Journal of Immunity

Vol 6 No 2 2nd Quarter 2008

Maintaining high CD4's credited to low dose prednisone, licorice and other supplements

From the Message Board

Just wanted to check in and share recent blood work over the last 6 months or so. I continue to be stable with a CD4 count in the 500's and viral load (VL) below 2,000. The most recent testing was, specifically, CD4 514 and VL of 1,710. I know folks say viral load doesn't mean much, but there seems to be some correlation w/ me between low VLs and higher CD4's.

As a brief refresher/history, I was diagnosed around 2004 w/ a CD4 count of 389 and a viral load of over 36,000. Since stepping up "natural" therapies, (I had already been doing lots of nutritional work for years due to other illness) I have consistently kept CD4's above 500 and VL's in the 7,000-1,710 range. I think that could be considered success, and I have the lab work to back that up.

I used many of the suggestions found here and have NEVER taken HIV meds. However, I do take 5 mg. of Prednisone almost daily and, when not on that, I take licorice root or similar herb. I have posted my protocols a few times before if anyone is interested. Because I have taken so many different things, it is difficult for me to pinpoint what I know for sure worked. I've said before that I believe it is the combination of things.

After working so hard on the nutrition and detoxing, etc., I am now focusing a lot on meditation/spiritual. I don't know how long this will last, but I have faith that I will continue to be a non-progressor for many years to come.

Best of health to all of you. Dan

dcrow@bex.net

Neem bark more effective than the leaves?

My name is David Nabbs and I have been involved in Neem research now for approx 12 years. Our chemist based in New Dehli and is probably the foremost authority on Neem with over 35 years and numerous patents under his belt. Reading some of you recent articles on individual trials of Neem leaf caps for persons with Aids, I may be able to add and contibute as this protocol is rather misguided.

Neem bark has far more powerful anti viral properties and Turmeric used as a catalyst enhances the effect over threefold.

Trials are currently in progress (18 months) in Africa involving capsules containing 90% Neem bark powder and 10% Turmeric.

Although I do not have the full details to date it is noted that symptoms (skin lesions,diarrhoea) have been eradicated and we are now waiting on reports regarding the extension of life.

More details may be obtained from the BBC as they transmitted a Radio program on this called The wonderful world of Neem.

David Nabbs


Cyclosporin A instead of prednisone?

To Mark,

You may already be aware of this study but I just wanted to ask your thoughts on using cyclosporin A (CsA) in place of Prednisolone? I just wondered if cyclosporin was available to a patient could this be a superior choice in the longer term?

By the way, I have been taking Prednisone since Aug 2006. This is what my doc insisted I take in place of Prednisolone. She explained it was a longer acting version.

From Aug 2006 to Aug 2007 I've taken 5 mg in the morning.

Aug 2007 to present I've been taking 2.5 mg after adding many other natural IL-6 inhibitors discussed on your site.

Current CD4 210, percentage 21% (cd8 510)

I feel I've benefited from this medication by helping to maintain my CD4 count after stopping all meds in Oct 2004

I can provide much more details on request.

Thanks, Greg

Comment from Mark Konlee: I am not familiar enough with cyclosporine A to make any recommendation one way or the other. I think it is a mistake to reduce the prednisone to 2.5 mg daily. The published studies used 5 mg daily at a minimum. If the CD4's fall below 200 you will need to add anti-retroviral therapy. A good combination is Kaletra, Sustiva and Epivir (3TC). They have minimal side effects. I would avoid Viread or any other drug that might impair kidney function. When your CD4s climb to over 500, you should consider stopping the anti-retroviral meds and just use the 5 mg daily of the prednisone to maintain high CD4's counts.

I believe the use of low dose prednisolone or prednisone or hydrocortisone should be a mainstay or primary treatment while using anti-viral meds interventively for HIV as an on and off treatment as needed for additional support. This will keep the side effects from the HIV drugs at a minimum. The side effects of some of these HIV drugs can be lethal i.e. heart attacks, diabetes and kidney failure. If your physician is getting all his latest HIV research from a revolving door of pharmaceutical salesmen, then it is time to find a new doctor who has an open mind and is not brainwashed by drug reps.

Treatment of primary HIV-1 infection with cyclosporin A coupled with highly active antiretroviral therapy

by Rizzardi GP, et al

J Clin Invest. 2002 Mar;109(5):681-8

Primary HIV-1 infection causes extensive immune activation, during which CD4(+) T cell activation supports massive HIV-1 production. We tested the safety and the immune-modulating effects of combining cyclosporin A (CsA) treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during primary HIV-1 infection. Nine adults with primary HIV-1 infection were treated with CsA along with HAART.

At week 8, all patients discontinued CsA but maintained HAART. Viral replication was suppressed to a comparable extent in the CsA + HAART cohort and in 29 control patients whose primary infection was treated with HAART alone. CsA restored normal CD4(+) T cell levels, both in terms of percentage and absolute numbers.

The increase in CD4(+) T cells was apparent within a week and persisted throughout the study period. CsA was not detrimental to virus-specific CD8(+) or CD4(+) T cell responses. At week 48, the proportion of IFN-gamma-secreting CD4(+) and CD4(+)CCR7(-) T cells was significantly higher in the CsA + HAART cohort than in the HAART-alone cohort.

In conclusion, rapid shutdown of T cell activation in the early phases of primary HIV-1 infection can have long-term beneficial effects and establish a more favorable immunologic set-point. Appropriate, immune-based therapeutic interventions may represent a valuable complement to HAART for treating HIV infection.

Senior citizen reports on 21 years of use of oral EDTA chelation formula as alternative to angioplasty and bypass surgery

Franklin, WI

In 1987, I was experiencing symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pains. I was 58 years old at the time. In June of the same year after being examined by a cardiac specialist, he recommended angioplasty, a surgical procedure to enlarge a narrow artery by implanting a balloon or stint to improve blood flow. By October, 1987, with my symptoms continuing, a second stint was implanted and in March 1988, a 3rd stint was implanted. My symptoms persisted but the physician did not recommend a 4th implant but suggested that bypass surgery be considered.

About that time I was introduced to an oral chelation product called Formula 1 (from Golden Pride Co), a liquid honey and royal jelly formula with a therapeutic amount of EDTA added. EDTA is an amino acid that has been used since the 1940's to remove lead and other heavy metals from the body. It is usually given by an intravenous drip. Physicians also found EDTA removes calcium and cholesterol buildup in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis.

EDTA is also used today as an antioxidant and preservative in salad dressing and EDTA is on the FDAs GRAS list - generally recognized as a safe food additive.

As I didn't have health insurance at the time, I decided to give the EDTA oral formula a try as I could not afford the intravenous treatments and the oral formula was inexpensive I took one rounded teaspoon of the honey/edta mixture twice as a day. Within a few weeks, my symptoms of shortness of breath and chest pains stopped. I never did need another angioplasty and never had bypass surgery. I have been using the product for the better part of the past 21 years. I am now 79 years old. The doctors tell me my heart is 60% better than anyone else they have tested at my age and my eyesight is 20/20, which I attribute to the EDTA Chelation Formula #1. I also eat wholesome food, watch my weight and walk regularly. I lead an active life.

Don Wieselman, Franklin,WI

Editor's Note: I have used the Golden Pride liquid "Formula 1" off and on since the early 1990's. I am convinced of its effectiveness in reversing hardening of the arteries as well as reducing heavy metals. The honey-based formula is easy to digest and assimilate. Persons interested in obtaining Formula 1 should contact Don at 414-529-1787. Conrad.


Alternative Health Care Organizations

from "911 Help" found at www.it0911.net/associations.html

For some time, readers of this newsletter have reported difficulty finding a health care professional that can work with them combining complementary, immune-based and nutritional therapies with or without the use of drugs. This is true even though we publish our own national Health Care Professional referral list that is listed on our website at keephopealive.org. I recently discovered this list of alternative medical organizations on the 911help website and it is a keeper for those of you who need to find local health care professionals with new ideas and approaches for treating chronic health conditions. Best wishes to all of you in your search for health care professionals with creative and innovative healing approaches.

Conrad LeBeau / Mark Konlee

  • Academy for Guided Imagery, PO Box 2070, Mill Valley, CA 94942 (800) 726-2070 or (415) 389-9324. Offers free catalog and directory of practitioners.
  • American Academy of Environmental Medicine (215) 862-4544, fax (215) 862-4583.
  • American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA), 5820 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90036; (800) 521-2262; www.medicalacupuncture.org has information about acupuncture, medical references, links to other sites, and a complete practitioner list; distributes lists of MDs or DOs who have completed training in medical acupuncture.
  • American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO), 3500 DePauw Blvd., Ste. 1080, Indianapolis, IN 46268; (317) 879-1881; www.academyofosteopathy.org
  • American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM), 433 Front St., Catasauqua, PA 18032; (610)-266-1433; FAX (610) 264-2768; for help in locating a certified acupuncture practitioner.
  • American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, 601 Valley St., Suite 105, Seattle, WA 98109; (206) 298-0126; referral line (206) 298-0125, Fax (206) 298-0129; www.naturopathic.org gives complete access to practitioner list, plus info on state organizations, licensing, and credential explanations; Send $5.00 for a national referral directory of naturopathic physicians who specialize in herbal medicine, or you can see it free on their Web site; includes all licensing, credential, and naturopathic medical school info; also lists practitioners by specialty which can be faxed with a credit card.
  • American Association of Orthopedic Medicine, 90 S. Cascade Ave., Suite 1190, Colorado Springs, CO 80903; (800) 992-2063. for information and the names of medical and orthopedic physicians in your area who perform prolotherapy.
  • American Board of Chelation Therapy, 70 West Huron, Chicago, IL 60610; (800) 356-2228; call or write (with SASE) for free list of doctors who practice chelation therapy.
  • American Botanical Council, PO Box 201660, Austin, TX 78720; (800) 373-7105; will send a free catalog of publications about herbs and medicinal plants.
  • American Chiropractic Association (ACA), 1701 Clarendon Blvd., Ste. 200, Arlington, VA 22209; (703) 276-8800 or (800) 986-4636; www.amerchiro.org
  • American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), Box 3427, Laguna Hills, CA 92654; (714) 583-7666; outside CA (800) 532-3688; for national listing of alternative health physicians who practice innovative types of medicine and a list of books and other resources available for purchase, send SASE with 1st class postage (78 cents) for free list.
  • American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (800) 552-0255; for information on locating a hyperbaric chamber and practitioners. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) is beneficial for carbon monoxide poisoning, gangrene, decompression sickness (the bends), stroke/head injuries, multiple sclerosis, burns, infections and bone fractures.
  • American Dietetic Association, (800) 366-1655. For a referral to a dietician.
  • American Foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 505 Beach St., San Francisco, CA 94133, (415) 776-0520. For help locating a practitioner of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) near you.
  • American Herbalist Guild, PO Box 70, Roosevelt, UT 84006, (435) 722-8424, e-mail: aghoffice@earthlink.com, www.healthy.net/herbalists; for $5 they will send a directory of professional herbalists who have had their credentials evaluated by a peer review process.
  • American Holistic Health Association, (714) 779-6152, www.healthy.net/ahha; provides free resource lists of health care professionals and self help books.
  • American Holistic Medical Association 6728 Old McLean Village Dr., McLean, VA 22101; (703) 556-9245, fax (703) 556-8729; www.holisticmedicine.org includes information about their philosophy and principles; a grassroots organization promoting a holistic approach to health; for a list of doctors who practice alternative medicine; $5 per state or a complete national list for $10; there are about 300 practitioners.
  • American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, 2214 Old Emmorton Rd., Bel Air, MD, 21015, (410) 569-0795. Provides help finding holistic animal practitioners in your area.
  • American Preventive Medical Association, 459 Walker Rd., Great Falls, VA 22066; (800) 230-2762; Fax (703) 759-6711; Email candaceec@usa.net; has a list of physicians using alternative techniques, as well as books and other resources on alternative medicine.
  • American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, 623 Main Street, Hillsdale, IL 61257, (309) 658-2920. Provides help finding holistic animal practitioners in your area.
  • Animal Natural Health Center, 1283 Lincoln Street, Eugene, OR 97401, (541) 342-7665. Provides help finding holistic animal practitioners in your area.
  • Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 10200 W. 44 Ave., Ste. 304, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. Provides referrals to biofeedback practitioners. Send business sized SASE.
  • Biofeedback Certification Institute of America, 10200 W. 44th Ave., Ste. 304, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 (303) 420-2902; www.bcia.org;
  • The Broda Barnes Foundation, PO Box 98, Trumbull, CT 06611; (203) 261-2101; for help locating doctors who practice hormone supplementation therapy.
  • Center for Advancement in Cancer Education, 300 E. Lancaster Ave., Wynnewood, PA 19096, (610) 642-4810; nonprofit organization offers cancer information, counseling and referrals, resources for cancer prevention and nontoxic approaches as adjuncts or alternatives to conventional treatment.
  • Center for Complementary Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Shadyside, 5230 Centre Ave., Room 415, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, (412) 623-1365; provides complementary treatments to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, including herbal medicine, guided imagery, bodywork, acupuncture, and other healing arts.
  • Cranial Academy, 8606 Allisonville, Ste. 130, Indianapolis, IN 46250, (317) 594-0411; for a list of qualified practitioners of cranial therapy.
  • Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS, Inc.) PO Box 7249, Minneapolis, MN 55407, (800) 311-6265, email dentaltruth@yahoo.com. For information on health problems caused by mercury amalgam fillings.
  • Environmental Dental Association (EDA), 9974 Scripps Ranch Blvd., Suite 36, San Diego, CA 92131 (800) 388-8124 Call for free packet of information.
  • The Feldenkrais Guild, Box 489, Albany, OR 97321; (800) 775-2118; Web site www.Feldenkrais.com; for referral to a Feldenkrais practitioner in your area.
  • The Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine (FAIM) PO Box 7016 Albany, NY 12225-0016 (877) 634-3246, fax (518) 758-7967; email: faim@healthlobby.com; website: www.faim.org
  • The Foundation for Blood Irradiation, Inc., 1315 Apple Rd., Silver Springs, MD 20910; (301) 587-8686, FAX (301) 587-8688. For a list of centers practicing photoluminescence (light therapy) combined with photochemotherapy.
  • The Foundation for Toxic Free Dentistry, PO Box 608010, Orlando, FL 32860; send a long SASE with first class postage for the names of mercury-free dentists in your area.
  • Holistic Dental Association, PO Box 5007, Durango, CO 81301; Web site: www.simwell.com/hda;
  • e-mail: hda@frontier.net for a list of holistic dentists.
  • Institute for Traditional Medicine, 2017 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR 97214; (503) 233-4907, fax (503) 233-1017;web site: www.itmonline.org; email: itm@itmonline.org; Provides information on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including herbs and acupuncture; site has many articles and a list of practitioners.
  • International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, PO Box 1365, Sugarland, TX 77487; (281) 933-8400 or (800) 927-4227; A referral group for compounding pharmacies in your area.
  • International Foundation for Homeopathy, (206) 776-4147; for help in locating homeopathic doctors in your area.
  • International Oxidative Medicine Association, PO Box 891954, Oklahoma City, OK 73189; send $5.00 for a list of doctors who practice ozone and chelation therapy.
  • International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine, (416) 733-2117, fax (416) 733-2352.
  • International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, PO Box 1478, Longmont, CO 80502, (303) 682-1167. Provides help finding holistic animal practitioners in your area.
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc. (602) 998-9331. For referrals to energy healing practitioners using this oriental method.
  • National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, (800) 853-1135; www.nacbt.org. For referrals to practitioners.
  • National Center for Homeopathy, 801 North Fairfax, Suite 306, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 548-7790; Fax (703) 548-7792; www.homeopathic.org has a state-by-state listing of practitioners.
  • National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) (Traditional Oriental Medicine), 11 Canal Center Plaza, Ste. 300, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 548-9004, fax (703) 548-9079; www.nccaom.org has information about acupuncture as well as Chinese Herbology and Oriental Bodywork
  • National College of Naturopathic Medicine, 049 SW Porter, Portland, OR 97201; (503) 499-4343; for referrals to naturopathic doctors in your area.
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders 8923 New Fairfield, CT 06812; (800) 999-NORD www.rarediseases.org . Maintains a confidential patient networking program.
  • North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, 3010 Hennepin Avenue South, Ste. 10., Minneapolis, MN 55408; (800) 473-0620, fax (612) 822-7224; e-mail nastat@ix.netcom.com; ask for their resource guide of practitioners.
  • Nurse Healers-Professional Associates (215) 545-8079. For referrals to Therapeutic Touch practitioners.
  • Rolf Institute, Boulder, CO; (800) 530-8875 or (303) 449-5903; for help in finding a certified rolfer; The Institute is also very helpful in answering any questions or concerns about Rolfing.

  • Keep Hope Alive Forum - The Global Energy Crisis

    Energy and Food cost linked

    June, 2008

    Conrad LeBeau

    Soaring gas prices have been in the national news every day for the past several months. With the world demand for oil growing and world oil production staying at 85 million barrels per day for the past 3 years, a perfect storm of sorts has emerged - fueled by investment bankers on Wall St who bid into the energy futures markets and drive up prices by the day if not by the hour.

    With the US population growing by 100,000 people per month and the world population growing by 6 million per month, a permanent crisis in energy and food shortage and global warming is now upon us. There are a number of factors driving the world wide energy and food crisis.

    First a growing middle class in India and China are trading-in their bicycles for cars. Millions of these new cars are like new mouths waiting to be fed their daily ration of gasoline or diesel fuel. The crisis is also driven by using corn and sugar cane to make alcohol to put in cars thus reducing food supplies for dairy animals like beef, poultry and hogs. Putting food into our gas tanks is literally taking it off our tables.

    In many oil-producing countries, the price of gasoline is subsidized by the government and is dirt cheap - like 12 cents a gallon in Venezuela or 40 cents in Iran. In Germany, one BMW owner recently threw fuel on his car and lit it on fire to protest $9.00 a gallon gas that is twice the price of gasoline sold in the United States. Where oil is cheap there is no incentive to conserve and reduce consumption. This spring, US consumption of gasoline has declined along with SUV and low mileage vehicles sales.

    Bee colonies sudden death

    In addition, bee colonies are dying off worldwide at an alarming rate and this will impact food production in negative way resulting in tens of billions of dollars in food loss. Cellular relay phone towers and electronic radio and television broadcasts from satellites could be interfering with the bees navigation system and causing the massive die-offs.

    Detroit caught by surprise. Sales of gas guzzlers plummet.

    Lobbyists from the US auto industry have for the past 25 years or more lobbied Congress successfully against raising the fuel efficiency of cars, trucks and SUVs. While Toyota's Corrolla sales have been soaring recently (40 mpg), its low mileage trucks (in the 20's or lower for mpg) have taken a sharp decline. This decline has been shared by FORD, GM and Chrysler and other car makers who are closing or shutting down assembly lines for the poorest selling SUVs, Trucks and gas guzzling cars.

    Credit Card Debt and Foreclosures

    The US economy is further strained by massive debt and home foreclosures not seen since the early 1980's. Add to this a declining wage base and a middle class that is struggling to stay afloat and we have millions of people in a strained financial condition. Now that is the dilemma of the working middle class while tens of millions of retirees or want to be retirees have now joined those at or near the poverty level in the struggle to make it from paycheck to paycheck.

    The federal government cheats social security recipients on COLA

    The new retirees or Baby Boomers find that they cannot make end meet on social security income. Few of them have pensions and the people collecting SSI or SSD have taking entitlement cuts in pay for many years. This is because the Cost of Living Index as calculated by the government does not include food and energy.

    There are three major reforms to social security that are needed now and political leaders worth their pay and the people must rise up and be heard in Congress if real reform is to happen. The changes that are needed immediatley are:

    1. $1000 monthly minimum. Raise the minimum social security payment of anyone 65 years of older who receives social security to $1000 a month. Pay for it out of the current annual 50 billion surplus in Social Security revenue that is collected each year and has been squandered on other pet projects of Congress.

    2. Restore Food and Energy to the Cost of Living Index and stop lying to the public about the real rate of inflation.

    3. Eliminate the ceiling for taxing personal income subject to social security. With no ceiling, social security will be indefinitely and sufficiently funded.

    Barefoot and pregnant - the crisis of a growing world population

    Leaders of various religions are unwittingly contributing to the world energy and food crisis by continuing to tell their devoted followers to not use birth control methods. Mankind has been fruitful and has multiplied for thousand of years. As the population continues to grow at a rate of 70 plus million people each year, the energy and food resources of the planet continues to shrink and decline. A question that need answering very soon is how many people can this planet support?

    We have read in the past about women who have had 30 or more children. This is still happening in some cultures. In many overpopulated nations like India and Africa, children are being born into the world without food, nutrition, clean water or medicine.

    Is it ethical to bring children into such misery simply because people can do it? In my opinion, it is unethical for a couple who cannot provide for their own dietary and nutritional needs to bring children into this world to starve to death?

    Is it ethical for religions to encourage couples who cannot feed themselves to continue to have children by avoiding all methods of birth control? I doubt it.

    These are serious ethical questions and unfortunately most of the major religious leaders of the world are silent on these issues or asleep at the switch. In the real world, abstinence alone will not stop sexual activity that leads to an ever increasing population. Clearly, more effective birth control methods need to be taught or offered to the public. Preventing unwanted pregnancies is the most effective way of preventing abortions.

    The government should offer as a free medical service "tying the tubes" of men and women who want to prevent a pregnancy. This service should be offered free for all sexually active persons who request it. Furthermore, a cash bonus should be offered for all drug addicts, alcoholics, felons, the disabled and mentally ill who want to be sterilized by this simple surgical procedure. Persons who get pregnant and have addictions or are unemployed are the first to run to the abortion clinics. It is time to put the abortion clinics out of business by more effectively preventing unwanted pregnancies.

    Going "Green"

    Reducing the carbon footprint by going green is now not just something for tree huggers and environmentalists to champion, it is now the new mantra among the world's energy giants from Exon Mobil to BP "British Petroleium" (now marketed as "Beyond Petroleum"). Exon Mobil is now researching and buying into lithium battery technology. The resulting patents and market control are making lithium batteries so expensive that they will not be cost competitive against gasoline. Look at the outrageous price of the Toyota Prius with its lithium battery as compared to the Toyota Corolla. It is clear that dollar for dollar, the Corolla is a much better buy.

    A high gas mileage 4 cylinder car that has an engine of 1.6 liters or smaller is a better buy for the money than the lithium battery hybrid cars. Add stick shift and an overdrive option and you can get 40 MPG on the highway as I do with my older Nissan Sentra (using Shell V-Power).

    Where were these Big Oil companies for the past 30 years when the auto industry lobbied Congress against raising the mandatory gas mileage efficiency of all cars, trucks and SUVs? The answer is that the oil companies have been working with the auto industry hand in hand to crush legislation that would increase gas mileage and with their PAC donations to members of Congress, they have succeeded. For decades the auto industry has given lip service to offering the public an electric car when in fact they have done everything possible to stop one from reaching the market.

    When GM built 1000 electric cars in response to legislation in California that required a small percentage of their autos to have zero emissions, they had no problem finding buyers in California, except that they didn't sell any, they leased them instead. Meanwhile they joined forces with big oil and successfully lobbied the legislators to repeal the law requiring cars to have zero emissions. When that happened, they rushed to recall all 1000 electric cars and then crushed them to pieces and had them ground up.

    Who killed the electric car?

    The whole outrageous story is documented in "Who Killed the Electric Car?" starring Martin Sheen. You can read about it at a commondreams.org. The DVD is available at amazon.com. This spring when the public had enough with rising gas prices and cut back on consumption and stopped buying gas guzzling vehicles, the auto industry was caught by surprise and had to suddenly revamp its production and marketing. Meanwhile, competition is starting to appear and a few electric cars are trickling into the marketplace. Recently PC Magazine reported that BMW is building 500 electric cars for Mini Cooper to introduce in California. I'll believe that when I see it.

    Lehmans non-electric catalog

    One way to reduce our carbon footprint is to use less electricity and we can start by buying and using no-electric appliances and tools from a hand egg beater to a stainless steel potato masher. The 170 page color catalog from Lehmans is a welcome change from the run of the mill throw-away-stuff you can buy at your local department store, usually made in China or some other foreign country.

    Some of the products in Lehmans catalog are made by the local Amish community Most are made in the USA from various sources although a number of high quality products are imported from Germany. Here is sampling of a few items in this catalog.

  • A push type lawn mower that clips rather than chops lawn grass. It uses no gas, is quiet, and totally non polluting and cost about half what most gas powered lawnmowers are priced.
  • A Solar Oven that can reaches 350 degrees F inside and can roast a chicken or even a turkey and about anything else.
  • Hand pumps for wells
  • Portable water filters.
  • Hand tools for cultivating
  • Canning supplies
  • Cast iron wood burning stoves. (some ornate)
  • Cast iron floor grates
  • Wringer Washers and Hand Wringers
  • Exotic kerosene and olive oil lanterns.
  • Cheese, wine and ice cream making supplies
  • Thousands more unique products including many for historic, cultural or artistic value like the old fashioned rooster on a weather vane.

    As I have 3 cherry trees in my backyard, the sour type used for making pies, I bought a cherry pitter from Lehmans this spring. I have depitted about 20 lbs of cherries and have been pleased with its performance. A push reel-type lawnmower in Lehmans catalog may be my next investment.

    For a copy of the Non-Electric Catalog and it's 3000 plus products, send $3 to Lehman's, 289 Kurzen Rd North, Dalton, OH 44618 Their website is lehmans.com ph # 877-438-5346

    MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association) the-mrea.org

    Custer, WI. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (www.the-mrea.org), a non-profit organization, holds a national Energy Fair each year around June 21st, the longest day of the year. On Saturday morning, June 21st, I took a round-trip bus tour from Milwaukee to Custer, Wisconsin to attend this year's Energy Fair and visit its 270 exhibitors, listen in on experts who talked about various aspects of the renewable energy and learn what I could about the latest technology alternatives to fossil fuels.

    It was a bright windy day and along the way south of Fond Du Lac, I counted 60 large wind turbines, as the bus rolled along. These are part of a wind farm complex. The wind generators looked like the type made by Vestas, a US Wind turbine company. I arrived to observe three smaller working wind turbines onsite. There were hundreds of exhibitors of various energy products and dozens of tents filled with lecturers on renewable energy topics from solar to geothermal to wind power.

    I listened to one lecturer from Southwest Wind Energy explain why the vertical axis windmills do not work. The problem with the vertical axis windmills is simple physics. The part moving toward the wind acts like a brake against the part moving away from the wind, causing the loss of half of the potential power of the turbine but it is actually worse than that. Since you only derive power from the side driven by the wind, the side moving toward the wind would have to be totally neutralized to achieve even half of the power output of a horizontal axis wind generator. The actual power loss due to the drag on the part moving into the wind is about 75% which is why vertical axis windmills have never stood the test of time.

    I know from personal experience the failings of a vertical axis windmill as I built one in 1978 that turned around but produced little power and no electricity. A year later in 1979, I made a horizontal axis wind turbine from a bicycle rim with 8 short hand made wooden blades I attached the blades to the rim of a bicycle wheel with a built-in bicycle generator. This 4 ft diameter wind turbine spun like the propeller of an airplane and I estimate it had a rotation of over 400 rpms. It would light up a bulb on its tail and in high wind speeds would keep burning out the light bulbs. After about 6 months, the wind turbine was disabled in a strong March wind due to design defects. This was 29 years ago!

    This year, I decided it was time to update myself on wind generator developments and the research of the past 3 decades and decide if any were suitable for residential urban application. My goal was to find a small working wind generator and use it for experimentation and research and for starters just possibly take my garage off the grid.

    Note: for those who are interested in some quality energy wind and solar products at a company where there are some real people to talk to, go to the altenergystore.com.

    Solar Panels and those pricey silicone wafers

    Before going to the MREA fair, I visited a local residential couple who had invested $16,000 in a solar grid-tied electrical system using Kyocera solar panels. A government sponsored program paid 20% of the total cost of the equipment and installation. It was paid through the local utility - WE Energies. The total cost of this installation was $20,000. With $4000 paid through the grant, that left a hefty $16,000 to be paid off with a line of equity line of credit on the home.

    After considering what the utility company was paying for buying the solar generated watts, I estimated it would take 15 to 20 years to recover the investment. This is not, I thought, going to cause people to flock in droves to invest in solar energy, at least not here in Wisconsin. Solar energy using photovoltaic (PV) makes more sense in southern cloudless areas like New Mexico and Arizona and of course sunny California. I thought there must be a better way.

    Note: It is obvious to me that the silicone based solar panels are simply too expensive to make. One innovative company in california has found a way to print solar panels using a new technology - printing the solar panels. This method does not use silicone. It reduces the cost by 80%. The company is Nanosolar. Unfortunately, Nanosolar is currently only producing their products for energy companies and they have nothing to sell directly to the public.

    Meanwhile, the big oil companies are buying up most of the new energy technologies to either use themselves or to shelve for future use when their oil wells dry up. One example is Exon Mobils research and patents in lithium battery technology. Like patented drugs, new patented energy technology is driving up the cost of alternative energy breakthroughs like the lithium battery leaving the buying public to ask: where is the savings?

    Sun Ovens

    I was very impressed with ovens that concentrated the energy of the sun for cooking. I checked one from sun ovens and another company. Both were large enough to cook a turkey. One oven had a 350 degrees F and another 325 degree F temperature. One unit sold for about $200 and the other for $250. (Note: In the non-electric catalog, I found a solar oven for less than $20.) A thought crossed my mind as I looked at the temperatures in the solar oven. Those temperatures could drive a steam engine that in turn could drive a generator.

    The Zenn Electric Car from Canada

    I was pleased to see a 100% electric car a the fair. It was a small to midsized automobile. At first glance, it looked like a hybrid car. There also was an electric pickup truck that looked like a Ford F150. The electric car had no internal combustion engine - only batteries. It drives 64 miles between charges. It is suitable for city or urban use. It was a spacious and beautiful auto that comes with air conditioning for just $15,900. Not bad uh! More information can be found at zenncars.com or green autos.com.

    Published quarterly. Copyright 2008- to subscribe to this newsletter, write or send a donation to Keep Hope Alive, PO Box 270041 West Allis, WI 53227. Phone 414-751-4998 Note: You can also read this and other past newsletters online at www.keephopealive.org

    Send this site to a friend! (click here)

    Home Page