April 1st, 2008
Perhaps many readers have become aware of the looming worldwide food shortage, there was a story on NPR’s The World just Monday night (March 31) about rising tensions in the bread lines of Egypt. London’s Guardian reported this past November that the crisis can be attributed to climate change (crop failures and ag diversion of rice and wheat crops) and fuel shortages – both the increasing price of petroleum fuels for transportation and agriculture as well as the diversion of staple food crops like soybeans and corn toward biofuels production.
Soaring grain prices are now exploding into full-fledged food riots in many corners of the planet, while Americans are stunned by rising prices every time they go to the grocery store. As of December, 2007 the UN Food and Agricultural Organization reported that 37 countries face immediate food crises, and 20 nations had imposed some form of food-price controls. Reuters lays additional blame on panicked speculators trading on global futures markets in the wake of recession fears fueled by the increasing defaults among Wall Street’s investment banks and stock market gamblers.
But there is hope on the horizon, particularly for those of us who were smart enough to purchase diesel powered vehicles, despite the ruinous and increasing costs of gasoline. That hope is a new source for producing biodiesel (which can run the entirety of our transportation system, including passenger cars if GM can be persuaded to come off their new diesel they’ve been sitting on in joint patent with the EPA).Alternatives, Biodiesel, Conscious Living, Economic Recession, Energy, Fuel, Green Living, Staple Foods, Transportation | Comment (1)
March 25th, 2008
Ford Prodigy, cutaway view of a ‘concept’ car we could someday be able to buy… maybe. Or not.
The 100 miles per gallon car. One that carries four adults, has all the safety features that protect in accidents but weigh a lot. Peter Diamandis’ X Prize Foundation has turned their focus from space travel to automobiles. The automotive X Prize went live in April of 2007 at the New York Auto Show with a $10 million award to the winning designers of a production-ready vehicle capable of exceeding 100 mpg.
It’s not that hard to get 100 miles per gallon if you don’t mind a seriously “minimalist” vehicle. Heck, if you make it lighter than a motorbike and gin it up with solar cells, it’s not that hard to get 1,000 miles per gallon (downhill, with a tailwind, driver lying flat). But the solar cell idea isn’t that bad, now that we hear there are new plastic coatings that will generate even in low-light situations. And what about a hood scoop to use the wind of forward motion to help charge those batteries too?Alternatives, Biodiesel, Conscious Living, Conservation, Economic Recession, Energy, Fuel, Mechanics, Transportation | Comment (1)
March 11th, 2008
I’ve added a new blog to my blogroll, Save Fuel – Save Money today. I don’t know about your locality, but gas is pushing $4 a gallon right here in my neck of the woods right now, and will probably go to $5 a gallon before summer tourist season hits. Or, more likely, doesn’t hit this year due to the prohibitive cost of gasoline. Which as of this morning, March 11, 2008, is trading on the futures market for $109 a barrel. It probably won’t be coming down.
Sure, Europe has had $5 gasoline for years now, but Europe’s not all that big. One can drive from one end of a country to the other in a few hours, and most European countries have reliable and comfortable mass transit systems. Things we don’t have in the U.S. if you don’t happen to live on either the right or left coasts. Worse, it takes me as many hours to drive to my own state’s coast as it takes me to drive to Florida and visit relatives! It takes two long driving days to visit Mom in Oklahoma, and I’ve friends in Arizona and California I haven’t seen in years because it’s just too far away.Alternatives, Biodiesel, Economic Recession, Ethanol, Fuel, Transportation | Comments (3)