Watch Eco-Tech Tomorrow Night

 

If you get the Science Channel, it’s running the series Eco-Tech tomorrow, Saturday, August, 23, 2008 at 06:00 PM ET. You won’t be disappointed but amazed at this series called  Future Fuels.”
 
Meet the chemists, engineers, and designers who are finding incredible new ways to power planes, trains, and automobiles. They are using everything from cooking grease, plant stalks and algae, to hydrogen, viruses and sunshine.”

Get the latest in science and technology at Discovery News. http://dsc.discovery.com/news/news.html

Share

New Campaigns Look to Secure Federal Funds for Training for Green Jobs

Ever since I watched the series “Eco Tech” on the Science Channel I’ve been optimistic about going green in America relative to a new economy, one that most of America desperately needs. Along with thousands of other Americans who are embracing a new future, and huge corporations like GE that is having trouble keeping up with wind turbine demands, I see very little drawbacks to forging ahead in the world of green. I’ve listed all the positives before and it appears that others are trying to put all those positives into action.

An Oakland, California based human rights activist named Van Jones is seeing the future in green also. He believes it will be power for the people by the people, that there is a need in the green industry for blue collar workers redubbed “green collar.” Jones says, ‘Polar bears, Priuses, and Ph.D.s aren’t going to do it alone’ according to an article about him in Time magazines Dec. 3rd, 07 issue called “Bring Eco-Power to the People.” Green jobs need to find a way to expand to the rest of the economy.

Jones is a Yale educated lawyer who founded the Ella Baker Ctr. for Human Rights in Oakland. He sees the need to: ‘Give the work that most needs to be done to the people who most need the work.’ This man is figuring that many unemployable workers could easily be retrained for green jobs like installing solar panels, organic gardening, and green construction.

The article says that a study by the “Cleantech Network, which tracks green investment, found that for every $100 million in green venture capital, 250,000 new jobs could be created.”  Jones along with Majora Carter recently started a campaign called GREEN FOR ALL to secure one billion in government funding to train a quarter-million workers in green fields. Carter says in the article: “We’re looking for an environmental Marshall Plan for the 21st century.” Jones sees this as a way to reunite a very separated left and right. He wholeheartedly believes in bringing together the business, tech, and racial-justice communities. From that there will be no more blue and red division in America. We’ll all be working toward the green.

This is not the only article I’ve read about future green collar jobs. My husband’s skilled trades paper had an article about union trades people volunteering their own time to help learn as they constructed an environmental house with Lawrence Tech students for the Solar Decathlon 2007. The interest in green is there, but as the article stated, global warming must relinquish its narrow focus as just an existential threat and embrace the new look of an “enormous economic opportunity.”

Read my blog on Eco Tech if you haven’t done so. If you ever get a chance to catch the weeklong series again please do. There are green companies and inventions in place and ready to go. An example: Centia which plans on mass producing jet fuel from the thick grease, some 4 billion lbs. of it, discarded annually by restaurants. It is indistinguishable from the real stuff at only $2.23 per gallon, and creates far less pollution while eradicating the greasy, gobby stuff. And like Jones’s idea, another company RWA employs the homeless and unemployable to collect the grease for Centia. I’m waiting for Centia or RWA stock. Another company that is set to purify water from sewage came up with the same figure of 250,000 for new jobs in a green economy just to start.

Going green does not mean doom and gloom for the world’s economy, just ask Germany, the world’s leader in going green and quickly.  It’s a time of great opportunity because it is a time of great need. Every country must utilize their most ingenious, most intelligent citizenry for new invention, but there will still be the need for everyday people to finance, layout, truck, construct, assemble, and create those new ways to power the world.  It is truly “power for the people by the people.”

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/?p=120

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1686811,00.html

To hear interviews with green movement leaders goto: time.com/going green also.

Share

Green Investment Stocks Website

I’ve been interested in investing in “green” business and/or stocks but didn’t know who or where to look for these particular type of stocks and ran into this great website, InvestorIdeas.com, that lists almost 400 “green” stocks in 16 categories. There are a handful of mutuals featured too.

Every company listed is an active link and has a little description and history about the company. I especially liked the categories. Already people have preferences. I know I lean toward hydrogen fuel cell technology and yup it’s a category. There is the basic solar, wind, geothermal, and hydrogen technologies along with biogas, ethanol, and clean power plants to the companies that supply parts like turbines and flywheels.

So there are a lot of choices out there already. I guess I lean toward hydrogen fuel cells because Daimler-Chrysler was the company that supplied Iceland with their first commercial hydrogen buses back in 2003, and recently GM said that was an avenue they will pursue. Just yesterday I saw the commercial for Honda’s new fuel cell car that emits only “clean water vapor.” Hydrogen is on its way. If you ever get a chance to catch the Eco Tech series on the Science Channel watch for the engineer that invented hydrogen pellets that supply power on demand. He commented that we may be putting pellets in our tanks before long.

While I don’t know about that one, automakers are leaning toward hydrogen. Hopefully we will utilize hydrogen power and clean our water in the process. Now I would like a piece of that!

Check out this informative investment website: http://www.renewableenergystocks.com/Companies/RenewableEnergy/Stock_List.asp.
 

Share

Google Investing in the “Green”

Google announced it would spend millions of dollars annually in search of alternative energy sources like geothermal, solar, and wind power. And no they aren’t doing it for the money, or the power. Google is worth $208 billion and has no debt. Boy I wish I would have caught that wave. Anyway the guys at Google have at least $13 billion in loose change to play with and why not? They earnestly want to slow climate change with alternative sources as cheap as coal within 10 years.

Google also plans to cut or offset its greenhouse gas emission by 2008. Joining Google is Yahoo and News Corp. If this chain reaction keeps occurring, it will really add up. There are many corporations and businesses with a conscience that are really trying to contribute like Google. I’ve run across more and more articles about businesses looking to both cut emissions and find ways to incorporate alternative energy into their daily usage. I already blogged about business pushing the environmental movement. Many are doing so because of the high cost of fuel. It worked for me. A few changes and I lowered my gas and electric bill combined to $114, $115, and finally to $103 this summer. I didn’t suffer for it either.

Meanwhile Silicon Valley is filled with start up companies working on green energy. After watching a week of Eco Tech with batteries made from viruses, and hydrogen on demand pellets, I’m keeping my eye on what comes out of Silicon Valley. Not long ago investing in anything technical was very profitable. Like I said, I wish I caught the Google wave early. Now is a very good time to keep an eye on the stock market for signs of “green.” I can’t find too terribly many things wrong with going green along with the opportunity to watch some really great inventors come forward. It’s exciting to work toward such a noble goal, to slow global climate change. Whenever there is purpose, there is passion and that usually results in amazing innovation. 

Share

Techie Venture Capital Flowing Into Alternative Energy Technologies

I just read an interesting article in U.S. News and World Report called “Power Revolution.” It says that due to Silicon Valley’s money, ideas, and push for alternative sources of energy they may make the green movement happen faster and with better alternatives. Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems and venture capitalist, is one that is interested in promoting alternative energy now. He believes the government will move when entrepreneurs get interested and start moving. One estimate shows venture capital funds for green investments tripled last year to $2.4 billion working toward a clean future.

In the solar arena, there is Pacific Gas and Electric that announced it will install 5 times the amount of solar power available in the U.S. Their motto is cheaper, bigger, and faster. One of its partners, Solel, an Israeli firm will use mirrors much like the Kramer Junction solar plant, but PG&E is looking to reduce the silicon used for conductivity down to an ultra thin film. It will lower costs. The plan is to concentrate the energy reflected by the mirror film to one point. By increasing the energy and lowering the cost, the flat lands of the desert should provide enough solar resource to provide six times what California uses today.

One of the most promising renewable energy sources is one that isn’t often mentioned–deep geothermal heat. And how do you like this?  Bush’s Crawford ranch is heated this way. He’s killing us with his thrust for more oil exploration, and more money in his civilian pocket, but uses geothermal energy himself. Anyway, MIT is working on improving this technology. Cold water is pumped down miles into the earth causing fissures in hot molten rock; the cold water is heated when it enters the fissures. The heated fluid flows back up to the production wells at the surface. The steam from this hot fluid is separated and used to turn a turbine generator. The article said that MIT stated it “could provide 10% of the U.S. base energy needs if the nation would spend $1 billion on its development over the next 15 years—less than the cost of one coal plant.” Hear that DTE?

As far as keeping ethanol in the equation, everyone pretty much agrees corn isn’t going to cut it. But, Range Fuels, founded by Khosla, received Dept. of Energy grants to make cellulosic ethanol fruition soon. A new commercial plant is set to go up outside a Georgia forestland in order to use all the timber waste wood. Range plans on using heat and pressure to change the wood into gas. Range’s senior exec used to be a VP for Apple Computer. Techies aren’t just providing capital; they’re on the job too.

Finally, not to be left out of the successful techie trek to the renewable energy market is Google. Google is sticking its money into plug-in hybrid cars. Google figures this is the quickest fix to lower our CO2 problem.  It has a lofty goal of getting 100 mpg out of some cars. They want to see the big automakers mass produce plug-ins. From a program that I saw on Eco Tech on the Science Channel, there is the possibility that a plug in car can have a spare charge. When it’s plugged into an outlet again, the excess power goes back to the grid and shows up as a credit on the homeowners electric bill! That’s just too ingenius!

For the whole article: http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/economy/2007/10/26/power-revolution.html.
 

Share

Capital Markets Join Up With Retailers to Advance Into a Green Future

I was watching “Nova” last night on PBS. The theme was solar energy. It was stated that the green movement is progressing through big business. Whole Foods has teamed up with Sun Edison. Sun Edison pays for the installation of solar panels on the flat rooftops of Whole Foods stores. Whole Foods in turn has a contract to buy their energy solely from Sun. This link of capital markets with retailers will be a big thrust for the solar movement. There is also a big movement by small governments to advance into a green future out of frustration with our federal government for not moving forward environmentally.

When you figure all the government owned rooftops available, there are a lot of flat rooftops on which to put solar panels like public school buildings, and municipal buildings, along with retailers that want to join in. There are also some states that offer incentives to homeowners to put up solar panels like paying for a percentage of the cost. All homeowners can deduct solar panels on the income tax. Right now solar panels are still pretty expensive, and they do not conduct enough energy. But like the program “Eco Tech” on the Science Channel showed, there are some pretty extraordinary inventions already happening, like the battery made from viruses. There is also someone who is working on creating solar paint for a houses.

The program also highlighted Kramer Junction in Boron, California. It’s the name of nine solar power-generating plants in the Mojave Desert. The plant utilizes parallel rows of concave mirrors. Much more efficient at collecting and reflecting sunlight for energy, it powers 150,000 homes in the outer LA area. What’s odd about Kramer Junction is that it was created in the 70’s when we had another oil crunch. The only thing about then as compared to now is that the federal government acted quickly back then. Speed limits across America went from 70 mph to 55 mph. There were ethanol pumps at gas stations. Ford already had ethanol cars. People were asked to reduce use of lights around the home. There were virtually no Christmas tree lights for a few years.

Someone on “Nova” remembered that era as a small kid. As an adult, he now has solar panels on his house. He said the same thing that I’ve often thought. If we would have kept to the straight and narrow as far as limiting our energy consumption since the 70’s, maybe we would be in a very different environmental state of affairs now. Imagine all of the inventions that would have come along. And quite possibly we would never have known terrorism. Oil wealth brings power. Besides that, our world would be breathing a whole lot better.

Share

It’s Blog Action Day; Thanks to Environmentalists Everywhere

Today is blog action day. And I don’t want to talk about the environment per say, post the latest news, or try to convince anyone man’s part in global warming is real. Today I would simply like to thank the thousands of volunteers of many, many organizations that give their time, energy, and passion to helping the environment and every creature in it, including humans that won’t get off the couch to save their own lives. To these volunteers and spokespeople we owe you our lives, many of us  just don’t realize it yet.

Volunteers for the environment are tireless in their efforts. I’ve been to meetings where the person holding that meeting drove an hour at night, leaving family at home, to offer a presentation of information about what is happening and what can be done, only to have 8 people show up.  They have to pack it all up and drive an hour to go home to a household already asleep. Yet they are never daunted in their determination to inform possibly one new person. That’s dedication, discipline, and selflessness.

While we sit in our comfortable living rooms there are countless organizations of people like Greenpeace on board ships in the freezing cold to stop whale hunts, or fisherman using nets that trap dolphins, others like Earthjustice, Environmental Defense, and NRDC holding oil drills at bay in some pristine part of our country, or The Sierra Club lobbying in state’s senates against industry pollution, or Waterkeeper Alliance that has joined Sierra Club’s fight against CAFO’s. Their volunteers took 3000 plus photos of CAFO’s and produced DVD’s to expose that industry’s pollution.  There are the many, many meteorologists that have ventured to the N. Pole, Greenland, and Iceland in small boats to get photographs and gain first hand knowledge of crashing ice falls from glaciers not 50 ft. in front of them in order to inform the masses about what they’ve seen, and the brave and undeterred efforts of the scientists who testified before congress that they are fed up with being censored by the Bush administration relative to reports of global warming. They’re brave, bold, and forthright while much of the population flounders in a sea of apathy.

Take for instance what is called “junk mail.” It’s tossed without a thought. But in those envelopes are the voices of those that I’ve just described that are trying to get the truth out, trying to stop the insanity of pollution, trying to stop further fossil fuel endeavors, or simply trying to save the lives of animals that have no one to speak for them. It’s valuable information that took research, time, effort and skill to produce with the hope one more person will open and read the contents in lieu of being tossed without conscience or concern. Ditto for the many TV networks like The Discovery Channel, Science Channel, and Sundance that dedicate themselves to saving the environment by showcasing the marvelous inventors, scientists, and engineers from around the globe that have solutions for our ailing earth already.

To all the wonderful, passionate, faithful people that see the Almighty in their surroundings and fight to save and nurture what we were given as a blessing, I want to say thank you heart and soul. The road you travel is new and like any other time in history, your fellow humans are not quick to follow a new revolution. Go with peace and passion in every step because most assuredly you have one Traveler that will remain by your side always. Nature is Earth’s Metaphor for God and you “get it.” Bless you. Keep the faith, keep up the fight.  
 

Share

EchoTech Showcases Amazing Innovations for Alternative Energy

If you didn’t get a chance to watch EchoTech, here’s an outline of the show, which was an hour long.  The program started out by asking, “How do we survive in a world that is heating up, and running out of oil? It went on to show some pretty remarkable things for the near future. It’s on again tonight at 9:00 pm, on the Science Channel. I’m not going to say it is a rerun of last night because I don’t know. I just caught on TV that it will be on again tonight.


The show presented a Dr. Angela Belcher first, who figured out a way to isolate the proteins that make a seashell and whether they could work with other types of elements. She picked viruses and looked for those that would bond with electro magnetic materials. She made a virus battery. It explained in detail how the virus made a battery; a lithium rechargeable ion battery made of very, very thin clear material. This inexpensive battery is also extremely lightweight.


Next up was Dr. Nyet Ming Chang who is working on a plug in hybrid that will get 150 mpg. He looked at a class of organic materials called olivines, with which to make a battery. He added metals to this material and created a new generation of lithium ion batteries. His batteries discharge energy fast for speed. It is 10 million times more conductive then the present lithium battery. His battery was used on a racing bike in a quarter mile strip. The bike went 0-60 mph in 1.4 seconds but the battery discharged so quickly it burned up the engine. His own plug in car gets 150 mpg. 


Then there is the company that is producing fuel from the thick-trapped grease of restaurants. It’s the sludge that goes down the drain. The process the company uses is called Centia, which stands for I Crudus Potentia, or green energy or the power of crud. The question then was who rounds up this crud? And there was RWA, a company that collects and transports the greasy crud, while employing the homeless and unemployed. Restaurants generate 4 billion lbs. of leftover grease annually so they have quite a job, and this company has quite a future. Buy stock when it’s offered, because the other company has perfected their Centia process. They have jet fuel that is indistinguishable from the real thing that they sell for $2.23 cents a gallon. The company will be mass-producing this fuel by the end of 2008. It produces much less CO2 and uses all of our waste grease.


This was just the beginning. There was a guy named Jerry that discovered how to make hydrogen on demand. The problem with hydrogen has always been storage. It is volatile stuff. His invention will have us buying a tank of pellets that transform into hydrogen when needed.

Another, Dr. Daniel Nocera, studies photosynthesis and hopes to use solar energy to makes hydrogen fuel. If humans could do what the leaves do, we would have an unlimited supply of energy

In 2 seconds the sun releases enough energy to fuel 1 millions cars for a year.


There was a segment on cellulosic ethanol. Corn ethanol is not good. It means one man’s transportation, for another man’s food staple. Whereas, cellulosic ethanol comes from woody materials, stalks, stems. This inventive group used e-coli bacteria to convert the woody stuff into ethanol. They predict that three quarter of a million new jobs will be needed in the bio fuel industry in the near future.


And yet another ingenious man, Bob Schneeveis, is looking at motion without fuel altogether. He has created several inventions that run on totally clean energy. He is like another Ed Begley. This man creates robots with solar energy. His robot speed-walks as a human.


The final segment was about big, fast and powerful, the reason cars use 1/3 of a percent of their fuel energy to move. They found that the biggest fuel savings come from the racecar industry with its use of carbon fiber for car bodies. It’s too expensive for regular cars, so they reinvented the process that produces carbon fiber. The fiber car is made of 14 parts that snap together. Tires are made out of stiffer material. This car will be out in 3-5 years and will get over 100 mpg. A fuel-efficient car has extra energy. As a plug in, the extra energy will get you a credit on your electric bill, so this new car produces energy. This all looks like good news for our world in the near future.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Share