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the peoples republic of the epa

updated thu 31 jul 97


Karl P. Platt on tue 1 jul 97

John's post noting that:

> We need to have a pretty low profile as to our obvious smoke. Not >only from
>Power companies (with large pockets and powerfull lawyers
> and lobbies) will still be able to buy SO2 permits..... but the >woodfire pott

> I would bet that all the particulate and smoke generated by all the
> woodfirngs potters in the entire country in a whole year PALES in
> comparison to the environmental damage done by a single large coal
> fired power plant in a week or two.

Here I want to begin my thing. If you made that bet, and someone were
dumb enough to take it, you would win handily`, but not because the
power plant is dirtier than the wood kiln. It's simply larger, but a lot

Let's consider things this way. Say there are 200,000 potters in the US
and all of them has a wood kiln. Each of these kilns will hold 1,000 Lbs
of ware, furniture, etc and will be fired to 2,500 F over 18 hours.

They would consume roughly 125,000,000,000 BTU -- or 2,500,000 Lbs of
dry wood. Let's say that 1% of all of this got out the stack a "smoke".
That's 250,000 Lbs of "smoke". Sounds like a lot, no? It ain't.
Actually, relative to the mass of the earth's atmosphere it's about
0.0000000000000000000001% The planet, contrary to popular belief, is a
much, much larger thing than huge States and their corporate backers
would like you to believe. I shall elaborate on this further, as I
believe these regulations reach way into the absurd.

Actually, the "damage" done by a coal-burning power plant is very small.
It depends on how you want to look at it. Consider that there's not much
talk anymore today about "acid rain" Why? Not because of anything that
happened at a power plant.

> And now as to the supposedly ----clean----- electric
> kiln. Take a look at the coal fired power plant stacks. Read about >the TONS

Let me take this on a little here. I agree with John's point that
electricity isn't "clean". This, however, is no surprise.

You know how the enviro hysterics always howl about global warming --
remembering, of course, that only a decade or so ago they were whining
about global cooling. Well, they're all out to lunch and no-one knows
anything, really, about the exent to which humans have "forced" the
planet's climate. Of course, there are a lot of people who'll say
anything as long as the checks keep rolling in. However. no-one can
produce a peer reviewed climatological paper that says "global warming
is happening". Why not? There's no evidence to support this claim. Let's
not forget what are called "Anthropogenic Aerosols" What are these? SOx
(sulphur oxides), for example. What is their effect? Global cooling.
They have been emitted in quantities similar to those of man-made CO2.

Let's also not forget that Mount Pinatubo put out more spooge than we
did in the entire 20th century, but the EPA hasn't figured out how to
get God...... yet.... this, as I have mentioned here before, is the
Federal Government's secret plan to cover the $5 Trillion they've pissed

Let me be real clear here. I was up in Sao Paulo, the 3rd largest city
in the world, last week. I Brasil there is no EPA -- everyone that can
spew smoke does, and it's nasty. Your eyes burn, passing trucks leaves
you smelling like diesel, etc. However, outside of the urban center --
about an hour away, the air is fine -- the sky is blue, not green or
brown, etc.

Pollution problems are urban problems, not the problem of a back yard
barbque or wood potter in rural Virginia, for example. Why let the
enviro Nazis hassel these people and deprive them of a living.

Let's say that the 200,000 wood potters considered above have annual
gross sales of $100,000 each. Who is going to compensate their economic
loss of $20,000,000,000 == that's $20 billion == by the implementation
of these absurd rules? What are the potters to do == go work at WalMart
or go on Welfare?

> Now ..........................look at the efficiency of the conversion
> of 1000 BTU's of coal into steam.Very little of that original 1000 >BTU's that

There are real strict theoretical limits on power plants -- physical and
thermodynamic. The best power plants are about 25% efficient -- 1,000
BTU in, 250 BTU out. Transmission losses at high tension (voltage) are
actually pretty small, perhaps consuming another 2% or so. However,
there's the matter of transformer losses -- these add-up. Especially up
there in the US where everyone likes to use 110 VAC. Every time the
juice passes a transformer 10% goes away as heat. In short, by the time
the electricity is consumed, maybe 8% of all the energy input to the
process comes off of your heating elements. In absolute terms, the
efficiency of electric energy is miserable.

Think about this when some idiot comes off telling you that Electric
Cars are a good idea. They are probably from the power industry, are a
stock holder or a resident of LA who wants to push the pollution off on
other places without paying for it -- this is called externalizing by

> And as to nuclear............. well ...... how the hell are we going
> to get rid of the wastes?????? Tell me that (not store them...... not
> encapsulate them, ....... get RID of them), and I'll concede that >nuclear ele

This is another whole topic. I'm studying this and it appears that in
the absence of nuclear weaponry nuclear power plants are not
cost-effective. I'm not ready to conclude this yet. Wastes are
managable, however, they're are many greedy interests involved and they
have little interest in hastening a solution -- the real interest is in
soaking the taxpayer to the fullest extent possible.

> .....clip........ The President said today that he will seek the new
> tougher air standards (that will shut down *ALL* fuel kilns that fire
> in reduction-not just wood or oil).
> .......snip.......

He's just making noise. People really still take that guy seriously
after Somalia, Paula Jones, SLimy business dealing in Arkansas, vote
buying by foreign interests........

>Sorry folks, for the rant.

Cool rant, John.

Fay & Ralph Loewenthal on wed 2 jul 97

Dear KPP et al, for the most part I agree with you. There
is one point where I disagree and that is the idea you are
putting across that electricity could be more dirty than
carbon based fuels. If electricity is coming from power
plants, which are few in number compared to all the
fuel based kilns, engines etc. This makes it far easier to
control the emissions from these plants. We could also
start using the sun, wind and water sources for some of
our electrical needs.
You mentioned electrical cars. I figured out that we have
Scalectric toy car racing circuits. They are .02 the size of
a normal car. They use 6 volts DC. If we multiply that by
50 then we come to 300 volts. Our normal supply to our
homes here in South Africa is 220 to 240 volts AC. As
far as I know it comes to the pole outside the house as
380 volts and is then stepped down to 220/240. This
means that if the cables were laid in the streets then the
cars could have electric motors running off induction. I
am not an electrical engineer, so please correct me if I am mistaken. We would h
millions of energy inefficient fuel motors driving our cars
today. You could cut pollution levels dramatically that
way. There is one major stumbling block and that is
OPEC, and the power blocks in the States that influence
the politicians. I cannot imagine Standard Oil, Shell and
all the other oil suppliers sitting back and seeing their
businesses, and all their luxuries, flushing down the
I agree with you that the EPA should act in a practical
and pragmatic way that will benefit the whole community,
not just the corporations. As you well know in glass
making there are temperatures that cannot be reached
using electricity, other fuels have to be used. But we
still have to watch how we use our natural resources and
that we do not over extend our environment. There has
to be a balance kept. We should be lobbying for cleaner
more efficient sources of power, and not getting
bureaucrats, who do not know better anyway, all uptight.
I am sure if we went through the patent offices of the
first world countries we would find some amazing
inventions, which have been suppressed by those whom
it would not benefit. If everyone would add their little
stone to the pile, it would become an overwhelming
mountain of coercion that would force the politicians to
start enacting legislature to benefit the world's
community and not just the corporations that line their
palms with silver and gold! I am most probably thinking
about Utopia, but it is worth a try in any event.
Lets hear some informed opinions (better than mine),
and have some lively discussion on this issue, from
Ralph in PE SA

Ken Russell on thu 3 jul 97

>>However. no-one can produce a peer reviewed climatological paper that
says >>"global warming is happening". Why not?

Got to disagree with you there Karl. The National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can produce evidence and it has. Over
the last twenty years of satellite data, the mean global temperature has
not all. There is a one-one hundredth of a degree increase
and decrease each month which corresponds with the moon cycles. Other than
that, there ain't no increase. Unfortunately for Green Peace, Sierra
Clubbers ad infinitum, ad nauseum the data shows that global warming is NOT

Carol Browner (Ms. EPA) was asked about the satellite data at the hearings
just before the new standards were appoved. She had no comment. She was
also asked about the data EPA released this year that said over the last 25
years, pollution emissions from power plants and autos in the U.S. have
decreased by 27% while consumption has doubled. Again, she had no comment.
Fortunately for Carol, it was only available on C-Span so all twelve of us
in the world who watched the hearings were the only ones to get to see her
hem and haw.

>>but the EPA hasn't figured out how to get God...... yet....

Al's gonna save us from God on the other side of the 21st Century Bridge
(Read his book, Earth in the Lurch or its supporting document, The
Unibomber's Manifesto).

>>I was up in Sao Paulo, the 3rd largest city in the world, last week.

It's crystal clear clean when compared to Beijing, Moscow, Beirut, Mexico
City and anyplace around the Mediteranean.

>>He's just making noise. People really still take that guy seriously
>>after Somalia, Paula Jones, SLimy business dealing in Arkansas, vote
>>buying by foreign interests........

If I were wood firing, I would worry about the new EPA regs. If they find
you, you will comply or get shut down, period. Ask the folks in the former
town of Salmon, Idaho. I would also worry about any dirt roads leading to
my studio or kiln, because the dust created by walking and driving on the
roads creates particulate matter larger than the new 1/24 diameter of human
hair standards.

If you're all worried about killing us and "the children" from your wood
smoke, you can switch to clean burning, sulfur free coal. Sulfur free coal
smoke meets the new standards according to Carol Browner. You can get some
from the only available source on earth: Indonesia. Just call the Lippo
Group in the LA phone book and they can hook you up.

Ken Russell
The Arlington Pottery

Marc Brackley on fri 4 jul 97

I just wanted to add to what Karl said:

>However. no-one can
>produce a peer reviewed climatological paper that says "global warming
>is happening". Why not? There's no evidence to support this claim.

Plus, even if global warming is a fact, there is no good science to support
the claim that human screw-up is the cause as opposed to it being a natural

Marc Brackley