Daily Green Wrap-up 6.November, 2012

One week has passed since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Mid-Atlantic region, but thousands of people in New Jersey and the greater NYC area are still feeling its effects. While the rest of the country tunes into election day coverage, people in hurricane-ravaged areas still need your help. Officials aren’t sure exactly how many people are in need of housing — estimates range between 10,000 and 40,000 — and with a powerful nor’easter in the forecast, the situation could get dire. If you want to help Hurricane Sandy victims, there are many things you can do, from giving money to donating food and clothes. Read on to learn how you can do your part to help.
Facing a shortage of coal, Tata Power, India’s largest private power utility, said it plans to increasingly invest in renewable energy.
We’ve had all sorts of predictions about the possible effects of climate change on the monsoon in South Asia, some of which are pretty severe. Now, some new research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research takes a longer view, examining the effects of climate change on the monsoon one hundred years from now and even later.
The term “fossil fuels” comes from the fact that the oil in the ground is the result of compressed carbon life dating back millions of years. But a new biofuel breakthrough by researchers at the University of Michigan has turned wet algae into a viable oil substitute in under a minute. Is this the moment that algae goes mainstream?
  • Jeff (GreenJoyment):  Crunching a few numbers leads to intriguing home and national self-sufficiency possibilities, and the chance to make some cash in the process.

    The video in the article states that an area the size of New Mexico would be needed to grow the algae required to support the US demand for oil.

    Let’s break that down to a more personal level.  That’s just under 30k sq. ft. per family.

    – Say you place a sort of mini-algae farm in a 1,000 sq. ft. basement 3 layers deep; that would provide 10% of your family’s oil needs for the year.  The volume of crude oil (about 180 gal) produced from that algae is the equivalent of $500 of crude oil yearly, although the US Navy has been paying as much as $20/gal for algae based oil which is $3,660 per year for your basement project.  An algae filled basement is probably not very realistic though.

    – Let’s think bigger and scale up to a 1 sq. mi. field converted to grow algae.  At todays current crude oil prices of $86 per barrel (not the US Navy’s algae oil price of $630 per barrel) that algae farm could produce $4.6 Million in revenue per year.  That’s incredible.  That’s oil to sustain 9,300 families, or a community of 24,000 people.

    – Then imagine the savings on transportation cost if refinement could be distributed among communities that small.

    Nearly every small town in the country could have it’s own “oil field”.

    No drilling, no fracking waste, no 12 hour shifts knee deep in oil, and no foreign dependence.  I’m excited to keep an eye on this technology.

Hurricane Sandy has many people thinking about what they would do without power for days on end, particularly when it comes to the need to keep essential items like cell phones charged, ready and available for use. The Eton Corporation understands that challenge and responded with the BoostTurbine: a hand crank cell phone charger that allows you to power your device when electricity is unavailable.
If Proposition 37, California’s GMO labeling measure, gets voted down today, it will be unfortunate and frustrating for many. But it won’t happen for lack of a movement.
  • Greenjoyment(Ally): Unfortunately, California voters rejected prop 37. On an optimistic note, despite disproportionately huge amounts of funds going into anti-prop 37 campaigning, the vote was actually pretty close and the issue has inspired more dialogue about GMOs than ever before. 

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