Solar Tour 2014

Cowessess Wind Developments Ltd. turbine.
800kW at 32mi/h
tailless, computer controlled.
Has Li-ion batteries.
Solar Tour Regina

Solar Tour Regina
Solar farm and home system of 10kW
Inverter anti-islanding. Prevents electrifying the grid while grid is down.
Isolation ring for the meter can be installed so you can attach a generator to the house to let the inverter keep working during a grid failure.

A Canadian report of a 2008 study of cities over 200,000 people around the world, listed Regina as sixth best in the world for solar energy generation potential.

Kelln has a system for pumping cattle water, that motion detects cattle, pumps up water to a bowl, and then lowers it below the frost line after the cattle have left.

Solar panels have passed the $1/Watt holy grail.
$500/Watt at the beginning.

250W panels on Toronto St. install.
Pool inside.

Solar Tour Regina
Namerind put a system on a rest home. The Resting Place south of The Serbian Club.
Namerind has a power generation update on their website.
Check out 1100 block Winnipeg in a few weeks.

Battery Depot which we drove by, has no apparent interest in marketing their products to solar users. Why aren’t they making money by putting solar panels on their south facing roof?

Tour’s poster designed by anti-nuke artist Richard Vicarious [sp?].

Picked up a few more people at Candy Cane park, then at Mac the Moose in Moose Jaw.

Mitchell’s thermal hot air system. Pop can design.
Solar Tour Moose Jaw

2.7kW grid tied system next on the south west corner of Moose Jaw. There are two arrays mounted on the ground, and their angles can be changed.

Next was a hybrid system to heat a stable. GAIT equestrian centre.
$1500 for the excavation of a geothermal cooling/heating system seen in photo.

Radiant heat presentation.

Saw a real moose behind Mac the Moose.
IMG_2642

5.7kW building integrated solar on a car port in Belle Plaine.

More detail and photos to come soon.

Grasslands National Park Animals

Wood Mountain
-Road Killed Rattle Snake

There are not a lot of rattlesnakes around the park, especially the East Block of the park where Wood Mountain is. Nick, who is with Brenda showing off the snake skin, almost stepped on one by accident last week and it didn’t even try to bite him.

The snakes are mostly interested in these guys
Wood Mountain

Watch these videos, as the numbers get bigger at the end of the titles.


Deer at a gravel pit. Fossils in this pit go back to at least 13 Million years ago, and contain horse, rhino, and other animals from ancient Saskatchewan well before ice ages scraped much of the province flat like it is around Regina.

Species Worth Saving

The Prairie Dog Blog linked to an excellent article in The Stranger last year. It lays out humanity’s future, based on the status quo.

[W]hether you can pin it precisely on global warming or not, the ocean of wilting grain that fills the middle of our country after this hottest of summers is just a dress rehearsal. Sure, this summer was a freak of probability, more to do with the randomness of weather than the slow processes that are heating up the only world we can inhabit, but still, it was a chance to see how we might adapt to what will slowly become the norm as the planet heats. And how did we do? We failed. For now, we’ll pay more for food and eat our stored grain. In not too many more decades, we’ll starve.

This was the vision in my head as I rode my bike home. What are now the richest farmlands will become endless dust bowls. Increasingly desperate, hungry, and thirsty, we tear ourselves apart. Humanity dies. Much of the complex life that makes our world interesting and beautiful dies. It’s a hideous, vapid, lonely, and entirely predictable existence.

There’s a problem preventing us from fixing the problem of Climate Change: “the dimwitted, frightened, angry, corrupt and complicit villainy of the sort of fools and tools who insist there’s nothing wrong when evidence clearly contradicts that.”

The “fools and tools” didn’t all arrive at the wrong conclusions by the same means. Some, most I would argue, were boiled like frogs. They were slowly fed misinformation over decades, leading them to confirm one lie with another convenient one to arrive in the nick of time, just as the earlier lie became unbelievable. Yet they are in large part the hindrance humanity faces to get to work with the business of saving the world from humanity. People are the problem, and are also part of the solution. If we are not part of the solution, well, that’s a bleak future for billions of us, but I’d rather we collectively learn to live within the means of the Earth to provide for us than to wait for mass extinctions to knock us down to size.

Should we attempt to save 1/8th of all bird species that are likely to die off in our lifetimes if we do not change our collective actions? Of course! Can we manage to? Not if we let naysayers and the plain ignorant guide our political systems.

It’s okay, we don’t have to be concerned. Some guy on the Internet named Roberto told us there’s no real problem.

Thawing Out

The world’s deep freeze in the north is thawing out quickly. As a result we’re making interesting discoveries as bodies get uncovered. There are two big problems. We’re losing thousands of years of preservation in short years, giving scientists only in our time period (and before) access to direct collection of this unique and precious data. Two, it’s an indicator of climate change being well under way.

As I explained to a friend the other day, if you’re not at least a little worried about climate change, you betray ignorance of the subject. I contend there’s no way an educated, and rational person could not be worried about the impending deadly situation which has few solutions, and most of those are not attainable by individual (only global) action.

We’re triggering a massive die-off, the extinction of countless plants and animals when we change their climate around them. The mutants which are adapted to the changed situation will survive as those species lucky enough to have adapted mutants always have throughout evolution. Humans have the luxury of adapting quickly in a lifetime to many environments, but most plants and animals do not. It’s going to be a difficult future to survive in, or rather it will be for most of the lifeforms on Earth at this time.

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GE scientists in as early as 1956 realized global warming (climate change) was being caused by pollution.

Conservatives Stopped Conserving

It’s frustrating to be a Canadian, with such terrifically stupid and dishonest political representation. Sure, our insecure ‘strong’ leaders don’t send the police to your door (unless you’ve written them a mean letter), but that mildly redeeming trait isn’t enough. They have to stop denying that climate change isn’t killing people, and they must stop pretending that there is more wildlife in less habitat (particularly polar bears).

We don’t have until 2015 to piss away a chance to reduce air pollution. We’ve wasted 30 years already, we’re out of time.

“Hostility to expertise in all of its forms is the closest thing that Canadian conservatives have to a unifying ideology.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/defence+sociology/8317722/story.html#ixzz2RzLVxko5

Abandoned Community Pastures At Risk #cdnpoli #skpoli

The last remnants of a unique ecosystem on Earth are entering what is potentially their last years of natural existence. This will lead to the extinctions of some plants and animals that exist only on the Canadian prairies. Extinctions destabilize an ecosystem, and it’s an ecosystem where humans cannot be assured of long-term survival if it becomes destabilized.

The Conservatives removed protection for the community pastures in an apparent effort to privatize the land. The Sask Party, instead of putting the land under provincial management, has opted to sell off the land, following in the Conservative Party’s wishes. This is against the interest of Canadians, and of most of the ranchers and farmers who’ve used the pasture land over the decades they’ve been in the public trust.

Trevor Harriot in the Globe and Mail:

As for the program having achieved its goals [according to Ritz], the need for soil conservation and managing ecosystems in the public interest does not simply go away.

Press release sent my way today:

For Immediate Release:

April 17, 2013

Public Pastures – Public Interest

Uniting to Save Saskatchewan’s Community Pastures

Joint Venture Video Release

In April of 2012 the federal government announced it was divesting itself of 2.3 million acres of PFRA community pastures, 1.78 million of which are located in Saskatchewan. The control for these pastures has now reverted back to the prairie provinces and in response the Saskatchewan government has announced they will be seeking to sell or lease these lands to the current pasture patrons. With rising land values putting the purchase of these lands far beyond the reach of most patrons, exceeding their ability to run a financially viable operation, patrons are looking to find an alternative solution. Other stakeholders affected by this decision are looking to ensure a sustainable environmental action plan for the land is continued, safeguarding the continued health of the ecosystem and the 32 species at risk that reside there.

To help communicate this message, the various stakeholders (Patrons, First Nations, Academic and Wildlife/Environmental groups) have been meeting over the past several months to discuss their common concerns and encourage the two levels of government to reconsider their position on the importance of preserving and sustaining our community pastures. The result is a collaborative and inclusive video showcasing stakeholder concerns and their belief that, in order to ensure a positive outcome for all, they must work together to find a viable solution.

It is their hope this video will also help communicate the message to stakeholders not yet involved and encourage them to join the collaborative effort towards protecting out public interests, and maintaining current and long term sustainable management of our Community Pastures.

For more information on this video and the joint initiative please contact any of the following:

* Trevor Herriot, Public Pastures – Public Interest, Regina, trevorherriot@gmail.com , home 306-585-1674
* Senator Roland Crowe – First Nations representative, 306-539-9200
* Joanne Brochu – Patrons representative, jbrochu@sasktel.net , cell 306-255-7602

Deer-Tour Around Saskatchewan

Glentworth, SK

Saturday’s road trip through the mist and fog yielded me the best wildlife photos I’ve ever had the privilege of shooting. Some photos from the earlier part of the trip I posted on Sunday morning.

RM Waverley

Unsafe Water

Glentworth, Saskatchewan

Glentworth, Saskatchewan
-Glentworth, SK

Less than a few kms north of Glentworth, just turning toward the highway headed for Lafleche, we saw two herds on different sides of the road. They waited patiently as the humans in the car took many, many photos.

Glentworth, SK
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