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Chevy Fuel Solutions: The View from Thailand

GMNext – December 18, 2007

Regardless of your stance on global warming, I am sure that we can all agree that using our resources appropriately is very important. GM Chevrolet has introduced a vehicle to the Thailand market that will use natural gas as a fuel and this seems to be exactly what is needed in today’s evolving marketplace.

Obviously, one of the problems that needs to be solved is a distribution model for the fuel. One of the benefits to our current fuel sources is that there are only 3-5 major fuels (several octane levels and diesel) and they are all handled in approximately the same way from a transportation and storage viewpoint. Adding another fuel that is shipped and stored with entirely different technology would complicate supply chain issues.

Global warming heating up China’s ‘ice city’ – January 4, 2007

I usually have a difficult time saying that any specific occurrence is due to global warming (or any other global trend). Typically, with complicated systems like climate, there are many more factors at play than can be succinctly discussed in a headline.  I am inclined to believe that this particular news story is true though.

It appears that the “coldest city in the world” is getting a little warmer. This seems to agree with a general warming in that region of the world. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

It is important to make sure that this isn’t a small spike. Although the evidence does see more warmer years lately than is typical, it really takes 10-20 years to see a true climate change trend.

An Inconvenient Reduction

Wall Street Journal – December 3, 2007

I am not a big believer in taxes. I do think that the government needs funds to operate and therefore has the right obligation to tax its citizens for services rendered. I also understand that, just like all costs, the act of taxing can be a deterrent to activity. Taxing “sin” activity such as tobacco and alcohol is simply good policy. If it was possible to tax overly fatty food, I would probably be in favor of that as well.

Based on this logic, it make sense to tax certain activity that adds pollution to the atmosphere. I question the logic of taxing automobiles but I do think that taxes on fossil fuels make a certain amount of sense as a revenue source and an activity deterrent. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

Tracking Carbon Trail To Find Why So Much Fills the Atmosphere

Wall Street Journal – December 28, 2007

I have written about the Carbon Tracker service before, but this recent article is very interesting in discussing the lack of understanding that we have in our atmosphere.

Where did all of the carbon go?  It is concerning that we are embarking on a global escapade to reduce, tax, and punish carbon dioxide production but we still can’t answer this very basic question! How does a nation effectively tax carbon production when scientists can’t even tell where 25% all carbon dioxide goes? This begs the question as to if we can appropriately tax the correct polluters and reward the correct sinks.

Solar Venture Will Draw on Molten Salt

Wall Street Journal – January 2, 2008

As the price of fossil based fuels continues to increase dramatically, other sources of energy begin to be more cost effective. This, combined with the increase pressure due to global warming concerns, has propagated the use of alternative fuels such as solar farms that capture the sun’s energy.

This story relates how a United Technologies company is starting a new venture that uses an old technique for storing energy. Only the current economic situation of today would allow for this to be a profitable venture. UT should not be overly commended here since all they are doing is taking advantage of a market condition and trying to make a business satisfying a need. I am confident that should the price of crude suddenly drop by 50%, UT would cancel this venture as fast as one would jump when touching molten salt.