Sunday, November 21, 2021

Our Class - Their Song: A Conversation with Chris Hedges

Our Class - Their Song: A Conversation with Chris Hedges
"Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison"

Chris Hedges, Wayne King & Kodi relax after a hike in Acadia National Park

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, war correspondent, and author of 14 books. His latest book, "Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison" chronicles his experience teaching in a New Jersey prison an intense, at times, heartbreaking and joyous journey.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Episode 53: ​​Energy Innovation, Choice and Risk Management for a Sustainable Future - A conversation with Clifton Below



​​Energy Innovation, Choice and Risk Management for a Sustainable Future

A conversation with Clifton Below


Clifton Below

Assistant Mayor, Ward 3 

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Ever since his father took him on tours of a hydroelectric dam and a nuclear reactor as a young child Clifton Below has had an outsized interest in technology, electricity and energy from both a scientific perspective as well as a public policy one. As a result of this Clifton Below has become one of the foremost thinkers and policy innovators in the country. New Hampshire’s good fortune has been that “Cliff” chose to live here and to grow and think here - instead of somewhere else. Over the course of 30 plus years that has led Cliff from election to the NH House, the NH Senate and then an appointment to the state Public Utility Commission.

Working, often with Republican Senator Jeb Bradley, the two friends have not only bridged the partisan divide but together have developed some of the most progressive, bi-partisan legislation anywhere in the US including one of the first “net Metering” laws, as well as the relatively-newly-enacted Community Choice Aggregation law that provides the opportunity for cities, towns and other legal jurisdictions to create an alternative to the investor owned utility energy supply system to aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts.

Today, after 3 terms in the NH House, 3 in the Senate and 6  years on the PUC Cliff has found his “spot on the porch” where theory and innovation come together to create meaningful change at the community level in his home city of Lebanon.


Other Links to topics in this podcast

What is DISTRIBUTED GENERATION? What does DISTRIBUTED GENERATION mean? DISTRIBUTED GENERATION meaning - DISTRIBUTED GENERATION definition - DISTRIBUTED GENERATION explanation. Source: article, adapted under license. Distributed generation, also distributed energy, on-site generation (OSG) or district/decentralized energy is generated or stored by a variety of small, grid-connected devices referred to as distributed energy resources (DER) or distributed energy resource systems. Conventional power stations, such as coal-fired, gas and nuclear powered plants, as well as hydroelectric dams and large-scale solar power stations, are centralized and often require electricity to be transmitted over long distances. By contrast, DER systems are decentralized, modular and more flexible technologies, that are located close to the load they serve, albeit having capacities of only 10 megawatts (MW) or less. DER systems typically use renewable energy sources, including small hydro, biomass, biogas, solar power, wind power, and geothermal power, and increasingly play an important role for the electric power distribution system. A grid-connected device for electricity storage can also be classified as a DER system, and is often called a distributed energy storage system (DESS). By means of an interface, DER systems can be managed and coordinated within a smart grid. Distributed generation and storage enables collection of energy from many sources and may lower environmental impacts and improve security of supply. Microgrids are modern, localized, small-scale grids, contrary to the traditional, centralized electricity grid (macrogrid). Microgrids can disconnect from the centralized grid and operate autonomously, strengthen grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances. They are typically low-voltage AC grids, often use diesel generators, and are installed by the community they serve. Microgrids increasingly employ a mixture of different distributed energy resources, such as solar hybrid power systems, which reduce the amount of emitted carbon significantly.



Net Metering

Net metering (or net energy metering, NEM) is an electricity billing mechanism that allows consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of when it is generated. This is particularly important with renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which are non-dispatchable (when not coupled to storage). Monthly net metering allows consumers to use solar power generated during the day at night, or wind from a windy day later in the month. Annual net metering rolls over a net kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit to the following month, allowing solar power that was generated in July to be used in December, or wind power from March in August.

Net metering policies can vary significantly by country and by state or province: if net metering is available, if and how long banked credits can be retained, and how much the credits are worth (retail/wholesale). Most net metering laws involve monthly rollover of kWh credits, a small monthly connection fee,[note 1] require a monthly payment of deficits (i.e. normal electric bill), and annual settlement of any residual credit. Net metering uses a single, bi-directional meter and can measure the current flowing in two directions.[1] Net metering can be implemented solely as an accounting procedure, and requires no special metering, or even any prior arrangement or notification.[2]

Net metering is an enabling policy designed to foster private investment in renewable energy.



Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Community Choice Energy, municipal aggregation, governmental aggregation, electricity aggregation, and community aggregation, is an alternative to the investor owned utility energy supply system in which local entities in the United States aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts.[1] The CCA chooses the power generation source on behalf of the consumers.

Power Transmission

By aggregating purchasing power, they are able to create large contracts with generators, something individual buyers may be unable to do. The main goals of CCAs have been to either lower costs for consumers or to allow consumers greater control of their energy mix, mainly by offering "greener" generation portfolios than local utilities. Eight states in the United States have enacted CCA enabling law. They are: Massachusetts, Ohio, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Collectively, they serve about 5% of Americans in over 1300 municipalities as of 2014.[2]



What is a Community Power Aggregator?


Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Community Choice Energy, municipal aggregation, governmental aggregation, electricity aggregation, and community aggregation, is an alternative to the investor owned utility energy supply system in which local entities in the United States aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts.

Community Choice Aggregation - Wikipedia



Stinson Brook in Winter

Microgrids:  This webinar was part of the Clean Coalition's 2019 series on the Clean Coalition's North Bay Community Resilience Initiative (NBCRI), a groundbreaking initiative to provide local governments, developers, and residents in disaster-affected areas with the information and tools they need to rebuild their communities with resilience. John Griffiths of CONTECH-CA presented.



Flying into a Gathering Storm

The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire

On Friday October 1, 2021, thirteen municipalities and one county joined together to incorporate Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire. The nonprofit Joint Powers Agency was created to assist cities and towns in launching Community Power programs.


Cloud Abstract


NH Saves Website

NHSaves has all kinds of tips, rebates and incentives to help homeowners to reduce their energy bill and be more environmentally friendly.



What’s a Negawatt?


(From Technopedia) A “negawatt,” which literally means a negative or an inverse megawatt, is a hypothetical unit of power for measuring the amount of energy saved (in megawatts) because of efficient power consumption.


The term was a typo of "megawatt" and was popularized in 1989 by environmentalist Amory Lovins, who is also the chairman and the chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute (Snowmass, CO, USA), after seeing the typo in a Colorado Public Utilities Commission report.


(From Renewable Energy World) A tremendous amount of energy is wasted every day all around the world. If we are going to tackle global warming, air pollution, water pollution, and energy poverty, it is absolutely critical that we tackle the issue of energy waste and become much, much more efficient. The US wastes 61% to 86% of the energy it generates. In other words, it wastes more of the energy that it generates than it actually uses. And that’s without taking into account energy wasted in homes and businesses! The US may “lead” the world in that category, but other countries also waste a great deal of energy. Energy waste needs to be cut all around the world.


We need a lot of renewable energy in order to turn off dirty energy and cut global warming emissions. But we also really need to stop wasting energy in order to cut these emissions. I think that putting energy savings in terms of negawatts helps people to better understand the value of energy efficiency and energy conservation. Hopefully it will help us save more energy all along the value chain. Clever thinking by Lovins.

Clifton Below

Assistant Mayor, Ward 3

Phone: 603-448-2519


25 Perley Avenue

Lebanon, NH 03766



Maple Ablaze at Sunset - Stinson Mountain





Flames Reaching for a Painted Sky



Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Climate Change and Ocean Dynamics - The Tide is Shifting: A Conversation with Oceanographer William C. Boicourt

William C. Boicourt

Episode 30

The Radical Centrist Podcast



Climate Change and Ocean Dynamics - The Tide is Shifting:  

A Conversation with Oceanographer William C. Boicourt

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Bill Boicourt has had a distinguished career, following his dream to be an Oceanographer. Today he is among the world's leading figures in a field that is at the center of the action in a world where Climate change has become the number one threat to the planet - or more accurately to the current residents of the planet.


Bill is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory.

His oceanographic interests are the circulation of continental shelves and estuaries, with particular interests in how these motions are driven by winds and by freshwater flowing off the land. Many of his physical investigations of these waters have been motivated by biological questions such as the role of water motion and water structure in the success of early life stages of fish, crabs, and oysters. He is part of a team that launches robotic underwater gliders to sense temperatures in the deeper waters of the continental shelf immediately before passage of a hurricane. With this information, weather forecasters can greatly improve the accuracy of their predictions.

Bill received his undergraduate degree in physics from Amherst College. After graduate study in physical oceanography at The Johns Hopkins University, he remained for a few years at Hopkins’ Chesapeake Bay Institute to investigate the circulation of the Chesapeake Bay and the adjacent continental shelf. In 1981, he was a Visiting Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and joined the University of Maryland at Horn Point Laboratory soon thereafter. In 1989, he was the recipient of the B.H. Ketchum Award from Woods Hole for his work on shelf-estuary interactions.

Bill is a Principal Investigator and member of the Board of the Middle Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) and a founding member of the Chesapeake Bay Observing System (CBOS).


Chapel at the Top of the Hill 


Bill Boicourt - University of Maryland Center for Environmental ... › bill-boicourt



Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Meet: William Boicourt, Board Member






Maryland Climate Change Program


Climate Change Program

The main cause of climate change is human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is leading Governor Hogan's efforts to reduce GHG emissions while creating jobs and benefiting the economy, as required by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA). Although many initiatives throughout the State contribute to these efforts, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (chaired by MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles) are key efforts by MDE, each of which can be explored further by following the navigational links on the left-hand side of this page. 

In November 2018, a federal reportadvised that "climate change is affecting the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, and human health and welfare across the U.S. and its territories."  The good news is that in Maryland, we have an action plan to combat it.

With 3,100 miles of shoreline, Maryland is the fourth most vulnerable state to suffer the effects of sea-level rise associated with climate change. Rising sea levels and increased storm intensity could have devastating and far-reaching impacts on the Atlantic coast and the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem that affect the environmental, recreational and economic benefits enjoyed by Maryland and her visitors. Although Maryland's coastal areas may be considered particularly vulnerable, all areas of the State are at risk. In general, climate change alters the severity, frequency or distribution of existing issues that are impacted either directly or indirectly by temperature and precipitation. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Impacts on coastal, bay, and inland water quality parameters that may change the viable uses of surface water, such as for irrigation, recreation, or human consumption. MDE's Water and Science Administration's Climate Adaptation Goals and Strategies are available here

  • More frequent disruptions to urban and coastal infrastructure in Maryland caused by extreme weather events and sea-level rise that may indirectly impact the economy of the region by restricting the flow of goods and affecting days worked;

  • Common stressors experienced among ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, and forestry such as those caused by general changes in temperature and precipitation regimes; increased extreme weather events; and increased pressures from weeds, diseases, and pests;

  • Human health issues, including those affected by impacts on food and water supply, air quality and extreme weather events; and

  • A higher probability of negative outcomes for disadvantaged communities and individuals inherently more sensitive or with a reduced adaptive capacity for responding to the impacts of climate change.

To learn more about climate change and what Maryland is doing to combat it, read the 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan. MDE submitted the comprehensive plan for Maryland to Governor Hogan and the State Legislature on February 19, 2020, to coincide with the U.S.A's return to the Paris Climate Agreement. For the national perspective, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Climate Change in the United States.  And, for the international perspective, read the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) latest report. 



Against All Odds



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Maryland's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (GGRA)

In 2009, Maryland adopted the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (GGRA) and it was amended in 2016. The law requires the State to reduce GHG emissions 25 percent from a 2006 baseline by 2020, in a way that ensures a positive impact on Maryland's economy, protects existing manufacturing jobs and creates new jobs in the State. MDE's 2015 GGRA Plan update showed that Maryland was on target to not only meet but also to exceed this level of emissions reduction in tandem with a healthy economic benefit.

Governor Hogan signed an updated version of the law, which includes the same balanced requirements and safeguards as the original, such as additional reporting and a mid-course reaffirmation of goals by the Maryland General Assembly, as well as incorporating protection for jobs and the economy. The most significant enhancement was a new benchmark requiring a 40 percent reduction of emissions from 2006 levels by 2030. This additional benchmark was included in order to ensure continued progress after 2020 toward the State's long-term GHG emission reduction goals. According to a World Resources Institute report published in August 2020, Maryland leads the nation in the amount of emissions reductions (38%) and simultaneous growth of GDP (18%) in a 12 year period. 

In the fall of 2019, MDE released a comprehensive, economy-wide draft plan to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. After more than a year of analysis using the latest science, and listening to Marylanders and a variety of stakeholders, the final plan was published. Its 100+ bold and comprehensive programs and measures set Maryland on an ambitious path to serve as a model for how the nation can respond to climate change while also supporting economic growth and adding new jobs. The Plan pays particular attention to address the needs of underserved and disadvantaged areas throughout our state. As such, the effects of Climate Change disproportionately impact them.

 Read the 2030 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan.






Scientific & Technical Working Group Donald F. Boesch, Chair, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Frank W. Dawson, Co-Chair, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Robert M. Summers, Co-Chair, Maryland Department of the Environment William C. Boicourt, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Antonio J. Busalacchi, University of Maryland, College Park Donald R. Cahoon, U.S. Geological Survey Frank J. Coale, University of Maryland, College Park Victoria J. Coles, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Russell R. Dickerson, University of Maryland, College Park William M. Eichbaum, World Wildlife Fund Brian D. Fath, Towson University Raymond M. Hoff, University of Maryland, Baltimore County David G. Kimmel, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Curtis E. Larsen, Lusby, Maryland (U.S. Geological Survey, retired) Andrew J. Miller, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Margaret A. Palmer, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Louis F. Pitelka, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Steven D. Prince, University of Maryland, College Park Brian S. Schwartz, The Johns Hopkins University David H. Secor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Timothy Warman, National Wildlife Federation Claire Welty, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

A Glow of Lilies


Updating Maryland's sea-level rise projections - USGS ... › publication

Updating Maryland's sea-level rise projections

Scientific and Technical Working Group Maryland Climate Change Commission

By: Donald F. Boesch, Larry P. Atkinson, William C. Boicourt, John D. Boon, Donald R. Cahoon, Robert A. Dalrymple, Tal Ezer, Benjamin P. Horton, Zoe P. Johnson, Robert E. Kopp, Ming Li, Richard H. Moss, Adam Parris, and Christopher K. Sommerfield




With its 3,100 miles of tidal shoreline and low-lying rural and urban lands, “The Free State” is one of the most vulnerable to sea-level rise. Historically, Marylanders have long had to contend with rising water levels along its Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean and coastal bay shores. Shorelines eroded and low-relief lands and islands, some previously inhabited, were inundated. Prior to the 20th century, this was largely due to the slow sinking of the land since Earth’s crust is still adjusting to the melting of large masses of ice following the last glacial period. Over the 20th century, however, the rate of rise of the average level of tidal waters with respect to land, or relative sea-level rise, has increased, at least partially as a result of global warming. Moreover, the scientific evidence is compelling that Earth’s climate will continue to warm and its oceans will rise even more rapidly.

Recognizing the scientific consensus around global climate change, the contribution of human activities to it, and the vulnerability of Maryland’s people, property, public investments, and natural resources, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Commission on Climate Change on April 20, 2007. The Commission produced a Plan of Action that included a comprehensive climate change impact assessment, a greenhouse gas reduction strategy, and strategies for reducing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change. The Plan has led to landmark legislation to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and a variety of state policies designed to reduce energy consumption and promote adaptation to climate change.



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Wind-Induced Destratification in Chesapeake Bay

David M. Goodrich1, William C. Boicourt2, Peter Hamilton3, and Donald W. Pritchard4

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Print Publication: 

01 Dec 1987




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Multiyear continuous observations of velocity and salinity in the Chesapeake Bay indicate that wind-induced destratification occurs frequently from early fall through midspring over large areas of the estuary. Storm-driven breakdown of summer stratification was observed to occur near the autumnal equinox in two separate years. Surface cooling plays an important, though secondary, role in the fall destratification by reducing the vertical temperature gradient in the days prior to the mixing event. Large internal velocity shear precedes mixing events, suggesting a mechanism involving the generation of dynamic instability across the pycnocline. Destratification is shown to fundamentally alter the response of the velocity field to subsequent wind forcing; in stratified conditions, response is depth-dependent, while after mixing a depth-independent response is observed.

Neap Tide for Planet Earth

Our Class - Their Song: A Conversation with Chris Hedges

Our Class - Their Song: A Conversation with Chris Hedges "Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison" https://en.wikipedia.or...