Saturday, October 29, 2011

Population of people and vehicles

By the end of this month (October 2011) the world’s population of humans will reach 7 billion souls. I have often opined that the population explosion is the single largest factor we can control to make life on the planet more enjoyable and greener for all of humanity. The population of vehicles has grown as well. After world war two there were perhaps some 50 million privately owned vehicles and now there are over 800 million such private vehicles. This is a 16 fold increase. The human population has increased approximately 3 fold since world war two. Private vehicle ownership in Asia and South America is booming. Perhaps as many as 20 million vehicles are being added to streets of Asia each year.

Pundits predicted that the Tata Nano, a small car produced in India, was going to become the largest seller in that country. Alas many cars are being sold and Indian consumers have pretty much rejected the Nano for larger, more powerful, and better quality cars. The Maruti Alto and the Maruti Wagon are the top sellers, followed by the Tata Indica, the Maruti Swift, the Hyundai i10 and then the Hyundai Santro. The Santro weighs 1,879 pounds, the i10 weighs 2,094 pounds, the Swift weighs 2,156 pounds, the Indica weighs 2,783 pounds, the Wagon weighs 1,819 pounds, and the Alto 1,587 pounds. The average mass of these top six sellers in India is 2,053 pounds. By contrast the less than successful Tata Nano has a mass of 1,350 pounds. You can see that Indian motorists want safer, larger, more powerful, and more status driven cars than the simple Nano.

To be fair to Indian motorists they are still far more eco-friendly than Americans who purchased private vehicles with an average mass of 4,144 pounds in 2007 and this was pretty much the same for 2009. In 1980 the US motorists bought vehicles with an average curb weight of 2,970 pounds. If the mass of the vehicle is halved the vehicle will typically use 70% of the fuel as other factors such as aerodynamic drag also affect fuel efficiency. The average Indian motorist purchased vehicle that was half as heavy as their American counterpart’s vehicle. Assuming the average motorist in the US uses approximately 1.8 gallons of gasoline per day then the average Indian motorist driving the same distance will use 1.25 gallons per day. I think the Average Indian motorist is doing their share to drive more efficient vehicles and the notion that they should all drive Nanos was crazy. The US needs to slim down on the mass of the vehicles we purchase and we can certainly return to average we had in 1980 without any sacrifice in comfort or safety.

Globally, approximately 84 million barrels a day of crude oil are refined and approximately 60 million barrels a day winds up as transportation fuel (diesel and gasoline). Let’s assume the average barrel of transportation fuel has a lower heating value of 5.25 million BTUs. This equals 1.323 million kilo calories. The 60 million barrels a day equals 79.38 trillion kilo calories a day of energy. If each human is fortunate enough to receive a 2,000 kilo calorie recommended diet, the 7 billion inhabitants of the planet would use 14 trillion kilo calories of food energy. Hence our vehicle fleet has an energy “diet” equal to 5.7 times that of a population of 7 billion well fed human beings. This is approximately 40 billion extra mouths to feed each day on our overtaxed planet. Of course a portion of the refined oil is used for food cultivation, harvesting, transportation, processing, packaging, and refrigeration. But our 800 million internal combustion engines are hungry mouths to feed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

LEED Gold Destiny for Syracuse Mall

After years of funding problems, legal issues, and construction delays, the Carosel Center shopping mall expansion in Syracuse, NY, dubbed "Destiny USA", made some GREEN news this month. The developer announced the huge 850,000 sq ft. new space will in fact seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification including the over 100 new retail tenant spaces.

If other American cities absolutely have to build or expand shopping malls, which is certain to occur under our current economic growth paradigm, then Syracuse's green mall could be an example for others to follow (certainly not the multiple stoppages of construction due to bank loan refusals, layoffs, legal battles, bad press, doubts about how good going green is, etc. but the actual energy and water savings/ recycled materials stuff, yes). Wonder if going green will get any easier?

~Mark Bremer, Green Explored Contributor

Destiny USA in Syracuse Aims to be America's Largest LEED® Gold Certified Commercial Retail Project; More than 100 Tenant Retail Spaces to Also be Certified


At 2.4 million square feet Destiny USA will be the country's 6th largest shopping destination

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Destiny USA is pleased to announce the successful implementation of the Master Site feature from the 2010 LEED Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus, which could permanently alter the way developers approach the construction of large-scale shopping and entertainment venues. The Master Site feature in the 2010 AGMBC allows for the inclusion of the mall master plan that will seek to certify its entire 850,000 square foot expansion project with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ("LEED") designation, as well as more than 100 individual tenant spaces within the expansion.

Destiny USA has successfully achieved pre-approval for a number of site-wide LEED credits and prerequisites that are common to all the mall tenants. This effort is the first time a Master Site has been applied to a large mall property, and is a perfect match for the 25-year commitment of Destiny USA founder Bob Congel to cleaning up the Syracuse lakefront area.

Destiny USA's application for LEED certification, with the goal of LEED Gold, includes a variety of cutting edge sustainable features. The project's rainwater harvesting system, in combination with low flow toilet fixtures will conserve more than 4 million gallons of water annually and re-use the gray water in non-potable uses such as toilet flushing. The building's focus on energy efficiency includes daylight harvesting, LED lighting, and a cool roof to reflect heat from the sun. The building's roof already hosts an urban wind demonstration project. Over 90% of all building materials have been recycled, and 7,000 tons of used material has been kept from local landfills. All of the recycled marble, for example, went to Habitat for Humanity. 23,000 tons of 95% recycled steel was used for the project's structure. The vehicles operating during the construction of the expansion have been powered by bio-diesel fuel; with Destiny itself purchasing over 270,000 gallons of bio-diesel that has been consumed.

"I began my career as a contractor working on clean water projects, and I always had a passion to merge economic development with environmental protection," said Mr. Congel, adding that he has been very enthused by the efforts of the U.S. Green Building Council(USGBC), and has closely followed their progress the past few years. "We knew from our first interaction that Destiny was going to be a ground-breaking green project. The history of this site set the perfect foundation for us to seize the opportunity to apply that commitment to sustainability, conservation, and efficiency."

USGBC has been involved with Destiny since 2002. Rick Fedrizzi, the founding chair of USGBC, is a Syracuse native and has worked with the Destiny team to encourage them to maximize their green efforts. Fedrizzi has championed LEED, turning it into an internationally-recognized green building certification system. LEED buildings lower operating costs through efficiency, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

"This project is important to me and to USGBC," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "Not only is it in my backyard but it will also be a showcase in the community for what can be done with green building and LEED. The visitors who walk through the Destiny USA doors every day will learn about the importance of green building and be able to see today's latest green building strategies in action."

The Destiny USA team also thinks that this commitment to the environment and sustainability is a vital marketing tool when working to attract global retail and entertainment brands. "I've had the chance to get to know and work with leading CEO's of these brands and a major part of their interest in Syracuse, particularly our counterparts from Europe, is the work we have done through the years to revitalize an old oil wasteland into a premier retail destination," said Mr. Congel.

One of the national brands that has already committed to the process to be a LEED certified tenant is modern Mexican food restaurant Cantina Laredo.

"We at Cantina Laredo have been moving closer and closer to LEED over the years by utilizing LED lighting, high efficiency hot water heaters, high efficiency HVAC and energy star kitchen equipment," said Rocky Vanover, VP of Design and Construction. "It is now time to move to the next step, which we are excited that it will be through partnering with Destiny USA."

Mr. Congel grew up just a few blocks from the project, and he vividly recalls the history of the area. Over the past two decades, he and his team have invested over $1 billion in the Syracuse, NY lakefront area. This money and future investment also includes the clean-up of 150 acres of land once dubbed "Oil City" because of the proliferation of petroleum storage tanks that dotted the Onondaga lakefront.

"Our development work goes against the traditional model, from working in an urban setting to the site we chose, with its environmental challenges, when other easier options have always been available," added Mr. Congel

When work is completed on the current phase in spring 2012, the 2.4 million square foot complex will include upwards of 264 different businesses, including new luxury outlets, national restaurants, company stores, off price retail and regional entertainment venues.

Destiny USA is a new 2.4 million square foot destination that includes Carousel Center, a dominant super regional shopping center already attracting 20 million annual visits. The new construction will mix all types of retail including; luxury outlet tenants, restaurants and entertainment. A stunning three-story glass atrium will provide perfect weather year round. This exciting destination is designed to attract tourists, Canadians, destination shoppers and extend the draw of regional visitors well beyond a typical trade area. Oxford Economics has projected an annual visitation of over 29 million. Further development plans incorporate more than 120 acres of adjoining property, including hotels.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Update On The Fat Cat

I have more data on the Fisker. The car’s curb weight is now known and the behemoth weighs in at 5,300 pounds. Car and Driver reported this today. They tried to skinny down the cost and mass of the lithium ion battery pack and reduced it to 20 kilowatt hours. Hence the anemic range in the battery only mode. Of course the 5,300 pound pile of junk now vindicates Sir Isaac and his laws of motion.

The 20 kilowatt hours of batteries could have equipped 40 Buick E-Assists. This quantity of lithium could have saved 476.4 gallons a month of fuel if placed in the Buicks. But not only was the lithium misplaced, your tax dollars are even more misplaced. The Fisker is manufactured in Finland and not the USA. Their next low cost model will be manufactured in Delaware but that launch is now delayed till 2013. I doubt the company will be around in 2013 as I doubt Secretary Chu will be around DC for much longer.

There are reports that the sponsors of Fisker, Kleiner Perkins, who are Al Gore’s employer, were massively big donors to the Democrats. It is reported that “John show him the Door” together with his wife have donated over $800,000 to Democrats since the year 2000. I doubt that Fat Albert is the only culprit here but given that he is a highly visible fat cat I suggest he just shut up. He should not support Occupy Wall Street and rather support the end of the occupation of Washington DC by the Visigores that are sacking our capital and sapping our strength. His “partners” like John Doerr make much money from Wall Street when they get the “startups” to have IPOs. Perhaps the socialist inspired nincompoops in the park in New York City, may want to fly west and spend a little time occupying Sand Hill Road. Sand Hill is perhaps the most crooked road in the world and makes Lombard Street in nearby San Francisco look like Interstate 80 in Iowa

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Today I saw that the US EPA has given Fisker its rating for mileage. The rating is lower than what Fisker had claimed. The $96,000 Fisker Karma has an all-electric range of 32 miles and a fuel economy of 20 mpg when it gasoline engine kicks in to extend the paltry electric range of 32 miles. ” A Karma driven 40 miles daily, the company said, would use just 9 gallons of gasoline a month if the car began each day with a fully charged battery. “Overall, we are very pleased with the results of the EPA’s tests,” Fisker said. OK let’s give the company Backed by Al Gore the benefit of the doubt that one would only use 9 gallons of gasoline a month to travel 1,200 miles a month. The plug will need 24 kilowatt hours each day of AC power to charge the 22 kilowatt hour battery pack. This equals 720 kilowatt hours a month of purchased electricity from the grid. Each kilowatt hour of power in the USA has an average associated carbon dioxide emissions of 1.25 pounds so the heavy plug in will have associated emissions of carbon dioxide of 900 pounds per month for the electric power. The 9 gallons of gasoline will emit 171 pounds of carbon dioxide, therefore the total carbon dioxide emissions for driving this car 1,200 miles is 1,071 pounds. The gasoline engine in the Fisker is supplied by GM and is similar to the engine in a Buick Regal.

Buick also announced a new car the E-Assist Buick Regal that uses a very small lithium ion battery (0.5 kilowatt hour) and a larger than standard alternator/motor for electric assist (11 kilowatt) This micro hybrid Buick cost $2,000 more than the standard Buick and will cost about $29,000. The E-Assist gets 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway for an average 31.5 mpg. To drive 1,200 miles, this car would need 38.09 gallons of gasoline a month and will emit 723.8 pounds of CO2 per month which is substantially less than the Fisker. Not only would a motorist get a greener car that cost $67,000 less, the motorist would drive a Buick that in China is known as the Emperor’s Car. Had our friend Al Gore not been dumb and had he really deserved a Nobel Prize he would have helped Buick not Fisker. One can equip 44 Buick E-Assists Regals with the batteries used in 1 Fisker. Having 44 cars get improved mileage rather than one behemoth heavy piece of junk that gets poor mileage serves the country far better. The standard Buick Regal without E-Assist averages 24 mpg for combined city and highway driving. This means the standard Regal would need 50 gallons of gasoline per month to travel 1,200 miles. Each E-Assist saves 11.91 gallons of gasoline a month. 44 E-Assists will save 524 gallons a month. Thus if the 22 kilowatt hours of lithium ion batteries were spread into 44 cars rather than one piece of junk promoted by Al Gore the world will be far better off.

Of course Al Gore does not give a hoot about the average Joe who might buy a Buick. He is much more concerned with his Lear Jet crowd who want to drive a Fisker and pay $96,000 for a car with a GM engine that weighs in at 4,100 pounds. Of course Fisker received $529 million from the department of energy to build the “peoples’ car”. We have Occupy Wall Street going on and the people are demanding that fat cats share the wealth. The people should look at the fattest cat of all, Mr. Al Gore, and demand that he share the lithium. We need this for our collective mental health as well as our material wealth. Unfortunately many of the nincompoops who joined the occupation of a park in New York City believe the convenient untruths that Mr. Gore lectures us all on how to green the economy.

Al Gore also claims to support Occupy Wall Street. In a blog post, Gore wrote that he has been following news of the protests for several weeks "with both interest and admiration."
"From the economy to the climate crisis our leaders have pursued solutions that are not solving our problems, instead they propose policies that accomplish little," Gore wrote. "With democracy in crisis a true grassroots movement pointing out the flaws in our system is the first step in the right direction. Count me among those supporting and cheering on the Occupy Wall Street movement."

The Nobel Prize committee should have the power to take back a wrongly given prize and the people should take back our government and replace it with someone who can see that the Fisker is folly and is the poster child of ostentatious waste. Also since Al agrees that Obama’s policies accomplish little why not return the $529 million given to Fisker by the department of entropy?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Golden Gate is Great

It is mid October and my favorite time of the year. The San Francisco Bay Area always has great warm weather this time of the year and for about two weeks this chilly city feels like the south of France. I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday and the temperature on the bridge was over 80 degrees compared with the normal 55 degrees. Many motorists were out and about in convertibles and throngs of tourists were walking or bicycling on the bridge taking in the marvelous view of Alcatraz, the bay and the city skyline.

The toll on the bridge is now $6 if you pay with cash and $5 if you use a FasTrak transponder. The toll is only paid in the south bound direction and northbound travel is free. I of course have a FasTrak transponder as I am a cheap skate and also I want to speed through the toll booth. This time though I stayed to the very right to pay my toll and was in a cash or FasTrak lane. I did this as I wanted to exit along the Pacific coastal road just after the toll booth. At the toll booth, I was behind a motor cycle and the guy on the cycle had to fork out $6 of cash for his toll even though he was on a motor cycle and not in a large SUV. A kind of stupid pricing policy by the bridge authority as there is no way that a motor cycle causes the same wear and tear to the bridge roadway surface as an Escalade.

I know that during rush hour periods that the bridge does give a discount to carpools with a transponder and this saves the carpoolers another $2 making the cost of the crossing at $3. If a motor cyclist has a transponder they too receive the carpool discount. It makes sense for motor cyclist to receive the carpool rate during peak traffic hours as the intent of the discount is to decrease traffic congestion. When the bridge first opened in 1937 the toll was 50 cents in each direction. Interestingly back then, an extra 5 cent charge was levied if the vehicle carried more than 3 passengers. I guess some bright spark who worked for Standard Oil came up with the idea to penalize folks for being green back then.

In 1968 the north bound ride became free and the cost of the toll to south bound motorists was still 50 cents. Just shows that back then after the 30 year bonds to build the bridge were paid off, the motorists were given a break. Now that thousands of toll collectors are collecting retirement, that the bridge has been seismically updated, and that people are always taken for the ride we pay 12 times as much to cross the bridge compared with 1968. Given the beauty of the bridge and given the view from the bridge I actually find the $5 toll using FasTrak to be a bargain. Next year will be the 75 anniversary of the opening of the bridge and I hope to be one of the million people who participate in the event. While I love the color green there is no doubt that the Golden Gate Bridge is a red beauty and would look dumb painted green.

Several readers asked me if the photo is real. Yes it is it comes from the official web site of the Golden Gate Bridge and was taken by Frank Fennema Photography,
September 12, 2009, at 4:58am.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The pressure of modern life

We often refer to ourselves as living in a pressure cooker. Modern lifestyles are fast paced and change is rapid. I do feel like I am living in an atmosphere that is above one bar and that bar is set high. Michael Jackson thought that immersing himself in a higher pressure oxygen chamber would bring him a long and healthy life. He forgot that propathol would not. Propathol sounds like a new biofuel that is a blend of Propane and Alcohol but it was an anesthetic that put Michael into Jackson Hole. Why am I blogging about pressure? Well to increase the pressure of the system requires energy to compress the contents of the system. Highly compressed natural gas can be used as a substitute for gasoline and is in my opinion one of the two best substitutes for gasoline, the other being diesel.

Some very smart folks out of British Columbia, Canada have devised an engine that operates on 95% compressed natural gas and 5% diesel and it is now being used in long haul trucks that carry heavy loads. This Canadian company is called Westport. Cummins the famous diesel engine company has teamed with Westport and is offering an 8.9 liter engine that is quite brilliant. The truck outfit with this engine may cost $60,000 to $80,000 more than a traditional diesel engine truck, but for long haul heavy load truckers the saving of switching to natural gas from pure diesel can be as high as $50,000 a year and the added cost will be paid back in just over a year. The fuel storage is either in the form of high pressure gas or preferably in liquefied natural gas. If liquefied natural gas (LNG) is used, the waste heat from the engine is used to vaporize the LNG and pressurization is achieved without turbocharging as the evaporation on the liquid causes an increase in pressure. As natural gas has 4 atoms of hydrogen for each carbon atom and diesel only has 2 hydrogen atoms for each carbon atom, this engine will have about 25% less CO2 per mile the truck travels.

This North American made engine, shows how good engineering can really make a difference and can be deployed with profits for the vendor, installer, and user of the system. Compare the 1 year payout to the 20 year payout on the Chevron Coalinga smoke and mirror system. Another small company, Langson Energy in Carson City, Nevada is testing an energy recovery system to capture the energy from high pressure pipeline natural gas when the gas pressure is let down and reduced at use points. Normally the potential energy of this high pressure gas is “wasted” by simply expanding the gas over a valve or regulator. The pressure can be reduced through an expander that then uses the rotary motion of the expander to drive a generator and some electricity can be derived from the potential energy stored in the compressed natural gas. The expected payout for these expander generators is between 4 and 5 years and the electricity is essentially generated in a “carbon free” manner. This shows that letting down the pressure of a system can be a good thing, likewise relieving the pressure of everyday life is also a great idea. Each of us should have an “expander” in our minds and that is precisely why I blog to let off steam.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs – The apple of my i

I just saw the news. Steve Jobs has just passed. He was an amazing person with the ability to turn vision into reality. I did work for Apple back in 1990 when they asked me to manage the project to install a burn in line in their Fremont, California factory. This project was for the Mac Portable that was a flop and the line was dismantled shortly after we started it up. I never met Steve but I certainly wished that I had the chance to meet him. He anticipated what people wanted long before they wanted it. He had projects that failed but he batted well above 500. He took risks and he got up when he stumbled and fell. He was willing to wander off the well worn and well known path and lead us to a new trail toward a brighter future. In a way he was the Lewis and Clark of electronics. He bet against IBM, Microsoft and Intel. He believed in his products and was willing to have a small but profitable niche. He never drove Moore’s law and he was not half as academic as Andy Grove. But he knew that in the end it was not about clock speed or line width of the circuitry but how a human interfaced with the device. He brought humanity to computing, cell phones, music players, and web surfing. He put the “i” in humanity for all of us.

The Ultimate in Greenwashing

Yesterday I was alerted to a news story that Chevron announced a wonderful green project at their oil field in Coalinga California. Coalinga is famous for the Coalinga earthquake of magnitude 6.5 on May 2, 1983. I moved to San Francisco in 1982 and the Coalinga shaker was my first good one. I was working in the Embarcadero Center on the 12 floor and felt the earth move under my feet on that May day. Chevron has some old oilfields in Coalinga that have reserves of heavy oil. They use steam to allow the oil to “thin” and be pumped to the surface. Transporting and refining this heavy oil is an energy intensive process and probably has 25% more associated carbon emissions than the extraction, transporting and refining of light sweet crude. Of course Chevron makes money out of the extraction and refining of this crude and they want to show the world that they are green. So they dreamed up a real Rube Goldberg scheme for boiling the water to produce steam for their “enhanced oil recovery” in Coalinga.

The scheme entails using solar reflecting mirrors and a tower boiler system they purchased from a company they partially own. That company is Brightsource the company our Department of Entropy recently gave $1.6 billion of loan guarantees to for their solar thermal project in the Mojave Desert. Brightsource provided Chevron the solar mirrors and a solar heated tower boiler to produce 29 megawatts of heat in the form of steam for the enhanced oil recovery project. Sounds like a great project and something Chevron can proudly publicize for being part of their “Power of Human Energy” tagline. But let’s examine the project to determine if the steam cleaning is just greenwashing?

The solar system will have an uptime of 2,500 hours per year so the system will provide 247,370 million BTUs of steam energy per year. Chevron could have used natural gas in a standard boiler for this energy and gas at the wellhead has a value of about $4 per million BTUs. Chevron therefore saves $989,000 of natural gas cost each year. The system total installed cost is estimated at $20 million although Chevron paid only half as Brightsource took a $10.3 million loss on the system. This is stated in their S1 filing for their upcoming IPO. If the smoke and mirrors boondoggle cost $20 million to install, it will take 20.2 years to payout the capital cost of the project. The project will save the planet 15,000 tons a year of CO2 emissions had the steam been produced with natural gas. Chevron and Brightsource are industrial companies that should return profits and should expect to recover capital expended on projects in 4 years or less. So the opportunity cost of the project is at least $4 million a year after accounting for the fuel saving. This means the marginal cost of avoided CO2 emission is approximately $265 per ton. But wait Chevron emits 58 million metric tons per year of CO2in its global operation. If they apply this value to each of those tons of CO2 emissions they would bear a cost of $16.9 billion dollars each year. I suggest that we tax Chevron at this rate for their carbon emissions and they will stop the window dressing of this dumb project really fast. Chevron paid $12.9 billion in income taxes in 2010. Adding another $16.9 billion to their tax bill may be a good idea.

As for the other shareholders of Brightsource such as Google, Morgan Stanley and BP the Coalinga demonstration projects cost them $10.3 million to subsidize Chevron. This is small potatoes compared to the $1.6 billion the bright sparks in Washington loaned them for the bigger smoke and mirrors power generation project in the Mojave. My old C 280 needs to have its engine steam cleaned and I expect to have a solar powered steam boiler at my nearby Chevron station soon. I will gladly pay the service station operator an extra five dollars for this greenwashing service.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

C250 versus CODA

The third quarter has ended. Sounds like a football game, but I am talking about the year being 75% over. It was a terrible quarter for stocks and certainly not a great quarter for me. We do have to move on and work towards “greener” pastures. I could easily blog about the failures in the last six month but this blog actually has a silver lining in the otherwise red 92 days.

The new 2012 Models of cars will soon be on showroom floors and the required combined fuel economy standards of cars and light trucks for 2012 has risen to 29.7 MPG versus 25.5 in 2011. Cars have to achieve an average of 33.3 MPG and light trucks 25.4 MPG. Even if the methods the EPA uses to measure MPG are all messed up one has to be impressed that our team in Washington has imposed an increase of over 16% in fuel efficiency in a single year. No doubt that 2012 will see more and more sales of smaller and lighter vehicles and the ever increasing diminishment of the market share of large SUVs. The memory of Arnie and his dumb Hummer are beginning to fade from the collective American mind. Wait not so fast, remember the Raser 100 MPG Hummer that Arnie and Senator Hatch so proudly test drove, it is coming back as the VIA. Bob Lutz the 79 year old ex Vice Chairman of GM has joined Via as a “senior adviser”. I have to laugh, is “senior” because of his age or because of the importance of his advice? VIA is the off shoot of Raser and has the very same Kraig Higginson running the company. Via is Latin for road. Trivia is when three roads come together at one spot. Trivial mean unimportant or slight and the second coming of Raser which will soon be a third coming is unimportant or slight in our quest for real higher MPG.
In the coming fourth quarter we should see the launch of the CODA and the KARMA to join the Tesla, the Leaf and the Volt for the minuscule segment of plug in vehicles. The Karma is Al Gore’s brainchild and the Coda is Hank Paulson’s, so we have bipartisanship in the quest for perpetual motion with zero emissions. With the Green Tea Party making inroads we will discuss Tripartisanship. Tripartisan is to Bipartisan what Trivial is to Bivial. If you think we have heard nonsense out of the Capitol in the past wait till the Green Tea Party gets equal time on the airwaves. But let’s remain positive in this blog so let’s focus on what has been good in the past quarter. The inroad that smart phones have made in “computing” has resulted in significant greening of consumers’ in getting information. These small low energy devices are replacing folks’ usage of PCs, and TVs that require significantly more space and power. People are realizing that small screens held closer to their eyes are preferable to larger screens that cannot be easily ported. Likewise there will be a sea change when people realize that safe smaller vehicles should be used in personal transportation. It is kind of amazing to go to an electronics srore or web site where one can buy a 40 inch LCD TV or 23.7 inch Laptop for less than an Ipad. I just upgraded mt Sprint cell phone service to unlimited text and data and have a new HTC smartphone that is 4G capable. 3G now stands for Going Going Gone and 4G stands for Green Geriatrics Get Going. The question I when will I trade my 1999 C280 for a Coda. I have to say never as I have my eye on a new C250 1.8 turbo four with seven speed that costs the same as a Coda and is far more appealing to me.