Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Batteries will batter you

The hype around A 123 (AONE on the NASDAQ) has again pushed the stock up. This firm is a dead on arrival battery company if ever there was one. Who cares if GE and P&G are investors? Will the new jingle for A123 be "Ride my Tide" or "We bring dead batteries to life"? These mega large companies should stick to working together on dishwashers and detergent. My guess is around April when fools are exposed the hype around A 123's lithium ion batteries will die down, they will again show massive losses and hardly any gain in sales revenue except for the few demo vehicles that rich celebs parade their ugly mugs in to show off to the world.

A friend in Australia sent me an email about Panasonic selling a lithium battery system to load shift your purchase of electricity for your home from on peak periods to off peak periods. The system costs $15,000 and it will save you a dollar a day. Hi Panasonic yeah I like the idea of waiting 41 years for my payback on a system that needs replacement every eight years. Perhaps you can get Burn in Hell Madeoff as your celeb spokesperson.

This was posted today on tickerspy.com It is informative but I do not give stock advice just green exploration is my bag.

Electric cars have been the focus of recent battery hype, but don't discount the impact of a cell phone contract.
Mention Google (NASDAQ:
GOOG - News) in the same breath as any small-cap company and it is likely to send the latter soaring. Today's beneficiary is China BAK Battery (NASDAQ: CBAK - News), after Briefing.com said it is "hearing chatter" that CBAK's lithium polymer batteries will power the search giant's upcoming Nexus One smartphone. Until more official reports surface, investors can chalk the 10% spike up to speculation after a nearly three-month slump for the stock.
China BAK Battery is one of the
Energy Storage and Battery Technology Stocks Index's worst-performing components for the period, down by -45%. On a one-month basis, only Valence Technology (NASDAQ: VLNC - News) and C&D Technologies (NYSE: CHP - News) have done worse.
Watertown, Massachusetts-based A123 Systems (NASDAQ:
AONE - News) is experiencing a nice no-news pop on what has been a steady, albeit volatile upward trend since late November. The company, which received investor support from General Electric (NYSE: GE - News), Procter and Gamble (NYSE: PG - News), and Sequoia Capital, among others, is one of the most closely watched components of the 2009 IPOs Index.
A report by Bloomberg's William Mellor is helping boost Warren Buffett's electric car and battery play BYD (OTC:
BYDDF - News) today. Mellor noted that China's 10% average annual GDP growth since 1978 has helped, "turn a nation of bicyclists into a land of car-craving consumers." Given the country's recent focus on environmentalism, the trend bodes well for homegrown clean transportation player BYD, in which Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A - News, BRK-B - News) owns a 10% stake.
Elsewhere in the energy storage segment, Advanced Battery Technologies (NASDAQ:
ABAT - News), Ener1 (NASDAQ: HEV - News), and Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ: MXWL - News) are all slipping by -5% or more today. Investors can expect similar volatility for some time in what remains a somewhat speculative industry.
As of this writing, the Energy Storage and Battery Stocks Index is one of
the 100 worst-performing tickerspy Indexes over the last month, up only 5.2%.
Investors can track the Energy Storage and Battery Stocks Index for performance trends and a suite of other metrics at tickerspy.com.
Fun and informative, tickerspy.com is a free investing website where you can track multiple stock portfolios and compare against
250 proprietary Indexes tracking themes from dividends to ETFs to green energy to precious metals. Best of all, tickerspy.com lets you spy on the portfolios of nearly 3,000 Wall Street institutions and hedge funds and see graphs of their performance. Try tickerspy.com today and find out how you stack up against investing legends like Warren Buffett!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Banter With Blair

Blair an avid Green Explored reader who is also a chemical engineer like me, wrote the following comment about my last blog that Americans get overcharged.

How efficient is oil as an energy source for autos? Step 1: A supertanker consumes an average of 30,000 barrels of heavy fuel oil to transport 2,000,000 barrels of crude oil from Jeddah, Saudia Arabia to the West Coast or the Gulf of Mexico in the US. 2,000,000 – 30,000 = 1,970,000 barrels. Step 2: According to the NAICS, almost 20% of the fuel energy consumed in the US in 2002 was by oil refineries. Though the actual amount of energy required to refine oil into gasoline is less than 20%, the fact remains that 20% of the energy that goes into the refinery will not be leaving the refinery. 1,970,000 x 80% = 1,576,000 barrels. Refineries process 50% of their crude oil into gasoline and the rest into diesel fuel, heating oil, and other petroleum products. 1,576,000 x 50% = 788,000 barrels of gasoline. Step 3: The overwhelming majority of refineries are located on the coasts or borders of the US. Therefore, to get gasoline to consumers, it must be trucked from refineries to wholesalers/retailers (gas stations). A diesel tanker truck requires 250 gallons of diesel to transport 9,000 gallons of gasoline the average distance (1,500 miles roundtrip) from a refinery to a gas station. So, another 3% is “lost”. 788,000 barrels x 97% = 764,360 barrels remain. That’s 38% of the original total. The cost of gasoline “at the pump” is irrelevant. The thermodynamics of hydrocarbon combustion compared to other energy sources is moot. It doesn’t matter where you stand on the issues of global climate change or auto exhaust air pollution. The fact is using oil as an energy source to power automobiles is incredibly inefficient. Raising CAFE standards will not raise that 38% efficiency figure. We have to come up with something better.

Well Blair it is back to thermo 101 for you. Step 1 you are correct the super tanker will use about 1% of the oil it carries. Step 2 there is no way on God’s green earth that oil refineries consumed 20% of all the fuel energy of the USA. In fact refineries put out more barrels of product than incoming product as there is this thing called “processing gain” that comes about because the refined product is less dense than the crude so if you remember mass balance methodology there is an increase in volume of “lighter” less dense material for a given mass. The US DOE reports processing gain at about a million barrels a day or about 5% of the total usage of oil. See http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/weekly_petroleum_status_report/current/txt/table1.txt

Of course the refinery does need electricity (often self generated), steam (often self generated) and hydrogen for the refining process so there is some loss of energy (not barrels). Here is a wiki article for the well to the gas station analysis for oil and it puts the value as a 17% loss (ie 83% of the energy is in the gasoline that was in the crude in ground). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_cycle_assessment

OK so let’s live with this wiki number even though I believe it is more like 90% of the energy that remains. You magically lost the energy in the other products like diesel fuel, jet fuel in you calculation. This energy is not lost in the refining process it is used for other purposes. So you cannot suddenly say that the gasoline has to bear this loss. That calculation my friend is like counting backward from ten on the fingers of your one hand. You go ten, nine, eight, seven, six going from your thumb to your pinkie and then you say add my five other fingers and I have eleven fingers (a trick I learned when I was four). I got the other kids in kindergarten to believe they had eleven fingers.

For the electric power alternate we have a natural gas extraction and distribution at 95% efficiency, power generation station at 50% efficiency, transmission and distribution at 97% efficiency, inverting AC to DC for battery charge at 90% efficiency and, charge discharge efficiency of lead acid batteries at 60% for a complete cycle efficiency of 24.8% . Using the wiki wells to station efficiency of 83% and the Prius’ engine efficiency of 30% as the engine is running optimally we have the very same 24.9% well to wheels efficiency of the heavy metal car. Without the 500 pounds of batteries the lighter Prius will get better energy efficiency (Newton’s laws of motion). Blair I hope this lesson in “processing gain” helps you understand the dumbness of your Bezerkley friends and alumni. Have a great new year and let’s meet up for coffee even if you drive an electrified Hummer

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

America gets overcharged

I found an interesting article today about two guys in Berkeley California starting a business that on the surface seems to make some sense. I blogged several weeks ago about A 123 and their overpriced system to convert a Prius into a plug in that will go 16 miles on battery power before the engine kicks in. The lithium ion batteries that A 123 sells cost $11,000. These two guys in Berkeley said to hell with expensive lithium ion just use cheap lead acid batteries from electric wheel chairs and golf carts. They have a system that costs $4,500 and allows the plug in Prius to go 25 miles on battery charge. Sounds good hey?

Their system is still not economic compared with running the Prius on gasoline. One will save 180 gallons of gas a year with the lead acid system or about $540 a year in gasoline savings. The lead acid battery charge discharge efficiency is 60% so it will cost about $1.20 per day to purchase the 12 kilowatt hours of electricity from the grid to yield the 7.5 kilowatt hors of power delivered to the wheels. Net savings are therefore approximately $100 a year and guess what the lead acid batteries need replacement in 3 or four year so there is no payout for their system. It is not as big a rip off as A 123 but you still will get overcharged with the lower cost system.

Well just how dumb or smart is it to convert the Prius to a plug in with lead acid batteries other than being economically stupid.? To travel 50 miles in a Prius one needs one US gallon of gasoline. To travel 50 miles in the overweight plug in Prius using battery power one needs 15 kwh delivered to the wheels or 25 kilowatt hours from the grid given the low charge discharge efficiency. The generation of electricity even in the most modern generation station is 50% efficient so one needs 50 kilowatt hours of natural gas to generate the electricty. A gallon of gasoline has approximately 34 kilowatt hours of chemical energy and even if the refining and transportation of oil entails the loss of 10% of energy, the straight up Prius is 25% more energy efficient that the lead acid plug in conversion. Simply adding 500 pounds of added mass to the Prius in the form of lead acid batteries is dumb and not smart. This just goes to show how dumb the folks in a city with a famous university are. Here is article from CNN Money on these fuel fools from the nuclear free city of Bezerkley. Perhaps the CNN Money reporters are even dumber for reporting the dumass story. Of course readers of the Green Machine are thermodynamic Einsteins, and none of us will get over charged and super excited by this Rube Goldberg contraption.

The Prius hackers

Daniel Sherwood, left, and Paul Guzyk in a Pruis that they modified to run on battery power alone.

Paul Guzyk and Daniel Sherwood are computer geeks who co-founded
3Prong Power, a Berkeley business that transforms standard Toyota Priuses into all-electric green machines.
In 1999, Guzyk moved to California and rediscovered an old passion for cars after tinkering with a Prius. He found that in many ways the Toyota hybrid was more like a computer than an automobile. Notably, it ran on recognizable computer standards similar to those found in an office network.
"I found that modifying the Prius is like getting your computer to do what you want it to do," says Guzyk.
In 2006, he met fellow Prius tinkerer Sherwood. Together they gave a 2004 model an all-electric makeover.
First, they installed a bank of Prius batteries they had salvaged from a junkyard. That didn't work well, so they tried traditional lead-acid batteries, used in electric wheelchairs, which did the trick.
Next, they developed software that programmed the Prius to run only on its newly enlarged battery pack. Unlike the one in an unmodified Prius, the car's internal-combustion engine doesn't fire up -- and burn gas. Presto: instant electric car, albeit one with a range of only about 25 miles.
In 2007, they launched their startup in a former Cadillac dealership with less than $100,000 of their own money. Since then they've added six employees and now expect to do 500 conversions, or some 40 a month, through 2010; at $4,500 per job, that works out to about $2.2 million in annual sales.
By Jonathan Blum

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Did Copenhagen yield an agreement?

While there is no binding agreement that resulted from the Copenhagen conference, there is some sort of desire by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa to attempt to keep global warming to a limit of 2 degrees C (3.6 F). The following was the report on Fox News re the outcome of the conference. My take on the conference and the outcome is that we will have carbon taxes very soon and that the cap and trade of greenhouse gases will become an industry dominated by organized crime rather than disorganized governments. It has already been reported that some eight billion Euros were made by organized crime just in the European Cap and Trade system.

I have very little faith and trust that my Congress of my government has a clue what to do other than tax the hell out of us. If only the taxes will be used for something valuable like kids education it does not bother me to tax carbon that sexy sixth element. Actually if taxes are used for the good of society I would not mind if they Congress taxed every element in the periodic table. However the system of cap and trade will be gamed and frauded by some cartel who will have Madeoff with the money and the carbon will still make its way into the air. I applaud the Pres for his efforts but the reality is that after hundreds of years of the West exerting control over China, India and South Africa none of these countries want to be charmed again into submission. Obama again used the word hope in his news conference before leaving Copenhagen. I wish he would listen to the green machine and undertand that hope is no strategy. The Pres also compared the technologies to be developed for reduction of greenhouse gases to the historical efforts we had to reduce acid rain forming gases. The Pres needs a lesson in thermo or he needs a speech writer who studied thermo. The part of the Pres' speech that resonated well with me was the part where he said we have to embark on a path of more efficient use of fossil fuels. The Pres gave himself a B+ on 60 minutes for his performance in the White House in the first year. I give him a C+ for the Copenhagen trip. Had I represented the USA in Copenhagen I may have been able to ace the exam by telling all the assembled leaders that the best path forward is to reduce the population growth rate, in fact reverse the growth in population to a decline in population as by 2020 there will be 8 billion human mouths to feed. Interesting that not a single word was discussed about the population explosion. Here is the fox news piece.

COPENHAGEN - The U.N. climate conference narrowly escaped collapse Saturday as bitterly divided delegates agreed after all-night talks to recognize a political compromise that President Barack Obama brokered with China and other emerging powers.
The Copenhagen Accord was bogged down for hours by protests from delegates who felt they were excluded from the process or said the deal didn't go far enough in cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
After a break, the conference president gaveled a decision to "take note" of the agreement instead of formally approving it. Experts said that clears the way for the accord to begin even though it was not formally approved by the conference.
"We have a deal in Copenhagen," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, adding "this is just the beginning" of a process to craft a binding pact to reduce emissions. He said the agreement "will have an immediate operational effect."
Disputes between rich and poor countries and between the world's biggest carbon polluters -- China and the U.S. -- dominated the two-week conference in Copenhagen, the largest and most important U.N. meeting ever on fighting global warming.
Obama met twice with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao -- once privately and once with other leaders -- in hopes of sweeping aside some of the disputes that had blocked progress.
The U.S. president appeared to have salvaged the faltering talks Friday when he declared a "breakthrough" with China, India, Brazil and South Africa. But the three-page document they agreed upon ran into trouble in the plenary, where delegates from Bolivia, Cuba, Sudan and Venezuela denounced it.
Decisions are made by consensus in U.N. climate negotiations.
Obama's day of hectic diplomacy produced a document promising $30 billion in emergency climate aid to poor nations in the next three years and a goal of eventually channeling $100 billion a year by 2020 to developing countries.
It includes a method for verifying each nation's reductions of heat-trapping gases -- a key demand by Washington, because China has resisted international efforts to monitor its actions.
It requires industrial countries to list their individual targets and developing countries to list what actions they will take to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts. Obama called that an "unprecedented breakthrough."
The document said carbon emissions should be reduced enough to keep the increase in average global temperatures below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but it omits the usual reference to pre-industrial levels. Without that language, the starting point for limiting temperatures would be 0.7 degrees C higher -- the amount of warming in modern times.
However, some of the most vulnerable nations believe the limit should be held to a no more than 1.5 degree C rise.
Since leaders failed to agree on a binding deal to reduce greenhouse gases, delegates also scrapped a plan to protect the world's biologically rich tropical forests early Saturday that would have paid some 40 poor, tropical countries to protect their forests.
Deforestation for logging, cattle grazing and crops has made Indonesia and Brazil the world's third- and fourth-biggest carbon emitters.
The overall outcome was a significant disappointment to those who had anticipated the deal brokered by Obama would be turned into a legally binding treaty. Instead, it envisions another year of negotiations and leaves myriad details yet to be decided.
"The deal is a triumph of spin over substance. It recognizes the need to keep warming below 2 degrees but does not commit to do so. It kicks back the big decisions on emissions cuts and fudges the issue of climate cash," said Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International.Sudan's delegate, Lumumba Di-Aping, said the agreement would condemn Africa to widespread deaths from global warming and compared it to Nazis sending "6 million people into furnaces" in the Holocaust. The African Union, however, backed the deal and his statement was denounced by other delegations.
To resolve the stalemate early Saturday, U.N. officials changed the way the text was presented to the plenary. The conference recognized the agreement and those who agreed with it were invited to sign it.
Robert Orr, the U.N. policy coordination chief, said the conference's decision to "take note" of the U.S.-led accord provides it with "equal legal validity as 'accepted."'
One reason it's been "a very wild roller coaster ride," he said, was the unusual negotiating process involving the hands-on participation of officials on multiple levels, ranging from heads of state to ministers to negotiators.
If the countries had waited to reach a full, binding agreement, "then we wouldn't make any progress," Obama said. In that case, he said, "there might be such frustration and cynicism that rather than taking one step forward, we ended up taking two steps back."
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama called the deal "a major step forward." German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a leading proponent of strong action to confront global warming, gave the Copenhagen Accord only grudging acceptance, saying she had "mixed feelings" about the outcome and called it only a first step.
Outside the conference hall Saturday, more than 100 protesters chanted, "You're destroying our future!" Some carried signs of Obama with the words "climate shame" pasted on his face.
Obama had planned to spend only about nine hours in Copenhagen but, as an agreement appeared within reach, he extended his stay Friday by more than six hours to attend a series of meetings. He and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held talks with European leaders, including Merkel, Britain's Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Obama said there was a "fundamental deadlock in perspectives" between big, industrially developed countries like the United States and poorer, though sometimes large, developing nations like China, India and Brazil. Still he said this week's efforts "will help us begin to meet our responsibilities to leave our children and grandchildren a cleaner planet."
The deal reflects some progress helping poor nations cope with climate change and getting China to disclose its actions to address the warming problem.
But Obama agreed the world would have to take more aggressive steps to combat global warming. The first step, he said, is to build trust between developed and developing countries.
In a diatribe against the U.S., Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized the conference as undemocratic.
"There is a document that has been moving around, all sorts of documents that have been moving around, there is a real lack of transparency here," he said Friday. "We reject any document that Obama will slip under the door."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

News from Copenhagen

This piece below from AP is interesting. The US will offer money to a fund that will dole out $100 billion a year in 2020. China will open its books on emissions. Yeah and the second law of thermo will be declared invalid in 2018 by the ignited nations. Poor nations need to use their natural gas. Not the stuff their cows emit but natural gas that is widely available in most parts of the planet. If we give poor folks some LED lights for their huts, some wind energy and lead acid batteries so they can light up the LEDs and we could distribute propane and butane and perhaps compressed methane so they have clean stoves we could clean up the soot that accounts for a significant fraction of the man made warming going on and is causing illness and early death. How about some hydroelectric dams on the Congo River and letting Africans get electricity instead of Mugabe? I don't want to take credit but the Green Peace gate crashers at the Queen of Denmark's dinner must have read my piece on Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The crashers unfurled a banner that said "Politicians Talk Leaders Act" before getting tossed off the red carpet. Was the red carpet out for the commies from China? Come on Queen Margrethe surely some carpet bagger named Al could have found you a Green Carpet somewhere in Copenhagen. Was he an invited guest? Last week Kim commented on the blog and then I replied in my comment that Al makes me barf and I bet he will soon get the Feds to dole out billions for his VC fund to use barf as a biofuel. Forget the H1N1 the A1G1 will mutate into a green virus that only eats paper money.

By Arthur Max, Associated Press Writer , On Thursday December 17, 2009, 5:45 pm
COPENHAGEN (AP) -- Large pieces of a climate deal fell into place Thursday with new offers from the U.S. and China, but other tough issues remained before President Barack Obama and other leaders can sign off on a political accord to contain the threat of an overheated world.
An announcement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the United States would contribute to a climate change fund amounting to $100 billion a year by 2020 was quickly followed by an offer from China to open its books on carbon emissions to international review.
The U.S. delegation did not immediately react to the offer by Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei. But it went a long way toward the U.S. demand that China report on its actions to limit the growth of Beijing's carbon emissions and allow experts to go over its data.
The sudden concessions on the eve of Friday's final session lifted hopes that the 193-nation conference could reach a framework agreement that could be refined into a legal accord next year on limiting greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change.
Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao were to join more than 110 world leaders for the last scheduled day of the conference, which for most of its two weeks was embroiled in angry exchanges, a partial boycott by African countries and another entire day wasted in procedural wrangling. It's also possible that once the world leaders depart, the talks could continue at the ministerial level and stretch late into the night and early Saturday.
A pair of Greenpeace activists crashed a Thursday night banquet hosted by Denmark's Queen Margrethe for the world leaders already in town. The couple, dressed in formal wear, unfurled two banners reading "Politicians Talk, Leaders Act" as they walked on the red carpet reception line, and were dragged from the hall by security guards.
The conference seems likely to fall short of the goal set by many developing countries for a deal that would be legally binding on all parties and guarantee the kind of dramatic emissions reductions by the industrial world that threatened nations feel are necessary.
Clinton's announcement on funding was widely welcomed. Yoshiko Kijima, a senior Japanese negotiator, said it sent a strong signal by Obama "that he will persuade his own people that we need to show something to developing countries. ... I really respect that."
Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said Clinton added "political momentum," and India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh called it "a good step forward."
Independent agencies also praised the move. "I think we're closer now than we have been in two years," said Tom Brookes, an analyst for the European Climate Foundation.
"It shows that when the U.S. moves, China moves," said Kim Carstensen, the climate director for the World Wildlife Fund.
The White House was lowering expectations ahead of Obama's trip.
"Coming back with an empty agreement would be far worse than coming back empty-handed," presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Neither the U.S. nor China raised its commitment on emissions. Clinton repeated the U.S. would cut emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, and China said its voluntary emissions target was nonnegotiable. It announced last month it would cut its "carbon intensity," or the amount of emissions in relation to production, by 40 to 45 percent.
An internal calculation by the United Nations, obtained by The Associated Press, said pledges made so far by both industrial and developing countries would mean a 3-degree Celsius (4.8-degree Fahrenheit) temperature rise this century, which scientists say could lead to a catastrophic sea level rise threatening islands and coastal cities, kill off many species of animals and plants, and alter the agricultural economies of many countries.
But the U.S.-China moves could prompt the European Union to raise its emissions commitment to a 30 percent reduction by 2020 from 1990 levels, and similarly inspire Japan and Australia to lock into the upper end of their previously announced targets -- 25 percent each.
Clinton said the U.S. agreement to the annual transfer of $100 billion to developing countries was contingent on reaching a broader agreement that covers the "transparency" of China's measures to limit heat-trapping gases.
"We think this agreement has interlocking pieces, all of which must go together," Clinton said, accusing China of backsliding on deals reached in closed meetings earlier this year. "It would be hard to imagine, speaking for the United States, that there could be the level of financial commitment that I have just announced in the absence of transparency from the second-biggest emitter -- and now I guess the first-biggest emitter."
He, the Chinese official who spoke in the same press room a few hours later, said Beijing had no legal obligation to verify its emissions actions, but was not afraid of supervision or responsibility.
"We will enhance and improve our national communication" to the U.N. on its emissions, He said. China also was willing to provide explanations and clarification on its reports.
"The purpose is to improve transparency," He said, adding that Beijing was ready to take part in "dialogue and cooperation that is not intrusive and doesn't infringe on China's sovereignty."
Negotiating committees worked through the day and were expected to continue late into the night on an agreement.
Yet to be decided was how the huge sums of money flowing from rich to poor countries would be handled, and whether a new multinational body should be created to distribute the funds. Dessima Williams of Grenada, who chairs an alliance of small island states, said Obama telephoned her prime minister Wednesday to discuss the governance of the bulging climate fund.
The White House officials said the biggest sticking point in the talks was the form of the final accord, and whether it will be legally binding on everyone.
Developing countries insist Kyoto be renewed and extended while a new pact is drawn up to include the U.S. and others. The U.S. does not want its emissions targets to be binding in an international treaty.
Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein, John Heilprin, Charles J. Hanley, Michael Casey and Karl Ritter contributed to this report.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Copenhagen and Carbon Emissions

Today the blog is about the meeting going on right now in Copenhagen Denmark. Unless you have been in a coma for the past week you must have heard that world political, business, academics, lobbyists, and other want to be thought leaders are in Copenhagen trying to iron out a protocol for a greener future for the planet. Many in attendance are just plain hypocrites and fall into the Alfalfa Gore category of fame seekers. Actually they are like moths and are more likely flame seekers. If only they would get close to the fire and disappear in a puff of carbon dioxide we may well be better off.

China the world’s largest carbon emitter is there to protect its own interests as a “developing nation”. All sorts of real developing nations are represented by their honest and capable presidents who really care about the air their people breath. Of course Zimbabwe has to be on the world stage with their man Mugabe sprouting his “convenient untruths”. The entire event arranged by the Ignited Nations is such a sham but it is good for the news organizations so it is well covered. President Obama will go to Copenhagen next week for the closing of the conference and will promise to try to convince our senate to ratify the minus seventeen percent goal for reduced US green house gas emissions. China will commit to lowering the carbon intensity of their gross domestic product by half in 2020. Yeah China owns the USA and most of the rest of the world so if they simply add the rest of the global GDP into the calculation they have already achieved their goal.

Now that I have depressed you all and caused you all to question the sincerity of those attending the conference there is a silver lining to all the hoopla. The average citizen in the industrialized world knows we have to prevent the proliferation of “weapons of mass combustion”. We are all embarked on a new course of improved energy efficiency. Fewer massive homes that are distant from work and places of entertainment will be built. Certainly Hummers and Escalades will disappear from the planet as will thermodynamic fakes such as Al and Arnold. The greening of our thoughts and actions is not just a fad like a hula hoop but is a permanent long term sea changing event comparable to the cessation of smoking tobacco by the majority. Cheap oil and cheap water are gone and we the people will be more efficient in consuming these ever more costly resources.

For certain the politicians will return to their respective parliaments to pass laws to lower emissions by taxing carbon. The cable news networks will provide ample air time for the politicians to grandstand. All sorts of charlatans will start offering vehicles that run on fresh air, travel hundreds of miles on a single gallon of gasoline, or have zero pollution. The Green Machine offers the following advice “there is no fuel like an old fuel and fossil fuels are very old.” We will continue to rely primarily on fossil fuels well past 2020 and we should just use them more sparingly.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I love grannies they are so green

Thank Grannies It Is Saturday

I hope there is nobody out there who does not love their granny or grannies in general. I have selected this group of people as the G word of the week because they have the lowest carbon footprint of any age group. Due to their extremely slow driving they achieve far better gas mileage than teenagers. Also I have not seen a Granny driving a Hummer or an Escalade. Tiger may drive an Escalade, Arnie a Hummer but you won't see a granny in one of either of these pieces of junk. Grannies in Tiburon, California tend to drive a baby Mercedes or a compact Lexus as they are fairly wealthy grannies. Grannies do not accelerate rapidly nor do they brake suddenly close to the traffic light or the stop sign. In fact it almost takes an expert to identify if a granny is accelerating or braking and that is why cars are equipped with brake lights. Some grannies actually use two feet while driving an automatic vehicle. This is why their brake lights are on even when they pull off from a stop or are driving up a grade. These two footed drivers are ruining the average fuel economy for their age group and should be told that braking while accelerating and accelerating while braking is contrary to Newton’s second law of motion but congruent with his third law of equal and opposite actions and reactions.

Midas Brake Repair should offer an early bird special to Grannies who use both feet as they must need brake pads as often as they need an oil change. Enough of my picking on an age group that is not much more than a decade older than me. The news for Chrysler this past June. Fiat bought old Chrysler and is revamping the entire product line. Out with the big and in with the small. I have a suggestion for the Chrysler Fiat combination company that hopefully emerges as a large global auto company, why not target Grannies as your primary market segment? You do not need powerful engines to satisfy grannies. Fiat is famous for underpowered vehicles. Fiat is also well known for their style. Grannies are into style and color and I can only wait for the first purple Fiat 500 to drive down Tiburon Boulevard. Grannies can also loan these underpowered vehicles to their teenage grandchildren without fear that the young and the restless will break the land speed record.

Jokes aside Fiat will provide Chrysler with small car technology that will offer improved fuel efficiency and that is what the Green Machine is all about. Many years ago when I was a child my Dad owned an auto junk yard in Johannesburg and he had a massive watch dog named Chrysler that roamed the yard. Both my Dad and Chrysler must be looking down from heaven in disbelief that future smaller stature guard dogs in junk yards may get to be named Fiat. The last time Fiat tried to gain a market toehold in the USA their cars were not of good quality and the name FIAT stood for Fix It Again Tony. This time I do believe we will see high quality cars from Fiat Chrysler and FIAT could stand for First In Advanced Technology.