Two pronged attack Energy Efficiency and Conservation

The total energy efficiency of the United States is less than 50% and the total amount of energy produced by oil and coal together is almost 75%.

Now let’s pretend we would like to put less carbon into the atmosphere and as a given oil and coal happen to be the sources that put most of the carbon into the air. If we could increase the overall efficiency by a quarter, we could use a third less carbon fuel.

So I guess the question is what are the obstacles to not wasting more than half of the energy we produce? Are the costs associated with such an endeavor so high that it is really not worth the investment?

Doing some research on fuels and their various efficiencies,  wood can burned generating heat energy at above 90% efficiency in the right kind of fireplace.  The technology for burning wood has been developed since the beginning of mankind but I still think we could still waste less energy with other fuels as well.

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Cap and Trade Infographic

I have been meaning to write an article on cap and trade in the United States but it can be hard for people to understand and without other major polluting countries having similar programs, the whole thing seemed somewhat pointless.

In the US, however, the program will have an effect on our poor sad economy and thus should be addressed.  I still don’t want to write about though, so here is a great ideographic from the people at http://www.wellhome.com

 

 

When is Green Technology Most Useful?


It’s a term that’s being bandied about regularly these days, and if you want to be perceived asdoing your bit for the environment, it goes without saying that you must be interested in allthings green as well. Green technology is all the rage today – if you’re not going green, you’reviewed as a villain by many. However, no matter how much you invest in green technology, it isuseless if you don’t change habits that have been ingrained in you from childhood and over thecourse of your life. Green technology is useful only when:

You utilize it efficiently: If you’ve invested in a solar panel yet insist on using your oldwater heater, if you’ve installed energy efficient appliances yet hold on to your oldrefrigerator and stove because they’re still in good working condition, or if your home isnaturally insulated/aired yet you insist on using air conditioners and heating units, thenyou’re not using green technology efficiently. Green technology works only when youoptimize its use and minimize your overall energy usage.You minimize waste: There’re no significant gains to be realized when you replace allthe lights in your home with CFL bulbs, yet fail to switch them off when you don’t needto use them. Minimizing energy costs is all well and good, but it’s still a waste whenyou use energy unnecessarily, even if you’re expending just the minimum. So when youinvest in and install green technology, ensure that you don’t use much more energythan you need – shut your computer down when you’re not going to be using it for afew hours; remove charging units from the socket and switch off the main when you’redone charging your devices, and use the main switch to turn the TV off instead of justpointing your remote at it.You adopt greener habits: You may have just bought a hybrid car, but that doesn’tmean you have to drive it even to the store around the corner. Walk when you caninstead of taking your car, use the stairs even if your building is green and has energy-efficient elevators, avoid smoking to safeguard your health and the environment, andtry to minimize the effect of your carbon footprint as much as possible.


For green technology to be successful and sustainable, we have to change our way of life andadopt new habits, habits which may seem like drops in the ocean, but which have a significantrole to play in determining the future of our planet.

This guest post is contributed by Cathy Thomas, she writes on the topic of Computer Technician OnlineDegrees . She welcomes your comments at her email id: cathy83.thomas<@>gmail<.>com.

Natural Gas to hydrates for transport and back to gas

A while back I wrote a post HERE and HERE on collecting natural gas hydrates from the sea floor.  I was not really in favor of the idea because of the possible/probable dangers.  For good or bad like drilling at 5000ft for oil, extracting these frozen naturals gasses is going to happen so might as well examine the effects..

One of the often cited problems with natural gas as an energy source is that they are hard to safety transport over long distances because of the volatile and hazardous properties of the fuels.  A proposed solution is to turn the fuel back into a solid by freezing and applying pressure like at the bottom of the ocean where fuels like methane are in a solid and thus more stable state.

My concern in using this method of freezing and unfreezing is how much energy will be needed to convert a gas like methane into a solid.  The melting point of methane is about -297 F(162.5C) so an extremely cold environment would be need to convert and keep methane as a solid.  The other problem is that natural gas is another limited resource so putting lots of energy into collecting it is not a good long term energy strategy.

However, just like coal and oil, we will take natural gas as long as we can get it and so having a viable fuel transportation strategy is an important development.

Savor your shrimp as it may be your last, Oil is the new seaweed

I have been wanting to write about the disaster in the Gulf Of Mexico but whenever I tried to learn about the impacts of the oil, the more irritated I got.

So now that I am in a more objective emotional state of mind I will try to asses the future term impacts.  This is just the start as ridiculous amounts of poison gasses liquid, and solids will be pumping into the ocean for several more months.

The oil we see washing ashore and being burnt up on top of the water is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. What is coming out of the bottom of the gulf is a diverse mixture of petroleum with different densities and thus buoyancy.  The vast majority is under the surface mingling with the fishes and shrimp.

Dispersants makes even more oil go underwater but is necessary to protect the coastlines. Either way most of the oil will collect in The Gulf and then the ocean currants will take it around the world, first the North Atlantic, then the South Atlantic, and then on to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Pacific.

The politics surrounding this event are also very disconcerting. This was not a completely unanticipated event.  There has always been the possibility that offshore rigs can be compromised. It is unfortunate that is takes a real disaster to wake people up.

The best shrimp came from the Bayou but I believe those days may already be over.

The Mississippi Meets the oil

How to feed the world

 

stop having so many kids

sorry to be callous but the planet is already way above capacity, if we were a restaurant the fire department would shut us down.

Better use and conservation of water, less petrol-fertilizers, genetic engineering, etc. are all good ideas but can come nowhere near solving the problem of global hunger.

Historically overpopulation has always seen a reaction from the forces of natural selection; Plagues

In fact, most of us carry genes that render us immune to the plagues our ancestors survived.

A long term stategy is important and it will be necessary to tell people they do not have the right to procreate if they can’t provide for the offspring.

If we don’t address the problem, mother nature may have to do it for us and I don’t think anyone would like a serious pandemic to solve the problem.

 

General Electric doesn’t have a very high opinion of the consumer

GE,

I’m disappointed.

I work in a hardware store and we have three basic types of lightbulbs for general use,

Incandescent:  The original Thomas Edison invention, they use 3% of the electricity to produce light and the rest of the electricity produces heat.  Essentially it is a very small fire.

Compact Flourescent (the spiral bulbs) :   A smaller version of the long straight flourescent lights most frequently used in supermarkets, they use about half the electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent. Unfortunately they contain mercury and in a perfect world would be thrown out at a hazardous waste dump.

L.E.D (Light emitting Diode):  An old technology redone is our modern age, they can use 4 watts of electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent 60 watt.  They also last five times as long as anything else.  They cost way too much right now.

So to come up with an “energy efficient” bulb, GE reduced Edison’s 60 watt bulbs to 57  to respond to California’s demand that they waste less electricity.

light-bulb ge 75 watt

bravo

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