Sep 29, 2008

Sep 26, 2008

Sweet - Dilbert's Director of Green

Crap and Trade...Here comes end of free market

You thought the 700 billion bailout nearly killed free market... well this will bury it.
They're Launching America's First Carbon Cap-And-Trade Program Today?
Did you know that a 10 state coalition is holding our nation's first ever carbon allowance auction at 9:00 AM EDT today? Or that the same states will be imposing a mandatory cap-and-trade program on their electric plants beginning next month? This may surprise those who assumed that June's tabling of the national Lieberman-Warner bill coupled with already runaway energy prices and growing overall economic anxiety signaled a reprieve from this stealth tax and power grab scheme -- at least for the remainder of the year.
A recently published report by the National Housing Federation predicts that English households spending 10% or more of their annual income on energy bills (the threshold for energy poverty) will have doubled from 2005 figures to 5.7 million by 2009.  Experts truly fear that many will be forced to decide between heat and food this winter. 
Nonetheless, the New York-based Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative ( launches today, striving to freeze CO2 emissions through 2014 and then gradually reduce them to 10 percent below current levels by 2018. theory a utility may legally exhaust into the atmosphere and forcing those that cannot comply to purchase allowances at auction from those that can. Auction proceeds will then, at least in theory, be invested in low-carbon energy solutions such as solar and wind, which would gradually replace fossil-based generators.  Read full here
HAASE - Without formal federal regulations and monitoring this will just become another "mortgage market" with speculators running "fear and greed" market sectors. Clearly we can see by our current federal market buyout that initial involvement is critical to have checks and balances in place or pay massively later for greed sectors gone amuck.
Please read more about "crap and trade" at: CarbCrap

Sep 25, 2008

Beauty - Oil production vs Rock Music.

Beautiful Dan. THANKS Danny Joe  I do believe there is also a direct link between the rise country music popularity and global warming gases ;-)

First, a little theory.  The decline in U.S. oil production* is explained by the Hubbert Peak Theory, which states that “the amount of oil under the ground in any region is finite, therefore the rate of discovery which initially increases quickly must reach a maximum and decline.”  Makes sense, right?  The same theory can apply to anything of a finite quantity that is discovered and quickly exploited with maximum effort.

Including, it would seem, rock & roll. I know, the RS 500 list is not without its faults, but it does allow for some attempt at quantifying a highly subjective and controversial topic and for plotting the number of “greatest songs” over time.  Notice that after the birth of rock & roll in the 1950’s, the production of “great songs” peaked in the 60’s, remained strong in the 70’s, but drastically fell in the subsequent decades.  It would seem that, like oil, the supply of great musical ideas is finite. By the end of the 70’s, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Motown greats, and other genre innovators quickly extracted the best their respective genres** had to offer, leaving little supply for future musicians.

Now, if only we could drill for some new reserves of pop music innovation.  Perhaps there’s a new Motown hit machine waiting somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, waiting to be unleashed.  Let’s get drilling.


EPA Great Lakes News - LIVE today Sep 25th

U.S. Areas of Concern Program Annual Meeting: Setting Targets, Delisting Impairments and Beyond!
Is viewable as a live video webcast now:

1996 McDonalds Hamburger

QUOTE - People are always astounded when I share this.

This is a hamburger from McDonalds that I purchased in 1996. That was 12 years ago.

Note that it looks exactly like it did the very day I bought it.

Ladies, Gentleman, and children alike - this is a chemical food. There is absolutely no nutrition here.

Not one ounce of food value.  Or at least value for why we are eating in the first place.

Read full by  by Karen Hanrahan

NEW dimmable LED's for your home

The last light bulbs you may own... LED
YIKES they are $100 each, but offer a a less than 2 year return on investment.
Who should buy these now? ALL government, institutional, business and new construction -  as they will return over $7,000 per bulb over ten years
WHEN should you buy? When they cost $20 each (double a CFL).
Why? They offer more than double the life of a CFL with no mercury, dimming, cold weather or slow lighting issues.

LR6 – The first viable LED downlight for commercial and residential applications. (From website)

The LR6 is an amazing combination of technical innovations, including breakthroughs in optical design, electronics design, mechanical design, and thermal management. The core of the innovation is a new way to generate white light with LEDs. The technology is elegantly simple, yet incredibly effective. It delivers high efficacy light with beautiful, warm color characteristics by mixing the light from yellow and red LEDs. This approach enables active color management that maintains tight color consistency over the life of the product.

Sep 24, 2008

FW: Energy Future Fact Sheet

U.S. Energy Use

  • The United States accounts for 20% of the world’s annual energy consumption, but only has 5% of the world’s population.
  • The United States holds less than 2% of the world’s known oil reserves.
  • Americans pay about $700,000 each minute to foreign countries supplying the oil from which their gasoline is produced.
  • More than half of the electricity U.S. buildings consume is generated from coal, the single largest producer of CO2 emissions among fossil fuels.

Light-duty Vehicles

  • Light-duty vehicles account for nearly half of all U.S. oil consumption and contribute about 20% of all CO2 emissions.
  • Fuel economy standards have been effective. In 1975, the first year of the federal government’s fuel economy standards for U.S. light-vehicles, the average fuel economy was 14 miles per gallon. By 1987, the fuel economy was 28 mpg for new cars and 22 mpg for new pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs.

Future Light-weight Vehicle R&D

  • Each 10% reduction in vehicle weight translates to a 6% to 7% increase in fuel economy.
  • Greater use of high-strength steel, aluminium and composite materials could improve fuel economy by reducing weight without compromising safety.
  • Thirty percent of all miles travelled are in vehicles that go fewer than 40 miles per day. If plug-in electric vehicles had batteries that could run 40 miles without being recharged, as many as 30% of vehicle-miles per day would not require any gasoline.

Energy Use in Buildings

  • Buildings account for 36% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions related to energy use and consume 72% of the nation’s electricity.

Residential and Commercial Buildings

  • The largest "end-uses" of primary energy in residential buildings in 2005 were space heating (32%), air conditioning or space cooling (13%), water heating (13%) and lighting (12%).
  • The largest "end-uses" of primary energy in commercial buildings in 2005 were lighting (27%), space heating (15%), space cooling (14%) and water heating (7%). These four end uses account for 63% of primary energy consumption.

Reducing Residential and Commercial Energy Use

  • The energy consumption of existing residential buildings can be reduced 15% to 35% when they undergo full energy-upgrade renovations such as more efficient insulation, windows and light; elimination of infiltration and duct leakage; upgraded furnaces, boiler and air conditioners; new power supplies that waste less electricity in stand-by or low-power modes; and energy-efficient appliances.
  • Energy codes adopted in California since 1975 have resulted in energy savings of more than $30 billion, more than $2,000 per household. The energy needed to cool a new home has declined by two-thirds, to 800 kWh per year, although homes are about 50% larger than in 1975.
  • Between 1990 and 2000, appliance and automobile fuel economy standards reduced consumer energy bills by approximately $50 billion.

Building Research and Funding

  • Energy efficiency research programs have paid off. The National Academy of Science estimated in 2001 that the economic benefits from two federally funded energy efficiency R&D efforts alone were far greater than the cost of the two programs. The programs on advanced window coatings and electronic fluorescent ballasts had saved consumers $23 billion.

Key Energy Efficiency Conclusions

After scientifically evaluating a wide variety of energy-saving ideas and alternative energy sources, such as hybrid cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, solar power, and wind power, the report recommends many short term and long term goals. The good news is that the news is good.

  • Improving energy efficiency is relatively easy and inexpensive.
  • Numerous technologies already exist to increase energy efficiency and save consumers money.

Focusing on transportation and buildings, two areas that consume two-thirds of our energy, Energy Future: Think Efficiency specifically outlines priorities for the next administration’s energy policies—for the immediate future and decades ahead.


APS - The Leading Professional Organization of Physicists

APS is the American Physical Society, a society created a century ago for the purpose of advancing and diffusing the knowledge of physics. APS offers this landmark report to identify America’s most effective energy saving strategies.

DOE News and Events

EERE Network News


Sep 23, 2008

Iran sinking as groundwater resources disappear.

Iran's insatiable demand for water, which is being drawn out of aquifers far faster than it can be replenished, is causing large chunks of farmland to sink and buildings to crack, according to a new study published in nationalgeographic

Escalating Endangerment for North American Freshwater Fish: Nearly 40 Percent Now At-Risk

Nearly 40 percent of fish species in North American streams, rivers and lakes are now in jeopardy, according to the most detailed evaluation of the conservation status of freshwater fishes in the last 20 years.

The 700 fishes now listed represent a staggering 92 percent increase over the 364 listed as “imperiled” in the previous 1989 study published by the American Fisheries Society. Researchers classified each of the 700 fishes listed as either vulnerable (230), threatened (190), or endangered (280). In addition, 61 fishes are presumed extinct.

The new report, published in Fisheries, was conducted by a U.S. Geological Survey-led team of scientists from the United States, Canada and Mexico, who examined the status of continental freshwater and diadromous (those that migrate between rivers and oceans) fish.  Read the press release

U.S. conservation win

Environmental News Network: It may be the biggest conservation victory for the US in decades. It ensures that massive amounts of greenhouse gases won't be released. It ensures an abundance of birds for generations of Americans to enjoy. And you may not have heard anything about it. That's because it just happened in Ontario, Canada. Over the summer, Ontario's premier, Dalton McGuinty, announced that at least 55 million acres -- half of the province's boreal forest -- will be off ... Link

ITYS - Parched Beijing runs out of freshwater

People and Planet: Municipal authorities in Beijing have announced that the parched city will receive 300 million cubic metres of water from neighbouring Hebei Province until March 2009. Most of this water will come from dams and underground reservoirs, already stressed from the inefficient use of water for irrigated agriculture. Beijing, China's capital, has essentially run out of freshwater. The city, with 16 million people – China's second largest – has been facing critical water shortages for over a ... Link

Ban Near on Diverting Water From Great Lakes

New York Times: The House began debate Monday on a sweeping bill that would ban almost any diversion of water from the Great Lakes' natural basin to places outside the region. The measure is intended to put to rest longstanding fears that parched states or even foreign countries could do long-term damage to the basin by tapping into its tremendous body of fresh water. The bill, which would also put in place strict conservation rules for the eight states that border the lakes, is expected to ... Link

Going Green: Fad or the Future?

Environmental Concern Has Storied History of Going In and Out of Style
The last few years have consumers switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and trading their SUVs for Priuses, a cliché normally reserved for fashion magazines has made its way into nightly newscasts and daily newspapers: Green is the new black.
A 2006 PowerPoint presentation -- won Al Gore a nobel prize and ushered in an unprecedented era of environmental media. The next thing you knew magazines published green issues (Vanity Fair, Domino), actors waxed poetic about reducing carbon emissions (Leonardo DiCaprio) and musicians rocked out on a global scale under the auspices of "saving ourselves" from global warming (Live Earth).
But are Americans experiencing "green fatigue"? The ratings for Live Earth, which was billed as a must-see event, were dismal. The American broadcast drew just 2.7 million viewers, making it the least-watched U.S. program on Saturday night. Despite its undeniable entrenchment in pop culture and media, some experts say that the current incarnation of the green movement is just another "We Are the World" moment that consumers and businesses won't be able to sustain over the long term.
"It's a very difficult thing to change culture," Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD Group, told, and Ikea charging 5 cents for carrying its plastic bags out of the store instead of bringing in your own isn't going to do it, he said.
GREEN" ... not going to sustain itself," he said. "It will truly become a lifestyle of businesses and consumers, but it's not going to be done with the glamour and gusto that it's done with today."
Read full from abcnews

Sep 22, 2008

Only salvation for wind, solar & electric cars - "better storage"

Breakthrough In Energy Storage: New Carbon Material Shows Promise Of Storing Large Quantities Of Renewable Electrical Energy
FROM ScienceDaily (Sep. 17, 2008) — Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have achieved a breakthrough in the use of a one-atom thick structure called "graphene" as a new carbon-based material for storing electrical charge in ultracapacitor devices, perhaps paving the way for the massive installation of renewable energies such as wind and solar power.
The researchers believe their breakthrough shows promise that graphene (a form of carbon) could eventually double the capacity of existing ultracapacitors, which are manufactured using an entirely different form of carbon.
"Through such a device, electrical charge can be rapidly stored on the graphene sheets, and released from them as well for the delivery of electrical current and, thus, electrical power," says Rod Ruoff, a mechanical engineering professor and a physical chemist. "There are reasons to think that the ability to store electrical charge can be about double that of current commercially used materials. We are working to see if that prediction will be borne out in the laboratory."
"The U.S. Department of Energy has said that an improved method for storage of electrical energy is one of the main challenges preventing the substantial installation of renewable energies such as wind and solar power. Storage is vital for times when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine. During those times, the stored electrical energy can be delivered through the electrical grid as needed."
Read full at ScienceDaily

Move Over Ethanol - Sugar Into Gasoline Is Cheaper And Easier, Say Researchers

Old news from my blog, but important news for "media hyped on biuofuels"
Chemical engineer Randy Cortright and his colleagues at Virent Energy Systems of Madison, Wisc., and researchers led by NSF-supported chemical engineer James Dumesic of the University of Wisconsin at Madison are now announcing that sugars and carbohydrates can be processed like petroleum into the full suite of products that drive the fuel, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

The physical properties of Virent's Biogasoline product spontaneously separate from water. This requires very little energy for processing compared with the energy-intensive process of distillation required for ethanol purification.
The process Virent discovered in early 2006, and announced at the Growing the Bioeconomy conference sponsored by Iowa State University on Sept. 9, 2008, is the subject of patent applications published last week.
According to Dumesic, a key feature of the approach is that between the sugar or starch starter materials and the hydrocarbon end products, the chemicals go through an intermediate stage as an organic liquid composed of functional compounds.
"The intermediate compounds retain 95 percent of the energy of the biomass but only about 40 percent of the mass, and can be upgraded into different types of transportation fuels, such as gasoline, jet and diesel fuels," said Dumesic. "Importantly, the formation of this functional intermediate oil does not require the need for an external source of hydrogen," he added, since hydrogen comes from the slurry itself.
As part of a suite of second generation biofuel alternatives, green gasoline approaches like aqueous phase reforming are generating interest across the academic and industrial communities because they yield a product that is compatible with existing infrastructure, closer than many other alternatives in their net energy yield, and most importantly, can be crafted from plants grown in marginal soils, like switchgrass, or from agricultural waste.
While several years of further development will be needed to refine the process and scale it for production, the promise of gasoline and other petrochemicals from renewable plants has led to broad industrial interest.
Read full at

Less than 20% clinical trials of cancer meds are published in medical journals

According to The Oncologist medical journal, Less than 20% clinical trials are published in medical journals

A search of the National Institutes of Health’s web site identified 2,028 registered research studies of cancer treatments. Major medical journals, you may recall, require all studies considered for publication be registered at or another publicly accessible database. And a subsequent search of the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database showed that just 17.6 percent of the trials were eventually published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

The publication rate was particularly low for “industry-sponsored” studies, such as those funded by drugmakers - just 5.9 percent, compared to 59 percent for studies sponsored by collaborative research networks. Of published studies, nearly two-thirds had positive results in that the treatment worked as hoped. The remaining one-third had negative results - the outcome was disappointing or did not merit further consideration of the tested treatment, they report (look here).

Of course, we know why a registered trial may not be published - some fail and a researcher may decide the result doesn’t enhance knowledge or one’s reputation. And some sponsors don’t want negative results out there. Same goes for some journal editors.

But “unpublished trials may have special importance in oncology, due to the toxicity and/or expense of many therapies,” they wrote. In other words, the knowledge base is incomplete. And who does that help?

Read full at

Italy Bans Pesticides Linked to Bee Declines

ENN reports that the Italians are following the lead of the French and banning some chemicals that may be causing declines in bee populations - Italy Bans Pesticides Linked to Bee Devastation.
    The Italian government banned the use of several neonicotinoid pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The Ministero del Lavoro della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali issued an immediate suspension of the seed treatment products clothianidin, imidacloprid, fipronil and thiamethoxam used in rapeseed oil, sunflowers and sweetcorn. The Italian government will start a monitoring program to further investigate the reasons of recent bee deaths.
    Italy followed Germany and Slovenia which banned sales of clothianidin and imidacloprid in May. In France imidacloprid has been banned on sunflowers already since 1999. In 2003 the substance was also banned as a sweetcorn treatment. Bayer´s application for clothianidin was rejected by French authorities.
    The two substances are produced by the German company Bayer CropScience and generated *800 million in 2007. Imidacloprid is Bayer´s best-selling pesticide.
    In August the German Coalition against Bayer Dangers brought a charge against Werner Wenning, chairman of the Bayer Board of Management, for marketing dangerous pesticides and thereby accepting the mass death of bees all over the world. The charge was introduced in cooperation with German beekeepers who lost thousands of hives after poisoning by the pesticide clothianidin in May this year.
    Harro Schultze, attorney of the Coalition against Bayer Dangers said: "The Public Prosecutor needs to clarify which efforts Bayer undertook to prevent a ban of imidacloprid and clothianidin in Germany after sales of both substances were stopped in France. We´re suspecting that Bayer submitted flawed studies to play down the risks of pesticide residues in treated plants".
    Neonicotinoid pesticides are systemic chemicals that work their way through the plant and attack the nervous system of any insect it comes into contact with. The substances also get into the pollen and the nectar and can damage beneficial insects such as bees.

Sep 21, 2008

WSJ Not Amused By Pelosi's Energy Bill

There aren't many fans of this do-nothing bill, (nor is the Wall Street Journal).

Less shocking is that the bill orders up more than $18 billion in pork for "renewable" energy — and it comes with the works. There are the usual huge subsidies for wind and solar power, and even "marine renewables" (whale oil?). These are "paid for" by raising taxes on the major American oil companies, which would also be forced to retroactively "renegotiate" the terms of their late-1990s lease contracts in the Gulf of Mexico. If that wealth transfer isn't a big enough crutch for the alternatives, there's also a mandate that utilities generate 15% of their electricity from such sources by 2020. In other words, taxpayers get charged twice — once to pay for Congress's green welfare program, and again when they pay their electric bill.

Then there's a tax credit of up to $5,000 for anyone who buys a plug-in electric car, though normal drivers will still be able to fill up with "fuel from America's heartland," aka the fiasco known as corn ethanol. Congress may be strapped for dollars, but Members found a few million under the mattress to encourage commuters to bike to work or maybe take the "vanpool pilot program." Some $10 million goes to "increasing sustainable low-income community development," while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are told to favor "energy-efficient mortgages."

Full Linked here.

Sep 19, 2008

WASTECAP Wisconsin's News!

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett speak about Milwaukee’s green building future.
The Third Annual R3 Awards will be held on October 9th at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Come see demonstrations of WasteCap’s newest tools for construction site recycling, WasteCapTRAC and WasteCapDIRECT. On October 9 at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Milwaukee from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. RSVP today at

Milwaukee Kicks Off New Recycling Campaign
The City of Milwaukee will unveil a brand-new campaign aimed at increasing recycling participation throughout the City. Speakers will include Mayor Tom Barrett, Environmental Services Superintendent Preston Cole, and community organizers. On September 30, Gordon Park, Milwaukee
Report finds increased use of fly ash in concrete okay
A new study just released by the RMC Research & Education Foundation finds that using more fly ash in the production of concrete still results in an acceptable performance. The study entitled, New Technology-Based Approach to Advance Higher Volume Fly Ash Concrete with Acceptable Performance, was conducted at the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s Research Laboratory. It received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy through its Combustion Byproducts Recycling Consortium, in addition to the Foundation.  Source: Construction and Demolition Recycling
Economic impacts to 2009 Recycling Efficiency Incentive Grants, Demonstration Grants, and Markets Directory
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has determined it will not be able to make Recycling Efficiency Incentive (REI) grant awards or Waste Reduction and Recycling Demonstration Grants for calendar year 2009.  In addition, the position which managed the Wisconsin Recycling Markets Directory has been eliminated.  Instead the funds will be used to pay down the department’s $13.2 million obligation to the state’s deficit reduction efforts.  As is the case with other state agencies, this action taken by the DNR will help state government get through the current economic downturn. Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Construction & Demolition Materials – a new tool from the Environmental Protection Agency
Construction and demolition (C&D) materials consist of the debris generated during the construction, renovation, and demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges. C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials, such as concrete, wood, metals, glass, and salvaged building components. Reducing and recycling C&D materials conserves landfill space, reduces the environmental impact of producing new materials, creates jobs, and can reduce overall building project expenses through avoided purchase/disposal costs. Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency
The LEED Creed, selling itself first, saving the planet later
The construction industry is embracing LEED, with thousands of buildings standing in line for honors like so many eager graduates-to-be awaiting diplomas. Building owners pay fees for LEED reviews, and most get a plaque in return. Those plaques pay off by blessing the buildings as green, meaning good places to work or live. But popularity and environmental progress make dubious partners. To read more, Source: The Daily Reporter

Sep 18, 2008

Why GM is failing... a tragic comedy

Seriously, would you bail out this friend?
GM Announces New Small Car For US Market
GM plans to bring the five-door hatchback G3 to the US early next year that offers an EPA estimated 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway while providing the best shoulder and hip room in the segment for seating five adults.
Meanwhile VW Golf BlueMotion Gets 74 MPG  On Sale Mid-2009
A new hyper-efficient 1.6 TDI diesel engine also means that the latest offering boasts fuel economy of 74.3mpg (combined), an improvement of around 20% on the Mark V, while still enabling acceleration from 0-60 mph in 11.2 seconds, apparently due to improved aerodynamics and a new ’sporty’ gearbox... while providing MORE shoulder and hip room for seating five adults than the GM
MY FATHER HAD A 78' Corolla that sat five and got 40mpg and so does my 93' GEO Prism (Corolla drivetrain)
I think GM needs a "technology intervention" and not financial support... giving them more money is like taking a drunk to a bar to talk about their drinking problem.

Off shore drilling will save you a whopping $0.002 in 18 years

Is it really worth it now...
The US House of Representatives has just passed legislation that lifts the ban on offshore oil drilling. This opens up most of the US coastline to exploration. Individual states now have the option to allow drilling between 50 and 100 miles off their shores. The problem is offshore drilling is unlikely to solve America’s energy crisis. According to the government’s own report, widespread offshore drilling would result in a price reduction of perhaps “two-tenths of one cent 18 years after drilling begins.”*

Sep 17, 2008

Wind and now Tar sands - the new toxic investment

Shell and BP have been warned by investors that their involvement in unconventional energy production such as Canada's oil sands could turn out to be the industry's equivalent of the sub-prime lending that poisoned the banking sector and triggered the current financial crisis.
"The recent banking crisis has shown how the financial markets can totally misjudge both the risks and values inherent in company balance sheets," he said. "Oil companies depend on oil reserves for their market values. BP and Shell are two of our most trusted stocks, but it is a shocking fact that 30% of Shell's oil reserves are in tar sands.
"This report unveils how dangerous this approach is. There is a good chance that tar sands could be to the oil industry what sub-prime lending was to the banking sector."
Read full from guardian

FDA backs BPA as study links it to heart disease, diabetes.

For the first time, a large, population-based study links a chemical in plastic baby bottles to heart disease and diabetes in humans.
Some scientists say the study — released today to coincide with a Food and Drug Administration meeting— shows that bisphenol A, or BPA, is too dangerous to allow in consumer products, especially those used by babies and pregnant women.
...the amount of lead in children's blood has fallen dramatically in the decades since the USA took lead out of paint and gasoline. "Society has dealt with lead, and our body burdens came down tremendously after we got our political act together,"  "It's mind-boggling," ... "We can't ask moms to be chemical engineers when shopping for their kids, and that is what the current system forces them to be."

Sep 15, 2008

Important Australia, China and US in climate talks going on

AUSTRALIA has brought together the world's two major greenhouse gas polluters, China and the US, to search for common ground on cutting carbon emissions - including clean coal technologies - while protecting security of energy supplies.
The top Chinese, US and Australian climate change negotiators will gather for two days this week in Washington at a political and business meeting organised by the Melbourne-based Global Foundation and Georgetown University.
The US-China-Australia Dialogue on Energy Security and Climate Change will include the president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, and leading US multinational firms including aluminium producer Alcoa, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and giant conglomerate General Electric.

Sep 8, 2008

Kudos GAV! On post about "Generation Excess"

By Big Gav ...  The weekend SMH had a jaundiced look at the record of the baby boomers, as part of a more general litany of impending doom "Baby boomers practised scorched earth gluttony, and now the rest must pay the price" boomers are among the most privileged human beings to have walked on planet earth. It's not just that we are the second longest living people in the world, after Japan. Or that we are exceptionally healthy, because obesity levels suggest we're not. Or wealthy, although we do pretty well by all relative standards.

No. It's because we've lived in that tiny slice of human history and phase of economic development where everything has been right. And let's face it, even for the least privileged of us, life has been relatively easy. Most of us have never had to face the hell of a civil war, or depression, and have been blessed by geography - the most powerful influence in anyone's life - by being born and raised in a "lucky country".

But is it all coming to an end? Are petrol prices and global warming just the tip of a melting iceberg primed to set humanity back on its heels, such that our kids won't enjoy anything like the fruits of life that we have? More worryingly, am I, and my generation partly to blame as the generation that tried to warn against all this in the '60s and '70s, but then said "wait for me" as the world took off again in the 1980s?

The much castigated Club of Rome, a group of wealthy industrialists concerned about resource depletion in the 1970s, rang the early alarm bells. They predicted that petrol (and other resources) would begin to be seriously depleted by around 2010. Biologist Paul Ehrlich, another casualty of that era, tried to reinvigorate the Malthusian debate about the world being finite and unable to cope with infinite population growth. There were even (bite my tongue) economists reflecting on the impossibility of exponential economic growth and the irony of the economic notion of "diminishing rates of returns" being totally ignored by their fellow dismal scientists in cahoots with politicians who strove to drive the growth train ever faster.

Read more of  "Shame on you, Generation Excess."

Sep 7, 2008

The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have

Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic gets an astonishing 65 mpg, but the carmaker can't afford to sell it in the U.S.
If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon. Oh yes, and the car is made by Ford Motor, known widely for lumbering gas hogs.
"We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S."
Read full from Businessweek
Want 100's of 60 mpg in the U.S.... not unless you want to pay up to a DOLLAR MORE per gallon (hey someone has to pay for ethanol's free ride)
The Northeast remain "hostile to diesel."
Diesel vehicles are now  as clean or cleaner than gasoline and at least 30% more fuel-efficient.
Yet, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline.

Sep 5, 2008

NOT YOURS 59 mpg Hyundai

Aside from the Santa Fe hybrid and five other models, Hyundai is bringing a new version of the i20 to the Paris Motor Show next month. The all-new i20 blue sub-compact fits into Hyundai's i-blue line, meaning that the company has declared it to be one of its "advanced low emission concepts." The production version will be on sale in Europe before the end of the year, replacing the Getz. The i20 blue continues Hyundai's new naming convention (see also the i10 and the i30) and will have CO2 emissions of just 99 g/km and fuel consumption of 4l/100km (59 mpg U.S.) form a 1.4L CRDi diesel engine. The i20's fuel economy was bumped thanks to under floor covers, lowered ground clearange and the standard aerodynamic tweaks. Low rolling resistance tires and low-friction oil round out the i-blue package. Read the press release after the jump. AutoblogGreen's Xavier Navarro contributed to this post.

[Source: AutoblogGreen]