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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bio-Fuel Alternative....ZAP!

As world food shortages continue, thanks in a large part to the diversion of cereal crops for bio-fuel production, lo, a ray of hope glimmers through the murk! Technology Review reports that a novel lithium-ion battery has been developed by A123 Systems, a startup in Watertown, MA--one of a handful of companies working on similar technology. The company's batteries store more than twice as much energy as nickel-metal hydride batteries, the type used in today's hybrid cars, while delivering the bursts of power that will let people feel as if they're actually driving a car rather than a kid's toy. There is hope for an electric car after all, since the real hold-back has been battery technology. Apparently General Motors is testing them for their Volt, an electric car and may have them in mass production in 2010. Boy, I hope. Using food for fuel is...as we are immediately finding out...a serious ethical and humanitarian conundrum. You want to drive or eat? Unfortunately the wealthier populations get to make the choice, and the poorest populations get to suffer the result. This really cannot go on.

2 Comments:

Blogger GSKearney said...

Well, after reading your last blog post and this somewhat off the wall post from Scott Adams:

http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2008/05/israel-defeats.html

He may be a bit premature thinking that solar tech can replace oil at this point, but it's something to think about. On the other hand if you tie solar tech together with superconducting transmission lines, then the Middle East still has a lot of solar energy to harvest from all that sand. More conflict between the Arabs and Israelis. Be interesting to see what happens when the Saudis and other Middle Eastern OPEC countries discover that they really need Israeli technology to stay competitive in the energy business.

I think I'll just go out and soak up some sunshine myownself. I've been very lazy the past week or so, and I guess it's time I got a bit of exercise. ---gk

7:17 AM  
Blogger Mary Rosenblum said...

Cool, Gary! I followed the link thru to the original tech piece. This is an interesting new twist on solar panels. Mostly what I'm seeing is the new mirror-technology, where you use banks of solar mirrors, computer-oriented to the sun, to reflect heat to a liquid salt reservoir which can get quite hot. That is then piped to transmit said heat to water to power a turbine with steam and cooled salt is returned to be reheated by mirrors. Right now, as far as I can learn, that's more efficient than our solar panel/battery storage model. (battery storage is the weak link) I don't think any one technology will replace oil. We simply use too much of it and it's too efficient at doing what it does. But a combination of alternatives will work. BUT people have to stop seeing the American Dream as the worldwide goal of lifestyle, gods help us! So get on that bike and ride!

9:50 PM  

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