2/17/2010

ALTERNATIVE ENERGIES











"Alternative energies? What a bore! What can one say about it?" This is what most students say about unit2. I think it is a very important topic so why not try and look at it in a funnier way to get the most of it and learn?

Up there you have some cartoons which can give you some hints to write and here you have a funny video:
The Alternative Energy Comedy Show rocks! Stand-up comedy about wind power, solar panels and biofuels ain't funny unless your host is a big, beer swilling guy like Chuck Roy.
What's your opinion on this?
Do you think these energies will improve our enviroment? Why?
Share a joke, a funny anecdote or anyway, drop us a line!!

36 comments:

  1. sob! waah! Didn't you like the cartoons??
    No environmentalists around?
    SOB !!!

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  2. Environmentalists? What are you talking about? Luisa, without nuclear power, how are we supposed to turn on or charge our TV, fridge, microwave oven, espresso machine, PC, laptop, electric toothbrush, alarmclock, breadmaker, yougurtmaker, popcornmaker, toaster, mobile, ipod, DVDplayer, CD player, MP3, MP4, FBI, CBS, whatever...?

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  3. L. Borreguero2/20/10, 10:46 PM

    Solar energy? Aerogenrators? Using less gadgets?
    People could live without them only 20-30 years ago... :-)
    Lucía.
    TAR

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  4. Aerogenerators? Is that cow gas energy? :DD
    Ok, ok, enough is enough. I was just trying to tease a little bit.
    I live quite close to two nuclear plants and I'm very concerned about nuclear energy. No matter what they say, it's an undeniable fact that from time to time there's an accident in some nuclear plant. Security is not the only issue: toxic waste cannot be destroyed and radiation remains active for thousands of years. Sooner or later, petrol will end. It's time to bet on cleaner and non-finite energy resources.

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  5. Cow what? .... :-)
    So...are you for or against alternative energies? which one or ones do you think are the best? And the other students?
    Thanks Diego!

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  6. I'm definitely supporting cow fart energy. It´s natural (100% organic), reliable (ever heard of a cow that doesn´t fart?),cheap (except in the Poles, there're cows everywhere). There are several benefits from using this alternative energy: Unemployed could be transferred to Cow fart industry. Imagine those workers showing proudly their 'Official cow fart collector' diploma!
    You can relax watching and talking to those nice and big cows every time you go to fill the tank of your car at the cow gas station:
    -Good morning, Mathilda. Hope your intestines are at full throttle today!-.
    There could be, though, some negative consequences. Economic problems could raise because of financial power and leadership shifting from the USA to Switzerland. Who knows? But, overall, it's the best alternative energy available.
    Yes indeed, cow fart is the future!

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  7. L. Borreguero2/24/10, 7:16 PM

    Diego!!!! :-D
    You always make our day happier even practicing English, which is the best part!!

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  8. I think to use the sea power should be a very interesting energy. Imagine the waves moving the whole time, the tides..I think if I am not wrong to have read about some sort of wind-mills that were going to be used under the sea and I thought it could be a great idea as it would be a very green energy. Probably salt would spoil the mechanism, who knows.
    cheers
    Paloma B

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  9. Elena de los Cobos2/25/10, 9:38 PM

    In my opinion, Solar Energy is the best alternative energy as in Spain we should take profit of the number of hours of sunlight. Wind Energy, I think, is too expensive and the energy it produces doesn´t last for a long time. Respecting oil, I was born and lived in Puertollano(Ciudad Real) where there was an oil refinery so, although I think it´s not the
    cheaper and the cleaner energy I remember the saying:"Those who live in glass houses shouldn´t trhough stones". My father was an engineer and he directed the factory for several years so...

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  10. L. Borreguero2/26/10, 9:30 AM

    Thanks Paloma and Elena for your comments.
    Have you all realized we are not really sure about which is the best alternative energy, the one which pollutes less or nothing at all?
    Do you all agree?

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  11. Hey, Mrs.Borreguero, don't talk for me! I'm completely sure about which is the best alternative energy!
    All you need is a stupid cow, a fart collector and a 'F.T.E.G' (Fart To Energy Generator).
    Shortage of power in your home? No problem, just feed her with some extra beans or lentils and you'll have the Swiss Trombone Orchestra playing in your farm all day long!

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  12. Hello everybody,
    I think that the oil won't be replaced with renewable energies for the moment but that this last one will be complementary. The fact is that renewable energies are very expensive and most of them are subsidized. This is a pity because we are gradually polluting more and more our planet and this didn't occur some yeas ago because they hadn't so many gadgets to run on oil.

    Cheers,
    Cristina González

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  13. Hello again:

    I have been reading the BBC Learning English and by chance I have found something very strange about alternative energies. Apparently in Brazil use the sugar cane to create a kind of energie that replace to the car oil and in addition is cheaper althout unfortunately this organic matter doen't grow all year. I quote word for word:

    "A successful alternative for car fuel was developed in Brazil many years ago. The ethanol, produced with sugar cane, reduces in 90% the quantity of CO2 generated by gasoline. This calculation includes the consequent CO2 during all production cicle: from the sugar cane cultivation to the ready to use etanol transportation. Nowadays, 90% of the cars fabricated in Brazil are equipped with "Flex" tecnology. The engines are created to run with gas, etanol or any mixture of both. Brazilian drivers can freely choose between the fuels. When you get to the gas station, the big advantage for the etanol is that, beyond being really more green, it is also better for the pockets: it's price is 20% cheaper."

    As I have never heard about this kind of energie, I have sought in the internet and I have found a very interesting place. I attach the link in case you feel like read it.

    http://www.ergon.com.au/ergonia/energysources_sugarcane.shtml

    Cheers,
    Cristina gonzález

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  14. The problem with alternative energies is that sometimes they are not as ecologic as we think. Fields full of monstruous solar pannels or planted with lots of windmills are just another way to displace animals or harvests like cities or highways do. To use the natural energies we have to change the natural landscape.
    There's a great example in the Kárahnjúkar Project, a great reservoir that has been built in Iceland to exploit the power of one of the most large icelandic rivers changing the whole landscape. So it is difficult to know what is good or wrong for us. Everything need a carefull study. In the meantime we should try to waste less energy... just in case.
    You can read more about Kárahnjúkar Project in:
    http://savingiceland.puscii.nl/?p=234&language=en

    Belén

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  15. L. Borreguero2/28/10, 6:38 PM

    Cristina,
    I've read what you tell us and it is really something I did not know!!
    I remember having read many years ago there water engines, which were the cheapest regarding water but on the other hand we need water to drink, for agriculture, etc. and besides the engine technology was very expensive. I remember another one involving gorse (tojo in Spanish)but again even if they were a lot of them, the technology was expensive. :-(
    And imagine: could we run out of water/ gorse if we all used it as petrol, for instance??

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  16. L. Borreguero2/28/10, 6:52 PM

    That's right, Belén, very good point.
    I have always thought, for instance, that wind power with those huge blades, was great, did not pollute, etc...
    but now I know they are a bit noisy, they are not good for birds, there is not a long experience about how well they work or their quality or what happens when they break into pieces, how often they get on fire, how wind varies and how this affects them, etc.
    You are right Belén: what is good or bad for us?
    May be it is not the kind of energy, may be we should change our attitude, pollute much less, be more enviromental friendly?
    Could you do without your car, without planes to travel, with a lower central heating in winter, without...?

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  17. Those are great questions! I think it would be hard to me to live without technology. Two years ago I saw an interesting documentary about this subject: "Recipes for disaster", about a finnish couple and their two children that decide to live without petrol and plastic for a year. They sold their car, avoided planes and try not to buy products made or packed with plastic. It proved to be harder than it was expected. I highly recommend this film! You can see the trailer in here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9ecxtr_8b4

    Belén

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  18. Víctor Turégano3/2/10, 8:27 PM

    I agree with one of the Anonymous (you may write your name below, in "Select profile", choosing "Name/URL") that it is undesirable to transform our landscapes into plantations of solar panels or windmills. If you consider it, it's but a further stage in the invasion of the country by the cities: first we traced roads and railways along the fields, then we had to widen them more and more, and fill their sides with petrol stations, restaurants, hostels and all kind of services; besides, we take all our waste there, where its smell can't reach us, apart from placing there all the industries we need to fill our needs but don't like to have close to our homes. In this next stage, we are going to transform ancestral agricultural landscapes into ugly industrial estates, in order to attain an electrical production which is able to feed our insatiable hunger of products, necessary or not. This is, I fear, the death of the country as we have known it. It's not a sudden death, but the patient is already at his last death rattles. Or, instead, we could think of the whole process as a transformation of the country into city: the fields will be no more fields; every place in the world will be urban.
    Sorry for my pesimistic point of view. Probably I'm an incurable romantic who still values silence, and to have the option of turning my back on all this technological world, at least from time to time. What we are doing, in sum, is expanding our technological fundamentalism to the most remote places; I name it "fundamentalism" because it does not allow any alternative to exist besides it.
    Anyway, I think technology could play a more positive role in the world (a fantastic role indeed!) if only human beings in general had a more sensitive approach to nature, not reducing it to a mere economic resource.

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  19. I remeber that too, Belén, many things were not that hard to achieve but some others...do you think, students, that nowadays we could do without our cells? lap tops? cars?...

    You are very right, Víctor, we are a bit like non-stop invaders... :-) I'll borrow your words: we shoud be more sensitive, feel a real part of nature and feel it like, almost, part of us...
    Are we daydreamers???
    Any down to earth comment????? :-)

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  20. Last night TV3 aired a documentary called 'Who killed the electric car?'. I'm absolutley angry, outraged, shocked, by the facts presented. There was an efficient and reliable eletric car called EV1 commercialized by General Motors running in California from 1996 to 2001. Did anybody know this? GM finally recovered and destroyed all the units. I wasn't sure about the Major Car-Petrol Industry conspiracy against electric cars. But it's true. The documentary is eye-opening and jaw-droping, a MUST SEE to know in which kind of society we live in.
    Here's a link to some info about the film. ( http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car%3F .
    I repeat: this film IS A MUST SEE!
    Regards.

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  21. This is another interesting point to talk about.
    As Diego says, it seems to be conspiracies against many issues regarding alternative energies. Many say it is because there is a lot of money backing all this petro industry.
    Has any of you other info about any other rejected good ideas to save energy or on alternative energies?

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  22. Inma Morales3/8/10, 8:51 PM

    Hello you all!
    I've gone through your opinions and I agree with most things you said. But at the same time, I get the feeling we're focusing on the great landscape and missing the details. I mean, there's little I can do to promote electrical cars or the implementation of a certain technology instead of some other. However, there's a big something I can do: I can reduce my consumption of plastic containers, I can buy fairtrade goods instead of those ones manufactured in Chinese sweatshops (which are so very polluting!), etc.
    I came across this site a couple of months ago: THE STORY OF STUFF PROJECT. It's an eye-opening look into consumerism and its effects on the Earth. Here's the link:
    http://www.storyofstuff.com/index.php

    And here's some info on eco-houses:
    http://www.oekohaus.net/

    And a series of documentaries by the BBC on global warming:
    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1ACA685C1E8E8010&search_query=Meltdown+A+Global+Warming+Journey

    And, finally (I promise), a funny pic on global warming (afraid you might need it after watching the docs, mates ¬¬):
    http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/f/d/1/gw_proof.jpg

    Read you later!

    (Hmmm... hope I'm on my way to get that 5% ;b)

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  23. hi everyone, I have been through your comments and I couldn't agree more with most of you. Diego what is that about supporting cow fart? are you kidding? it sounds very much like the man in the dialogue suggesting feet pressing as an alternative energy. Is that true?
    Anyway, changing the subject I have always wondered how comes that being Spain so much dependant on imported oil energy, our government doesn't spend more money on I+D projects on solar energy...we, luckily, have so much sun. We should make more out of it.
    Regards,
    Carmen Escolar

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  24. Hey! I admire you all. I think I don't know about many of the concepts you are talking here about. Anyway, when I see the large solar fields, for example, an idea use to come to my mind: I love them because they represent the future and less polution, but I had not thought that they really affect the landscape. And another idea comes to me: alternative energy is very expensive, why? Shouldn't we use the nature in order to keep our planet far for destruction? shouldn't it be one of the main aims of politics?. And making a joke.... wouldn't you like to live like the flintsones? they used technologies without polluting the plantet. Maybe we should think about to use that kind of inventions.

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  25. Omg!! some mistakes in my post.. jaja.. flintstones; planet; we should think about the use of those inventions... :-S I am sorry!.

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  26. Inma,
    I liked the eco-houses!!Germany is a leader in all this stuff.And I had a great laugh when looking at the joke you sent us. I have seen it somewhere and it is very funny. A pinch of humour is always welcome here!!
    I recommend to all of you "the story of stuff" and the other stories: straight to the point and easy to understand. Good.

    Carmen! Are you going to be partners in crime with Diego...? My! It stinks!! ;-)

    Grace,
    You are right, a lot of our students are a true source of information and know many things, so it is a pleasure to learn from all of you when you tell us these surprising and curious events in your comments.
    Yes! I loved the Flintstones, may be the very first enviromentalists in cartoons planet!!!

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  27. Hi Lucia, don't get me wrong I have no such an intention, I was just wandering if what Diego said it is really true.

    By the way, I am a fan of the Flintstones too!!!
    Carmen Escolar

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  28. Inma Morales3/13/10, 5:16 PM

    WOW! I love the Flinstones, but there's something I love even better, if that's possible: Sesame Street. Lend me a couple of minutes to show you this sketch: "The King Who Wasted Paper":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBDmalhWilo

    Enjoy it! ;D

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  29. By the way, this morning I heard in the radio that in a Spanish University they have discovered a way to produce energy through nanotechnology. I don't know the details, but it seems that it will allow to produce batteries 10 times smaller than regular ones. And it also seems that it is environment-friendly.
    Anyway, I think that it will not beat cow fart energy. :-DDDDDDDD

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  30. Hey Inmma! What a lovely link. Also I love Sesame Street, and this tale is really wonderful.
    We should get conciencious about how many paper we waste everyday, and how our woods are disappearing. What would we do if we had only one tree in the world?. For me it is a very good invention the electronic book, although I am a lover of paper books, but I understand we waste too many paper, we are really like that king. Let's try to do our best.
    Grace.

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  31. Hello everyone;

    I´m a newcomer to this blog and I´m not sure to be doing it right, however I´d like to say something about this topic, although I´m absolutely for finding new alternative sources of energy to replace the old and almost extinguished petrol, the urgent problem nowadays is to reduce our energy comsumption.
    I think that a new subject should be taught in primary schools in order to educate our children and make them environmentally concious.

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  32. Isabel Bosoko3/25/10, 9:10 PM

    hello there,

    this is a very interesting topic. I have read your comments about this theme, at least , every one has an opinion that we as humans need to change and the invoroment is in danger. Every idea , every decision to save energy will help our planet.

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  33. Carmen, I'm glad you like the Flintstones as well.
    Inma!!! I was about to leave you all that link with this story!!! It is a nice one! I hope the other students go and watch it. My daughter loved it too!
    Diego, I hope we can get environment-friendly batteries very soon. No comments as for the rest... :-DDD
    Grace, so you are joining our Sesame St. club!! :-)
    Newcomer, You are right and I tell you something that will make you feel better: children (Many Primary students mailnly are really aware)are almost innate environmentally concious. I guess it's adults influence what makes them forget about it.
    Isabel, Thanks, as you point out, the most important thing is that we are aware and willing to make things better, specially regarding this topic.

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  34. Hello everyone.
    Being and topic that has never been of my interest I find your posts quite inspiring and I have learnt a lot. I do agree with most of you, however I think that the day when we life only of alternative energies is still very far away. I would love it to be otherwise.
    One of my fellow students wrote about a conspiracy against electronic cars, I do agree, and I go even further when I write that the conspiracy goes even further and not only concern cars but anything that has to do with big oil or electric companies around the globe.
    I normally don´t talk about this issue but I did my bit against them on the 27th when I join millions of people around the globe and I switched off all electronic devices at home. I felt great because while doing something for the planet I was stopping big companies from getting profits for endangering the planet.
    This is my opinion.
    Marisa Gordillo cavacasillas
    Uned Mérida.

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  35. Thank you Marisa for your comments!!

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