Monthly Archives: December 2006

Dixie Green

In 2001, Bart Slawson heard a lot of people say “you can’t do that.” An environmental lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama (a phrase that seems like an oxymoron to most), he decided to equip his 2,500 sq. ft. house with a photovoltaic (solar electric) system. “Coal power seems cheap until you realize they’re destroying the whole state of West Virginia to get it,” he says.
At the time, no other residence in Alabama produced power from the sun. “It’s not that people around here don’t care,” Bart says. “It’s that they don’t know what’s possible. Solar panels are rarer than liberals here.”

article at community.gaiam

Honda Sees Mass Production of Fuel-Cell Cars Possible by 2018

Honda Motor Co. thinks it will be able to mass produce fuel-cell vehicles for the general market by 2018, Honda President Takeo Fukui said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

Honda plans to begin leasing a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle based on its FCX Concept (pictured above) in Japan and the United States in 2008. The stack in the current FCX Concept delivers 100 kW of power, and the vehicle has a range of 560 kilometers (350 miles)


- where are we getting the hydrogen from? (right now it’s almost all derived from fossil fuels, i.e. natural gas)

- will there be a hydrogen infrastructure in place?

- will engineers have figured out how to economically and safely store compressed hydrogen on board vehicles?

- will battery technology have advanced to the point that EV cars are a better option (likely, although the oil companies would rather us buy fuel cells so we need to purchase hydrogen, derived from their fossil fuels…)

[Ed:  Check out The Hype about Hydrogen]

Story via Green Car Congress

Tire paths

Cheri Heramb with the Chicago Department of Transportation said the aim of the initiative is to become the “greenest city in the world.”

Chicago is taking one more step toward that goal with new green infrastructure technology.

The DOT has kicked off a pilot program to test 550 feet of recycled rubber sidewalk over the next year, right across the street from the Chicago Center for Green Technology on the city’s West Side.

Sadhu Johnston, with the city’s Department of Environment, explained the logic behind rubber sidewalks.

“We’ve all seen video of huge mountains of tires. All of it sitting there for years. Well, here is a productive use of that rubber material,” Johnston said.

article and video at nbc5

also scope out the Chicago Center for Green Technology

Geeks Recycle


GREEN is green.

The phrase and the concept — there is good money to be made in preserving the environment — is so often repeated that it has become a cliché. So it was probably inevitable that some enterprising advertising agency would figure that there is equally good money to be made from specializing in ads that promote greenness.

And, in fact, agencies with a green specialty are sprouting like alfalfa.

“When I started out in 2003 there were maybe five or six green agencies around,” said John Rooks, president of Dwell Creative, a three-person environmental ad agency in Portland, Me. “There’s got to be at least 50 of us now.”

Some of the clients of Green ad agency Dwell Creative:

Dwell Creative is “about authenticity and creative thought as a tool for change” and “living comfortably, not obnoxiously.” Word.


Obvio! Selects Lotus to help Develop “Trybrid” cars

Famed British carmaker Lotus, already working with Tesla on their amazing EV sports car, has been selected by Brazil’s Obvio! to develop two high-performance “trybrid” vehicles.

The model 012 pictured above sits three across and will be available in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, along with a choice of three engine sizes. The vehicle will be able to run on gasoline, ethanol (in blends all the way up to E100 – 100% ethanol), or on natural gas. The hybrid will start at US $28,000 and will be available in Q2 2008, while the plug-in hybrid will go on sale in Q4 2008 for $59,000. When paired with the most powerful engine Obvio! offers, the plugin 012E should reach 60mph from a standstill in only 4.5 secs.

Story via Green Car Congress

Obvio! website

Global warming claims tropical island


Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India’s part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true. 

Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on Sunday, the first uninhabited islands – in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati – vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans by researchers at Calcutta’s Jadavpur University. So remote is the island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures. 

Story via The Independent (UK)