August 2009

There is a big issue going on today about how to handle air pollution and it’s impact on global warming. You are, no doubt, aware of many different arguments on both sides of the issue. The only thing the majority agrees on is that air pollution does exist and it does influence global warming. There is a small minority of dissenters who don’t believe that the planet is warming or don’t believe it matters. I am not going to argue this today but I am going to address one sector involved in this ongoing battle.

In 2007 the EPA released a report on air pollution and named the causes of it. One of these causes was said to be gas from livestock farming; the gas of cows who eat grain exudes methane, which, in turn, destroys the ozone layer. There are, according to all sources, a large number of cattle in this country eating grain and farting. As funny as this is, it is also deadly serious and the fact that the EPA listed cows as such a source puts farmers on a short list of people responsible for contributing to global warming.


Many of us have experienced the frustration of having a cell phone or MP3 player go dead and being away from a power outlet to charge the batteries. Actually, this isn’t a solely current problem, either, as I recall listening to “dragging” cassette players and static hazed radios many years ago, when I used battery chargers and rechargeable batteries. Being caught on a 10 mile hike with a dead radio is a big drag. This is where portable solar is making big inroads and offering relief. Even if you’re not a big techno nerd with a boombox on your shoulder or an MP3 plug in your ear, you may have concerns about getting off the grid or just saving money on batteries in general. Even you should consider portable solar. Thanks to technology improvements and lower production costs for photovoltaic (PV) cells, you can now harness sunlight at home or on the road to power a variety of products while reducing your environmental impact at the same time.

PV cells generate varying amounts of electricity based on their size and composition, and on the amount of incoming sunlight. Even so there are a lot of products for which sunlight provides a viable and affordable alternative power source and these are already available on the market. If you haven’t purchased one yet or maybe even haven’t even shopped these items, here is a brief list of what I found available today: