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Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness

The article below was originally published on way back in 2011 after one of the most extensive power outages in Connecticut history. This article is re-posted to help people better prepare by learning critical lessons from the past as we are in the midst of one of the most destructive and deadliest Hurricane seasons since records began.


Top Ten Things Learned from the Blackout

The top ten things learned by the leaders of and  projectfeeds during the most extensive blackout in CT… some of these we knew, some we learned, next time we can all be better prepared

1. If you have grid tied solar power, you DO NOT have power to your home during a blackout, UNLESS, you have  a Sunny Island battery backup solution or a similar device and of course, an adequate battery bank. Your solar installer should have made you very aware ; during a power outage, your solar system will not provide electricity. This is to insure power is not being delivered to the lines to protect the safety of the linesmen. See your solar provider for more info.

2. If you rely on a well, if you have no power, you will have no water since the well pump needs power to pump water to your home

3. If you use a generator for backup power, gasoline shortages can make life miserable and a gas powered generator useless. A propane generator with an extra propane tank is a better backup.

4. We learned to keep together as a unit and be a family again. Helping your neighbor; “when in need they will come”. And help your neighbor emphatically, especially those who are close friends and family who do not have at this time of crisis.

5. An inverter and solar battery powered portable backup system is invaluable in allowing some tv and internet time during a blackout. These devices are also great at charging a cell phone.

6. Crank radios and crank powered LED flashlights work excellent in an emergency keeping your family informed and allowing for light without having to charge batteries.

7. We learned to use our syn-gas Eco stove and conserve  water resources, Used the wood stove with thermo-electric fan and generator, organic alpaca clothing and blankets to keep us warm, Rationing out organic meats, canned foods and vegetables was a necessity. Make sure an adequate supply of matches and or lighters are available.

8. More stored water, even though we had enough to sustain with this disaster would make me feel more comfortable with my farm with large animals.

9. A syn gas stove is a great way to heat food and uses easily found wood and twigs to run. (see for more on the syn gas stove)

10. Six more Chickens , more eggs would have been appropriate. The average homestead needs around 12 chickens and 1 rooster to keep up sustainability.

One additional very important thing to keep in mind – during a disaster, for those on medication, it is critical to insure you have an adequate supply beforehand, otherwise, trying to get specific meds in a disaster zone is very difficult.

Remember, this can and will happen again, lets learn from this storm and prepare better for the next one.

Beauty and the Beast – Stunning Interview Reveals Icelandic Global Volcanic Dangers

Connecticut Native, Norman Nadeau and his wife Cara, recently visited Iceland. Some of the main points include;

  • Startling evidence global warming and retreating ice triggering increased volcanic eruptions.
  • Self sufficiency and growing food using renewable energy.
  • Icelandic DNA and population mapping.
  • How Iceland recovered from the economic crash and transformed into the only country using 100% renewable energy.
  • Icelandic conservation and finding a balance between commerce and sustainability.

Norman Nadeau is the founder of Project Feeds. When not making a living as a financial planner, he is actively promoting and studying sustainability or managing his farm (which runs on solar and wind) in Willington, CT.

Editorial Note: The following has been added for context and clarity..

  • In 1918 Katla erupted and is over due.
  • In 2000, Hekla, a Strato Volcano, erupted and also is overdue.
  • In 2010, a fissure opened in the Glacier known as Eyjafallajokull and is ready to erupt any moment.


Tesla Mulls Plan B After House Bill 7097 Fails to Come to a Vote

The Connecticut Legislature failed to bring HB 7097 to a vote despite a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and released by Tesla showing, 74 percent of Connecticut voters support legislation authorizing manufacturers like Tesla to open brick-and-mortar stores in Connecticut. The poll, which surveyed 500 Connecticut voters likely to participate in the 2018 election, also found that 49 percent of respondents would be less likely to support state legislators who opposed such legislation.

According to an article in the New Haven Register, Tesla was considering increasing the number of galleries in the state to 10 if HB 7097 ended in failure. This would increase Tesla’s presence in the state beyond the current single gallery, in Greenwich. Locations under consideration include; Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, West Hartford, Danbury, New London, Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport.

Tesla’s existing investments in Connecticut include a Service Center in Milford, a gallery in Greenwich, five Supercharger stations and 27 destination chargers across the state. Last Friday, Tesla opened the largest Supercharger station to date on the East Coast at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford. The company plans to open eight additional Supercharger stations and up to 25 additional destination chargers throughout Connecticut by the end of 2017.

Image – By John Cummings – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Connecticut Joins the United States Climate Alliance

Directly from the Press Release  – Governor’s Office of Dannel P. Malloy


(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has committed the State of Connecticut to join the United States Climate Alliance – a coalition of U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change. Other participants in the alliance to date include California, Washington state, and New York.

“Connecticut has been a national leader in combating climate change and we have no plans of slowing down our efforts,” Governor Malloy said. “In the absence of leadership from the White House in addressing climate change, it is incumbent upon the states to take action in order to protect their residents. We remain committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement because it is the right thing to do for not only the future of our state, but for the future of our planet. I am proud to stand with my fellow governors in support of efforts to reverse the harmful effects of global warming and to send a message to the rest of the world that we accept the science of climate change and we will not let the misguided beliefs of a few ruin our planet.”

With input from all participants, the United States Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new program to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.

Supporters of House Bill 7097 Join Tesla and State Legislators on Steps of State Capitol

May 16, 2017  Straight from the Tesla Press Release – DOZENS RALLY IN HARTFORD FOR DIRECT AUTOMOBILE SALES BILL.

Rally Comes One Day After New Poll Shows 74 Percent of CT Voters Support Allowing Tesla’s Direct Sales Model.

On Tuesday morning, just one day after the release of a new poll showing that nearly three-quarters of Connecticut voters favor allowing Tesla’s direct-to-consumer automobile sales model in their state, dozens of people rallied at the State Capitol in support of House Bill 7097, An Act Concerning the Licensing of New and Used Car Dealers.

HB 7097, which would authorize the direct sale of electric vehicles without existing dealership franchise agreements, is currently under consideration by the General Assembly. If passed, the bill would encourage electric vehicle adoption in Connecticut, reduce carbon emission, create job opportunities and economic development and decrease public healthcare costs.

According to a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and released by Tesla on Monday, 74 percent of Connecticut voters support legislation authorizing manufacturers like Tesla to open brick-and-mortar stores in Connecticut. The poll, which surveyed 500 Connecticut voters likely to participate in the 2018 election, also found that 49 percent of respondents would be less likely to support state legislators who opposed such legislation.

Tesla was joined at Tuesday’s rally by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, State Senator Art Linares, and State Representative Antonio Guerrera. Robert McSherry, Owner of North Haven Auto Body, and Josh Litwin, an MBA student at the University of Connecticut School of Business, also spoke at the event.

“Connecticut’s economy is badly in need of new business and new investments, and that is exactly what Tesla is offering,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides. “I urge my fellow legislators to support HB 7097, a bill that will spur job creation and generate revenue for our state.”

“Allowing Tesla sales in Connecticut will change our state for the better,” said State Senator Art Linares. “If the company is able to expand its presence here, we will see a reduction in harmful emissions, an increase in the number of consumers driving electric vehicles, and an increase in the number of good jobs available to Connecticut residents.”

“I’ve seen measures like HB 7097 come before the Transportation Committee, which I chair, three times now, and every time I’ve concluded that authorizing Tesla is the right choice for Connecticut,” said State Representative Antonio Guerrera. “It’s time for my colleagues to finally let Tesla invest in our state.”

“The diverse coalition that’s gathered here today is proof of the wide-reaching, positive impact Tesla has already had in Connecticut,” said Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development for Tesla. “We’ve heard from many legislators and residents across the state that are looking forward to Tesla expanding its presence in Connecticut’s communities through the passage of HB 7097.”

“As a small business owner who works with Tesla, I know how much good the company can do,” said Robert McSherry, Owner of North Haven Auto Body. “Getting more Tesla cars on the road will be a great thing for Connecticut’s economy and environment, and it will mean significantly expanding my business and companies like mine across the industry.”

“Connecticut residents are hard-working and forward-thinking, but the State is losing its competitive edge and many graduating students are attracted to jobs outside the State,” said Josh Litwin, an MBA student at the University of Connecticut School of Business. “State leaders can change this status quo, and inspire students like me to stay in Connecticut after graduation, by letting innovative companies like Tesla do business.”

Tesla’s existing investments in Connecticut include a Service Center in Milford, a gallery in Greenwich, five Supercharger stations and 27 destination chargers across the state. Last Friday, Tesla opened the largest Supercharger station to date on the East Coast at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford. The company plans to open eight additional Supercharger stations and up to 25 additional destination chargers throughout Connecticut by the end of 2017.

Images – courtesy of Tesla

Trump Pulls Out of Paris Accord Elon Musk Quits White House

After President Donald Trump revealed the United States will leave the Paris Climate Treaty, Elon Musk announced he will be leaving all 3 presidential councils; business, manufacturing jobs and infrastructure, effectively ending his controversial advisory role in the Trump administration . Musk made the departure official in a  message via Twitter,  “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”

Reaction from other business leaders was swift, Robert Iger, Chairman of Disney, also resigned from the White House Advisory Council via Twitter, “As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the withdrawal.”  Tim Cook, Chairman of Apple did not mince words, “Decision to withdraw from the was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver.”

Surprisingly , oil companies such as Exxon, BP, Chevron and Shell had voiced support for staying in the Climate Treaty. Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Shell, told NPR in an interview, “We believe climate change is real, we believe that the world needs to go through an energy transition to prevent a very significant rise in global temperatures. And we need to be part of that solution in making it happen.”

 IBM released a strong statement via a blog post on the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, “IBM has stated its position on climate change publicly since 2007: Climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is an international problem that requires an international solution, and we believe it is important for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore IBM supported — and still supports — U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement. Whether the U.S. participates in the Paris Agreement or not, IBM will continue its decades-long work to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and will continue to help our clients do so as well.”

That last part of the statement from IBM is key – IBM will continue efforts to reduce green house gas emissions, something that many corporations will continue as well. Leaving the Paris treaty will not push companies like; Google, Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Nike, Amazon, Walmart, HP, Fed Ex, McGraw-Hill, Target, Costco, Kohls  and Ikea to abandon their wind and solar investments or expansions.

Leaving a climate treaty will not stop the price of renewable’s from falling, it will not stop states from commitments to obtain greater shares of energy from renewable sources. States such as Iowa already get 25% of their power from the wind. In Texas, the heart of oil country and a red state, they produce 20,321 mega watts from the wind.  In the wake of the Trump-Paris announcement, California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, is pursuing a partnership with China for clean energy.

The private sector and states have spoken, the sun is still shining, the wind is still blowing and as long as human beings innovate, renewable energy will have a very prosperous future.

Elon Musk Writes to the Hartford Courant in Final Push as HB 7097 Vote Nears

Elon Musk has written a letter published in the Hartford Courant in an all out direct appeal to the public to push Connecticut Legislators to finally grant Tesla the right to sell automobiles directly to consumers.

This is Tesla’s third attempt at getting the state to allow direct sales of Tesla automobiles. At stake is the very heart and future of the free market economy in Connecticut.

Right now, a company like Apple can sell their products directly to consumers, but Tesla cannot. If an individual invents an amazing robot that gets your mail and mows your lawn, they can sell directly to the public but Tesla cannot. If a school or church decides to have a bake sale/fund raiser and sell their products directly to the public, that’s ok, but Tesla cannot. Every day restaurants, all over the state, sell their products directly to the public but Tesla cannot. This legislative and restricted approach to a free market economy is fractured and is not in the best interest of buyers or sellers.

The state of CT is facing a 2.3 billion dollar budget deficit, it makes ZERO fiscal sense to say to Tesla, “Sorry we don’t want you selling cars here, we would rather just give the jobs and sales tax to New York or Mass, go buy your Tesla there instead.”

This is a no brainer Connecticut, lets get this done. Click here to read  the Elon Musk letter in the Hartford Courant

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic


Tesla is Working with The Renewable Energy Association of CT

Tesla and the Renewable Energy Association of Connecticut are working together to convince the CT state legislature to allow Tesla to sell cars in our state.

One of the representatives on the Tesla policy team has reached out to the founder of to ask if the association would support Tesla in pursuing legislation to address the prohibition of direct sales. Tesla is working on a sign-on letter with many of those active in the progressive community.  The following groups have signed on: CT Fund for the Environment, Sierra Club CT, CT Sustainable Business Council, Acadia Center, ConnPIRG, League of Conservation Voters of CT, Environment CT and International Council of Shopping Centers.

Tesla has asked if they can add the Renewable Energy Association of CT to the sign on letter and the answer was of course, a resounding yes.

Background on Tesla and Direct Sales in CT

Tesla currently sells directly in over 20 states in the U.S. and in Washington, D.C.  Only 4 states currently prohibit Tesla from selling directly to consumers.  With the pending launch of the Model 3, which is Tesla’s middle class priced car, there is a potential for significant growth in consumer adoption of electric vehicles.

Right now in CT, less than 1% of all vehicles registered in the state are EVs (.063%).  Tesla vehicles make up 62% of all EVs in the state.  There is real growth potential for the EV market, but the biggest hurdle – once affordability is addressed – will be whether consumers can actually purchase EVs.

Current law prevents Tesla from direct sales in the state in spite of the fact that each Tesla store will create as many as 25 new jobs and inject $8 to $10 million into the local economy.  Here is a website that provides more background:

If allowed to sell in CT, Tesla stores will be equipped with a growing selection of EVs, as well as home battery storage and solar.  This will allow the consumer to pursue a carbon free home.

The Renewable Energy Association of Connecticut fully supports legislation that allows Tesla to sell cars in our state and appreciates the opportunity to help in this endeavor.

Image -licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

The Secret Reason Why Automotive Companies Cling to Hybrids Over Pure Electrics

Since the advent of the piston powered automobile, car companies have relentlessly promoted the idea that the piston engine would always be the king of the transportation world. Decade after decade, consumers have been mind numbingly inundated through various media outlets, that the piston engine is here to stay and nothing else exists that could possibly provide the same competitive price and performance characteristics.

For decades, the big 3 blithely ignored developing alternative drive trains or paid a mere token interest through products like the ill fated , poorly executed GM EV 1 or the Wankel rotary engine powered Mazda RX 7.

Then along came the very first mass produced Hybrid; the Honda insight. It was a small, tear drop shaped(read ugly) body with 3 doors that seated (cramped) 2 people. The car was basically an under powered, poorly executed attempt at a hybrid that got an EPA rating of 61 MPG. The first generation Honda Insight only sold a laughable 17,020 units worldwide and was quickly eclipsed by the roomier 4 door Toyota Prius. The Prius went on to win large scale acceptance by consumers and tree huggers while the first generation Honda Insight has been largely forgotten.

In the meantime,  Tesla automotive successfully developed the Model S pure electric automobile, a car that shattered sales records for an all electric and even won the Motor Trend magazine prestigious, Car of the Year award. In the luxury segment,  the model S has outpaced  gas powered rivals such as; Mercedes, Lexus and BMW in both sales AND performance. When Tesla introduced the affordable Model 3 all electric automobile, over a quarter of a million people put a deposit down for the car, despite the fact 99% of them had not even driven it!

While Tesla was king of the luxury segment, Nissan produced the Leaf, the first affordable mass produced all electric auto that won praise from the automotive media, while winning over consumers.

One would think, after seeing the sales, the performance and the world wide accolade of the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla model S and the model 3, the other automakers would do everything in their power to transition their cars to all electric drive-trains as fast as possible. This begs the question; why is this not happening?

The simplest answer is raw greed. The internal combustion engine is complex, requiring constant maintenence and a lot of parts. The pure electric automobile on the other hand has far fewer parts and is far more reliable. The pure electric auto has no oil pump, needs no oil changes, does not have a timing belt, or starter, no fuel injection, no fuel filter, no catalytic converter, no exhaust, a minimalist transmission if any, no spark plugs or air filter. The undeniable fact is the electric auto is much cheaper to maintain and requires far fewer parts than an internal combustion engine.

The reality of fewer parts and less maintenence is exactly the problem for a giant auto company that reaps large profits off such parts and maintenence. The fact is, by keeping internal combustion powered hybrids around, they can LOOK like they care about the environment, while continuing to rake in millions in maintenence and parts sales. Unfortunately that is the very secret of why companies such as Toyota and others, have been so slow to adopt pure electric auto’s on a massive scale. Sad but true.