OT: A product from my University

Sten-Erik Björling s-e.bjorling at enviro.se
Fri May 30 00:04:53 EDT 2008

HI all,

Some thoughts...

- One cannot expect to replace the current levels of fuels for  
transportation with biofuels - cannot be done. The only viable  
alternative is to change behavior. And to start changing the societies  
to be less dependent on fossil fuel transportation - more rail, public  
transportation, urban planning centered on zoning supporting more  
local communities using IT-based communication for knowledge workers  
lessening the need for traveling long distances to work etc.

- Much of the current price hikes on oil is tracked back to hedge fund  
speculation and speculators in commodities.

- The alternatives that will come up during the next couple of years  
will be fragile - fuel cells technology will have to mature enough to  
support engines with greater usable times than 200 - 400 hours before  
replacement, battery technology will have to catch up to support large  
scale production of high capacity and safe batteries for electric cars  
and the issue on ethanol is covered already.

- If I would buy a car today then it would be a diesel - and a diesel  
that is certified for running biodiesel. Unfortunately the latest cars  
with particle filters are not certified for using biodiesel - only  
some brands supporting EU 3 classification can run 100% biodiesel. One  
source for biodiesel that does not compete with food production and  
gives a large number of positive side effects is jathropha - a bush  
that can grow on soils that are not suitable for most other  
vegetation, demands relatively less water and which fruits not only  
supply vegetable oil of high quality but also eatable "waste products"  
after extraction of the oil. The remnant products from the fruits can  
be used for feeding cattle or other livestock, the bush give cover for  
the soil (preventing erosion), can be used to hinder expansion of  
deserts and other parts of the bush and the fruits can be used for  
other products as well. One can invest in jathropha - www.biofuel.no.

- One large contribution one can give to lower the CO2 - contribution  
is to avoid eating meat - especially beef from cows and bulls. This  
due to the fact that this livestock generates a lot of methane - a  
climate change gas that is about 20 times stronger than CO2. 100 g of  
beef generates in total about 25 kgs of climate change gasses - and of  
more than half is related to the growing up of the cow and the methane  
it generates during its lifetime. Then is the issue of what the cow  
eats - if it is not grass while "strolling around" then that  
production of feed for the cow generates about a quarter of the  
production of climate change gasses for the cow. CO2 from  
transportation in both consumer layer and the production /  
distribution layer has a relatively small impact. So look more at  
eating chicken if you are to eat meat...

- A pig generates about 10 times more feces than a human. Eating port  
thus generates a lot of problems for the environment - not only  
methane generation but also threats to ground water aquifers and water  
supply etc.

- Isolation of houses can contribute a lot - one can isolate against  
heat in the same way as one can isolate against cold. Chilled air can  
be maintained more in well isolated houses than not-so isolated ones.  
And one great cost in the future will be air conditioning. And one  
might look into new ways of cooling ones house - it will be warmer in  
the future. In about 100 years time it is estimated that the  
Mediterranean area of Europe will have the same climatic zone as  
northern Africa has today. This will present extreme problems for the  
populations in that region and one will have to really re-think how  
one will modify buildings, urban planning etc  since one cannot be  
dependent on additional cheap energy. I think you will have the same  
problem in the US and other areas of the world.

One has to be multi-dimensional in the future solutions to get  

Take care,



30 maj 2008 kl. 00.55 skrev Chris Peck:

> We're averaging over $4 per gallon now in the States now, so we're  
> catching
> up quickly.  Went up roughly $1.50 in less than a year.  Someone is  
> getting
> mighty rich off of all of us poor working folks ... wonder how long  
> it's
> gonna be before someone gets a little crazy over it and some Exxon  
> or BP
> executives suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of those free  
> Dutch
> guns???

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