The Environmental Costs of Hamburgers

We Americans love our hamburgers and cheeseburgers. In fact, we eat about three burgers a week. But what are the numerous environmental costs? Watch this excellent video to learn more.

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BP Spills On Solar Biz This Time

Gulf of Mexico lubricator BP aka British Petroleum apparently has announced they are dumping their solar panel (photovoltaic or PV) business this time. On who or what remains to be seen. I say apparently, because while it is being reported all over the known universe, I can’t find an official statement on either the main BP or the BP Solar websites.

Credible online outlets reporting this news include Forbes (who says this is good news both for BP (well, its shareholders) and the industry as a whole, Bloomberg/Businessweek and American Public Radio’s Marketplace (listen to their story):

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Google Invests $94 Million In Clean Energy Solar Projects

Search engine virtual monopoly Google claims to have invested $94 million dollars of new money in four solar power (photovoltaic or PV) projects under construction by Recurrent Energy. The cheery announcement was made on the Goliath’s blog. If you detect some cynicism in my tone you are tuned to the right frequency.

Personal experience teaches that Google often acts without congruence to its trumpeted ethos and that it will kill projects like Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal whenever it wants. Thus a careful observer will view this news with a gigantic block of salt.

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Hydrogen Efficiency

Hydrogen is neither efficient or inefficient. It is an energy carrier. Just like filthy unsustainable hydrocarbon-based fossil fuels gasoline or diesel.

How you produce usable hydrogen, and how well you use the energy stored therein, defines the efficiency of the hydrogen-powered car, generator or other device.

Unlike gas, however, if you spill hydrogen it won’t pollute your water well, cause cancer or poison you. Hydrogen can also be produced in a sustainable manner with zero emissions of carbon during production and use. No carbon dioxide (CO2) or carbon monoxide (CO).

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Solar Airplane Lands After 24 Hour Flight

The electric airplane Solar Impulse has completed a 24 hour flight for the first time. This is a major accomplishment for the effort to be the first flight around the world powered entirely by electricity captured by photo voltaic (PV) solar panels.

The solar panels capture enough energy during daylight hours to store an excess amount in batteries so the plane can continue flight in darkness.

The world-circling flight will be conducted by another bigger airplane not yet built. The Solar Impulse is a sub-scale test vehicle. The 24 hour flight was flown by pilot by Andre Borschberg.

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