Thursday, April 26, 2012
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
by: Jessica Brown
The Earth’s surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities. Human activities have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases—primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The heat-trapping property of these gases is undisputed although uncertainties exist about exactly how earth’s climate responds to them.
Energy from the sun drives the earth’s weather and climate, and heats the earth’s surface; in turn, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmospheric greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse.
Without this natural “greenhouse effect,” temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible. Instead, thanks to greenhouse gases, the earth’s average temperature is a more hospitable 60°F. However, problems may arise when the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%, methane concentrations have more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15%. These increases have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earth’s atmosphere. Consequently, the temperature of the planet earth is rising.
Fossil fuels burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories are responsible for about 98% of world carbon dioxide emissions, 24% of methane emissions, and 18% of nitrous oxide emissions. Increased agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining also contribute a significant share of emissions. All these have dramatically reduce the lifespan of living earth.
The quest for efficient energy affects every country on the planet. Worldwide there is an increasing interest in developing clean, reliable alternatives to petroleum fuels. Many smart, safe, and clean alternative power sources are available in the market.
People can easily install these clean power sources at their home as alternative energy to help reducing carbon dioxide emission as well as reducing their utilities bill.
In recent year, people has come up with alternative power sources run their cars in order to reduce the spending on petrol gas and of course, reduce the carbon dioxide emission.
Please play your part on global warming. It is easy and at the same time, you could save money!
Monday, January 5, 2009
by: Matthew C. Keegan
FFV: flexible fuel vehicle. Are you interested in reducing your fuel costs, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and stopping our dependency on foreign oil? If so, ethanol may be the way to go. E85 is the "new" fuel source giving drivers an alternative to overpriced hybrids and clanky diesels.
All the talk about gas-electric hybrid vehicles is overlooking another area where fuel economy can be realized. No, I am not talking about diesel engines and I am not even thinking about hydrogen power. Instead, corn powered vehicles are coming into their own. That’s right, ethanol, a fuel that has a history going back a full century, may be the fuel of the future. Is ethanol a good choice for a fuel source? I’ll let you be the judge of that!
Back during the days that Henry Ford was building cars, he designed his Model “T” to run on ethanol, a fuel that is typically derived from corn. His idea was to give the driver a choice between gasoline and this particular alternative source of energy. Historically low gas prices however, made the need for ethanol pretty much a moot point at that time. Why fuel up with ethanol when gas was being sold for a quarter or less?
For its part, the U.S. government has long held that ethanol is a good fuel source and has mandated that vehicles built since the early 1980s, have the capacity to run on E10 ethanol –a blend consisting of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. Since the 1990s another type of ethanol, E85, has been receiving plenty of press coverage. This fuel is made up of 85% ethanol and just 15% gasoline. That’s right, a truly alternative fuel source derived from corn.
With E85, only specially designated models can run on this type of fuel. No, they aren’t some odd looking vehicles like the Honda Insight, instead they are every day vehicles including the Dodge Durango, Mercedes C240, Chevy Silverado, and other select models specially outfitted to accept E85. These FFVs, or flexible fuel vehicles, are distinctive models that can run on E85 or on unleaded gasoline. They can also run on any blend of ethanol/gasoline from an 85% ethanol/gasoline mix on down.
E85 does affect fuel mileage for the typical vehicle with fuel economy dropping as much as 10% depending on the model. At face value this can look like a bad thing until you consider the following:
1. E85 fuel prices are much lower than straight gasoline. Depending on the station, as much as one third lower. So, even with the reduced fuel economy many drivers are saving as much as 25% on their weekly fuel bills.
2. E85 burns clean. Remember, this is a chiefly corn based product. With only a minimal amount of gasoline used, E85 is better for the environment as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
3. E85 reduces our dependency on foreign oil. The biggest problem in America today when it comes to energy consumption is our overdependence on foreign oil. E85 is developed in the U.S. thanks to our abundant and extensive corn belt. By using E85, you help farmers in America’s heartland instead of oil rich sheiks in the Middle East.
Currently, in some areas of the country E85 stations are few and far between. However, as the number of E85 models being built continues to grow and consumers accept E85 as an alternate fuel source, more stations will be built. E85 availability is high in the middle of the country so motorists have more choice in there. Regardless of pump availability, a FFV can run on straight gasoline when E85 is not available.
So, will you take the “bite” and purchase an FFV? Perhaps a few years ago you wouldn’t have considered one, but with rapidly rising fuel prices, worries over global warming, and frustration over our dependency on foreign oil, an FFV is worthy of everyone’s consideration.
by: Danna Schneider
All the rage in the revolutionary years of the 1960's and 1970's were the smaller, more compact vehicles. It's the time during which we saw the first emergence of awareness of our planet, what we were doing to it and the dawn of environmental "green" thinking. Just as a critically ill person becomes well and forgets about his or her life crisis situation, we Americans forget about the energy crunch.
As the 70's gave way to the 80's, we lost sight of burning fossil fuel. The car models became increasingly bigger and more "maxed out" for luxury and status. The comfort and size of your vehicle became more of a status symbol for the wealthier segment, and a bigger car became a coveted item.
Pick up trucks even became more prevalent, and not often for hauling heavy loads. SUV's abound today. Hummers are popular for the elite crowd as a novelty vehicle for those that could afford it as a primary vehicle, or even more often as a secondary vehicle.
Often these big, burly SUV's are simply used to take one, fairly small person to and from work and other social activities, and occasionally to haul a slightly larger load - maybe that of two to three people.
Rarely today do we hear of people carpooling to and from work (gosh, a lot of kids today probably don't even know what carpooling is). Public transportation in small outlying suburbs to major cities nearby is few and far between, making it an impractical way to get to and from work every day.
Only since gas prices have risen in recent times, hovering at or over three dollars in many states and regions, has our attention come back to the "energy crisis" we face today, and that we may even face at a deeper level in the near future.
Now, as it puts our society in a family budget crisis, possibly we wil look for more practical solutions, as well as cleaner burning fuels and options that are healthier for us and our surrounding environment.
Who knows, maybe carpooling and new and improved forms of public transportation will become a focus if this energy crisis continues to show signs of sticking around.
Hopefully the government, whose responsibility it is to respond to public need, will look for mass transit to extend to more far reaching suburbs for more economical and convenient methods to get people to and from work, and to get out and spend money as well, all of which keep our economy moving.
In the bigger picture, the crisis of global warming and emissions of fossil fuels will be brought under better control if we can find alternatives to some of our more earth-cluttering energy materials today.
The scientists of the 60's and 70's had warned us time and time again that the energy crisis we are currently experiencing would happen, and yet we didn't really focus on doing anything about it until it was too late.
Now that we see what this kind of a shortage can do to us, we can only hope our top scientists and government are working on better, more efficient solutions rather than resting on their laurels and waiting for the next big scare.
by: Harry Bernstein
It has become an unfortunate fact in the past few years, that gasoline prices may be straining your family's budget. Maybe you want to stop the flow of US money to countries such as Saudi Arabia & Iran, or help stem the process of global warming, or you just might want to help the enviroment by reducing your use of oil, a limited resource.
The Fuel Economy Numbers
In plain english, fuel economy ratings are the mpg numbers posted on the price sticker of a new car. Studies have shown that the average driver receives less than 80 percent of the economy figures that are on that dealer's price sticker.
You can use these numbers to determine the numbers will let you know how many mpg your vehicle will get, so you can compare vehicles and then go from there.
Hybrid - Pricing
The new gas electric hybrid vehicles are normally priced higher than non hybrid counterparts. they usually are at least two thousand dollars more than the comparable gas vehicle, and can be up to eight thousand more depending on the manufacturer. Hybrids are usaually much more fuel efficient than their gas counterparts, with many averaging around 45 - 55. This is great for those who want to save money on gas, as hybrids can go many miles on a full tank of gas and they come with extended warranties.
Diesel Engines - Benefits & Costs
Diesel fueled vehicles are yet another energy efficient option. Diesels, will generally get better mileage than a comparable gas fueled car or truck. They offer much better torque than many gasoline engines. Also, the price differential between diesel and gas vehicles, is much less than that of a hybrid.
With so many different options available, you're sure to find what you need to conserve fuel. Before making your final selection, always remember to shop around and find what's the best choice for your budget.
by: Frank Vanderlugt
The debate about global warming continues today and will continue for many decades to come. The subject of global warming refers to the average increase in the earth's temperature--which then causes changes in climate.
With the earth getting warmer, it may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans. When scientists debate about global warming, we all benefit. We are being given all of the information available on both sides of the subject.
When we talk about the issue of climate change, the concern is primarily about global warming caused by human activities or by the natural cleansing process of the earth.
We are told by one group that we are all personally responsible for releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels when driving our automobiles or using other means of mass transit, and by home energy usage (the electricity, heating and cooling). The use of these fossil fuels is directly responsible for global warming, which is destroying the earth's biodiversity and ecosystems.
On the other side of the debate are the scientists who tell us that global warming is only partially caused by the use of fossil fuels. They want us to know that the different cycles and temperatures of the earth are part of a natural cycle that our evolving planet goes through.
The debate about global warming is one that will continue for many years to come. Neither side can provide substantial evidence that fully supports their position.
It true that we are polluting the environment and that we should reduce our use of fossil fuels, protect rainforests from being harvested, and also plant new tropical trees in countries where the rainforest have been decimated. However, this does not prove that global warming is caused by these actions or that these actions by us are meaningless.
While the debate about global warming continues, it might be wise if we consider what we can do to reduce pollution. Whether the pollution causes global warming might not be the real question here. The pollution of the environment is directly affecting the air, water and land throughout the entire world.
An action as simple as planting trees can help clean the air. An average tree uses and absorbs about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide during its lifespan. And, in return, the trees will release oxygen back into the atmosphere.
by: Jeff Popick
If you really want to bring the Earth back from the brink of disaster, who should you be listening to?
A. Al Gore of "Live Earth" and "An Inconvenient Truth"
B. Diane Sawyer of ABC's "Seven Ways to Help Save the World"
C. Michael Brune of "Rain Forest Action Network"
D. Conservative commentator Glenn Beck of "CNN Headline News"
"An Inconvenient Truth" left out the most inconvenient truth of all, and the Live Earth concerts were an environmental joke (and the music was really bad, too). Ms. Sawyer's suggestion to cut back on toilet paper is a bit of poo itself. Then, with a golden opportunity to enlighten and empower Americans, Michael Brune of the Rain Forest Action Network only highlighted the problem with even our "environmental" groups. Therefore, and by way of deductive reasoning, the answer must be … and is … (drum roll, please) … Glenn Beck. Yep, that's right. Glenn Beck, the ultra-conservative, speaks out on CNN Headline News while interviewing Michael Brune and tells people how to really save the environment.
In speaking about the Live Earth concerts, Glenn said, "There's nowhere in here about vegetarianism or anything like that, that would make a real impact on the environment ... It is animal gases that produce more CO2 than any of the cars we're driving."
To which Michael Brune disagreed. Michael? HUH? Earth to Michael … Come in, Michael.
The fact is, a HUGE portion of our environmental problems come from eating meat and dairy (and from producing meat and dairy), and Glenn Beck, of all people, hit the nail square on the head. Global warming, rain forest destruction, coral reefs dying off, topsoil erosion, poisoned water and polluted air are all a result of animal agriculture, and everybody – including our "environmental" groups – refuses to connect these dots. Thanks, Glenn, for doing what Al Gore, Diane Sawyer and even Michael Brune have refused to do.
"A report released by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization last November charged that raising livestock produced more "greenhouse gases" globally than the international transportation system." http://www.crosswalk.com/news/11543779/
The U.N. report tells of a tragedy in the making on everyone's dinner plates, and it doesn't stop there; global warming concerns are now keeping kids up at night. http://www.gm.tv/index.cfm?articleid=24717
Kids, and all Americans, need to know that they are the empowered ones. This is not a political or governmental issue. WE, each of us, has a hand in global warming, and, therefore, its cure. If we stop eating animals and their secretions, we will stop killing the planet. It is as simple as that. Concerts galore, one million TV shows on the "Top Seven Ways ..." and pseudo-environmentalists be damned. Without veganism for all people, nothing else can possibly save our doomed planet. The great news is, if we each switch to eating a vegan diet, we will no longer have to "save the planet." Veganism allows the planet to save itself.
Major kudos to Glenn Beck.