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Forum > Renewables

Sustainable Cities


How America Bankrupted its Cities - The Growth 💰😈 Ponzi Scheme 🤦‍♂️
599,928 views Premiered Jan 11, 2021

Not Just Bikes
204K subscribers
Watch the rest of this series here:

This is the 3rd video in the Strong Towns series, and is probably the most important core topic: the fact that American car-dependant cities are financially insolvent, and function like a Ponzi scheme . This is the reason most American cities are bankrupt. 😟

If you learned something from this video, consider donating to Strong Towns:

This video is a summary of the "Growth Ponzi Scheme" articles, published by Strong Towns.

Strong Towns publishes a lot of cases studies of American municipal insolvency.

There is a lot more to read, too! Strong Towns has a library of articles about building strong and resilient towns and cities that goes back over 15 years.


Puerto Rico has the geographic position and Renewable Energy resources that could make it the envy of the world
Though it has been 25 years since I moved from Puerto Rico to Vermont, I understand the situation down there rather well, so let me explain why this is so.

Besides day length and lack of winter, there are other advantages to the latitude (i.e. tropics) where Puerto Rico is located. 

Humans need clean air, clean water, food and shelter to have a viable society. I will list ways that Puerto Rico can provide these basic needs affordably AND Renewably.

The main disadvantage of an island economy is the cost of transporting needed supplies from outside the island. And after said supplies get to the few ports, another cost of transporting from the ports to the homes and businesses is added.

Also, centralized water and electrical power systems further add to the cost of getting potable water and power to the homes and businesses.

Yes, the island is only is only 35 miles by 100 miles. But, it is mountainous. So the claim that a network of water pipes and electrical power lines within the island provides the most efficient way to provide those services is simply not true.

The goal must be to have as much distributed infrastructure as possible in order to reduce any and all costs of moving absolutely anything from point A to point B.

WHY? Because you want to have the smallest islandwide energy demand footprint.

WHY? Because the smaller the footprint, the cheaper it is to power with Renewable Energy. Another benefit is that there is less backup power that you need to store.

The procedure to set up this efficient Renewable Energy based system should go something like this:

1) The relative humidity is never below about 60%. That means that a solar power water generator in every home can cost effectively replace the entire water distribution pipe and pump system, which is costly to maintain. The island's water system would then be dedicated to the matter of collecting the sewage and possibly using it to manufacture fertilizer, instead of having a network of costly septic treatment plants using chemicals.

Water generators can, due to the relative humidity there, easily provide all the potable water that is, unlike the present system, not questionable for drinking. All the massive cost of energy now routinely paid by the average Puerto Rican to buy bottled water, plus the waste from bottle plastic, would not exist. Any tank the size of an 80 gallon water heater could hold the water cleanly. Of course people might want to have a large cistern for more water, but the average family would certainly not need one. No hurricane or earthquake would ever interrupt access to clean water to anyone who's home was not utterly destroyed. Clean water from solar powered water generators is old technology. This is a must for an island subject to calamities like hurricanes and earthquaqes.

2) With the average family never suffering clean water shortages, the population becomes extremely resilient after a calamity. Disease vectors are stopped in their tracks because the people can bathe with, cook with and drink clean water 24/7. The next need is electrical energy. Since the island is relatively small, the promotion of 100% EV vehicles would mean billions (with a B) of dollars not spent on annually on fossil fuels. So, the best approach here is to solarize al the buildings.

Here, I wish to point something out that everybody seems to have missed. Puerto Rico is at around 18 degrees north latitude. Any solar installer will immediately realize that, for a large portion of the year, solar panels can be nearly flat against a flat roof, and still get nearly 100% efficiency. Beyond the fact that insolation values down there are superior to anywhere in the continental U.S., a flat solar panel, properly secured, will withstand category 5 hurricane winds, unlike a panel in Vermont that sits at about 40 degrees. There are time periods of the year in Puerto Rico that the sun is directly above!

That's right, you stand and your shadow is directly beneath you at noon. Most of the roofs in Puerto Rico are flat concrete so solarizing them and strongly securing the panels to them is easily done. After the island is solarized, even if 20% are damaged from a hurricane, most homes will have enough power to help their neighbors. This is what a resilient economy is like.

3) The centralized electrical grid should still exist for large cities like San Juan and Ponce, but the high voltage transmission lines and the towers vulnerable to hurricanes would no longer be needed over most of the island. That is one less part of the infrastructure to maintain.

4) Unlike the mainland USA, where the grid to EV network should be used as backup and smoothing and storage eventually, I think Puerto Rico should work to subsidize an EV for gasoline polluting clunkers program where a person's EV is charged fmostly from their home. Remember, a round trip to work in Puerto Rico NEVER exceeds the range of a Leaf, so the EV can become, for all practical purposes, a zero fuel cost vehicle for Puerto Ricans.

5) The powerwall systems will have their place too. The government should also subsidize them simply to provide resilience and grid smoothing on a 24/7 basis, plus a massive program to train the average Puerto Rican homeowner on how to best care for the system.

6) There is another HUGE advantage that Puerto Rico has that I wish to mention. Puerto Rico has the trade winds. They blow 5 to 15 mph 24/7 continuously (ALL YEAR).

NASA put an experimental wind turbine up on Culebra Island way back in the 1970's. It worked fine. It never stopped generating electricity. Do you know why it was dismantled?

I'm glad you asked. NASA wanted to give it to the power authority of Puerto Rico FREE on the condition that they maintain it. The power authority refused because their "business model" relied on fossil fuels. Here is a link to that story. The stranglehold of the 🦖 fossil fuel 😈 interests in Puerto Rico has fostered tremendous costs, inefficency and pollution on that benighted island. It's time to stop that criminal stupidity by kicking fossil fuels off the island permanently.

7) The island, once it is running on over 50% Renewable Energy, can concentrate on using the advantage of not having winter to grow organic vegetables all year round. The greenhouses can be made to withstand hurricanes. Producing more of its own food will reduce the shipping costs for food coming to the island, which will, in turn, help the citizens prosper sustainably.

Puerto Rico needs fossil fuel powered infrastructure and vehicles like a hole in the head.

Puerto Rico has the geographic position and Renewable Energy resources that can make it the envy of the world. Even the ocean currents are a potential massive source of energy at the level of Japan and Scotland.

However, due to the systemic corruption there, I do not see much hope for common sense to prevail in Puerto Rico.


The 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon 👹 Hellspawn Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, Government corrupting, human health depleting CRIME. Since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID DOING THE TIME or PAYING THE FINE!  Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   

Gas-Free ⚡ Houses & Solar Powered   Electric Car Sharing https://youtu.be/chDi85uDy1k
Fully ⚡ Charged Show 849K subscribers

Robert visits the Wisselspoor Buildings Project in the city of Utrecht to see how this dense housing development is completely gas-free as well as offering an extensive solar powered electric car sharing scheme. Utrecht is a truly inspirational city, one that is 10 years into the future and a worthy winner of our first ever Fully Charged Cities award.

Fully Charged LIVE is BACK! Get your tickets now
Amsterdam - 18th, 19th & 20th March 2022: https://fullycharged.live/eu/
Farnborough - 29th & 30th April, 1st May 2022: https://fullycharged.live/

In the final of our Dutch episodes Robert is reunited with his Nissan Leaf which has had a serious battery upgrade.

Catch up the other episodes here:

The City Built on Bikes:
Largest Vehicle-To-Grid Project?:

Feb 27, 2022 67,803 views

How to balance renewable ⚡ grids WITHOUT energy storage!
Just Have a Think 382K subscribers

Balancing renewable power sources on modern electricity grids is becoming one of the greatest logistical challenges of our time. Battery storage helps, but it's incredibly expensive. Now a team from Vermont University has taken inspiration from the internet to build a system that could save gigawatts of power each day.

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