California air much cleaner, a long ways to go still

Of the Bay Area, Central Valley and South Coast air sheds, air in the first region is by far the healthiest. It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand why that is. That the region is often buffeted by winds blowing in off the eastern Pacific … Pacific Ocean, that is, sums things up. The constant … Read more

Transport rationalization: A second look

I take a look around me. Now I ask: Are more transportation modes than what currently exist needed? My answer is: Yes. I am fast reminded of the collective amount of delay, fuel and productivity waste and air quality and environmental impact. In “Rationalization of transportation: Putting the brakes on delay, worsening air, etc.,” I … Read more

Kern County biomass plant a hit … and miss

“Here’s the rub: that global energy production from fossil-fuel burning is as pronounced as it is, a byproduct of which is the release of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere creating an ever-present human-health hazard, to slow and perhaps reverse the air damage already done, sustainable energy-production methods must not only be employed but exploited as … Read more

On polluted air, cleanup requires both a will and a way

So, my car has a dead battery. Last evening, I raised the vehicle’s hood and had a look. Even though externally the battery looked sound, internally it just wasn’t delivering the amps (amperage) needed to start the car. Using a volt-ohm-meter (VOM) I purchased years ago, with an analog display no less, I measured the battery’s voltage … Read more

More power to the White House, to the people – solar power, that is!

The White House during the Carter administration was outfitted with solar panels. Then during the administration that followed – Ronald Reagan’s – those panels came down. In response, but years later in 2010, it had become a mission of the organization to locate and then re-deliver one of those Carter-era panels back to the place where … Read more

Power-grid gridlock? Who would’ve thought?!

Finding space on nation’s grid for all electricity, no easy order, apparently It seems in some parts of the country the nation’s existing power transmission-line infrastructure lacks sufficient capacity to handle all the electricity trying to be fed it – be this from renewable or non-renewable sources; at least , for the time being, anyway. Trevor Graff of the … Read more

TIFFS: Steam engines; you know those fire-eating, smoke-belching contraptions

Number four in the Transport-in-a-Fine-Fix Series. I am one of transportation’s biggest advocates or one of its biggest critics; it could go either way. With this – the fourth installment in the Transport-in-a-Fine-Fix Series – I may be opening a can of worms, that is, if I haven’t done so already. Since I have committed … Read more

CATS: Trash – it’s the ‘stuff’ of biomass and documentaries

Number 22 in the Clean Air Technologies Series. Trash. By any other name – “garbage,” “refuse,” “rubbish” – trash is, well “trash,” and it is seemingly everywhere. Under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, on the side of the house or back yard, on the street or out along the highway. Trash – it is the … Read more

Energy-production-efficiency gains means less losses ‘down the line’

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only changed. That’s an accepted tenet. And neither can energy be lost. There is, however, loss in electrical transmission lines, the loss occurring as a result of friction created from electrons passing through conductor material. Since transmission line conductors are not perfect conductors, loss occurs. The loss of electrons … Read more