We read constantly about the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we note how hard it is to pinpoint exactly how large they are. For one, what exactly should be counted and what should be excluded? No one doubts that we fight wars over oil; how about all the military spending, not mention the deaths, injuries, and other forms of suffering? Read more ›
In response to my piece “Heard It At the Low Carbon Investors Conference, frequent commenter “MarcoPolo” writes:
Nobody is saying that research and investment into alternate energy technologies, is dead. Nor would any reasonable person suggest that alternate energy technologies, especially solar, won’t improve and secure a significant role in the energy dynamic, over future decades, especially with better storage devices. But what I’m saying, is that this will be a long process of ‘evolution’, not an apocalyptic ‘revolution.’ Read more ›
Readers looking for a quick history lesson about the introduction of the automobile to the American lifestyle in 1908 will enjoy this short and extremely informative video. Shown to the left is a 1921 Model T Ford; it’s extremely similar in every way to the first one that rolled off the assembly line 13 years before.
No one could have foreseen the macro trends that would affect all this over the ensuing 107 years, which I would summarize as follows:
• Development of great automotive styling in the 1930s
• The cessation of manufacturing (in favor of aircraft) in World War II Read more ›
A reader with terrific environmental sensibilities notes:
My house is made of used 2x4s and used fibreglas batts, and consumes about 25% of the energy of my neighbours’ conventionally built/operated homes. I have this amazing light (called a JOI) which can light a room enough to visit, play music, read, etc. for four hours from one tea light (which I can make from wax from a neighbour’s beehives). Read more ›
In the West Indian state of Rajasthan, members of the Piplantri village celebrate the birth of every new female by planting 111 trees. The impact that these trees have on this community is enormous. Not only are these trees a constant reminder of new life in the village, they are also great for the environment and provide shade from the hot summers of India. Read more ›
Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, has been used for purification since antiquity. There are references to its use in both ancient Egypt and ancient India dating to at least 1500 BC. In more modern times, it was introduced to the European sugar refining industry in the early 19th century, and its use quickly spread to removing noxious tastes from water. Today, its unique ability to attract and trap chemicals gives activated carbon an important role in protecting the environment in a variety of ways. Read more ›
Some businesses have been very slow to implement environmentally friendly changes into the running of their enterprise. Partly this may be down to fear that taking green initiatives will be expensive and partly it may be that they don’t recognise the many benefits available. This guide to environmental advice for businesses from Macair is a great resource for those who are at the start of their journey, to help them understand just some of the benefits going green can bring. Read more ›
Here’s an article by a contributing author to Forbes who writes about OTECorp, the leader in ocean thermal energy conversion. This technology has been around a century, but has only recent become of interest. As CEO Jeremy Feakins says, “(We) currently can offer power at a tremendous savings to the countries where (we) it operate. Electrical costs in island countries where fuel must be imported can range from 30 to 50 cents per kilowatt hour whereas (we) can produce power at roughly half the cost.”
I believe that OTECorp investors (of whom I’m one) are going to do very well with this. And there is a side-benefit to those of us with lungs, or children, or both: displacing energy from bunker diesel generators is a huge boon to the environment.
A reader with a business plan for a wave energy device asks: In all honesty, do you think that my language is ”too slippery” and as such may creates more trouble than it’s worth in trying to convey?
Good question. I’ve always believed that business plans that go on at length about the problem, while offering vague language on the solution (“we’ll capture a part of the sun’s power,” or what-not) tend to insult the intelligence and knowledge level of the serious reader. Read more ›