Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reading Roundup: June 4

Reading Roundup is a regular feature of WebEchoes. It exists to limit the number of "read this" posts with minimal commentary on my part.

The Oil Drum | Why new ideas take time to have impact
An examination of why new ideas for energy systems, or really any other system, take so long to become a real product that we can purchase or use, given through the story of a hypothetical algae research project. And this was for a simple case where the idea proved viable in under 18 months, and easy to replicate and implement.

The Oil Drum | Biomimicry and Ocean Generated Energy: Are Humans Smarter Than Sea Sponges?
Turning to nature to find techniques for building, development and materials.

WorldChanging: Cap-and-Trade or Carbon Tax? Both!
An analysis of how British Columbia tax and the regional emissions cap and trade system many western US states and BC are a part might interoperate. But, more interesting to me, the idea of using both together to set a minimum price for emissions.

The new normal | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist
The article is so-so interesting, but the 14th comment got my attention. How many kids don't know that their food comes from animals? (and on top of that, how many adults don't want to know---I've friends who want their food products to look as little like an animal as possible (deboned and skinned preferably.)
So Dave, on Monday I'm dining with two of your 2nd cousins, once removed, who are 4 and 5. Up until 4 months ago, they had only eaten foods like chicken nuggets and hot dogs so the older one was bragging how he was eating healthy now. Then we got into a conversation about where the food in the grocery store comes from. This kid is really horrified to know that animals make up his favorite foods.
Number of the Day: 20 : TreeHugger
The cost and waste of overstocked produce bins, filled by shipping products half way around the world.

Counterpoint: Dangers of Focusing Solely on Climate Change
Alex' point is well taken, yes climate change is a huge problem, but isn't the only one, and it can't be addressed without considering inter-related issues (energy, water, transportation, and more). Equitibility of world economics is certainly in the mix as well.

The Oil Drum | Weekend Energy Listening: The H2 Economy vs the Electron Economy
Hydrogen isn't competitive, even how, with using batteries for powering vehicles, largely because the system is very expensive, very inefficient and uses a lot of energy to generate the hydrogen in the first place.

Is George Soros right about an oil price bubble that will burst? - AutoblogGreen
I believe Mr. Soros that speculation is a contributing factor to the rising costs of crude oil. But how exactly does he see that there will be a collapse in demand in the US and UK? Even in a recession, people will continue to drive, as has been repeatedly calculated: As prices have risen (more than doubled), miles driven has gone down very little (under 1%).