Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mid-size coffee serving at Starbucks

Green Thursday TGIT – Thank Grande It’s Thursday


We are not talking about the Rio Grande but the mid-size coffee serving at Starbucks. Yes Starbucks has Short, Tall, Grande and Venti sizes for their coffee and lattes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starbucks

The Grande is a 16 oz size
http://www.quicksilverweb.net/sbucks/sbcharts.htm

The quicksilver link helps you speak Starbuck Jargon. I was recently in the local Starbuck when I overheard the patron in front of me ask for a 140 degree latte. Being a thermo expert I of course had to ask the Barista what this meant. The barista replied that the milk in the 140 degree is warmed less than the normal 160 degrees. Of course my mind started doing mental arithmetic as to how much energy Starbucks could save if all patrons became green and asked for the 140 degree grande non fat latte with one splendla and no foam single cupped. Yes there are over 15,000 Starbucks stores and Starbucks has yearly revenues of nearly ten billion dollars. They must sell something like 3 billion grande equivalent drinks a year. Twenty degrees difference on a drink that weighs a pound using a specific heat of 1.0 means 60 billion BTUs could be saved. Each of the Starbuck espresso machines is power by electricity. There are 3412 BTUs in a kilowatt hour. The added warmth of the drinks therefore equals 19.096 million kilowatt hours. The average heat rate of a coal fired power plant, the most common form of power plant in the world is about 10,000 BTU per kilowatt hour. This means about 1.25 pounds of coal needs to be burned to generate a kilowatt hour, so the 19 million kilowatt hours required 23.870 million pounds of coal. Coal is about 50% carbon the rest is ash and moisture with a little hydrogen. Therefore 11,935,000 pounds of carbon are emitted each year to increase the temperature of the grande cups of Strabucks from 140 degrees to 160 degrees. This is almost 6,000 tons of carbon. Expressed as carbon dioxide we have to multiply the amount of carbon by 3.67 and we have that Strabucks is emitting and additional 21,881 tons a year of carbon dioxide simple because the average patron did not request the 140 degree grande non fat latte with one splendla and no foam single cupped option. This is about the same amount of carbon dioxide that 4,000 cars emit in a year. Of course just driving to starbucks to get the 140 degree grande non fat latte with one splendla and no foam single cupped drink causes an untold amount of carbon emissions

There is much debate about whether electricity can be generated from coal without the CO2 emissions. It is beginning to feel like Christmas and if you believe in Santa you will believe this nonsense of coal gasification and CO2 sequestration
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/12/19/future.coal.plant/index.html

Now that Vietnam is embracing a market economy and people have more money there to spend on Starbucks they are also buying lots of motorcycles and having lots of crashes. It was reported this week that Vietnam has instituted a Helmet Law for motorcyclists
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071215/lf_nm/vietnam_helmets_dc Amazingly the number of motorcycles in Vietnam has increased form 500,000 in 1990 to over 22 million currently. With this type of statistic perhaps we can all understand how the earth is headed toward a very warm perhaps 140 degree future in places like Death Valley.

Good news from Washington is that president Bush will sign into law the new higher efficiency standards
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071218/congress_energy.html To celebrate this momentous event the eggnog will only be heated to 140 degrees.

This is the last TT for this year as I will be on vacation through January 7 sipping my morning soy latte from Starbucks which I must confess will be only heated to 140 degrees because soy milk actually “burns” if it is heated any higher. Wishing you all seasons greeting and a happy, healthy, and energy efficient 2008

The word of the day is tocsin or ringing the bell for the purpose of alarm. Well I have been a pretty ardent bell ringer that we are simply adding toxins to the environment. With this let’s all sing Jingle Bells and do better next year

Word of the DayThursday December 20, 2007
Today's Word
Yesterday's Word Previous Words Subscribe for Free Help
tocsin \TOCK-sin\, noun:1. An alarm bell, or the ringing of a bell for the purpose of alarm.2. A warning.
Some of the allegations put round are so frenzied, however, that some caution should be exercised before the tocsin is rung too loudly.-- "New President of the NUS",
Times (London), April 10, 1969
The first atomic bomb fell and its radioactive cloud became a tocsin for mankind.-- Herbert Mitgang, "The Bomb as Horror and Warning",
New York Times, August 1, 1990
But Mr. Beckett is wise in choosing the form of the myth in which to sound his tocsin on the condition of human society.-- Brooks Atkinson, "Beckett's 'Endgame'",
New York Times, January 29, 1958
Tocsin derives from Medieval French touquesain, from Old Provençal tocasenh, from tocar, "to touch, to strike, to ring a bell" + senh, "church bell," ultimately from Latin signum, "sign, signal."




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