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Opinion

A 13 year old boy saved a village from starvation with a bicycle dynamo. What can we learn from him?

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Windmills harness the wind to create rotational energy, and has been since the 9th century in Persia. We have also been using waterwheels to harness rotational energy, since the 3rd or 4th century.
There are horizontal, vertical, undershot, overshot and many other variations created in the last 1,000 or 1,800 years or so.
Recently I watched on Netflix a show called; “The boy who harnessed the wind”. Basically a 13 year old boy takes his dad’s bicycle, replaces the pedals with bamboo wind vanes, hangs it upside down high in the air so the wind would rotate the back tire.
There is a dynamo available that rubs against the back tire to power your headlight, but this 13 year old boy used the dynamo to charge a car battery, in order to run a 12v water pump to irrigate a few acres of gardens to feed a starving village.
This 13 year old met resistance all along the way but in the end a used bicycle dynamo and a bicycle saved the villagers in a time of drought and famine. A dynamo is an electrical generator that creates direct current using a commutator.
If you go on you tube you can see people creating power with such things as plastic spoons glued to these little dynamo generators. It just takes vision.
In 2026, 7 years from now, we will be pumping tens of millions of gallons of treated wastewater into the river everyday. Why not harness at least some of it.
The province gave the city over $49 million to plan, design and update the wastewater treatment plant as it prepares to treat the wastewater from surrounding communities. Why not think about it?
There are advances in technology daily, Could we not adjust or adapt our plans, even if we built a small one that gave us a small positive return on our investment. How about inviting the private sector in to harness the water flow to create green energy on the open market? I am just asking.

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City of Red Deer

Goulet-Jones says City’s new Environmental Master Plan means higher taxes and an assault on energy sector

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This opinion piece was submitted by Calvin Goblet-Jones

City Council Unanimously Rejects reason by approving a severely flawed Environmental Master Plan.

I honestly can not believe every councillor voted in favour of this document, I am severely disappointed in our Council Today.
Make no mistake, this document deserves to be put through the shredder.  There are a few good elements of the $150,000 document such as strengthening our inner city forests however the document is nothing more than a glimpse into a future of higher taxes, bans and a continued assault on our energy sector by a council who says they support energy.
Of course the document is full of buzzwords and flowery language but this document rejects the benefits of our local energy sector.  Instead of looking towards cheap natural gas as an energy source they look to failed renewable energy projects that you and I will pay heavily for.  The Document wants to limit Red Deers energy consumption, wants to limit your personal fuel consumption, and wants to ban ban ban.  The document wants to ban wood fires, wants to heavily regulate vehicles, and wants to shift all the vehicles the city owns to be electric which will cost taxpayers heavily.
Quickly, take a look at Action 20, they don’t mention a ban outright but they mention open air burning, wood burning and vehicles as part of their “action plan” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to interpret what they mean.

Look at Focus Area 1.2.2.3 where they want to limit consumer energy consumption and how they reject our local cheap, economy supporting fossil fuels.

Shame on Council for Unanimously approving this document.
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Opinion

Opinion writer says Trudeau is the future and Scheer is a return to the past

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Henry Ford

This post was contributed by Red Deer blogger Garfield Marks

Faster Horses

In less than 100 days we will be voting federally, either for the “past” or for the “future”, because apparently the “present” is unsatisfactory.
Here in Alberta, we yearn for the good old days when we had big pay cheques, big houses, big trucks, big bikes, big quads, big trailers, big boats and big payments. We worked hard and we played hard.
The world evolved around us, over time, and things changed. Our vehicles went from 350 C.I. and 5 miles per gallon at 50 cents per gallon (4.5 litres) to 3.5L and 50 miles per gallon or 18 kms. per litre at ($1 per litre).
Then the environment started having a mid-life climate crisis and consumers started looking for alternatives. Politicians started playing politics and pipelines did not get built and production began to suffer. Big paycheques shrank.
4 years or so Albertans turfed out the provincial government of the day, because they seemed so out of touch with the needs of Albertans. They voted for the future and things started changing but the big paycheques did not return and even though the future was improving it wasn’t the good old days. A few months ago they turfed out the “new” provincial government and brought back the re-branded “old” government and Albertans have not yet returned to the good old days.
4 years or so Canadians turfed out the federal government of the day because they seemed out of touch with the needs of Canadians. They voted for the future, a new government, and things started changing.
Yet oddly enough this “new” federal government, so disdained by Albertans, did what the “old” government was unable or unwilling to do. They bought a pipeline company for billions and moved forward and approved a new pipeline to encourage oil production. Necessary for those Big paycheques and big oil for Albertans.
Albertans will still likely, vote to turf this “new” government out. Well, they want to bring in a carbon tax. That could cost Albertans $10 per week before rebates, and that is a tragedy.
Never mind that this same “new” government invested billions to bring back the big paycheques, that $10/week before rebates is a no go.
This “new” government had nothing to gain, politically, in Alberta helping the Alberta economy in a political rivalry, so why do it? If they had not purchased and approved the new pipeline they would have gained political support in a majority of other provinces but now they are losing support, in other provinces, and could lose their majority in less than 100 days.
In 100 days we will be voting for the future or the past because presently we still have the big houses, big trucks, big toys, but not the big paycheques of the good old days. We voted for the past a few months ago and no big paycheques, yet, so maybe it’s the next time, is the charmer, when we get to go back to the good old days.
Since 1867 Canadians have seen many great economic engines, whale oil, furs, nickel, fisheries, forestry, coal, railroads, and they were great but temporary and now we face another transition. Change is hard.
Henry Ford pushed through change on an unsuspecting and often times uncooperative and unwilling public. He was once reported to have said: “If I had asked what the public wanted, they would have said, faster horses.” but he voted for the future.
In 100 days are we going to vote for the future or for the past with dreams of faster horses? I am hoping for the future, you?

​Garfield Marks

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july, 2019

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