Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I wish I had more time to write a bit but I'll have to leave you with just the information. Commentary to come on Monday.


This one comes from my dad via BusinessWeek. This is the most important collection of data I've seen in a long time. Understand this chart!

To cut greenhouse gases as cheaply as possible, start with the measures on the left that pay for themselves, then take the more expensive steps on the right. McKinsey says that doing all the things below, including those unlabeled, would cut 3 billion metric tons of emissions per year in 2030 vs. what they would be at current growth rates. That would put emissions below current levels. The width of each bar is the volume of emissions reduction, and the height is the cost in today’s dollars.


As much as biodiesel intrigues me, this is no thermodynamic surprise by any means. EcoGeek scoops an EV World report that shows solar power to be 1000 time more efficient that soy biodiesel. This is in terms of acreage of land, BTW. From EcoGeek:
At the bottom end of the scale is soybean biodiesel, which can provide only 2,400 miles per acre per year. Corn ethanol is more than six times as efficient, yielding 18,000 miles per acre per year. But because of the relatively slow rate of production from plant-based fuels, these options far fall below the productivity of directly produced energy.

The same acre can produce 10 times as much energy from wind as it can from corn ethanol, 180,000 miles per acre per year. But both corn ethanol and wind power pale in comparison with solar photovoltaic, which can produce more than 2 million miles worth of transport per acre per year.

Nail in the coffin for biofuels? Not really... we still have a long transition period before we're switched over to the next long generation of transportation. This information, however, is important to truly understand if you're a big green advocate. Just because something is an alternative to petroleum does NOT make it tacitly better.

Great chart, also from EcoGeek:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Best MPG figure to date

25.9 MPG from the fill-up today. Exciting I know. The reason I'm sharing this is that I also filled my tires up this time as well so we'll see how big of a difference that makes in real-life driving.

Quick ones

Lots of "good" stuff to post! Here we go...

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This about sums it up... from Mike Elgan at Computerworld:

Just when you thought technology was making "snail mail" obsolete, the U.S. Postal Service announces a vital new service that lets you recycle cell phones, iPods and other electronics -- as well as printer inkjet cartridges -- via mail. For free!

Everything goes to one company, Clover Technologies Group, and they take care of recycling. I see this as getting much bigger over time. I think both about how much usable material goes to waste as well as how annoying it is to recycle electronics. Bravo Clover! Stay green now; don't go dumping that left-over ink in the oceans or I'm going to be PISSED for posting this.

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If you're green, then you already know this. From thedailygreen:
A report issued by the tri-national Commission for Environmental Cooperation ... concluded that green building could slash greenhouse gas emissions in North America more quickly and cheaply than other means.

Good information but vague. It goes on to say:
About 35% of the continent's greenhouse gases come from the built environment, making that the largest contributor...about 4% of current North American building can be considered green.

Original link here. More info:
Among its recommendations, the report calls upon North American government, industry and nongovernmental leaders to:

- Create national, multi-stakeholder task forces charged with achieving a vision for green building in North America;
- Support the creation of a North American set of principles and planning tools for green building;
- Set clear targets to achieve the most rapid possible adoption of green building in North America, including aggressive targets for carbon-neutral or net zero-energy buildings, together with performance monitoring to track progress towards these targets;
- Enhance ongoing or new support for green building, including efforts to promote private sector investment and proper valuation methods; and
- Increase knowledge of green building through research and development, capacity building, and the use of labels and disclosures on green building performance.

Want to know more about green buildings? Check over at Inhabitat, they have a recurring feature and show off some beautiful structures.

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This is really mind-blowing... some very powerful photos documenting environmental impact from the Guardian.

Guardian photo of China's pollution
Wicked scary.

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Ending on a light note, a very cool gallery of electric automobiles that are out there. The first one, pictured below, is my ultimate dream car, a Shelby Cobra, in electric form. From wired.

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If you haven't already, make sure to check out and see what's going on over there!