From The Huffington Post….by way of Charlie Peters…

October 27, 2008

An Abdication in Detroit

Carl Pope, Huffington Post, July 6, 2006

San Francisco — Last week, the Ford Motor Company joined the parade of stunningly hypocritical auto manufacturers by announcing that it was abandoning its goal of selling 250,000 hybrid vehicles per year by the end of the decade. Instead, Ford joined other automakers in promising to make 2 million flexible fuel vehicles. “In a joint letter sent Wednesday to members of Congress, General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG announced a new promise to double annual production of vehicles that run on alternative fuels, to 2 million per year.” Congress promptly responded to the announcement by refusing, once again, to increase fuel economy standards.

But the auto industry knows that making two million “flexible-fuelled vehicles” won’t dent our dependence on oil. First, the “alternative fuel” they are touting is a mix of gasoline and ethanol called E85, because it is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Regular cars can, and often do, burn ethanol-gasoline mixes that are up to 10 percent ethanol already — so the real difference with E85 sounds like it might be an impressive 75 percent.

But the reality is far different. First, it takes a fair amount of fossil fuels to make ethanol — diesel fuel for tractors to grow the corn and transport it, natural gas to make fertilizer for it, and gas or (worse) coal to distill it. But this doesn’t matter so much, because 99 percent of these flexible fuel vehicles never see a drop of E85 but run on gas instead. That’s according to a March 2002 study by the Bush Administration.

Since there are fewer than 700 gas stations selling E85, out of 176,000 stations in the U.S., these flexible fuel vehicles will mainly burn the same gasoline that the rest of the fleet does. For example, within 25 miles of my home there are NO gas stations selling E85 to the public! So, the actual savings from this big new auto industry commitment will certainly be trivial at best. Unfortunately, it gets worse.

The auto industry gets bogus fuel economy “credits” for selling flexible fuel vehicles, as if these vehicles were actually all burning ethanol-based fuel. As a result, U.S. gas consumption is actually going to go UP as a result of the auto industry’s latest maneuver. The Bush Administration’s study estimated that the combination of the fuel economy loophole and failure of 99 percent of the flexible fuel vehicles to use E85 would result in an increase in U.S. oil dependence of 17 billion gallons by 2008. On the other hand, we could easily reduce consumption by 50 percent by using more-efficient vehicle technology, the solution that Congress — and the auto industry — just rejected. ed. note: Did you notice the recent spike in food prices? These are connected folks.

Again, William Clay Ford and the rest of the auto know these numbers. This is not something someone just dug out. They don’t care.

If we really want to kick our oil addiction, we’re going to have to do it from the grass-roots up. That’s why the Sierra Club has just launched “Smart Energy Summer” — a campaign to connect Americans with the real solutions to our energy and global warming problems — ones that our leaders know about, but just won’t embrace.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-pope/an-abdication-in-detroit_b_24523.html


A Brief Word…..

August 10, 2008

…..yeah, the revolution will not be televised. Indeed, there looks to be no revolution. With Barky calling for a non-vote Democratic Convention, he won’t get that predicts I, and McSame being…well, more of the same I suppose you could vote for Nader or Barr but neither are viable let’s face it. Sister Beezlebub still has a shot moreso every time Barky sticks his foot in his mouth and hops around going Uh…Uh…Muh! Currently the Bark-O-Meter has him at 1.5 hops per week. But enough of the cheap shots.

The real problem sits on ‘The HIll’ like a horrific knot of toads in human form. 535 elected representatives of the people.

Or not.

Yep, in situation, after issue, compounded by crisis we see that the legislative branch of our government is stuffed to the gills with folks who are one of three things:

Corrupt…the biggest faction. Politicians are trained early that it’s all about the Benjamins as our ‘system’ rewards those who get elected and under the current system you need lots of B’s to get elected…

Stupid…plenty of those after all if you’re buying a Congressperson you don’t need one that’s smart. Just one that loves to follow orders.

Nuts….Yeah, barking mad. These are the ones found in a hotel room with hookers and coke or an underage boy. Significant fraction….

So what to do. First up is very simple.

Get real.

Understand that the level of corruption is now at unprecedented levels. Levels no mere change in ‘party’ will fix. The job is a wholescale clean up similar to Hercules and the Augean Stables. Ever read that one? You should it’s not really about what it seems. Yeah, get real. No one candidate is going to ‘save’ us folks. Most adults realize reality don’t work that way but….

People want to believe.

Well…

Believe this.

If you and I don’t get off our asses and take back our government the future will be very bleak. The tipping point on many problems affecting our very survival as a society is near. I assert that the tools to fix those problems which threaten us most are also hand. Requiring only affordable amounts of money and some intelligent leadership. But with a government composed of the corrupt, the stupid and the barking mad we are not going to be able to use those tools.

What to do?

Look around join up with like minded folks. Stop talking and start doing. You will be noticing some changes around here as I ‘renovate’ my new primary residence. And no I don’t care what the Congressional mortgage lending ‘bail out’ bill says, it’s amazingly stupid go look it up, about how to treat ‘primary’ vs. ‘secondary’ residences.

One signpost to a new way is the widget in the upper right sidebar called: ‘Accountability Money Bomb’.

This takes you to a spot where you can contribute to a fascinating group headed by Jane Hamscher and a bunch of right wing folks. Yep, wingers and progressives…together. Seems there is common cause to be made by all Americans in the face of the Congress’s gutting the 4th Amendment. Here is the link to the statement of purpose from StrangeBedFellows the ad hoc group just beginning to get some traction. I will be blogging about this more as the idea of ‘Accountability for the Asylum (Congress)’ resonates with me.

Hope you will hang around as I am planning some extensive remodeling here and I hope you will find it interesting.


I don’t now about you…But I am sick and tired of being lied to…

August 9, 2008

….being treated as if I was some fool who’s opinion is of no import whatsoever. But whose money is good. Yeah…

How about you are you tired of the lies and  the b.s. and the corruption? In the words of  James Carville, ‘Had enough yet?’

I think you probably are. Many whom I have talked to have expressed these exact sentiments, and worse, about their
Democratic reps and the ‘Do-Nothings’ of the ‘Democrat’ Party. Oh! Did you think I was talking about Republicans?

Well, no…

After all the Dems have had a majority in both houses of Congress since 2006. Sure! You remember the worst liar, the most pathetic excuse for a human being, the woman who could if she so wished have stopped the occupation of Iraq in it’s tracks.

But who didn’t.

Remember her stream of lies about, ‘…..making the Bush administration accountable…’? Not to mention, and I’m  not, the ‘…Impeachment is off the table…’ cave in.  No, just evaluate Madame Speaker’s’ promises about what she would do against what she has done. Just looking at that against the background of the situation the nation finds itself in and I am prepared to assert that not only is the vile, heartless Pelosi the First Woman Speaker she may very well be the Worst Speaker we’ve ever elected.. That’s big job but Miss Nancy has been up to it sez I.

But for every action there is and equal and opposite reaction, physics yes but consider that everything is subject to the laws of that discipline, and we’ve got that reaction now.

Cindy Sheehan has qualified for the ballot. You’ve got a hardworking woman whom you know will not sell you out if elected and who is just the antidote our sick political culture needs. I intend to do whatever I can to help her send the vile Pelosi packing.

I’ll be keeping you posted on the Sheehan campaign’s progress and passing on every call for action from them. She is what progressives should be supporting a candidate who wants to shine the clear disinfecting light of progressive values into the fetid darkness our government currently works in.

This just in:

Cindy Sheehan Is On The Ballot!! Now Let’s Go For The General
Election Gold

Today we got confirmation that Cindy Sheehan has QUALIFIED for the
ballot as an independent candidate to challenge Nancy Pelosi for the
seat from the 8th Congressional district of CA. This required the
verification of the signatures of more than 10,000 of her
constituents, only the 6th time in history this has ever been
accomplished in the state of CA.

And it could not have been done without the heroic support of people,
not just in that one district, but from all over the country who
recognize that a successful challenge to Pelosi will do more to
compel real policy change than almost anything else we can do.
Pelosi, who has turned a deaf ear to the entire American people on
ending the war funding, impeachment and everything else, MUST be
defeated to start to finally hold the White House, and the rest of
Congress, accountable.

This is now a very winnable race, but only if we rally behind Cindy
Sheehan, who had the courage to call the recent non-impeachment
hearing the toothless sham that it was, and was thrown out of that
hearing for saying so. Let’s make her a member of Congress so they
can never throw her out again. Please make a donation now to help
Cindy Sheehan win the big one.

Cindy Sheehan Donations: http://www.usalone.com/donations_cindy.php

The faster we can give Cindy Sheehan a big head of steam, the faster
we can get the attention of each and every other member of Congress
who thinks they can just coast through their next election without
actually standing up for us. Let them know that there is a Cindy
Sheehan waiting in the wings in their district to take them down too
next time unless they do their job now.

The simple, cold fact is that unless and until Congress sees a
downside to their despicable cowardice there will be NO policy
change. We’ll repeat that. No policy change whatsoever. Their whole
self-justification is they point to the elections they are winning.
Unless and until we defeat one of their own, one of the biggest of
them all, we can send emails and make phone calls until we’re blue in
the face, and they will must keep lying to us and stalling. Yeah,
sure they’re just about to impeach. Sure.

Now some people (defeatists) will say, “Oh, you’ll never defeat the
Speaker of the House”. Well guess what, until we do they will never
take the voice of the people seriously. We HAVE to win. And we have
to do everything we could have done to make that a reality. So we are
calling on all of our participants to throw everything they have
behind candidates who will fight for the issues, the real issues.

And there is no better investment in time, energy or money we can
make now than to give Cindy Sheehan the biggest platform possible to
advocate for us.

Paid for by Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed
to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

If you aren’t prepared to help this woman hold Congress accountable then take you do-nothing ass over to OpenLeft, FDL or dKos and play with the children.


‘Rope the Sun’

June 28, 2008

Yep, while Senator Obama as lining up like a good lil’ trooper to sign off on Cheney’s Energy Bill….

‘Cheney’s Energy Bill….’

Man that just sounds wrong does it not? ‘Cheney ‘s’ ‘Energy’ ‘Bill’. Huh….Yeah, according to the Big Men of the ‘Sphere Kos, Marshall and Bowers if’n Barry does it or is for in, for no matter how short a time, why then it must be ‘progressive’. Have I got that right ‘BoneHead’ Bowers?

Oh…goody…

Where was I? Oh, yeah a sustainable society, something we don’t have. Something nobody really gives a f$%k about even though they’re always talking about it. Someone better get serious soon. The Japanese are dead serious about it. See, they don’t have a lot of desert which is a central resource America is ‘rich’ in and which Scientific American’s The Grand Solar Plan takes advantage of to produce all of our electricity needs, including converting every car to plug in, by 2050. Cost, $420 Billion. Sound outrageous? Read the article at the end below.

Nope, no desert but plenty of Sci-Fi and lots of Outer Space. The Japanese take advantage of both in:

‘Rope the Sun, Suzuki-san!’

Kakuda, Japan—In a recent spin-off of the classic Japanese animated series Mobile Suit Gundam, the depletion of fossil fuels has forced humanity to turn to space-based solar power generation as
global conflicts rage over energy shortages. The sci-fi saga is set in the year 2307, but even now real Japanese scientists are working on the hardware needed to realize orbital generators as a form of clean,
renewable energy, with plans to complete a prototype in about 20 years.The concept of solar panels beaming down energy from space has long been pondered—and long been dismissed as too costly and impractical. But in
Read the rest of this entry »


Cost of Gas as Per Cent of Income Nationwide

June 12, 2008

                                       clik for bigger image

This is of course heavily depdendent on how far you drive. Wonder what
it will look like at $8.00/gal?


Maybe I’m Wrong…..No not about Barry…about ‘Oil Never Coming Down’…..

May 31, 2008

These guys are playing a role in the global market. They are not happy that their government is not going to subsidize their fuel costs anymore You see in many Asian countries that’s exactly what’s been going on. To forestall ‘unrest’ the governments have been spending massive amounts to keep fuel prices in their countries down. But….now running out of the ability to do this, out of money they are, the price off fuel is rising so…the demand is falling.

These guys are pissed but this might mean, might, that our costs will fall somewhat due to the lack of demand.

Read more about this and  a lot more on the ‘oil crisis’ at Robert Oak’s blog where guest blogger New Deal Democrat starts his post off with a bang:

‘I was in the midst of writing a diary about how there aren’t "2 Americas", a la John Edwards, but 3, when it became clear that so much information has become available this week concerning the forces affecting Americans’ demand for oil, that it demanded its own diary. Even if the world has reached the plateau of "Peak Oil" and supplies will gradually be rationed at higher and higher prices, there are going to be booms and busts along the way. I’m here to tell you that the evidence suggests that there has been a speculative boom in the last 6-9 months and we may shortly see a bust, echoing the sudden decline of oil from $80 to $55 a barrel just before the 2006 elections. The boom and the bust, if it happens, have everything to do with (1) Subsidies to gas consumption by Asian governments, (2) hoarding (in tanker ships), and (3) unintended consequences of the Fed’s bailing out billionaires, that have added about $1 to every single gallon of gas you buy.

Whoa, I don’t believe I read that part about you an me subsidizing the Bear Stearns bailout to the tune of $1 per gallon in the SF Chronicle. But then I wouldn’t would I. It’s all about how Barry is gonna be Pres. Great, follow that Kabuki there but if you want a head’s up on what’s coming:

Energywise…

Taxwise…state anyway…

Technologywise….

Econmically speaking….

This is the place to come.


A “biofuel” which is NOT ethanol

May 29, 2008


Algae: a carbon-neutral energy platform fueled by sunlight. Photo by Steve Jurvetson.

In light of the skyrocketing cost of petroleum-based fuels, 100 years ago was now is an ideal time to look into the sorts of technologies which deserve more attention from you, me, the broader investment community, environmentalists, and our “government.” (That last one makes me want to both laugh and cry.)

One exciting new areas of research we should look into involves a technology called “renewable gasoline” and which is manufactured from algae — not corn. No food crops required. The folks leading in this technology are a San Diego-based company called Sapphire Energy, and their announcement of May 28, 2008 is noteworthy:

Pioneering effort alters ‘food vs. fuel’ debate, supports American energy independence with revolutionary platform that harnesses microorganisms, sunlight, CO2

Leading investors commit over $50 million to scale effort; production innovator Brian Goodall hired, team leader behind first biofuel 747 flight

Sonoma, California – May 28, 2008 – Sapphire Energy announced today they have produced renewable 91 octane gasoline that conforms to ASTM certification, made from a breakthrough process that produces crude oil directly from sunlight, CO2 and photosynthetic microorganisms, beginning with algae.

“Sapphire’s goal is to be the world’s leading producer of renewable petrochemical products,” said CEO and co-founder Jason Pyle, speaking from the influential Simmons Alternative Energy Conference. “Our goal is to produce a renewable fuel without the downsides of current biofuel approaches.

“Sapphire Energy was founded on the belief that the only way to cure our dependence on foreign oil and end our flirtation with ethanol and biodiesel is through radical new thinking and a commitment to new technologies.”

The end result — high-value hydrocarbons chemically identical to those in gasoline — will be entirely compatible with the current energy infrastructure from cars to refineries and pipelines.

Not biodiesel, not ethanol. And no crops or farm land required.

The Sapphire platform offers vast advantages – scientific, economic and social – over traditional biofuel approaches.

Company scientists have built a platform that uses sunlight, CO2, photosynthetic microorganisms and non-arable land to produce carbon-neutral alternatives to petrochemical-based processes and products. First up: renewable gasoline. Critically important, in light of recent studies that prove the inefficiencies and costs of crop-based biofuels, there is no ‘food vs. fuel’ tradeoff. The process is not dependent on food crops or valuable farmland, and is highly water efficient. “It’s hard not to get excited about algae’s potential,” said Paul Dickerson, chief operating officer of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy “Its basic requirements are few: CO2, sun, and water. Algae can flourish in non-arable land or in dirty water, and when it does flourish, its potential oil yield per acre is unmatched by any other terrestrial feedstock.”

Scalability key to success

Sapphire’s scalable production facilities can grow easily and economically because production is modular, transportable, and fueled by sunlight – not constrained by land, crops, or other natural resources.

“Any company or fuel that hopes to solve the biofuel conundrum must be economically scalable – and that requires conforming to the existing refining distribution and fleet infrastructure,” said Brian Goodall, Sapphire’s new vice president of downstream technology. Goodall led the team responsible for the highly visible, first-ever Virgin Atlantic “green” 747 flight earlier this year. In addition to a three-decade career in the petrochemical industry, he is a corporate inductee at the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

[Press Release continues…]

In fact, Sapphire states that research is an introduction to an entirely new sub-category of fuel research that they refer to as Green Crude Production. See their take on

Even more encouraging is that this sort of research appears to be going in several directions at once. C|Net recently reported the following:

Sapphire said that it developed an algae process to avoid the controversy over using land for fuel crops instead of food crops.

But at this point, algae fuels are largely experimental and no company is making fuel on a commercial scale.

GreenFuel Technologies, which had to scale back a pilot site, said that it has landed a large European customer to make fuel from algae but has not shared any more information.

Sapphire is not the only company creating technology to make hydrocarbons from plants. Others include LS9, Amyris Biotechnologies, Codexis, and J. Craig Venter-founded Synthetic Genomics.

The advantage of this approach is that the fuels can be integrated into existing transmission infrastructure and can run in cars or planes without modification.

Let’s all keep our eyes on these companies and their technologies.