Talkin' Engery
June 1, 2004 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Talk Energy is a filter site for discussion about sustainable energy. Their goal is to get a million people worldwide talking about energy. Members can post to a main discussion page, create profile pages including their own journals and indentify their connections with other members. The chattiest people get free samples of neat products to review, closing the communication loop for green companies. They're also giving away $50,000 USD in home energy renovation funds to one lucky person.

Innovators have their own space to collaborate on ideas and projects. They're even offering partnerships consisting of private discussion areas for any non profit that wants one.
posted by will (7 comments total)
A million people seems like a big number, but I wonder if it's that hard. I've read estimates that there are 50 million people in North America and 100 million people in Europe interested in sustainable energy.

Oil prices are high and the mideast doesn't seem like it's going to stabalize anytime soon. Perhaps Talk Energy is coming at the right time.
posted by will at 8:12 PM on June 1, 2004

I couldn't resist - somebody would have posted it soon anyway.

This is a good post, even better for contrast with Enron.
posted by troutfishing at 8:53 PM on June 1, 2004

You make a great segway poster, trout.
posted by will at 9:14 PM on June 1, 2004

Trout the segway, he stands on his own.

Ok so I joined the filter, made some replies and a FPP. Thanks.

Im on #2 diesel fuel oil at my house which is dirty and expensive so looking at wood pellet stove for this coming winter as an alternate. I called the stove installer and he is booming in early summer allready, everyones suddenly busting the doors open on finding alternatives with the way energy prices are going.
posted by stbalbach at 10:25 PM on June 1, 2004

stbalbach, will -

Damned if I can't find it right now, but in Paul Hawkin and Amory Lovins book "Natural Capitalism" there's a beautiful three-factor graph which depicts

1) Price of oil from the first big oil price shock - in the early 1970's - to the present

2) Time.

3) Oil Consumption.

In the decade from the late 1970's up until the mid to late 1980's (when oil prices began to decline) US oil consumption increased scarcely at all and - during several years - actually declined a little.

Yet.....the US economy grew throughout that near-decade !

Americans learned to produce more - dramatically so - with the same amount of oil.

This is the efficiency side of the whole energy equation, and it's an area of VERY fat profitability that's opening up (it was profitable before, too, but now MUCH more so).

A good deal of all the oil burned around the world is simply released as waste heat and only partially combusted gasses.

I'm joining that darned filter too.

stbalbach - here's the cheapest and simplest solar system I've heard of, (all the more so because the heat gain vs. radiant heat lost equation is very simple - you can quickly determine more or less the exact size of the box (described below) that you will need.


Heating your house with a passive hyperinsulated solar-collector box.

1) Hyperinsulated box (a room, really) attached facing South, to one side of your house (it needn't actually be attached, it's just easier and cheaper to do so).

2) The South-facing wall of the box is a multiple pane high insulation value window (insulating gasses such as Argon between panes, IR coating on the innermost pane facing into the box)

3) Inside the box is an array of shelves with many hundreds or thousands of clear plastic milk jugs filled with water.

4) As necessary, provided the ambient heat in the box is sufficiently high, a thermostatically controlled fan blows the warm air into the house. During the summer, this air - hot then - can be used to generate electricity.

5) ?

6) Profit !
posted by troutfishing at 8:59 AM on June 2, 2004

Also - I wrote a giant comment in my "Enron's potty-mouth traders" post above this one which is relevant here, at least for a question about changing the ground rules of energy trading if not for a comparison of human market economies to the biological "market" .
posted by troutfishing at 10:07 AM on June 2, 2004

They should get rid of their 1970s-style graphics on their front page, though. Actually...that whole front page could do with a redesign....
posted by Gnatcho at 11:45 AM on June 2, 2004

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