Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NEW Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

One of the things that is going to determine if we can have a future is the stability of our financial systems. Professor Elizabeth Warren is my hero, and she is head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department.

Now she is not going to solve all our problems, but this new organization can set the example for how government is supposed to work, and therefore shame all the other departments into reorganizing using transparent open communication and direct dialog with citizens. If you need a job, they are hiring!

Elizabeth Warren was in San Diego this week for Community Dialog, she wants to hear your ideas.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Appropriate Energy Lab

"Any electrical engineer who was educated before 1999 thinks renewable energy is a cute bit-player, on the side" ... but every place that takes renewable energy seriously finds that it is very easy and cost effective to invest and develop. "The (electric) GRID should be the 'EBAY' where you buy and sell power. Almost every incentive we have is for dirty power. The 'California Energy Crisis', 2001, was all about benefiting dirty power over renewable alternatives, and finding that we had a mess as a result." - Daniel Kammen, Director of UC Berkley Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab - Renewable Energy and Economies of Scale 2006

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Global Classroom

I don't do this often, but this is a special case. When someone states the obvious truth, it cuts across all lines, and I must post it everywhere.
"If Issac Newton had done calculus videos on YouTube, I wouldn't have to. (assuming he was any good) - Salman Khan"
Why do good students fail in our public schools?


Traditional Classroom Model penalizes you for experimentation and failure, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS?". Kids COMPETE with each other, but does not expect mastery.
Assign the lectures as homework, and do the homework in the classroom.
Pause, work at your own pace. Stay on that bicycle, experiment, failure is OK. Reward success, don't penalize failure. Allow students to COOPERATE, and you will see that your 'slow' students are just as smart as the 'gifted' kids.
But expect mastery.

Watch this video twice.

Build a Global, One World Classroom.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Colbalt-Phosphate: A posible solution to energy storage

In this video, posted by the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, we hear about another 'battery' to store solar energy. The problem of course, is that you still need to buy all the solar equipment ($50,000/household).

Daniel G. Nocera and his researchers received media attention beginning in 2007 when he declared that a better understanding of the photosynthesis process could lead to economical storage of solar energy as chemical fuel.[4] He later announced that his group had developed a highly efficient anode electrocatalyst (cobalt phosphate) for use in electrolysis of water employing inexpensive materials.[5][6] His work on artificial photosynthesis centers around the basic mechanisms of energy conversion in biology and chemistry, particularly in the theory of proton coupled electron transfer. He is also the director of the Solar Revolution Project at MIT which seeks to create innovations in photocatalytic water splitting towards the use of solar energy in large scale, mainstream applications.[7]

Thursday, March 3, 2011

SEMPRA Energy indicated in Mexican Bribary Scandal

Those who follow the Sunrise Power Link story, (the use of nearly $3-Billion in public bond money to build essentially unnecessary infrastructure for centralized power supply) may be aware of the secret conspiracy by SDG&E's owner SEMPRA ENERGY to buy cheap, dirty electricity from Mexico. Now, in a KPBS Radio Report this morning (Tues. March 3rd), by Amita Sharma, tells us more about bribes paid to Mexican officials to secure industrial permits for the new Energia Costa Azul LNG terminal in Baja, Mexico. Aaron Quintinar, formerly from WiLDCoast, says Sempra and Mexican President Felipe Calderon have close ties, and a former Sempra executive says the company paid bribes to Mexican officials.
The Mayor of Ensenada recently closed down Sempra's Costa Azul...due to numerous unlawful actions by Sempra. Sempra apparently got the Mexican Military to re-open the plant, but the Mexican Congress just voted to support the Mayor.
Now, to be fair, monopoly owner SEMPRA claims that the Sunrise Power Link is needed to bring 'Renewable Energy' from the desert to the city (even as their executives build solar panels on their mansions). Yet, in spite of constant protests, lawsuits, and public investigations, SDG&E is going forward with the Power Link Project.

If San Diego County would spend the same $3-billion to make all our local buildings Energy Neutral, and then built DISTRIBUTED Renewable Energy throughout our local neighborhoods (in that order), we would never need to build another carbon-fuel power plant.