Energy

The economics of wind. The role of coal in the energy economies of the U.S. and Illinois. Whether and how to support emerging technologies to burn coal more cleanly. The environmental costs of mining and consuming coal for power generation. Whether and how to effect a transition to renewables and away from fossil fuels. How to make public transit a viable alternative and conservation through efficiency a widespread private habit.

 

Today's readers will recognize these as very current issues—as they also were in the 1970s and early 1980s when I started writing about energy. The nation was then being in hock, in effect, to the oil sheiks, and when they shut off imports in 1973 it caused a shock that the U.S. would not feel again until 9-11, when Saudis led a different kind of attack on America.

 

The panic then was how to achieve energy independence. The panic today is about how to avoid rendering the planet inhospitable to humans because of the heedless combustion of fossil fuels. But while the ends of policy have shifted, the means are mind-numbingly familiar. Everything that had to be explained, over and over, in the 1970s has to be explained again 30 years later. No one learned. Not much changed, and even what did change didn't change for the right reasons. 

 

Which means, perhaps, that these pieces will strike younger readers today as fresh and relevant. I hope so.

Note: The City of Springfield owns its own power generation facility, a legacy of the public power socialists of the 1920s, so energy is a matter of local policy in Springfield. That made it an appropriate subject for Illinois Times columns, links to which appear below. 

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The Battles Over the Ground and Behind the Doors

Healing damaged farmland in Illinois

Illinois Issues  January 1985

The (Energetic) Ambition of Frank Beal

The thinking bureaucrat's sort of bureaucrat

Illinois Issues April 1980

Transportation and the Government's Uneven Hand

State intervention in the transportation marketplace

Illinois Issues  October 1981

Illinois coal series (six parts)

Illinois Issues  July-December 1979

The UMW Battlefield Moves Beyond  the Coal Field

A feature article about one of Illinois labor's lost causes

Illinois Issues April 1980

Illinois: The Land of Ethanol

On converting Illinois corn to motor fuel

Illinois Issues January 1981

Manna from Decatur

On the fraud of corn-based motor fuels

Illinois Issues  October 2007

Corn, Coal, Corn 

Can a corn field have a life after strip mining?

Illinois Issues  July 1980

Mined Land Reclamation: Ends and Means

Healing damaged farmland in Illinois

Illinois Issues  December 1984

Agency Problems

The dilemmas of public power on a warming planet

“Dyspepsiana” Illinois Times July 27, 2017

Springfield City Water, Light & Power

Harvesting Electricity

The newest energy crop from Illinois fields

“Dyspepsiana”  Illinois Times  January 21, 2010

It’s Not the Heat But the Stupidity

Our summer cooling technologies remain unevolved

“Dyspepsiana”  Illinois Times  July 29, 2010   

Greener than Thou       

Mayor Davlin wants to make Springfield the No. 1 green city

“Dyspepsiana”  Illinois Times  September 16, 2010

Lousy Socialists

Can CWLP be managed for the people’s benefit?

“Dyspepsiana”  Illinois Times December 20, 2012 

 

What Would Willis Do?

Will CWLP not have to clean up its act?

“Dyspepsiana”  Illinois Times October 5, 2017

‘Great Refrigerator Roundup’ Is a Bad Bargain

City Water, Light & Power’s efficiency rebates are inefficient    

“Dyspepsiana”  Illinois Times  October 8, 2009

Energy for Illinois

A big-picture summary

Illinois Issues  August 1980

Energy-efficient Buildings

Should intelligent selfishness be mandatory?

Illinois Issues  June 1981

Damning the Coal Company

Trading coal today for corn forever

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  January 18, 1980

Dumb

Springfield loses its cool

“Prejudices"  Illinois Times  April 14, 1983

Rush to Judgment

Does Illinois export acid rain?

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  March 22, 1984

Closing Doors

Illinois institutions try to keep the heat in

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  January 12, 1984

“A Little More Dirt in Your Lungs”

An Illinois governor preaches pollution

Illinois Times  August 3, 1979

Lo-cal Castles

The case for energy-efficient houses

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  April 4, 1980

Let the Sun Shine In

I actively embrace passive solar

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  April 8, 1982

Deja Vu

Thirty years of energy policy in Illinois

Illinois Issues  October 2006

Homegrown Energy

The gasohol debate with an Illinois accent

Reader  May 4, 1984

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$164 a Ton

Not all gas emitted by CWLP comes out its chimneys

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  October 20, 1983

SITES

OF INTEREST

John Hallwas

Essential for anyone interested in Illinois history and literature. Hallwas deservedly won the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society.

Lee Sandlin Author

One of Illinois’s best, and least-known, writers of his generation. Take note in particular of The Distancers and Road to Nowhere.

Chicago Architecture Center

See Home Page/Learn/

Resources for a marvelous building database, architecture dictionary, even a city planning graphic novel. Handsome, useful—every Illinois culture website should be so good.

The Encyclopedia of Chicago

 

The online version of The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Crammed with thousands of topic entries, biographical sketches, maps and images, it is a reference work unmatched in Illinois.

Illinois Great Places

The Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2018 selected 200 Great Places in Illinois that illustrate our  shared architectural culture across the entire period of human settlement in Illinois.

McLean County Museum

of History

A nationally accredited, award-winning project of the McLean County Historical Society whose holdings include more than 20,000 objects, more than 15,000 books on local history and genealogy, and boxes and boxes of historical papers and images.

Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, and Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois

 

Every Illinois town ought to have a chronicler like D. Leigh Henson, Ph.D. Not only Lincoln and the Mother road—the author’s curiosity ranges from cattle baron John Dean Gillett to novelist William Maxwell. An Illinois State Historical Society "Best Web Site of the Year."

Southern Illinois University Press

SIU Press is one of the four major university publishing houses in Illinois. Its catalog offers much of local interest, including biographies of Illinois political figures, the history (human and natural) and folklore of southern Illinois, the Civil War and Lincoln, and quality reprints in the Shawnee Classics series.

Chronicling Illinois

“Chronicling Illinois” showcases some of the collections—mostly some 6,000 photographs—from the Illinois history holdings of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

Illinois Digital Archives

 

Created in 2000, the IDA is a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library and other Illinois libraries and cultural institutions. The holdings include photographs, slides, and glass negatives, oral histories, newspapers, maps, and documents from manuscripts and letters to postcards,  posters, and videos.

[STILL A-BUILDING]

BOOKS

 OF INTEREST

Southern Illinois University Press 2017

A work of

solid history, entertainingly told.

Michael Burlingame,

author of Abraham 

Lincoln: A Life 

One of the ten best books on Illinois history I have read in a decade.

Superior Achievement Award citation, ISHS Awards, 2018

A lively and engaging study

. . . an enthralling narrative.

James Edstrom

The Annals of Iowa

A book that merits the attention of all Illinois historians

as well as local historians generally.

John Hoffman

Journal of Illinois HIstory

A model for the kind of detailed and honest history other states and regions could use.

Harold Henderson 

Midwestern Microhistory

A fine example of a resurgence of Midwest historical scholarship.

Greg Hall

Journal of the Illinois

State Historical Society

Click  here 

to read about

the book 

Click  here 

to buy

the book

Contact James Krohe Jr. at CornLatitudes@outlook.com

All material Copyright © by James Krohe Jr. unless otherwise indicated