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sunman
21 may 2004
may 2004
steve baer
zomeworks corporation
po box 25805
albuquerque, new mexico 87125
e-mail: zomework@zomeworks.com

   we must conserve energy, slow the creation of green house gases, avoid
economic collapse as fossil fuels run out.  we hear this all the time.
what if someone took it seriously?  what if there were  honesty  in the
solar energy field?  let us imagine sunman doing his sun work...

   the schedules, the schools, the classes, the projects, the sounds,
the smells, the whole study of sun work, is different than mechanical
engineering which has mired us in ugly wasteful habits.
   sunman studies the animate as well as inanimate.  he studies animals,
their energy budgets and their forms, allometry, the study of scale.
trees, shrubs, grasses and their relationship to climate are important.
sunman studies nature.
   sunman is outside in the sun and under the night sky among cars and
buildings, beside bushes, trees, streams, rocks, and pavement with his
ir scanner.  sunman needs few desks, chairs, schedules or computers.
he asks many questions, makes observations, aims at better architecture,
better means of heating and cooling, better city planning, improved ways
of getting around (back to your feet and your bikes.) he aims at improving
life, and making our world more beautiful.
   sun work is not a joke, not theater where students express themselves
as trees, clouds or rabbits, it is a science that uses mathematics and
measures things with rules, tapes, clocks and thermometers.
   we best first dip ourselves into this new world of engineering by picking
up an infra red scanner.  this tool, which measures the temperature of a
surface instantly by merely pointing at it, leaves a stream of questions for
its user that becomes sunman's education.
   sunman loves energy and wealth, without them he couldn't work. most of all,
he loves clarity, truth and nature.  he admits he loves the wealth from oil
wells, coal mines, nuclear power plants, even strip mines.  sunman is
confident that in time his art will improve and replace all of this that is
ugly, yet he is haunted that oil, as strong as it is, won't stand up straight
and play fair, and it casts an oily spell to defeat him.
   sunman doesn't recognize hi-tech and low-tech, only the ugly and the
beautiful, and those keep changing, even changing places.
   sunman celebrates the equinoxes, the solstices and perihelion.  sunman is
embarrassed to participate in contrived events such as earth day and sun day.
false celebrations ease the way to false economics.
   sunman does not want subsidies, solar tax credits, green energy laws or
other such influences on his work.  one can no more subsidize the sun than
heat it up.  if the playing field isn't level he walks uphill, however
disagreeable.  eventually he will find fair play.  sunman relies on business
and trade and does not trust bureaucrats, government, non-profit
corporations, or politicians.  a btu must always be a btu, a watt a watt,
but a dollar?  what is a dollar?

   sunman survives by the sun, not by burning taxpayers. sunman loves his
tools; his saws, his drill, his tin snips, pipe wrench, crescent wrench,
propane torch, silicone sealant, pipe clamp.  to even think, he must
return to them.

   sunman loves the feel of copper and aluminum; he loves to weld, to bend
metal, to tighten bolts.  he loves the sensations of thermal mass, of
bottles and tanks of water of stones and cobbles, bricks, slab floors and
masonry walls.
   sunman loves convection, as alive as a heart beating. sunman knows how to
make do with his tools.  he gags watching others advance by making seem.
sunman has become suspicious of the press, environmental celebrities, even
of himself.
   the real prize for saving money is the money saved. the real prize for
saving energy is also the money saved.  the homeless sleeping on grates and
under bridges still survive only because they earn such prizes everyday.
   good architects know this and don't seek special accountings to disguise
extravagance, but celebrities want every prize, so they have devised special
point systems to flatter themselves.
   sunman watches solar organizations overtaken by government and bent to serve
political purposes and slander the sun.  he watches wind generators spun by
taxes.  he sees giant oil companies and their stooges thrive in tax shine.
isn't owning the wonderful oil enough for them?  it must be this way, the
stooges say.
   sunman wonders why all uses of the sun that make sense must be neglected.
why can't photovoltaic panels go to remote villages and ranches where they
are useful?
   why do the troops of solar celebrities and solar stooges forget solar water
heaters, day lighting, passive heating, and cooling?
   sunman knows the natural world is becoming dimmer and dimmer to the public.
tax shine engineers work endlessly to disguise reality and promote attention
to their symbols, certificates, laws, spells, lies and money.
   sunman regards tax shine engineers who need no forklifts, hammers, shovels
or cement trucks as no better than white collar cannibals who thrive the way
all cannibals do.

join solar guru steve baer and pe drew gillett and phd rich komp and 
me for an all-day workshop on solar house heating and natural cooling
strategies ("hvac nonsense") on july 9 in portland, or--see page 25 of 
http://www.ases.org/conferences/2004_call_for_papers/solar2004_prelim_program.pdf




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