Michigan’s Cap on Net Metering

Net metering is the cheapest way for anyone to install solar panels on their house. Net metering means that, whenever the solar panels are producing more power than the house is using, the excess electricity is fed into the local energy distribution grid, and the meter on that house runs in reverse during that time.

It’s great for the individual owner, because the owner not only uses electricity produced without paying the electric company for it but also gets credit for any surplus electricity produced. The owner does not need to provide batteries or any sort of storage for electricity proc=duced during the daytime in order to have electricity at night. At night, the house simply uses electricity off of the grid, exactly like houses without solar panels. Continue reading

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Making Some Sense of the Election

By now, anyone interested in politics has read and/or heard a barrage of contradictory and mostly made-up explanations for the outcome of the 2016 election. Donald Trump will be our next president. Hillary Clinton will not.

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(Photo from WDIV, Channel 4 in Detroit.)

Hillary won a plurality of the popular vote; not a majority, but her plurality was larger than Trump’s plurality. Loud proclamations that Hillary won the popular vote may leave the impression that a majority of Americans voted for Hillary for President, but that is not actually true. Continue reading

What? Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground?

There are three powerful reasons to support the policy “Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground.” They all converge on the conclusion that, not only is it a good idea to leave fossil fuels in the ground, it’s a necessity. The only question is whether this will happen with minimal bad effects on our lives or with terrible ones.

In other words, while it might be a serious inconvenience for all of us who have gotten used to cars, air conditioning and vacation resorts, the alternative is economic collapse and disaster if we don’t move away from fossil fuels in a deliberate fashion. Continue reading