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  #16  
Old Mar 21, '12, 1:28 pm
Luna Lovecraft's Avatar
Luna Lovecraft Luna Lovecraft is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnvinc View Post
I'd like this thread to address sensible ways we can mitigate global warming -- reduce our greenhouse gases -- and not as a place to discuss whether or not AGW is happening (there are plenty of threads on CAF addressing that).
  • Compost We live in a condo with no private yard, but we still have a composter tucked behind the bushes near our front door. It yields roughly a 10-gallon bucket of compost per year that we spread around our unit's landscaping and truck over to my in-law's landscaping.
  • Trip planning We try to plan errands so driving around randomly. We also bike or walk as much as we can.
  • Landscaping I deliberately bought the unit I did because of a massive camphor tree on the east side, and the spring after I moved in I got permission to plant shade trees south and west sides. That, coupled with trellised vines along the west wall, really cuts down on when we run the A/C.
  • Live small Our home is 800 sq. feet for two adults, two (part-time) kids, and two cats. Every room serves at least two purposes (the kitchen also is the laundry room; the second bedroom is my step-daughters' bedroom when they're with us, is my husband's dressing room, etc.)
  • Do without paper We don't own paper napkins, toilet paper, menstrual pads, or paper towels. Yes, cloth products do need to be washed and washed in hot water, which brings me to
  • High efficiency appliances
  • Reduce plastic use I started making my own household cleaners partly because I didn't like buying plastic bottles every time I went shopping. I avoid buying something packaged in plastic if I can get something similar packaged in paper that I can compost. I've got three or four old plastic bottles that I've re-used for years for household cleaners, body wash, shampoo, and the like. It's pretty amazing what you can make with vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil, and a Burt's Bees Shampoo Bar.
  • Solar We invested in a solar oven and from April - November rarely use our electric oven. We also have wooden laundry racks and let sunshine dry our laundry as much as we can.

Things I Plan to Do:
  1. install a laundry rack in the bedroom/office ceiling to dry clothes on rainy/foggy days
  2. install an attic wrap

Things I Wish I Could Do:
  1. paint my roof white or have a landscaped roof
  2. install a living wall/vertical garden on my west- and south-facing walls
  3. use public transportation to get to and from work
  4. grow my own vegetables and herbs
  5. keep chickens and a goat or two
Luna
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Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  #17  
Old Mar 21, '12, 2:03 pm
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

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Originally Posted by lynnvinc View Post
...the couple of cold days when we used the heater cut into it a lot (some 4-5 mile reduction).
Fat lot of help I am now that winter seems to be over, but you will likely use a lot less battery juice running the heated seats in winter than the cabin air heater. A tip for next year!
  #18  
Old Mar 21, '12, 3:05 pm
lynnvinc lynnvinc is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

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Originally Posted by manualman View Post
Fat lot of help I am now that winter seems to be over, but you will likely use a lot less battery juice running the heated seats in winter than the cabin air heater. A tip for next year!
Thanks. We did use them once in Feb, but since we never ever had such, even up in Wisconsin and Illinois in sub-zero temps, I had thought it a waste to have that as an add-on (it came with some package that included some things we did want). I even laughed at the salesman -- heated seats in the Rio Grande Valley, which only gets below 50F a few weeks of the year, and hardly ever below 40.

BTW, I noticed that you are in the W. Chicago area. If it's anywhere Naperville, there is a passive solar home there a friend, Ken Woods, built in the early 80s at 1264 Harvest Court; he sold it in 2004 and then passed away in 2008. He was an engineer/architect & one-time president of the IL Solar Association as well as the Fox Valley EV Assoc. The home is for sale now, but under an offer. I'm thinking you may be able to see it, since they are taking other offers. It's 3BR/2ba, with a finished basement (where he had his office, drawing board, etc).

Here is a link, with pictures: http://www.trulia.com/property/10903...ville-IL-60564

This is a picture of the north side, which is the front of the house:

In the front (north) there small windows and landscaped berms and garage. In the back (south), it had sliding glass doors in the dinning, living and 1 bedroom (looks like they changed these to smaller windows), with dark tile floors to absorb the heat (looks like these were replaced with wooden or fake-wood floors), and decidulous trees outside to shade the house in the summer. It had beautiful upholstered styrofoam? inside shutters on the windows (don't see them now). He had a separate shed on the east side that housed the highly efficient gas heater+water heater; he had to do that bec the house was so well insulated and air-tight he couldn't have combustion inside, except for an efficient fireplace, with a 4-stage air-filter intake to bring in cleaned outside air. He said it cost him about the price of a gas light to heat his house during the winter. I think the people who bought it earlier had little idea about its true worth or intent.
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"The Lord God lives before whom I stand."
-- 1 Kings 17:1

"Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

"I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth."
-- St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  #19  
Old Mar 22, '12, 5:22 am
lynnvinc lynnvinc is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna Lovecraft View Post
  • Compost We live in a condo with no private yard, but we still have a composter tucked behind the bushes near our front door. It yields roughly a 10-gallon bucket of compost per year that we spread around our unit's landscaping and truck over to my in-law's landscaping.
  • Trip planning We try to plan errands so driving around randomly. We also bike or walk as much as we can.
  • Landscaping I deliberately bought the unit I did because of a massive camphor tree on the east side, and the spring after I moved in I got permission to plant shade trees south and west sides. That, coupled with trellised vines along the west wall, really cuts down on when we run the A/C.
  • Live small Our home is 800 sq. feet for two adults, two (part-time) kids, and two cats. Every room serves at least two purposes (the kitchen also is the laundry room; the second bedroom is my step-daughters' bedroom when they're with us, is my husband's dressing room, etc.)
  • Do without paper We don't own paper napkins, toilet paper, menstrual pads, or paper towels. Yes, cloth products do need to be washed and washed in hot water, which brings me to
  • High efficiency appliances
  • Reduce plastic use I started making my own household cleaners partly because I didn't like buying plastic bottles every time I went shopping. I avoid buying something packaged in plastic if I can get something similar packaged in paper that I can compost. I've got three or four old plastic bottles that I've re-used for years for household cleaners, body wash, shampoo, and the like. It's pretty amazing what you can make with vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil, and a Burt's Bees Shampoo Bar.
  • Solar We invested in a solar oven and from April - November rarely use our electric oven. We also have wooden laundry racks and let sunshine dry our laundry as much as we can.

Things I Plan to Do:
  1. install a laundry rack in the bedroom/office ceiling to dry clothes on rainy/foggy days
  2. install an attic wrap

Things I Wish I Could Do:
  1. paint my roof white or have a landscaped roof
  2. install a living wall/vertical garden on my west- and south-facing walls
  3. use public transportation to get to and from work
  4. grow my own vegetables and herbs
  5. keep chickens and a goat or two
Luna
That's really great and inspirational. I was also doing composting and some bicycling up north, and need to get back into these.

For printing/writing paper, I get it at the university library and use the other sides. I've noticed in recent years they are giving students the option of double-sided printing and copying, so I have to sift thru to get the sheets with blank sides, but that's not too much trouble, and I'm very happy the library and students are becoming eco-conscious, which is a form of "other-conscious," which our Church expects of us.

In a way a lot of eco-advances are just going back to how things were done some 50 or 100 years ago. For Earth Day I sometimes put on display a "solar dryer" -- a rope and clothes pins, or if space permits my clothes drying rack, on which I hang some cloth napkins, hankies (for drying hands in public restrooms), and diapers. We weren't blessed with children, but I used to baby-sit many decades ago and all they had then were cloth diapers; you have to hang on tight when flushing the toilet

It's so weird how the anti-environmentalists make us out to be neopagan-atheist-communist-baby-killers. Maybe they should actually meet some environmentalists before they hurl their epithets.
__________________
"The Lord God lives before whom I stand."
-- 1 Kings 17:1

"Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

"I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth."
-- St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  #20  
Old Mar 22, '12, 11:10 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Lynn, just like catholics aren't all the same, neither are conservationists (environmentalists, if you prefer). You can hardly deny that there are rather a few 'watermelon' eco-activists out there (green on the outside, red on the inside).

Passive solar is greatly under-appreciated. It's hard and expensive to build it into mass produced builder homes, but I did quite a bit on ours. Our major window frontage faces south, slightly east for maximum sun in the cold winter mornings. That cost nothing extra, I just had to pick the lot carefully and stick my nose into the orientation of the house on the lot. We upgraded the eat-in kitchen floor to ceramic tile with cement backer in the sunniest spot. Gets TOASTY warm on sunny January days and greatly reduces furnace run time.

It costs almost nothing to equip a new house with a sealed combustion box furnace that draws combustion air from outside and has a power vented exhaust instead of the gravity flue. Even hot water heaters now have power vented exhaust, but they don't offer outside combustion air draw for some reason. I'm not fussed. You don't want to seal the house TOO tightly or air quality becomes horrible in the winter. Combined, these two allow me a house with no chimney at all, eliminating a major source of escaping heat.

You really don't want to put any plumbing outside the main house in this climate. Might be a nice idea in Texas, but it would be a nightmare here. Not this year, but we have to design for -30degree Farenheit nights.

I'm really hoping they perfect the affordable solar panel integrated shingle by the time my current roof is worn out. I have the perfect exposure for about 8,000 watts of solar juice. Not at today's prices though.
  #21  
Old Mar 22, '12, 3:19 pm
lynnvinc lynnvinc is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by manualman View Post
Lynn, just like catholics aren't all the same, neither are conservationists (environmentalists, if you prefer). You can hardly deny that there are rather a few 'watermelon' eco-activists out there (green on the outside, red on the inside).
Marxist atheists sort of have to be good, since they don't have the skirt of religion behind which to hide, esp if they want to press their ideological points. So I think that is why many of them are attracted to environmentalism; it makes them look good, like they're holier than the religious folks.

We had a marxist/atheist colleague 3 decades ago. We used to argue theoretical approaches with him all the time. I'm a multi-dimensional approach scholar, and my husband tends to favor the impact of culture, while Marxists are material/economic determinists. I was actually surprised to run into this colleague some 4 years ago at an environmental criminology section at a conference -- and he seemed really into it environmentalism. For one thing marxist environmentalists can blame the capitalists even more That must be very satisfying and justifying for them.

OTOH there are conservative environmentalists. I worked with them quite a bit out in Aurora, which as you probably know is Hastert Republicano territory. They hated Hastert's lack of environmentalism (restricted to a bit of NIMBYism) and were hoping some other Republican environmentalist would come along to vote for. Also a parish member (his wife and I were in the same St. Anne's Society section) ran for the IL senate and won. I put him in touch with Lynn Padovan, the environmental lobbyist in Springfield and gave him a copy of NATURAL CAPITALISM by Hawken & Lovins -- to which he really warmed, being a businessman. He became a wonderful Catholic, Republican, pro-business, pro-environment senator. ((Environmentalism makes sense both for businessmen and for the oppressed proletariat and for everyone else and the birds and the bees, too ).

BTW, see excerpts from NATURAL CAPITALISM at http://www.natcap.org , which is a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration for businesses and our whole economy becoming energy/resource efficient/conservative and getting back on the road to economic prosperity with a much lighter eco-footprint. I esp like their "tunneling through" method.

I also have a film from 3M about their 3P program, Pollution Prevention Pays. When there were some env regs going to kick in in the late 80s, the CEO put it to all the workers from janitors on up to find solutions that wouldn't cost them an arm & a leg. What happened was they came up with solutions that not only lowered their pollution well below their intended reduction (without lowering their productivity), but have been saving 3M many $millions over the years. The CEO then asked, why weren't we doing this before, and they told him, "it wasn't put to us that way." This type of thing -- finding solutions that are better than ever expected and save money -- happens all the time, once people start looking.
__________________
"The Lord God lives before whom I stand."
-- 1 Kings 17:1

"Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

"I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth."
-- St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  #22  
Old Mar 22, '12, 4:03 pm
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

So true. You'll get a kick out of this one. I did the civil design recently for a major industrial site that was seeking a LEED certification (I'm sure you're familiar). They got a LEED gold rating (not easy) and abot 6 months later I was called to the site to investigate an overflowing septic system. Turns out the LEED certified plumbing designer had specified a timer based water softener set to recharge once a week. The softener size was required by code calculations based on fixture counts and a recharge cycle required x times the volume in the tank. The recharge spits salty water down the sewer, of course, which ends up in my septic system.

The guy never bothered to consider the implications of his spec. The water softener was using 5 times as much water as the rest of the building combined and was way over the capacity of our system! All it took was to upgrade the controller to a smart meter that tracks actual water use and computes actual zeolite saturation before triggering a recharge. Fixed the whole thing for a couple hundred bucks. This was a LEED certified building (probaby $100,000 spent on getting the necessary credits) and nobody had plucked the low hanging fruit!
  #23  
Old Mar 23, '12, 8:58 am
lynnvinc lynnvinc is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Well, I have to come clean about my laundry, etc.

I did use an indoor clothes drying rack for a number of years up in IL (where we were on 75% nuke/25% coal electricity) & our clothes dryer was gas,

but my husband complained of the somewhat moldy smell on the clothes and his terrible sneezing fits and allergies (esp after open-heart surgery), so I stopped the rack and returned to the dryer. Later I came to realize there was a mold problem in our house due to a leak from our shower stall, so that may have been the real issue, also causing the clothes to get a slight moldy smell (which I could never perceive).

However, when we moved to an all-electric home in Texas (where his allergies are much reduced), I continued with the dryer. Meanwhile a blogger gave the advice of shaking out clothes before putting them in the dryer, which would reduce energy use. I had already been doing that, but made sure to do it better --- and I bought some four "dryer balls" which help drying time also, and I do hang up a lot of shirts and pants clothes, rather than dry them (or rather than dry them completely).

Now the issue for most people might be the amount of time & effort it takes to put the clothes out on an indoor drying rack or outdoor clothes line. The other thing to consider here is the much reduced folding time (and money savings). Since the clothes/towels/etc already have one fold in them, I would very easily fold them in a snap as I took them off the rack. I think it still takes a bit more net time to put them out on the rack, but one could be saying a rosary or other prayers while doing so. Or watching the news on TV. I.e., multi-tasking.

Now I'm inspired by Luna to dust off my drying rack and start drying just my clothes.....even tho now we are on 100% wind-powered electricity from Green Mountain (and because of this, I have been a bit lax about monitoring my electricity use).
__________________
"The Lord God lives before whom I stand."
-- 1 Kings 17:1

"Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

"I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth."
-- St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  #24  
Old Mar 23, '12, 11:07 am
kama3 kama3 is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

That's all fine and cool, but at the macro level we have to wrestle with our old friend, the Jevons Paradox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

Quote:
In economics, the Jevons paradox (sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.[1] In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.[2]
Quote:
Jevons warned that fuel efficiency gains tend to increase, rather than reduce, fuel use. This does not imply that increased fuel efficiency is worthless. Increased fuel efficiency enables greater production and a higher quality of material life. For example, a more efficient steam engine allowed the cheaper transport of goods and people that contributed to the Industrial Revolution. However, if the Khazzoom–Brookes postulate is correct, increased fuel efficiency will not reduce the rate of depletion of fossil fuels.
Quote:
The Jevons paradox indicates that increased efficiency, by itself, is unlikely to reduce fuel use, and that sustainable energy policy must rely on other types of government interventions.[12] As the Jevons paradox only applies to technological improvements that increase fuel efficiency, the imposition of conservation standards that simultaneously increase costs do not cause a paradoxical increase in fuel use. To ensure that efficiency enhancing technological improvements actually reduce overall fuel use, efficiency gains must be paired with some government intervention that reduces demand (e.g., green taxes, a cap and trade program, or higher fuel taxes).
  #25  
Old Mar 23, '12, 1:15 pm
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Lynn, next time your washer dies on you, consider a front loader that has a 1,000rpm spin cycle. They centrifugally spin so much of the water out that drying time is greatly reduced and use less than half the water.

They do cost more and tend to tie long sleeve shirts in infuriating knots though!
  #26  
Old Mar 23, '12, 6:06 pm
lynnvinc lynnvinc is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

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Originally Posted by manualman View Post
Lynn, next time your washer dies on you, consider a front loader that has a 1,000rpm spin cycle. They centrifugally spin so much of the water out that drying time is greatly reduced and use less than half the water.

They do cost more and tend to tie long sleeve shirts in infuriating knots though!
They have those types in Europe and India, and they are top loading (but with a horizontal axis). And you're right; the clothes are practially dry by the time they come out. Also, I remember my mom's washer -- front loading. She had a small laundry room and the dryer was stacked on top of the washer.
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"The Lord God lives before whom I stand."
-- 1 Kings 17:1

"Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

"I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth."
-- St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  #27  
Old Mar 23, '12, 6:17 pm
lynnvinc lynnvinc is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kama3 View Post
That's all fine and cool, but at the macro level we have to wrestle with our old friend, the Jevons Paradox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox
Quote:
In economics, the Jevons paradox (sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.[1] In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.[2]

Quote:
Jevons warned that fuel efficiency gains tend to increase, rather than reduce, fuel use. This does not imply that increased fuel efficiency is worthless. Increased fuel efficiency enables greater production and a higher quality of material life. For example, a more efficient steam engine allowed the cheaper transport of goods and people that contributed to the Industrial Revolution. However, if the Khazzoom–Brookes postulate is correct, increased fuel efficiency will not reduce the rate of depletion of fossil fuels.

Quote:
The Jevons paradox indicates that increased efficiency, by itself, is unlikely to reduce fuel use, and that sustainable energy policy must rely on other types of government interventions.[12] As the Jevons paradox only applies to technological improvements that increase fuel efficiency, the imposition of conservation standards that simultaneously increase costs do not cause a paradoxical increase in fuel use. To ensure that efficiency enhancing technological improvements actually reduce overall fuel use, efficiency gains must be paired with some government intervention that reduces demand (e.g., green taxes, a cap and trade program, or higher fuel taxes).
I know you're right.....which is why I'm against Cap&Trade and in favor of Fee&Dividend .... which could start out very modestly, then as tech advances and there are more and more savings to be had with efficiency, it could be ratcheted up until it really just makes economic sense to go onto solar or wind energy, or "tunnel thru" as in Natural Capitalism and do without the motor altogether.

Hansen talks about Fee & Dividend (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fee_and_dividend ) -- put a modest fee on each barrel of oil and ton of coal as it comes out of the ground or into the port, then divy that money up and give 100% of it back to the people, who could then use it to pay their higher energy costs, or become efficient/conservative & go on alt energy and really be on the road to prosperity.

The closest we have to that in Congress right now is the CLEAR Act "Cap and Dividend" at http://cantwell.senate.gov/issues/CLEARAct.cfm

What do you think about Fee & Dividend, Kama?
__________________
"The Lord God lives before whom I stand."
-- 1 Kings 17:1

"Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

"I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth."
-- St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  #28  
Old Mar 23, '12, 6:47 pm
ManOnFire ManOnFire is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Add nuclear.

Subtract the entertainment and fashion industries, which aren't really necessary, and lately, have become trashier than ever. Save some carbon, save a soul at the same time. It's a win-win that I'm sure many will not tolerate since personal sacrifice is required.
  #29  
Old Mar 23, '12, 7:32 pm
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1AugustSon7 1AugustSon7 is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Encourage more people to become monks and nuns. Encourage modesty and temperance in general. Encourage people to follow the evangelical counsels in general.

None of this, by the way, should be taken as my actually believing in global warning. It certainly should not be taken as my believing that draconian policies should be introduced to justify "mitigating global warming." Environmentalism has become the pawn and tool of the most depraved and tyrannical minds that - even if there was any sort of legitimacy to it - at this point to encourage or even condone it would be to practically support the promotion of evil and godlessness.
  #30  
Old Mar 24, '12, 5:08 am
kama3 kama3 is offline
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Default Re: How can we mitigate global warming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnvinc View Post
What do you think about Fee & Dividend, Kama?
It's certainly a better idea than cap-and-trade.

Though, if I were the king (haha!) I'd simply issue a legal ban on construction of fossil-fueled power plants.

The simpler a law is, the less potential for subversion it generates.
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