Friday, May 25, 2007

Essay By Luke DiTomas

Here is an excerpt from an essay by college student Luke DiTomas at The Ohio State University:

"Due to budget constraints, the government is only able to contribute a mere $150 million to the research and development of ethanol based fuels, which is hardly enough to revolutionize a multibillion-dollar energy market. Private sector investors, Virgin Group's Richard Branson, and technology guru Vinod Khosla have made substantial contributions because they see the possibility of an ethanol boom similar to the one in Brazil. Our government had set these goals of reducing the amount of imported oil, but isn’t providing nearly enough funding in order to reach these goals. The government must re-think their budgeting restraint on this because a revolution of this magnitude would have a much larger affect on our economy than just decreasing our need of oil. Struggling U.S. auto manufactures have a competitive advantage over foreign auto makers on flex-fuel vehicles. Foreign auto makers are skeptical on ethanol vehicles due to the large amounts of water and land needed to produce the necessary amount of corn. This is the spark that U.S. auto companies need to regain their dominance in the U.S. auto industry. The results of this would be seen in other industries as well. The distribution side of this would need substantial growth to meet the demands of the new fuel. The demand of corn, wheat and plant stalks would increase, which would only mean more growth in the agricultural industry. The growth of all these industries would mean a lower unemployment rate due to increases in workers needed to meet the requirements, and a larger GDP due to the expansion of multiple industries within the country."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time Magazine Tip #14

Ride The Bus!

With transport accounting for more than 30% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, one of the best ways to reduce them is by riding something many of us haven't tried since the ninth grade: a bus. Public transit saves an estimated 1.4 billion gal. of gas annually, which translates into about 14 million tons of CO2, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Unfortunately, 88% of all trips in the U.S. are by car. Partly, that's because public transportation is more readily available in big urban areas. One promising alternative is bus rapid transit (BRT), which features extra-long carriers running in dedicated lanes. Buses emit more carbon than trains, but that can be minimized by using hybrid or compressed-natural-gas engines. A study last year by the Breakthrough Technologies Institute found that a BRT system in a medium-size U.S. city could cut emissions by as much as 654,000 tons over 20 years.
Thanks to high gas prices, miles driven per motorist dropped in 2005 for the first time since 1980, according to the Pew Research Center. The U.S. is ready to change. We're just waiting for the bus.

Source: Time Magazine, April 9th, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Winston Churchill Quote

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period pf consequences."

~ Sir Winston Churchill

Wasn't he inspired when he said this? This is also used in An Inconvenient Truth to signify the turning point in human history where we would start to reap what we have sown.

This quote has been posted, not to deter or discourage, but to motivate and inspire to action.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Be A Voice

Al Gore, in his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, talks about people going from denial straight to despair while skipping the most important phase of all; moving to ACTION!

If you are a recent convert to the ideology of Global Warming as a moral issue, there is way too much to be done right now that this relatively small, new community needs you to act. There are a variety of people who may subscribe to the passive thought that global warming is real, but these same luke-warm people decide not to change anything about the way they live. I am not a person with excessive means by any sort, though in spite of my near poverty, I have made changes in my life that make me say "You know, even though I had to sacrifice to make this important change in my life, I know I did the right thing."

Doing the right thing propels us into the productive and rewarding future otherwise unseen by the content and complacent eyes.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Carbon Offsetting

Essentially this picture describes what it really means to offset carbon emissions. When carbon and other atmospheric pollutants enter the air they thicken the atmosphere. What this does is traps infrared heat within our atmosphere in amounts that are higher than normal. Increased infrared energy leads to increased average tempratures throughout the globe and especially at the poles. This is the basic concept on global warming.
What to do?
Offset our carbon output, or better yet, neutralize it. By becoming carbon neutral we allow the atmosphere to heal and over time we can reverse the global warming damage we have already caused. That's why everyone needs to get involved. Take a stand. Move to action.
Because we only have one earth, we must not fail.