Category Archives: Environment

Stuff about the environment and our relationship with it

The Promise And Pitfalls Of Third World Electrification

Ethiopia Map

Every day I rely on a massive industrial system for my lifestyle, my convenience, and in many ways for my survival. By flicking on a switch or turning on my computer I set into motion a giant fossil fuel burning behemoth, comprised of thousands of miles of wire, and a whole series of components that would boggle the mind if it were not so common place. I use electricity from the national grid.

This puts me in a club with most everyone in the developed world. We simply could not get by without out centrally provided electricity. Have 24 hour a day electricity allows us to have hospitals and all of the life saving equipment inside, it allows me this computer, it allows me safety, security, warmth, light, and a bevy of less important but enjoyable things.

These and many other reasons are why Ethiopia wants to provide that same security to its people.

Ethiopia, whose population is expected to swell from 75 million to more than 100 million by 2015, plans to light up the entire country in the next eight years, the head of the Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) said on Wednesday.

Across Africa costly blackouts, strained power supplies and patchy electrification frequently plunge the world’s poorest continent into darkness, stifling much-needed development.


At first blush it seems like a great idea, with electrification comes all the wonderful things I get to enjoy every day. There is however a darker side to all this, if Ethiopia begins burning large amounts of fossil fuels to create its power this will lead to more green house gasses, as more and more of the nations of the world that currently do not have wide spread electrification do the same the problems of global warming will grow worse and worse. India, China, and many other places have the potential to pump out horrific amounts of C02.

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Solar Powered Keyboard

solar powered keyboard

A company called Genius (nice name) has come out with a wireless solar powered keyboard. Seems it also has a backup usb charging cable in case you like to do a lot of dark room web surfing.

– stylish 2.4GHz solar desktop combo for green protection
– keyboard with adjustable solar device
– high resolution laser mouse, resolution: 1600/800dpi
– mouse with power saving technology
– radio frequency: 2.4GHz, anti-interference
– up to 10 meters operational distance
– port: USB

keyboard – 17 programmable hotkeys for:
– 6x media center control
– 4x Internet features (browser, messenger & mail)
– 3x MS Office (Word, Excel & Powerpoint)
– 4x Windows (copy, paste, print, save)

That’s right solar power and 17 (count em) 17! programmable hotkeys!

Cape Cod Climate Change Panel- Rob O’Leary And Cape Wind

cape cod climate change panel

I have talked before about Keith Bergman and his continuation of Al Gores mission to alert and inform the world about global warming. I was at Keith’s first such presentation several months ago. This was Mr. Bergman’s 6th presentation, and this time it was followed by a panel discussion.

He had added a couple of very interesting slides, showing among other things what a 20 foot rise in sea level would do to Cape Cod. The presentation had been slimmed down to a much more lean and mean show aimed at the local audience. Overall it had improved significantly. While the slide show was interesting, the highlight of the evening was the panel discussion.

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New Plug And Play Machine Allows For Easy Biodiesel Creation

biodiesel plant

Biodiesel may be the home grown fuel to finally quench America’s 20 million barrel a day thirst for oil. Made from vegetable oil and animal fat, biodiesel is an alternative fuel on the rise with production reaching 200 million gallons in 2006.

SunBio Systems manufactures biodiesel machines that produce up to 15 million gallons of fuel a year and will be showcasing one of its machines at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, February 4-7 at the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center in San, Antonio, Texas. SunBio will display the first “Plug and Play” modular biodiesel system in the US. At 15ft high by 28ft long and 14ft deep it will be on display in a tent across from the convention center at Sunset Station.

“Plug and Play” means it connects onsite something like Legos® in 3 to 5 days and boasts a highly advanced computer controlled automation system, making set up easy and worry free. The company will exhibit at booth numbers 17 and 18 inside the convention center.

“Increased biodiesel fuel production is a win-win for everybody. It reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil, expands agricultural opportunities for farmers and reduces harmful emissions in the environment,” said Steve Austin, president, SunBio Systems. “Biodiesel is a clean air fuel that gives back 3.2 units of energy for every unit of energy it takes — making it more efficient than ethanol. SunBio Systems will continue to bring innovation to our biodiesel machines to help America bolster its alternative fuel options and gain greater autonomy over its energy supply,” added Austin.

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