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Essays and Other Articles

This section archives articles and essays on topics that don't quite fit into the other categories on energy. They include articles on high-mileage vehicles, chain-reaction accidents, our neighbors, Tule fog, and . . . well . . . other subjects.

Serendipity or How We Survived a Thunderstorm and Ate a Delicious Bear Claw

August 8, 2022,   by Paul Gipe

We’re continuing our Pandemic Peregrinations to explore our region of California. To that end we try head out most Thursdays for day trips in our Chevy Bolt. On this trip we drove to Mount Pinos in...[more]

Category: Essays

Alan Simpson’s Insightful Views on Energy Policy and British Politics

July 17, 2022,   by Paul Gipe

Alan Simpson, as he likes to say, is a ‘recovering politician and lapsed economist’. You can his find stinging critiques of energy policy, the lack thereof in Britain, and British politics in general...[more]

Category: Essays

Robert's Thoughts on Petrostates, Dirty Governments & Superyacht owning Tossers!

June 15, 2022,   by Robert Llewellyn

We asked Robert for his views on petrostates, dirty governments and people who own superyachts. Brace yourselves!

Category: Essays, Fossil Fuels

When Slide Rules Ruled

June 2, 2022,   by Paul Gipe

I don’t remember how slide rules came up in a conversation recently. It may have been when Nancy recalled her dreaded chemistry classes in college and noted that she never learned how to use the...[more]

Category: Essays

Stick It to Putin--Drive Electric Now

March 21, 2022,   by Paul Gipe

You can—and should--do more to help Ukraine than waving a digital flag on social media. You can stick it to Putin, weaken his war machine, and drive a stake through the heart of oil oligarchs,...[more]

Category: Electric Vehicles, EV Articles by Paul Gipe, Essays

WWEA and Global100RE call for renewable energy equipment for immediate humanitarian relief in Ukraine

March 18, 2022,   by Stefan Gsanger

In order to help civilians, the World Wind Energy Association WWEA and the Global 100% Renewable Energy Platform Global100RE, supported by Global100RE Ambassador Ruslana, are calling for donations of...

Category: Essays

A German View on the Invasion of Ukraine

February 24, 2022,   by Hans-Josef Fell

The geopolitical upheaval surrounding Ukraine are in part the result of the EU's dependence on fossil fuels and the faltering transition to renewable energy.[more]

Category: Essays, Fossil Fuels

Shoulder Surgery—Yep, Sometimes It’s Needed

December 20, 2021,   by Paul Gipe

This may be more than you want to know. I had my doubts about my upcoming surgery for a torn rotator cuff. It had been six months since I injured myself and I was beginning to think that maybe I...[more]

Category: Essays

Preben Maegaard—the Father of the Folkecenter--Has Died

April 30, 2021,   by Paul Gipe

Preben Maegaard died 25 March 2021. He was 84. His death likely won't mean much to most North Americans. After all he wasn't a household name like reality TV stars Caitlyn Jenner or Kanye West. It...[more]

Category: News on Wind Energy, Essays, News on Large Wind

The lazy (and incorrect) use of the word "subsidy"

December 4, 2020,   by Jérôme Guillet

A "subsidy" is a straightforward allocation of taxpayer money by a public authority to prop up the production of a good or service by the private sector, used to offset market failures and...

Category: Essays, Renewable Energy

We apologize for any inconvenience

September 29, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

Times are hard. Covid-19 stalks the land. People are out of work. Homelessness is rising. Politics is splitting the country apart. And now this![more]

Category: Essays

2020 Democratic Party Platform on Renewable Energy

September 8, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

The campaign for President of the United States is in full swing. We've endured two--mostly virtual--national party conventions. (Full disclosure: I didn't watch either.) And the parties have issued...[more]

Category: Essays, Renewable Energy

Report of My Death is Greatly Exaggerated

August 18, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

The Daily Examiner, part of the Murdoch News Corp empire in New South Wales, reported my demise on 13 August.[more]

Category: Essays

Covid-19: Back with a Vengeance--National Guard Called in

August 6, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

It's bad here. How bad is it? California's National Guard was called in to help area hospitals handle the flood of Covid-19 patients, reports the Bakersfield Californian.[more]

Category: Essays

The Other Pandemic Hitting the Valley--Parkinson's Disease

August 4, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

While Covid-19 cases are exploding in Kern County, there's another health crisis stealthily stalking us: Parkinson's disease.[more]

Category: Essays

Kern County, Indiana, and Pennsylvania Covid-19 Update

July 15, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

I live in Kern County, California and I have family that lives in Madison County, Indiana and Dauphin and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania.[more]

Category: Essays

Bakersfield: Hospital staffing an emerging concern in Kern's COVID-19 effort

July 9, 2020,   by Stacey Shepard

It may not be just the number of ICU beds but the staff needed to care for the sick that creates a Covid-19 crisis in Kern County.

Category: Essays

Covid-19 in Full Flower in Kern County and in the USA

July 8, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

Three months of a disease with an exponential growth rate is a lifetime. My oh my how things have changed. Today the front-page news in the Bakersfield Californian is that one of the two hospital...[more]

Category: Essays

Kern County California and Madison County Indiana Covid-19 Update

April 20, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

I live in Kern County, California. I was raised in Madison County, Indiana and still have family there. As the Coronavirus sweeps across the continent, my concern focuses on these two quite different...[more]

Category: Essays

It's Here: Covid-19 Reaches Kern County

April 6, 2020,  

Confirmed cases in Kern County, population 900,000, reached 100 last week. Today, Monday, we reached 230 with two deaths.[more]

Category: Essays

Time Change Works for Me: Fewer Homeless About

March 10, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

The time change works for me. It's now dark again at 6.00 am here in California when I head out for my morning ride. [more]

Category: Essays

The Need for and the Value of the World Wind Energy Association

March 2, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

The World Wind Energy Association was formed because existing organizations were narrowly focused on the often arcane and specialized needs of the commercial wind industry. There was no organization...[more]

Category: News on Large Wind, News on Community Power, Essays

Text: A Vote for Sanders is a Vote for Our Renewable Future

February 12, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

A decade ago Bernie Sanders was the only US Senator who understood what the Germans were doing and how we could do it here. He was the only one who would listen. I know, because I am the one who told...[more]

Category: Renewable Energy, Essays

COMMUNITY VOICES: A vote for Sanders is a vote for our renewable future

February 12, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

A decade ago Bernie Sanders was the only senator who understood what the Germans were doing and how we could do it here. He was the only one who would listen. I know, because I am the one who told...

Category: Essays, Renewable Energy

Wood McKenzie Confirm Gipe-Freehling Estimate of Missed Opportunity from Middle East Wars

February 4, 2020,   by Paul Gipe

Research by the consulting firm Wood McKenzie confirms the approximate opportunity cost of converting the US to 100% renewable energy in electricity lost to wars in the Middle East that I and Robert...[more]

Category: Essays, Renewable Energy

Beating Swords into Plowshares or Wind Turbines & Solar Panels--We Could Have Done It

December 31, 2019,   by Paul Gipe

We Could Have 100% Renewable Electricity If We Had Invested in Wind and Solar Instead of War in the Middle East. Yes, the United States could be generating 100% of its electricity from renewable...[more]

Category: Essays, Renewable Energy

Beating swords into plowshares or wind turbines & solar panels: We could have done it

December 19, 2019,   by Paul Gipe

Yes, the United States could be generating 100% of its electricity from renewable energy if we had used the money spent on our ill-advised wars in the Middle East to build wind and solar systems, as...

Category: Essays, Renewable Energy, News on Wind Energy, News on Solar Energy

NR 44-4612: One of the Ones that Didn't Make it Home

September 30, 2019,   by Paul Gipe

On the glacial plain just north of the High Tatras Mountains that separates Poland from Slovakia is the village of Koniówka. Unlike the surrounding foothills with their ski slopes and second-home...[more]

Category: Essays

Never a Dull Moment--Shooting on the Bike Path at 6.25 am

July 30, 2019,   by Paul Gipe

Yep, can't make this stuff up. No one would believe you.[more]

Category: Essays

Unearthly: The Little Lake Earthquakes in the Back Country

July 8, 2019,   by Paul Gipe

It was the sound you noticed first, an unearthly rumble that grew louder but never quite reaching a crescendo as it neared you. Then the ground beneath your feet moved. The solid earth we stood on...[more]

Category: Essays

Copes is No More: The Darkness Descends as the Last of the Independent Grocers Bites the Dust

January 16, 2018,   by Paul Gipe

We'd seen the signs before we left. For the past several months we watched the inventory disappear. Then they took out some rows of shelving, but the inventory continued to shrink. All signs we'd...[more]

Category: Essays

Justice in America: If You're Going to Steal--Steal Big

April 14, 2014,   by Paul Gipe

Charles Keating died recently. His death marked a milestone in American political history. His crimes and those of my nephew illustrates one of the truisms in America often attributed to Al Capone....[more]

Category: Other Articles, Essays

On the Writing Life

April 9, 2014,   by Paul Gipe

I began writing as a way to explore the world, learn something new, and make a difference. It has been that--and more. I've been more or less freelancing since the mid 1970s when I published an...[more]

Category: Essays

10,000 miles per gallon of gasoline: Shell's Ecomarathon

April 11, 2008,   by Paul Gipe

On Aprill 11 and 12, 2008 teams from highschools, colleges, and universities from across the continent were scrambling in the garages at the Fontana raceway preparing their cars for the Shell's...[more]

Category: Essays

With the Lyonnais: My Big Fancy French Dinner

March 1, 2003,  

  The following is a report to family and friends form a lecture tour to Lyon in southern France. In celebration of surviving another conference venue from hell I treated myself to a fancy...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Lyonnais

February 27, 2003,  

  The following is a report to family and friends form a lecture tour to Lyon in southern France. Ok, I am oriented now. Couldn't get my bearings yesterday, but I've got my see legs back. One...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Irish 01

November 1, 2002,  

  The following is a report to friends from a lecture tour to Ireland, to Carrick-on-Shannon to be specific. To a black crow it's offspring are bright Or so it goes in Irish, a form of...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Irish 02

November 1, 2002,  

  The following is a report to friends from a lecture tour to Ireland, to Carrick-on-Shannon to be specific. Carrick-on-Shannon may be a regional center, but it's still a village. We took...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Irish 03

November 1, 2002,  

Tea Means Dinner & Other Anomalies[more]

Category: Travel

With the Catalans or How to Become a Sardanista

September 1, 2002,  

  Well it was hot during much of the day but it cooled off in late afternoon when I was touring the city on the top deck of a "bus touristic". Nancy would be proud. Though I missed the walking tour...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Kiwis

June 1, 2002,  

  The following are note to my friends from a lecture tour to Wellington, New Zealand in the summer of 2002. No, no, no, I am not working for the CIA. But if they paid enough it might make...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Kiwis for Dinner

June 1, 2002,  

  The following are note to my friends from a lecture tour to Wellington, New Zealand in the summer of 2002. A few weeks ago Nancy and I dined atop the Reichstag with a grand view of Berlin and...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Aussies

June 1, 2002,  

  The following is a report for friends from a lecture tour to Australia in the summer of 2002. While sitting in the Adelaide airport I thought I'd try keying in some more notes from my visit...[more]

Category: Travel

Strolling Melbourne

June 1, 2002,  

  The following is a report to friends from a lecture tour to Australia and New Zealand in the summer of 2002. Travel broadens the mind, so they say. It can narrow the seat as well. Let's just...[more]

Category: Travel

With the Tassies

June 1, 2002,  

Report from the end of the earth--or just about as close as you really want to go.[more]

Category: Travel

Get to Know Your Neighbors

January 15, 2002,  

Lupe knocked at the door yesterday. Lupe's our postman. If anyone knows what's going on in our neighborhood, it's Lupe. Lupe was concerned that a reclusive neighbor hadn't picked up her mail, nor...[more]

Category: Essays

Tule Fog or Three Strikes and You Could Be Out

January 12, 2002,   by Paul Gipe

You've read about those massive chain-reaction accidents. Miles of mangled vehicles on Germany's autobahn, Italy's autostrada, New Jersey's Turnpike, or California's I-5 in the San Joaquin Valley....[more]

Category: Essays

Dancing in Roskilde

November 22, 1997,  

  The following is one of several reports we filed with friends while we lived in northwest Denmark. Roskilde is on the same island as Copenhagen. 97/11/22 Cold, gray, windy. That's the...[more]

Category: Travel

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