Keeping an Eye on the Ball

With so much attention focused on the presidential election and the economic crisis, and with gas prices now down in the $2 per gallon range, it’s easy to forget about the ongoing threats associated with environmental degradation, global warming, and our dependence on foreign oil. Following are a few reminders:

4 Responses to “Keeping an Eye on the Ball”

  • Dave Kee says:

    Here is another important site: http://www.carbontax.org/

  • Scott Wayland says:

    Alan: You’re so right about this. The biggest challenge of this generation is our energy supply. As I type on this cool laptop, it sucks power from a grid fueled largely by–? Probably a mix of natural gas plants, coal plants, a smidgen of wind. When we truly get to crunch time with the oil reserves, the entire world is in for a shock unless we act ahead of this coming storm. When exactly it will arrive is subject to debate, but that it will come should not be, although there are plenty of head-in-the-sand types.

    I find all of this fascinating and a bit frightening. We’ve had such an easy ride of it with the fossil fuels. The world I grew up in and still inhabit seems so fixed, like this is how it always was and always will be: massive freeways, millions of cars spewing junk, ever burgeoning population. Keep building, keep building. But of course, nothing is fixed, nothing lasts, and that is more than certainly true of our consumptive ways (me guilty, too). It can’t and won’t last. When and how it ends are the big questions.

    I expect the oil to last beyond my lifetime (I’m almost 47), but how far beyond? I would REALLY love to jump a couple of hundred years into the future to see how all this pans out. To think that this internal combustion age is only about a century old is amazing to me. So many people have ripped through so many resources so quickly.

    Two interesting books that deal with these issues:

    The Turning Point, by Fritjof Capra
    Collapse, by Jared Diamond

    Great reads.

    Gotta get out on the bike again.

    Scott

  • andy parmentier says:

    jared diamond is a psychologist/author, i know about him from listening in on homer, alaska radio.
    i was just thinking about they guy, because of what he said about “male menopause” and the psychology of men, that us men want/need to be in the nurturing presence of older men. and that’s fortunately what i get in the “white man’s sweat lodge” of my local gym, where i’m on “indian time” in the sauna, and everyone’s worried i’m melting in there.

  • andy parmentier says:

    ok, another thing is, i also in the past have been a casual reader of popular mechanics, and off and on have been into alternative technologies for automobiles, back to my participation in the midwest renewable energy fair, etc. i kind of “dropped the ball” but planet ball earth has’nt dropped ME as yet
    anyway, there’s a website out there about a very simple, hundred year old technology of a baking soda (bicarbonate) and water solution system that is installed/integrated into your car’s engine system, and as the current and or heat is applied to the bicarbonate solution, hydrogen gas is produced, which is then fed into car’s fuel intake, boosting fuel efficiency, power, by a large percentage.
    and another invention not so old (popular mechanics article i think) is a 6 cycle engine, with 2 of the cycles running on steam, which also boosts efficiency/power
    so the govt. does’nt need to give ford 25 bil. for coming up with more efficient stuff apparently-i don’t say that to step on anybody’s tires, but hey mr. fox quit guarding the chicken coop

 
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