Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Let Somebody Else Worry About It

More than 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles will be deployed by General Motors in the streets of Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, DC in the largest market test of fuel cell vehicles of its kind.

Fuel cells also have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions better than other current alternatives, Gross said.

However, this is only true if the hydrogen is generated from renewables, such as wind and solar energy. Currently, most hydrogen is extracted from natural gas—a process that results in about as much carbon dioxide emissions per mile driven as does burning gasoline in a car, Struben said.

One of the climate's most important destabilizing feedbacks involves Arctic ice. It works like this: our release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases around the planet causes some initial warming that melts some ice. Melting ice leaves behind open ocean water that has a much lower reflectivity (or albedo) than that of ice. Open ocean water absorbs about 80 percent more solar radiation than sea ice does. And so as the sun warms the ocean, even more ice melts, in a vicious circle. This ice-albedo feedback is one of the main reasons warming is happening far faster in the high north, where there are vast stretches of sea ice, than anywhere else on Earth. A Swiftly Melting Planet

When warming becomes its own cause, we might not be able to stop extremely harmful climate change no matter how much we cut our greenhouse gas emissions. We need a far more aggressive global response to climate change. In the 1960s, mothers learned that the milk they were feeding their children was laced with radioactive material from atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons and that this contamination could increase the risk of childhood leukemia. Soon women organized themselves in the tens of thousands to demand that nuclear powers ban atmospheric testing. Their campaign largely succeeded.

In response to the new dangers of climate change, we need a similar mobilization - of mothers, of students and of everyone with a stake in the future - now.

855 millions of gallons saved (equal to 45 million barrels of oil) from people taking public transportation each year.
There’s general consensus that humankind has
consumed about 1 trillion barrels of oil since 1859,
but there’s much disagreement over how much
recoverable oil is left. Officials from the oil industry
and quasi-government agencies like the IEA generally
put the remaining amount at about 2.5 trillion
barrels; peak oil theorists say it’s about 1 trillion. In
other words, peakies believe the world is very close to
a maximum of global conventional oil output.

What do the two reports say about these issues? The
NPC hesitates to take a firm stand on the amount
of oil left: it simply presents the range of credible
estimates and suggests that they’re surrounded by so
much uncertainty that it’s impossible to know for sure
who’s right. But it then cites several studies arguing
that output from countries that aren’t members of
OPEC — output that accounts for about 60 percent
of the world’s total — will start declining after
2015. And buried deep in the report is perhaps the
most important statistic of all: In the view of many
analysts, 80 percent of today’s oil production will
need to be replaced in the next 25 years.

The bottom line of both reports is the age of cheap
oil is ending. We need to prepare for sharply higher
energy prices beyond 2010.

The 8 billion–plus broilers produced each year by the U.S. poultry industry leave behind some 3 billion pounds of waste feathers. Traditional disposal strategies are less than perfect. Feathers can be processed into a low-grade animal feed, but this demands water and energy. They also can be incinerated or buried, which involves storage, handling, and, for incinerated feathers, emissions control and ash disposal. Richard Wool, director of the Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources (ACRES) program at the University of Delaware, believes he’s found a way to use these feathers that kills two birds with one stone, so to speak. Wool’s solution is a collaboration with poultry giant Tyson Foods to explore manufacture of another resource-depleting necessity—the circuit board—using chicken feathers.

Chicken Electronics
Thomas Homer-Dixon
Whatever Happened To Fuel Cells?

40 percent of US reliance on foreign oil would decrease if one in ten Americans used public transportation daily.

Dear Slaves, did you know how much your masters made? Ford Motors, 160 billion revenue with 283,000 employees. Shell Oil, 318.845 billion revenue with 112,000 employees. CEO of Walmart last year made 11 million in salary...so slaves be proud of your support and keep giving them your money...they are laughing all the way to the peak oil crisis.
PLAY A GAME: World Without Oil

And a word from our sponsor, Bob Dylan...you've got to serve somebody...

Blogs that made a comment here and gave extra inspiration: Thanks Gardenia, check out the bags from Whole Foods, Browntown, Fond Of Snape


Gardenia said...

Candy, thanks for a great post. I didn't know a lot of this stuff - I'm finding that some people LIKE to keep their heads in the sand - they don't want to believe what is happening to our planet. Either that or they don't care as long as they get their share of the resources.

I know I could do more, and then I feel guilty, but I have started making steps - reuse of grocery bags, replacing light bulbs, shopping green....less auto trips

Excellent post.

Candy Minx said...

Gardenia, it's the Prisoners Dilemma...people will wait betting that someone else will make changes and they won't have to change their habits. And also...people think change means sacrifice. Most people just accept the bizarre schedules enforced and adopted by our culture to make a living support all their actions and justify not taking public transit.

Thinking about how we shop, how often, our transportation from grocery bags to conservation makes a difference, even if it's just a tiny step.

The way we live, is to support people who make vast amounts of money...they love it that we agree to be slaves to cars.

The masters aren't going to change the world...the slaves need to walk away.

Thee Mike Brown said...

the most logical efficacious response to the prisoner's dilemma is reciprocal altruism. also, tuesday is the foreplay before humpday.

Thee Mike Brown said...

sorry i meant logically where i wrote logical. and by foreplay i meant weekday. and by humpday i meant the apocalypse. by which i mean revelation.

Candy Minx said...

Mike, you don't have to explain I understood you perfectly! Cheers!

Janet said...

I'm sorry to sound so selfish in my response to this...but damn I'm glad I don't have kids!

I do my part, I recycle, use cloth shopping bags for the most part, re-use plastic containers if I must buy them for storage and don't drive near as much as I used to.

Candy Minx said...

Janet...it's okay to not have kids heh heh. I sometimes wonder if there isn't just going to be a shift in the way we think or do things you know...not like a blame game or desperate collapse of resources...but a change. something more big picture like an adaptation...where we change how we do business, how we shop, how we make a living? Many societies have come to the place where we are today...and some adapted and survived...and some collapsed. I hope we adapt.