Showing posts from April, 2019

Then I got high, then I got high, then I got high.

(or, My Adventures in Africa Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro) (slight variation of the lyrics of "Because I Got High", by Afroman) (These adventures were in March, 2019. at the age of 69.) "Pole Pole" (translation: "slowly") That was the theme of my trip to Africa.  Because I had frequently been at attitudes at which altitude sickness was a concern, I chose first to arrive in Arusha, Tanzania, the jumping of point for the climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a day early, to begin acclimatization at about 4593' elevation. In Arusha I explored the  National Natural History Museum (which explained the origin of man, as m any of the oldest human fossils were found in Tanzania ), the markets, and just did some walking around. It got to about 90 degrees each afternoon.  There was vehicular traffic, but nowhere near the congestion I saw the month earlier in Delhi, India. However, you would see motorcycles loaded with all sorts of materials, most of which you

Putting Human Faces to Climate Change and the Rotary “4 Way Test”

Putting Human Faces to Climate Change and the Rotary “4 Way Test” Submitted for publication in the Prior Lake American and the Rotary Magazine The term “climate change” is an impersonal, ambiguous term, with negative impacts to “humanity” around the world. But on a recent trip to Tanzania in Africa I met some of the innocents who will be most affected by the increased droughts caused by the changes in climate resulting from increased human caused emissions of carbon dioxide. On a 10 day biking safari to visit Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, we camped in a school yard in a Maasai village west of Arusha, Tanzania. Three boys came to visit, and after giving them some treats, I took their photo with my phone. I showed them the photo, and a boy about 8 or 9 years old gestured to me he would like to hold the phone. So, I showed him how to take a photo with it and handed it to him. I also taught him how to take selfies and videos. Before long a group of about 15 kids wer

Thinking about adding solar panels to your home?

Thinking about adding solar panels to your home? With the cost of renewable energy sources going down, it is getting more affordable. Read on how good it can be. I am concerned about the effects of climate change and was eager to investigate an alternative to the power we are getting from our electrical supplier, Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative. But, I always wanted it to make economic sense, so I did a lot of investigation. I received quotes from 5 companies (and ultimately, multiple quotes for different makes and models of panels from two of the most competitive installation companies). The cost per “nameplate” watt ranged from $2.82 to $3.81. I did the comparisons on “nameplate” watts (the watts per panel times the number of watts) because the quotes had widely varying estimates of electrical production based on percentage loss of production due to snow, shading, clouds, degradation rates of the panels, etc., making comparisons meaningless based solely on the sal

Climate Change Articles we can believe in :)

There is an option to combat climate change that conservatives should like - a market based, revenue neutral bill being considered in Congress. Describes  The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act  , H.R. 763 of 2019 (also introduced in the Senate in 2018 as S.3791). " Commentary: We have options for climate challenge " published in the Prior Lake American, May 13, 2019. My article in why climate change is real, being caused by our burning fossil fuels, and a prelude to the article above about what we can do about it. " Commentary: Acting on climate change can make difference "  published in the Prior Lake American, February 27, 2019. (If these links go inactive, please contact me for the original Word documents.)

Previous Blogs

Some previous blogs you might be interested in: Across America by Bicycle in 27 days Spring, 2016 : My bike ride across the USA with insights gained along the way. Cycling from LA to Boston : The story of my friends riding their bikes across the USA in 2018 with me in support in the truck.  My (mis)Adventure Exploring Pure Michigan (Pictured Rocks National Seashore) My November, 2011 hike along the Lake Superior lakeshore. Some websites that I maintained (past tense) that might interest you:  The site where I published my reports on How Much Money We Needed to Maintain Michigan Roads, and ideas on pavement preservation.  A site which I used (and hope to reactivate by the time you see this) to moderate National Issues Forum forums and to promote civil discussions on controversial issues .