Menu

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.

READ MORE

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:

READ MORE

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?

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

GM to launch Volt by end-2010 despite skepticism

Reuters – November 21, 2007

Bob Lutz from GM has re-confirmed that GM is still planning on introducing the Chevy Volt in 2010 even though there are some concerns about that timeline.

Typically when this level of concern happens, there are some trade-offs that are put out and the product doesn’t live up to expectations. I hope that is not the “hidden” message that Lutz is actually trying to deliver in this interview.

Mr. Lutz does speak with some sense of urgency and perhaps doom so maybe this really will hit the consumer market on time and, hopefully, will be a raving success.

READ MORE

Electric Car Maker Aims For the Top With Sports Car

Wall Street Journal – October 15, 2007

I think that electric cars make an immense amount of sense for the majority of Americans. Most of us do not travel more than 200 miles per day on a regular basis and most of our travel is done with one or maybe 2 people in the car. The problem is that the automotive companies have done a really bad job of selling electric cars.  They sell these vehicles like they are selling to hippies and professors so they are small, compact, and (frankly) ugly!

READ MORE

The Scientific and Social Challenges of Global Warming

LITA – October 6, 2007

This is an interesting overview of global warming and its social challenges. I think that the author has oversimplified the conversation to some degree and may have even extrapolated some events that may not be applicable.  For instance, it is very difficult to say that polar bears will be extinct in 40 years since we do not have a good understanding of the numbers of polar bears today. There does not appear to be multiple and repeatable studies that show that current polar bear population is even declining.

The author also says that hurricanes will be more powerful in the future due to global warming and multiple scientists have come out against that hypothesis. Once again, it does not appear that the facts support that claim.

READ MORE

Global Warming, Tailpipes And Where to Tackle Them

Wall Street Journal – September 18, 2007

Many people have been following the case in California where the state was suing a group of automobile manufacturers for damages that were tied to global warming. The contention of the state was that auto manufacturers were creating a product that was causing global warming and since global warming had caused damage to certain regions of the state, the auto guys should have to pay up.

This case has been dismissed by Judge Martin Jenkins.

In my opinion, this is a good thing. Not so much for reasons of global warming but for precedence in the court system.  This is a policy related issue and not a judicial issue. The courts should not get into declaring what industry has partially caused what part of global warming. This slippery slope could have resulted in thousands of tort lawsuits and eventually the consumer would bear this cost.

READ MORE

Plugging In to the Future

Wall Street Journal – August 6, 2007

Great article this morning in the Wall Street Journal on a plug-in add-on for the Toyota Prius. Evidently, with this aftermarket plug-in, the Prius can be plugged into the wall and then run about 40 miles with just electric power that was pulled from the grid.

There may be some safety problems with the current design (these are the types of batteries that Dell recently had trouble with) but the progress is very heartening! Most people in the US would probably have to change their lifestyle and commute to really make a hybrid worthwhile but it is a definite start.

READ MORE

Wembley Urged To Take Meat Off Live Earth Menu

LifeStyleExtra – July 5, 2007

It seems that the organizers of Live Earth are a little closed in their thinking.  Methane is one of the largest greenhouse gas components and animal production is one of the largest contributors to methane overproduction.  It seems that Live Earth is selling meat products which is sending the wrong message.

Organizers of the Live Earth concerts should not sell burgers or hot dogs at the high profile gigs, an animal rights group claimed


PETA activists said that Wembley should take meat off the menu after a recent UN report found that the meat industry creates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, ships and planes in the world combined.

READ MORE