crises arise, our urgent efforts to save the planet work. Scientific research, social activism and strong regulatory action have produced changes in the way businesses and people operate and these changes have been largely successful in solving most of the environmental and public health problems that we have faced. Garte combats environmental apathy with illustrations of the environmental movement’s achievements and their goals for the future. Hopeful, balanced, and convincing, WHERE WE STAND will change the way readers view the planet and the future.

Publisher’s Weekly Review of WHERE WE STAND:

Garte, a professor of public health, presents a well-researched, clearly written summary of the health of our planet, with histories of lead paint, ozone and various chemicals as well as analyses of human health and planetary health; the prognosis is surprisingly optimistic, and prescriptions are encouraging. While the environmental problems hyped daily on the news are real and ongoing, things have improved—air and water are cleaner, more food is available, life spans are up and infant mortality is down, diseases are better understood and treated—and will continue to improve if efforts continue. Garte points out the fallacies in standard right- and left-wing approaches—the planet is not in imminent danger of imploding, he says, but neither will it be saved by the free market—and shows how most improvements over the past 40 years have been the result of government intervention. Garte’s reasoned discussion and compelling, honest tone make this a valuable tool for increasing science literacy with regards to the important environmental issues of the day; Garte’s recommendations, to “continue on the paths we have been traveling and finally acknowledge the great progress that we have already made” should put new wind in discouraged environmentalists’ sails, while plentiful references, data and illustrations will give skeptics material to think over. (Sept.)



It doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican, it’s hard to disagree with this book. We read it and recommend it! – Steve Spence, Director,



October 17, 2007 – As oil prices reach record highs, it’s not just in the consumer pocketbook where war is being waged.

In, Freedom from Oil: How the Next President Can End the United States’ Oil Addiction (McGraw-Hill, October, 2007), author and Brookings Institution scholar David Sandalow writes that our current reliance on oil poses economic, environmental, and national security threats to the country:

1. Oil dependence strengthens Al Queda and other Islamic terrorists;

2. Oil dependence strengthens oil-exporting nations that oppose US interests;

3. Oil dependence threatens our men and women in uniform;

4. Oil dependence undermines democracy and good governance around the world;

5. Oil dependence is central to environmental degradation and contributes significantly to global warming;

6. Oil supplies are vulnerable to natural disasters, war, and terrorist attacks.

Writes Sandalow, America must take steps to counter the deeply entrenched use of oil in our society using a powerful combination of already-present technologies and far-reaching agendas, among them:

· Build millions of plug-in hybrid cars that have traditional engines and connect to the electric grid;

· Make competitively-priced biofuels available to every driver;

· Transform fuel efficiency standards to make sure the US fleet helps lead the world; and

· Transform federal transportation policy to level the playing field for mass transit and promote telecommuting.

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) calls Freedom from Oil “Required reading for all concerned citizens and elected officials.”

Nobel Prize winner Al Gore says of the author, “When David Sandalow writes about energy and the environment, we should all pay close attention.”

Sandalow, a scholar at The Brookings Institution, worked for the Clinton/Gore White House, and spent much of 2005 traveling with Gore and working with him on the lecture that is now part of An Inconvenient Truth.

The book has a foreword from Senator Richard Lugar, as well as endorsements from General Wesley Clark, James Woolsey, Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton and former head of the CIA, and Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Sandalow is based in Washington, DC and is available for interviews.

Freedom from Oil

Author: David Sandalow

October, 2007

HC, $26.95

For review copies, interviews, and more information, contact:

Ann Pryor, Senior Publicity Manager

McGraw-Hill Companies

2 Penn Plaza, 12th Floor

New York, New York 10121

212.904.4078 tel

212.904.4091 fax


DIY Well Drilling at Green Trust, Oct. 25th. (updated date)

Come stop by Green Trust, and learn how to drill a well, yourself. Nathaniel Burson, from is coming to give a class. You will learn how to make the drill, drill for water, and pump it to the surface. It’s easy, and a whole lot cheaper than the big guys. Be in control of your water! Make money drilling for others. Admission will be $60 and will include a free set of plans and DVD and a $40 coupon off kits from Classes will be held Thursday (the 25th) afternoon/evening, and then all day Sunday and on Monday night if the well isn’t finished Sunday. The class will feature a complete well drilled from start to finish using our new affordable system. All attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience drilling their own well. We will have info available on DIY pumps designed by Jim Juczak from Boondocking is available. You can contact Steve at 315-328-5726 or Nathaniel at 903-576-6800.

93 Sheldon Rd.
Winthrop, NY 13697

Map and Directions: