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Thursday, April 10, 2014

What my '67 Chevelle Super Sport Taught Me About Energy Conservation

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin


We’re giving away a solar hot water rocket this month!


Wasted Energy-Who is to Blame?


   Some of you might be old enough to recall the Arab Oil Embargo of the early 1970s when drivers could only buy gasoline on opposite days.  Lines of cars could be found at every service station which had fuel as supplies didn’t last. The price shot up to as much as .75 cents a gallon.  (Now, the per- gallon tax is enough to make you scream).


Thankfully, I rode a bike to school back then.


President Jimmy Carter to the rescue!   Carter created the Department of Energy with a promise to make our nation less dependent on foreign oil.  Through the years, that agency kept doubling in size and the price of fuel never came down nor did we ever shake our oil dependency.


The ‘crisis’ ended and I purchased a 1969 Chevelle Super Sport which sucked a gallon of premium (or hi-test as we called it) gas just turning the ignition (it was a hell of a chick magnet though).


Fast forward a couple of decades.  Janet Napolitano is the governor of AZ and politicians and academics are calling for ideas to make the nation more energy sufficient.  Working with the Dept. of Energy I created a detail proposal for the state to capitalize on its most abundant free resources, the Sun.  I suggested placing solar panels on the berms of the state’s network of highways through a combined effort with the DOE and area utilities.


The state already owned the land and the DOE was willing to help fund the project through grants.  Long story short…thank you for your wonderful idea, we’ll take it under advisement.  Nothing ever happened and I suppose if they had acted on my plan, someone else would’ve grabbed the credit.


The DOE provided me with several interesting background data sheets however which highlighted:


·         The government is the biggest consumer of energy and gasoline with the post office and the military topping the list; law enforcement coming in at a close third.

·         Poor traffic light management (constant stop and start) of cities throughout the nation were among the top five biggest gasoline wasting drains and millions of gallons could be saved through better timing.

·         The amount of government research dollars for alternative energy amounted to almost nothing

·         Bad Press and government regulation has discouraged additional nuclear power facilities in the USA

·         Regulators have aimed their fuel efficiency standards at the auto industry

·         New EPA regulations are stifling the coal and natural gas industries which will ensure that prices will rise for consumers.


The government and pressure from environmental groups have helped to improve air quality standards but have also driven up the cost for anything energy related for industry and citizens.


Using available technology we have personally cut our water and energy usage and drive a very fuel efficient car.  Unfortunately, like many other Americans, no matter what our efforts are, government interference in the market continually raises prices, a losing proposition for many.


Going completely off-grid can be expensive and daunting and in some cases, filled with government interference like the woman in FL we recently reported on.  Her off-grid home is under attack by regulators.  Thankfully, various non-profit groups have come to her legal aid.


We’re still reviewing our options for taking our mini-farm completely off-grid.  We own our water system and septic and have a backup generator.  Soon we’ll install a system of solar and wind that we’ll adapt from an RV system.


Learn the latest about solar options…




This month’s giveaway…Solar Hot Water Rocket

                                            Just send us your tip-winner drawn at random!


What Makes My Electric Bill So High?
For most of us the electric bill is one of the larger bills that we pay each month. Therefore, it's only natural that we'd want to reduce it if possible. So here's a look at three important things - how your bill compares to the average, what makes the average electric bill so high, and what you can do to reduce your bill.

8 Free DIY Solar Food Dryer Plans



Sheerwind is an innovative wind power generation company founded by Dr. Daryoush Allaei.

 The company recently announced its work on a bladeless wind turbine called INVELOX. Rather than using large and expensive blades, INVELOX captures wind and forces it through tapering passageways to ground-level generators. As the air is squeezed through these passageways, its intensity is amplified – a more efficient design (in theory at least).


You’ll be amazed at how many watts each item in your house uses!

How many Watts do you need to power your home?  Use this free calculator:

“DIY Solar Projects” by Eric Smith provides plans for a standalone solar water heater, wood kiln, battery charging station and other convenient sun-powered house projects.

Read more:




This week’s Prize:  Solar Hot Water Rocket

This remarkable piece of gear weighs only two pounds, and at 18″ long, is easily portable. Best of all, it can take a pint of water from stone cold to boiling hot in approximately one hour.


 Send us your tip…

We’ll post the tip and the winner gets a prize!

Scroll to the bottom of the page to submit your tip…


Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Now Celebrating our 6th Year!



Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?



A Shallow Planet Production

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