evnironment Tag

US-gasoline

Posted On September 29, 2014By adminIn Comment and fun

Gas consumption is down

This week, President Obama has yet again emphasized the need the break our dependence of fossil fuels. No matter what you think of the question of global warming, no one doubts the link between vehicle emissions and air quality. So if you want to be able to see across the road without your eyes watering, you want the design of vehicles to change. Less fuel is good for the air. Cleaner air is good for our lungs. We and our children benefit. So here comes the news we should allRead More
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One of the ways in which we Americans argue we have the best economy in the world is by pointing to our free markets. The theory says there’s complete openness between supply and demand. Sellers and buyers are free to agree prices and exchange money for goods or services. Government is not supposed to get in the way by passing laws unless something is interfering with the freedom of the market, e.g. the seller is a monopoly and gouging the buyers. Except, of course, the power of lobbies is sufficientlyRead More
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Posted On June 23, 2014By adminIn What's the news?

Protect the environment

One of the problems with the libertarian element in many aspects of American culture is the selfish rejection of any regulations or laws that interfere with what’s seen as our essential freedoms. So, for example, even though there’s a small mountain of research evidence showing restricting the speed of vehicles reduces the number of injuries and deaths on our road, politicians and law enforcement officers do not actively enforce the laws as aggressively as they should. People are largely left to drive however they want with little danger of theRead More
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In science fiction novels and movies, ground and sometimes air transport is powered by some undefined type of battery or there’s a compact power-generating source. It’s convenient to describe or show these things working without feeling the need to explain the technology behind them. It’s a form of science-as-magic approach to world-building. Coming to our reality, scientists are trying to convince lawmakers there’s a problem with the climate. This is pushing both the federal and some state lawmakers into requiring the development of zero-emission vehicles. Environmentally friendly design is theRead More
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Posted On May 20, 2014By adminIn What's the news?

Electric buses go far

The conventional bus relies on diesel. This is smelly to handle and produces relatively high emissions. There’s a new competition between two bus companies to produce the perfect zero-emission vehicle. This is important because California which is the largest state, through its Air Resources Board has Zbus requirements. So far, only the Proterra Ecoride BE35 completely satisfies that requirement. This bus is manufactured in South Carolina and draws its components for assembly from thirty-three US states. This is an American bus and it has just broken a record in aRead More
Chevrolet Volt 2014 hybrid
When folk at the bottom of the Greek hill called Mount Olympus heard the thunder and saw the lightning flash, they made up stories about Gods who controlled the weather and other aspects of their environment. They didn’t know any better. Now we’re in the Age of Enlightenment and know some science, we understand thunder and lightning have nothing to do with gods. Well, it’s time to bring the same level of understanding to the question of electric vehicles, specifically the Chevrolet Volt. So let’s start off with the balancingRead More
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Posted On May 5, 2014By adminIn Comment and fun

Conspiracy theories do not apply

Let’s confirm the more obvious ideas that there really was a moon landing and that there are no UFOs containing little green men (this does not discount the possibility the US Air Force has some experimental craft we get to see every now and then). Everyone loves a good theory, particularly if it fits in with what we already know. So here’s a fact for you. When Honda first launched the hybrid model called the Insight, it produced an average gas mileage of 52 mpg (that’s 58 mpg on theRead More
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It does not matter whether the car of the future is going to fly or run along a type of track set in the road, the key problem is the nature of the fuel it burns to produce motion. Needless to say, today’s manufacturers cannot agree and are placing their bets on different fuels and different technologies to exploit it. In all this, the most interesting fact is that none of the manufacturers are prepared to write off the gas-burning engine. They all agree it’s going to be around forRead More
Power-to-the-people
If you were to ask people who have nothing at stake, they would probably agree to spending money on making our cities more comfortable to live in. So many urban environments are being affected by smog. More people are finding it difficult to breathe freely. Surely everyone would benefit by diverting locally collected taxes to protecting the environment. Except nothing is ever that simple when many states have a budget deficit and the majority of taxpayers resist the idea of paying more, no matter how beneficial the outcome might be.Read More
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When the smog refused to clear in Paris and slowly built up to dangerous levels, the French felt they had to do something. Their answer was the odd/even license plate bans. On Monday, only odd-numbered license plates are allowed in the city. On Tuesday, only even-numbered plates are allowed, and so on. Unfortunately for the French, all the evidence shows this approach does not work. We can say this because there are license plate programs in place in Athens, Beijing, and Mexico City and their pollution levels have not droppedRead More