Tag Archives: how do we use fossil fuels

Super Trucks

Image via Cummins.com

Cummins Inc. and Peterbuilt Motors recently announced the impressive results of the test of their “SuperTruck,” a tractor-trailer designed to cut fuel usage by half through aerodynamics and a higher-efficiency engine. Under real-world driving conditions, the SuperTruck’s fuel economy was found to be 54 percent higher than a regular long-haul truck, averaging nearly 10 miles per gallon (mpg).

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How To Make The Food System More Energy Efficient

This article was originally published in Scientific American, and is republished on the Sustainable America blog with the permission of the author, Dr. Michael E. Webber. “Examining our food supply through the lens of energy use reveals opportunities for smart policies, innovative technologies and new dietary choices that can potentially solve food and energy problems together. The same steps would also make our bodies, and our ecosystems, healthier.”

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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 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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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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