Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hariyali Express: Earth Day Edition



The express is a little late! In fact a whole week late. Patrix already did something similar. Anyway, Hariyali Express is always a fun thing to do. So here goes...

On Saturday, April 22, the world marked the 36th annual Earth Day celebration. John McConnell founded it back in 1970. The environmental movement has picked up momentum quite a bit since then. Many though feel it is not strong enough. World Changing feels that bigger and bolder steps are needed and I agree.

Global Warming is the biggest environmental issue facing us today. While the issue is huge and the politics even bigger, could a solution lie in the tinniest of organisms. Could algae be the answer ? Planktos is a company planning to dump huge quantities of carbon-eating phytoplankton algae into the oceans. Treehugger has some thoughts, interview and analysis about Planktos Inc. GreenFuel Technologies Inc is another company that is offering carbon reduction technology using algae. Their designs are more geared towards reducing carbon emissions from power plants.

Ford made a big announcement recently. They are joining up with Terrapass to offer the Greener Miles program. Customers get to buy carbon credits. More from the folks at Terrapass here. While it is a great step forward, a 100 mpg car to beat Prius would be a greater leap.

Bush promoted Hydrogen Fuel Cells on Earth Day. One thing he never mentions is the fact that hydrogen is an energy medium and not an energy source. How hydrogen is produced and distributed will determine if it is clean and carbon neutral.

Director Davis Guggenheim makes Al Gore's Global Warming talks/campaign into a movie. An Inconvenient Truth is set to open in select US theatres on May 24th. Carl Pope of Sierra Club shares his thoughts on the movie here. Tom Arnold, the Chief Environmental Officer at Terrapass shares his thoughts on the movie here

So what do other leaders think about Global Warming ? To find out if your Mayor supports greenhouse gas reductions, check out coolcities.us Patrick Moore a co-founder of Greenpeace created quite a buzz recently when he talked in support of Nuclear energy. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is however in favor of Solar Energy and not Nuclear. Commondreams.org covers Gorbachev's thoughts here

Goldman Environmental Prize was announced recently. It honors grassroots environmentalists and awards US$125,000 to environmental heroes from each of the world's six inhabited continental regions. The struggle and strength of Silas Kpanan is truly inspiring

Patrix follows up his Earth Day post with another one on Companies getting environment friendly

Oorjaa is the newest Indian blogger joining the green blogosphere. Welcome Oorjaa!. Its latest post talks about India and the FutureGen Project. A billion dollar initiative to build a zero emission coal plant. Water scarcity along with Climate Change are big issues facing India. GoodNewsIndia talks about Medha Patkar's struggle and water issues at large, here

Sepia Mutiny has some great tips for Earth Day.
One tip I liked in particular ..."Check with your local energy company to see if you can sign up for green power as your electricity source (most companies offer this)". I called up mine and yippie !!! I can buy green power! This is one phone call everyone can and should make. More information about signing up, can be found at http://www.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/markets/pricing.shtml?page=1
(via Alternative Energy Blog)

It has been fun and informative bringing this edition of Hariyali Express. Hope all you readers feel the same. If anyone wants to host the next Hariyali Express, please feel free to do so. Green blogging is still a rarity in the Indian blogosphere. We need more.

PS
Carnival of the Green is an initiative very similar to Hariyali Express. In fact it is the same. Triple Pundit & City Hippy are the brains behind it. Should Hariyali Express join and become Carnival of the Green or should it evolve and focus more on the Indian environmental scene. I wonder...

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Hey OMR, where can I get more information about hydrogen production and distribution? I'm not really clear on the distinction between "medium" and "source".

One More Reason said...

Jennifer, I highly recommend a book called "The Hype about Hydrogen. Fact and Fiction in the Race to save the Climate"

Author Joseph Romm was in the Department of Energy during the Clinton administration. He helped oversee hydrogen and fuel cell research

The book is usually available in all libraries.

Hydrogen extraction and distribtion is a very energy intensive process. Extraction is currently being done using conventional energy sources like natural gas, coal and even oil. That itself defeats the "renewable energy" criteria.

Hydrogen is not easy to handle and transport. That adds to the complexity of distribution. If not planned properly, the energy that can be created from x amount of hygrogen could be far less the than the energy required to extract and distribute that x amount of hydrogen

That is why we should not blindly assume Hydrogen as an energy source. I feel a robust and viable infrastructure to generate renewable electricity would ultimately kickstart a hydrogen economy.

Jennifer said...

Thank you!