1. Electric cars
you have about 750 million cars in the world today; you’re going to have about 1.3 billion cars in about 25, 30 years; and you can’t expect them all to be running on gasoline. There isn’t that much gasoline around.
Stan Correy has a look at the future of the car industry and our potential place in it on ABC RN’s Background Briefing.
Evan Thornley, who is behind Better Place, thinks our niche in the electric car future is in the larger powerful muscle car, where we have always been.
2. Transport for a rainy day
The Emcycle is a 3-wheel, tilting, fully-enclosed 500W pedelec weighing just 36 kg.
It can carry 144 kg, including the driver, perhaps ideal for delivering pizzas, flowers and small parcels. More electric bicycle than car it can drive on bicycle paths or in the traffic. It has nearly all of the comfort, safety and weather protection of a car.
Well, it’s still a concept. If you don’t mind being out in the weather you may prefer something like this 14 kg electric bicycle, which folds up into a guitar-sized bag.
3. Plenty of gas in China
Preliminary surveys showed that China has explorable shale-gas reserves of 25.1 trillion cubic metres, in theory enough to meet China’s gas needs for the next two centuries. “Technically recoverable” reserves were about 50% more than in the US, and enough to last 200 years. The Weekend AFR has a slightly longer version of the story, telling us that China Petroleum Corporation has shale gas at 20 sites and has launched a joint venture with Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell to develop shale projects for the last two years.
4. Increase in worldwide drought
In the process of sorting out a dopey commenter at RealClimate, Tamino at Open Mind looks at the trend in drought. This graph was tendered in evidence of increased wetness. Problem is the graph shows the reverse. The Palmer Drought Severity Index spans -10 (dry) to +10 (wet).
5. Gas is not the answer
Joe Romm at Climate Progress takes a look work by Ken Caldeira and tech guru Nathan Myhrvold on the impact of switching from coal to natural gas and finds it a bridge to nowhere.
“…a switch to natural gas would have zero effect on global temperatures by the year 2100. “If you take 40 years to switch over entirely to natural gas,” he said, “you won’t see any substantial decrease in global temperatures for up to 250 years. There’s almost no climate value in doing it.”
“The most surprising thing we found,” lead author Nathan Myhrvold told me recently, “is that unless you switch to a form of energy that cuts emissions really drastically” — and he isn’t talking about any piddling 50%, either — “you basically don’t get any real effect.”
6. Skeptical science penetrates a university
When Ottawa’s Carleton University needed a lecturer to fill in on a second year course on “Climate Change: An Earth Sciences Perspective” they appointed a mechanical engineer who happened to be a climate sceptic. A group called the Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) had a look at the course materials and according to this account found 142 statements that were either inaccurate or misleading.
The course is not being offered this year, but over the previous three 1500 students were misinformed and misled.
Course instructor Tom Harris:
is executive director of an Ottawa-based group called the International Climate Science Coalition. His course featured guest lecturers from Carleton, the University of Ottawa, the University of Winnipeg and James Cook University in Australia, who are all on the coalition’s scientific advisory board.