Action item: war and energy

Posted 19 May 2006 at 14:31 UTC by proclus Share This

Re GNU-Darwin: Our utility bill went up 50% this month, which makes it harder to for me to support the operations of the Distribution. It is obvious that recent hikes in energy costs relate directly to the Bushies' misadventures in Iraq. Please help me and do whatever you can to stop the war soon.

Michael L. Love Ph.D
Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry
School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
725 N. Wolfe Street
Room 608B WBSB
Baltimore MD 21205-2185

Interoffice Mail: 608B WBSB, SoM

office: 410-614-2267
lab: 410-614-3179
fax: 410-502-6910
cell: 443-824-3451

move this to a diary, posted 19 May 2006 at 21:33 UTC by splork » (Master)

this doesn't belong in an advogato front page article.

diary, posted 19 May 2006 at 22:12 UTC by deekayen » (Master)

Please limit this topic to your diary.

Eh..., posted 20 May 2006 at 11:20 UTC by bi » (Journeyer)

...while you're at it, find a less energy-hungry way to run your servers and stuff. Cost hikes aside, saving energy is good for the environment, and is good for you too. ;-)

Please don't put this on advogato at all..., posted 21 May 2006 at 15:42 UTC by slamb » (Journeyer)

...since your political views have nothing to do with open source software. You're not just stretching to find a connection - you've actually sprained your brain.

diary, posted 22 May 2006 at 00:10 UTC by proclus » (Master)

Although I am inclined to agree regarding the diary entry, I would also think that the sustainability of free and open source software projects should be of interest to all Advogato readers. Moreover, I am keeping my diary frozen at this time for archival purposes.


A bit offtopic to be sure.., posted 22 May 2006 at 05:37 UTC by Mysidia » (Journeyer)

More like advertisement for author.. the signature is longer than the article. But since it's already posted, and far as I can see, there's no way to vote an article off the main page or something, we might as well make the best of it.

While I sympathize with the poster for having a 50% increase in the utility bill: I find the claim that this directly relates to US Iraq presence (let alone being a threat to OSS in particular) to be a rather specious unscientific supposition; some increase in energy price may relate to Iraq; certainly energy and resources are being expended policing that place, but it is not clear or obvious, that Iraq is responsible for the bulk of the increase you saw, you might realistically attribute 3-5% of the increase over the past few years to Iraq. A sudden doubling would probably be due to a more specific event -- the war wasn't something that just started getting hot last month.

Of course you and your electric company are responsible for your power bills, if you are unhappy with a utility, then you are free to cancel the utility, move, seek a cheaper source of that utility, or take some effort to reduce your consumption.

This may or may not involve scaling back operations of the distribution, or find ways to make things more efficient; it may not make your users happier if you do scale back or inconvenience them, but it would be understandable.

It's possible your power company finally got approval to raise the rate; for all I know, the increase was long overdue, in the queue for years... Remember, what corporations can have a strong influence over your energy costs too, it's not just the governments of the world -- at least your government claims to act in your best interest. Nowadays, corporations often barely acknowledge their responsibility to the community, instead, seek to maximize profit for their shareholders, sometimes at maximum expense to their customers, ignoring the principle of fair exchange.

The Iraq misadventure doesn't necessarily cause all the other bad things and ills in our world today. There are plenty of other things in the world to cause a 50% increase in one's utility bill -- the simplest idea being that one used almost twice as much electricity that month, due to seasonal change, extreme weather raising heating/cooling costs, or the electric company had to account for an underestimate in your past few month's electricity usage (perhaps they hadn't actually read your meter recently)

Then there's the increasing world demand for energy... over recent decades, energy prices have been rising; separate and apart from any war. As some of the developing nations become more industrial/developed, countries such as China may have a much larger increased appetite for the already strained supply of fossil fuels available to the world. This inevitably leads to increased prices of those resources.

There may be some scare of an energy shortage, or a bubble in the commodities markets over the recent months, artifically raising prices of the resources: Iraq may not even be in the top-10 list for the causes of your increased electricity bill, Iran may be far more important.

Further, there's nothing to indicate that stopping war soon would help with the energy cost. What would help energy prices would be a more stable world, more conservation, and more sources to rely on fuelds like Coal, Oil, whose popularity endlessly leads them to scarcity...

So take action, but instead of worrying about wars, which are the business of politicians and governments... start taking measures to reduce your consumption of electricity; things may get much worse before they get better.

Besides, the more electricity costs, the greater should be your incentive, and the more worthwhile to become as efficient and miserly as possible in your usage of it.

Correlation of two variables, posted 22 May 2006 at 16:57 UTC by nymia » (Master)

The relation between proclus' high energy bill and war in Iraq can probably restated in the following statements:

  1. Energy prices are subject to two econmic variables, namely: supply and demand.
  2. Demand for energy (i.e. oil) has an upward curve, while supply has downward curve.
  3. This shifts the line to the right affecting the price of oil.
  4. Regarding supply of oil, the majority of it is Iraq and its neighboring states.
  5. Competition for oil will intensify are more states grow in terms of population and rate-of-energy use.
  6. Competition will drive states to secure by any means access to oil.
  7. As a result, war is now an option for securing oil.
  8. Securing oil requires energy which means more dependence on oil, driving demand curve further up.
  9. Proclus' energy demand will also follow the oil demand curve. As a result, his bill rises as well.
Secondly, the statement about relation between stopping the war and lowering oil price is definitely false. Stopping the war and backing out of Iraq will not cause the price to go down. Just look at the curve and see for yourself.

Why not switch electric providers?, posted 22 May 2006 at 18:06 UTC by StevenRainwater » (Master)

Maryland offers freedom of choice of electric providers, doesn't it? Why would you choose to use one that creates electricity by burning non-renewable fuel from Iraq? Surely there are other providers that use local polluting fuels like coal that would satisify your personal political issues? Better yet, why not switch to a renewable electric utility? A quick Google search reveals at least one Maryland company offering electricity from 50% renewable sources (landfill gas) and two companies offer 100% renewable and non-polluting wind power. I don't know what the prices are like up there but in Texas I'm paying less for 100% wind than the market rate for non-renewable.

Re: Why not switch electric providers?, posted 26 May 2006 at 22:11 UTC by proclus » (Master)

Thanks for the tip!


Likely due to the plummeting dollar, posted 27 May 2006 at 23:04 UTC by MichaelCrawford » (Master)

The dollar has been growing steadily weaker relative to other currencies the whole time the US has been at war. Those who sell oil have had to raise their prices just to get the same monetary value. The reason is that the US is borrowing the cost of its campaigns abroad, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Politics and Free Software, posted 27 May 2006 at 23:07 UTC by MichaelCrawford » (Master)

While I don't feel this particular story was fit for Advogato's front page, I feel that politics and social change is actually what Free Software is all about.

Perhaps one of the distinctions between Free Software and Open Source is that Free Software is about social change, while Open Source is more about technical efficiency.

Have a look at RMS' personal website and you'll see that he's quite active politically.

If you're going to do this sort of thing..., posted 5 Jun 2006 at 15:23 UTC by Svartalf » (Journeyer) least be on solid ground with respects to the reasoning you're using to make the proclamations with. You apparently don't even have your facts straight. Here's the facts that are relevent to what you just posted:

1) Electricity is NOT typically produced with Oil- if you're talking something other than Coal or Atomic fuel sources for electric generation, it's largely Natural Gas that fuels the plant.

2) We sit on one of the largest Natural Gas reserves in the world and it's cheaper for consumers (Of all kinds...) in the US to use OUR reserves instead of Qatar's (Which would be the OPEC country providing 1/3 of the total world supply- and is NOT a problem child area right at the moment and probably won't be any time soon- that's where the theater of operations for the Middle East is currently based out of...)

3) The electricity that is produced with Natural Gas is peak capacity- meaning that if you're consuming the load due to HVAC because of the summer heat, you'll fire up the gas fired plants for at least that day. Typically, the power is via coal, fission reactors, wind turbine farms, etc.

4) We are currently getting our Crude from Mexico and Canada because it's cheaper than OPEC's charging the world right now.

5) Gasoline prices are high because of some gouging due to uncertainties in the Iraq situation- but it's not directly tied to Bush's misadventures, as much as you may want to pin them to him as it's obvious you dislike him. (Here's a hint for you: I don't agree with much of his polices right now- but, unlike you, I don't go looking for reasons to blame everything on him like you seem to.)

Proclus, while your work regarding GNU Darwin is appreciated, this prattling on and on about things not relevent to the site's main discussion area is getting at least a little obnoxious- especially in the light of the overall inaccuracies in the posts in question.

House Passes Energy Efficient Computer Server Bill, posted 1 Aug 2006 at 17:00 UTC by prozac » (Journeyer)


To study and promote the use of energy efficient computer servers in the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, through the Energy Star program, shall transmit to the Congress the results of a study analyzing the rapid growth and energy consumption of computer data centers by the Federal Government and private enterprise. The study shall include--

(1) an overview of the growth trends associated with data centers and the utilization of servers in the Federal Government and private sector;

(2) analysis of the industry migration to the use of energy efficient microchips and servers designed to provide energy efficient computing and reduce the costs associated with constructing, operating, and maintaining large and medium scale data centers;

(3) analysis of the potential cost savings to the Federal Government, large institutional data center operators, private enterprise, and consumers available through the adoption of energy efficient data centers and servers;

(4) analysis of the potential cost savings and benefits to the energy supply chain through the adoption of energy efficient data centers and servers, including reduced demand, enhanced capacity, and reduced strain on existing grid infrastructure, and consideration of secondary benefits, including potential impact of related advantages associated with substantial domestic energy savings;

(5) analysis of the potential impacts of energy efficiency on product performance, including computing functionality, reliability, speed, and features, and overall cost;

(6) analysis of the potential cost savings and benefits to the energy supply chain through the use of stationary fuel cells for backup power and distributed generation;

(7) an overview of current government incentives offered for energy efficient products and services and consideration of similar incentives to encourage the adoption of energy efficient data centers and servers;

(8) recommendations regarding potential incentives and voluntary programs that could be used to advance the adoption of energy efficient data centers and computing; and

(9) a meaningful opportunity for interested stakeholders, including affected industry stakeholders and energy efficiency advocates, to provide comments, data, and other information on the scope, contents, and conclusions of the study.


It is the sense of Congress that it is in the best interest of the United States for purchasers of computer servers to give high priority to energy efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for purchases of computer servers.

Passed the House of Representatives July 12, 2006.

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