Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Masters and Students, Sculpture in Stone

I was invited to show, that's my piece in the center, "Cro-magnon Mercury", 25" high, 25" long, about 100 pounds of marble on a 48" high stand, it's in a prominent place in the gallery, I'm real happy about that.  Most of the pieces in the show are real good quality and some are very creative.  I will try to get some better pictures in a few days, close up of the eyes, I get a lot of comments on them.

Friday, December 27, 2013

fossil fuel screwed us again.

Today in oil trading once again it crossed $100 a barrel, to 100.32.  Following 5 years of drill everything you can policy we are a major oil producer and prices are up, again, not down as we have been told.  At the same time cars are driving less and getting higher mileage.  Supply and demand doesn't work in a oligarch economy.  There packing it in ships and sending it overseas, our cheap oil will never happen.

Currently gas prices are down, that won't last long.  If you are shopping for a car, pay attention to the mpg.  Oh, a group did a study of a Volt, total purchase cost, tax, insurance,  fuel and electricity, rebates, credits, repairs, on a 13,000 mile year the cost comes out less than any other car on the market.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wind turbines ordered, the rich lose one.

10 years or more of law suits and crooked publicity, Gov. Romney way back when he was gov., Congressmen and even Senator Ted Kennedy trying to stop it may have come to an end yesterday.  Cape Wind ordered over 100 turbines to supply over 200,000 east coast homes with power, at a much lower price than they pay now.  A couple hundred of the richest families in the nation, owners of Cape Cod mega mansions fought this, and still have court cases pending, but all approvals are met, and the turbines and construction contracts signed.  Placed beyond 5 miles of shore, the few that will be seen can be blocked from view by your thumb with your arm extended.  Almost no public access is available in the area, only these mansions may see them on clear days, fog, haze and rain will obscure them completely many days.  Among the losers count one of the Koch's homes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas eve green shine

The last few days have seen hugh numbers of wind turbines ordered all over the world.  In the US Iowa is the leader placing about 300 448 on order a few days ago from Siemens.  The Siemens nacelle (the big box on top holding the turbine) plant near my home will be very busy the next 16 months.  Iowa's energy is 20% renewable, will be 50% by 2020.

This week natural gas prices surged suddenly even though their is a glut on the market.  This bodes well for solar and wind, both sell energy at flat prices for 10 or 20 year periods.  Uncertainty in coal and natural gas costs are exactly what utilities are running from.

2,500 earthquakes in Oklahoma so far this year, almost all epicenters are in fracking areas.  5 years ago Oklahoma had only a few shakers a year.  South central Kansas started fracking 3 years ago, never had the epicenters within that area until the last few months they had several dozen in the 4 to 4.5 severity range, plaster crackers.

Germany yesterday announced 2 more coal plants closing.  Through insulation, conservation and a boom in solar panels on homes and shops energy demand fell 17% in one year.  Their energy prices are actually falling, making them more competitive as a business center.
Jan 1 will be the end of importing 40 and 60 watt old style bulbs.  Manufacturing of them in the US stopped last year.  Warehoused stocks may linger for a year or two in some markets.  Lots of nations have also outlawed these 2 bulbs, world few manufacturers of them remain.  I read a few days ago if every house in the US replaced just one of these with a CFL or LED we could close 2 jumbo coal fired plants immediately.  Now it's inevitable.

Happy Festivus

Bon Nadal i un Feliç Any Nou!
Auguri di un Buon Natale ed un Felice Anno Nuovo
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein sehr gutes neues Jahr
Joyeux Noël et Meilleurs Voeux
Feliz navidad y próspero año Nuevo !
Bom Natal e Feliz Ano Novo
С Рождеством и Новым годом

Friday, December 20, 2013

20 years to fix the last 15

did you ever have a snort in a van?

Maybe you was raised on weaker stuff.

Climate deniers hot enough to melt ice

This week another environmental info site joined the LA Times and a couple other science and eco sites who recently changed their comment policy.  Climate deniers posting anti-science and false facts will be deleted and blocked.  My paper is full of this hill-billy science comments claiming Freon never hurt no damn ozone, DDT never killed no eagles, oil never killed no frogs.
Attack on freedom of speech said the deleted ones.  No, says the owners of the sites, just fixing the debate rules, debates cannot occur when someone continues to interrupt with insults and repeat things which are not factual.  There are plenty of things to debate, decide, test and improve using facts.  If you want to talk to your uncle that's different, sure he will appreciate your assurance DDT is safe, FEMA has more labor prisons than North Korea, and coal smoke cools the earth by shading it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

37 Novembers in a row, each warmer than the previous

NOAA compiles the worlds surface temperature every day from thousands of monitors, reports, and satellite reading.  THIRTY SEVEN without a break.  Recorded temps go back to 1880, and for the last 37 Novembers the mercury rose.
Maybe you live where you had a really cold night, or whole month, but over the whole of the earth, both hemispheres, the sea the land the desert the swamp the mountain, the whole beautiful blue marble was warmer, now we are up to 56.6°F, a 1.4° rise, enough if you have a fever to put you off your game.  1.4° seems small but it's enough to spawn fights over thermostat settings in offices.  It's a  difference that works most the year melting glaciers.  Our food sources, from pigs to pears all have a  comfort range, exceed it and they; stop growing, produce less, produce nothing, die.  In the mid west we know when the temp starts jumping over 101, the tomatoes won't put on fruit, we are risking with global warming additional days when the plant just sets, trying to survive instead of fruiting.

I gave a friend an LED bulb 2 months ago, he was bitching the electric bill was too much.  Today I ask him how he likes it and burning 1/5th as much power for that light?  He hasn't put it in, said he hasn't decided where to put it yet and wonders if he will like it.  Some people are so fucked up, they make it hard for me to save the world, I told him 37 god damn it and this is why we can't have nice things.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Swede's opinion on Obama

A manufacturing technology business associate of mine called to wish me happy festivus.  He's Swedish, and a US citizen for 15 years or so.  He was talking about how manufacturing business is ramping up, fewer unemployed in our field now, lots of investments, some products are coming back into the US for manufacturing.  Then he said, and homes are selling again, stocks are crazy up, profits are crazy up, agricultural crops and land at all time high and all energy sectors are booming.   And Obama doesn't get any credit for it.  It is absolutely nuts.

He said; I really don't like some of what he does, maybe more than half of what he does, but I don't hate the guy, I want to be fair, he does a lot of good things too.  It's because of his skin color so many old Americans and business people deny him any credit.  Coming from Sweden we are not so unkind, we can oppose an idea without hate, and we don't use appearance to decide if his idea should be opposed.  What about Syria he said, we missed the chance to help the rebels before radicals took over their cause, but taking away chemical weapons, this is hugh, this is important, but he gets no credit for this.

Abraham Lincoln's lecture, and wind energy

In 1858 or 59 Lincoln wrote a lecture, "Discoveries and Inventions". The following year he gave the lecture in Springfield Illinois, and I think he gave it at least once more, in another Illinois town. Lincoln had two great passions, ending slavery, and advancements in technology. By the time he was in the White House the turn of events and moral imperative tied him to only one of his goals.
Below is the passage of the lecture dealing with wind energy.  The written text of the lecture was left with a friend of Lincoln and not published until 1904, it is rarely picked up and is rarely cited as a speech or writing of the President.  If anyone gives a flip, I can let you know where and how to read the whole thing.

Of all the forces of nature, I should think 
the wind contains the largest amount of mo 
tive power that is, power to move things. 
Take any given space of the earth s surface 
for instance, Illinois; and all the power ex 
erted by all the men, and beasts, and running- 
water, and steam, over and upon it, shall not 
equal the one hundredth part of what is ex 
erted by the blowing of the wind over and 
upon the same space. And yet it has not, so 
far in the world s history, become propor- 
tionably valuable as a motive power. It is ap 
plied extensively, and advantageously, to sail- 
vessels in navigation. Add to this a few wind 
mills, and pumps, and you have about all. 
That, as yet, no very successful mode of con 
trolling, and directing the wind, has been dis 
covered; and that, naturally, it moves by fits 
and starts now so gently as to scarcely stir a 
leaf, and now so roughly as to level a forest 
doubtless have been the insurmountable dif 
ficulties. As yet, the wind is an untamed, and 
unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of 
the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, 
will be the taming, and harnessing of it. That 
the difficulties of controlling this power are 
very great is quite evident by the fadt that they 
have already been perceived, and struggled 
with more than three thousand years; for 
that power was applied to sail-vessels, at least 
as early as the time of the prophet Isaiah. 

10 minute time suck you will be glad you watched

I am sure you have never seen anyone ski in such utterly dangerous places, and the video is beautiful.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Leaf'n the past behind

Around the block I've seen an electric Nissan Leaf drifting in and out of the garage of an unknown neighbor.  And Nissan is just waking up to what some Danish folks already do, fix the car so electrons can go in, or out.  Nissan is going to make some minor changes so this can be done without any tinkering.  When you have a rolling energy supply, why not make the full benefit available.

*Back up power.  Storms or hackers knock out your coal fired energy source, rather than buying a back up generator, or setting in the dark, let the Leaf do the work.  Fully charged Leaf can run most homes for 2 days, a week if your ultra stingy.

Just the Nissan announcement of Leaf as an emergency back up system will change the way the public thinks of EV, and competitors are idiots if they do not copy the feature.  The plant in Tennessee is set to increase production next year, the demand for the Leaf is increasing.

Insanity plea, who'd a thought the NRA was for it?

Everyone goes bonkers when some killer or the slick lawyer uses the insanity plea.  Drives people nuts,  we don't believe they are insane, just trying to get away with murder.
Since Sandy Hook, the NRA and the GOP have themselves now embraced the wack-a-doodle plea inn the public court of opinion.   In so doing are themselves moving the responsibility for the cost and pain on society from the industry that supplies killers, and the killers themselves, shifting it to the state.  They say the state should have a mechanism to spot and treat these people.  The state should be insuring they are identified, counseled, medicated, locked up if need be.  I'm not saying the state should not do this, I am pointing out who these new voices for this are.   My god, are they saying government can be a force for some kind of good somewhere?  Are they worried about these insanity plea people, their victims, or diverting attention away from their product?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Give or join NRDC

We joined NRDC 15 or 20 years ago. It is the most successful environmental group in the US, and they don't work alone, they partner with Sierra Club and many others on some actions. They have the highest rating for spending money on their stated purpose, and very little on the management team and fund raising, lots of non-profits cannot say that. At least visit the site from time to time and click the "take action" button. Happy Festivus.

The civil war in the GOP

Bad timing.  It appears skirmishing has begun, the GOP has so much hate they can not dissipate it fast enough, they are starting to use it on one another.  I am not surprised about this.  Even in the Kansas State house the same thing is going on.  I work with one GOP rep who at least shares one interest of mine, clean energy as a benefit to both humans and the planet.  But he told me this one deviation from the straight line march they demand will earn him a party sponsored challenger.  At the Fed. level, our GOP Senator high 90s% conservative voter Pat Roberts is up for election, and Ted Cruz is sponsoring a Tea Bag challenger against him.  A white guy named Wolf, who is a 2nd cousin to Obama, Ted Cruz raising money against senior senators, such is the warfare.
But, as fun as this is, it's ill timed.  I predict they will settle most these senate and house level fights in 60 days or so one way or the other.  A shame this blow up didn't wait a few months.  Maybe, just maybe it will drag out.
I still think for all the blood and guts that may be shed, overall the rich and corporations will flood who ever is left standing and mount a 2014 election that will be little different in outcome than if the fight never happened.  We who oppose the GOP now for their war on women, voting, charity, the middle class, will still have the same fight come mid terms, I don't see a cake walk.
Additionally, the Kochs have made an effort for the last few years and promise a much bigger one this round, that is to fund county and city, judges and state races for tea baggers.  In races that use to run on $5K, they are dumping in 10K, we are seeing in Kansas county races and small town mayors with thousands from a single donor, and they win, then they work for Koch, and this is whats the matter with Kansas and they are taking it national.  You better start paying attention to the dog catcher races, their being loaded with people who are learning to take money for favors.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

laws that same money

Recently there are lots of these funny looking truck trailers on the road, with side skirts and what's called a trailer tail.  I looked at these trailer tails and thought boy that must be a pain in the ass for the driver to fold up.  At a machine shop a few days ago I saw a driver jump out, walk to the back and open the doors, the trailer tail folds automatically as the door swings, it didn't take any extra time.

California started the trend, with a law about truck fuel use tied to trailer aerodynamic drag.  Truckers bitched up a storm.  Guess what.  They save 6 - 7.5% on fuel use, combined with side skirts 12%, with low rolling resistant tires even more.  The ROI (return on investment), depends on miles and speeds but in most cases 1 year.  Truckers everywhere are adding them.  That's lower freight costs for consumers, less pollution, less pressure on fuel prices, 12% fewer hours parked at a fuel pump.  Damn the government and their anti-business laws.

In Europe some trucks now have flat hubcaps of cheap material, they save 1%, and also claim 1 year ROI, I have seen a few of these here.  Bonus for other drivers, trailer tails reduce the mist cloud behind the truck in wet conditions

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Where there's smoke there's sugar, or meat.

Burn stuff, coal, wood, trash, and you get smoke.  Smoke is bad.  Same thing is going on in your body.  Burn the sugars and starches in food and you get, well not smoke, but same thing, oxidation, in this case it's called free radicals.  Just like smoke, this oxidation in our body can cause cancer, and many other forms of damage to cells throughout the body.
If you consume sugar, or a sugar drink, in the next 5 hours these free radicals rise to very high numbers.  If we eat peas, oranges, or any number of plants that may also contain high levels of sugar, the rise in free radicals is hard to detect.  This is because sugars and starches that reside in unprocessed plants come packaged by nature with 4 great big fancy sounding compounds I won't try to spell out, but these various anti-oxidant chemicals, more correctly phytonutrients, act like a catalytic converter to neutralize pollution in us.
Some food products, the so called super foods, broccoli, blueberries, walnuts, kale, kiwi, cranberries, and many others are so phytonutrient-rich they can neutralize large amounts of free radicals, and even heavy metals in some organs, even cause the body to attack cancer cells.
Meat can't do this.  Dairy can't do this. Eggs can't do this. In fact they add a hell of a lot of toxins and fee radicals to our body, include a very low level of inflamation in the veins following every meal.
You really ought to eat more plants.

Meat, see if you can read this and watch all the videos


Vegi's and fruit, grain and beans, spices, leave the meat eggs and milk at the store.  And no, you won't lack calcium, protien or anything else, it's all in the plants.

The Ratfink Axis

Canada and Australia are sellouts to fossil fuel dollars, like most nations that tie their economy to fossil fuel addiction, corruption follows.  Japan shut many of it's nuke plants after the discovery they are faulty and the nation has no ability or understanding on how to battle a run-away reactor.

handshakes are overrated

Roooosevelt - Stalin
Nixon - Kruschev & Mao
Raygun - Breshnev
McCain - Viet Nam leader, Quadaffie, Asssaddd
Bush - hold hands with Saudi Prince
Bush(old) - exchange body fluids / puke Japan primeee.
and so on.

Since about 35% of women and 60% of men don't wash their hands after pissing I think it should be offered sparingly, and as Jon Stuart said yesterday, dogs can shake hands.  By the way, those numbers are down the last few years, we are a less hygienic society than in the past.

Monday, December 9, 2013

corporations already using a self imposed carbon tax calculation

Shell, Exxon, BP, and these others already have their accounting factoring in a carbon tax to their future business plans and projects, using it in their decision making as if it already is a tax.  Most are using around $33 per CO2 ton.  Setting a carbon tax at the source, the mine or the well head is the simplest form of collection, the oil company pays the tax based on how much carbon is in this particular wells oil, the cost is embedded in the raw product and is thus spread through the market. This can solve all the fights about pollution laws,  driving the market to both conserve and clean up to save, and without so many rules.  It would also mean the dirtiest forms of energy (tar sands for one) would be left in the ground as unprofitable in the face of the carbon tax, meaning there will be writing down of assets and reserves.  These companies actually see this as an easier way into the future, relief from some of the laws and paperwork, higher prices falling on the dirtiest will force a migration to cleaner fuels and practices.  They also are preparing for what they believe is inevitable, they know full well what is causing global warming and that one way or the other it needs to be abated.

  • Ameren
  • American Electric Power
  • Apache
  • BP
  • Chevron
  • CMS Energy
  • ConAgra Foods
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Cummins
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Delphi Automotive
  • Devon Energy
  • Duke Energy
  • DuPont
  • Entergy
  • ExxonMobil
  • General Electric
  • Google
  • Hess
  • Integrys Energy
  • Jabil Circuit
  • Microsoft
  • PG&E
  • Shell
  • Total
  • Xcel Energy
  • Wal-Mart
  • Walt Disney
  • Wells Fargo
  • Sunday, December 8, 2013

    battle of the Popes for Kansas

    Wichita paper editorial cartoon.  The little dog on the left says "Now, if you were a corporation..."

    A local cartoonist did this, fitting after Pope Brownback announced a 1 billion dollar 5 year reduction in aid to all sorts of causes, in a low population state that pretty much means the poor WILL go hungry and die of preventable common diseases.  Then later in the week the front page story ask the question if charity from churches were making the poors life too easy.  Even the churches here are hard ass.

    Thankfully at least one editorial today suggested the actual Catholic Pope in Rome attacked trickle down economics as cruel.  This is the opening, the beginning of a return of the religious left which has been smothered and coopted by the right.  We could see a little common sense and a shaving off of some of the republican catholic votes back to the center or the left.

    The dogs ref to corporations may relate to the states competing for a new Boeing factory which will mean several billion in free land at a large airport, years of no tax, free water, sewer, training, several states are falling over one another to give their way to having a business bully locate in their town.

    Devils in the details

    Satanist have informed the state of Oklahoma they will submit plans to install a satanic monument on the state house steps, next to the 10 commandment monument.  After hiring lawyers to review the 09 law that allowed the "10", they said they have the right as well.  They singled out the author of the bill for his work, thanking him, saying he has helped Satanist with this law more than any of them could have ever done on their own.  They will submit multiple plans for the state to approve, saying they are eager that it meet community standards.
    Thanks again bible thumpers, oh, wait and see the dingbats that come out of the woodwork to run schools when you pass a school voucher law.

    Friday, December 6, 2013

    Obama Green Energy directive.

    This week Obama hit another home run on the environment.  He directed the federal government, military included, to increase their use of renewables by 20% by 2020, in increments starting next year. It also directs them to use less water and reduce their carbon footprint.  They can achieve these goals by doing it of their own accord such as buying a hybrid car or contracting for new windows or insulation for example.  It also directs the government to focus wind and solar installations for their own use on 'brown" sites, land fills or polluted areas to make them productive.  He also directs a 50% reduction of rubbish going to landfills.
    Since Obama came to office the government has moved to buy or produce 7% of its electricity from renewables, already a great achievement.
    The military is keen on this already, they have been bucking the GOP in Congress the last 5 years buying solar panels, fuel savings devices, shopping for tank and ship engines that save fuel, all against the wishes of the fossil fuel industry and the congress they own.
    Our government has 50 thousand buildings, the largest energy and fuel buyer in the world.  The savings from changes in lighting, insulation, better windows, efficient heating will show up in only a couple of years.  Payback on some of these things are fast.  Payback for the environment is almost immediate.
    Fuck the oil companies, the coal companies, they're buggy whip makers, times are changing, your turn is over.

    bone up on puppy food

    See, it's like two sets of workers inside your bones.  One crew is taking down anything that looks weak or corrupt, the other crew is putting up new arch ways and a strong honeycomb structure.
    Human bones are made up of connecting rods and stalagtite looking structures and arches.  If we don't get enough nutrition and calcium, and as we enter old age, the crew that puts up the new stuff falls behind.  Bone density goes down, breaks may occur.
    Doctors love to push Fosamax and other drugs to fix this.  They increase bone density, partially by laying off the crew that tears out the faulty old material.  The bone is not always stronger as a result of this adding new bone over rotten bone, it's heavier, denser, but not always stronger, breaks may still occur.  The drug industry however profits, so it's considered a net good.

    The best prevention and treatment is to keep both bone crews on the job: 1) exercise, walking and weight bearing.  Swimming and biking have little impact.  2) phylates, a nutrient in seeds, whole grains, beans, greens, nuts.  You need to eat a few servings of these every day.  Added benefit, all of these also reduce weight, cut diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure and they have lots of calcium.

    In 1949 phylates got a bad rap, a test on puppies indicated they caused bone loss.  Finally someone decided to study humans to addresses this issue, so the results are astonishing, it turns out don't feed puppies walnuts and pinto beans, instead eat them yourself and you both avoid osteoporosis.

    About 1/2 in the US are in poverty or in danger of slipping in.

    In only a few years the middle class went from being both in the center income wise and as a percent of the population to something else.  What?  Well, we still have a middle class if your goal is to define by 3, we would have to wouldn't we?  But if we track down the middle class of 20 to 40 years ago, most fell off the cliff, the railing was sold for scrap, the safety net was redesigned to catch corporations, and most fell through it.  Some managed to hang on to the middle class position, and a tiny few ascended.  The rich, we use to call them "well off", some fell of course, but their ranks have stratified due to the immense wealth they posses, the number of people with 10 million net worth is hugh, the number of extreme rich is in the thousands.  It is reported that 2,000 families own damn near the whole country, with worths of 1/4 billion and up.

    47%, Romney singled them out as his political enemies.  If that's not class warfare I'll kiss his ring.  It is often said the ultra rich are out of touch, do not know the extent of the nations decline or the day to day struggle of so many.  That is pure steaming in the cold air bullshit, they know.

    Minimum wage the scary story goes, would cause massive unemployment.  Here's what it might do, it might let the bank teller, the check out girl, the fast food worker, hotel worker quit one of their low paying jobs and spend a little more time with the kids, keep them in school, out of trouble, prepare them to contribute to the country.  Is that what the GOP is really against?

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

    Being energy independent is being a moocher?

    Yesterday a friend informed me he will buy a car early next year for in the city driving.  An EV.  Either a  Chevy Spark or Volt, Honda Fit, or Nissan Leaf.  The Spark and Fit have an 82 mile range, not sure about the others.
    He works for a company who is openly hostile to conservation of fossil fuel, part of their business is oil, I told him they'll slash your tires.

    Which brings me to ALEC, the boiler plate corporate/fossil fuel legislation mill that writes industry and racists bills and sends them ready to vote to every red state in the union.  For next year they are announcing their push......bills that will punish solar panel owners with a "free loader" tax, as well as more attempts to make wind farms harder to approve, and higher car tax on hybrids and EV vehicles.  Weren't those guys against higher taxes and gov. regulations?

    WTF, I have sunlight falling on my house, I could buy (from a local businessman and craftsman to install) something that will turn it into electricity, and they want to get the public to consider me a free loader for not buying energy from a giant corporation at a higher price, for being independent, not only that, but put a tax on me for not buying from the monopoly.  This is government by corporations.

    Here's another thing.  The more people and businesses with a supplemental source of power, the stronger the community is during a natural or man caused disaster.  If a few gas stations can pump, a few pharmacies are open, some of the homes have limited power, the community can function at some level, the quicker the recovery.  ALEC's interest does not include these.

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    Poison fish warnings in North Carolina

    I was in North Carolina a few days, friends took me to a lake to hike, at the waters edge a sign warns sportsmen not to eat more than two 6oz. servings of fish a month, children and pregnant people should never eat it.  Seems the power plant, as well as some factories have been dumping fly (coal) ash and other shit they don't want to properly deal with right in the god damn lake or piling it on the shore.  A beautiful lake, absolutely poisoned.  But it can't be, I always heard how our corporate benefactors so love the earth they would never do anything to harm it or their customers.

    Later the subject of well water came up, turns out in the same area many homeowners have PCB's, cadmium, mercury in the water and had to connect to a municipal water system.  Again, the source is the same set of businesses.
    It's our fault for allowing the corporations to wreck the earth for years and years into the future.

    My excellent adventure past dead mountain

    Made it back.  11 day Turkey day visit to family and friends.  Drove it.  Kansas to DC to North Carolina, back to Kansas.  Great time.
    One thing kept showing up at every railroad track we encountered, coal trains.
    When we got into West Virginia we passed a mountain top removal crime scene.   The tops were being pushed over the side, below the trees knocked at angles on other trees waiting to be covered by 100 feet of rubble.  In one valley we watched as 3 tracks winding in parallel carried 2 loaded trains side by side, another moved the opposite way empty.  The whole trip we saw trains, everywhere, yesterday the last drive, in the flat lands of Kansas a coal train over a mile long moved south, 4 engines in front, two in the center, and one at the end.  We have got to conserve and get off coal, we have to save the Appalachia.  Buy an LED or CFL damn it.

    The true cost of coal includes health and environmental damage, we know of some of these.  In my town so many coal trains come through, one an hour I think, it made travel from east to west slow, even stopping fire trucks and ambulances, killing some who would be saved.  The city raised a few miles of the track in some areas to cure this problem.  This was millions in cost, for someone else's coal, Oklahoma or Arkansas, maybe Texas, but we pay millions for it.  The true cost of coal?