Oct 31, 2006

Sir Nicholas Stern - Thanks for visiting!

Your articles, ideals & presentations truly help the world understand better.
Thanks, Christopher Haase
Prof Sir Nicholas (Nick) SternSir Nicholas Stern leads a major review of the Economics of Climate Change and Philosophy at Harvard University; previously Master of Trinity College, ...
A Presentation by Sir Nicholas Stern's  is available for Download (pdf) This lecture will provide one of the first presentations of the initial findings of the ongoing review.
Audio files of Stern are available here.
  • This "global warming" thing... what Watt is what? "Their mantra is best described as another wishful positive feedback mechanism  to justify their faith in unreliable models." The bottom line here is that the  Stern report is unwittingly correct in one aspect. Stern says that the ...
  • Warming threatens world economy, study says The report by Nicholas Stern, who heads Britain's Government Economic Service, calls  for a new round of international collaboration to cut greenhouse gas emissions ...  Link (via- EcologicalInternet.org (Dr. Glen Barry)
  • Pandemic - Ten years to save the planet Observer: The Stern Report will tomorrow reveal that if governments do nothing,  climate change will cost more than both world wars and render swathes of the  planet uninhabitable. Can the world find the will to act? ...
  • Spend, spend, spend plan to tackle warming Sir Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist with the World Bank, may not speak  for all of his colleagues across the globe, but he appears to have reached a  startling conclusion: climate change could tip the world economy into a ...

Homeowners Think Green on Improvements

"Wells Fargo survey found that Americans are showing signs of becoming more environmentally aware and want to take actions that save money, help preserve the environment, as well as add value to their home,".

For home owners dreaming of making improvements, environmentally friendly changes are the top choice, according to a survey released on Monday by Wells Fargo. 24 percent of those surveyed "dream green" and would purchase insulation, double-paned windows, solar panels and energy-efficient appliances, according to the bank's third annual US homeowners study.


Michael Hawthorne - of the Chicago Tribune, Thanks for visiting my Blog.

Michael Hawthorne - of the Chicago TribuneIf you have more articles or comments of interest on BioFuels, GreenCleaners, Green Washing or Energy please send them my way!

Michael, keep writing... we will keep reading ;-)

Christopher Haase

Environmentally Sensitive Solutions, Inc.

ESS, Cleaning the world ...One Solution at a Time.

Here are a few previous Ethanol posts of interest for you:

Thanks for photo: www.neiu.edu

GreenFuel Technologies - Who are they?

They visit my blog... now I visit them.
They have a patented Emissions-to-Biofuels™ (E2B™) process harnesses photosynthesis to grow algae.
With the DOE supporting this... we wish GreenFuel Technologies Corp. the best.
If you need a few EHS pro's to help, let me know ;-)
From their website: (click here to read more)
How It Works
The Emissions-to-Biofuels™ process is a flexible platform for converting CO2 emissions into a range of renewable fuels. The process is designed to be retrofitted to flue stacks with minimal impact to ongoing operations. The process schematic diagram is shown in the following figure: Process Flow - Power Generators
Proven tech - The bioreactor productivities suggest annual yields of 5,000-10,000 gallons of biodiesel and a comparable amount of bioethanol per acre!

Pint-sized Car Engine Promises High Efficiency, Low Cost

Seriously, MIT can't do better than this?

Injecting more volatile liquid into the combustion chamber is decades old.

A two stroke direct inject diesel will blow this thing away. Now add propane injection and a turbo to the diesel and we have something efficient. Never mind, there already on the road (and rails).

Seriously, there are REAL cutting edge engine concepts all over the world improving efficiencies 200-300%. Before big auto will listen... come up with something ingenious that hasn't been done.

I loved the picture enough to post the article (made me giggle) Researchers demonstrating efficiency on a MACbook (more giggles ;-) sweeeet!

MIT researchers will have an engine that can go as much as 30 percent farther on a gallon of fuel than an ordinary engine. Moreover, the little engine provides high performance without the use of high-octane gasoline. Read more here VIA-sciencedaily.com

EPA Voluntary Programs Cut Emissions and Save Consumers Billions

In 2005, EPA’s 12 voluntary climate protection programs prevented 63 million metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions - up from 57 million in 2004, according to a new EPA report released today.
Highlights of the report, Energy Star and Other Climate Protection Partnerships 2005 Annual Report, include savings from the government’s Energy Star program. Americans, with the help of Energy Star, avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 23 million automobiles in 2005 – up from 20 million in 2004 – while saving about $12 billion on their energy bills. Americans also saved a significant amount of energy in 2005 – 150 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) – or about 4 percent of the total 2005 electricity demand.
Other voluntary climate protection programs included in the report are the Climate Leaders Program, the Green Power Partnership, Methane Programs and initiatives that develop clean energy solutions and minimize emissions of other non-carbon dioxide gases. The report details the environmental and economic accomplishments of these programs and outlines goals for 2006 and beyond.  (thanks for link Via Laura B. lib.wmrc.uiuc.edu)

Brownout at the EPA

The agency shuts down five public libraries full of environmental data, and employees and activists question the motives. Read the full story at Salon.com (Via - Laura B. wmrc.uiuc.edu).

Warming threatens world economy, study says

Washington Post: Failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or either world war, according to a report issued yesterday by the British government. The environmental devastation could cost between 5 and 20 percent of the world's gross domestic product, the report found. The report by Nicholas Stern, who heads Britain's Government Economic Service, calls for a new round of international collaboration to cut greenhouse gas emissions ... Link (via- EcologicalInternet.org (Dr. Glen Barry)

Farmers eye carbon as new climate crop

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., discusses his family's walnut tree farm among a row of trees grown plantation style in southwestern Indianapolis  , July 16, 2006. The 10,000 black walnut trees planted in tidy rows on Sen. Richard Lugar's family farm might someday bring in extra cash, not by being felled and sent off to a sawmill, but by simply staying firmly rooted in the soil.  (AP Photo/Tom Strickland)As concerns grow that industrial emissions are fueling global warming, green spaces such as Sen. Richard Lugar’s farm have taken on an unforeseen value that could pay off for farmers. Read full Via MSNBC

Is Wal-Mart Really Saving the World?

Spinmeister of the day award (at least so far) goes to Andrew Ruben, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Sustainability for Wal-Mart. Ruben was one of the speakers at an opening plenary at the SEJ2006.

Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Wheeler introduced Ruben by pointing to Wal-Mart's three environmental goals: that its energy use should be 100 per cent renewable; that it should produce zero waste; and that it should sell products that are are environmentally sustainable. Wheeler asked, Is that for real?

Ruben immediately redefined the goals as inspirational injunctions to Wal-Mart staff.  He acknowledged that they are achievable only in the very long term, but he insisted (correctly) that they are no less worthy. And he admitted (or stated, or posited; I don't want to imply anything unnecessary) that Wal-Mart is still in business; the company has not suddenly remade itself as a philanthropic organization.

Ruben's most compelling points were that Wal-Mart is really making headway in addressing some environmental issues. For example, it has retrofitted its truck fleet with auxilliary power units that allow it to save 10 million gallons of deisel fuel a year - reducing its greenhouse gas production by 100,000 tonnes.

Wal-Mart has also started to push compact fluorescents, expanding their presence and visibility in the stores. As a result of this fairly subtle marketing change, Wal-Mart hopes to sell 100 million compact fluorescents this year, resulting in a further saving of 25 million tonnes of CO2.

Oct 30, 2006

EPA Announces New Computer Efficiency Requirements

With an eye to saving U.S. households and businesses more than $1.8 billion in energy costs over the next 5 years, today EPA announced new Energy Star specifications for computers and related equipment. These new modifications are also expected to prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual emissions of 2.7 million cars. Read full via- www.glrppr.org

YIKES! UK issues warning, hires Gore

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown (L) meets Al Gore of the U.S. at 11 Downing Street in London June 22, 2006.    REUTERS/Stephen Hird  (BRITAIN)Unchecked global warming will devastate the world economy on the scale of the world wars and the Great Depression, a major British report said Monday.

The rich get green, get green, get green, get green...

Get Rich: The Eco-Advantage
Every few years or so, American companies and consumers embrace the concept of green business. But something seems different about our current green awakening. This time, the action is being driven as much by markets as morality. Here's a look at 50 of the most intriguing companies that are helping to drive today's green revolution. You might say they've found a way to do good and get rich. Read full story (from inc.com)


Leading Greenspirit, not failing with Greenpeace

Patrick Moore of Greenspirit believes - Fifteen years of Greenpeace campaigns later I had some new insights. It was time to switch from confrontation to consensus, time to stop fighting and start talking with the people in charge. I became a convert to the idea of sustainable development and the need to consider social and economic issues along with my environmental values. I adopted the round table, consensus approach as the logical next step in the evolution of the movement for sustainability.
Little did I realize at the time how this would bring me into open and direct conflict with the movement I had helped bring into the world. I now find that many environmental groups have drifted into self-serving cliques with narrow vision and rigid ideology. At the same time that business and government are embracing public participation and inclusiveness, many environmentalists are showing signs of elitism, left-wingism, and downright eco-fascism. The once politically centrist, science-based vision of environmentalism has been largely replaced with extremist rhetoric. Science and logic have been abandoned and the movement is often used to promote other causes such as class struggle and anti-corporatism. The public is left trying to figure out what is reasonable and what is not.
For more details fro Patrick Moore : Hard Choices for the Environmental Movement

EPA Tightens Up Power Specs For PCs

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday (Oct 24) the first update in seven years to its Energy Star program for power saving PCs. On average, the revised requirements for the Energy Star program will require PCs to be 65 percent more power efficient than current models."  » original news

Job and Environmental Blackmail

Now that a few religious groups are starting to think that maybe blowing up entire mountains, removing the coal, and then dumping the leftover debris into neighboring valleys and streams (also known as "mountaintop removal") isn't what God intended us to do with her earth, the coal companies are politely informing them that although they're well-intentioned, they're also misguided:
Either allow us to rape your countryside, destroy your streams and flood your homes or we'll kill your husbands and fathers, lay off the survivors, wreak economic ruin upon your communities, and sow your fields with salt.
Well, that's not precisely how they word their defense of mountaintop removal, but it's the general idea. Their exact words were:
The coal industry asserts that mountaintop removal is a safer way to remove coal than sending miners underground and that without it, companies would have to close mines and lay off workers.

Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, a coal lobbying group, said that by fighting mountaintop removal religious groups might find their priorities colliding.

“They find themselves in a difficult position,” Mr. Popovich said, “because they’re expressing support for those who purport to protect nature, and, at the same time, that activism carries implications for the human side of the natural equation. Human welfare depends on the rational exploitation of nature.”

Oct 29, 2006

Blaim game - How sport is killing the planet

Guardian: One of the reasons why so little has been done to stop climate change is that everyone makes an exception for themselves. We can all agree, for example, that there are too many cars on the roads, while insisting that we cannot possibly leave ours at home. The same problem applies to businesses: the people who run them might agree that collective action urgently needs to be taken, but unfortunately their sector is just too important and its requirements too demanding. This seems to be the ... Link (via EcologicalInternet.org (Dr. Glen Barry)

More Pandemic - The End of the World As We Know It?

Huffington Post: In a week or so, the New York Review of Books is going to publish an article by James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia hypothesis (in which the Earth is viewed as more than an ecosystem, closer to a living being, that can be healthy or diseased, and can change, through evolution, from one state to the other). Lovelock will declare that the Earth's temperature is about to rise five to eight degrees centigrade (depending on where you are -- more at the poles, less in the tropics), and that ...Link via (EcologicalInternet.org (Dr. Glen Barry)

Pandemic - Ten years to save the planet

Observer: The Stern Report will tomorrow reveal that if governments do nothing, climate change will cost more than both world wars and render swathes of the planet uninhabitable. Can the world find the will to act? Gaby Hinsliff reports It is almost Halloween, and Rachel from San Francisco is worrying about pumpkins. She saved last year's decorations to use again, and recycled rather than bought new cards to send: there will be no waste once the pumpkins are carved, with the family eating ... Link (via: EcologicalInternet.org (Dr. Glen Barry)

Oct 28, 2006

Ethanomics - good for ADM, bad for farmers

Ethanol, for all its clear, yellow goodness, really is a cloudy thing. The ethanol situation in American is especially confusing. No one has a complete handle on the politics of biofuels, the price of oil, and all the ways to turn different types of biomass to ethanol. Thankfully, the confusing picture doesn't stop people from trying to figure it out. Why am I thankful about this? Because if they did, I wouldn't have much to write about, now, would I?

The latest to attempt to get an overview of the corn and soy landscape is Tom Philpott, who writes about
"Ethanomics" over at Grist. His story's subhead says it all: "The shining promise of ethanol doesn't add up for farmers." The somewhat longer (but still short) version Philpott describes is that low corn prices help corn processors like ADM, not farmers. Even with ethanol demand pushing corn prices up, and farmers banding together to invest in their own ethanol plants, farmers may not be able to make any real profit in the ethanol biz because - thanks to everyone having the same idea at the same time - we're about to enter a time of excess ethanol. ADM, with deep pockets and the drive to buy up small ethanol producers, will weather the storm. For farmers, Philpott doesn't see the clouds breaking quite so nicely.

[Source: Grist/Tom Philpott- VIA

Amazon destruction at lowest level since 1991, Brazilian government says

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Good news from Brazil. Deforestation in the Amazon is on the decline. Due to strict environmental regulations Amazon destruction is at its lowest since 1991. The Amazon rain forest is the world's largest remaining tropical wilderness, covering 60 percent of Brazil, an area larger than Western Europe.  » original news (via-hugg.com)

EPA Dives into Water Efficiency

Looking to expand the water efficiency market, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its first set of specifications to certify professionals in this field. Under the agency's WaterSense program, the specifications set technical requirements for certifying landscape irrigation professionals. Certification programs that meet the EPA's requirements will earn the WaterSense label.  » original news (Via-hugg.com)

Companies Come Clean About Environmental Violations

PHILADELPHIA - Eight companies that voluntarily disclosed and corrected environmental violations had penalties waived by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the result of an EPA policy that has been successful in getting companies to make good-faith efforts in self-policing their own environmental compliance.  » original news (via-hugg.com)

Spend, spend, spend plan to tackle warming

Guardian: Line up all of the world's economists end to end, the old joke goes, and they would still fail to reach a conclusion. By Monday afternoon the gag could sound a little hollow. Sir Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist with the World Bank, may not speak for all of his colleagues across the globe, but he appears to have reached a startling conclusion: climate change could tip the world economy into a terrible recession and we must start spending serious money to stop it. Commissioned ...Link (via EcologicalInternet.org (Dr. Glen Barry)

Pres. Bush will meet with Big 3 chiefs; alternative fuel incentives on the agenda

Leaders of GM, Ford and the Chrysler Group will finally meet with Pres. Bush in November. The confab has been postponed twice. A White House spokesperson said the meeting will be mid-November but no specific date has been set. It won't be before the elections to avoid political baggage dragging down the agenda. Incentives for alternative-fuel vehicles are likely to be a hot topic.

[Source: Reuters via CNN Money VIA

Oct 27, 2006

Experts Identify Products That Cause Greatest Environmental Damage

Cutting-edge research identifying the types of products that cause the greatest environmental damage is the focus of a special issue of Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology. Full read here

This "global warming" thing... what Watt is what?

I was emailed this by a colleague: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,225719,00.html

Seriously, FOX? Simpson maybe? but, FOX as news... hard is always a hard sell

From FOX news: Respond to the Writer

With respect to the Earth's potential feedback mechanisms, climate modelers try to justify their predictions of global temperature change caused by increases in carbon dioxide by pointing out that positive feedbacks from water vapor and clouds amplify the small direct effect of increased carbon dioxide. Although even the IPCC acknowledges that these positive feedbacks are highly uncertain, the modelers proceed to explain away their exaggerated predictions of warming by claiming, in turn, that about two-thirds of the warming are cancelled-out by aerosols, such as manmade pollution. Aerosol experts, however, are not even sure aerosols are capable of doing this.

Positive feedbacks? Negative feedbacks? Which is it? Both? Neither? A combination? While no one really knows for sure, consider this: it appears that the Earth may exert a net negative feedback on greenhouse gas-induced temperature change that adjusts our theoretical calculations downward to match actual observations. In contrast, the modelers suggest positive feedbacks to adjust actual observations upward into alarmist theoretical calculations.

What, then, is the value of piling guess upon guess "as the climate modelers do" to arrive at an answer that is rendered invalid by the historical temperature record?

Considering these points -- along with news of recent research into cosmic rays impacting global climate, the limited physical capability of carbon dioxide to impact global temperature and other various greenhouse myths propagated by climate alarmists "it's no wonder that Sir Nicholas, Al Gore and their brethren keep chanting that the "overwhelming weight of scientific opinion" supports the need for, what in reality would be, economy-killing greenhouse gas regulation.

"Their mantra is best described as another wishful positive feedback mechanism to justify their faith in unreliable models."

The bottom line here is that the Stern report is unwittingly correct in one aspect. Stern says that the science shapes the economics.



Questions raised on E85 effect on gas pumps

Oil company BP p.l.c. says it is holding off expanding the use of E85 fuel in the U.S. until Underwriters Laboratories certifies a dispensing system for the blend of 85% corn-based ethanol and 15% gasoline. UL has said the blend could be harmful to the metal and plastic parts in gas station pumps.   The New York Times

Halloween Safety Tips

Have a safe & happy Halloween Weekend!

Christopher Haase
ESS, Cleaning the world “One Solution at a Time”
Here are some Halloween Safety Tips
  • Trick-or-Treaters
  • Carry a flashlight
  • Walk, don't run.
  • Stay on Sidewalks
  • Obey traffic signals
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods
  • Don't cut across yards or driveways.
  • Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
  • Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.
  • Shoes should fit (even if they don't go with your costume)
  • Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
  • Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
  • (If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
  • Approach only houses that are lit.
  • Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.

  • Make your child eat dinner before setting out.
  • Children should carry quarters so they can call home.
  • Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult.
  • If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark.
  • If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.
  • Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home.
  • You should know where they're going.
  • Although tampering is rare, tell children to bring the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything.
  • Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspect.

  • Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones.
  • Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them up to protect them from cars or inadvertently bitting a trick-or-treater.
  • Battery powered jack o'lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
  • If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
  • Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't be blown into a flaming candle.
  • Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and
  • single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later.
  • Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.

Lower Cost, Half-sized Gasoline Engine As Fuel-efficient As a Hybrid System!

Ah! A half-sized gasoline engine and that too performs like its full-sized counterpart! Not just that! MIT researchers are developing it, which also offers fuel efficiency as that of todays hybrid engine system! The little engine also comes at a far lower cost. The factors that imbibed these characters in the amazing engine are carefully controlled injection of ethanol directly into the cylinders of the engine when it has either to climb a hill or pass a car. This engine can go as much as 30 percent farther on a gallon of fuel compared to an ordinary engine!  » original news  (via-hugg.com)

Home Depot to Plant 130 Acres of Trees & Offset Employee Emissions

The Home Depot Inc. will fund the planting of thousands of trees on about 130 acres of land in metro Atlanta try to offset carbon emissions created at its Atlanta headquarters and offset part of the emissions its workers create driving to work and traveling for business. The program is part of The Conservation Fund's Go Zero program, which helps companies offset their carbon footprints by using reforestation. During the past five years, the organization has planted more than 5 million trees to offset nearly 7 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next 70 years.  » original news (via the hugg.com)

Fatter Americans, Hotter World

American's ever-expanding waistlines aren't just bad for our national health - they're bad for the atmosphere too. A new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that the extra drag on car engines caused by their drivers' increasing weight means that Americans are using at least 938 million more gallons of gas annually today than they were four decades ago, when they weighed an average of 24 pounds less. » original news (via hugg.com)

61 MPG Urban Lite Peugeot

If you liked the Endo but cannot wait, check out this new Peugot. Entry level is under £7000. It's gets 61 MPG! If you want something a little bigger, this is not too bad with a 48 MPG rating. What's your fav new or old small car?  » original news (via hugg.com)

kraft joins rainforest alliance

The Rainforest Alliance has launched an ambitious new project with Kraft Foods, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other partners that will help farmers in Cote D'Ivoire, the world's largest producer of cocoa, meet the conservation organization's standards for eco-friendly and socially responsible cocoa farming. The Rainforest Alliance and its partners will provide guidance and technical assistance to about 4,000 farmers in six cooperatives in Cote D'Ivoire over three years to encourage sustainable cocoa production. Farmers will work toward achieving Rainforest Alliance certification by meeting comprehensive environmental and social standards that include conserving natural resources, protecting the welfare of workers and putting into place more efficient management practices. The first deliveries of Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa from Cote D'Ivoire are expected in 2007, so for now, here's Randy Watson and his Sexual Chocolate!  » original news

Bacteria can generate renewable energy from pollution, help fight global warming

Currently, most energy production generates carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and local pollution. At the same time that carbon dioxide concentrations are rising in the atmosphere, fueling higher temperatures, burgeoning population growth of humans and livestock is producing ever-increasing amounts of organic pollution and waste. Now researchers at the Center for Biotechnology at the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University are working on a way to solve both problems using bacteria to convert organic wastes into a source of electricity. Bruce Rittmann, Director of the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the Biodesign Institute, and his team of researchers are developing microbial fuel cells (MFC) that can oxidize organic pollutants and create electricity from pollution.

Amazon deforestation rate plunges 41 percent

Today the Brazilian government announced a sharp drop in Amazon deforestation. Forest loss for the 2005-2006 year was 13,100 square kilometers (5,057 square miles) of rainforest, down more than 40 percent from last year. The figure is the lowest since 1991 when 11,130 square kilometers (4,258 square miles) of forest were lost. Deforestation peaked in 1995 when 29,059 square kilometers (11,219 square miles) of forest were cut. Deforestation has plunged by almost 50 percent since 2004. Falling commodity prices, increased enforcement efforts, and government conservation initiatives are credited for the drop. &quotWe aggressively increased enforcement of environmental laws in the past years and it has worked,&quot Joao Paulo Capobianco, Brazil's minister-secretary of biodiversity and forests, told the Associated Press. via -mongabay.com

Illinois Organizations Receive Governor's Awards for Achievements in Pollution Prevention

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have named 24 Illinois companies and organizations 2006 Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards winners for their significant achievements in protecting the environment and boosting the economy. The 20th annual Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards were presented in Bloomington during a luncheon hosted by the Waste Management and Research Center (WMRC), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Source: Illinois Waste Management and Research Center, 10/26/06. VIA-www.glrppr.org

Bush Taps Former Exxon CEO to Chart U.S. Energy Future

The Bush administration has appointed former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond and the National Petroleum Council to chart America's energy future. Raymond, chair of the NPC, is to provide the administration with policy recommendations for the long-term direction of the nation's energy policy. Raymond was granted the power to handpick the study's leadership. source: Desmogblog

Clean Air Power's diesel-natural gas system could help reach Kyoto targets

 Clean Air Power, which has come up with a Dual-Fuel system that converts heavy duty diesel engines to run on natural gas (with diesel still in the mix to act as a liquid spark plug), wants to make clear that if just ten percent of the trucks in the UK were outfitted with these natural gas conversion systems, the impact would be 300,000 fewer tons of CO2 in the air each year and huge fuel savings. Clean Air Power claims that ea chconverted truck saves seven tons of carbon emissions and reduces fuel costs by £11,000 per year. While outfitting 10 percent of the UK fleet with CAP's converter would certainly net the company a tidy profit, the company wants to spread the CO2 reduction around. CEO John Pettitt suggested better route planning, using in-cab telematics and more rail freight as concurrent ways to reach the Kyoto levels. [Source: No Bull Communications/Clean Air Power/VIA-autobloggreen.com/]

Ford gives grants to Chinese environmental organizations

Ford Motor Company is losing billions of dollars in America, but Ford Motor China is giving money away. Thankfully it's for a good cause. Today, Ford announced the names of 23 individuals and organizations in China that will receive grants from Ford in China totaling about $131,000 US dollars (the number sounds much more impressive when expressed in Chinese yuan: 1.05 million). This is the 7th year of the Ford Motor Conservation & Environmental Grants, China (CEGC) and this year grants were given in three categories: Preserving Our Natural Environment, Environmental Education, and Youth Environmental Innovation. Perhaps to escape the money losing news at home, Bill Ford attended the event and to give a speech on the role of Corporate Social Responsibility in his company. I guess for Ford responsibility means spending fewer dollars on the environment in all of China than one 30-second prime-time TV spot in America.[Source: Ford Motor Company VIA-autobloggreen.com]

PC Energy Star Rating Getting Badly Needed Upgrade

Since the EPA last updated its Energy Star program for PCs seven years ago the world has changed. These days, even the most inefficient computers classify for an Energy Star label. But in the next year, the EPA will become much more strict. Computers across the board will have to be around 65% more efficient that previously to receive an Energy Star certification. Neither AMD or Intel are likely to have a hard time meeting the standards, but it's good to put a little government pressure on them anyhow. The EPA says that the efficiency upgrades could save American consumers up to $1.8 billion in the first five years, and prevent the release as much greenhouse gas as 2.7 million cars. Via InformationWeek http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=193401824

Main Dish: Fast food goes organic and natural

The succulent wares of Whole Foods' enormous flagship store in Austin are always tempting, but especially so during a harried lunch hour. Everything in the vast prepared-food section looks irresistible. The salad bar features a mountain of fresh, organic toppings. Pricing is mostly by weight, so one can escape with a cup of splendid, coconutty split-pea soup and a small salad for less than $6. For those who have the time, dozens of tables are available for sit-down dining. As the $14 billion organic food industry gathers steam, the concept of healthy fast food is spreading. While Whole Foods is in the vanguard, others are catching up. More and more restaurants are tapping into Americans' desire to eat quickly, and realizing that fast food can involve much healthier stuff than a Whopper and fries. Read full Grist.org here

Bunge Agrees to US$13.9 Million Clean Air Settlement


Oct 26, 2006

Drugging Our Waters

How an Aging Population and our Growing Addiction to Pharmaceuticals May Be Poisoning our Rivers

When residents of Heritage Village and two other nearby retirement communities flush their toilets, wastewater laced with traces of prescription drugs rushes through a series of pipes into the Heritage Village treatment plant...

The effect of those drugs on the environment, and possibly on those who drink water pumped from those streams, is only beginning to be understood...

In 2002, the USGS published the results of its first-ever reconnaissance of man-made contaminants...the agency found traces of 82 different organic contaminants -- fertilizers and flame retardants as well as pharmaceuticals -- in surface waters across the nation. [Onearth, Fall 2006]

Did you know Ethanol industry gets up to $6.8B in government subsidies

The biggest subsidy is the 51-cent-per-gallon tax credit that refiners receive for using ethanol.
U.S. subsidies and tax breaks for the ethanol industry have risen to as much as $6.8 billion this year, according to Global Subsidies Initiative. An ethanol industry spokesman commented that the study does not include savings to the government when ethanol demand leads to lower crop subsidies and provides benefits to local economies. The study considers both state and federal incentives and indicates that there are less expensive ways to reduce fossil fuels than requiring the use of biofuels.   The Des Moines Register (Iowa)

China will invest 1.5 trillion capital for renewable power

China Daily:  yuan (US$187.5 billion) to increase the ratio of renewable energy consumption, said Wu Guihui, vice-director-general of the Bureau of Energy under the National Development and Reform Commission. Currently, 7.5 per cent of China's energy comes from renewable sources. The country's goal is to make it 10 per cent by 2010 and 16 per cent by 2020, revised from its initial goal of 20 per cent. "Within 10 years, we will see a population of 30 ... Link (via: EcologicalInternet.org - Glen Barry)

Green investors have more options with WilderShares, Cleantech Group

Interest in green technology continues to grow on Wall Street. WilderShares and the Cleantech Group have launched two new exchange-traded funds. WilderShares, which already manages two other clean-energy indices, has created a new index that focuses on technologies that make fossil fuels cleaner. The fund is trading on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "PUW." The Cleantech Index focuses on companies that stress cleaner energy, water and industrial production. It's traded under "PZD." North American venture-capital investment in Cleantech rose to $933 million in the third quarter, up 10 percent from 2Q and 120 percent from the same time last year. Of that money, $512 million went into biofuels. Since WilderShares launched its first clean-energy fund, seven other indices have started. [Source: Red Herring VIA: autobloggreen.com]

power source could eliminate the need for the combustion engine - and for oil.

Gentlemen, stop your engines
EEStor's device is not technically a battery because no chemicals are involved. In fact, it contains no hazardous materials whatsoever. Yet it acts like a battery in that it stores electricity. If it works as it's supposed to, it will charge up in five minutes and provide enough energy to drive 500 miles on about $9 worth of electricity. At today's gas prices, covering that distance can cost $60 or more; the EEStor device would power a car for the equivalent of about 45 cents a gallon.

And we mean power a car. "A four-passenger sedan will drive like a Ferrari," Clifford predicts. In contrast, his first electric car, the Zenn, which debuted in August and is powered by a more conventional battery, can't go much faster than a moped and takes hours to charge.

The cost of the engine itself depends on how much energy it can store; an EEStor-powered engine with a range roughly equivalent to that of a gasoline-powered car would cost about $5,200. That's a slight premium over the cost of the gas engine and the other parts the device would replace -- the gas tank, exhaust system, and drivetrain. But getting rid of the need to buy gas should more than make up for the extra cost of an EEStor-powered car.

Full read in money mag:

New ceramic battery may replace gas engines by 2008.

Texas company is working on an "energy storage" device made from ceramics. It's not technically a battery because it doesn't use chemicals. It can allegedly charge within 5 minutes with enough energy to move a car 500 miles on about $9 worth of electricity -- about 45 cents a gallon.
According to the patent, the device is made of a ceramic powder coated with aluminum oxide and glass.
Company is very secretive, and has taken down its website.  "A ceramic power source for electric cars that could blow away the combustion engine." (CNN (http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/15/technology/disruptors_eestor.biz2/index.htm); Sept. 20, 2006)

Could a 200-year-old engine solve today's petrol crisis?

A LITTLE-known invention by a Church of Scotland minister almost 200 years ago could help to reduce the world’s insatiable and ever-growing appetite for oil.

As prices on the oil markets continue to approach their highest for 21 years - threatening a repeat of the fuel protests of four years ago - a leading expert on the Stirling engine has claimed it could reduce petrol and diesel consumption in motor vehicles by more than half.

Dr Peter Waddell, a retired reader in mechanical engineering at Strathclyde University, believes the internal combustion engine - workhorse of the western world for more than a century - could be replaced by a modern interpretation of Robert Stirling’s 1812 engine.

He claims that, using new advances in technology, the Stirling engine could easily match a modern petrol or diesel engine of a similar capacity, but with an improvement in efficiency of about 30 per cent.

Read full here

We have lost a great contributor and battle to the "new" green media ;-(

Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki speaks during an interview in Sydney October 16, 2006. Suzuki, best known for his television programs on nature and the environment, is ready to step out of spotlight and live the simple life, lamenting that he has not had a greater impact. (David Gray/Reuters)
Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki speaks during an interview in Sydney October 16, 2006. Suzuki, best...
He regrets that after decades of campaigning for everything from cleaner air to sustainable farming, his work has not had more impact.
"Nobody any longer knows what a sustainable future is," the bearded, bespectacled environmentalist told Reuters in a recent interview in Australia to promote his book, "David Suzuki: The Autobiography."
"I feel like we are in a giant car heading for a brick wall at 100 miles an hour and everyone in the car is arguing where they want to sit. For God's sake, someone has to say put the brakes on and turn the wheel."
Suzuki is no less passionate about preserving the planet than when his first series, "Suzuki on Science," aired in 1969 but he wants more time for himself.
Over his career he has written more than 40 books, including the best-selling "Looking At" series of children's science titles, and set up the David Suzuki Foundation.
But he regrets having never learned to surf and admitted in his first autobiography in 1987 that the first of his two marriages failed because he refused to give up his work for family time.
"I always thought our programs on nature would be different...but now I realize that I, too, am creating a virtual world, a fabricated version of the real thing," he writes in his autobiography.
Suzuki welcomes a new generation of media-friendly environmentalists, notably former U.S. vice president
But he expresses regret that most people still live out of step with nature.
"We are intelligent, so we create our own habitat and we don't need nature except as entertainment or for the extraction of resources," he said. "We still don't get it, that the simple acts of eating a pizza reverberates around the world."

All's not well in the market for the booming ethanol industry.

Apparently, all's not well in the market for the booming ethanol industry.
Somone must be paying attention to science.... if it can not sustain without sub's & credits
How did someone think this was viable longterm investment?
[Source: Associated Press via www.autobloggreen.com]

"Never mind altruism: 'Saving the earth' can mean big bucks"

Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, Mark Rice-Oxley writes this green future forecast. "Some $1 trillion in 'green' business opportunities await creative entrepreneurs, a report finds." "President Bush is right to argue that tackling climate change will cost us money," notes Robin Smale, director of Vivid Economics, the London consultancy that produced the report for Shell. "But for every pound or dollar consumers spend on [green technology or services], this is going to the people who are doing something about it: the people making the biofuels or building new environmentally friendly housing or putting up the windfarms." P.S. There wasn't a good visual for this article so I pulled this old political cartoon from the NARA archive.  » original news (via the hugg.com)

DAHHH - Overweight drivers, passengers use more gasoline

This stud gets a "big" dahh factor - but I posted it, as I love the yuck picture!
A new study says an extra 1 billion gallons of gasoline is burned each year because of overweight drivers and vehicle passengers. The mathematical model tied together federal data on fuel consumption and weight gain among Americans from 1960 to 2002. A University of Illinois professor who headed the study quipped: "I had no idea the numbers would be this big."

The study says 1.7 million cars could be filled with gas for a year if vehicle occupants would slim down. Factors that were eliminated in the study included cargo weight and poor vehicle maintenance that reduced fuel economy. The survey is a reminder that the average American now weighs 24 more pounds than in 1960.

I wonder if the study address vehicle selection, or if it's based just on lost fuel economy due to a heavier load. Wouldn't larger consumers favor gas-guzzling fullsize SUVs for more comfort? If more people were thinner, would they be buying compact and mid-sized cars instead of big trucks? Can anyone from Toyota marketing clue us in on the waistline psychographics of Prius consumers? [Source: Jon Hilkevitch/Chicago Tribune ]
Thanks for the post www.autobloggreen.com!

Nazi history of coal-to-gas process (old is new)

The Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-liquid process (is it really "one of the world's most exciting new fuel sources"? Is it really even new if it was developed in the 1920s?), but I still encourage you to read the story. The world is a complicated place, and Daniel Gross' investigation of how Fischer-Tropsch moved from Nazi synthfuel to the fuel of choice for South Africa's state run energy company emphasizes this. The company, Sasol, is now privatized and has expanded to Qatar and is eyeing the United States. But history comes with it. Aside from the Nazi and apartheid legacy of Fischer-Tropsch, Sasol has had problems with worker deaths in the past. I've never seen how coal-to-liquid is all that great, and this article just turns me off of the process even further. [Source: Daniel Gross/Slate via www.autobloggreen.com]

Green scientist favors coal-to-fuel plant, Improvements in generating clean diesel from coal

Toyota going for the biodiesel

Toyota to begin testing B100 in its cars in 2009?The Yomiuri reported Monday that Toyota and Nippon Oil would partner up with Petronas, the Malaysian state oil company, to develop biodiesel from palm oil. The companies will begin testing next year, but won't start making palm-oil biodiesel until 2009. Each company has a different role to play in the agreement. According to Yomiuri: "Petronas will supply palm oil and Nippon Oil will develop refining technologies to convert it to biodiesel for automobiles. Toyota will check if the developed fuels are safe to use for car engines." The Reuters' article is somewhat unclear, but it sounds like the end result will be testing of B100 in Toyota cars. Crazy. [Source: www.autobloggreen.com]

Firefly, LED Lid Water Bottle Lamp?

"The Firefly, Invented by Eric Goldfarb is a unique design which turns your bottle into a lantern." "The unique lid design contains an integrated LED light which spreads a warm glow throughout the bottle." Via (hugg.com).  » original news

Dishing out power with a solar engine

A company is trying to prove that a 19th-century design known as the Stirling engine has a place in the emerging market for clean energy. Infinia, based in Kennewick, Wash., plans to release a dish--which will look like a large satellite TV receiver--that will use the sun's heat to generate electricity. The product is slated for final design later this year and commercial release in 2008. » original news (via - hugg.com)

7 Ways the Internet Will Save The World

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI suppose its a stretch to ask everyone to stop driving, but it isnt a stretch to think of seven ways this valuable resource can help to save our planet from ourselves. We just have to think ahead and now would be a good time to start.  » original news (via hugg.com)

ENN Headline News this week

Wal-Mart Wins Preliminary Approval to Build in Cabo, Opponents Vow to Continue Fighting It - The world's largest retailer won preliminary approval on Tuesday to build a store in Cabo San Lucas after an almost two-year battle, but opponents vow to continue fighting the project with demonstrations or by blocking roads.
Brazil Bus Firm Powers Fleet on Biofuels - South America's largest city might be getting a bit greener. A bus company in Sao Paulo is now powering part of its fleet with a new mix of biofuels and diesel in an effort to curb emissions and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Schwarzenegger Prods Bush on Warming - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently signed a sweeping law to cut greenhouse gas emissions in California, complained in a letter to President Bush that there is no coherent federal policy to stop global warming.
Panel Says New Great Lakes Water Deal Needed - A U.S.-Canadian pact to clean up the Great Lakes has run its course after more than three decades and should be scrapped in favor of a more effective, modern strategy, a binational panel said Tuesday.
Environment-Friendly Label Pays off for Tourism Businesses - Girdwood, Alaska tour operator Kirk Hoessle didn't think he'd ever get "green listed." But last year, Conde Nast Traveler magazine rated Hoessle's company, Alaska Wildland Adventures, as the top eco-tourism operator in the world.
Jewish Symbolic Wall Raises Environmental Concerns - Orthodox Jews who want to use a strand of fishing line several miles long to create a symbolic religious enclosure are getting entangled in a dispute with beachfront residents and California environmentalists, who fear the string will snag birds and spoil the ocean view.
Researchers Warn About Coral Reef Deaths - Researchers warn that more than half of the world's coral reefs could die in less than 25 years, killed off by a deadly cocktail of rising sea temperatures, silt runoff from construction sites, algae and other toxic ingredients.
Australian Government Announces Funding for World's Largest Solar Power Plant - The Australian government announced Wednesday it will help build the largest solar power plant in the world as part of a new strategy to combat global warming.
LA Has Californa's Worst Beach Water - A study released Tuesday found that once again Los Angeles County has the state's most polluted beaches, but this time a new city has been anointed as the county's biggest loser -- Long Beach.