William McDonough Talks about “The Upcycle”

William McDonough – Architect, Designer, Winner of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, Dean, Business Leader, Professor and Author,  gives a talk at Stamford presenting his published work,  ” The Upcycle”.  This is a treat, definitely worth your time.



Oil Plummets – Now What? Updated

Lucas_gusherThe price of oil has gone down dramatically in the last few weeks, resulting in gasoline prices approaching and in some cases reaching below 3 dollars a gallon.

I have been wondering when this would happen.  The realities of rising renewable energy production with rising supply of domestic oil because of fracking, combined with slowing demand due to  conservation efforts, result in lower oil prices.

Simple law of supply and demand; more supply and lower demand, equal lower prices.

Here are the big questions; how long will this last and will this drop in the price of oil kill renewable energy in this country?

Q1; How long will low prices last? That is tough to say, we are destroying our water supply to remove every last drop of oil we can pull out of the ground. How long can you do that before the water supply dries up?

Q2;Will it kill renewable’s? No one knows, yet, history shows as recently as the 1980’s, during the Arab oil embargo, renewable energy flourished. Once cheap, abundant oil returned, renewable energy nearly vanished.

Here is the fun part; fracking makes it appear as though we have plenty of reliable domestic oil. In reality, it is a desperate backup plan to flush out the remaining drops of oil stuck in the cracks and crevices of rocks, deep within the earth. A backup plan hatched because demand for energy is rising, yet all the easy to find, cheap oil is gone. Once those wells dry up,  very little oil is left in the US and there is no backup plan. Our country would be left with a  depleted water supply, a large bill to clean up the ground pollution and no energy to power our economy.

What about natural gas? Most of the power plants in the US have been switching to natural gas. Due to rising demand, fracking is being used to ferret out every last cubic inch of gas they can find. Meeting the rising demand for natural gas means rising prices and supplies dwindling more quickly.

Oh, but wait, we have Saudi Arabia! Not really, they are going to keep supplying the world while their wells slowly dry up and demand keeps rising. Going back to relying nearly exclusively on the Saudi’s at a time when demand is higher and supply is lower, will result in a price spike way beyond what our economy can handle.

Coal! We can use coal! Uhm, no, do you like to breathe?  China tried powering their country on coal, it didn’t work out so well. Today coal use in China is falling for the first time in their history and renewable energy is rising. Think about that, the second largest economy in the world is moving away from coal.

What about nuclear? Which do you prefer; a nuclear power plant in your back yard or a wind or solar farm?

What is needed right now is a backbone, from people who know that renewable energy is the only way forward for long term energy and economic security. People who understand that energy security is not developed by destroying our water supply. Leaders who can see that fracking is not a long term solution but merely a vehicle to short term gains fading into long term economic hardship and instability.

New info>>>saw a report today that stated Saudi Arabia may get together with their OPEC friends and cut oil production to drive oil prices back up .

Save the Date

800px-Bad_marienberg1An invite from our friends over at PACE (People’s Action for Clean Energy)

THIS IS AN AMAZING FREE OPPORTUNITY to learn more about marketing a non-profit organization, renewable energy in Germany, enjoy some good music and peruse a display of exhibits and literature  concerning energy issues in Connecticut !

Date:   November 22, 2014

Time:  5 o’clock to 6:00 PM


144 S. Quaker Ln., West Hartford

Speaker:  Brian Keane – author and President of SmartPower

Note: SmartPower has just been named  ” THE BEST NONPROFIT MARKETING FIRM IN THE UNITED STATES”  by  Wealth and Management!   Find out about marketing your non-profit organization!


This event will be followed by  a light finger- food supper, a film on renewable energy in Germany, and the display of exhibits and literature  concerning energy issues in Connecticut .

At 7:00 PM  Joel Gordes  of ENVIRONMENTAL ENERGY SOLUTIONS  will receive an award for his work  on our vulnerable electric grid. ” Our fragile and vulnerable  centrally- generated electric system  is suicide ! ”


As President  of SmartPower.  Brian Keane has helped to shape the energy debate  in the United States . Clients include major utility companies, state agencies,  the federal government and private  foundations.  SmartPower has won awards from  the EPA , US Department of Energy, The Service Industry Advertising Award , and Connecticut DEEP .  Keane has been recognized as one of Connecticut’s  OUTSTANDING 40 UNDER 40  and is a regular panelist on  the “White House Chronicle”. Brian Keane is an  exciting speaker, who  exudes contagious enthusiasm.

The evening will close  with lovely songs by Connor Millican  of  ” WISE OLD MOON. ”
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Tesla Makes Headlines

606px-Tesla_Model_S_with_hood_upThe big news from Tesla Automotive is they are building the electric  Model S with new advanced safety features and something they call, “Autopilot”.  In addition, the new Model S 60D and 85D will offer dual motors and all wheel drive. The big news is the new dual motor all wheel drive models will both gain 10 miles of range! Adding all wheel drive while GAINING efficiency is unheard of in the automotive world.  The new dual motor Model S can be ordered today and North America deliveries will begin in February.

For more info on the new Tesla models CLICK THIS

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The Nissan Leaf

800px-2013_Red_Nissan_Leaf_SLStopped in for a visit at De Cormier Nissan in Manchester and had a very good conversation with a Nissan Leaf sales specialist. The Nissan Leaf is an all electric plug-in automobile .

Topics discussed included: range anxiety, charging options and times,  the battery pack and safety, the future of battery technology and range, options for the Leaf, driving styles and how they affect range, safety ratings, regenerative braking and some positive customer stories about charging a Leaf in Vermont.

Some of the interesting items that came out of the discussion: the leaf can be charged fully for about 4 dollars. The Nissan Leaf actually has better range when driven on back roads. There is a great variety of charging stations available all over CT, you can use an app on your cell to see where they are, you can also reserve a time to charge your leaf at a charging station that is convenient. Best of all; many charging stations are FREE, yep you can charge up your Leaf for nothing!

I have driven the Nissan Leaf on both the highway and back roads and I have to say it is a very good car. There is plenty of interior room, controls and dash are well laid out, the car is responsive, handles well and the power is quite good. Although the electric motor is considerably quieter than any combustion engine, I love the subtle, turbine like sound it makes when you press accelerator.

The one thing I kept thinking after I drove it is simple; the Leaf is just as good, if not better than any small car on the road today.

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