Friday, February 15, 2008


Wouldn't you think twice about getting a car or going unnecessary places if you change miles per gallon into miles per dollar.(although the used car salesmen might get a little mad.) For example the 2008 Ford Tahoe is 5.4 miles per dollar. Going to Denver from Grand Junction? That will be $100 in gas, round trip. So, next time you go someplace, just think about how much you are spending. To calculate your MP$, click here.

Land and Sea

By Riley Ruse

Have you ever wished that you could drive and dive? Your prayers have been answered. A Swiss company called Rinspeed has developed a concept car that will let you fly. This car is known as the one and only sQuba. It has all the features of a sports car mixed in with an underwater submarine. Squba can drive on roads and with the push of a button dive up to 10 meters or 33 feet underwater. This car is a true science fiction story becoming true. Best of all it runs on clean safe lithium batteries. This underwater convertible isn’t designed to be dry inside the car but not to worry; the car comes with its very own oxygen breathing system so you are dressed in a high-tech scuba diver mask. Rinspeed says this only a concept car and that the best is still to come.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Global Warming: Bunch of Gas or is the Heat On?

By Brandon :D

What is Global Warming? Is it called global warming or global climate change? Will the earth spontaneously combust on a certain day? Do we have ANYTHING to do with it? What are we going to do if the drastic happens, go to Mars? The Moon? Yes, there are plenty of questions, fewer answers, and any of the above may happen, although some are not very likely.
First are people... the ignorant, on both sides. On one far side, there are the people who believe that global warming is a total myth; that we have nothing to do with it, and that it is all an idea of the government to make more ideas to get more votes. They basically say, "Yep, it's heating up, but it's not us. Plus, Colorado and places around New York just got bunches of that there snow stuff, how could the earth be heating up drastically if there's snow? The Earth has been heating up for millions of years. Prove that it is us and then we'll talk. It's all Gore's fault. Hey, why am I burning? Wait, what? I can't get water 'cuz we're going through a drought? Yep I bet Gore took all of it to put in his mansion. I'm going to my home so that I can run my microwave with nothing in it and run my cooler on 65 when no one's home. "
The other side, also very ignorant, believe that the whole world is going to burn to the ground or freeze into a giant icecube. They believe that the whole thing is caused by us and that we are the only cause of it. The only way that we can solve it is by throwing all of our cars into the Grand Canyon, and then never use electricity or burn a fire. Their side of the conversation : "Man, we totally need to just throw our cars away, and just live free, man. Without cars, the man can't bring us down! I love that Gore dude, he is, like, a true hero. Too bad for his movie and his presentation, he used so much energy. Well, I'm going to go to my anti-energy home and eat a granola bar that was made without electricity of any kind."
Yes, I exaggerated on both and stereotyped, but some people are that way, they either care too little or too much. Yes, some of these things could happen and some of these things would help, but why can't we just reach a happy medium? Some people do, and get pellet burning stoves instead of hot water heaters, (why heat water if it is already hot? Is that redundant or do I repeat myself?) use a Wattson/Kyoto(see older blog), or unplug electric items they don't use during the day when they're gone.
Secondly, what global warming is and how it's caused... I could jabber on
about this and the specifics, but there is a simple way to put it. (maybe!) One possible, and probably the most heard cause is "the greenhouse effect." The greenhouse effect is when CO2(Carbon Dioxide) is put into the air, it makes a blanket around the earth. This blanket lets heat in, but not out, just like the glass is in a greenhouse, hence the name the greenhouse effect. The diagram above shows what the greenhouse effect is quite nicely. As the so-called "blanket" gets bigger because of more greenhouse gas emissions, the less infared radiation is let out of the atmosphere, causing more heat and possibly global warming! CO2 does occur naturally, but do we, humans, have anything to do with this with our billions of cars and other non-environmental activities/items.
The second theory is that our sun is heating up enough to heat up the earth. The sun is going through it's growing cycle, it is only a yellow dwarf, but is it really enough to heat up the earth this much. What may be happening is that the greenhouse effect is happening and increasing, and the sun is heating up, which some may call a "double whammy!"There are some more "realistic theories" online, as well as some humorous ones. Check it out if you are interested, but the two above are the main ones.
Finally and definitely not least, how do we solve this problem, or at least contribute to the solution. Well, this is what this very blog is about. This blog is about making a difference, and if we are contributing(which we probably are) how to save the world. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but it's the truth. So, just read the blog, and maybe you'll learn something new. The main point of this post is to say that global warming is a serious issue, and needs to be considered as such.

Poop Power and Methane Machines Oh My!

by Brandon Bishop :D

(Video of the week #1)
This video clip shows how waste could be used positively. Very interesting..... I wonder if there will ever be the toilet car that the video shows. That would be interesting!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Business Growth Created by Energy Industry

By Chris

A survey conducted by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce found that 90% of the 246 respondents' businesses had been affected by growth in the energy industry during the past two years. Also, 67% of the people surveyed said that "their businesses had grown as a result of energy activity." Out of those, 19% said that their businesses grew more than 20%. Only 3% of the 246 people surveyed said that business declined.

According to respondents, several benefits were associated with the region's energy activity, which included "higher wages, strong retail sales" and "insulation from a potential recession." Some of the challenges are "work force issues,"rising wage levels," and "difficulty in recruiting due to housing costs." The energy industry is clearly affecting business growth in the Grand Valley, and this trend should continue.

Comparing Fuel Costs

By Chris

Current Jan. 2008 Feb. 2007

National Average $2.976 $3.106 $2.181

Colorado Average $2.932 $2.878 $2.124

Denver $2.877 $2.811 $2.075

Grand Junction $2.987 $2.921 $2.114

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Dilemma

By Landon

Many geologists claim that there are billions of barrels and trillions of cubic feet of oil recoverable in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge in Alaska. The reason for us not drilling for this oil though,is that we don't wish to harm the animals that live there. The drilling of this oil will not harm the animals. Millions of dollars of reasearch on these animals proves that the production of petrolium and wildlife can coexhist. New oil and natural gas rigs have been adapted to keep the migration of animals the same by destroying the least amount of tundra as possible. About 100 miles west of the refuge lies the Prudhoe Bay, one of the United State's largest oil fields. Migratory birds and caribou line the coastlines of the Prudhoe Bay and are not affected by the oil harvesting going on there. How would this be different on land?

Coal remains vital fuel source

By Garrett

Demand for energy means coal will remain a part of the mixture of fuels. Coal and other fossil fuels will be needed for the increasing deamand of alternative energy. Coal and other fossil fuels are still vital for the survival of this industrialized society. We still need oil, natural gas, and coal, for vehicles and power plants. Mark Smith said that we need all energy sources, not just solar or wind. The country will need to be increasingly energy efficient and away from higher polluting fuels. It seems as if coal will remain an essential part of our society, even though many people are trying to become more energy efficient. Personally, I feel we should continue to use fossil fuels, as we will outlast our need for fossil fuel, yet it's very interesting that people are talking about coal remaing as a source of energy.

Blending Airlines

By: Riley J. Ruse
When you go to the airport for a plane to take you where cars can’t you wish for three features to be included in your flight; comfort, cleanliness, and a short ride. These days the conventional 747 airplane is mildly fast, packed full, and about as clean as living in a bug friendly home. NASA and Boeing are working on a future plane more sophisticated than any other real life transportation today. It is called the X48-B blended wing aircraft. The X48-B has the same wingspan as an A380 but is ¾ as long. If you wanted to imagine this plane taking off, try to picture a plane the size of a baseball field taking off like a conventional jet. AMAZING!! This technology is available now but building an aircraft alien to the public takes years of designing, testing and convincing. The companies behind this project have already built a 25 foot model, called Skyray 48, which flew to an altitude of 7500 ft. There is a good chance that within the next 5-10 years the first test flights of the full size X48-B will begin. It will be a bloody battle when this plane exits the hanger.

New Solar Panel? Cool!

by Vinny

Nanosolar, since 2002, has been working on making the most cost efficient solar panels, and well, they succeded. Instead of being like other solar panels and spending $3 per watt, their panels are a largely reduced 30 cents per watt. Expect to see solar plants using these cells in Germany and California. For more in depth information, go here.

Did you know...

By Vinny

Did you know that the first man to ever build a machine that ran off solar energy was in 1860? Its true, Augustin Mouchot of France built this machine because of the scares that fossil fuels were going to run out soon. His job though was to be a professor in mathematics.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Salazars Anvil Points

Posted by Garrett

U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, and U.S. Representative John Salazar, brother legislators from Colorado, introduced an idea for the federal government to release $33 million to Rio Blanco and Garfield counties of Western Colorado. The legislation would ensure that the energy industry doesn't leave Western Colorado. The feds are holding 66 million dollars for natural gas on the Naval Shale Reserve for the cleanup of Anvil Points Oil Shale Research. This money could go to the counties that are forerunning the energy operations in the country. The Anvil Points area is accruing about 1.5 million dollars. The Salazars new plan would split this money evenly between the federal government and the two Western Slope counties.

Meeting on oil shale developement

By Garrett
The federal government will present its new ideas for oil shale developement in northwestern Colorado to the public in two meetings in February 2008. The meetings will be held in Rifle and Meeker Colorado.The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) presented last year a worst case scenario for the western slope will be landscape and environment degredation, as well as urbanization of some of the region's of small towns.

Where Did All the Money Go?


The federal gas tax began in 1932 at a minute one cent per gallon. Over the years, with many raises, it has grown to a staggering 18.4 cents per gallon. But there are still additional stat taxes which adds up to a very large tax. The average gas tax of both state and local for American drivers is 45.9 cents a gallon! The highest in the country is New York which pays a whopping 62.9 cents a gallon. Information from the U.S. Department of Transportation tells us that the annual gas tax for every man, woman and child is about $271 a year. Roughly, that is about 8.13 billion dollars a year from the gas tax. Originally, the money from the gas tax was meant to be used for road repairs. Explain why the bridge in Minnesota collapsed due to lack of repair. Surely that is enough money for the road repairs. Where is this 8.13 billion dollars going? What is it being used for and who has the control over it? 8.13 billion dollars per year is a lot of money. What is to be done?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Extra Attic Energy

by Caden

Did you know that a major energy consumer in your house is your attic? If your attic is not insulated well enough, you could really pay for it! If not properly insulated, your attic may be letting in lots of cold air which eventually will seep into your home through outlets, walls, and cracks in your cieling. To counter this additional coldness you turn up the heat. Turning up the heat wastes energy and cash! So if you want to save energy and some extra cash insulate your attic, it will pay off in the long run.

Detoxing The Shed

Rocky Mountain News-2.09.08-Joe Lamp'l
by Caden

Are the dangerous chemicals in your garden shed being well stored? If not, you could be harming the environment. Chemicals such as pesticides and all lawn and garden liquids that are not stored properly can be harmful, not only the environment, but pets and humans as well. Here are some tips for proper storage of these chemicals.
*Follow all storage instructions listed on the label and keep chemicals in their original containers.
*Store your chemicals in a locked but ventilated cabinet away from children and animals.
*Keep your chemicals away from areas of possible flooding and all drainage areas.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Power Walking

Posted by Scott

A new device created by J. Maxwell Doneland, uses the motion of the leg to generate electricity. When the leg swings forward and back the generator captures this motion as gears let it switch from forward to backward that allow it to not have a dragging feeling. If one of these devices were used on each leg, it would produce about 5 watts of power which is enough power to run ten cell phones. What makes this more than just another invention is that it will produce electricity any time you walk or move your leg like moving around the house for example. Things like hand cranks are useful but nobody really wants to crank a handle for energy. That is what makes this invention useful.