Technological ‘Solutions’

Jan 07 2010

Various academics with elite pedigrees have argued in the journal Foreign Affairs that technological solutions like spreading reflective dust in space will be the inevitable result of the contemporary failures of governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Almost passed over in the discussion, however, is the crucial fact that such superficial solutions would not reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, or the increasing acidification of the oceans. Consequently, we may avoid the worst of the warming, but our coral reefs will be dead, and the ecosystems we have come to rely upon will continue to fall apart.

See “The Geoengineering Option” in Foreign Affairs V.88, No. 2

There is such a machine — it’s called the ‘plant.’

Ford Model T Had Better Gas Mileage

Jan 07 2010

The Model T got better gas mileage than the average Ford vehicle today.
Read more here
But that doesn’t stop Ford’s marketing crew from creating the illusion of progress, as was clear by their sponsorship of Yahoo!’s greenwashing ad-revenue portal.

PC Hubris

Jan 06 2010

Microsoft has been bragging about the energy saving features of its new operating system. But this article explains how Microsoft’s lack of concern for energy saving features led their XP operating system to waste $25 billion in energy of the past five years.

The working assumption of a hundred computers per human being was given a safety margin, and the final estimate to be used in developing an addressing specification was 1 quadrillion (1015) computers connected by 1 trillion (1012) networks. The designers took into account the inefficiencies in address assignment and came to the conclusion that new addresses should be somewhere between 57 and 68 bits in size. Source

Meanwhile, Apple is bragging about being green, but it stands in the way of progress on some fronts. I bought some expensive solar power equipment so I could power my laptop and a few other things on the sun, but I find that I’m obliged to convert from DC->AC->DC in order to power a MacBookPro because Apple is not permitting anyone to make a 12V adapter with the patented MagSafe plug. This means losing energy to heat in the conversion process.

Before Apple gets too cocky about it’s heat generating 85W Mac Book Pro, Apple engineers may want to have a look at the Beagleboard, which can run on solar power.