A close friend offers an astute comment based on an observation he and his team made at a certain philanthropic organization:
1. Let the Gates Foundation concentrate their resources on keeping more people in Africa alive.
2. We should concentrate on making being alive more worthwhile:
a. Address abject poverty by making environmentally benign energy available to all at an economically accessible cost.
b. Energy is the underlying source of affluence.
c. It has been demonstrated that affluence is a “cure” for excessive fertility.
If you’re wondering about the impacts of rising levels of CO2 on ocean physics and chemistry, you’ll want to check out the article linked here. Damage to key marine and coastal organisms, ecosystems, and services is already detectable, and will face high risk of impacts well before 2100, even under low-emissions scenarios. Immediate, substantial reduction of CO2 emissions is required to prevent the massive and mostly irreversible impacts.
International agreements on climate change have proved elusive thus far, but even if we get what we’re hoping for here, we tend to overlook the influence we’re having on our oceans. As the authors note: any new global climate agreement that does not minimize the impacts on the ocean will be inadequate.
I mentioned earlier that Alex Cannera, the core participant on the on-going pro-nuke email thread I read, really doesn’t dig renewables, and feels compelled to take a swat at solar and wind at every available opportunity. When someone else agreed with me and questioned his judgment on the validity of renewables, he wrote: Read more ›
In response to my post: One’s Concern About Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Depends on Which End of the Boat One Occupies, frequent commenter Cameron Atwood writes:
It’s a classic mindset among shortsighted humans to expect that what doesn’t harm them personally and directly in this moment isn’t their problem. More enlightened humans know that issues affecting one population have ripple effects, and that our planet is a single organic whole. People who haven’t yet, have now to learn that when they throw things away, there really is no “away.”
Excellent point. Read more ›
I just got off a Skype call with a wonderfully intelligent and compassionate gentleman in Oman whose current mission in life is to bring solar and wind to his country. A few potential gotchas, however:
• Electricity costs, because of huge supplies of natural gas—and subsidies on top of that—are $15/MWh (a small fraction of what they are in the U.S.). Read more ›
Regarding my post: New Discovery in Hybrid-Electric Drivetrains, long-time reader Arlene notes: I haven’t looked at the engineering of the EDI drivetrain, (but) I would also suggest that this particular market niche is nowhere near as price sensitive as consumer light vehicles.
That’s 100% true. I think the real “driver” here, pardon the pun, will be regulation, i.e., the OEMs’ and big fleets’ ability to conform to emissions regulations. As far as I can see, EDI is in a unique position here; there are few (if any) other ways for these entities to obey the laws that are coming swiftly into place.
In response to my piece: New Discovery in Hybrid-Electric Drivetrains, a reader notes: A few days ago, looking at AOL’s news clips, I found one about someone putting what looked like a small block V-8 into a 1968 Mustang fastback, but it was an electric motor. The performance of the car was totally insane: 0 – 60 in under three seconds. American muscle cars with rear tires smoking kind of catches my attention. It will be interesting to see how long this evolution will take.
Well, that truly is part of the appeal of EVs: high torque at low RPMs. Read more ›
During a call with some old friends the other evening, one of them mentioned the cartoon shown here, and its allusion to our civilization’s approach to climate change. That’s the beauty of the art form: so much communicated so concisely, and using humor to drive home a lethally important point.
Countries with low elevations, e.g., the Netherlands and the Maldives, are rapidly finding themselves underwater, and, accordingly, are desperate to discover solutions to global warming and the consequent melting of the ice in Greenland and the Antarctic. All the while, the rest of the world doesn’t see the urgency…as if they lived on a different planet and could afford to watch all this happening. A classic in the cartoon world….
Apart from many other “smart” energy-saving solutions that target the way we live and work in energy efficient buildings, nothing is as effective as good old insulation. However, insulation has a brand new suit. Let’s introduce the most popular home insulation solutions.
Interior Insulation Read more ›
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Of course, we Americans are reminded of this by our president’s historic trip this week to Africa and his excoriating various national leaders for their suppression of journalists who write articles that are critical of the government. “If you continue to do that, you will have a democracy in name only,” he scolded.
How true that is. Read more ›