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November 24, 2019 9:14 PM

Some ways to provide automatic heat to a home include electric resistance, geothermal, solar, heat pump, natural gas, propane, and heating oil. In areas where the outdoor temperatures and the electricity rates aren’t severe, heat pumps may have the lowest life cycle cost; especially if the ductwork can be eliminated. For this post though, we will compare burning properties of natural gas, propane, and fuel oil.

Many people are surprised when they find out that jet fuel extinguishes a lighted match. The higher flash points of diesel fuel and fuel oil make it safe enough for tank storage in enclosed spaces like basements. Even though fuel oil must be placarded as “flammable” when more than 1000 pounds (roughly 140 gallons) are transported according to D.O.T. regulations, it may really be a combustible liquid when it is classified according to its flash point. Years ago, if a loading facility was strictly fuel oil, it was common for oil truck drivers to smoke a cigarette while loading his truck.

Natural gas is the most dangerous of the three. If fuel oil or diesel fuel leaks a little, the worst thing that can happen is contamination of the surrounding area. Leaks are expensive to clean up for sure but its vapors will not ignite with a spark or match when in confined spaces unless it is really hot.

If you have not filed your taxes yet and use heating oil to heat your house in New York state, you may want to look at form IT-241. New York offers a “Clean Heating Fuel Credit” for up to 20 percent bio-fuel use in the heating oil used to heat your home or business.  If you live in Suffolk County, you most likely have been getting 5% bio-fuel (B5) in your heating oil.  Depending on the ingredients of the bio, the fuel has between 85 and 93 percent of the BTU’s as regular heating oil.  At least one large heating oil dealer is delivering 10 percent bio-fuel in their fuel oil.  The UL has only approve for up to B5 in heating oil components.  Below is a chart with the tax credit savings compared with the extra cost of lower BTU content.  Keep in mind that bio-fuels could cause breakdowns due to its increased thickness at lower temperatures; especially  for outside tanks.      

 

Heating Oil With 10 Percent Bio Vs. Straight Heating Oil

 

B10 BTU's per gallon

137,115

ULS Heating Oil BTU's per gallon

138,500

Gallons Delivered 2013

848.7

Heat Equivalent Gallons

840.2

 

 

 

 

Average Price Paid Per Gallon

$ 4.126

 

$ 4.126

2013 B10 Heating Oil Cost

$3,501.74

Using Conventional Heating Oil

$3,466.72

 

 

 

 

New York IT-241 Clean Fuel Credit

$ 84.87

Savings over 10% Bio Fuel

$ 35.02

Total Heating Oil Cost

$3,416.87

 

$3,466.72

 

 

 

 

Actual Tax Credit Savings

$ 49.85

 

 

 

There have been many regulations imposed on people for the expressed purpose of protecting the environment and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  Some regulations make sense but others seem to have made matters worse.  Among the regulations that have done more damage than good are requirements to add MTBE and ethanol to gasoline.  MTBE was bad news and has since been banned.  Ethanol contains sugar which attracts water and makes the fuel corrosive which is not good for engines. Landscapers and boaters hate the stuff because of the damage caused to small engines by the short usable life.  Vehicle owners that fill up 85 percent ethanol (E85) risk voiding their warranties and will get about 25% miles per gallon less in their car due to the lower BTU content of ethanol.  The price of ethanol and other bio-fuels would be higher than straight gasoline or diesel were it not for the heavy subsidies offered by various governments.

Electric water heaters are the second most common, the least expensive to buy, the easiest to install, and have efficiency ratings of 90% and higher. So you may ask, “what’s the problem?” For an explanation, here is an excerpt from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

"More U.S. households use natural gas to heat water than any other fuel source, and about 40% use electricity. A small percentage use propane or heating oil. Typical water heaters in the U.S. are electric resistance or atmospheric natural gas tank water heaters. Electric water heaters typically have Energy Factors (efficiency ratings) of about 0.9, while gas ones will be rated about 0.6.

The energy factor is based on site energy use, which is the amount of energy your water heater uses. However, it takes about three times as much source energy (this includes the energy needed to generate and distribute a fuel) to deliver a unit of electricity to the site as gas, since only about 1/3 of the fuel energy that enters the power plant reaches the house. The rest is lost due to inefficiency at the power plant and the power lines. Therefore, an electric water heater that appears to be 50% “better” than a gas one (0.9 Energy Factor versus 0.6 Energy Factor) actually uses much more source energy than the average gas water heater."

Some power plants are still coal fired which aren’t exactly as clean as natural gas or oil. When source energy is considered, Electric Resistance water heaters are only about half as efficient as gas and oil fired water heaters. These water heaters are used every day in all sorts of climates. If “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is being caused by mankind’s inefficient energy use and pollution, why not be consistent and ban them like incandescent light bulbs?

There have been too many useful products that have been phased out already because of politically motivated science. With the incandescent bulb, any energy that is not used as light winds up as heat. This is good inside a home in winter but not so good for stage lighting. Let people decide for themselves based on their own needs or wants and not on junk science.

Am I complaining? No! So does the common electric water waste more energy than the common lightbulb? My guess would be Yes. Don’t tell the powers that be because they create enough mischief on their own.
December 26, 2010 5:52 PM

When we hear the commandment “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”  (Exodus 20:16 NASB)  should we say it means we ought not lie and leave it at that?  OK, you know my answer because if I thought it to be yes, I would not have written this article.  This commandment encompasses others.  In practical terms, I believe this to be a difficult commandment to understand, let alone obey.  I will try to explain what is required of us by the above commandment and to give practical ways for us not to stumble over it.

We all know the harm that can be done if we act on something that turns out to be false.  What if the person giving us a report is ignorant or believes he is speaking the truth?  Is he exonerated?  Here is an example. A man says “Go ahead and dig. There are no lines there.”  It turns out he was wrong, and the machine operator knocks out power to a whole town!  The man did not attempt to deceive anyone so he did not lie.  Is he blameless?  

An honest reading of the ninth commandment should tell us that there is more to it than lying.  Presumably, the machine operator in the example is a co-worker of the man and Jesus gave a broad definition of “neighbor” in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) so there would be no reason not to consider co-workers our neighbors.   What the man said was proven to be false so he gave a false witness that caused harm. The operator acted on the man's word.  Does this mean that it is sin to be wrong so we must know everything?  I believe the keys to obeying this commandment are language, wisdom, and sense. (which does not seem to be so common these days)

If we are to attempt to obey the ninth commandment, we would do well to understand the third which is “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)  There are many names given in the books of Moses for God.  Would it not make sense here to use the name “I AM” (Exodus 3:14) because it is the name God told Moses to use when he was about lead God's people out of Egypt?  This would mean we ought not use a form of “to be” haphazardly because we may be taking the Lord's name in vain.  We should be able to explain why the thing we referenced is true.  I would rather say “stop using the word “God” in a swear phrase” and call it a day.  Oh, if it were that easy to satisfy what is required of us!

I remember an off the cuff conversation in high school with my Spanish teacher in which the jist of it was that in her country they say “I saw him in the other room” but we say “He is in the other room.”  I did not take much away from her class but at least I saw the profound difference here.  The first statement remains true but the second statement is likely to become false as time passes.  If we are careful to qualify our statements, we can better honor God by refraining from falsehoods.  “I don't believe there are wires there”, “according to the town...” and “I don't know” are perfectly valid answers if that is all we can attest to.

So is that it?  Not quite.  We have neglected the “bear”.  Should we hold on to stuff that is not true?  I don't think so.  We would do well to throw up anything we believe that is false.  Better yet, we should not swallow it in the first place.  This is where the machine operator may come in.  Does he have reason not to believe what the man told him?  If the man has a record of being incompetent, careless, or loose with the facts, did the machine operator have a duty to not carry the falsehood and seek help from others?  

Paul commended the Bereans because they did not swallow everything he said without checking it out.  (Acts 17:10-12)  We have a responsibility to make sure we have checked out things (not just scripture) before we pass them on to others and before we believe what others say to us.  Should we believe ourselves to be spiritual so when a thought crosses our minds we say it is “a word from the lord” without checking it out against reality?  I find this attitude infuriating and a great hurdle to overcome when presenting the gospel!  If we frequently give our friends and co-workers information that they check out and find to be wrong, why should they believe us when we talk about the things of God?  If they find that we are trustworthy and pretty much everything we say turns out to be true, we may be able to overcome the “fruitcake” label in some people's minds.     

It is hard to bring falsehoods into conversations if all we believe is true and we do not give definitive statements about things we do not know about.  How do we go about this?  Two things come to mind.  The first thing is we ought not take part in gossip!  (Proverbs 18:7-8) (Romans 1:28-32)  God takes gossiping seriously because I believe it is a way we take God's name in vain.  I wonder what percentage of gossip is true.  My guess is that it is not very high.  Secondly, we should forbid ourselves from getting into frivolous arguments.  The truth can become secondary if egos get bruised and it becomes more important to win the argument.  Is God glorified in this?  I believe this barely scratches the surface on this topic.  I hope I have given you some food for thought.

Virtue can be judged by how people treat words. People of honor hold fast to meanings of words even when they miscalculate what is required under them or when it harms their cause. Dishonorable people tend to hold rigid or fluid meanings to suit their interests. In other words, when another person does not hold up their end of a bargain with him, he will adamantly demand justice with a strict construction of the agreement. However, when he is deficient in his end of a bargain or wants something that goes against an agreement, he will try to change the meaning of the words. Those who successfully “revise” things in this manner prove themselves to be thieves because this cheats people out of what was theirs. I will expand this fact in order to show that arrogant centralized authority serves as a confusion mechanism which leads people away from God.

The nation of Israel was established as a theocracy when one man, Abraham believed God and was passed on to his descendants through inheritance. This seems more legitimate than God assembling people and having them vote 53 to 47 percent to have Him rule over them. Many Old Testament laws concerned individuals and private property rights. Could one of the reasons God instituted Jubilee (Leviticus 25) where property reverted back to the family that originally owned it be that He wanted the power that came with owning property vested in the many rather than the few? Did God oppose Israel having a king like the pagan nations had (1st Samuel 8) because He thought centralized power vested in fallen men to be an evil?

In the 119th Psalm, David equates God's law as His Word and as truth. We know that Israel generally hated and rebelled against the law throughout its history. When God's begotten Word became flesh, (John 1:14) nothing changed. The Israelites, led by the elite of their day continued to hate God's Son just like they had throughout most of their history. If they had been seeking the truth, they would have had to suppress their false notions that their Messiah was to deliver them from the Romans. Instead of being caretakers of God's law and handing over the reigns to their promised king, the Jewish leaders arrogantly sought to suppress Him by putting Him on trial lawlessly so they could maintain their power. In their lawlessness, Christ had to subject Himself to their false ideas rather than fulfill the law if He wanted to be deemed their Messiah!

The early American distrust of government officials should be evident to all who study United States history and its Constitution. It was commonly understood that Federal government officials were to be stewards of our Constitution and not to have authority in and of themselves. The main reason we were given three branches of government is so a branch could be suppressed if they violate the constitution. State governments were represented in the Senate and there was a doctrine called nullification if that all wasn't enough. This was supposed to protect people from government abuses. In short, the government was to protect its citizens from invasion and to be a referee between parties under its jurisdiction. That changed quickly when the Supreme Court declared that it had the final authority on interpreting what was constitutional and was not seriously challenged. Today, although we are supposedly still under the constitution which limits federal power, it is the federal government officials who get to decide when those powers have been violated. It seems that our government does everything except what was delegated to it in the constitution.

Our current government evangelists preach that our constitution must be a “living, breathing document” to allow more “good” to take place on behalf of the people. The amendment process is too taxing for them. Generally, they desire government to be the be all and end all; an entity unto itself. They can't have a majority of people believe that their fluid view of our law has in effect nullified it out of existence. According to them, we the people are not supposed to discriminate or think for ourselves by recognizing what is truly around us. We ought to first filter everything through the propaganda that they dish out. They want to do all of our thinking for us. We are not supposed to bring to light the abuses brought on by our government. People who do the best job at this against corrupt governments have gotten labeled enemies of the state and have been murdered throughout history.

Early Americans understood property and personal responsibility because they did not have “safety nets” like we do today. They themselves mostly bore the burden of their vices and reaped the reward for their industriousness and frugality. A lot of them understood that the only way their government could receive more power is for it to be taken away from them.

Many people currently do not understand property and responsibility. Today, our politicians try to deny the laws of scarcity and to obtain increased power through ruses. Our Federal Government gives fiat money, social security, insurances, bailouts, welfare, unemployment and other unconstitutional “benefits” which shield people from reality and transfer wealth unjustly. Even if we consider social security as something that is paid into, we have to realize that the money has already been spent (stolen) and the program simply takes money from working people and gives it to the retired. These things enable people to transfer their shortcomings to the “system” and delay thinking about the consequences until the whole thing falls apart.

If sin is debt owed to God for damaging what is His, discussing the need for salvation in private property and personal responsibility terms would seem to be appropriate. These concepts are getting more difficult to grasp for some because they believe governments when they declare there is no such thing as personal responsibility (except maybe for our duties to government) and seek to change the meaning of words to suit their purposes. Both Israel and our country should serve as examples of law being turned on its head in arrogance. I believe that many people need to be brought out of the deceptions and cocoons of the government road in order for them to understand their need for salvation.  

 

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7 NASB