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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.

Windmills and Economics

The Dilbert Blog – September 12, 2007

So now Dilbert is getting into the global warming discussion! Actually, Scott Adams, the creative force behind Dilbert has commented on global warming before on his blog as well as mentioning it in the famous strip.

His blog entry on this subject actually makes a lot of sense though and I commend him on writing this. I found the entry because he comments on the “burning saltwater” story that I also commented on. His point is that it will take energy to create hydrogen from saltwater and that energy may be created by windmills. While he doesn’t go into details as to the economics of this effort, it at least deserves thought.

Can saltwater be burned as a fuel?

Engadget – September 11, 2007

I first saw this on Engadget but that brought me to the link on YouTube which is a captured video of a TV station that appears to be in Erie, PA.

Apparently, John Kanzius was trying to use radio frequency waves to be used to treat cancer. In the process of doing some tests, he stumbled upon the realization that saltwater can be excited by the radio waves to release its hydrogen, which can then be ignited, and used as a heat source. Further testing and some chemical analysis has shown that this isn’t a hoax.

Ford says hydrogen cars close to production

USA Today – July 11, 2007

This is great news. Regardless of your personal feeling on global warming, you probably want us to start using alternative fuels that are cleaner, safe, and don’t adversely affect our trading balance with the world (if you are in the US).

Hydrogen has been discussed for a long time as a great alternative fuel. This article discusses burning hydrogen (as opposed to using hydrogen fuel cells). I think that may actually be a more cost effective method of using hydrogen but I will let market economics dictate that.

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama, 4/3/06

ThinkProgress – April 3, 2006

Earlier, I had an article on the thoughts of Sen. John McCain on the subject of global warming and climate change.  Here are some of the thoughts of Sen. Barack Obama.  I don’t pick these two gentlemen because of their beliefs or that I will vote for one of them.  Rather, I think it is important to read about the feelings of people that are our leaders and who want a greater role.  I promise that I will write about more of these people in the coming days.

Sen. Obama appears to want greater efforts given to conservation and the discovery/use of alternative fuels. He also appears to think that we are in the midst of a global warming crisis caused by man.

Seeking a car that gets 100 miles a gallon

CNET.com – April 1, 2007

This is related to global warming only in that most people that believe that humans are causing global warming blame our automobile pollution as the prime culprit. In this article, the X Prize Foundation is offering prize for the first automobile that is commercially viable that can travel 100 miles on a gallon of gasoline. This is a great effort, not only for the global warming issue but, more importantly, the reduction of harmful pollutants and the reduction on the US economy reliance on oil as a form of liquid fuel.

The same group that awarded $10 million to a team that built the first private spacecraft to leave the Earth’s atmosphere is expected on Monday to announce the rules for its automotive competition.

Pump Games: Fill Up With Ethanol? One Obstacle is Big Oil

Wall Street Journal Online – April 2, 2007

This article is relevant to all people, if you believe in global warming or not.  Regardless of your beliefs, there are very strong geopolitical reasons to break the liquid fuel monopoly that oil has on the modern day human population.  Efforts to create a viable source of liquid (or gaseous) fuel that can be used to fuel our insatiable transportation needs are very important in the world economy.  It would be great if that alternative liquid fuel would be more eco-friendly causing less pollution and it wouldn’t hurt to have it spit out more CO2 regardless of whether carbon dioxide is affecting climate change or not.