Who could imagine our modern society without batteries of any kind? As a storage medium for electricity they guarantee backup power for our devices and mobility. Unfortunately, batteries are heavy and quite energy inefficient compared to electric current from the grid.
The most available storage medium for energy is water! Hot water can be produced by solar energy and stored. Some countries are lucky to have abundant cold water when snow falls in winter. Both, hot and cold water, can be used in heat exchangers to warm up or to cool down buildings - this is the activity which consumes most energy at home.
The city hospital in Sundsvall, Sweden, uses snow for its cooling needs. The snow is collected and stored from streets, roofs and parking lots in winter. A simple pipeline system leads the melting snow through a series of heat exchangers, which makes it possible to power 90 per cent of the cooling needs at the hospital during the whole year. This is a wonderful example of the Blue Economy principle "Use what you have".
For more information, please visit www.blueeconomy.de
Have you ever thought about the fact that you get alternating current from your power socket even if most of your devices need direct current? Computers, electric motors and even refrigerators need to have converters installed. This means not only a loss of power due to the production of waste heat, but also the requirement of additional features to cool the device.
In most of the cases, renewable energy is harvested as direct current. This could be used directly in energy independent buildings without any need of conversion into alternating current and back. Even power supplies with little voltage could be used in an economically reasonable way, for example electricity from the tap (see Case 42) or piezo-electricity.
In order to avoid energy loss in existing devices and infrastructures, Prof. Umesh Mishra, an expert in physics in California, has developed computer chips which convert AC into DC without producing waste heat. This saves energy in two ways: by using the energy supplied to an optimum and by eliminating ventilation and/or air conditioning. If this technology is applied in all existing server parks, then we will save several hundreds of terawatt hours.
For more info please visit www.blueeconomy.de
David Peat is a holistic physicist and author who has carried out research in solid state physics and the foundation of quantum theory. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Liverpool. For many years he was associated with physicist and philosopher David Bohm. While living in Canada Peat organized discussion circles between Western scientists and Native American elders, and while living in London organized a conference between artists and scientists. He has authored or co-authored many books including “Synchronicity: The Bridge between Matter and Mind” “Seven Life lessons of Chaos“, “Turbulent Mirror” and “Gentle Action“. His most recent book is “A Flickering Reality: Cinema and the Nature of Reality“. He has written on the subjects of science, art, and spirituality. He is also director of the Pari Center for New Learning, which is located in the village of Pari near Siena in Tuscany, Italy. He is adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a Distinguished Fellow at the University of South Africa. www.fdavidpeat.com
David speaks with Joanna about beauty, synchronicity, “Bohmian dialogue” as an experiment in holistic communication, change and complexity, his views about the sacred, the crucial role of the merry trickster…
To listen to the full interview, please visit the site
Impressions from Taktse
by Michael Baldwin, co-founder of The Marion Institute
May 20, 2011
What is it about Takste that gets one so fired up, as we ALL did? Is it the dedication of the Lauenstein-Denjongpa family; Maria, Sonam, Pintso, and, from afar, Aka; who have devoted themselves so selflessly to this educational cause? Is it the endless contributions of their co-trustees, Lok Babu and Aga Pema? Is it the creativity of the Sikkimese teachers as they invent a dynamic new educational model blending the best of East and West? Or is it the enthusiasm of the students themselves who come to school every day eager to stretch their limits?
Perhaps they are inspired by their love of Sikkim, their teacher, H.H. Dodrup Chen Rimpoche, and, even, the inspiration of the ultimate teacher, Guru Rimpoche, who brought Buddhism to Tibet and Sikkim and called Sikkim "The Hidden Land", with a degree of reverence that is awesome. Not sure, but their devotion and enthusiasm oozes impactfully all the time!
Motivated by the blatant shortcomings of an educational system well-entrenched, a few Sikkimese people with very limited means of their own, and no assurance that enough funds could be raised, embarked upon the creation of a new school. They believed that teachers would be found who could teach in more dynamic ways, that money could be raised, that infrastructure could be built, and that, most of all, parents could be persuaded to offer their children a chance at learning in a more meaningful way. This expression of hope for a better future is mind-boggling in its audacity, yet it is coming true at Taktse!
Of course, many challenges remain, such as finishing the new building, adding 11th and 12th grades, raising teachers salaries to a more competitive level, paving the access road, funding scholarships, and the list goes on. But for a school that is only in its sixth year, the progress is truly remarkable. Tuition income already meets basic operating costs, and once the infrastructure is complete the school will be more or less self-sustaining.
I suppose education throughout the world, with some exceptions of course, is generally deficient. We see it hugely in our own back yard in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In India, the public school system is typically based on rote memorization, strictly disciplined to a fault, and so wholly uninspiring you want to cry. Passionless teachers provide a lifeless form of education that stifles critical thinking, offers few opportunities for artistic growth, and does not foster the intellectual abilities that will be sorely needed by tomorrow’s leaders facing intractable problems.
By contrast, sitting in on Taktse classes, and watching the students and teachers in action, you cannot help but feel uplifted by the magnificence of Taktse teaching practices! These kids are not just learning, they are LOVING IT! Students often PREFER to be at Taktse rather than at home, which can sometimes be awkward with parents who wonder if their kids are having too much fun at
school to be learning anything!
This little school tucked away in the tiny former kingdom of Sikkim in the remote Eastern Himalayas is making a big difference to about 140 students. It is also creating a model that can be studied and replicated elsewhere so that many more students can receive a truly meaningful and rewarding education. Aside from teaching basic subjects in inspiring ways, Taktse also inculcates an awareness about nature, about "spirit," about community, about sharing and caring, and about basic living skills which are usually ignored at other schools. All of it represents an extremely well-rounded educational system that will, I am confident, turn out movers and shakers for our fragile world.
I hope that I have provided an inkling of the joy and inspiration that we three felt at Taktse. Thank you Taktse and the glorious folks associated with it!
By ALEXIS HAUK
June 02, 2011
Not every kid turns his Star Wars action figures into the Kennedy brothers — but then, not everyone gets to have a career like Van Jones (who, according to a 2005 profile in the East Bay Express, used to turn Han Solo into RFK and Luke Skywalker into JFK).
In his keynote address at the Marion Institute's fundraiser tonight, the human rights pioneer and author of "The Green Collar Economy" isn't likely to break out any toys as illustration. But he is likely to rave about the night's grand recipient: The Green Jobs, Green Economy initiative and the POWER Project (People Organizing for Wealth and Ecological Restoration). As it turns out, the Yale Law graduate, co-founder of three nonprofits (the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All), and former green jobs adviser to the Obama White House, is a major fan of SouthCoast's young activists.
Q: You've been to New Bedford several times. When did you first visit and what keeps bringing you back?
A: Kalia Lydgate (Green Jobs, Green Economy Initiative co-director, was) in the audience at a speech I gave about Green Jobs, a while ago. It's kind of amazing — you talk to thousands and thousands of people in my line of work every year, and they often say, 'Oh, I'm going to do something about this; I want to make a change.' You say, 'Yeah, yeah, whatever.' Most people get distracted 40 seconds after the speech is over. I was really shocked when I heard from Kalia maybe a year or so later, and she'd taken it to heart. ... She'd done more with the ideas of green jobs, as a student and a very recent graduate, than a lot of mayors and business leaders. So I just kind of said, 'Listen, as soon as you keep up with this idea, I'll be there to cheer you on.' And then the next time I went out there, it had gone way beyond her. ... This whole posse of people, each one more impressive of the other. (Green Jobs co-director) Khepe-Ra (Maat-Het-Heru). Tem Blessed (socially conscious hip-hop artist). There's something really magical happening in this little town.
Q: Is the POWER Project and Green Jobs, Green Economy initiative an example of what works in what you've been talking about?
A: I think they've kind of become the best example in the country of what can be done when people take seriously the healing of the country and healing of the planet. It's easy on paper to talk about saving energy and saving money by retrofitting homes and giving energy upgrades to homes ... There's a reason almost nobody gets around to doing it. Between those scratches on paper, there are multiple steps that have to be taken by multiple actors. They've changed the game. Young people know how to make an event interesting enough to get people to show up. ... I steal their ideas all the time. (Laughs)
Q: In your book, "The Green-Collar Economy," you say that nonprofits and government agencies haven't had the same capital and skills needed to really influence things. How can you balance the energy/idealism of the movement with the savvy and money required of running a Fortune 500 company?
A: The entrepreneurial mind-set and the social do-gooder mind-set — it used to be that we had the luxury of separating those kinds of expertise away from each other. But I think that the young people are beginning to synergize and hybridize those models. It's exciting to watch.
Q: You worked during college as a reporter. Obviously journalism and the media have changed a lot in the last few years, especially in light of your experience with Glenn Beck. How can activists and advocates navigate these changes?
A: The media and information system has developed very rapidly over the past 10 years, but the wisdom system has not. So we have a lot more bandwidth for noise and foolishness and distractions and disinformation. But I have a great deal of confidence. You just take the average young person Â — if they have a smart phone, they have more computing power than the entire U.S. Government when they put a man on the moon. The more determined ones are using the information well.
Q: What are your hopes for this event (tonight)?
A: My big hope is that the community will realize what kind of a jewel it has in the young people, and get behind them. On TV, they had this documentary about the Freedom Riders, and I was thinking about how much courage it took to try to make change back then. Well, these kids are the equivalent of the Freedom Riders today. The problems are indirect, but the consequences are just as awful: crushing poverty, real planetary peril. I think we should really recognize them for that and pull out the stops and get behind them and let them shine.
"Community Ecology: Moving from Competition to Co-Creation" will take place in the Joseph Abboud Factory from 6-8 p.m. Admission is pay-what-you-can. Visit www.marioninstitute.org/programs/green-jobs-green-economy-initiative for information. Registration: www.NewBedfordPOWER.org or (508) 748-0816.
To read the article on the Standard Times website please visit www.southcoasttoday.com
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