Saturday, November 05, 2005

People's Endowment Energy Seminar Series

Richard Seifert, an energy and housing specialist for the Cooperative Extension Service, has set up a series of monthly seminars on energy in Alaska. The first one was on October 11, about how the Permanent Fund Dividend is or could be affected by the Economic Limit Factor and the oil windfalls.

The second one will feature Phil Louden and will be on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Schaible Auditorium from 2 to 5 p.m., and will be on peak oil, about the limit to oil production and the subsequent reduction in available petroleum, and what this means for thee and me. This isn't tinfoil hat stuff, folks, it's the real deal. The only question is when the peak is. Or was, depending on who you talk with.

Seifert is a man of my own political persuasion, and a solar energy fan. He recently produced the third edition of the Solar Design Manual for Alaska. He's done more to advance information about alternative energy in this area than anybody I know.

Energy issues have long been of import in this state, from wood shortages to oil shortages. For those of you who scoff at the idea of solar energy as a viable option in Alaska, consider: we have long, long summer days, and lots of reflective material around in the winter (that's snow, folks). Solar energy here isn't as bizarre as you might think.

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