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Monday, February 3, 2014


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser today had an editorial entitled:

If you made the calculations, the total bill to air-condition all 255 campuses would exceed $2 billion.

Five months ago I reported on the absurdity of the State of Hawaii spending a billion dollars to air-condition our schools.  I was off by a factor of two.  Anyway, I compared this sum to:
  • President Obama seeking tens of millions from the U.S. Congress to bomb Syria.
  • Japan's estimate to spend $470 million (less than half a billion) to deal with the toxic water at Fukushima.
So will Hawaii cool our schools.  Nope.  First of all, the annual State Department of Education budget is around $2.5 billion.  So, forget about any significant cooling, for the $2 billion is just to install the hardware.  Consider then the future cost of electricity.  [For the record, the Star Advertiser the following day, as the front page headline article, touted Funding for coolor school advances.  The State House tossed $25 million--which is around 1% of what is required--into the budget, but the Senate wanted yet another study.  What a tease to make voters think they are being responsive.]

However, there are many other ways to reduce the heat:
  • First forget solar air-conditioning.  It's too expensive.
  • A hundred fans for each school would cost around half a million dollars.  I function in my home using fans and I don't need to use my three air-conditioners at all.  My bedroom goes up to a hundred degrees on occasion (the wall is all glass and the sun beams in during the afternoon).  No fan will help this condition, but there must be a way to block the direct rays of the sun on school buildings.  Trees would help.  Certainly, where applicable, ceiling exhaust draft fans should be helpful, and these might even be wind-powered.
  • I wonder how cold, deep ocean water would work?  I suspect for now this, too, will be much too expensive.
  • Move the school year so that they skip the 14 hot weeks of July, August and September.  The 180 instructional days could go up to 190, which equates to 38 weeks, meaning 14 weeks are left.  Sure, there are holidays and such, but something can be done about a 12-week off period.  How would this sync with universities and whatever else?  Not sure, but something should be adjustable.
The fact of the matter is that there will always be inequities in teaching temperatures, for education just does not get any kind of serious priority.  Why?  There are more important ones, or those that are more successfully  lobbied.  My education chapter in SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanities explains this all.   Even though the Kindle edition is virtually free, you don't even need to spend a dime, as this blog site, beginning with Part I, serializes this chapter.

Speaking about Fukushima, yes, radioactive water is already leaking into the ocean.  But their plan to build a million tanks to hold all this waste is finally beginning to convince them that this is stupid.  SO, AN ATTEMPT IS BEING MADE TO DUMP ALL THIS DANGEROUS FLUID DIRECTLY INTO THE OCEAN!!!  Guess where this radioactivity will go?



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