Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011: Global Population Growth and impact on the planet.

Halloween 2011. Wanna talk about something really, really scary!:-)
No, it's not Freddie. Or Fannie for that matter.
Today, it seems, we have hit 7 billion population on the plant. Of the 150+ people born per minute, some 98% are borne in developing countries. This creates challenges for the already poor countries. At least 50 of them are born in India per minute.

Bill Gates talks about energy and moving to zero carbon footprint. Not a wishful target, a necessary target. He’s aiming for 2050 to have the world at a net zero carbon footprint. He describes the “describing the need for ‘miracles’ to avoid planetary catastrophe”.
CO2 = P x S x E x C
  1. P eople (increasing rapidly!)
  2. S ervices per person (increasing rapidly!)
  3. E nergy emitted per service (stable?)
  4. C arbon intensity per unit of energy (wildcard)

Aiming for zero requires huge innovation for the next 20 years and then 20 years to deploy. Waiting for another couple decades to decide to take the issue seriously is catastrophic.
Gate’s one primary wish, if he had only one, would be this miracle breakthrough for energy.
He wants to make the solution(s) have basic economic viability so that the longer-term and less certain impacts of CO2 build up are not relevant or at least much less so.

DON'T go out tonight on fright night. Stay home and watch the world population clock: 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Energy 'wedges' - MIT News Office

Energy 'wedges' - MIT News Office

Here's a great visual. Wedges. Click on the symbol to see what happens if we get serious about solar, wind... and EE.
Of course doing nothing is not a very good option.

MIT's 5-part series on the energy & energy efficiency

MIT 5-part series on Energy scaling up (or scaling down in terms of energy efficiency).

What can make a dent? - MIT News Office

What can make a dent? - MIT News Office

This is the first of a series on how to power the planet.
14Twatts at any given time is a lot of power.

Most of that power is lost, so efforts to save energy (reduce) is the easiest first step.

Skeptic finds he now agrees global warming is real - Yahoo! News

Skeptic finds he now agrees global warming is real - Yahoo! News: "Still, Muller said it makes sense to reduce the carbon dioxide created by fossil fuels."

So the long-term denier Muller has finally decided that there really is global worming. Duh.

At least as important is that the funding is by Koch Foundation. It looks like they will stand behind the findings and push on for more research as to the cause of global warming.

Apparently Muller has a presentation on Monday and is preparing for peer-review publication of 4 articles on the research.

That is why I really like approaching the whole issue from the perspective of "Sustainability". If it can't be done in the long term (like population growth, deficits, fossil fuels) then it is not sustainable. We/you/me have to start planning to change our evil ways, now at a time of our choosing... or later at a time that is much less convenient and likely far more expensive. Ouch! or Double Ouch!:-(

Thanks to Jim H for bringing this up...

'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The iPod's Inventor: a far better Thermostat?!

The iPod's Inventor Strikes Out On His Own, And Invents...A Thermostat?! | Co. Design:

Oh, you are gonna like this. Programmable thermostats should, theoretically, save you a ton on your utilities.

But you will love this. Only about 6% of programmable thermostates are actually -- you guessed it -- are actually programmed.:-(

So maybe, just possibly, the answer is better training for the users. Nope. That will never do. How about something more intuitive and easier to use.

That's the ticket.

It is iPod intuitive. Sounds really cool. Check out the promo video.

A programmable thermostat that works intuitively with and for you.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

The cost of car ownership in the US « The Cost of Energy

The cost of car ownership in the US « The Cost of Energy:

The cost of car ownership is approximately $10,000 per year. Note that the differences among the states is primarily attributable to the insurance costs.:-(

Hmmm... Wonder how much of these costs might be saved from telecommuting? ...

From sustainable Lou

Note how little of the total cost of ownership is attributable to the cost of fuel.!:-)

Lou makes this additional comment that bears further investigation:
"I also notice that there’s no accounting for, you know, the stuff that comes out of the car’s tailpipe. David Archer says in the final paragraphs of his excellent book The Long Thaw that the total energy accumulated by the emissions from burning a gallon of gasoline is 40 million (yes, million) times the useful energy we get from the gasoline. One would be hard pressed to find a more extreme example of borrowing from the future at a high interest rate than that."

I know that we are lucky to get 15% efficiency in a gasoline car engine. Most of the heat and energy is lost. But the extreme mentioned here seems hard to explain.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Making Mad Money on Sustainability Mega trends

Check out the episode of Mad Money on September 29 (Thursday) when Cramer talks about three mega trends where you can make money. Even in the current insane marketplace.

One it energy efficiency: Look for HON, JCI and more. All favorites of this blog. looking at big EE savings (vs EE&E planning... :-)

World food shorage: stocks to buy include Deer (DE) and Potash.

Healthy food trends include: Chipoltle, Haines & Panera.

He's looking for decade-long trends, or longer.

Even if you can't do anything else about sustainability issues, you can make a little GREEN off of the mega trends.