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Why not build your own electric car? A lot of information on how to build an electric car, including cost cutting measures and design tips, can be found on Frank Didik's website at: www.didik.com/didik_ev.htm. In particular, check out the section entitled "How to Build an Electric Car", "Didik Turtle or How to build a two person electric vehicle in 14 hours" and "Critical and accurate assessment of electric vehicles". He is the first to truly mention the pro's and con's of electric cars and an excellent history directory of electric cars, starting in the 1800's. Many years ago, Didik was the founder of the Electric Car Society.
My question, and I know it is far fetched, BUT can be done, is use the ocean water, desalanate and pump the water back into the earth, especially the deserts and create oasis, which in turn will create work, and people can plough the land, and feed them- selves. It can be done, instead of spending money on weapons lets try and save the our planet. Remember what Ford said to his workers, I want you to invent a motor with 8 cyclinders, and they told him it was impossible, there is no such word as impossible it can be done. Hope this might motivate someone with my idea.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Global warming shall become a serious problem in the near future for life on earth and should be checked in urgently. Growth of population of human and vehicle should be checked world over as a first step.
Can you name one island that has gone underwater since the start of the industrial revolution?
James Watson PhD Chemical Engineer
In response to James Watson chemical engineer re naming disappearing islands since the industrial revolution -- Bedford, Lohachara, Kabasgadi and Suparibhanga -- have been permanently flooded and 6,000 families have been made homeless. Immigration from many Pacific Islands to New Zealand has dramatically increased as rising sea levels flood farms and houses on low lying islands.
Business can add utility, reduce poverty to some extent but it has other aspects as well. What we need to emphasize is the mean which does not leave the society worse off overall, ie. the benefit must be greater than the cost.
MD Mashuk Hossain Khan Dhaka,Bangladesh
No government, elected or otherwise, could stay in power if it told its people that their standard of living would be reduced or that its rate of increase would be curtailed. Standard of living is directly linked to electrical power consumption. Currently the technology does not exist to generate, at an affordable price, the huge increases in electrical power necessary to lift even a small proportion of the billions who exist on less than a dollar a day out of poverty other than by burning fossil fuels. The bureaucrats and environmentalists can meet in air conditioned comfort and sign protocols and carbon trading agreements but nothing will stop the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide until the technology can be developed that will produce electricity more cheaply than burning coal. Can the panel not see that their efforts should be devoted to doing what can be done to mitigate the effects of the inevitable global warming that will continue until a cheap nonpolluting method of generating terawatts of power is developed rather than wasting time, effort and money on doomed attempts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?
If during the last 8 years the U.S. had used its considerable resources to prepare for dealing with climate change instead of wasting them debating if it exists, what kinds of policies and activities might be in place now that might have made a difference? (i.e. much greater infrastructure to deal with the increases in the destructiveness of weather phenomenon; aggressive subsidy programs for solar and photo-voltaic use both in homes and commercially; tighter regulation of green house gas discharges, lots of government funding for research, signing of the Kyoto Protocol and pushing to make sure we and others used it as a minimum goal --we can dream, can't we--etc.)
I have attempted to reduce, reuse, recycle in all aspects of my home and life. I have written letters to editors (none published), called my legislators, signed innumerable petitions. I have shared many articles, websites, petitions with family, friends, co-workers to a point where I'm sure they think I'm crazy. Yet, I feel that I'm not making a difference. I don't mind telling you that I am very fearful for the future. What more can I do?
Climate Change -- either humanly induced or natural, or combined -- is more or less accepted. However the marketing of this looming disaster is detrimental to being taken seriously. From the new iceage prediction and the Club of Rome Limits to Growth in the 70s and 80s to the more recently Y2K and birdflu pandemoniums, the media spectacle became bigger than the focus on the actual issue at hand. Public interest fades out quickly. The latest is a global financial meltdown scenerio, climate change is no longer fashionable. Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change needs to be an element in the Global Humanitarian Agenda to support affected regions, boost adaptation measures (from agriculture, water management and alternative income to relocating victims; a comon activity of international organizations). Long term plans, like carbon sequestration in all its forms will be market driven and is only loosely going to benefit those affected now and in the nearby future. Why are the two being mixed up, with sceptisism and a stalemate situation as a result?
May climate change lead to Glacier Age?
The only chance to solve it, from my point of view, is under "Fair Trade".Each new e.g. Wind Turbine in the G8 States, should have one in Africa. Financed by the World Bank and High Finance. If we don't care, the social unrest is programmed.
How can gas prices be rising when oil is steadily falling, yet when oil rises gas rises as well. The math does not make sense.
There's a company called 'h2ocean' , who is turning sea water into drinkable water, using nano technology. do you think that those new technologies will avoid the wars for water in the future? Jader d'avila
Sao Paulo, Brazil
I really don't have a question but I do have a comment. I think we have waited too long to do anything about it. Even if we could magically turn off all the greenhouse gas emissions it's too late to change things and go backward. We now must face the consequences and they are grim at best.
How can Brazil help better in this fight agaist Climate Change, exporting alcohol tecnology or explore his new oilfields and improve the world production making a lower price and more accessible?
Nelson Alves da Silva
Caeté - Brazil
What's to worry?...the Globe is only around the halfway-point to the maximum before the last Ice Age.. 6MYA the area I live in was 6-8C warmer than at present... All that that is happening now will only serve to push-back the next (coming) Ice-Age. Get-a-grip! You reckon you can actually influence that? But, if you do do you think an Ice-Age is a GOOD THING???!
I am very thankful that many auto companies are building hybrids to help the environment and for those who can afford to purchase the new vehicles. What about those who cannot afford to buy a brand new hybrid? Why not create programs for low income persons to either convert their standard, fuel dependant vehicles to hybrid? It may cost the auto companies millions to offer a program like this, but can't they also right it off in taxes? More people should open their eyes to what is actually happening in regards to global warming. It is not being blown out of proportion. The world is over populated, and over polluted, resulting in speeding up the process of global warming. Our oceans are turning into plastic waste receptacles. There are not enough recycling programs. The largest city I live by does not promote recycling, nor does it advertise where the recycling centers are. More cities & towns need to offer recycling programs or centers. We want to do more, we just don't have the resources.
Has there been any global warming since 1998, yes or no? Is CO2 essential for sustaining plant life, yes or no? Are you confident that computer models take account of the fact that the planet is 70% deep ocean? Are you confident that computer models take account of the fact that the planet rotates and is tilted relative to the sun? Do you know about sunspot cycles? Did you realise that variations in solar output are followed by correlated variations in CO2 and have been throughout history? Do you understand that electricity cannot be stored -- it must be used at the time of production. Did you realise that wind farms will leave you cold and in the dark for 17 hours every day? Did you realise that solar panels will leave you cold and in the dark all night long? Are you prepared to listen to the skeptical point of view, yes or no?
Somewhere on the earth the sun is shining and somewhere on the earth the wind is blowing. In the sixties the architect Buckminster Fuller proposed a worldwide electrical grid with companies and individual houses attached - all consuming and producing energy not unlike the worldwide web. That idea was proposed more than forty years ago and the technology exists. Is anybody doing it and if not - why not?
I just watched a program on the History Channel about dung and a teacher in India made batteries using dung. India has the most cattle in the world and they use dung for all kinds of things. Since science has downsized the microchip I am confident that they will be able to harness this dung energy and downsize it too. Professor Phil Bartlett needs to go to India to see that they are actually doing this and use it in the villages there.
The big companies should invest in Africa's extremely poor rural areas especially in the technology of solar pv to promote clean renewable energy systems and hence contribute to sustainable environmental management/conservation practices and alleviate their life standards. In many of the rural areas the communities cannot even afford to have one cent in order to purchase a spoonful of kerosene (paraffin oil) which is solely used during the time they enter their shamble huts to sleep.
Conrad Shija Faransa
Savanna Environment Management Foundation
I keep hearing how well Nuclear energy could help in the energy crisis we are or could be facing. Based on what I have heard so far from developed and developing countries I do not think they realize the potential danger in Nuclear power. While it does have lots of promise there are other issues, which is why, has one person has said "...nuclear has become a dirty word." Do these developing countries who look towards nuclear energy have any idea what the consequences could be? The U.S. as well as Russia who have had nuclear for about a half century already know. Chernobyl in Russia and 3 Mile Island here in the U.S. are two major incidents of what can happen not to mention the waste. This is why in countries who have nuclear, well at least here anyway, tend to regard it as too much risk to really use. Hence why the U.S. has not built one in decades. How do you even plan on addressing and assuring that countries who do not have nuclear are going to be wise and educated enough to properly use and maintain such energy? Remember no matter who has it if something goes wrong it can put the whole world or a good portion of it at risk.
If our goverment subsidised prices on fuel,(Diesel ) this would drive the prices down on goods, food, etc. this in turn would increase the buying power of the dollar which should drive oil prices down which would effect the gas prices. I would rather pay 4.00 to 4.50 a gallon and get diesel down to $300.00 per gallon...
Don't you think that by attacking Iraq & a little bit of same policy towards Iran by America have changed the world energy scenario??
Why is there no news concerning the oil sands recovery in Canada which is highly funded by the Chinese? I also understand that there is more oil in the shale in Colorado than in the Middle East. Why is this not discussed? With the high prices for oil, the cost of recovering the oil from shale is competitive.
Basic math shows that with a fixed (or diminishing) resource, increasing population must mean less of that resource per person on average. The only options are either to lower ones standard of living, or find ways to constantly improve the efficiency of use of that resource. Yet clearly, some resources have limits on efficiency. Equally clearly, capitalism requires a growing market of consumers to function well. That derives mathematically from the nature of profit. How can we concile these mutually conflicting realities as we move forwards into the 21st century?
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
How has the chaos caused by the Iraq war impacted this incredible continuous hike in oil prices? Who is accountable for it? And lastly, is it true that the president and vice-president of the U.S. and other influential families / countries / governments have greatly benefited economically from such chaos caused by the Iraq war which has resulted in this incredible increase in oil prices, due to their ties to and investments into the oil and gas business? If such, would this potentially be one of if not the greatest ethical misconduct in the history of mind-kind? It becomes even more shameful when one realizes how public it is with the ease of world-wide communication means of this era...
Amgel M. Colón
Are you aware of any serious investment in building a set of machines that can produce eco-friendly solar power, and also produce another copy of themselves? It really doesn't matter how many billions of dollars it takes to make the first machine, if it can make the second machine in two weeks, then within two years all of our power problems (and many others) are solved forever, as the number of machines at our disposal would be greater than the human population, and their unit cost of production would probably be under $1.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Oil prices can only drop if gasoline prices in the USA go up to U$8 a gallon like in Europe. That is the only way to get people out of the gasoline slurping SUV's and into economical cars The same is for car manufacturers. There is no incentive for them to produce gas economical cars if prices are low. With the tax added on gasoline you may be able to pay for the repairs of your infrastructure. An other added advantage is the reduction of green house gases.
Oil prices are soaring day by day. It is hazardous to developing countries like ours. We cannot produce a single drop of fossil fuel, whereas we consume a huge quantity in international standard price. It is not affordable to us. Every year price hikes create havoc in the country. Sometimes it turns into political unrest too. Climate and environment is unbalanced. For example, Myanmar's Nargis cyclone which claimed one hundred thousand (estimated) lives.
Madhav P Niraula
Unless and until we utilize all energies in service to the source of all energies, there will always be an energy crisis.
Sankarshan Das Adhikari
constantly circling the globe on lecture tours
We must all join together in the struggle of human rights, global warming, terrorism, and much, much more. If one person joins each day... we can all help make a difference. Our voices must be heard!
Topmost priority of the policymakers should be the basic need of simple mode of transportation of larger sections of people. Hardship of these people can be minimized with cost-effective transportation.
Hyderabad, A.P., India
I think we should sit down and think on how to get the world powers to revise their policies on Fossil Oil-related energy sources or any other source that can cause adverse effect on the world climate. It is something serious but it seems people want to see the destruction first before acting and that might be suicidal. I believe other sources such as wind should be annexed and used and then concentrate on making this alternatives widely distributed and accepted.
I am not sure that Jeremy Leggett is right when he says "The bad news is that no combination of technologies can plug the energy gap if the peakists are correct. There will be a third, and last, global energy crisis. It will dwarf previous crises. Profound economic dislocation will result." With the right political impetus, the DESERTEC concept, developed by the 'TREC' international network of scientists and engineers, can be rolled out very fast. The potential of the DESERTEC concept is so large that, on its own, it could provide all seven of Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolowa's stabilization wedges, and more. But it would work best in combination with other renewable sources of energy and energy-saving measures. Further information about the DESERTEC concept may be found at http://www.desertec.org/ and http://www.trec-uk.org.uk/ .
In Austria we have lots of hydropower, but it is running out. Wind power and solar power is not firm. Nuclear may be an alternative to more gas fired plants as currently considered.
Generally, urbanization is a process which takes place with the movement of people from the predominantly rural to predominantly urban areas. In the last century this rapid rate of urbanization gave birth to many unexpected problems in urban areas .There are division of residential pockets in urban areas like they found in rural one. There are few people in urban places who enjoy and merry the physical resources and maintain hygienic living status. On the other hand there are urban poor who lives in slums and on pavements and live on hand to mouth conditions. Cities may be the place of royal life and place of opportunities a lot, but there are urban poor people who die at every moment in their daily life in urban social environment where they considered as criminal, prostitutes, thieves and spot on cities' life. But the thing is that urban areas then only may be hygienic, unpolluted and without poverty when concentration paid on the urban poor's betterment and spread of education in such areas so the children can create a bright future. This change in the life of urban poor may be more beneficial to establish development and hygienic environment in cities.
K. K. Gavsker
Hyderabad, A.P., India
Being a father myself, I presume no parent wishes to make his offspring toil at a young age. It is the economic necessity that forces kids to work at tender age. What economic alternative do you provide after forcing a young worker not to work a living?
Nashville, TN, USA
IS THE ENVIRONMENT IN PERIL? In my opinion, we are the ones in peril, environment is secondary. Fate of the human race will not perish in the hands of nature, but man made disaster. The world will revive itself, one way or another. There's no doubt that the world is over populated. But if you think about it for a second, hundreds of people are also dying from different causes every hour. The problem is not the ever growing populations, but the lack of opportunity for the population to survive. I'm talking about job opportunities for those who did not get an education, and education for those who can't afford it. We can't stop the human race from multiplying, but we can provide the tools for the population to survive.
Jovenar D. Ulep
Sir, I do not think the world is overpopulated but I think leaders over particularly the 3rd world countries do not seem to have a well planned of action to meet the populations needs in terms of economy, empowerment etc for the individuals to take of themselves. The world is only over-populated in the cities but if the rurals are equally made economically viable and conducive population will be redistributed for breathing space in the cities. In addition, the sun and the wind could be an alternative source of energy for many countries of the world if properly harnessed.
We need to clearly define renewable energy. Bio-diesel and Ethanol although renewable do little to reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions. Where do you see breakthrough in alternative fuels? What fuels?
I am a farmer in California and deeply concerned with the seeming shortage of food around the world. The recent rice shortage in the far east has caused overpricing, not just this staple but likewise other substances. What have global climatic changes got to do with these incidents?
Ganny D. Cornelio
Why shouldn't the U.S. government build a large refinery to compete with oil companies, as this will help bring the gas prices at the pump down, and give a reference price for gas that we will never get from the oil companies? While government is always the best solution to problems, this is one where we might really consider government involvement. The refinery companies will never be looking out for our best interest.
What sanctions should the developed world face for not complying to the terms of the international community about global warming/climate change? It is my belief that because they make most of their wealth from endangering poor nations by contributing rapidly to global warming anyway, it is a global phenomenon.
Added to the environmental questioning and communities displacement resulting from the intensive cultivation of oil palm, there is a much more serious issue: the impact on the right to food of a large number of people, which has arisen recent and strong pronouncements from specialists and organizations, among them Jean Ziegler, the United Nations special Rapporteur on the Right for enough and healthy Food. We cannot forget that 854 million humans suffer from serious malnutrition around the world, every 5 seconds a child aged less than 10 dies from hunger and every 4 minutes someone goes blind due vitamin A deficiency. Biofuels are not a silver bullet against energy issues nor global warming, careless use is really dangerous.