Casting Doubt On Solar Panel Energy Efficiency

For many years, I’ve expressed my doubts in regard to the efficiency of solar energy. I have never been convinced that solar energy with today’s technology is cost-effective or energy efficient. In addition, here in Ontario, I question the use of arable land being turned into “solar farms.”

I have not been able to locate it, but there used to be a website where you could look at the project specs of all the solar and wind farm installations in the Province of Ontario. I am not sure if they have been removed or are just harder to find. But I do recall that many of the solar farms that were being planned or that were in operation seemed to generate about 10MW of power for every 100 acres of land.

To my mind, that is a total waste of land. Don’t forget that this figure of 10MW is a maximum amount, and on cloudy days or at night time, power generation from solar is zero. Yet we have a Liberal government led by a Nanny Stater, Premier Kathleen Wynne, who seems intent on taking this province down the road of inefficient, expensive, and economy killing “green energy.”

I am fully supportive of the use of “green energy” where it makes sense, and where it indeed provides an economical and clean source of energy. However, I believe that over the long run, today’s technologies do not have a net gain either in CO2 reduction or in energy production. There is also the problem of what to do with solar panels once they have reached their end of life. It is my understanding that many of them cannot be recycled, and under many of the governments’ environmental regulations, they cannot even be shipped off to landfills due to the toxic chemicals they contain.

Today, I came across a study that was published in the peer reviewed Energy Policy journal, entitled “Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation.

The findings of the authors of the paper support my doubts and skepticism about the efficiency of photovoltaic sources of energy. We really need to re-examine the use of solar power as an energy source, especially when the findings include this:

In other words, an electrical supply system based on today’s PV technologies cannot be termed an energy source, but rather a non-sustainable energy sink or a non-sustainable NET ENERGY LOSS.

Of course, this paper was not covered much in the mainstream media – and I’m not sure why. From the stats provided by Altmetric, only one news outlet reported on the paper; nrc.nl.

Politicians and proponents of solar energy need to wake up, and fast.

The Rot Isn’t In The McDonald’s…It’s In The Education

mcdonaldsYesterday, I noticed that many of my friends and associates on Facebook where sharing some post by the owner of a Chiropractic clinic in Alaska, a Jennifer Lovdahl. Ms Jennifer Lovdahl is listed as a doctor on their chiropractic clinic website – http://www.movewellalaska.com/ and apparently graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa.

The post by Dr. Lovdahl that so many of my Facebook associates were sharing contained a photo of a meal apparently purchased six years ago from McDonald’s, containing Chicken McNuggets and french fries. Dr. Lovdahl wrote in her post:

“It’s been 6 years since I bought this “Happy Meal” at McDonald’s. It’s been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard. We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is. Especially for our growing children!! There are so many chemicals in this food! Choose real food! Apples, bananas, carrots, celery….those are real fast food.”
~ Source

I am astonished that a so-called “doctor” would publish such tripe. You would think that anyone today that is a graduate of a college that bestows the degree of Doctor, and that college is involved in human sciences, would have at least taught their students some basic chemistry as well as The Scientific Method.

Or perhaps Dr. Lovdahl is aware of The Scientific Method and some basic chemistry, but chooses to promote her own biases using the respect that most people would give a person with the degree of Doctor bestowed upon them. Whatever the case may be, this is where the rot is, and I can tell you why Dr. Lovdahl observed no rot in the McDonald’s food.

Let’s look at Dr. Lovdahl’s original post: “We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is.”

How does this experiment show any such thing? It doesn’t show that it is “unhealthy” nor does it show, as Dr. Lovdahl claims that “there are so many chemicals in this food.” There likely ARE many chemicals in the food; but not in the way Dr. Lovdahl is trying to suggest. Everything that exists has a chemical makeup. Even apples. There is nothing sinister going on here whatsoever.

Now, if Dr. Lovdahl truly respected science (and apparently, the college she graduated from claims to hold integrity and science as high values), she would have conducted her experiment using multiple meals, as well as control subjects. For example, she might have made up some french fried potatoes at home, reduced their moisture level through freezing or refrigeration, (using only organic potatoes, of course!), deep fried them without the addition of any other chemicals but for a sprinkling of salt, put it in a bag and stuck in a dry cupboard for six years along with her McDonald’s purchased meal.

Now there’s an experiment that’s closer to reality.

Or, if she wants to compare apples, bananas, and carrots, she could have also dehydrated those, deep fried them, stuck them in a cupboard for six years, and checked to see if she found rot.

I suggest you try it at home before you go believing Dr. Lovdahl. Here’s some facts for you:

Food preservation can be done by reducing moisture and adding salt. Anything deep fried would have a lot of water moisture driven out of it, and replaced by oil. Now, the oil could go rancid if left for six years, open to the air, but you would not see this. But you would probably have food that appeared to have withstood the element of time, and showed little or no rot.

This experiment does not prove that this is not “healthy food,” nor does it prove that lots of chemicals were added to the food by McDonald’s. It is shameful that a person with the title “Doctor” would try to persuade you that her experiment was somehow a valid experiment. It’s not. It’s actually.. anti-science.

Food rot depends on a number of different things, including levels of moisture. Foods that have low to no water moisture and that are kept in a dry place, will not rot at the same rate as high moisture foods and in fact, can withstand against rot for a very long time depending on the conditions they are kept in. Does a doctor involved in human health not know this very basic fact?? It does not require the addition of any sinister chemicals to keep food from rotting.

Dr. Lovdahl owes her fans an apology for attempting to show something in a non-scientific manner, but present it to novices in such a way that it may be a valid experiment.

Or perhaps Dr. Lovdahl was never taught the scientific method. In that case, any person who has graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic is suspect, and I would not want to be treated by any graduate of theirs.

I have some challenges for Dr. Lovdahl:

Challenge 1:

Purchase the finest organic potatoes you can find. Cut them into “chip” (as called in the UK) or “french fry” shapes. Freeze them.

Heat up the finest healthiest oil in a deep fryer. Take frozen raw french fries and deep fry them until they are cooked. Remove french fries, allow oil to drain, sprinkle with salt, place in a paper bag, put in a cupboard in a dry place.

Come back and tell us what you see.

Challenge 2:

Dr. Lovdahl compares the McDonald’s meal to “real food” such as “apples, bananas and carrots.”

Okay, apples have a higher level of moisture than potatoes; if left out of some preserving condition, they will rot in a short amount of time, definitely less than six years. But here’s what I want you to do: Dehydrate the apples to the same moisture level as potatoes after cutting them into chip shapes. Freeze them. Then take them out of the freezer and deep fry them. Remove from the deep fryer, sprinkle some salt, put in a bag, and leave in a dry place for six years. Tell me what you see. Tell me if you will conclude the apples must have had chemicals added to them.

I doubt Dr. Lovdahl will take up the challenge. But if the good doctor wants to have some semblance of scientific credibility, the good doctor ought to take up the challenge, along with having some control subjects, as a proper scientific experiment would have.

I am sure Dr. Lovdahl means well, but pushing pseudo-science onto people, and pushing it in such a way that it apparently proves or shows something, is utterly irresponsible. I would hope that any regulatory agency or the good doctor’s school that apparently values integrity will have a little chat with the doctor about scientific integrity, and making false claims while using the title of Doctor, as apparently happened at the Chiropractic clinic.

The rot is not in the McDonald’s food; the rot is in the critical thinking skills that seem to be no longer taught these days.

I actually do quite of food preservation with my son – including dehydrating, fermentation, and canning – perhaps Dr. Lovdahl might be interested in learning more, and about food chemistry.

Go Away, CRTC

Just. Go Away.

CRTC Issues Ultimatum To Netflix, Google

There never really was a need for the CRTC or for regulation of the airwaves and content programming. Why these regulators think they ought to control what I choose to watch, have streamed to me, or anything else is irrelevant. Their reasons are irrelevant. In fact, it is simply a sign of their psychopathy. A psychopathic need to control.

I don’t subscribe to Netflix. I don’t have cable TV (or satellite for that matter). And that is my choice. If I choose to subscribe to Netflix, why on earth would some psychopaths feel that they know what my choices should be?

 

 

A Disturbing Trend – The Death Penalty In Canada

I have to admit that years ago, I was supportive of the death penalty. It seemed to make sense, “an eye for an eye, a life for a life.” But after many years of thought, and the fact that mistakes get made even with our judicious judicial system, I cannot support the death penalty. It goes beyond the worry about mistakes though.

Today in the Toronto Star, there is a poll of Canadians that suggests that a majority of Canadians might now be supportive of the reinstatement of the death penalty in Canada. I don’t want to provide analysis of the poll, reported here, or maybe even any long windsuffering reasons for my rejection of the death penalty – perhaps I will do that later.

I certainly don’t believe in lenience towards those who commit heinous crimes. But I don’t think it does anyone any good to have a blood lust to the extreme, either. Hey.. I’m willing to defend myself, the ones I love and my property, and if that means I have to use deadly force at the time, then so be it. But to inflict the death penalty after the crime has been done (and even with our checks and balances, our juries and judges have been known to be wrong), I am not with that.

Posted by Ian Scott