The Watering Hole, Monday, May 12th, 2014: BREAKING into WIND power

Last week at the grocery store, I noticed a couple of men standing behind a table near the pharmacy section. They had some large tri-fold posters standing on the table, but, since my first view only encompassed the back of the posters, I didn’t know what they were pushing. I avoided them for a bit, but I had to pick up a prescription so I covertly checked them out from the safety (and better viewing angle) of the pharmacy counter. Once I realized that the posters showed wind turbines, my interest was piqued and, after I finished getting my prescription, I went directly over and said, “Hi, whatcha doing?”

The two men were from Green Mountain Energy, and the tall, bearded man named Gregory explained that they were offering NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas) customers a choice to opt for electricity generated solely by wind power. New York State has a number of wind farms providing electricity for hundreds of thousands of customers, enough to offer an approximate $.02/killowatt-hour savings over traditional, multi-source electricity ($.089 versus $.11+.) However, even if it was the same price, just the idea that we would not get our electricity from oil, natural gas, coal, and other polluting sources made me feel that it would be worthwhile to switch. While New York State does produce hydroelectricity, the vast majority of our electricity comes from oil and natural gas. Ewww. Well, not anymore for us at least!

From Green Mountain Energy’s website:

In 2013, our customers had the largest annual impact ever, avoiding more than 6.1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2)! Over the past 15+ years, our customers collectively have avoided 30.6 billion pounds of CO2 by choosing cleaner electricity and carbon offset products. To put that into perspective, that’s like:

Taking 2.9 million cars off the road for a year
17.6 million households turning off their lights for a year
Planting 3.6 million trees

At first, of course, I hemmed and hawed about it, thinking that Wayne would be furious with me if I just blindly signed up and we got stuck in something we really didn’t want. Gregory assuaged that fear a bit by telling me that even if I signed up then and there, the contract would not be etched in stone. I was given a booklet about the company for us to review, along with Gregory’s phone number. We arranged to have him talk to Wayne, and, after a phone call the following day, a little research, and a visit back to the store to meet with Gregory, Wayne agreed to it. So we’re finally breaking into renewable energy sources.

Wayne and I have often said that, when we can eventually afford to have our roof fixed, we’ll go solar (our back yard is big enough and open enough to fit a small solar array, too.) But until then, I feel a little bit better about lessening our carbon footprint.

This is our daily open thread–what’s on YOUR mind today?

51 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, May 12th, 2014: BREAKING into WIND power

  1. Here along the Front Range in Colorado, there’s typically enough wind to produce a LOT of electric power, not to mention enough sunshine to produce a LOT of solar power. There are also a LOT of people who HATE and DETEST anything advocated by TREE HUGGERS, and electric utility companies are often at the front of that line. They lobby the state legislature to penalize anyone who gets power from renewable sources, esp. rooftop solar; thanks to funding from the Koch Brothers, they run ads that suggest that the more renewable power becomes available, the higher “your” electric costs will soar. Meanwhile, spend a half-day standing next to most any railroad track that passes near a power plant and watch the parade of southbound rail cars filled with coal and, an hour or so later, those same empty rail cars heading back in the opposite direction for a refill.

    Don’t recall where I saw/read it, but somewhere it was recently pointed out that the (worldwide) PROFIT from carbon (methane, oil, coal) remaining in the ground as of right now amounts to an estimated $50 TRILLION (give or take ten trillion, more or less), so therefore the purveyors of carbon pollution will do anything in their power to sabotage any serious efforts to even introduce, much less increase to the point of serious competitiveness, every source of renewable power.

    If I were king of the world, I’d slap a 110% tax on each and every dollar of profit made via each and every pound of extracted carbon-based energy source and use the proceeds to develop, construct, install, and maintain renewable power. Since the likelihood of me becoming king of the world basically decreases with each and every passing day, I guess we’re gonna have to settle for the ‘other’ option: mass extinction.

    Oh well, maybe the next “intelligent” species to, in a billion or two years, evolve will actually be intelligent.

    PS: There is clearly NO GLOBAL WARMING!!! The proof? Six inches of snow on the ground this morning, May 12 2014. Take THAT, tree-huggers!

    • “That’s why the Founding Fathers gave us the Second Amendment, because they recognized that the people ought to be safe and secure from invasion.”

      Ummm, epic fail, your failed chaplainship.
      The second amendment was about making sure the Southren states could keep militia for hunting down escaped slaves. Y’know, the well regulated militia part that no longer exists…

      • If Go-Ji-Ra was Japanese, perhaps, but my suspicion is that it’s a cleverly disguised Chinese currency exchange hedge fund manager.

  2. OCSE report on ‘pro-Russian’ separatism in Eastern Ukraine.

    Does Captain Obvious have to read the report? They are bussed in from Russia, Putin is paying them and they committing murder, kidnapping and mayhem across the region….. duh, now do you think we could get a few more “fook off from getting into our country club, you are barred” sanctions going Mr Obama? /despair off ? nope can’t shake it.

    • Must admit that I keep expecting, daily, our Administration to spring real sanctions that would make Putin take notice. And every evening when nothing has happened…disappointed and wondering why.

  3. QOTD:

    “You know, like everyone was petrified of [Tim Russert]. When he died, Lewis Lapham described him as the overaccommodating head waiter at some really swanky restaurant who’s just really good at ass-kissing every rich person who comes into the door. And that was Tim Russert—which is why they all loved Tim Russert, right? Because the benefit of Tim Russert was that not only did he let them control the message, but he cast the appearance that they were subjected to really rigorous questioning. So it was the extra bonus of propagandizing while convincing the public that they weren’t being propagandized,” – Glenn Greenwald.


  4. Hi, gang.

    Good flying weather has finally arrived on the frozen tundra, I’ve been busy trying to make a $70.00 Chinese glider look and fly like a $500.00 European glider and Banzai Kitty has needed some first aid for ear mites and an infected scratch so I have been busy. Too busy to bother with politics; which is a good thing! Here’s the funny part.

    The first time I tried to clean out Banzai Kitty’s ears I needed leather gloves and an extra pair of hands. Now? When his ears get itchy he goes in the bathroom and meows until I come in and give him some doctoring. He still resists and has given me a few fresh scratches but, once the warm water and Bactine and peroxide have done their work, he’s a whole new cat who refuses to be evicted from my lap. I continue to be pleased, if not amazed, at how smart he is.

    When he gets bored, usually around dawn, he brings all his mice into my bed and then wakes me up by crawling under the covers and tickling my feet. I get up, throw the mice for him a few times, and then he relents and lets me sleep again. All in all; I’m happy to have just the one cat and he seems pretty pleased to be “alpha cat” so things are pretty good.


    • Feeble excuse – shouldn’t be allowed to hunt if he can’t tell the difference between a large husky wolf and much more slender, shorter coyote.

  5. Remember how we still don’t know if Clay Aiken won or lost his primary? The other guy just died, from complications from a fall in his home.

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