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Mark Stacey Baird

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Lent reflection Mark Baird 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters, This lent 2018, I delved deep into one of my faults, presumptuousness. I have been going to the monestary to do my usual solitary deep thinking, really called contemplation, if you walk with Jesus and relate your experiences with ...

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My 4.75 KW solar panel system (installed around April 25th 2016, produced about 8 MWH electricity a year) offsets CO2 pollution (that coal power electricity would generate) equivalent to planting 322 trees. If you want to calculate your footprint, it's very simple. Estimate how much KWH you generate in 1 year, say 9000 kwh like me. Coal power intensity is 820 grams/kwh. Solar power is 41 grams/kwh. A tree absorbs a maximum of 48 pounds of CO2 when mature and grown up on average (young trees can absorb just 10-15 lb). So, to calculate the total 9000 times (820-41)grams/48lb times 454grams/lb=322. All these numbers are approximate, you may produce 9500 kwh one year. If you go vegan, you offset 1.5 tons of CO2, or 3000 lb of CO2 or 62 trees equivalent. :) More on veganism at ►

Mind Blowing: Tesla Solar Tiles to cost less than conventional roof. Get new roof and also cut electricity bill by 50-100%. Instead of paying 20K for a solar system, one can just redo the roof for 20K and get brand new roof and ALSO solar panels. Imagine how many people who always wanted solar for free, and are getting quotes to replace roof within 12 months will want this roof that basically gives them free solar panels. Many will replace roof years earlier, because of this new product, in order to get the nicest looking solar panels and not have to worry about cracked clay tiles or the extremely rare possibility of a cheap company creating a roof leak (or rainy areas where it would be noticed) :) ►

This is the type of impact on climate solar panels produce in sunnier states. In cloudy states and countries you may offset only half the trees, but it is still huge. explains the 820 (coal)-41(rooftop solar)=779 grams per KWH number.

Coal is not bad due to CO2 only, but due to many other things... coal ash, coal mercury, arsenic emissions, and water use. Coal uses thousands of times more water than solar rooftop. Solar panels are recycled in Europe (but they do last 40-70 years, so it's not like a big need now, since most solar panels worldwide were installed last 5 years) - but few since very few solar panels are older than 30 years or 20 years and most people will keep them 40 years or even 60, since efficiency doesn't drop that much each decade.

Below are some reasons for buying your next car electric, installing solar panels (or solar tiles from Tesla) and supporting 100% renewable energy in all nations (via carbon price for example):

1. help humanity survive since absorbed CO2 leads to ocean acidification which kills plankton. Plankton generates 50-80% of oxygen we breathe, so without oxygen we will die

2. help humanity since elevated CO2 levels were shown to impair brain performance of all future humans Today in offices with high CO2 levels (like we will have if no action is taken), people's brain performance decreases.

3. Help humanity as you no longer generate carcinogenic exhaust, otherwise known as smog, which kills millions of people each year and leads to lower IQ and autism ►, as well as Alzheimer, cancer, heart disease, asthma, Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis, Memory Loss, Cognitive Decline as explained in the many studies at Also, explains that 40% of deaths are due to pollution. Smog kills billions earlier than their normal time. Coal fired plants generate most human emissions of mercury and arsenic in the air.

4. save lives since you reduce heart attacks caused by traffic noise Electric cars are much quieter.

5. save humanity from oil wars that destroy the environment and kill countless civilians. Iraq war trillions could have powered all US with solar/wind ►

6. you no longer have to change oil (because there is no oil to change) or spark plugs; no more smog check either; electric cars have 60% less parts, so you will go for repairs much less. Combustion engines are noisy and only 15% efficient; electric motors are 90% efficient.

7. reduce heat and AC costs, because electric cars produce 5 times less heat than combustion engine cars per mile, reducing the heat-island effect in cities

8. bring the end of gas stations that poison the water wells with MTBE or other compounds leading to billions of dollars wasted in cleaning up the well water (example: $0.4 billion settlement ►

9. save money as you spend 4-8 times less money on "fuel" depending what area of the globe at the current low prices of oil. ► If you have enough solar panels, you get free CLEAN fuel for life, since you charge at home and utilities pay you for energy you put on the grid. ► Likewise, Tesla Motors offers free solar ☼ charging for life

10. save money for noble purposes because electric cars are cheaper than many oil cars after the federal and state rebates: in Colorado, you can buy a Nissan Leaf for only 15, 000, while in most other states for 18-21, 000. A Smart EV costs only $12,000 in Colorado, see Mitsubishi i-MieV is only $13,000 in California and $10, 000 in Colorado ►

11. Save money since it is cheaper to buy solar panels over 5-12 years than to pay the electric bill without panels - so you save MONEY and the environment - just choose the best deal, they got 12 year loans for 2-3% interest rate - plus after 12 years you get free electricity for the next 30 years or longer if panels last 60 years which they should.

12. Electric car batteries and solar panels are far greener than alternatives. Battery recycling for today's oil car lead batteries is happening at a 97% rate globally. It will be even better for the far safer lithium car batteries. Lithium Ion batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste. Lithium ion batteries are made from nontoxic lithium carbonate (used in ovenware), nontoxic cobalt oxide (in pottery glaze), nontoxic graphite (in pencils), and a polymer (plastic) membrane. The most toxic components are the electrolyte and lithium cobalt oxide, neither of which are persistent in the environment and both of which are increasingly being replaced by safer compounds. Wang Chuan-Fu, CEO of BYD, demonstrated the safety of the electrolyte in their lithium ion batteries by drinking it. Zero Motorcycles founder Neal Saiki said that the Lithium Ion batteries they use are safe to eat.

Solar is way better than coal, oil or natural gas which spew 100-1000 times more carcinogens in the environment per unit of energy produced, besides far more CO2. How long does a solar panel system have to operate to recover the energy used for making the panel? Energy payback for rooftop panels is 1-4 years depending on type. Assuming a life of 30-60 years for a panel, that means that most energy produced will be free from pollution of any sort ►

13. save time, thus money, since you are allowed to use the carpool lanes to avoid traffic if you drive an electric car, in many countries, even if there is only 1 person in the car. 

14. Natural gas and Coal can be replaced with solar-wind immediately:) as a public health priority, especially since they are cheaper in many areas than fossil fuels and storage eliminates the need for sun-wind 24-7 ► In China's worst areas, smog makes people live only 4 decades ► Coal-fired plants lead to birth defects in China, see the 2 min video ► In all nations, including USA, people near coal-fired plants often die of cancer at 45 or so, see the 10 min video ► Coal pollution leads to cancer, asthma, autism (mercury), etc. Clean coal doesn't exist ►

15. Germany increased its solar capacity 16000 times between 1990 and 2012 It's possible. In 2014, Denmark generated 39% electricity from wind ► For comparison, the current renewables percentage in the US 21%, India 30%, China 25%, Japan 12%, Russia 15% (hydro), Mexico 26%, UK 25%, Canada 60% (hydro), Portugal 50% (hydro+wind), Ghana 75% (hydro), Spain 45% (wind-solar-hydro), New Zealand 80% (hydro+geoth+wind), All Africa 32% (hydro), Germany 36%, Italy 43% (solar-wind-hydro), Sweden 57%, Finland 37%, Brazil 90% (hydro), Iceland 100% (hydro+geothermal), Paraguay & Norway & Lesotho & Bhutan 100% (hydro).

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St Benedict's rule
When I first started going to the monestary I had a vision of 3 men standing in front of me while I slept, I was conscious of where I was and I couldn't hear what they were talking about but one guy was clearly disagreeing with the others.  I continued to r...

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New project! Celtic cross garden walking meditation. Fund raising and renovations.

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I am wondering what the rewards are?

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Our new goat

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Just trying out video

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Our plan for a minor seminary in Jerusalem is still on the table. It's good to get news from the Church in Israel.
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