Archive for July, 2008

T. Boone!

If you haven’t already heard about it, here is T. Boone Pickens’ plan for U.S. oil independence. Keep in mind that T. Boone (besides having the best name ever) is an old school oilman. His angle is that this is a practical plan for making America a stronger country. Pretty cool that the end result of this plan would be a major win for the environment.

The “Pickens Plan”:

More Volkswagen “News”

What better way to follow up a Volkswagen post than with another Volkswagen post? It’s “news” because it happened back in March.  At the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen unveiled a “Dual-Fuel” Passat that can either be run on natural gas or conventional gasoline. It is still a prototype, but it provides flexibility with regards to fuel supply. And if run only on natural gas, it reduces emissions compared to regular gasoline.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/03/vw-introduces-d.html

The People’s Gas Mileage

From the Wired Auto Blog: The people’s car is taking the lead in high gas mileage vehicles. The “One-Liter” is a 660 lbs. 2 seater Volkswagen that gets 235 miles per gallon. It achieves this extremely low weight and high gas mileage with a carbon fiber body mated to a highly efficient one liter engine. VW had planned to hold off until 2012 to produce the vehicle citing the high cost of the carbon fiber. Since the carbon fiber technology has developed so quickly thanks to it’s use in many industries, including aerospace, the price of the material has come down to reasonable levels. Volkswagen only plans on producing small numbers of this niche vehicle, but it is a great study in what uber-high gas mileage requires.

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/07/laugh-at-high-g.html

Trash to Gas

Found on the D Magazine Frontburner blog: The state of Texas has recently begun an ambitious experiment with a Dallas area landfill. They will be using the landfill to generate natural gasses. The project is expected to produce enough gas to meet the needs of an estimated 16,000 households. It is currently in the process of being converted.

http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2008/07/14/trash-talking-about-the-mccommas-landfill/

More Info: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-landfill_13met.ART.State.Edition2.4daa29b.html

Chris Jordan pictures some shocking stats | Video on TED.com

Another TED video. Chris Jordan puts our excess into pictures. That’s a lot of plastic cups!

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Dean Kamen previews a new prosthetic arm | Video on TED.com

Some more great stuff from the great Dean Kamen. Not directly related to the environment, but he is a great thinker that has a part in shaping our future.

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North American Solar Challenge

The North American Solar Challenge will be starting on July 13th just a few miles from the Phoneraiser offices. They will be racing from Plano, Tx (a suburb of Dallas) to Calgary, Alberta. According to their press materials, the NASC “is designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.

“The NASC promotes:

  • Renewable energy technologies (specifically photovoltaic or “solar cells”)
  • Educational excellence in science, engineering and mathematics
  • Creative integration of technical and scientific expertise across a wide-range of disciplines
  • “Hands-on” experience for students and engineers to develop and demonstrate their technical and creative abilities
  • Environmental consciousness”

Pictures from the race: http://americansolarchallenge.org/photos/

Information and History of the American Solar Challenge: http://americansolarchallenge.org/aboutasc/

Some Teams entered in the Race: http://www.rrc.mb.ca/raycer/, http://www.cs.wmich.edu/~sunseeker/index.php, http://me.berkeley.edu/calsol/