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Thread: Geoffrey B. Small

  1. #581

    Default New Works for Persuade in Bilbao (part II-2 continued)

    Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 02-08-2013 at 02:53 AM.

  2. #582

  3. #583





  4. #584


    Geoffrey, I've wanted to ask you for a while to hear your thoughts on it: Given your opposition to nuclear energy, what are your views on the alternatives/options in regards to providing the world with a viable energy source?

    Certainly every fuel source has pros and cons and just like there are potential catastrophes with nuclear energy, fossil fuels (referencing the recent ongoing controversy with fracking as well as the pollution released from combustion) have their own problems too.

    On an unrelated note, thank you for the article on Persuade in Bilbao. It definitely looks like quite a unique store and a different way of presenting artisanal goods and in some ways quite refreshing. I still like large austere settings, but to see someone taking the same products and bringing them into a new environment is quite interesting and it changes the "feel" of the items/garments there. - Digital Portfolio Of Projects & Designs

    Merz (5/22/09):"i'm a firm believer that the ultimate prevailing logic in design is 'does shit look sick as fuck' "

  5. #585

    Default Alternatives/options in regards to providing the world with a viable energy source

    Dear Albert,

    Thanks for your comments and question.

    Well, the answer to the alternatives/options in regards to providing the world with a viable energy source is really simple. It's called renewables (basically, a serious ramp-up of just plain old existing-technology sun and wind power). And inspite of the endless propaganda to the contrary that we are being bombarded with by the carbon and nuclear energy industries and their politicians and media that they completely control, it is happening amazingly fast. Combined with equally fast developing technologies in energy and resource efficiency, the technological capability to solve the world's energy needs is now well within our grasp. The problem is that there are very serious interests that are committed to stopping it from happening, or at the very least- slowing it down fast enough, so that they can continue to milk the big profits from the existing energy infrastructure systems as they are today-while simultaneously attempting to configure ways to lock up the new technologies and form new monopolies with them that will continue to keep the majority of energy consumers totally dependent upon them well into the future. But things are happening fast.

    In just the past 2 months, anyone who is really paying attention to the world energy situation, has witnessed a stunning series of new reports and data studies indicating that - inspite of the near total resistance on the part of most governments, media, and fossil & nuke energy industry interests to make any serious effort to convert to green energy economy, on the scale needed to resolve so many of the world's environmental, economic and social issues - there is a real energy revolution going on at the grass roots level that is leading to a total re-evaluation of the world's renewable energy capacities. And it is pointing a finger now directly at political and corruption issues that are now in the way.

    For example, in 2012, wind power topped all US sources of new electricity generation in 2012. Like solar, wind power plants go up fast, require lower capital amounts, and get online and start contributing electricity way faster than any carbon, gas, fracking, shale oil, or nuclear plant-based operation. A nuke plant for instance, needs at least a decade before it ever even gets close to going online and generating a single watt of electricity. So if you need power now for your economy and your community, and need it fast, and want to decentralize both the usage and the financial requirements to get the production up and going- renewables are the answer. Just last year, an amazing 42 percent of all new generating capacity in the USA came in the form of wind turbines. Currently, all of America's wind power is located on land, so we haven't even scratched the ocean-based potential that Denmark and the UK are already beginning to tap. It is estimated that the US has almost 11 million megawatts of land-based wind power potential, capable of generating over 38 billion megawatt-hours of electricity per year. That's about 10 times 2010 US consumption! (article here:

    Also, last year wind surpassed nuclear as an electricity source in China, the world's fastest growing energy consumption market. In 2012, wind farms generated 2 percent more electricity than nuclear power plants, a gap that will likely widen dramatically over the next few years as wind surges ahead. Since 2007, nuclear power generation has risen by only 10 percent annually, compared with wind’s explosive growth of 80 percent per year. (article here)

    And according to a recent Scientific American article the amount of wind power be reaped from tapping low- and high-altitude winds dwarfs global demand…

    Is there enough energy in renewables to drive the economy? You bet there is, and don't forget, on average, renewable energies create 15 times more jobs in an industrialized economy than nuclear and traditional fossil fuels.

    There's been a lot of talk about the European economic crises recently, with many saying that only Germany's economy is still holding on. But what many people are missing is that one of the reasons the German economy is doing better is that they have committed to leading a green economy revolution and that commitment is already delivering economic benefits, including jobs. More importantly, their growing field experience using renewables is disproving the vastly overused fallacy of the so-called need for "baseload" power sources such as nuclear or fossils, that has been hammered into the public consciousness by the lobbies of those very same industries. The idea that renewables can only be the 'sauce', and that the 'pasta' will always have to be fossil or nuclear in the world's energy plate of spaghetti has been promoted endlessly as an excuse to downplay the true potential of renewable energies. But now a new study out of Germany is openly stating that no base load power is needed. There have been doubts expressed in the international media that Germany may not be able to switch over directly from nuclear to renewables without first relying on ramped-up coal use during the transition. But that concern isn’t a common one within Germany. As the new study shows, renewables completely ‘obliterate’ the need for baseload power.

    Article here:

    So what's the problem?

    It's not the tech. It's politics and corruption. Plain and simple. So obvious in fact is this blatant and bloated corruption between energy interests and govt., that the CEO of Exelon Corp., the US's largest nuclear power plant operator (and oldest and longest-standing contributor to Barack Obama's political career) threatened in the Chicago Tribune that his company would have to close nuclear facilities if others in the U.S. keep building so many wind turbines. Blaming the measly current subsidies for wind power, Exelon and the rest of the nuclear industry have benefitted from being the most heavily subsidized industry in the country for over 6 decades, beginning with the extremely controversial Price Andersen Act in the 1950's, which puts 100% of the financial risks, costs and dangers of nuclear power plant operation squarely on the shoulders of the American taxpayer and utility rate payer. That means you and me...

    But it's not just wind that is breaking the energy field wide open. It's old fashioned PV solar too. 2012 marked massive growth in solar power installation and power generation as well as reductions in costs...

    And it's continuously lowering costs of panels and electricity production are continuing to set new records. For instance, a new 50 megawatt solar plant in El Paso is reporting electricity production costs at just $5.79.KwH, almost half the cost of a new coal power plant.
    article here:

    And here in Italy, after stopping the program to build a fleet of totally untested AREVA EPR nuclear reactors all over the country, we have seen enough small-scale solar farms and installations go up in the last 3 years to already replace almost 2 large nuclear power plants in electrical production. They're up, they're running and making electricity and money for their small-scale owners, now. Fast, efficient and relatively cheap. There is no question to their advantages. The only real problem is we actually don't need big power companies to benefit from them. In fact, ENEL the national grid operator that wanted to operate the nuke plants is now actively pushing and begging homeowners all over Italy to finance solar plants on their rooftops so they can rent them back to them at unnecessary markups and huge profits (caveat emptor). Even they are now totally sold on solar, albeit not exactly for altruistic or environmentally sound reasons.

  6. #586


    Then, there is Germany's phenomenal progress...

    Across Germany many communities and small towns have discovered that they don't need big utility or energy companies at all any more. For example, Ursula Sladek, is a housewife who powered a green revolution. A former teacher with no formal business qualifications, Ursula Sladek now cuts an unusual figure as the head of a major electricity company. But then her company, the Schonau Power Supply (EWS) -- based in the hills of a remote German town -- is not your typical electricity supplier. Founded by Sladek and a few friends in 1991, to protest and fight the building of nuclear plants around them, EWS is a citizen-owned co-operative that powers 120,000 homes across Germany, using only sustainable energy supplies...

    Then there is Wildpoldsried, a small town in Germany that now creates its own 4 million euro surplus by having committed to renewable energies. It produces 321 percent more energy than it needs and is generating $5.7 million in annual revenue — a remarkable accomplishment for a modest farming community that has been able to invest in new municipal infrastructure without going into debt...

    There is also Germany's Sonnenschiff solar city, which produces 4 times more energy than it consumes….

    And Juhnde is another town becoming fully energy autonomous using biomass…

    Indeed, it is this incredible grass-roots democratization potential of renewable energies that so threatens and terrifies the existing established energy oligarchies (much of which are based upon American energy companies and their extensive use of US military power to preserve and maintain their interests), which is driving their war against them being used on a worldwide level that could veritably save the planet and our species from extinction. But inspite of their efforts, the revolution goes on- aided by the lowering costs, increased efficiencies and productivity, and quicker startup capabilities of renewables.

    Yet one more example is in Australia, where a new study from Bloomberg has just concluded that even unsubsidized renewables are now cheaper than coal and gas…

    And in Spain, over the last three months wind farms produced more electricity than any other power source in Spain for the first time. The performance means wind energy exceeded output from both nuclear and coal-fired power stations and represents more than a quarter of Spain's total power generation…

    The city on New York, CUNY and the Department of Energy are using tools lto encourage solar installation and ease the grid's burden. Solar panels on NYC's available rooftop areas can provide up to 49% of the city's electricity needs...

    Solar was already found to be cheaper than nuclear back in 2010 in a landmark study by Duke University that was meekly covered (with a flurry of protest from the nuclear lobby) in the New York Times. Nevertheless, inspire of the apologetic "corrections and addendums added later after nuclear industry pressure on the newspaper, the piece known as "the Historic Crossover" pointed out key trends in costs of nuclear vs. solar power, that are proving to be true more and more over time. References here:
    Historic Crossover addtional story:

    And the price of solar panels is projected to drop even further- down to $1 in 2013. An Ernst & Young analysis report forecasts suggests that falling solar and rising fossil fuel prices could make large-scale installations cost-competitive without any government support within a decade...

    And lets not forget efficiency

    A recent study in London concluded that some 70 percent of the world's energy consumption could be saved simply with better designed housing and buildings. I repeat 70 percent of our energy consumption in the world is being wasted now. In general, up to 75% of the electricity used in the U.S. today could be saved with efficiency measures that cost less than the electricity itself. The same holds true for home-owners, leaky ducts have remained an invisible energy culprit for years. In fact, researchers at the US Department of Energy and their consortium, Residential Energy Efficient Distribution Systems (REEDS) have found that duct efficiency may be as low as 50-70%. The US Department of Energy has stated that there is potential for energy saving in the magnitude of 90 Billion kWh by increasing home energy efficiency. see...

    So, if you want to make the world safe from environmental energy-related catastrophes, save money and create jobs, get efficient. For example, for half the cost of replacing one single nuclear power plant, we can retrofit 1.6 million U.S. homes for energy efficiency saving the equivalent amount energy of what the new nuke plant would produce (when and if it finally got on line) AND create 220,000 new jobs - that's 90 times more jobs than you'd get from a power plant replacement. (source

    And then there is "Garbage Warrior" Architect Micheal Reynold's incredible Earthship technology work over the past 4 decades that is now able to build and offer incredibly-efficient totally-sustainable buildings that radically reduce energy and resource consumption to an unprecedented historical level. Total annual utility costs per year for one of his buildings are less than a 100 dollars. I repeat less than a 100 bucks a year in utilities. Quite simply, if we build a billion of them in the next 5 years, we would solve most of the world's problems. I believe he is the true designer of this new century bar none, and I provide a stack of links on his amazing work and career here...

    Sundance Film Movie trailer

    Sundance Movie full-length

    Earthship Global Model: Radically Sustainable Buildings.

    Earthship Biotecture on the Weather Channel

    Tour of the amazing Phoenix Earthship!

    Earthships 101 part I

    Walk through an Earthship

    So if we combine renewable energy expansion seriously with efficiency technologies: you and I and our families and all their offspring for generations to come are all set to live well and live sustainably on this planet for the next thousand years... if the oil, gas, nuke, media and paid politician interests don't prevent us from doing so.

  7. #587


    And finally, I think we also need to address the fact that nuclear energy is not at all carbon-free...

    From the mining to the processing to the transport of the fuel to the cleanup and decommissioning of plants, enormous amounts of energy are required and carbon emitted to make the total nuclear chain happen. This is constantly omitted by media and industry from the public's awareness. The nuclear CO2 lie is what it is. It is not at all "carbon-free." A full life cycle analysis (LCA) carried out by Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith came to the following result: Electricity from atomic energy emits 90 to 140 g CO2 per kWh of electricity produced. [NOTE: Solar power, water power and wind power: emit only 10 - 40g CO2 per kWh] And a lot depends on the mining and grade of ore used to get the Uranium. The relatively high range of uncertainty is due to the different grade of ores used. It depends on how rich the ores are that are used to obtain the Uranium. For poor ores, the higher value applies and for rich ores, the lower value applies. This leads to an key issue: The world-wide reserves for Uranium are a very limited resource (ever wonder why we are backing the french military war in Mali all of a sudden? Mali has large reserves of Uranium). It is estimated to last for about 50 to 70 years with the current demand. If additional nuclear reactors are built, the supply will last correspondingly shorter. The higher the demand for Uranium, the more and more poor ores will have to be processed. This however will lead to a CO2 balance for atomic power which gets worse and worse over time. Storm and Smith came to the conclusion, that between the years 2050 (if additional nuclear power stations are built) and 2075 (no additional nuclear reactors) the "CO2 emissions of electricity from atomic energy will be higher as the same electricity produced by a gas burning plant. So, nuclear energy can definitely not be the solution to mitigate the effects of global warming." article here:

    For another example, let's look at the fuel cycle... the Paducah uranium enrichment plant in Kentucky which formerly made nuclear bomb material and now makes lower-grade nuclear fuel for reactors, produces a larger carbon footprint than the output from the largest coal plant in North America (in fact it requires 2 coal-fired power plants full-time to keep it running), yet some people out there still think that nuclear power is carbon free. The gaseous diffusion plant covers 750 acres (300 ha) of a 3,425 acre (1,386 ha) site. The four process buildings cover 74 acres (30 ha), and consume a peak electrical demand of a whopping 3,040 megawatts. How's that for a carbon footprint? The greenhouse gases produced here are 1500 times more damaging than regular CO2s. The plant also produces 93% of the CFC 114 produced in the United States that has been damaging the ozone layer for over a century. CFC's are 9800 times more global warming per pound than carbon. So while a nuclear power plant may not emit carbon from its nuclear fission-based reaction operations, the fuel required to achieve the fission reaction offers a completely different story. More here…

    So that is my position. We do not need nuclear or fossil fuels any more- just accelerated implementation of renewables and efficiency. Everything about it is win-win. The only problem is that we are all being held back by a small minority of vested interests (very big companies) who are still making a lot of money by keeping us trapped in early 20th century infrastructure, economy and technologies with the help of government, military and media power that they can buy at the drop of a hat. Remember, Exxon alone reports net income of as much as 10 billion dollars a quarter and has replaced Apple again as the world's biggest corporation. So we are on our own to solve the problem using whatever means we have available. I have tried to provide as many sources as possible for your reference. Hope this is helpful. Meantime, am trying to post up Persuade pieces soon in between getting deliveries out to our worldwide accounts.

    Thanks again for your post and best of luck with your new design projects.

    Best wishes,



  8. #588



    Thank you so much for the extremely well written response. It really sheds like not only on the subject but also helps me see your work in a different way.

    You are certainly right in regards to the need to transition to more eco-friendly energy sources. It is unfortunate that evolution in that sense is inevitably artificially slowed by those that have vested interest in things staying the way they are currently. The same ideas apply to cars and how many miles per gallon can be achieved, but the increase in gas efficiency has been quite slow and many speculate that there is some hold-back by oil companies and corporations. True or false, I'm not sure but it certainly makes one think about things a little more.

    All the best my friend and looking forward to your continued work! - Digital Portfolio Of Projects & Designs

    Merz (5/22/09):"i'm a firm believer that the ultimate prevailing logic in design is 'does shit look sick as fuck' "

  9. #589


    Thanks so much Albert and same to you, new stuff coming up...

  10. #590

    Default New Works for Persuade in Bilbao Part III Special pieces for a special place

    Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 03-21-2013 at 04:56 AM.

  11. #591

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

    Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 03-21-2013 at 05:14 AM.

  12. #592

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

  13. #593

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

    Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 03-21-2013 at 05:14 AM.

  14. #594

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

  15. #595

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

  16. #596

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

    Sorry, we have some work to deal with in the workrooms and need to take a quick break from posting.
    Thanks for your patience. Will be back with more pieces coming up soon...

  17. #597

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

    OK we're back and posting again, thank you for your patience...

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    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

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    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

  20. #600

    Default New Works for Persuade Part III: Special pieces for a special place (continued)

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