Category: Archived Posts

Storing the Sun (March 2009)

In speaking of such feats as storing the sun, we are also discussing methods to bottle wind, yoke water, or cruciblize earth. Accessing the sun’s energy when it is not shining is a matter of modern alchemy—of tapping into the other living and elemental facets of nature. We all owe our existence to the irradiant grace of our nearby star; some of us inherently utilize it more directly than others. Biomass, for instance, is really but a stored, solar-energy depository within a continuum of broad biological and atmospheric cycles. Air can also be pressurized in caverns, and water pumped to elevation or electrolyzed into hydrogen, all with the energy from the sun. As the classical axiom says: energy is neither created nor destroyed; only transformed.

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Solar energy & the future of the San Luis Valley (February 2009)

On Saturday January 17, 2009  the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (SLVEC) and Water Protection Coalition (SLVWPC) co-sponsored a standing-room only presentation and panel discussion in Alamosa regarding the coming boom of solar energy in the Valley. Concerns about mega-scale concentrated solar power (CSP) and what impacts that may have on agricultural water seemed to be the impetus for the well-attended meeting. The national push for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were also considered as a driver for large solar development. While it was apparent the multinational solar industry is coming to the Valley, it was presented as a mixed blessing and something to keep an eye on.

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Great Sand Dunes becomes a National Park: History made on September 13, 2004

Just when it was beginning to look like another two or three years before the Sand Dunes would become a national park, suddenly it was a done deal in just six days in mid-September. The Baca Ranch changed ownership on Friday, September 10 from Farallon’s Vaca Partners to The Nature Conservancy, the interim owner for the Federal Government. And on September 13, the national monument was declared the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

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The alchemy of plant-treated sewage A visit with David Austin and his Living Machines

In a Living Machine®, plants are carefully matched to the right “soil” (an engineered aggregate) to best support their roots and ecology. Most soils have a slightly negative electrical charge, so the positive ions in water adhere to the soils. In wastewater key nutrients like ammonia have positive ions. Ammonia “sticks” to the soil when the wetland is flooded. When drained, the ammonia remains “stuck” in thin films of water. When exposed to air, oxidation happens very quickly—accelerated by the plants and soil. With oxygen, one type of bacteria quickly converts ammonia to nitrate, which other bacteria use in the next flood cycle to consume other pollutants. The plants, roots and aggregate together support the community of healthy, sewage digesting microorganisms.

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Local Weather

Crestone, Colorado
06:4916:49 MST
Feels like: 49°F
Wind: 5mph SE
Humidity: 30%
Pressure: 29.9"Hg
UV index: 0
min 23°F

Upcoming Events

  1. Hearing re: SLVREC vs Citizens

    November 19 - November 22
  2. lha bab duchen (Shakyamuni’s descent from heaven)

    November 19 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  3. Moffat Town public meeting on add’l land annexation

    November 19 @ 6:30 pm
  4. BGPOA EAC meeting

    November 20 @ 10:00 am
  5. Sufi Dhikr

    November 21 @ 4:00 pm

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