15 Aug 2009

Speed Blogging

  • The Economist says that the US ethanol program drives deforestation in Brazil, and they're right. It's all about pork for corn states, not the environment.

  • Cash for clunkers is a rip off [PDF] -- $365/ton of avoided CO2 -- but now we know why politicians love it. Reminds me of ethanol. When is this going to end?!? (Don't answer that -- I can't get a prescription for anti-depressants)

  • Vitaminwater is basically non-carbonated coke made by... Coca Cola!

  • "In this quaint [Japanese] fishing village, each fall, tens of thousands of migrating dolphins are captured, some of which are sold into captivity (for up to $150,000 a piece), and the rest are taken to a secret cove and slaughtered (to be sold for their meat -- sometimes falsely described as whale meat)." One reason: Nobody owns the dolphins :(

  • The US Navy, OTOH, is trying to get a permit to kill 11 million mammals that are "in the way" at its shooting ranges. No, that's not cool either, since the permit is issued by a government agency that doesn't own them!

  • "It is possible to prevent the collapse of commercial fish stocks" with quotas and appropriate technolgy.

  • Save water, pee in the shower. I do, but my roomies are grossed out. (Nobody said saving the earth was easy!)


  1. Terrible advice about peeing in the shower!!!

    I drink a lot and pee for at least 45 seconds... usually much more longer. For endurance pissers like me it is actually more efficient to just use the toilet, instead of spending all that extra time in the shower with the water running.

  2. On the cash for clunkers: the ideas was never to avert CO2 emissions, was it? It was to help the car manufacturers get over the reduced demand (and the hump in the inventory cycle as well, probably), and to give some handouts to consumers to make a lot of people happy. It's probably working, but it will have costs, namely someone is going to have to pay for the borrowed money and people buying a car today a less likely to buy a car again next year.
    I find it revolting that these measures should be dressed-up as environmentally-friendly ideas.

  3. @ EE (#2) - Couldn't agree with you more on the Cash for Clunkers program...

  4. Why is $400 for a ton of CO2 a lot? Seems like reducing CO2 isn't that hard and any way of doing it is better than not doing it. Full disclosure: I don't get the economic math and stuff, as I'm unedumacated, but at least they're reducing the bad stuff causing climate change. I understand if the smart folks just blow this off, but....

  5. @Anonymous (#5)

    $400 per tonne of CO2 is a lot, since the price of the stuff in the EU cap-and-trade programme (we've had one for some time now) is around €15/tonne, or close to $20/tonne. So, every tonne of CO2 withheld thanks to this cash-for-clunkers programme is actually 20 times more expensive.

    The point is, if you want an orange from the tree in your backyard, you always go for the low-hanging fruit, because it's easier.


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