Spring 2011 – Post your “ENERGY & TRANSPORTATION” topical homework here:

  • Find and read an article (online or in print) and post a link or citationon your topic, with a sentence or two summarizing the most useful points, for at least one item per class meeting.
  • You may post additional links (with or without summaries) for some extra credit.
  • Note any important points from your book reading that connect with or inform your research topic.
  • Folks on other topic teams are welcome to make comments, suggest links, or anything else that would be helpful to this team (this will also earn you some extra credit).


    124 Responses to “ENERGY & TRANSPORTATION”

    1. beverly1748 Says:

      hi team,
      sorry i’m being such a zoner. i have lost the paper with everyone’s emails again. could someone please email me with everyone’s emails, esp reny’s & jessica’s (to help me build the solar cooker) for our final presentation.

    2. beverly1748 Says:

      join greenpeace in setting a record of getting 50,000 comments in 24 hrs to unfriend coal.


    3. beverly1748 Says:

      i was going to leave this as a reply since i already made reference to this in a reply to the soltrain post and i was going to cover this in our presentation so decided it was worth standing out as its own post.

      here is the website for the Personal Rapid Transit in santa cruz. keep in mind that it can be solar fueled. it is very cool: when you need a car (pod) you can program your own personal pod (at a station) for where you want to go & it will take you directly to that destination with no stops (unless you want one for another passenger). it can hold several people & their bicycles; is one of the lowest cost per mile of public transport systems; operates above road so sails past traffic jams; is less obtrusive than most public transport systems; & is relatively quiet.


      & if you google Citizens for PRT you will see that other cities have worked on it too. however, the political will has been missing & hopefully enough awareness about our dire need NOW for alternatives to fossil fuel, i.e. renewables, will help launch this awesome solution.

      1. Oh my gosh thank you for finding and posting this link!!! This is absolutely amazing!!!!! I want to do some research about the political aspects of the proposal and their implications. This is such an amazing idea

    4. Looks like the European Commission is jumping into the debate about sustainable transportation. This fifteen minute video gives an overview of the European Commission’s controversial strategy of reducing carbon emission throughout Europe by 2050. It was been received with skepticism– politicians who believe it is within a city’s autonomy to decide whether they want to “ban” cars or not. However, I think the acknowledgment of their dependence on fuel (96% dependence) and the introduction of this proposal into the lawmakers hands is a step in the right direction. Check it out


    5. Could we get a THIRD of our energy from renewables in California in 10 years?! Representatives made it law just a few days ago, raising the bar to a new high in the country, I hope other states follow suit.


      1. Sorry, I guess you have to be logged in to see the whole article; here’s a summary:

        California lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would require a third of the state’s power to come from renewable energy sources by 2020, setting a new bar for the rest of the country.

        The U.S.’s largest energy consumer is increasing its renewable portfolio standards and continues to pursue a cap-and-trade program that would put a price on carbon after similar initiatives to do so in Congress have flatlined.

        California is typically seen as a trendsetter when it comes to setting environmental regulations aimed at slashing harmful emissions. The new law would make it the most aggressive adopter of renewable energy in terms of the amount of new generation that will be needed, which will draw investment dollars and create jobs through wind, solar, geothermal and other alternative projects.

      2. THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!

    6. I found an interesting map on the United States that tells us the unique “green” qualities of each state, as well as what they are lacking. This is just for fun, take a look at it:


      I think it’s interesting that Texas has the most wind power, and yet also emits the most C02 emissions of any other state.

    7. I was interested in what Zoe mentioned last meeting about a solar-electric rail system in Santa Cruz County. I found a few websites that lay out the blueprint for the system, but nothing too concrete. I will keep my eye out for more info


      1. beverly1748 Says:

        there was a guy in santa cruz, ted lahti i think his name was, trying to push for the soltrain about 20 yrs ago or so ago but haven’t heard anything since.
        however, there is a group in santa cruz who has been working for maybe as long, including a city council member whose name escapes me at the moment, trying to get solar powered PRT, personal rapid transit, who not only have been working on it but have private funding to make it happen. not sure if they have a website but i have a cd somewhere of how it works & looks really awesome. i think the group is called Citizens for PRT. it has been opposed by the city’s City Manager & he recently retired so they were hoping for more success with moving it forward after he was gone. maybe you could google it. i should have been just lunged into typing.

      2. beverly1748 Says:

        correction: at the end of my msg below here, it should say: i should have (googled it) but just lunged into typing.

    8. beverly1748 Says:

      if we’re not part of the solutions, such as developing renewables, by default we support the problem as the only way of doing things.
      see this video on how mountain tops are being blown off & surrounding waters polluted for dirty energy: coal. & according to president obama’s undersecretary of science & technology, steven koonin, the u.s. has at least 200 yrs or more of coal left–and they fully plan to exploit it (until appalacia is flattened).

    9. beverly1748 Says:

      if corporations paid their taxes, not only would social services, schools & jobs be saved but there might also be money to develop much needed renewables to save the environment, save the planet.
      hope you’ll sign the petition & pass it on.


    10. beverly1748 Says:

      below is a video of how to make your very own biodiesel from waste oil, i.e. oil that has already been used & is destined to take up space at the dump & use fuel to be shipped there. so, it does not require ANY new land use. any diesel car or truck can use this fuel.

      and here is the actual recipe. i’ve seen it done & smelled the results in an old (previously smelly, pollution spewing) school bus: no smell


      and the truth is, you can use plain ole’ used vegetable oil as long as you filter out the french fry particles well enough. the purpose for the biodiesel process is to remove the glycerine which coagulates in cold weather, making it too thick for fuel. many newer vehicles have heating devices for the fuel already onboard, but one can easily be installed. i rode in a very old mercedes that ran solely on used vegie oil & the guy had installed a simple heating device for those chilly mornings. it’s only needed just to get it started, then the running engine warms it enough. the real problem in this area is finding used vegie oil because it’s all been contracted to people making biodiesel.
      the biodiesel station at ocean & soquel in santa cruz uses only fuel made from previously used vegie oil, and i’ve riden in a car with their fuel as well: also, no smell. tell anyone you know with a diesel engine to switch & support this local business, our environment & all of those who are dying needlessly in foreign wars for oil.
      they have some inexpensive electric vehicles for sale there too.

    11. rwetheyoung Says:

      I’ve been reading about the possible political upset in Germany, where the green party just defeated the ruling coalition lead by the Christian-Democrats headed by president Merkel.
      The Green party was aided, possibly very strongly by the recent Nuclear crisis in Japan. The Christian-Democrat party has supported nuclear power, and this proved to be a losing issue for them.
      The European Energy commissioner has stated that this will increase energy gotten from oil. If this is he case, I see this as an unfortunate side-effect, considering that nuclear is never worse than coal in the long run (and barring impossible to predict disasters).

      In trying to understand how alternative sources of power stood up to each other and to traditional power sources, I stumbled upon this paper released by the Parliamentarian Office of Science and Technology:
      I do not fully understand all the variables and systems related in this paper. But the direct comparrison of alternative energy sources is very interesting. It has solar power ranked much worse in terms of carbon footprint than nuclear energy. My hey question is whether the costs shown include the carbon footprint of the construction of the plants necessary to harvest the energy. The report does say of nuclear energy that “most emissions occur during uranium mining,
      enrichment and fuel fabrication.” This indicates that the study at least compensated for direct mining of the ore.

    12. Is LA moving towards bike-friendliness?? The city is making sustainability a priority and so, of course, they approved a plan to put 1680 miles of bike ways throughout the city. I’m glad they are addressing energy use and climate change 🙂


      1. beverly1748 Says:

        i am glad they are doing this. although we don’t think of LA as being so progressive, fyi, while LA is one of the cities having the farthest to go because of its obscene amount of smog from its obscene amounts of cars, it has done more to improve air quality than any other city in, can’t remember if it’s, the state or the country. they’ve been on it. & they are even ahead of santa cruz in water issues.

    Leave a Reply

    Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s