Tag Archives: fossil fuels

Top Tweets From SXSW Eco

SXSW Eco 2013

We just got back from the 2013 SXSW Eco conference, the third-annual Austin, Texas, meeting of movers and shakers in the environmental movement. We helped wrangle the event’s food waste to the compost heap instead of the landfill as SXSW Eco’s official Food & Waste Education Partner, and our own Jeremy Kranowitz and Gray Peckham took part in a panel discussion about Program-Related Investments. We also gathered lots of fodder for upcoming articles. In the meantime, here are crowdsourced highlights from the conference via Twitter.

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Save Fuel With Your Smartphone

Fuel economy is obviously very important to American drivers, and yet many drivers have no idea that poor driving habits can reduce fuel economy by as much as one-third. Drivers typically evaluate vehicles by their fuel economy, but simple actions like strong accelerations, abrupt braking, and idling can stand in the way of taking full advantage of a vehicle’s efficiency potential. And guess what, there are apps for that. Here’s a look at several that help save fuel.

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The debate over Natural Gas

"Circle of Fire" by Dobrych[/caption]

Natural gas as an alternative to oil has been a heated topic of debate. With the release of films like “Gaslands” and other calls for alarm in the media, it’s become difficult to discern reality from unfounded anxiety. We’ve tried to clarify this complex issue by laying out the basic arguments and evidence from both sides of the camp. With the lower emissions of natural gas and its position as a currently cheaper and domestically produced alternative to imported oil, there seems to be a strong case for natural gas as an intermediate solution to help ease America’s oil addiction while we refine more long-term sustainable alternatives.

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The Coming Saudi Oil Storm

At Sustainable America we found this article from Ned Davis Research important to share. As the authors John LaForge and Warren Pies illuminate, there is a perfect storm brewing in Saudi Arabia which could likely drive oil prices higher than we may have imagined in the near future.

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The Real Game-Changing Event In Energy

Photo: Smokey Drive from Lubbock to Austin / by flickr user dingatx / CC BY-NC 2.0

At Sustainable America we find this article from 13D Research interesting and on point. We believe it helps highlight the vulnerabilities of our economy to global oil supply, and the need for reducing our reliance on oil for transportation uses.

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Car sharing hits hyperdrive with an innovative new company called Getaround. Just under a year old, the company has already signed over 10,000 people up for the car sharing service.

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Information-based energy efficiency (IBEE) is the new buzz in large scale energy savings, and Opower is one of the companies leading the pack. Utilitizing the power of social media and the information gleaned from massive amounts of data, Opower is helping Americans save incredible amounts of energy (and plenty of money) each month.

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Sewage to fuel

Exit the 405 Freeway at Euclid Ave and you’ll find the very first hydrogen fueling station that is converting sewage to fuel. This fueling station is located at the Fountain Valley sewage treatment plant, part of the Orange County Sanitation … Continue reading

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A Peak Oil Primer

What is Peak Oil? Peak oil is not the end of oil. It’s not as if all the reserves in the world are just going to dry up. Rather, it’s the end of cheap and available oil, something we humans … Continue reading

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What are fossil fuels?

I imagine some day hundreds of years from now, when a future humanoid describes the fossil fuel era, they may say something like this: Humans found the decomposed bodies of long dead organisms big and small buried under the ground. … Continue reading

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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