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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.

Is a gas car better than a coal car?

There has been a bit of discussion that a plug in hybrid car is really a coal car. I believe that this true statement is meant to actually scare consumers from buying or hoping to buy an all-electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid.

Let’s do a bit of napkin math and assume that energy transmission losses (and other losses) are negligible or at least cancel each other out.

Can I sell you a hybrid?

BloggingStocks – January 3, 2009

So once again Americans prove to be a fickle lot.  We just came through a period of record oil prices and now we are enjoying liquid fuel at a price point that is probably as low (adjusted for inflation) as it was in the 70s before the first big oil rush.  Our car companies are in trouble because of lack of money for loans and the general lack of consumer interest in buying cars.  One of the chief complaints about the Big 3 is that they didn’t build fuel efficient cars but instead concentrated on gas guzzlers like SUVs and trucks.  The pundits are all saying they should build hybrids and that would save them.

McCain wants $30B for clean-coal research, 45 new nuclear reactors

Phoenix Business Journal – June 25, 2008

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for US President, is deriding the Executive branch for their suggestions to curb energy prices as well as the Democratic leadership for its plans. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

Mr. McCain is proposing more aggressive investment in “clean” coal plants and nuclear energy.  Personally, I am not sure there is such a thing as a clean coal plant but I am all for it if we can make one!  I also think that we need to step up our reliance on nuclear energy and deal with the disposal issue which haunts that technology.

Administration Releases EPA Report, Then Repudiates It

July 12, 2008 – Wall Street Journal

The Bush administration continues to struggle with what to do with global warming and carbon dioxide as a pollutant.  The Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant resulting from the burning of several fossil fuels. This has caused the EPA to try to figure out what to do with this new authority without destroying the economy.

As with most issues that revolve around Washington DC, this one is embroiled in politics with both major Presidential candidates chiming in.

The Bush administration published a government blueprint to reduce the U.S. output of global-warming gases, but at the same time rejected the document out of hand — saying it relied on “untested legal theories” and would impose “crippling costs” on the U.S. economy.

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:

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 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).

Global Warming’s Fever

GUEST ARTICLE:

By Tom Phelps

The earth has a fever. This was a statement from Nobel Prize winning documentarian, Al Gore.

Increasingly the view of mankind by mankind is that of intruder. In many ways it would seem that we are the earths enemy and our very existence is depleting the earth of resources that could keep an environmental balance.

Global warming is the belief that the temperature of the air nearest to earth is consistently rising. Droughts are blamed on global warming and new products are constantly being developed to help lessen human impact on perceived climate change.

Electric or hybrid cars are thought to provide the best example of how we can reduce carbon emissions that are said to be harming the earth.

Toyota Will Offer a Plug-In Hybrid by 2010

The New York Times – January 14, 2008

Toyota is not going to be out-done by GM.  Yesterday, I discussed that GM is spending a lot of effort and money to develop alternative fuels and alternative propulsion options. This article shows that Toyota is not going to stand still in that important competitive battle.

Toyota will offer the first plug-in hybrid in 2010. Plug-in hybrids are important because it is far more efficient to produce electricity at an industrial power utility plant than it is to burn gasoline in your car in the form of a “traditional” hybrid vehicle.