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Ravenshoe wind farm

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These are photographs of the “Windy Hill” electricity generators not far from my place.  There are 20 turbines, with plans to build more.

I find them aesthetically pleasing. A sign of hope that mankind has the ability to learn from some of his thoughtless environmental mistakes of the past.
Kinetic monuments of apology to our Mother Earth.

Others would just like to continue spewing coal smoke into the air that we all breathe.

Vale: Honda-san 1995-2010

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You came into our lives H-san,
When times were dark and gray.
You gave us hope, and shone a light
So we could find our way.

A big strong boy, it seemed you had
The power of horses, nine.
We saw you slowly growing sick.
Then withering on the vine.

We’ll always treasure the memory, of
Your inexhaustible voice.
The sound of life in a place so quiet, the
Rainforest of our choice.

On nights of blowing wind and rain,
We kept you dry and fed.
But now you’ve gone and left our world.
Deceased, and dodo dead.

Today I stand and wonder will
My life now start anew.
The cash is gone, and just to buy
Another bastard, just like you.



Donations to GOF’s Honda-san Foundation
may be pledged by calling 1800-GOF-SKINT

Honda-san Snr 1995-2010

Honda-san Jnr 2010-

Wasting the battery

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Visitors who stay at GOF's Paradise will politely (sometimes) be made aware that our solar power supply whilst renewable, nevertheless consists of a finite number of electrons stored in the batteries.

Leaving a single light switched on unnecessarily, or automatically assuming that the television can be turned on in the morning before the sun comes up, or on a cloudy day, will attract some sort of educational muttering.

Family members similarly disobeying the rules of electrical engineering will receive a grumbled  "Stop wasting the battery, do you think we own a frigging electricity factory."

Some things over the years also tended to unnecessarily deplete my personal life force battery and joie de vivre.

As each calendar year expires I like to renew my commitment to some systems which ensure the happy running of my old jalopy.

1. The disciplines that I know are required for good physical
2. To forgive instead of seeking revenge and retribution.
3. Allowing thankfulness for life to wash away negative imaginings.
4. To not dwell unnecessarily on failures resulting from actions
    originally taken with the best reason and honorable intention.
5. To completely avoid engaging with people and activities devoid
    of inspiration.

It is also folly to become obsessively concerned with changing things that are beyond our individual sphere of influence.
Accordingly I provide a reminder for us all with this mournful lament from the Monty Python team, about preoccupation with minutiae and the baggage retrieval system at Heathrow.

I wish for each and every one of you a safe, constructive and rewarding 2010.

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Electrons; Good, bad, and not enough.

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I would like to launch on this forum my revolutionary, ground-breaking discovery in the field of molecular physics.

Except I don't know anything about the subject, so….something more earthy.

Mr and Mrs GOF chose to live in a location not serviced by the electricity grid of Australia.
Powering household energy requirements became one of our most challenging priorities.  Compromise became the inevitable reality.  We could have no ambition to own every electrically powered product ever known to K mart.  Alternative power is very expensive on a per kilowatt hour comparison with mains electricity, and every situation requires an individual solution.  No "one size fits all".

Hydro power was an option, except there was inadequate water during the 4 month dry season.
We built a wind generator which was not favorably viewed by God, who supplied temperamental winds.  Unimpressed by my persistence in carving a more efficient propeller and almost beating Him at His own game, He totalled the whole enterprise with a single bolt of lightning.
It was almost enough for me to demote Him from capital letter status.
God, it would seem, is not a very environmentally friendly dude.

We settled on a small solar power system for lighting, and powering small appliances, in tandem with propane gas for refrigeration and water heating.  Solar remains an expensive solution for these two high energy consuming applications.

Our electricity usage requires daily compromise and strict rationing of electrons.  We have a one- hour- only computer use allocation.  If Mrs GOF wants to photoshop,  then the world is spared GOF inflicting his blogging upon it for another day. The world would probably be a better place if Mrs GOF did a lot more photoshopping.
If the sun does not shine,( which is a frequent occurrence in an area of 150 inch annual rainfall,) then neither of us can use the computer.
And we never, ever, leave a light on if we are not using it.
Visitors incur the wrath of GOF if they forget to turn a light off. 
GOF Wrath is not a good thing.

We have neighbours who adopted an energy policy of "you can never have enough" and, along with solar have 2 micro hydro turbines, and a diesel backup generator.  They do have an adequate flow of electricity to power the complete K Mart whitegoods repertoire……..When the system is working!!!!   Which it frequently is not.  Their installation, maintenance and repair costs are high.

There is no intention in this discussion to make judgement of right or wrong with these two systems and start a bun fight between good neighbours.  Each system has both advantages and deficiencies.
Each is a compromise and an individual choice.

These same choices may well face all countries in the world on a larger scale as they grapple with the issue of increasing energy demands.   Coal-burning power stations are polluting our planet.  Nuclear technology can have frightening and catastrophic consequences. (Chernobyl).  Natural gas and petroleum products are a finite resource. New and alternative technologies are urgently required.

Just as our planet will not forever tolerate every member of its increasing human population driving its own individual petroleum powered motor vehicle, so also will there not always be a completely unlimited and cheap supply of electricity available at the flick of a switch.

It is time for the innovative, environmentally aware energy planners of our future world to step up onto centre stage, grab the baton, and start conducting the orchestra of world electricity consumption with a little less fortissimo and a lot more moderato.

And please turn the light off when you don't need it.  Thank you.

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