June 2008


Gasoline prices are now an astounding $4 per gallon for regular unleaded and the only recourse most of us has is to drive a lot less and make plans to trade out for a hybrid or gas saving vehicle. I can’t imagine how people who bought SUVs must be feeling right now. Locally, here in Florida, I hear stories of how dealerships are turning SUVs away and won’t take them as trade ins. As a result many dealerships are opening up in the morning to find SUVs lined up along their fence line with the keys in the ignition.

The sales of hybrid-electric vehicles are booming, of course. By now, most of us get the message that hybrids – which combine a standard engine with some type of electric-motor- are a lot more efficient than our current vehicles. They aren’t the first choice of buyers who like size, speed and style but they save us a lot of money in gridlock.

The hottest item on the hybrid lot is the Toyota Prius. This cutie is a roomy compact car that delivers 48 miles per gallon in city driving and 45 mpg on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But now there are challengers against the hybrid models and I suppose there will be many in the years to come. The best of these is the fuel-efficient diesel engine. They’ve been around us for a long time, most markedly known in the Mercedes Benz, but they were never an affordable every man option……..

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This is fresh wire from the UK that I thought might interest my readers.

North Sea to lead wind revolution

Gordon Brown said today that the North Sea will become “the equivalent for wind power to what the Gulf of Arabia is for the oil industry”. Speaking at a a low carbon summit in London, the Prime Minister said there would be a ten-fold increase in the current use of renewable energy sources by 2020.

About 3,000 offshore wind turbines will have been installed in British waters by then, and more will have to be built onshore. The next few years, said Mr Brown, would see the “most dramatic change in Britain’s energy policy since the advent of nuclear power”.

This information courtesy of:
Motor Boats Monthly, 26 June 2008

As a result of the drought declaration by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, many Californians will soon likely face mandatory conservation orders. In fact, many water districts and cities have already asked for voluntary measures.

California’s extensive system of water supply infrastructure — its reservoirs, groundwater basins, and inter-regional conveyance facilities — mitigates the effect of short-term dry periods for most water users. Short-term droughts commonly occur in California, but only two droughts have lasted for more than four years in northern California since record-keeping began in 1850. The first of the long-term droughts occurred from 1929 to 1934. The second major drought lasted from 1987 to 1992 and is considered the most severe drought in California’s history.

There is now growing concern that California, after several years of drought like conditions and one of the driest winters on record, may be in another period of major drought. Because of global climate change, our weather is changing each year. While we can hope for wetter years in the future, it is important that we begin to plan for dryer years

In a effort to help educate and spread the word about water conservation, the Government has created websites chock full of information and helpful hints. They have also compiled the following links. Use these resources to learn what steps you can take to help conserve water in your daily life. With each of us doing our part we can help ensure that this resource, vital to life, is conserved and used in a manner consistent with its worth…..…. Read More….

Gas prices are going through the roof and they will probably get higher. All sorts of things are contributing to this dilemma, many on the world stage and beyond our control. Our economy is only part of the problem, with the way our country is designed being the largest headache. Many European countries pay as much as $12 a gallon for gas but these are small countries with villages and roadways that are easy to travel by bike or bus. Urban sprawl and the general enormity of America makes it a different travel experience. We need gas! We need cars! Even our food prices and other commodites are affected by the price of travel. And until they fix our economy so that the average American makes enough money to pay for this outrageous infrastructure, then gas prices and every other thing that costs money will be a heartache.

But there are some people who are working hard to solve these problems and give us alternatives. Here are some great websites that will help you save money on gas and use less gas and all sorts of great tips: …… Read More

This is from the Environmental Defense Fund Website. The EDF is an awesome resource for ecology and earth minded folk. Go to http://edf.org and sign up for their newsletters. Here’s the newest:

How do you brew gasoline from yeast?

Find out in the latest Unleash the Future video, a groundbreaking exploration of the clean energy future.

In this episode, you’ll meet Jack Newman. He and his team genetically engineer yeast so it can ferment sugar directly into gasoline.

This better biofuel can go right into existing pipelines, cars, trucks and planes.
….. Find out more.

Jack’s team and innovators like them across the country are spearheading the renewable energy revolution that will reinvent energy and stop global warming.

But their work can only take root if America puts a cap on carbon pollution. This is a critical step in our efforts to unleash a clean energy future.

We have the technology. Now we must have the political will.

….See The Video Here!

Thanks for all that you do,
The EDF Action Team

P.S. After you watch, please email your friends and family about our video series.

From Fosters Daily Democrat:

By ERIN PLUMMER

Article Date: Monday, June 16, 2008

With the recent stretch of hot weather, local and statewide experts advise that seniors take special care in avoiding the heat and staying cool.

“Heat can kill by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature,” said Sherri Litchfield, health and safety director for the Granite Chapter of the Red Cross.

“All across the Northeast, elderly people, young children, and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to become victims of extreme summertime heat.”

Read more….

An Online Manual Showing You How To Build Your Very Own Cooling Vest. Keep Yourself Cool In Extreme Heat……Click Here!

The Environmental Defense Fund emailed me info today on this great new technology:
June 18, 2008 | Posted by Miriam Horn in Energy Technologies

This post is by Miriam Horn, a writer at Environmental Defense Fund and co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Earth: The Sequel. It’s part of a video series on new energy technologies, Unleash the Future.

Harnessing solar energy can be pricey, but that soon may change. One company aims to cut the price by a factor of 10 by printing cheap solar ink onto flexible film that could serve as your roofing material.

The video includes the following details:

1. Introduction (YouTube)
2. Solar
3. Wave
4. Geothermal
5. Biofuels
6. Conclusion

Take a look at the video here: Watch Now:

If you have any questions or comments on solar power, please post them here:
Go!.

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