Recently in Global Warming Category

Driving Mr. Rush

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Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don't mix.

Ouch! That had to leave a mark. If nothing else, Rush's nose has got to be bleeding, because that was one hell of a right cross.

Oh, remind me to never, ever cross Todd Lassa.

GI Now Means Green Issued

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(NYT) With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys that lumber across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels.

Last week, a Marine company from California arrived in the rugged outback of Helmand Province bearing novel equipment: portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; solar chargers for computers and communications equipment.

The 150 Marines of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, will be the first to take renewable technology into a battle zone, where the new equipment will replace diesel and kerosene-based fuels that would ordinarily generate power to run their encampment.

Even as Congress has struggled unsuccessfully to pass an energy bill and many states have put renewable energy on hold because of the recession, the military this year has pushed rapidly forward. After a decade of waging wars in remote corners of the globe where fuel is not readily available, senior commanders have come to see overdependence[sic] on fossil fuel as a big liability, and renewable technologies -- which have become more reliable and less expensive over the past few years -- as providing a potential answer. These new types of renewable energy now account for only a small percentage of the power used by the armed forces, but military leaders plan to rapidly expand their use over the next decade.

Once the Military embraces alternative energy, so to will the rest of the nation. Many of our modern conveniences come to us by way of military research and development. Or by way of NASA, which is only a thin step away from the military.

The overly large concept of global warming may not entice people to go green, but when you can show simple, understandable, and concrete benefits of alternative energy, it will start to become more acceptable for the general population to move away from fossil fuels.

Hat Tip: Bark Bark Woof Woof

The Outlawing Of Black Cars

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I first heard about this at the Petrol Pumper, a truck stop and Embers Restaurant located at the junction of Highways 52 and 55. Some fella sitting at the counter was talking to two truckers. I really wasn't paying any attention until he claimed that California was outlawing black paint. My first thought was somebody was listening to Right Wing radio for more than the recommended daily allowance. But, instead of outright dismissing his statement, I decided to engage The Google.

What do you know. He's right. Sort of. It seems that by initiating solar reflection standards, California might be outlawing black paint on vehicles.

(SciGuy) California's new "Cool Cars Measure" (see .pdf of proposal) may ultimately lead to the removal of black cars from the state's highways. Cars with darker paint absorb more heat, and therefore their occupants are more likely to crank up the air conditioning. So, to cut carbon dioxide emissions, the state:

• Proposes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by reducing interior temperatures of parked vehicles

• Reduced interior temperatures can reduce a/c capacity and likelihood of a/c use

• Smaller a/c or less operation results in less fuel used

• Less fuel used results in less vehicle carbon dioxide emissions

The aim is to reduce the state's carbon dioxide emissions to meet California's goal of cutting emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020. And black paint does not reflect enough heat to meet the new standards.

It's not that black paint is directly outlawed, though.

(AutoBlog) According to Ward's, suppliers have reportedly been testing their pigments and processes to see if it's possible to meet CARB's proposed mandate of 20% solar reflectivity by 2016 with a phase-in period starting in 2012, and things aren't looking good. Apparently, when the proper pigments and chemicals are added to black paint, the resulting color is currently being referred to as "mud-puddle brown."
No doubt the science wizards of the world will unite and come up with new paint pigments that will both look black, and properly reflect the sun.

Of course, the real challenge is to create an auto paint that can reflect the sun in the summer and absorb it during the winter. Now that would be a boon for Minnesota drivers.

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