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August 1996 Biomass Cooking Stoves Archive

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From 73002.1213 at Fri Aug 9 10:14:21 1996
From: 73002.1213 at (Thomas Reed)
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:57 2004
Subject: Bourbaki again
Message-ID: <960809140142_73002.1213_FHM106-3@CompuServe.COM>

Good morning Colleagues:

Some of the greatest - and smallest - gifts I have received in my life have been
recommendations of books to read - books which have sometimes improved my life
incalculably. Assuming that most of you have some time left over from E-mail to
read books, I hereby present such a present to all of you.

A few months ago in the STOVES network I brought up the question of multiple
creators of ideas and how to apportion credit amongst those responsible. I
mentioned the name BOURBAKI, a group of creative mathematicians who worked and
published together and didn't worry about who go the credit. At that time that
was the total extent of my knowledge about BOURBAKI. I have now come across an
interesting and exciting novel that has increased my knowledge and interest in
the question 100 fold, ie

(The Univ. of Georgia Press, Athens, London, 1994)

This novel explores: Scientific creation and ego; outpasturing of creative
scientists by the establishment; gender in science; sex in advanced age; the
world of DNA; the world of Science prizes, .... in 230 well written pages.

(Carl Djerassi is a professor of chemistry at Stanford U., winner of the 1992
Priestley medal, etc. etc. He follows some of the roads of C.P. Snow, but with
more humanity.)

The Internet has enhanced the "collective consciousness" of science and
scientists by permitting worldwide the free talk of colleagues usually only
possible at meetings. It is hard to know what the consequences will be, but
this book certainly raises some of the issues that will need to be addressed to
reach our full potential.

I'll be interested in any reactions you-all have.

Yours truly, TOM REED



From CKEZAR34 at Sun Aug 18 08:23:16 1996
From: CKEZAR34 at (
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:57 2004
Subject: Linking Environmental Policy With Energy And Tax Policy
Message-ID: <>


I find myself in strong agreement with Tom Reid, some months ago when he

"I am sorry to see that you and most on the network have swallowed completely
somewhat naive arguments on "global warming". I accept that sufficient extra
CO2 in the atmosphere could cause major global changes. So what's new? The
global warmers neglect many facts"

I get very uncomfortable when advocates of Renewable energy also advocate
global warming scare tactics to their advantage. To me the facts suporting
global warming are widely mixed, as Tom said in his earlier note.

I also note that such advocates are blindely still in power as the following
IBD news report indicates:

"In the latest of these moves, Under Secretary of State Tim Wirth announced
in talks in Geneva last month that the U.S. would back binding numerical
targets on emission levels to combat global warming.
Despite a lack of consensus on the science surrounding global warming,
the Clinton team says it will agree to as-yet unspecified emission targets.
Business groups fear these targets will be so low that the economy would
falter while businesses go under. Some estimates say some of the proposed
target levels would reduce economic growth by $200 billion a year and destroy
600,000 jobs.
Until Wirth's gambit, the Clinton administration had been vague about
its plans on global climate issues. The move took even green interest groups
by surprise."

More later, CA.Kezar


From krksmith at Sun Aug 18 13:04:44 1996
From: krksmith at (Kirk R. Smith)
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:57 2004
Subject: Climate change story offered with mixed feelings
Message-ID: <>

St. Petersburg Times July 29, 1996, Monday,
>>>>LENGTH: 1442 words
>>>>HEADLINE: Cool to the warnings of global warming's dangers

>>>> Maybe you haven't noticed it yet, but scientists are telling us global
>>>> warming has arrived. They expect we'll start to feel the difference any
>>>>decade now.
>>>> Many atmospheric scientists agree Earth's temperature is creeping upward,
>>>> with potentially dangerous times ahead. Glaciers could melt, and sea levels
>>>> rise. Rainfall might shift with temperatures, deluging deserts and parching
>>>> forests.
>>>> About 2,500 researchers considered the threat serious enough to work
>>>> together on a comprehensive global warming report. They expect average
>>>> temperatures in the next century to rise at a rate unseen in at least
10,000 years.
>>>> The authors called this report a consensus of the world's climate
>>>> scientists.
>>>> Now, along come 84 men and women in the United States and Europe who say
>>>> that's not so. They signed a declaration of concerned scientists asserting
>>>> there is no "scientific consensus" about the dangers of global warming.
>>>> Who are these rebels?
>>>> Some are scientists by anyone's definition, and some are scientists by
>>>>their own definition.
>>>> One signatory is Tampa Bay's own Roy Leep, the weatherman at Channel 13.
Another runs Dick's Weather Service, where callers can get yesterday's
>>>> temperature and rainfall in Springfield, Ohio. Another gives weather
reports on Channel 5 in San Francisco.
>>>> Leep, who attended Florida State but never graduated, said he doesn't
>>>> consider advanced academic training necessary to qualify as a scientist.
>>>>"I've been a meteorologist for 45 years," he said. "I have a background in
>>>> meteorology."
>>>> The declaration Leep signed - formally, the Leipzig Declaration on Global
>>>> Climate Change - has been distributed to news organizations around the
world as evidence that many scientists are skeptical about global warming and
>>>>oppose constraints on oil and coal use.
>>>> Global warming is a complicated topic. Scientific discussions about
it get terribly technical, burdened with caveats, reliant on climate models
spun out by supercomputers - and fraught with immense political and economic
>>>> consequences.
>>>> Overrate the risks of global climate change, and we could find ourselves
>>>> pumping high-priced gas into tiny cars because an international treaty
>>>> rationed fossil fuels for no good reason.
>>>> Understate them, and the price of inaction could range from drowned
condos on the Florida coast to droughts in the farm belt and tropical diseases
>>>> invading the world's temperate zones.
The Leipzig declaration grew out of a November 1995 meeting of scientists
>>>> who say the risks are overrated.
>>>> "Contrary to conventional wisdom," it states, "there does not exist
today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming
from rising levels of carbon dioxide." All who signed it are identified as
>>>> In the United States, this declaration was circulated by S. Fred
Singer, an atmospheric physicist known to buck the mainstream on
environmental issues.
>>>> Global warming? Singer has called it a problem manufactured by activists.
>>>> Ozone depletion? He doubts Freon and its chemical cousins are at fault, and
>>>> criticized the Nobel Prize awarded to the scientists credited with
>>>>discovering the problem as "political."
>>>> About 45 Americans signed his global warming declaration. Some have
>>>> well-established national reputations. Former National Hurricane Center
>>>> director Neil Frank. Frederick Seitz, a former president of the National
>>>> Academy of Sciences. David Aubrey, a coastal research scientist at the
>>>> prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
>>>> "One of my concerns has been the one-sided nature of at least a
portion of the government's discussions about global climate change," Aubrey
>>>> Many other names on the Leipzig list are unrecognizable to leading
climate researchers. Several are scientists whose daily bread has been
buttered by industries that produce greenhouse gases.
>>>> Chauncey Starr of the Electrical Power Research Institute endorsed the
>>>> declaration. So did Patrick Michaels, the global warming critic whose
>>>> newsletter is financed by the Western Fuels Association. So did Robert
>>>> Balling, the Arizona State University climate scientist whose research has
>>>> been supported by coal companies and Kuwait.
>>>> So did Richard F. Groeber, whose scientific credentials do not include a
>>>> college degree. In Springfield, Ohio, Groeber is better known as the
operator of Dick's Weather Service. He tracks weather data at his private
station, but avoids the trickier job of forecasting. A long-time observer of
Ohio weather, he suspects global climate trends are related to sunspots, not
greenhouse gases.
>>>> Is Groeber a scientist?
>>>> "I sorta consider myself so," he said. "I had two or three years of
>>>>college training in the scientific area, and 30 or 40 years of self-study."
>>>> At WTVT in Tampa, Roy Leep has a sophisticated array of meteorological
>>>> equipment, a longstanding reputation for reliable forecasts and a seal of
>>>> approval from the American Meteorological Society. A brief version of his
>>>> forecast appears each day in the Times.
>>>> What Leep doesn't have is a Ph.D. in any scientific field, or for that
>>>> matter, a bachelor's degree. He was taking meteorology courses at Florida
>>>> State University and broadcasting radio weather reports when WTVT hired him
>>>>in 1957.
>>>> Leep signed the Leipzig declaration partly because he thinks government
>>>> money invested in global warming research would be better spent on other
>>>> things, such as hurricane research. "As a taxpayer, I can see a lot more
>>>> pressing areas of interest," he said.
>>>> In San Francisco, the "scientist" who signed the declaration is KPIX
>>>> weatherman Brian Sussman, who thinks "the jury is still out" on global
>>>> warming. He has a bachelor's degree in meteorology.
>>>> The latest round in the global warming debate began with a thick report
>>>>from the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change that was supposed to achieve a global consensus among climate
>>>> Its authors found evidence of "a discernible human influence" on today's
>>>> climate. They expect this influence to grow with the buildup of greenhouse
>>>> gases, potentially changing coastlines, agricultural areas and infectious
>>>> disease rates.
>>>> Fred Singer's Science & Environmental Policy Project responded with a
list of scientists who find "drastic control policies - lacking credible support
>>>> from the underlying science - to be ill-advised, premature" and
perilous to a world that runs on coal and oil.
>>>> "What we're trying to do is bring to the attention of the American public
>>>> that there is strong scientific disagreement about the conclusion of this
>>>>U.N. report," Singer said. "The people who run this business are trying to
>>>> marginalize us. Calling us a tiny minority."
>>>> Singer solicited signatures from scientists by sending the declaration to
>>>> members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical
>>>> Union.
>>>> In fact, membership in the American Meteorological Society is open to
>>>>people without any degree; all you need is substantial experience in the
weather field and 20 semester hours of college science classes. Does it
bother Singer that people without a scientific degree would
sign a declaration that begins, "As scientists . . ."?
>>>> Not greatly. "To me, that is not as important as the fact that we can
>>>> demonstrate that 100 or so scientists would put their names down" as
>>>> dissenters from the U.N. report.
>>>> Singer contends that more scientists wanted to sign his declaration, but
>>>> feared they could jeopardize their government jobs or federal research
>>>> One government scientist who signed is Nathaniel Guttman at the National
>>>> Climatic Data Center in North Carolina. He said he signed it as a private
>>>> citizen who doubts weather records are adequate to reach conclusions about
>>>> global warming. As a federal employee, "I'd prefer not to comment."
>>>> Some names on the Leipzig list baffle climate researchers. Even
scientists in the same town can't place them.
>>>> Take Boulder, Colo., for example. It's the headquarters of the National
>>>> Center for Atmospheric Research, a leading institution of global climate
>>>> research.
>>>> It's also the home of two signers of the Leipzig declaration - John E.
>>>> Gaynor and J.P. Lodge. A third, George E. McVehil, is in nearby Englewood.
Kevin Trenberth, the climate analysis chief at the Boulder center, doesn't
recognize any of them.
>>>> "None of them is known professionally at all in climate research," he
>>>>said. "They are nonentities."

>>>>- Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.



From larcon at Sun Aug 25 09:39:40 1996
From: larcon at (Ronal Larson)
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:57 2004
Subject: Climate change story offered with mixed feelings
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>


This message from Kirk was the latest received from the stoves group and
therefore the easiest for me to respond to as I acknowledge my return to
civilization after seven weeks away (mostly in the remote Kafa zone of
Ethiopia). I will respond later with a few stoves comments from there
but especially to add comments on 7 weeks of interesting messages.

Concerning the issue of global warming raised by my good friends Tom Reed
and Chuck Kezar - I'm afraid I am much more concerned and probably in
agreement with Kirk. There may not be total scientific proof yet, but I
think there are plenty of warning signs and a lot of good scientists who
are expressing concern.

The statistic that I can't put my hand on right now is that of the
magnitude of the temperature change as measured at the two poles. I
believe this is (and is projected should be) much larger than the world
average rise. I believe I remember a measured rise of 2 degrees (C?) in
the last 50 years. This scares me and hope that Kirk or someone will
confirm my recollection of the number.

More coming when I get over the jet lag. Ron



From verhaarp at Thu Aug 29 19:38:17 1996
From: verhaarp at (Peter Verhaart)
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:58 2004
Subject: reference on cracking, swelling/shrinking during pyrolysis
Message-ID: <>

hi Hassan
>i am looking for information on the mechanism of cracking, swelling and/or
>shrinking of large wood particle (2cm size and above) when subjected to
>high temperature (900 - 1200K) to undergo combustion.
>From experiments with stoves and charcoal making, the consensus would be
that wood particles shrink on charring. How much? I would guess about 10 %
linear. Not being isotropic shrinkage is probably less lengthwise than in
width. Where moisture is trapped inside it might crack or burst the particle
when vaporising. Getting better figures shouldn't be too difficult for those
among us who experiment with charcoal making stoves, simply measuring pieces
of wood before and after charring.

What are you trying to find out?

Piet Verhaart




From 73002.1213 at Fri Aug 30 08:25:27 1996
From: 73002.1213 at (Thomas Reed)
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:58 2004
Subject: Dioxin ... tolerance??
Message-ID: <960830122537_73002.1213_FHM22-2@CompuServe.COM>

Dear Doug:

I appreciated your "understanding dioxin" letter. It raises some more questions
to one peripheral to the issue.

1) Is dioxin uniquely toxic amongst combustion products, or is it only one of
many that we happen to focus on because of the Italian well-studied incident?

2) Is asbestos uniquely toxic amongst mineral and synthetic insulation or is it
singled out because it is so cheap and therefore so widely used?

3) Same for mercury, benzene, ... and other instances of useful chemicals, too
late discovered to be toxic.

If the answer to 1-3 is no, we should have some fraction of the EPA and related
organizations "casting a wider net" to understand the general nature of toxicity
so that we can catch other toxins without needing epidemiology which in turn
requires thousands of toxic incidents.

Is it possible that the body develops a toleration, an inorganic immunity to
some of these materials if the exposure isn't too abrupt? Do smokers have a
higher tolerance for CO than the rest of us because they continually are exposed
to 100-500 ppm CO? Maybe we can fall back on "everything in moderation" as an
operating principle to ensure that we all get our "peck of dirt" before we die.

Go with it!

Yours truly, TOM REED



From prasad at Fri Aug 30 08:32:49 1996
From: prasad at (prasad)
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:58 2004
Subject: Peck of dirt
In-Reply-To: <960830122537_73002.1213_FHM22-2@CompuServe.COM>
Message-ID: <>

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From sturn at Fri Aug 30 14:36:12 1996
From: sturn at (Scott Turn)
Date: Tue Aug 31 21:34:58 2004
Subject: Dioxin ... tolerance??
In-Reply-To: <960830122537_73002.1213_FHM22-2@CompuServe.COM>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.93.960830082719.21234D-100000@uhunix5>

If you are looking for information regarding the health risks and
regulatory strategies concerning dioxin, I refer you to Environmental
Science and Technology, Vol 29, No 1, 1995, special report entitiled
"Dioxin Risk: Are We Sure Yet" which details EPA's dioxin assessment.

Scott Q. Turn
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute Phone: (808) 956-2346
University of Hawaii Fax: (808) 956-2335
2540 Dole St., Holmes Hall 246 email:
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822