Archive for the 'Pollution' Category

Wanted: PVC Free Junkyard Wind Turbine

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

You can greatly exceed the $1 per watt price of new wind power systems by building your own homebrew wind turbine generator. [Update: I really meant that you can get the same value for a fraction of the price, but you probably understood that anyway. Typical small scale retail systems are more like $4 per […]

“Fuel,” Formerly “Fields of Fuel,” Fourwalls

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Great photos from the opening of Josh Tickell’s award winning documentary film, Fuel, may be seen at The Fuel Film website. The FAQ page introduces a variety of alternative energy methods and their advantages.
The trailer for Fuel’s previous incarnation as Fields of Fuel is no longer available, but unless I’m misunderemembering, the new one takes […]

MIT’s New Solar Concentrating Material

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Professor Marc A. Baldo in video in which he explains a new window building material that is tolerant of defects (unlike today’s photovoltaic cells), should be inexpensive to make, and is expected to double the efficiency of solar electric systems because it concentrates sunlight at any angle towards its edges, thus does not need sun […]

Mailbag: Algae News Thanks to Geo. McCalip

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

In an email message titled “watch the two videos,” Geo. McCalip wrote:
“The Algae Bioreactor Video and the HDVG Video are about 2/3 of the way down the page.”
“http://www.valcent.net/s/Home.asp”
This Google Video of a 22 minute Bloomberg interview with the Valcent founder back in June might be more accessible to various media players.

The vertical growth bioreactors […]

Dean Kamen’s New Car Uses Stirling Engine

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

A Kurzweil AI report (with photo) of an article from New Hampshire’s Union Leader tells of Segway (and more successful projects) inventor Dean Kamen’s new role in automobile manufacturing.
The Stirling cycle is an external combustion design, has safety, efficiency, and energy source flexibility advantages over traditional internal combustion engines. Stirlings aren’t as susceptible to altitude […]

Raw Solar Taking Commercial Applications

Monday, November 10th, 2008

The “raw solar” MIT project based on Washington state inventor Doug Wood’s designs has a revamped website and is moving forward with commercial deployment.
From their FAQ page:
“Because of the simplicity of the design, and use of widely available materials, the dish has a huge potential to address the energy problems of the rapidly developing third […]

So. Calif. Edison at the Alt Car Expo 2008

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Press coverage by The Auto Channel of the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo 2008. For city folk, plug-in hybrids are the most promising new technology concept. Battery chemistry is still under development with no clear winner yet for the standard energy storage solution. From the YouTube video description:
“Southern California Edison is doing things with wind, […]

Environmental Protection Without The State

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Stefan Molyneux speech from 2006 with a libertarian take on pollution, energy and the like.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j27XJ0vjr0Y

1895 Stirling Water Pump

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I noticed this cool Stirling engine water pump a long time ago, but never got around to blogging about it. This external combustion motor is heated with a gas burner, but there are solar powered Stirling engines you can look at online, too. Built in 1895, it originally pumped water a hundred feet into the […]

“Intensive” To “Extensive” Green Roofs

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

An article about Extensive Garden Roofs on the Associated Construction Publications site describes the acceptance of green roofs in the construction industry for various reasons and the shift from “intensive” to “extensive” garden roofs.
Excerpt:
“. . .thicker and heavier “intensive” garden roofs are giving way to a lighter “extensive” system, which is designed to be more […]

Biodiesel Halves Landscaper’s Fuel Cost

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

A biodiesel research item about E Coli at Gas 2.0 linked from a front page Digg post led me to another Gas 2.0 story about a landscaper growing 22 acres of jatropha for biodiesel, with the expectation of saving half of the $24,000 per month formerly spent on diesel at the pump.
Looks like my “grow […]

“Fields of Fuel” Movie Wins At Sundance

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Josh Tickell’s movie, Fields of Fuel, which promotes biodiesel over petroleum based fuel, won the audience prize at Sundance 2008 for the Best Documentary. The cast list includes Barbara Boxer, Richard Branson, Sheryl Crow, Laurie David, Larry David, James Gennaro, Larry Hagman, Woody Harrelson, Jay Inslee, Jack Johnson, Bud McFarlane, Willie Nelson, Director Josh Tickell, […]

Hippy Gourmet Visits Off-Grid Mansion

Monday, September 29th, 2008

From the description at YouTube:
“In this segment from Hippy Gourmet TV we visit with Michael Funk, an organic food entrepreneur who lives in a sustainable home that runs off of solar power and solar hot water. On the Yuba River, Michael is also involved with SYRCL (the South Yuba River Citizens League) - established to […]

Grow Your Own Everything

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

The neocon war blog China Confidential takes the Obama-Biden campaign to task for pushing “biodiesel baloney.”
“. . .biofuels are so menacing that opposition to their use cuts across political and ideological lines to an astonishing extent–from Cuba’s Communist leader, Fidel Castro, to America’s libertarian Cato Institute and conservative Heritage Foundation.”
“But Barack Obama apparently sees the […]

G Fleet Plug-In Hybrid Gets 93 MPG

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

From YouTube Description:
“Google is already investing $10 million into its RechargeIT plug-in vehicle program,and plans to make investments into green cars this summer through the plug-in program. The Google RechargeIT team also made this short video clip to explain what their 7-week drive test was all about.”

Be Cool, Paint The Town White

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Researchers have done the math on how much CO2 would be offset by more reflective cityscapes.
Given the day of financial reckoning to come, only delayed a bit by GWB’s bailout (the largest since the Great Depression), maybe ”Get Out Of Town” would have been a more helpful headline for you. But enough of my obsessions.
White […]

Seasteaders: It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Seasteaders beware. Today there be more pirates afloat.

Paul Ehrlich Debates George Carlin, Kinda

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Here’s a debate between Paul Ehrlich and George Carlin (even if they never met). But first, some background on why I embedded their respective YouTube videos.
My motivation for this blog about permaculture is “carbon neutral.” Do ignorant government politicians use pseudoscience to whip up bogus threats? All the time. But do corporations cover their ass […]

100 Million Gallons of Camelina Biodiesel

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

The Domestic Fuel article, “World’s Biggest Camelina Grower Fueling Biodiesel Production,” has much to say about the virtues of Camelina. Here is just one of them:
“Camelina does not take away from land currently being utilized for food production because it has the ability to grow on marginal land utilizing very little moisture.”

The People of Sand and Slag

Monday, August 11th, 2008

There may come a day when unspoiled natural scenery has no connection to our physical health, due to insanely high-tech medicine. But what kind of world would it be?
The author Paolo Bacigalupi said in a great interview about his career at the Mumpsimus blog, “With “Sand and Slag”, I had a beef with an old […]

Rat Terrier Dogs for Natural Pest Control

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Organic farmers should appreciate the vigilance of the rat terrier breed of dog against rabbits, squirrels, rats and other nibblers of your produce. Calmer than Jack Russell terriers, rat terriers are also more appropriate as a typical family dog.
A Boing Boing post by Cory Doctorow about rats in an upscale L.A. community got me thinking […]

Solar Cooking For The Rest Of Us

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Louise Meyer and Patricia McArdle of Solar Household Energy, Inc. and the resource site SolarCooking.org, demonstrate several solar ovens, ranging from shaped trash cardboard covered with foil (cheap, effective, but not durable), one used in Afghanistan that sells for about $25, to an elegant origami folded aluminum product that will last forever. Solar ovens might […]

Pest Control: The Birds and the Bees

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

A Boing Boing post links to a National Geographic article about honeybees used in Tokyo to protect seabirds (terns) from attack by crows. A related NatGeo story tells of a gun club hunting crows at a city’s request.
Wizard Saruman isn’t going to like this.
A commenter on another site said “crows are the new dogs” after […]

CNN: Toxic Waste into Off-Grid Lighting

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Cassava is “Africa’s Food Security Crop” according to the World Bank.
A CNN report about Nigerian civil engineer, Dr Joseph Adelegan, and his projects to convert waste into useful commodities, describes his latest idea to recover energy from cassava processing waste, which in the past would be dumped untreated to pollute local water supplies.
Through innovative biogas […]

Greywater Guerrillas

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Greywater Guerrillas help stop pollution of the water supply by using greywater to irrigate trees and other plants in the garden.
Greywater is water that flows down sink, shower, and washing machine drains–but not the toilet. Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and household cleaning products. While greywater may look “dirty,” it is […]

Cradle To Cradle: 12 New Cities in China

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

This remains my favorite of the TED talks (except maybe Ray Kurzweil).
William McDonough, co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, discusses sustainable design in architecture and ends with his astounding plans for twelve new cities in China. Quite a contrast from the toxic hell that is Beijing. From Wikipedia:
Air pollution […]

PETA for Pesticides?

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Gardeners can fight pests while remaining organic by using beneficial insects to eat harmful bugs.
The fly in this ointment is that one of PETA’s recent campaigns is to treat the sale of common predator bugs the same as cows in the slaughterhouse or dogs from the pet store.
Don’t we get enough puritanism from the right? […]

The Bad Taste of Castro Oil

Friday, June 20th, 2008

J. Neil Schulman told me that Fox News Channel aired a report about a Cuban refinery for Venezuelan oil. Here’s the Havana take on it.
An older report from another Cuban source says:
The Cienfuegos oil refinery, a new joint Cuba- Venezuela project, reached 112.9 percent its target production for the first two months of operation.
That’s an […]

“Get Out Of The Oil Business, Barney”

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

One of my favorite scenes in the 1980 film, The Formula, is when the oil magnate played by Marlon Brando tells the detective named Barney played by George C. Scott, who’s been sniffing out clues on murders involving a Nazi-developed synfuel formula to “get out of the oil business, Barney.” At least Brando offers Scott […]

Water Bottle Raft Sets Sail

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

LA Times Emerald City Blog reports a journey by a raft made of thousands of water bottles departing from Long Beach to Hawaii.
From the YouTube description:
Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal depart from the Long Beach Aquarium in California for Hawaii on a raft of 15,000 plastic bottles in order to help call attention […]