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Solving the Troy Michigan solar house problem: the shill way, the Al Gore way, the effective American way

Drudge is currently linking to "Troy's celebrated solar house left in dark/Facility touted as next big thing still shut" (link) about a $900,000 (and over $1000/per square foot) green energy showcase in Troy Michigan that was built by students from Lawrence Technological University. It was supposed to be completely off the grid, generating solar power but the pipes burst during the winter for an unknown reason - a few explanations are offered including human error - and it remains shuttered and unsafe.

There are three basic ways to approach this:
1. The energy industry shill/useful idiot way. This is currently the default Republican approach and can be seen from some here. It consists of going "ha ha".

2. The Al Gore way. That involves spending trillions of dollars on a massive project, jetting around the world several times, trying to end the careers of those who raise questions about global warming, and mandating that everyone lives in a house like that or face the wrath of the Suede/Denim Secret Police.

3. The smart, American way to do things would be to realize that the problems with this specific house are probably a fairly easy-to-solve engineering problem. And, it's to realize that using solar and other forms of alternative energy - as long as it's sensible - is in our long-term best interest. And, to fund research into these areas at the same time as making it easier for private companies to reduce the costs and increase the efficiency of the technology, but at the same time as not making that yet another government boondoggle involving connected contractors wasting money. And, to make use of such houses optional rather than calling in the Suede/Denim Secret Police.

The last is also the way that the Republicans could take this issue away from the Democrats, but - as with immigration - they're too corrupt and/or too stupid to do it.

Fri, 05/15/2009 - 13:51 · Importance: 6

Sat, 05/16/2009 - 06:45
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

Al will get his way, "after all we are nothing but money", to our low life government of foreign ruling pigs, the soviet government which is now in power and will never be removed is the word of senseless and mass dim witted alien third world "Corruption". so Al Gore will make billion off your back and your kids backs.

Sat, 05/16/2009 - 14:21
Jhoffa_

BAWWWWWW! Old man winter made my asshole bleed! Sincerely, the students of Lawrence Technological University.

Fri, 06/05/2009 - 18:47
Jpotts

"The smart, American way to do things would be to realize that the problems with this specific house are probably a fairly easy-to-solve engineering problem." Ummmm...no. The problem here is that you can't polish a turd. Solar energy collection has been under development now for nearly 100 years, tand the best we can get is comething like 18% efficeincy. The house was only 800 sq. ft. - which is tiny for house - and cost nearly $900,000 to build. That's because solar energy is best suited for those places that have lots of sunlight. Unfortunatly, Michigan is not one of those places. The "fairly easy to solve" engineering problem requires technology that basically doesn't exist, is unproven, is unstable, or cannot be easily manufactured. That is, unless the students have developed a machine that controls the weather ala Dr. Evil.