Tag Archives: alternative fuel

Growing grain for fuel and meat: There’s something wrong with this picture.

While people around the world are fighting and dying for food, 

From rice in Peru to miso in Japan, food prices are rising

Famine, farm prices and aid:  Food for thought

A Hungry World

2008: The year of global food crisis

we in the U.S. are promoting the growing crops for ethanol to make alternative fuel

Flooding, Food Shortages, Ethanol Boondoggle Good News for Agriculture
The world food market – it doesn’t make sense
Paying for biofuels in your supermarket

Until there is no longer world hunger, we need to give up on that idea.  If we have to make biofuel, the best way is to use sources that have already been used (like used cooking grease).  The best alternative right now also is to have more walkable communities where folks live and work, more bicycles, and better mass transportation.

and are continuing to grow meat for food which exacerbates the hunger problem.

What if livestock farmers gave up growing grain for feeding the livestock and grew it for people instead?  The reason I gave up eating meat was because I learned that  it takes more resources to grow food for meat per person than it does to grow food for people.  We could feed 7 -10 times more people per acre if we gave up eating meat.

Ironically, I found this article today:
Vegeterianism addresses many needs, problems

Put all of this together with Global Warming:
Scientists say world must adapt to warming

and we have a huger than huge mess in our grandchildren’s life times (right now it’s just “huge”).

Utah Docs say clean our air!

Utah is among the top cities for polluted air – especially in the winter time during inversions where the pollution is trapped by high pressure weather systems that don’t move – sometimes for weeks at a time.

It was interesting to see this item in today’s Deseret News about Utah’s Air:

Utah MDs campaign for clean air to ease ‘health crisis’
By Joe Bauman
Deseret Morning News
      Alarmed by death and damage to health caused by air pollution, several Utah physicians are calling for the state to take strong action.
      From mandatory dips in freeway speed limits during smoggy days to a ban on new coal-fired power plants, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment proposed what they acknowledge are bold actions Monday during a press conference at LDS Hospital.
      Among the proposals are reducing speed limits on bad-air days, a moratorium on building coal-fired power plants and an air-pollution course in elementary school curriculum.

They cited scientific studies showing that heart attacks and strokes are linked to air pollution; that methyl mercury pollution is blamed for declining wildlife; that ozone pollution may cause faster aging; and that air pollution could cause genetic changes that will be passed on from generation to generation.
      Such concerns prompted them “to be activists for our patients,” said Dr. Brian Moench, a Salt Lake anesthesiologist.
“Current air-pollution levels along the Wasatch Front constitute a health crisis,” he said. If the increasing levels of pollution aren’t checked, in 20 years a full-blown catastrophe could happen, he said.
      Because of population growth, motor vehicle traffic — the source of 65 percent of air pollution — could double in 20 years, he said. With climate changes, more droughts could be expected, also increasing ozone pollution, he added.
      Four new coal-fired power plants are on the drawing boards for the Beehive State, according to Moench; they are among 150 such facilities planned across America. The plants release mercury pollution, and there is no way to capture the vapor, he added.
      Mercury is deposited on the ground and into water. When bacteria transform it, the material becomes dangerous methyl mercury. That accumulates up the food chain, increasing many times, he said, and poses a danger. It is particularly serious for babies, the most vulnerable members of society.
      “More electricity from coal would simply be a full frontal assault on public health,” Moench said.
      In terms of health and other impacts, he added, air pollution costs Utah people at least $4 billion annually.
      The danger from air pollution extends beyond Salt Lake City and Provo, according to Dr. Richard Kanner of the University of Utah School of Medicine, whose speciality is the respiratory system. “It’s more than the Wasatch Front,” he said.
      “We know that Cache County has a problem.” And problems like Cache County’s high particulate levels might show up elsewhere in Utah if the state had monitors in many locations, he said.
      The very young and old are at most risk, along with “patients who have heart and lung disease,” Kanner said.
      Citing a Harvard study involving six cities and PM10 particulate pollution, he added, “They didn’t find a level below which it was safe.”
      The panel recommends that Utah:

      • Impose a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants and retrofits existing plants with new air pollution control technology.

      • Reduce the speed limit along the Wasatch Front to 55 mph on bad air days.

      • Expand mass transit throughout the Wasatch Front, offering it free to the public.

      • “Reduce Utah’s air pollutants by 20 percent through numerous strategies such as assessing auto taxes based on a car’s M.P.G..”

      • Make people more aware of air pollution’s impacts, for example by adding an air-pollution course to the school curriculum.

      • Pay special attention when issuing warnings about air pollution to note the danger that pollution can pose to the unborn so pregnant women can reduce their exposure.

      • Ask that school buses not idle in school yards while waiting for students. “The engine should be shut off to decrease children’s exposure to diesel exhaust.”

      • Encourage school districts to use buses that run on alternative fuels.
      As air pollution worsens, said Dr. Scott N. Hurst of LDS Hospital, “we’ll see a further rise in people suffering from heart and lung disease.”

E-mail: bau@desnews.com

Tougher Air Pollution Laws

New Air Pollution Laws have been developed for Utah, according to a Salt Lake Tribune article today.

Current standards allow communities a certain number of days when air exceeds 65 micrograms of these fine particles per cubic meter before the EPA requires added pollution cuts. The new standard would reduce the daily trigger to 35 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter of air.
Every Utah county meets the current standard. But, based on air-pollution data collected by the state over the past three years, 10 counties – Cache, Box Elder, Weber, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Summit Tooele, Utah and Juab – would exceed the 35-microgram limit.

(The Tribune has nicely provided a context at the end of its article for PM2.5:
PM 2.5 PARTICLES are 1/40th the width of a human hair.
PM 2.5 is produced mainly from engines in cars and trucks.
FEDERAL OFFICIALS say tough new standards for the pollutant will prevent about 17,000 premature deaths each year.)

Many environmentalists, though, feel the standards need to be even more tough.
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United Parcel Service – tops in converting to alternative fueled vehicles

Today I read a post on another blog entitled UPS leads the way

UPS have announced they are adding 50 hybrid vehicles to their fleet, and 4,100 low-emission conventional vehicles this year. Currently their alternative fuel fleet is 1,500 vehicles, one of the largest in the country. Alternative fuels being used by UPS include natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, electricity and hydrogen. The 50 hybrid vehicles will be deployed in Dallas in June and are expected to reduce the fuel consumption by 44,000 gallons over the year, and should reduce CO 2 gases released by 457 metric tons. It would be amazing to think what the effect would be if they converted their whole fleet, when you consider that they delivered 3.6 billion packages and documents in 2004 (internationally).

Read more:
UPS’s plan
UPS’s Sustainability Practices
UPS: Alternative Fuels

Alternative Transportation – Rewards and Incentives

My interest in alternative fuel was enlightened today by an article in the Deseret News on the

Utah Transit Authority considering employing soy power. A move to this could save $750.000 per year in fuel costs.

UTA has entered into negotiations with an Ogden based firm to begin purchasing bio-diesel fuel. The fuel would be a blend of 80% bio-diesel and 20% soy. THe plan is to use the fuel for all UTA busses. NOt only will this be a monetary savings all around, it will be better for our environment, as many of us know.
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