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Help Cut Global Warming * Too Hot? * Truth on Warming * SolarFest

27 June 2002

1) New Power Source To Help Cut Global Warming
2) How Hot Is Too Hot?
3) The Truth on Warming
4) New England's Only Totally Solar-Powered Festival

Editor's Notes:

I met Alvin Marks in 1990, a scientist and inventor with over 100 patents, who was working on a technology for converting sunlight to electricity. It took me about four years to learn that although his technology was issued a patent in the US, there were basic components missing, or unavailable, that made his technology unfeasible in the near term. Yet, through this effort, I became associated with a highly talented team of engineers, scientists, and business managers, who decided to work together to produce practical solutions for sustainable and appropriate technologies, which would be effective in today's competitive market systems and beneficial for our environment.

For the last three years this company, Stirling Advantage, Inc., has developed an improved design for heat-electrical power generation. This technology uses a Stirling cycle, which has been around nearly two-hundred years. It can use sustainable fuels or conventional, and can significantly lower pollution emissions that are known to be contributing to Global Warming. With all this talk about the catastrophic consequences of pollution caused by electrical power generation, one would think that this project would receive full support. However, since last September, the reverse has happened, and as the people being driven away from their homes in the US southwest from drought-driven flames, this company is struggling. Yet time is still with us to make a difference. Item 1 presents this challenge in the form of a press release entitled: "New Power Source To Help Cut Global Warming." And like the prior Flyby News issue regarding friends and innocent humans in prison, time is of the essence.

Item 2 is from a New York Times editorial by Bob Herbert, "How Hot Is Too Hot?" Which is a question for each human and most all other species on Earth. Yet the current US administration is the leader in denial for excessive greed interests.


In the 2001 article by Al Martin, called "Scams Away: The Boom Is Falling," which was posted by Flyby News, Martin writes:

"..When you keep scamscateers in power as long as US voters have (aka Reagan/Bush/Bush Jr.), eventually the bill becomes due. Coincidentally Pfizer announced that there is a record number of depressed people in the United States. The number of depressed people in the United Sates since George Bush Jr. has come to office has increased by 11%. And that is the reaction to the Bushonian form of government. In other words, the American people have given up.

As always, the American people, not knowing what to do, being confused, not understanding what's happening, but understanding that the nation is slowly being bled dry, simply don't know what to do. They're fearful of their pensions. They're fearful for their 401K accounts. They don't know who to vote for. They've heard so many stories, so they simply take Prozac. The people don't know what else to do.

You know it's bad when not only the people take Prozac, but now those who cause the people to take Prozac, the scamscateers themselves, are taking Prozac. Washington, DC is now the Number One metropolitan area for sales of Prozac."

..And then I'm reminded of the words of George Bush who said, "The truth will get you broke."

Or I am reminded of the words of Oliver North who said, "The truth is useless. You can't deposit it in the bank. You can't eat it. It's absolutely useless."

And anyone who is interested in the truth doesn't have any money.

In Washington, there are no limits now. The covers have been blown off. There are no restraints anymore. There's not even a pretense. It's just naked, raw scams against the public purse. Nobody cares in Washington anymore. It's just grab what you can before it all comes to an end…"

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For the complete Al Martin article (May 22, 2001), "Scams Away: The Boom Is Falling," see:
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Item 3 is an article from July 8, 2002 issue of The Nation by Mark Hertsgaard, "The Truth on Warming." This information could give more impetus for depression, or it can give more support for doing something about it. As Hertsgaard states, a Green Energy Future would mean more, not less, economic well-being for most Americans. Yet the political nature of these times offers an affront against a balance in nature and humanity. I guess we can choose Prozac or other anti-depressants after reading this, or, we can do something that can make a difference. The miracle of life is too grand to give up.

Item 4 is about a music festival to recharge our drained energy and creative juices. SolarFest is a totally solar-powered music festival in a heavenly place in Vermont. Please pass the word on this, and about Stirling Advantage. We know now about the problems all too well, but unique solutions are hard to find. Thanks for reading, but especially for taking any actions to help our world, lost in the sea of greed and treachery.

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Morning Star

"If there was a morning star
and I found a path to a mountain reservoir,
and viewed the past in moments of today,
I must say, I have found the way.

Chosen, because I choose to do what I came here for,
realizing I have seen it all before,
a deja-vu from a morning star,
reawakening love to a planet which has strayed much too far."


1) New Power Source To Help Cut Global Warming

ATHOL, Mass. ­ June 21, 2002. Stirling Advantage, Inc., announced today a new design for its Stirling Power Systems that promises to play an important role in curbing man-induced global warming. The new design will produce electricity from the energy in wasted steam. Replacing steam condensers at large installations such as power plants and paper mills, the system will convert formerly wasted energy to electricity with no additional production of CO2 or other greenhouse gases.

"Large power plants currently waste about two-thirds of their energy input to produce electricity" notes Stirling Advantage CEO, Ricardo Conde. "Our 1 megawatt, low temperature Stirling Power System would perform the function of a steam condenser at these plants and convert much of the wasted energy to electricity. In effect, it would increase the fuel efficiency of large power plants 10-15 percent by avoiding use of additional fuel." The new system would also be useful in other applications where low quality steam is condensed such as paper mills, or as a bottoming cycle for fuel cells and steam turbines.

Stirling cycle engines can utilize any source of heat to operate. However, most Stirling engines are small and require very high temperature heat. Stirling Advantage has elected to focus on larger engines that can operate efficiently at much lower temperatures. This approach offers many advantages related to lower maintenance costs.

Equally important, low temperature Stirlings also promise significant environmental benefits. For example, demand for additional power capacity in the U.S. grows between 1-2 percent a year. If Stirling Power Systems replaced steam condensers at all U.S. power plants, increasing their fuel efficiency by 10 percent, the power industry could meet demand growth without adding generation capacity or producing ANY additional harmful emissions for at least five years.

Stirling Advantage believes that economic use of wasted thermal energy is a critical component of a comprehensive environmental cleanup plan. Applied globally this approach can play a significant role in cutting the growth of fossil fuel use and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Stirling Advantage, Inc., is the leading designer of commercial and industrial scale Stirling engines. Its highly efficient 200kW-1MW engines will be used to produce electricity from a variety of heat and fuel sources, and to produce chilled water for large air conditioning applications.

SOURCE: Stirling Advantage, Inc.
CONTACT: Dick Meloy, Vice President, Stirling Advantage, Inc., 203-328-3045
Web Site:


For more on Stirling solutions for onsite power production, see:,59898,m


2) How Hot Is Too Hot?

How Hot Is Too Hot?
By Bob Herbert

One of the more startling stories in The Times recently was Timothy Egan's article on the climate in Alaska, where the average temperature has risen seven degrees in the last 30 years and mosquitoes have shown up in normally frigid Barrow, the northernmost town in North America.

Large portions of Alaska are melting and other strange things are happening. Just a few hours' drive from Anchorage, a four-million-acre spruce forest has been killed by beetles, a development that is both astonishing and depressing. It is believed to be the largest loss of trees to insects ever recorded in North America.

"Government scientists," wrote Mr. Egan, "tied the event to rising temperatures, which allow the beetles to reproduce at twice their normal rate."

Meanwhile, enormous wildfires have been raging in bone-dry regions of the West and Southwest. Fires whipped by high winds in the mountains of eastern Arizona have driven thousands of residents from their homes. One local official, Jim Paxon, said: "The forest is burning like you're pouring gasoline on it. And the wind is like taking a blow torch to it."

In Colorado, which is enduring its worst drought in decades, residents have been trying to cope with at least five major fires, including the so-called Hayman fire, the largest in the state's history. Investigators believe it was deliberately set by a U.S. Forest Service worker. The long drought and continuing hot weather provided the conditions that enabled this apparent act of arson to explode into an unprecedented conflagration.

Big fires are becoming the rule. By late last week authorities reported that in the first six months of this year, nearly two million acres have burned or are currently burning in the United States, which is almost twice the average of the last 10 years.

Strange, indeed. Mosquitoes in northernmost Alaska. Much of the West and Southwest ablaze. Extended droughts. Extreme heat waves.

Can you say global warming?

The year 2001 was, globally, the second hottest on record. The hottest was 1998.

Now imagine that just a few more years go by and the world becomes hotter still, which will almost certainly be the case. What then?

Do you think, maybe, we should be paying more attention to this?

What is missing in most conversations in the U.S. about global warming is a sense of urgency. A Bush administration report earlier this month acknowledged that human activity — the burning of fossil fuels that send heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere — was the primary cause of the recent warming of the planet, and that the warming will result in some extremely serious consequences in the U.S.

President Bush (who has distanced himself from his own administration's report) wants to rely mostly on voluntary — not mandatory — efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the president's strategy, it's estimated that emissions will actually increase over the next decade. We're speeding toward a wall and the president is not only refusing to step on the brake, he's accelerating.

Ten years is too long to wait to do something real about this problem. Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton who is an expert on climate change, has studied the imminent threat that planetary warming poses to the world's coral reefs. These are ecosystems so abundant in animal and plant life that they are sometimes called the rain forests of the oceans.

Dr. Oppenheimer noted that one of the essential questions of the global warming debate is, "How warm is too warm?"

When you consider that the increased warming is already threatening to decimate the world's coral reefs, and that we're already seeing the melting of the tundra in Alaska, and that alpine ecosystems are already being squeezed off the tops of mountains, it's not too difficult to reach the conclusion that "too warm," in Dr. Oppenheimer's words, "isn't awfully far from where we already are."

Closing our eyes and pumping another decade's worth of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at the current very dangerous rate would not seem to be a very bright idea. The gases remain in the atmosphere for centuries, and in some cases millenniums, which means the damage cannot quickly be undone.

What a miserable legacy for this generation to leave to its children and grandchildren.
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company |

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Environmental Media Services: Press Advisory:

As millions of Americans make plans to visit their favorite national park or forest during the Fourth of July holiday, a new report finds global warming is putting many of the country's public lands and waters in peril.

U.S. lawmakers and scientists will take part in an Press Teleconference on Thursday, June 27, to discuss the report and call on the Bush administration to uphold laws requiring that it protect the country's most special places by taking prompt action to reduce damages.

For more information, visit:


3) The Truth on Warming

EDITORIAL | The Truth on Warming
by Mark Hertsgaard - A Green energy future would mean more, not less, economic well-being for most Americans. (from The Nation - July 8, 2002 issue)

Published in the July 8, 2002 issue of The Nation
The Truth on Warming
by Mark Hertsgaard
The journalist I.F. Stone used to joke that the government issues so much information every day, it can't help but let the truth slip out every once in a while. The Bush Administration's recent report on global warming is a classic example. Though far from perfect, it contains some crucial but awkward truths that neither George W. Bush nor his environmentalist critics want to confront. Which may explain why the Administration has sought to bury the report, while critics have misrepresented its most ominous conclusion.

U.S. Climate Action Report 2002 made headlines because it contradicted so much of what the Administration has said about global warming. Not only is global warming real, according to the report, but its consequences--heat waves, water shortages, rising sea levels, loss of beaches and marshes, more frequent and violent weather--will be punishing for Americans.

The report's biggest surprise was its admission that human activities, especially the burning of oil and other fossil fuels, are the primary cause of climate change. Of course, the rest of the world has known since 1995 that human actions have "a discernible impact" on the global climate, to quote a landmark report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But the White House has resisted this conclusion. After all, if burning fossil fuels is to blame for global warming, it makes sense to burn less of them. To a lifelong oilman like Bush, who continues to rely on his former industry colleagues for campaign contributions as well as senior staff, such a view is nothing less than heresy. No wonder, then, that Bush and his high command have virtually repudiated the report. Although their staffs helped write it, both EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham claimed they were unaware of the report until the New York Times disclosed its existence on June 3. Bush himself dismissed it as a mere product of "the bureaucracy," that oft-vilified boogeyman of right-wing ideology. But he could equally have blamed his own father. The only reason U.S. Climate Action Report 2002 was compiled in the first place is that George Bush the First signed a global warming treaty at the 1992 Earth Summit that obligates the United States to periodically furnish such reports to the UN (one more reason, it seems, to despise treaties). But somebody in the Administration must have seen trouble coming, because the report could not have been released with less fanfare: It was simply posted on the EPA's website, three unguided links in from the homepage. If you weren't looking for it, you'd never find it.

The Administration has been hammered for issuing a report that on one hand admits that global warming threatens catastrophe but on the other maintains there is no need to reduce consumption of fossil fuels. The report squares this circle by arguing that global warming has now become inevitable, so we should focus less on preventing it than on adapting to it. To deal with water scarcity, for example, the report advocates building more dams and raising the price of water to encourage conservation. Critics see such recommendations as proof that the Administration is doing nothing about global warming. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

The worst thing about the new global warming report is that it is absolutely correct about a fundamental but often unmentioned aspect of the problem: the lag effect. Most greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for approximately 100 years. The upshot of this undeniable chemical fact is that no matter what remedial steps are taken today, humanity is doomed to experience however much global warming the past 100 years of human activities will generate. That does not mean we should make matters worse by continuing to burn fossil fuels, as Bush foolishly urges; our children and grandchildren deserve better than that. It does mean, however, that we as a civilization must not only shift to green energy sources immediately but also begin planning how we will adapt to a world that is bound to be a hotter, drier, more disaster-punctuated place in the twenty-first century.

Many environmentalists know it is too late to prevent global warming; the best we can do is minimize its scope. They don't like to admit this truth, because they fear it will discourage people from making, and demanding, the personal and institutional changes needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is that risk. But a truth does not disappear simply because it is inconvenient. Besides, a green energy future would mean more, not less, economic well-being for most Americans, while also increasing our chances of avoiding the most extreme global warming scenarios. Sometimes the truth hurts. But avoiding it will hurt even more.

Mark Hertsgaard is the author, most recently, of Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future (Broadway). His new book, The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World, will be published in October by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
© 2002 The Nation Company, L.P.


4) New England's Only Totally Solar-Powered Festival

SolarFest: July 13 & 14, 2002
New England's Only Totally Solar-Powered Festival
For Immediate Release:

Middletown Springs, Vt. - New England's only totally solar-powered festival happens in Middletown Springs, Vermont on July 13 & 14. SolarFest's Eighth Annual Solar-Powered Music Festival and Sustainable Future Fair hosts over 25 performers on two solar-powered stages and more than 26 workshop on sustainable living and renewable energy. SolarFest has something for everyone.

SolarFest is an intimate festival held on 40 acres of pristine, private land. With no power lines to the site, the entire festival is powered by solar panels and batteries and is itself an exciting demonstration of solar power's effectiveness. The arts, the natural setting and inspiring renewable energy presentations make up the unusually engaging mix for which SolarFest is recognized.

SolarFest's designation by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce as one of 2002's Top Ten Summer Events and a three-page article in Home Power Magazine on SolarFest 2001 are both indications that SolarFest is the place to go for quality performances, inspiration and information about living more lightly on the earth.

Chelsea Green Publishing of White River Junction, Vt. will again present two days of workshops on a variety of sustainable living topics. In SolarFest's own renewable energy workshop tent, topics will include Renewable Energy Basics, Grid-Independent Solar Energy Systems, Grid-Connected RE Systems, and Eco-Friendly House Appliances, to name a few. Six new workshop topics have been added this year.

Since 1995, SolarFest has made a name for itself by offering a wide variety of quality performances (contemporary folk, roots music, blues, pop, reggae, storytellers, puppetry, children's theater, poetry, and mime) in a beautiful, family-friendly setting. This year's line-up features such artists as Entrain, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, guitarist Jeff Lang, Bluegrass band Gopher Broke, and many more. SolarFest's unique goal is to inform and inspire people about renewable energy and sustainable living options through workshops, exhibits, demonstrations and performances.

There are also food and crafts vendors, children's activities, solar site tours, and much more at SolarFest. Weekend tickets are $40 and include all performances and workshops. Day rates are available and admission for children 12 and under is free when accompanied by an adult. The gates open at 9 a.m. both days. To facilitate everyone's happiness over the weekend, SolarFest has a few ground rules: no dogs, no glass bottles, no open fires. While parking is free, the parking area has a limited capacity. The SolarFest organizers urge guests to car pool. Walk-in camping is allowed: no RV hook-ups. For other lodging suggestions and further information check the SolarFest website, or call (802) 235-2866.

For more information, visit:

For inquiries or to submit articles, suggestions, and to help distribute Flyby News fliers, please write to Jonathan Mark
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