Are you ready for climate change?

This page is the beginning of a catalog of innovative appropriate technology, with costs, contact information for their purveyors, and ordering info/product reviews. Please contact me with items you know of that should be included.

The first thing any farmer making investments should do, is get a good understanding of the local predictions for climate change in their area.

You must be sure that the models used are down-scaled, meaning they are based on your local weather pattern data, and realize that the way these models become useful is by seeing convergent patterns in different models, or noticing that there is no agreement thus things are totally unpredictable.  Once you get that perspective, you need to begin to think through the risks you face, based not on the averages predicted, but on the extreme highs and lows, because those are the things that will kill your crops, or destroy your transportation infrastructure stranding you with products you can’t get to market.  Much work is needed to help farmers become ready to cope with the extreme weather patterns that are changing in their area.  What will you do if the flowering cycle is altered due to unseasonably high temperatures? What steps would you take to provide shelter for your livestock if suddenly tornadoes became common in your area? How many back-up water sources do you have that could save your crops if drought became the norm in your area?  If you don’t have answers to these questions, you are not alone, but its time to think them through, know what’s predicted for your area, and make some wise decisions.  Contact me if you’d like to learn more, or check out these resources:

Agriculture Climate Adaptation Tools, NE USA localized models

Northeast Climate Science Center

World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies website and database

This is an incredible wealth of practical knowledge.  In particular, you can download this book from the site for free, along with helpful videos.

The “WOCAT book ‘where the land is greener – case studies and analysis of soil and water conservation initiatives worldwide’ has been published in 2007.

  • contains an extensive range of case studies from around the world: 42 soil and water conservation technologies and 28 approaches in total
  • provides a detailed analysis of the case studies under ‘technologies’ and ‘approaches’ and policy points for decision makers and donors
  • is a prototype and sets new standards for systematic documentation, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge on sustainable land management
  • addresses global concerns such as desertification, poverty, water scarcity and conflict

Co-published by CTA, UNEP, FAO and CDE

Order the book here (hardcopy only available in English).
For nationals of ACP (Africa Caribbean, Pacific) countries working in agriculture and rural development, to receive the publication for free please see or write to CTA, BP 173, 6700 AD Wageningen, The Netherlands.”

Evaporative refrigeration – search my blog for this reference.

Heating spaces with solar heated hot air

from Greater Good Energy Solutions of Belchertown MA:

“The panels are completely sealed from the outside air and are equipped with backdraft dampers- so if the system fan is not running, the damper will stay closed.
There are temperature sensors that monitor the temperature of the panel glass, and the heating space. If the glass reaches over 110 degrees (which it can do very easily), it tells the thermostat that there’s heat available. The thermostat operates just like any other- you set the desired room temperature, and it will turn on the fan to circulate air through the panel until the room reaches the temp. you selected.
Even with an extremely insulated house, because you have control over when the system is pumping heated air, there is no danger of overheating the space.
The prices I quoted previously were for the installation costs only. Please visit this page for more pricing information.
Keep in mind also that in addition to 45% in state and federal tax credits for renewable energy purchases, MA is implementing a Thermal Credit program in 2016. Utilities will be required to buy credits from thermal energy producers- including energy produced by our space heating panels!”


Company: “Nokero, Barefoot Power, and Greenlight Planet”

Product: Sun King Pro Solar lanterns each with individual solar panel

Cost: $38USD each

Review: from a friend of mine traveling in Fiji 2012
“Oh, speaking of homesteads, are you interested in off grid power options? I am building a solar power system piece meal. My priority is a lighting system, followed by a panel setup for appliances. Buying a $20-30k system is out of the question right now so I am focusing on small solutions. I found some of the coolest small solar lighting systems out here. These are thing produced by American companies but not sold in the USA?!?! Nokero, Barefoot Power, and Greenlight Planet. Sold in India, Australia, New Zealand (and Fiji).
I put together a lighting system that will brightly light 7 average size rooms for about $200. It consists of 7 stand alone Sun King Pro Solar lanterns each with its own small solar panel. They can be used like desk or side table lights or ceiling mounted. I like the idea of a system that won’t fail because one module goes bad. I’ve been playing with mine and just one of the lights fully illuminates the hotel room we are staying in. And one days charge gave me 30 hours of light. The advertising and photos of the lights don’t do them justice.
I haven’t bought my property yet, so this is a little premature, but I won’t be able to get these so cheaply and easily later These were about USD $38 each and are very good quality.