Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sustainable Teeth and Dentists Prices


Extraction or Extortion

People are Avoiding the Dentist due to the Cost

Recent articles in several newspapers are saying that fewer and fewer people are going regularly to the dentist. Some dentists are finding it tough going with reduced customers.

To be perfectly honest, I have been avoiding the dentists also and for the same reason - they are too expensive in Ireland.

Ireland Spain comparison

In, according to an Internet price guide,  Seville Bami Dental clinic offer fillings from €45, and in Madrid Smilelife Clinic offer fillings from €50.

A Waterford dental clinic, one of the cheaper in Ireland, charges €70 for a simple filling, while a Galway clinic is looking for a whacking great €130 for a filling.

Irish Dental Prices 70% to 160% dearer than Spain

The cheaper Irish price is 70% dearer than the cheapest Spanish price - while the dearest Irish price is over 160% dearer than the dearer Spanish price

How Irish Dentists can bring in customers

Dear Irish dentists please cop yourselves on, by simply charging Spanish prices, you will increase your customer base substantially, and at the same time you will be performing a service to the nation, and earning lots of brownie points too.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Ireland State of the Nation - Politics and Ethics


Crisis in Ethics
Crisis in Ireland

No discussion - Just the stark statistical markers:

(increased 42% in 5 years 2005 to 2010)
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE up from 2010 to 2011 by 15%
(11,000 women and children sought refuge in 2011 according to SAFE organisation).
UNEMPLOYMENT has increased by 352%
( from 4.2% in 2007 to 14.8% by October 2012)
UNEMPLOYMENT among 15 to 24y group nationally stands at 39%
UNEMPLOYMENT in the 15 to 25y group in some areas is at 74%
FUEL POVERTY, (the decision to Eat or Heat) estimated to affect 40% of citizens
FOOD POVERTY in 2010 was estimated to be at 10%
RETAIL SALES are down by 5.50%
SUICIDES are up in 2011 from 2010 by 7%
TRUST in the Irish Government in a recent survey fell to a mere 20%
POLITICIANS are the 2nd least trusted profession in Ireland.
(26 Members of the Irish Parliament each claimed €5,000 expenses for August - when there are no sittings of the House)

DISPOSABLE INCOME in lower income groups effectively down by nearly 19%

By contrast:
INCOME FOR TOP IRISH EARNERS is up on average by over 4%
DUBLIN CITY MANAGER salary €190,000
COUNTY MANAGERS salary €153,260

Compare these salaries:
GERMAN HOSPITAL CONSULTANTS salary is half of what Ireland pays.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Evolving a Rocket Stove with Pioneering Spirit


Pioneering Spirit
Stove Design

Every now and then I get a really interesting letter. This one I particularly like because not only does it come up with some really interesting ideas on stove design, it also demonstrates both a true pioneering spirit, and a generosity of spirit.

The letter and links come from Dale Lerum in the US. Dale has spent a lot of time and effort experimenting with, and evolving a clever design of stove called a "Rocket Stove". What I like, apart from the great bunch of ideas, is Dale's generosity in sharing all he has learned with the world.

The main body of Dale's stove is a scrap propane tank

Dale is maybe considering, in the next year, setting up some classes / workshops where participants can build their own stoves constructed mainly from scrap materials. That type of practical class - with a product at the end of it - would make a cool summer-camp focus.

Below I will reproduce most of Dale's letter along with some stills from his videos showing the stove and some of it's evolving features.

Thank you so much Dale for sharing your ideas and efforts.

Here is Dales letter to me:

I first have to say I found your blog originally on Rob's blog in where he had built a rocket stove heater out of a water heater tank. I adapted his idea and scaled it down for my RV, motor home that me and my wife have been living in now for two and a half years.

Since then I have completed some modifications to change the stove so that I would not have to feed it every thirty minutes, read your article on the pipsqueak.

I am convinced that smaller is better and that there are ways to not only have a small stove, but as well to have very large BTU outputs with less fuel. I already have plans for a stove I plan on building that will have a very small foot print, which will burn wood pellets as well use logs if wanted.

Stove with modification including a front door with window

With my modifications changing the copy of Rob's stove at, I have increased my burn times from thirty minutes to over an hour with such even heating of the stove and as well great heat out put, and I believe I am using the same amount of wood as in the old stove if not less and getting greater returns.

Me and a few fellas are planning on setting up a blog to converse about our ideas for new designs, my goal is to build the smallest stove I can, which will produce the longest burn times possible and put out the greatest BTUs possible.

I have enjoyed your blogs, I am in full agreement with you on your position as to why you started you blog, here in America and really world wide what we have seen is a move by man in convincing the family unit to fragment, move away from self sustainability and into the factories and ship yards to indenture themselves into a form of slavery which wears a mask of improving quality of life for all. There has been improvement, yet in this we have enslaved ourselves. To what? A system - Economic Dependence - Electrical Dependence - Water, Sewer - food, etc.

Below are two links, one for my early copy of Robs stove, the second link is where I have made some modifications and am amazed at the BTUs I am now getting with very even over all heat transfer, compared to last year.

I like you feel greed has driven society on all levels, and in part we have all been taught from child hood this is the way it is and how things are.

We can keep this from propagating itself through innovation of devices and ideas that add quality of life for all. With that said as continue in my research and designs and testing I have decided to share them for all to use freely.

I like what you said about being able to produce an efficient small wood stove and keep it priced fairly so most can afford it. I as well want to keep this in mind in my research and development, thanks so much for your hard work and sharing what you find.

Sincerely Dale,

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sustainable Energy or Sustainable Life


Sustainable Energy
Sustainable Life

The question is posed to me on a regular basis; "Why, on a Sustainability Blog, do I support the use of coal?"

The analogy comes to mind of a surgical patient faced with the stark choice of either losing a leg or losing their life. In other words, reduce carbon emissions - or stay warm and stay alive. What are we aiming to be sustainable about? Those at the bottom of the food chain will have a very different take on energy policy.

I Support - Beating Fuel Poverty

My support is for the thousands of people who cannot afford proper heating for their homes. My search is for the cheapest and best possible value method of providing heat. I do not support the use of coal as such - only that it is the cheapest option. If people are going to go cold this winter, I would prefer coal heat to no heat.

Ireland is in a deep depression, many people are struggling to make ends meet, some near suicidal in their desperation, this is not the time for them to engage in the luxury of sustainable energy - it is a time for sustainable life.

Heat is a Matter of Life and Death

Studies clearly show an increase in what is termed "Winter Excess Deaths". In Ireland that figure stands at 650. In a particularly severe winter, the figure will increase. I honestly believe that the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland should be focusing most of their energy at Fuel Poverty.

Fuel poverty stands at an estimated 40%. This is an unacceptable, immoral, unethical, unholy, and toxic situation.

The situations is all the more of an insult to those affected because of the grossly immoral imbalances at the other end of the income scale. For instance, Ireland pays it's top earners twice the average, and county managers get twice the salary of the Spanish Prime Minister, and it goes on - and on - and on - and on - and on - and on. We lack clear moral leadership from most of our leaders, we lack any discernible ethics in business, banking, law, and the public sector.

Crisis in Ethics

Irish President Michael D. Higgins

It is interesting that our President, Michael D. Higgins has chosen "Crisis in Ethics" as his presidential theme for next year.

In a recent interview he poses the following questions; "... how are you going to lodge ethics in society?"  " ... can economics be made ethical?"  and stated that; " ... there is a serious bureaucratic problem in this country." and that he finds it shocking how; " authoritarianism emerges"

I hope the country will listen to President Higgins. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Smokeless Coal Prices Ireland


Really Good Prices
Smokeless Coals
Irish Midlands

Good news for solid fuel stove users in the Irish midlands. Farrells Fuels, Lanesboro, Co. Longford have very good prices on some of the best smokeless coals:

Calco Super Mix 40kg €15.00; (and I guess €340 a tonne)
Arigna Cosy Glo 40kg €15.00; €340.00 per tonne
Arigna Eco Brite 40kg €15.50; 20kg €8.00; €350.00 per tonne

A Metric Tonne is 1000Kgs or 25 by 40Kg Bags. That means, if you buy a tonne, Cozy Glo is coming to you at only €13.60 a bag - believe me, that's a good price.


Friday, November 02, 2012

Cheap Multi-fuel Stoves Ireland


Cheap Multi-Fuel
Cast Iron Stoves

SunRain Multi-fuel Stove 6Kw €225 plus €25 delivery

I have had a lot of hits, feedback, and enquiries regarding low priced stoves, their quality, value etc. One business that offers solid fuel stoves at very cheap prices is Stove Deals, Blanchardstown, Dublin. They operate mainly through DoneDeal Internet sales site, and do not have a retail premises.

Stove Deals offer a 6Kw stove for just €225. It is made, like nearly all cast iron stoves sold in Ireland, by a Chinese Factory. The Chinese brand is called SunRain Foundry.

The exact same stove is sold by B&Q only in the UK for Stg£239 or roughly €300.

There are some mixed reviews on this stove but the majority are quite positive. I have written before about buying imported stoves. My advice is the same now. Cheaper prices usually mean that there have to be some saving by the manufacturer, so don't expect exactly the same quality as items costing more than twice the price. If you are ordering one of these stoves, buy a spare set of grates and baffles, costing about €55, at the time of purchase - make the purchase conditional on getting the spares. Then look at the results in this way; if the stove gives you 5years good wear it will have cost a mere €45 per year. Chances are, if you use it carefully, you will get 10 or more years out of it.

I contacted Stove Deals and asked some direct questions about the stoves, spare parts, delivery, guarantee etc. Here are the questions and the answers, from Dave at Stove Deals, in bold italics

(1) Do you have any sort of show room? Address?
 No showroom, we use a freight company in Blanchardstown for distribution, but no shop at all.

(2) Collection point for cash sales?
Collection can be arranged by appointment Mon-Fri from the warehouse and they accept cash, customers should do their research first, then give me a ring when they know what they want!

(3) What type of guarantee do you offer?
All stoves are 1 year guarantee and buying off us is the same as any other shop, your consumer rights are the same.

(4) Do you have spares in stock in Ireland for the stoves you sell. Grates / Baffles / Glass / hinges / handles etc?
I try to carry the main spares in stock in Ireland, but we do run out. Best time to order spares is around the end of the season, March - April, so if they are not in stock we can have them before the next winter.

(5) You advertise flue pipe and bends on DoneDeal what type of material - enameled steel?
The flue pipes are mild steel, painted black

(6) You have been selling stoves a few years now - what is the failure rate generally/? Baffles? Grates? Any body failures?
I've had 1 complaint about poor assembly, as in bolts not fully tightened and a door loose, other than that I would say about on average 1 stove per container (200 per container) arrives damaged at the customer, either the glass damaged or maybe somebody dropped the pallet. Obviously these are replaced, and there are always people looking for cheap damaged stoves for their shed.

(7) Price of a grate for 4Kw stove - and 7Kw stove?
4kW grate €25 - 7kW €30.

(8) Price of baffles for the above?
Baffles for stoves €25-€35 depending on size.

Glass €20-€50 depending on sizes, really only the insert stoves have a €50 piece of glass. Biggest problem at this time of year is keeping stoves in stock! Thanks, Dave.

Stove Deals 6Kw stove, a very popular size, is priced at just €225 plus €25 delivery nationwide.

B&Q offer the same stove at Stg£239 or roughly in Euro €300