Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born on 21 October 1772 in the rural town of Ottery St Mary, Devonshire. He is best known for his long poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner relates the supernatural events experienced by a mariner on a long sea voyage. These quotes are from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Two centuries have passed since this poem was crafted by Samuel Coleridge. They have become so much more meaningful in today's world with global population of over 6.5 Billion.
The freedom to collect rain water a.k.a rain water harvesting is slowly disappearing in US.
Do I Really Need a Permit for My Rain Barrel?
Not for a traditional residential rain barrel but maybe for a larger cistern. The difficulty in defining the permitting requirements for rainwater collection lies in differentiating between the systems that cause little, if any, hydrologic impact (the vast majority of small systems) and those systems that could cause impairment to other water right holders (including streams), notably in closed basins where no new water rights are being issued. Rainwater collection for consumptive use (irrigation) could potentially cause impairment of other water rights by limiting the amount of water that would otherwise flow into freshwater streams with their own water right or streams that supply other water right holders.
In the State of Colorado the installation of rainwater collection barrels is an offense.
Bolivia: Bechtel and the fight for public water
Bechtel in their efforts to privatize ALL water, tried to regulate the collection of rain water in Bolivia. It lead to riots, and the people took over from "The Corporation
Saudi Arabia: Shoura demands explanation for ongoing water crisis
RIYADH: Outraged by the aggravating water crisis in the Kingdom, several Shoura Council members demanded that the concerned minister and the top official of the water desalination corporation should be called to the council.
Water and Electricity Minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen and Governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) Feheid Al-Shareef had appeared before the council in similar circumstances months ago. After that the water crisis eased but the situation deteriorated and even worsened with the coming of the summer season.
The members, who described the water situation as catastrophic, made the demand while discussing a report submitted by the council’s Water and Electricity Committee on the ministry’s performance in its last meeting presided by Assistant Chairman Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported yesterday.
Various cities, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif and Abha, have been suffering water shortages and people have been made to wait for several hours for a truck of water in front of water distribution centers. Some had to get water from the black market after paying as much as SR400 for a tanker, which normally costs SR114. Sometimes, the price goes up as high as SR800.
There have been reports of people waiting more than 10 hours at the center to obtain a delivery truck.
In Jeddah, Saudis are reportedly being given preference at the main distribution center. Marginalized neighborhoods in the port city can go up to 45 days without water in the main lines, while other neighborhoods receive water in the lines once or twice a week. Water lines feed into buildings’ cisterns. When those cisterns dry up, building residents must obtain water by delivery trucks until the next time the lines fill the reservoirs.
“Immediate solutions to the water shortage should be found and implemented without being complacent with time-consuming plans and projects,” the council advised the ministry in a statement. “The minister had made a promise on the floor of the council to bring about radical solutions to the water crisis last summer. But the problem has raised its ugly head again and the ministry has not made any effective move to contain it. On the other hand, the problem has spread to more cities.”
Shoura members stressed that it was quite logical to call the minister and the SWCC chief again to the council for an explanation as the water crisis remained unresolved despite their promises a few months ago.
Expressing his disappointment at the dismal performance of the ministry, a member went to the extent of demanding to take away the task of solving the water crisis from the ministry and entrusting it to an emergency committee.
“The Shoura Council has received complaints from citizens in various cities about the disappointing manner in which water officials have been handling the crisis,” he said.
The committee in its report on the performance of the ministry urged the ministry to speed up formulating transparent regulations regarding privatization, as it did before privatizing the electricity sector. It urged the ministry to give due consideration to social issues while privatizing the water sector.
The committee also recommended that the ministry should take necessary steps to complete the water and sewage water projects on schedule and avoid delays by removing obstacles faced by contractors.
Several steps have been taken to alleviate the water crisis in the Kingdom. The latest is the introduction of two floating water desalination plants near Jeddah.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest producer of desalinated water and accounts for 29.2 percent of the total world desalination capacity, according to a recent statement by Al-Hussayen.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
It is an awesome movie. Words can not describe this movie. I literally felt the struggle that Mike went through in his 35 year of expedition of self sufficient homes.
He believes that progress evolves through making mistakes.
Nothing comes in or goes out these houses. No water lines, No sewer lines, No electric lines. Sewage is internalized. Family of four can easily survive without going to a store. That's what I call "freedom" :)
Movie time line
4:20 - He says, we are running out of oil. He is peak oil aware :)
4:30 - Population is exploding - That's Malthusian theory :)
12:20 - Cities cannot support themselves. He sees them getting abandoned and people going out there to mine out the goods. I agree with this.
13:20 - Beating dirt into tires and creating thermal mass. Thermal mass stores heat.
54:17 Renni 'Zee' Zifferblatt (Bill Analyst Judiciary Committee) looks gorgeous with long black hair. :) She has a very deep voice. Love her black dress :p
1:00:00 Mike and 7 crew members respond to an urgent call for help for the tsunami hit Andaman Islands in India (We may end up a similar devastation, when post peak oil hits the world)
01:13:00 Mike says: "It was great to see something happen in 14 days in India when in 3 years it could not happen in a developed country (US)."
01:16:10 August 2005: Hurricane Katrina slams into the Gulf Coast of America
01:19:00 Renni says - "you do not want to scare people so much that they are paralyzed by their fear" This is a very important message for peak oil educators.
01:19:30 Mike mentions oil shortage again
01:20:20 Senator Leonard Lee Rawson says: "you can not prove global warming"
01:23:20 Mike says: "American dream in my opinion is in the toilet. It is history. It is gone. The American dream is now how do we survive in the future. It is not having eight bedroom home or eleven bathrooms. It is not having a career and a lawn and all the amenities.It is simply how does our children and children's children even have a chance at life."
Time Line of events in Mike's Life:
1969: Graduated from the University of Cincinnati
1972: Thumb House (Used beer cans wired together into "bricks," which were mortared together and then plastered over )
1976-1986: Castle Compound, Taos, New Mexico, USA. A decade of evolution.
1988: First earthship for himself and his future wife in New Mexico. There is no heating or cooling.
1990: Greater World Community, Taos, New Mexico
Late 1990: He surrendered his state architect's license to avoid prosecution for malpractice. His national license was revoked a year later.
2004: Mike drafts a new law to allow for easier testing of sustainable building
47th Legislative Session, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The bill dies due to filibustering. This will make you wonder if the representatives are really doing their job.
2005 April: Mike and 7 crew members respond to an urgent call for help for the tsunami hit Andaman Islands in India
2005 August: Hurricane Katrina slams into the Gulf Coast of America. Mike is back in US
2006 January: New Mexico State Legislature Mike re-presents his bill
2006 February: Mike's second attempt to introduce new legislation failed.
2006 October: U.S. Board of Architects learns of Mike's work in the Andaman Islands, India, they invite him to reapply for architect's license. A poetic justice :)
The section of the movie which covers earthship building in India has so many stories to tell and leaves us with so many open questions
(1) Sometime it takes a tragedy for humans to wake up
(2) It is remarkable that a community can rebuild itself in such a short time even after massive destruction.
Time is running out as we pass peak oil. Humanity can still survive and there is hope.
At a personal level, it brings back my memories of growing up in India. I used to be that boy who used to shower with a mug and a bucket of water, 20 years ago. I got spoiled with hot showers and 24/7 running water in US for almost a decade. If post peak oil situation demands me to shower with a bucket of water and a mug, I will do it again :)
You can buy this DVD from http://www.garbagewarrior.com/
I bought it from Amazon.com. It is few bucks cheaper at Amazon.com
Monday, June 9, 2008
I came up with a design today. I went to local Lowes store and bought
(1)3/4" X 5' PVC Pipe Plain X 6
(2)3/4" SCH40 Tee
(3)3/4" SCH40 Cross
I used my hacksaw and miter box to cut these pipes to 18" and 9" sections
I came across a good DIY on working with plastic piping
At the end of the evening, it was a satisfying experience.
This structure can be expanded in both horizontal and vertical directions.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
(1) There have been germination issues with some of the seeds.
(a)Only 2 out of 6 carving pumpkin seeds sprouted.
(b)Only 2 out of 6 onion seeds sprouted
(c)No success with spinach, pie pumpkin & parsley
(2) There were couple of stray animal attacks in the first few
weeks and that ruined the first set of transplanted carrot and chili
pepper. A cage type was structure was built to reduce animal attacks.
Ever since the caging, there has been no animal attacks.
This just the beginning. This is a prototype garden. There is long
way to go in order to achieve food self sufficient.
Yes, thats lettuce at the center!
The pumpkins are growing fast and I need to build a structure to support their vines.
just for growing purposes. I let them sit in kitchen for a month
for the buds to sprout. Two out of three looked ready for planting
and one looked rotten. I got rid of the rotten potato.
(1)55 lbs of Moisture Control Potting Mix from Costco for $10.50
(2)Two green plastic pots for $15 each for gardening section of a store.
Potatoes with buds
Pot with a layer of gravel
Friday, June 6, 2008
Oil futures surged $10.75, or 8 percent, to $138.54 a barrel on the NYMEX.
Here is what New York Times has to say:
Oil Prices Skyrocket, Taking Biggest Jump Ever
Oil prices had their biggest gains ever on Friday, jumping nearly $11 to a new record above $138 a barrel, after a senior Israeli politician raised the specter of an attack on Iran and the dollar fell sharply against the euro.
The unprecedented gains on Friday capped a second day of strong gains on energy markets, and fueled suspicions that commodities might be caught in a speculative bubble.
DOW JONES industrial index tumbled today by almost 400 points
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Balsam Camellia Flowered Mixed Colors
Bean Scarlet Runner
Beet Detriot Dark Red
Broccoli Early Dvidend Hybrid
Garden Bean Royal Burgundy
Garden Bean Tendergold
Garden Bean Romano
Garden Bean Cherokee Wax
Garden Bean Improved Tendergreen
Garden Bean Kentucky Wonder
Pea Early Perfection
Pea Dwarf Grey Sugar
I will vacuum them and store them in refrigerator.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
There is a spike in News Reference Volume of "Peak Oil" in last 30 days
US consumer 25% of global oil and it is at #3 in Google Trend Region
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Oil Prices Set Another Record, Closing Above $129
U.S. light, sweet crude futures closed at $129.07 a barrel on the Nymex.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Amazon to open new facility in Hazelton, Pa., creating 1,100 jobs
Nymex-traded oil finished Monday at yet another record high, hitting $127.05, after a seesaw trading session that saw crude prices hit alternately by profit-taking and supply concerns.
OPEC President Chakib Khelil reiterated recent comments from the cartel that despite record prices, oil markets were well supplied and blamed high prices on speculation, a weak dollar and geopolitical problems.
Qatar oil minister Abdullah al-Attiyah also insisted there was no need to boost oil supplies to global markets. "The market doesn't need more oil," he said, pointing to a cut in forecast oil demand growth by the International Energy Agency.
Friday, May 16, 2008
CNBC says Oil Prices Finish at Record Above $126 a Barrel
Oil prices shot to new highs again Friday as traders, unimpressed by U.S. and Saudi efforts to boost supply, kept buying on the belief that prices had more room to rise. Light, sweet crude for June delivery jumped $2.17 to settle at record close of $126.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, prices surged to $127.82 a barrel, also a new high. It was the eighth time in the past 10 sessions traders rewrote the record books, and the first time prices topped $127 a barrel.
Investors shrugged off news from Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Naimi, that the country increased its production by 300,000 barrels a day last week in response to requests from customers. The market also had little reaction to the Energy Department's announcement said it would cancel shipments into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for six months beginning July 1.
Oil industry observers questioned whether either move would have a significant effect on soaring energy prices.
"It's ridiculous because I don't think this is going to bring the price down," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading, of the Energy Department's move.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Robert could not foresee the following factors:
not-for-profit organization committed to reducing America's
dependence on oil and improving U.S. energy security in order
to bolster our national security and strengthen the economy.
This report gives an overview of the broad economic effects of
a scenario in which oil prices surge to $120 a barrel due to
coordinated terrorist attacks on global oil transportation
infrastructure. It is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis.
This scenario was the basis for a simulation exercise conducted
by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) at the World Economic
Forum Annual Meeting 2006 in Davos, Switzerland.
terrorist attacks on oil facilities, the world's oil bill would be about 8% of
world GDP (even assuming some reduction in the quantity of oil demand) - higher than
at any time in modern history. Such oil prices would almost certainly precipitate
a global recession. In addition to negative demand effects, there would be large
negative supply side effects, policy effects, and confidence effects. Meanwhile
financial markets would likely judge these attacks on global energy supplies more
seriously than Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait of the 9/11 attacks, because of
their continuing disruptive effects. Stock market valuations would likely fall
more than they did after the Kuwait invasion or after 9/11. Given the negative
confidence effects and negative supply effects,the global recession would likely be
Saturday, May 10, 2008
40 in. X 25 ft Garden Fence
Cable Ties (500)
Last week I had a bad experience of freshly sprouted chili pepper plants nibbled by birds. The birds also pecked the soil in the pot. They must be looking for worms. I had to do something to prevent future mishaps like this one.
I went to the local hardware stores "Home Depot" and Lowe's today and bought a bunch of stuff to give some protection to my plants from birds:
Code Item Cost(US$)
215893 1-1/2"X1 - 1/2"-1FT (14GA) 15.88
Code Item Cost
030699182206 Zinc Plated Slotted Angle 3' 31.92
099713032064 40 in. X 25 ft Garden Fence 8.88
728494139302 Cable Ties (500) 6.97
030699032211 5/16 1" Bolts (3/pack) 3.92
030699075546 5/16 Hex Nuts 3.38
030699076642 5/16 Washers 3.60
Total Before Taxes $74.55
I prefer metal slotted angles for frames:
(1) Results in a sturdy structure
(2) Faster to assemble and disassemble
(3) Metal is a good investment against
a falling US$
Cons: High initial cost
Friday, May 9, 2008
Commodity prices surge: U.S. light crude oil for June delivery settled at a record $125.96 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after hitting a trading record of $126.20 per barrel earlier.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas rose to a record $3.671 from $3.645 the previous day, according to AAA.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I bought two of these ladders from Costco today.
The cost of ladder is $200.
Why buy Ladder?
(1) They are useful tool around home, workshop
(2) The cost of aluminum commodity has gone up in last several years and it will continue to go up in near future. Aloca (AA) last quarter was not that good as they lost their margins on higher price of aluminum. US$ will continue to get weaker and it is better to invest in hard assets than keeping US$ in bank. The spot price of Aluminum today is 1.3/lbs Just the aluminum in these ladders is worth $40
(3) I will debit $400 from anticipated stimulus check
* Meets or exceeds all of OSHA & ANSI standards
* Heavy-duty construction
* Slip-resistant rubber feet
* 1.12" square rungs for better foot comfort and more stability
* Folds to a compact size for storage and portability
* Maximum capacity: 300 lbs.
* Extension Height: 15'
* Storage height: 4’ 7”
* Step ladder height: 4' – 7’
* Scaffold height 4'
* Weight: 31 lbs.
U.S. crude oil futures ended at a record high on Thursday, fueled by yet another rally in
heating oil futures, which hit a new peak.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June crude
settled up 16 cents, or 0.13 percent, at $123.69 a barrel. It traded from $121.58 to $123.90 in regular floor trading hours.
"The heating oil price strength is providing evidence of a global tightening in gasoil/diesel supplies that hasn't been fully priced into the market," said Jim Ritterbusch, president
of Ritterbusch & Associates in Galena, Illinois.
World oil markets have enough supply now, but OPEC is willing to pump more if needed to keep pace with demand, Abdullah al-Badri, the group's secretary-general, said in a
statement on Thursday.
OPEC exports, excluding Angola and Ecuador, will rise 220,000 barrels per day in the four weeks to May 24 on Asian demand and a recovery in Nigerian supplies after a strike that crippled output, said Roy Mason, an analyst at British consultancy Oil Movements.
Saudi Arabia has booked eight supertankers to carry 16 million barrels of crude to the United States through May and early June, the highest number of spot cargoes this year,
according to a shipping industry source.
I will have a new post every time Crude hits a new high.
Retail gas prices soar to fresh record
With nationwide prices at an all-time high of $3.645 a gallon, drivers now pay 20% more than they did last year.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Retail gasoline prices have jumped to new record high, auto group AAA's Web site showed Thursday. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose to $3.645, surpassing the previous record set May 1. Gas prices have been marching steadily higher since the start of the year. Drivers now pay 20% more than they did a year ago, when a gallon of gas cost on average $3.034. The price of gas has been pushed up by record high crude prices. Crude futures closed at an all-time settlement high of $123.53 a barrel Wednesday
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Schedule of Fees.