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Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas

KUSI

John Coleman spoke before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce on the subject of global warming.  Mr. Coleman is not your typical weatherman!  Some say he is the father of the weatherman on TV (not likely) but at the very least he is one one of the most successful.  A full profile is available for him on Wikipedia but among his many accomplishments, he was the first weatherman on the national morning talk shows (remember David Hartman?) and also founded The Weather Channel.

Mr. Coleman is pretty adamant that the current global warming trend (which many question actually exists) is most likely natural in origin and has little to do with the influences of man.

IBM, Partner Develop Solar Technology

Wall Street Journal – June 16, 2008

In order to reduce the pollution of our atmosphere, it is imperative that we find other ways of generating electricity. IBM has a long history of inventing computer chip technology and it is good to see that they are going to try and commercialize their developed techniques.

International Business Machines Corp. said it is collaborating with a Japanese semiconductor-equipment maker to commercialize a solar-energy technology developed by IBM scientists.

Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co. will work with IBM to develop processes and equipment for the production of thin-film photovoltaic solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. Terms of the collaboration weren’t disclosed, but IBM said it expects to license the technology and, eventually, collect royalties, rather than building its own large-scale, manufacturing capability.

Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist

The Guardian – June 23, 2008

Jim Hansen of NASA must have finally gone off the deep end.  While the man is probably brilliant, his call to put the CEOs of companies on trial for global warming is one of the most radical statements that I have heard in this global warming discussion. He states that he is 99% certain that carbon dioxide has already passed the safe level.

Mr. Hansen is certainly free to challenge the election of politicians and to speak on what he feels needs to be done.  However, when someone calls for radical measures such as putting CEOs on trial for high crimes against humanity, I immediately put him into the weirdo bucket and dismiss him as a heretic.

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol

Times Online – June 14, 2008

The title of this original article is not quite accurate.  Scientists didn’t FIND the bugs – they MADE the bugs.  The title should be:

Scientists create bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol.

While this doesn’t truly solve the problem of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it does inadvertently.  Since the process of excreting this oil from waste cellulose and then burning it as liquid fuel is carbon negative, massive use of this synthetic oil would make the driving of cars “good” for the environment and would suck up the CO2 from industrial uses.

Now, I just hope that they have a way to turn these bugs off if they escape from the vat!

Are hybrids affordable now?

Yahoo! Green – May 30, 2008

This is an interesting study regarding the cost of hybrids. With the price of gas so high, many people are considering a hybrid for their go to work car even if they have a larger vehicle for hauling the kids to the soccer game. The folks at Yahoo! Green did a simple cost analysis which I am not sure is 100% accurate but at least gets you thinking a bit. I recreated their spreadsheet for your review.

Several things that don’t add up or that I question:

Military Supercomputer Sets Record

New York Times – June 9, 2008

I have been ranting for quite some time on the need to dedicate more intensive computing resources to climate models.  This would allow the models to become more granular and to take into account real world data in the analysis as opposed to just boundary conditions.

As always, the military gets the really cool computers. It appears, thought, that their new amazing computer is going to be available for climate scientists for a little while before it gets dedicated to solving nuclear bomb design issues.

An American military supercomputer, assembled from components originally designed for video game machines, has reached a long-sought-after computing milestone by processing more than 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second.

Saving Gas – 11 tips that might help – Part 3 of 3

Your driving habits really affect your gas mileage. While I am not condoning the extreme hypermiling techniques, we can all learn a bit in doing a better job. Read this extremist article but be careful going overboard. This is the third and final entry of this Saving Gas series.

Earlier in this Saving Gas series I wrote that price of crude compared to the price of gold has been pretty steady state. It still hurts when we get a market correction and it affects your budget. This article has 11 tips that might just help a little bit!

Saving Gas – Part 2 of 3

This is the second of our series on dealing with the high price of gas.  Yesterday, we discussed what the true price of gas was but that still acknowledged that the rapid increase has left people and companies feeling the pinch in the budgets.

Don’t buy the fuel enhancing gadgets that are advertised.  Even if you see them advertised on this site, these things are a waste of money and time.  MSN Money reports:

Saving Gas – Part 1 of 3

A little departure from the typical columns on this site.  Rather than simply discussing an aspect of global warming, I am going to discuss a related topic – gas prices.  There are quite a few articles out there on the discussion but I think I have a different perspective for everyone to consider.

First, how bad is it?  Yes, I know that at the time of this writing, gas is over $4 a gallon (just filled up last night) but perhaps we need a reality check.  The good folks over at InflationData.com compiled a table of average crude prices which they also inflation adjusted for 2007.  I have combined that with a chart from WiseGeek that details the price of gold.  Since the WiseGeek site stopped at 2000, I put in the price of gold at the end of 2007 from Goldprice.  I also added today’s approximate pricing for gold (Kitco) and oil (MSNBC).