Hearne: Greenfest, It’s What’s for Dinner (Republicans Invited)

A funny thing happened the other day on the way to the office…

I was talking with my real estate agent about what kind of car he was going to buy after he unloads a $2.5 million-plus mansion in Fall Creek in Lawrence, and when I suggested he look at a 42 miles-per-gallon Lexus CT Hybrid he paused and said; “I can’t buy a hybrid, I’m a Republican.”

For the purposes of the following discussion, Uptown Theater main man Larry Sells would like to set that sentiment aside. Conserving natural resources shouldn’t be a matter of party politics, it’s about sustaining things near and dear to everyone in this country…as in the earth.

It’s about trying to do the right thing for the present and  future generations.

To that end, for a fourth year, the Uptown is hosting Greenfest 2012.

Come one, come all…Republicans included.

The free event goes down September 8 and 9 at the Uptown Shoppes, 37th and Broadway and includes a speaker series, vendor village, organic vodka, movies, music, tours of the Uptown Theater and more.

“We’ll have tents set up outside and some indoor vendors in the newly painted Night of the Living Safeway,” Sells says. “We painted it to reflect the 1950s retro environment of the original masterpiece. It’s really neat in there – it has honeycomb cast, self-cantilevered flooring..”

Future prospective tenants range from a flea market to a hip, neighborhood grocery to a showpiece venue to host women’s roller derby.

“And we’re still accepting vendors,” Sells adds. “We’re concentrating on recycling, lifestyle, health and food and we’re going to give tours of the new solar panel installation on the Uptown roof. It’s a $300,000 installation.

“So we’ll have a month and a half of free energy every year and that’s not bad. That saves us $25,000 a year at today’s prices.”

How very, you know, Republican.

 

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22 Responses to Hearne: Greenfest, It’s What’s for Dinner (Republicans Invited)

  1. paulwilsonkc says:

    $25,000 a year savings on a $300,00K investment. How very Democratic. An 8 year ROI on a product that will be obsoleted in 3.

    I know, my plans for a solar sail boat, drawn a year ago, now have about 3 much better, more efficient options available to me. And I laid out the best of the best just last year.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Here’s a better deal wilson, new way to charge down the two-lane blacktop.

      http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/

      Return on investment is the time you spend in the saddle.

    • George Wilson says:

      I realize your schtick on here is to tell everyone else how smart you are and how dumb they are, but this is a stretch, even for you. In this economy you’re disparaging a business investment with a virtually guaranteed rate of return of 8.33% per year because there might be something better coming along three years from now? Awesome logic. Keep holding on to that 1992 computer, because if you buy a new one it will be outmoded in a few years anyway.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        George, are you my Dad? You sound like him. Or are you Harley stopping by the library to borrow a PC so he can type in straight lines??

        “My schtick on here is to tell everyone else how smart you are and how dumb they are…” Thats pretty funny, considering my last post about Akin related how, if a camera followed me around for 24 hours, I could be made to look like an idiot with all the gaffs I run into through the day. So, Harley, I mean, George, that really isnt my “schtick”, but thanks for playing along at home.

        And, to clarify, Im not disparaging business for an 8.3% rate of return. And here’s where you MAY be able to make me look really stupid so get ready. I’ve never been a fan of solar OR wind. I have friends who have been into it and it never, ever, never has the payback it claims. Its still too pricy and the payback hasn’t been there for people who have truly implemented it.

        You just have to be Harley, you use the same logic. It has nothing to do with holding on to my 1992 computer. I just happen to like it, its not about replacement cost.

        Back up and try again…… Im just not a believer, GEORGE.

        • George Wilson says:

          Uh, yeah Paul, you were slamming an 8.33% return. That’s pretty obvious, and the fact you’re trying to deny it shows how little you have to say in response. And, by the way, you somehow turned an 8.33% annual rate of return into an 8 year payback. Awesome math, dude.

    • smartman says:

      Well, we know what happened to Crazy Larry. Anybody know where Dirty Mary is these days?

      I’d love to see the due diligence on that solar ROI. That’s roughly 2.5 times greater than the average for commercial installations in this part of the country.

      Unless you are purchasing luxe solar panels most of the crap coming in from China experiences an operating efficiency loss of 3% to 7% a year.

      Sounds like another Larry scam like the taxing district he wants to set up for himself.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Smarty, I’m busy, go bitch slap George with some facts!! In my estimation, and in those of friends who have direct experience, solar just doesnt pay out. Go edumacate Harley George. Im not that smart, Smartman, even though, as you know, it IS my “schtick”.

        HC: Wild Man, solar may not “pay out” now, but if we don’t move this technology along there may not be anybody around for the pay out to go to.

        • smartman says:

          I’ve been researching solar for 10 years. My conclusion today is the same as it was 10 years ago. I’d you have FU money and want to be green and “get off the grid” solar is great. I have yet to see an ROI scenario that makes financial sense. The best scenario was a break even in 2o years with a 2% TOTAL ROI based on an inflation rate of 1.5% a year. So right about the time you break even you have to look at replacing, upgrading or spending serious maintenance money on your panels and storage devices.

          If we wanna get serious about getting green CNG and hydrogen powered automobiles are the answer. Technology exists and has been proven to be reliable.
          CNG can be adapted to most existing vehicles for around $3000.00. Nationwide distribution and retail infrastructure would be easy to implement. We could reduce our usage of gasoline, diesel and other biofuel’s by 75% by 2018.

          • mike says:

            CNG would be a good automotive fuel. Hydrogen would be too except that it takes more energy to extract hydrogen from the water than you get back when you burn it. That energy to produce the hydrogen comes from somewhere. Hydrogen is a secondary energy source as it is only storing energy produced elsewhere, much as batteries are. The math doesn’t add up for it. CNG makes more sense as it comes out of the ground like oil does and it is also very clean burning.

    • mike says:

      How long do solar panels last? I have heard that they often need to be replaced before the cost of them is amortized by the energy savings. I have also heard that their efficiency drops dramatically if they get dirty at all further reducing the savings.

      • smartman says:

        The BEST panels available today will last about 20-25 years and only experience a 1% loss per year in efficiency. Maintenance, including cleaning is required. Dirty panels can experience up to a 70% loss in efficiency. It’s definitely not set it and forget it.

        The overall technology is improving and is wicked crazy. There are panels that are self cleaning and self monitoring, alerting you if they are not performing at peak efficiency. There are also panels that can rotate so they are always positioned to absorb maximum sunlight. The problem, while they are greener, they really won’t save you any green. If you factor in Government and utility subsidies and rebates, and being able to sell back excess capacity the numbers improve but still come nowhere close to fossil fuels or nuclear.

        I just helped a friend of mine install 4 solar panels and two wind turbines at his house. They are installed to provide power to all of the lights inside and outside the house. All of the bulbs were switched out to high efficiency, dimmable LED’s, which was a considerable expense in itself. With the power storage units he has he should be able to go without sun or wind for 14 days and still have all the lights on at full draw 24/7, meaning he could probably go a month or longer at normal usage. I that fails he can flip a switch and go back on the grid. Total cost of materials was $40,000.00. There is no realistic payback on this. It’s something that he wanted to do to reduce his carbon footprint. For that kind of money you could theoretically build a mini nuclear reactor to power the whole damn house and then some for 50+ years.

        • mike says:

          Thank you for the information. It is similar to what I have heard but more specific. Out of all of that, the one thing that I can see really taking hold in the next 10 to 20 years is the LED bulbs. They already power most flashlights and are being used quite a bit on cars now. In flashlights, the batteries last 20 to 30 times as long than with incandescents. The energy goes stright to light unlike most bulbs that produce more heat than light. The cost of LEDs is already dropping and at some point will offer real savings to the consumer. CFLs are just a stopgap. They have mercury in them and if they end up in landfills, they can contaminate the groundwater. They also are not dimmable and have to warm up.

  2. balbonis moleskine says:

    Larry isn’t a republican. He’s a Ron Paulite.

  3. the dude says:

    I don’t get it, you can’t save money on gas because you are a republican?

    Your agent is an absolute idiot.

    • admin says:

      HC: He’s actually a very nice guy, but it does demonstrate how politicized things have become. At one end of the spectrum, people cringe and shake their heads when they see a Hummer or GMC Suburban drive by. At the other, people feel like the economy is going in the tank because the government is trying to save obscure, endangered animals.

      The truth lies somewhere inbetween, I think.

    • mike says:

      Many who buy hybrids are doing it to make a statement. By the time you figure the extra cost over a similar non-hybrid car, figure how long the life expectancy of the batteries are, the extra maintenence costs, and the resale value, you really do not have a net savings with them. Not buying one does not make a person an idiot any more than buying one when they really don’t give you a net savings does.

  4. Rick Nichols says:

    As a wise man has noted (are you listening, GOP’ers), the economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ecology, not the other way around. The Republicans would do well to keep this not-so-inconvenient truth front and center as they formulate a national energy policy for both today and tomorrow. There will be no profits to be enjoyed by anyone once the rape of the earth is complete. A true conservative should be most interested in conserving our natural resources so that there will be something left to pass on to future generations of Americans.

    • Jim says:

      +1, Rick!

    • mike says:

      Another inconvenient truth is that most of these energy savings ideas will not actually take hold with the public unless there is an actual net savings to the consumer. I’m surprised that passive solar is not talked about more as that is little to no maintenence and dramatically less expensive than active solar and works really well as anybody who has gotten in a car with the windows up un a sunny day can attest to. The only downside to it is that nobody can get rich off of selling $300,000 worth of photovoltaic cells to somebody. Money drives the environmental causes more than the environmentalists want to admit.

  5. Super Dave says:

    Funny how we can set a machine down on the planet Mars but we can’t find an energy source besides fossil fuels that is affordable for all. And very quickly fossil fuel won’t be affordable either.

    But to me till we change our lifestyle habits Americans as a whole won’t support to many things that as a whole will help the planet or the quality of the air we breathe.

    HC: I’m with, gulp, Super Dave