Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Environment: Scary Thoughts (mostly)

1) I'm listening to Tom Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded and found the following scenario quite sobering (I hope that I'm getting it right.):

+Palm oil was once seen as a promising biofuel.
+It now seems that the cutting down of forests that include palm releases more carbon dioxide than is saved by using palm oil fuels.

2) In the category of hope, you might want to check out Google's "RE
3) One cute mnemonic from the Friedman book: Fuels from "hell" come from below ground (hence the mnemonic), tend to be non-renewable, and tend to pollute the environment (coal, oil, gas, etc.). Fuels from "heaven" come from above-ground, and tend to be renewable and clean (solar, wind).

4) I'll digress into some word games because I've noticed how adept Friedman is at making up cute mnemonics. I assume that he puts great stock in the importance of catchy phrases.

Here's my (perhaps, awkward) attempt: An interesting, non-political note: During a geological debate in the 19th century, some (who emphasized the power of the oceans) were called Neptunists (named after the Roman ocean god, Neptune) and some (who emphasized the power of internal earth processes) were called Plutonists (after Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld).

We could call the sources of fuel that Friedman mentions "plutonic" and "jovial" (after Jove, the god of the heavens). Which type of fuel would make you feel better about the future?