Lights Out – APL COLORADO

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Lights Out – APL COLORADO
just filed
Image by Lance Cunningham
APL COLORADO at dock, Berth 300, Port of Los Angeles, California, USA

The blue hour had just started and was peaking through the clouds.

RAW file post processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.6 with NIK CEP 4.

Moon Rise behind the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm
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Image by “Caveman Chuck” Coker
The wind was blowing pretty hard today putting all kinds of dust and other stuff in the air. At dusk I decided it was time to head home and as I was driving down Snow Creek Road I noticed the moon rising behind the wind turbines.

Each of these units is a horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT). They are called horizontal-axis because the main rotor shaft is horizontal. The blades are attached to an electrical generator at the top of a tower and they must be pointed into the wind. The units have a gearbox so the generators can turn at a speed higher than the relatively slow blade rotation speed.

The blades are about 150 feet (46 meters) long and the towers are about 300 feet (91 meters) tall. That makes them really huge and really expensive to transport and assemble in the field. Many of the wind turbines are smaller than these units.

Coolness factor aside, the wind turbines are a scam. The turbine owners make money because of guaranteed government subsidies and tax credits (i.e., paid for you and me). Most of us have a surcharge on our electric bills to pay for "green" energy. A megawatt of wind-generated electricity costs about 11 or 12 times as much to produce as a megawatt of coal- or oil-generated electricity.

The government subsidies are more vital to the wind industry than the wind is. Without the subsidies, wind cannot compete against coal and oil. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (July 9, 2008) pointed out that, "In 1999, 2001 and 2003, when Congress temporarily killed the credits, the number of new turbines dropped dramatically." When the subsidies stop, the turbines are more or less abandoned until the subsidies resume.

On top of everything else, wind turbines generate their energy at the wrong times. A quick weather lesson . . . High pressure weather systems bring cold winters and hot summers and low wind levels. Low pressure weather systems bring warmer winters and cooler summers and lots of wind. These meteorological realities mean that wind makes its biggest contribution when demand is lowest and its smallest contribution when demand is highest.

Wind was a great source of power in the Middle Ages. But we have far better technology now. If the government did not force wind power on us, we wouldn’t have it. It’s just not practical.

Sorry about the rant.

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Update 1: This photo was used to accompany an article by Matthew McDermott (New York, New York) on January 27, 2009: Double US Renewable Energy Generation Within Three Years: President Obama

Update 2: This photo was used to accompany an article by Paul Ryan, Newcastle wins million Clean Energy Innovation Centre, on February 20, 2009.

Update 3: This photo was used to accompany an article, Careers, on the Land Agent Services LLC website on March 10, 2009.

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YSE #28, me/END/you, is published.
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Image by YSE mag
"me/END/you"
jun.jul.ago. 2011
inviernosurveranonorte | ISBN 978-1-4477-5745-0

Get it ON PAPER.
Also available @ Lulu.

Download PDF

READ it online

(ñ)

Preocupados con actualizarnos constantemente, con obtener el último modelo de quién sabe qué, con lucir la insignia del consumidor moderno, informado, a la última.

Minados por ubicuos mensajes que insisten en recordarnos que siempre hay algo mejor, que lo que tenemos nunca es ni será suficiente, es y está destinado a ser antiguo, de la temporada pasada o lo que es lo mismo pero no igual, de hace siglos, que en consumo equivale a una era.

¿Y si decidimos no estarlo?

¿Y si decidiéramos no correr en pos del futuro hecho gadget, vehículo todoterreno o camisa a la moda?

Entonces es cuando descubrimos que estamos obligados. Que lo que parecía una opción no es más que una forma de enmascarar que los propios objetos nos fuerzan a desecharlos.

-Tienen voz propia y ejercen sus mandatos.

El sistema operativo ya no es compatible con el software que necesitamos instalar, el portátil ya no tiene la entrada que requiere el nuevo periférico, la mesa de Ikea no resistió la mudanza, la suela del zapato de la primavera pasada ya se ha despegado.

Todo ello concienzudamente programado para mantener un sistema que nos mantiene a su vez a nosotros. Para mantener nuestro trabajo, para mantener el trabajo de los que mantienen nuestro trabajo, para no romper un ciclo de compra-eliminación-compra más allá del cual produce -hmm… vaya término- pánico mirar.

Y mientras nos preparamos, una vez más, para actualizarnos, llenamos el contenedor de la basura con recursos malgastados. Desechamos trabajo de otros: trabajo diseñado para ser desechado. Objetos con fecha de expiración programada que cumplen sin errores ni retrasos su única función: asegurarse de que recordemos efectuar la siguiente compra.

¿Es ésta la única forma de alimentar el ciclo?

¿Hasta cuándo podrán los recursos soportar una carrera sin meta/s?

¿Esperaremos hasta entonces para imaginar alternativas?

###

(sh)

Concerned with being constantly updated, with obtaining the latest model of who knows what, with wearing the badge of the modern, informed, up-to-date consumer.

Undermined by ubiquitous messages that insist in reminding us that there’s always something better, that what we have is nor will never be enough, is bound to be old, of the last season or, which is the same but not, of centuries ago, which in consumption is equal to an era.

What if we decide not to be?

What if we decide not to run in pursuit of a future made into a gadget, a SUV or a trendy shirt?

It’s then that we realise we’re forced. That was seemed an option is nothing but a way to mask the fact that the objects themselves force us to discard them.

-They have a voice of their own and take command.

The operating system is no longer compatible with the software we need to install, the laptop does not have the required input for the new peripheral, the Ikea table didn’t resist the move, the soles of the shoes we bought last spring have come apart.

All of this thoroughly programmed to support a system that in turn supports us. To keep a job, to support the job of those who support ours, to not break a cycle of purchase-disposal-purchase beyond which we panic just to look.

And while we once again prepare to update, we fill up the trash bin with wasted resources. We dispose of the work of others: work designed to be thrown away. Objects with a programmed expiration date, which serve their only function without errors or delays: to make sure we remember to make our next purchase.

Is this the only way to keep the cycle?

How long will resources be able to support a race without (a) finishing line(s)?

Will we wait until then to imagine alternatives?

###

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