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The impression of doing good

Dilbert and his boss once again point out the hypocrisy of life.  In this case it is due to trying to be environmentally good.

Dilbert.com

It is hard to be good.  Sorry, Mr. Gore, but it is true.  Here are a few inconvenient facts:

  1. It is very dangerous to the health of you and your children to live in a home or enter a room where a CFL (compact fluorescent) bulb has broken.  That danger is minimized if you have had the room cleaned by a hazardous waste team.  What is the problem?  Mercury.  Check out this article.
  2. While Toyota and others are offering a bounty for the return of their hybrid batteries, the disposal of all those ecologically unsafe batteries is a real concern.

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This site is 1 years old today

Just a quick note to everyone to announce the 1 year birthday of this site. Last February 12, I kicked off this site with the following article:

Carbon Cycle

I must say that I have enjoyed the last year and I continue to think that the discussion on this topic is still very relevant. I plan to continue this discussion and exploration for the foreseeable future.

I didn’t quite make my goal of averaging a new article every day. Instead, I have posted 351 times so I am 14 short. I am happy to report that almost 20,000 people have viewed this site in the last 12 months. I wish I could thank each of you personally but I am afraid that this public announcement must suffice.

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Man-Made Global Warming: 10 Questions (PART 1 OF 2)

Human Events.com – December 20, 2007

I am not sure what gives Pat Sajak authority on the global warming issue but I shouldn’t throw stones since I am just a lowly blogger.  If you ask 100 people in the US, probably 5 will know Mr. Sajak and none will know me.  Of course the 5 that know him will likely say that he is Vanna White’s sidekick!

Pat had the guts to ask 10 questions about global warming. I will reproduce those questions here and then answer them to the best of my ability. These are the first 5 questions.  I will dig into 6-10 tomorrow.

1. What is the perfect temperature?

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The Greenest Hypocrites of 2007

FOXNews.com – December 6, 2007

Steven Milroy is the author of Junk Science which is a great site for exploring more information on scientific concepts, particularly on global warming. He also writes a regular column for Fox.

In this column, Steve itemizes the top ten greatest “green” hypocrisies. Personally, I think he is stretching on several of them – especially number 4 since it is impossible with today’s current technology to truly have a worldwide active discussion without physically being co-located. Yes, it is easy to get half a dozen people together online but getting hundreds together is simply a nightmare and not easily handled with today’s bandwidths.

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Frustrated hybrid driver sues Honda claiming mileage ratings are inflated

Detroit News – July 15, 2007

As I have said before, the USA is a litigious society. We tend to sue way too often. However, some suits are absolutely needed to prevent abuse of the consumer. I don’t know if this particular case is warranted but it at least deserves some attention.

The technique for determining the average miles per gallon (MPG) appears to be adequate for pure internal combustion engines but it may not be adequate for hybrid vehicles (see the Consumer Products test below). Unfortunately, this metric is even more for critical for hybrids so that consumers can correctly analyze if they can at least come close to break even over a traditional IC engine design.

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Compact fluorescent lamps

Wikipedia

My interest in this subject came from a lot of talk on the web about replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Much of this talk is surely driven by the Answer the Call: Make The Commitment campaign that Live Earth is currently promoting. While I was confident that fluorescent was better at producing light for a given amount of energy coming from the socket, the mechanical engineer in me questioned that it was a free lunch.

It didn’t take long for me to start to realize that lunch costs money!

Let’s start with Wikipedia which is always a decent source but sometimes can’t be trusted so we will dig more lower in this post. You can read the full Wikipedia reference here but I will pull out a few key passages and then add my comments.

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Gore’s Army may be Lacking in Scientific Background

AccuWeather.com – July 5, 2007
ChronicleOnline – May 30, 2007

I first learned of this story on AccuWeather’s global warming blog but their coverage of it is fairly sparse so I am going to quote their sources as well.

I am concerned that Mr. Gore didn’t choose student engineers and scientists that could give presentations (yes, engineers can be trained to speak to a crowd as well). I would have thought that being able to effectively communicate would be only one criteria – the other being able to effectively understand the chemistry and physics involved.  But then this program is being run by a politician who, at one time, claimed to have invented the Internet. Communication skills are probably the most important to him.

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Feeling Warmth, Subtropical Plants Move North

The New York Times – May 2, 2007

So if the globe is getting warmer, it stands to reason that the most susceptible species of plants and animals would be the first to respond.  This is exactly what this article is observing. Plants that once only thrived in warmer climates are now very comfortable in the colder latitudes.  Also plants that did well in a certain area are now struggling due to too much heat. 

While this article gives little scientific evidence – primarily observation.  It is a very interesting article and worth reading.

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