Jun 26, 2007

The 'not so' Open Line to the West Coast

Just finished listening to a radio show that a friend who recently moved to California recommended, its a talk show called 'The Open Line to the West Coast' on KGO and the host is Dr. Bill, he is a scientist (according to Wikipedia, the radio website and his own resume) and from what I googled, my friend isn't the only one listening to him, he seems to be spearheading a slightly different (more rooted in the conservative approach) ideology regarding the environment, though whats interesting is that he is mostly at odds with the established proponents of the present day main stream environmental movement (which we can say for most part of the US revolves around sierra club, Al gore and the broader Democrat caucus) he seems to talk on many different topics, though I don't think all of his assertions regarding those topics can be followed blindly, though his credentials and his convictions makes you want to do just that. In the show that I listened to, he was constantly challenging the Sierra Club and the US forest service for a face off, though according to him they never respond, the colorful labels he gives them are though quite amusing in there own rite, here are some of the things he called them that I can recall from the hour long show on the ongoing lake Tahoe fire:

1- vulgar pyromaniac criminals
2- vulgar criminal hypocrisy
3- so called eco saviors
4- so called environmental saviors
5- eco-freaks
6- eco-frauds
7- bunch of do nothing nuts
8- bunch of dummies
9- eco-nerds

He is as condescending as they come, specially towards those who call in to share equally valid but different opinions, about those who think nuclear energy is not part of the solution but actually the problem, he says 'its only a problem in the eyes of the ignorant and the idiots who tell the ignorant that its a problem'

my favorite line from the show: 'talking to you is like wiping your nose on a grind stone'

things I agree on with Dr Bill:

1- right now Nuclear plants are the most viable solution to the impending energy crisis
2- the long term fix for forest fires is forest thinning
3- natural gas power plants aren't that great they also produce green house gas emissions just as coal burning plants
4- spent fuel rods from nuclear plants can and should be processed to reduce nuclear waste
5- bottled water is a fraud

What I don't agree with him on:

1- California is already doing energy conservation to the fullest and there is no more room to conserve.
My response to that: thats really load of baloney (in Dr. Bills own words) if thats so true then how come we still see SUVs occupied by single occupants hogging CA freeways, why don't we see more neighborhoods transformed in to walkable ones, why don't we see billions of dollars pouring in to mass transit projects and I can go on and on and on...

2- nuclear energy plants are problem free.
my response to that: chernobyl

3- his total irreverence to people with a different point of view.
my response to that: diversity of thought is one of the things that make this country great, your age old beliefs and opinions shouldn't be a hindrance to your ability to listen to new ideas and castigate those who present them, thats not very productive, scientists should know better.

I started off thinking I will blog on the lake Tahoe fire, but ended up rewriting the whole piece on Dr. Bill I guess thats the thing about polarizing personalities, they take your focus away from the issue, but then there is already a lot being written on it, my adding to it would just be adding noise to the coverage.

Jun 18, 2007

more clean, more efficient

some stunning images of cars fit to appear in a scifi movie (next installment of "minority report"?) came out of the 2007 Geneva auto show, if this is what the new prius is gonna look like, then so long rest of the automobile industry.

Speaking of green vehicle options VW seems to be working hard at trying to cash in on green car buzz, as they just rolled out another model that gives you 62 miles on a gallon, no news of the long awaited honda diesel for the US market though like always there is this rumor of a large diesel engine for the Amrican market, the new buzz comes with a news of a 'plasma' technology that keeps the emission squeaky clean (some electric generator/reactor that breaks nitrogen oxide in nitrogen and oxygen ( most of earths atmosphere is made up of nitrogen) again something really cool, the reported mileage (62MPG) also sounds fantastic, plus its gasoline equivalent V8 power makes it good enough to be my next car (in 2010), all thats needs to be done on Honda side is to make sure they come out with there next generation of Nav system (anti aliasing fonts, bluetooth with PBAP and A2DP support, plus i wanna use traffic info/alert via the internet connection from my wireless provider, make it open standard based and drop the monthly fee, also let me create and upload my own POIs?, simulate a route before I start the journey) give me altitude info also, let me download my travel stats and map them to google map after all that all thats left for me to do is look for a house next to a Macdonald's where i am gonna get my supply of bio diesel, (it will work with bio-diesel with out any mods right?.

Speaking of cleaner high efficiency cars, you should for sure checkout this article by Daniel Weiss, though I do not support think tanks with any particular political leaning as I think that effects there objectivity but nevertheless this one is a must read as it comes with a lot of statistics in favor of higher government fuel economy standards, I think numbers speak louder then words.