Pledge Your Support – Install a CFL!

Posted April 20, 2007 by resourceful
Categories: carbon dioxide, climate change, electricity, energy, environment, global warming, life, lighting, personal

19 April 2007 - Have you seen the new mini-twist helical CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) that replaces a standard light bulb?

They use 75% less energy!

A 60-Watt equivalent CFL only uses 13 Watts and in summer will reduce your air conditioning load as well.

Over it’s life, it will save you about 15 to 20 times it’s cost.

If your home or business has plans to use these or any other “Energy Star” light or lamp, please add your support to millions of others who have pledged their support!  It only takes a second!

A friend of mine who works at the world’s largest recycler - Nucor – emailed me the pledge URL.

Thank you for pledging to be “green” this year in your personal life,

Lars

Greenhouse Gases – What you Don’t Know, Part 2

Posted March 26, 2007 by resourceful
Categories: biofuels, carbon dioxide, climate change, Conservation, energy, environment, ethanol, global warming, greenhouse gas, resources, sustainability

26 Mar 2007 - Significant GHG’s include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane.  Scientific data shows methane in our atmosphere has increased 149% over the past 250 years while CO2 increased 31%.  The methane is a direct result of human activity on our planet, emitting from landfills, feedlots, livestock manure, human and animal waste treatment facilities.  Efforts are underway to tap these significant sources of methane emission – for fuel.  Increased atmospheric concentrations of the GHG methane have paralleled but lagged the following human population explosion of the past 250 years.

Year vs. Human Population
1000  -  10 million
1800  -  1 Billion
1927  -  2 Billion
1960  -  3 Billion
1974  -  4 Billion
1987  -  5 Billion
1999  -  6 Billion
2010  -  ?

(It took millions of years to reach 3 Billion inhabitants; 39 years to get the second 3 Billion)

It is clear where CO2 emissions come from and what influences them, but most of us are unaware that we influence methane and water vapor emissions as well.  In a “GHG contributers” pie, CO2 is but one slice.

If severe greenhouse effects cause severe global warming, wouldn’t an intelligent solution involve reduction of ALL GHG’s, not just CO2?

For example, we can irrigate deserts.  The question is “should we?” – especially since more appropriate places exist where crops are not currently being cultivated.  Localized greenhouse effects due to increased water vapor levels in these normally arid zones contribute to planet heat gain.

In some cases, suggested solutions may not meet our scrutiny.

What percentage of the carbon in ethanol and other biofuels is pulled out of the atmosphere by plants, and what percentage is “mined” by them from the carbon-rich layers of the soil?  What percentage of additional CO2 emissions results from the fermentation process of ethanol?  How much water is “mined” from the ground to produce ethanol?  How much energy is consumed to pump and process the water?  How much fossil fuel is required to cook the plant material when making ethanol?  What additional percentage of CO2 comes from this source?  Is this sustainable, or could we actually reduce overall CO2 emissions by fueling with natural gas instead of ethanol?

For this reason, ethanol may only be a “Bandaid”, but yet help transition us to a multi-faceted, sustainable energy solution such as solar-produced hydrogen.

The effects of our human populations weigh heavily on our environment.  Elimination and reduction of unnecessary and wasteful consumption of resources and products are ways we, as individuals, can address the interconnected issues of environmental sustainability.  As long as we are willing to make the effort.  I will; will you?

Looking out for the planet,

- Lars

Read Part 1 of the article

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)

Posted March 24, 2007 by resourceful
Categories: carbon dioxide, Conservation, electricity, energy, global warming, life, lighting, personal, sustainability

23 Mar 2007 - Want to personally make a difference in the world?  Replace your incandescent bulbs with new compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s).  Use this  easy CFL Energy Calculator to see how much money you can save!  Just input information about existing incandescent lightbulbs and proposed compact fluorescent lamps for a certain area of your home or business – to see the payback period on your investment and your savings!

The Light Bulbs Etc. company also sells a wide variety of CFL’s in various sizes, shapes, and quantities.  Their prices seem reasonable, if bought in bulk.  They sell CFL’s in the range from 15 to 500 Watt equivalents.

Greenhouse Gases – What You Don’t Know

Posted March 2, 2007 by resourceful
Categories: carbon dioxide, clean energy, climate change, energy, environment, ethanol, fossil fuels, global warming, greenhouse gas, renewable energy

2 Mar 2007 - How much do you really know about greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide?!  When supporting a particular approach or decision affecting our environment, one must back up their position with knowledge.  Test your knowledge on these three questions about greenhouse gases!

Which greenhouse gas is trapping more heat on Earth than all the others?  If you said “carbon dioxide” you would be wrong.  The correct answer is “water vapor”.  Water vapor contributes about double that from carbon dioxide!

Okay, second question:  Which greenhouse gas traps heat more effectively, methane or carbon dioxide?  If you said “methane” you would be correct.  In the atmosphere, methane traps heat over 20 times more effectively than carbon dioxide!

Well, let’s try a third, perhaps an easier one:  Which greenhouse gas has increased in Earth’s atmosphere more significantly over the past 250 years:  water vapor, carbon dioxide, or methane?  Let me give you a hint.  It’s not carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide only increased 31% while methane increased 149%.  As for water vapor, there is much debate as to the amount of accumulation.

Why then, are we so afraid of carbon dioxide?!  Well, here’s an inconvenient truth, a piece of the pie not yet served:  We are wasteful; and the world is running out of oil to power our motor vehicles; and what quicker way to transform our chosen energy paradigm, than to frighten us… AND (before you get entirely upset) carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere IS increasing the greenhouse effect (our Earth is warming)… but remember:  accumulations of methane, water vapor, and others are also contributing significantly!!!

What can we blame for this global warming?  How about fossil fuels?  Okay.  So let’s eliminate all fossil fuels in 5 years.  That will fix the problem of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, right?  Well, no.  Renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel have carbon in them.  What?!  Yes.  Very much so!  In fact, our old buddy “natural gas” is a lower emitter of carbon dioxide than ethanol.

And hydrogen won’t be ready to take over by then.  Besides, what also happens if we ban all fossil fuel in 5 years?  How will you feed yourself or your family when lights go out or businesses and industries shut down?  What happens to the world economy when money stops changing hands?  What happens to individuals?  (For time sake, this argument leaves a lot out.)  Saving the planet, only to lose human civilization by another method - is not a good option!

Let’s join in bringing about the eventual end of human-initiated greenhouse gas emissions that have increased the global warming.  And let’s do it in a controlled, multi-faceted fashion with parallel solutions that will not create a different problem – that brings about the destruction of human society!

I have a saying that is appropriate.

“Believe half of what you see, and None of what you hear.”

Check out these facts for yourself.  Be responsible.  Make additional comments that help clarify.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, and switch to a new energy source… and be good,

- Lars

Power Without Fuel

Posted February 27, 2007 by resourceful
Categories: clean energy, electricity, energy, green energy, power, renewable energy, sustainability, Technology, wind

27 Feb 2007 - Congratulations to the Germans.  They lead the world as innovators in wind power installations.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council website, the countries having the most MegaWatts (MW) of installed wind generation capacity are:

  1. Germany (20,621 MW)
  2. Spain (11,615 MW)
  3. USA (11,603 MW)
  4. India (6,270 MW)

But in 2006, the annual market for wind generation increased at a rate of 32%.  Here are the top countries that installed new wind capacity in 2006:

  1. USA (2,454 MW)
  2. Germany (2,233 MW)
  3. India (1,840 MW)
  4. Spain (1,587 MW)

For information on what’s happening in your country, check these National and Regional Association links.

This video, entitled “No Fuel” is a good advocate for Wind Energy.

You can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 20 Pounds Today

Posted February 27, 2007 by resourceful
Categories: autos, carbon dioxide, Conservation, energy, environment, fuel, global warming, greenhouse gas, personal

26 Feb 2007 - Are YOU personally doing your part?  Forget about pointing fingers at industry for a moment.  What is one simple way you can eliminate production of 20 pounds of greenhouse gases today?

Here’s how.  Prevent just one gallon of gasoline from being burned.  That’s right.  Eliminate a trip.  Combine trips.  Carpool to work.  You figure it out.

Whether businesses or individuals, we don’t ask others to go the extra mile, unless we are willing to do it ourselves!  That’s where it has to start.

-Lars

United States Opens Access to Clean Energy

Posted February 26, 2007 by resourceful
Categories: clean energy, electricity, energy, green energy, News, power, renewable energy

26 Feb 2007 - The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted a final rule that will facilitate access to clean energy resources.  Increasing numbers of renewable energy electrical generators have led to imbalances on the electrical grid.  In June 2007, a new rule to govern these imbalances will become mandatory and enforceable.

The electrical grid is getting more complex each year.  Differences between the scheduled and actual delivery of energy (generator imbalances) are corrected by transmission providers to keep the system balanced.  Existing policies provide wide discretion in charges and penalties, which many feel are discriminatory and excessive.  This is the reason for the reform.

Wind energy generation and other forms of renewable energy sources, by their intermittant nature, contribute to these generation imbalances.  But for increases in renewable energy source generation to occur, provisions must be made for green energy to have higher priority on the grid – and less penalties.  Some think this should require fossil fuel power-generating facilities, with higher greenhouse emissions, to shoulder more responsibility and cost in balancing the grid.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation has scheduled several workshops to understand implications of this paradigm shift underway in North America.  The workshops will focus on emerging standards, transitional steps, timelines, penalties, and how these 83 standards will be coordinated.

FERC press release.


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