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GREEN HOME SHOW #37: Healthy Organic Food: Part 2 Green News, Game Show, and Audience Going Green Questions
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Green News - 6:00 Sponsored by: Suntrust Mortgage of Christiana
An update and report on the ever-changing face of the future of transportation
Okay so let's talk about autos. It is second or third largest industry in America somewhere behind “Beef, Pork and Poultry”… go figure…
We’ve already told you that the amount of money that flows into the beef, pork and poultry industry in this country in terms of cash and natural resources expended on the industry is about one third of all the natural resources used in our country in a year.
Just thought I'd drop that one on you again, the total cost far exceeds the monetary expenditures and consumption of oil, coal, gas combined. Beef is big money it is all so big waste... but I digress.
Okay let’s see... we talked about the Tesla sports car coming out of California that was going to cost $90,000 to $100,000... as we said before, the electric car industry is really changing on whether they can come through with a reasonably priced battery that delivers range, ease of recharge, and sufficient torque to satisfy the average American and consequently the worldwide population. The industry has been very hopeful that they can make money selling stock in these companies and they're already taking deposits on cars, as in the case of Tesla. The range of the Tesla was supposed to get about 200 miles on a battery charge and as we said it cost about $90,000, with a significant part of the cost being the battery...
So I did more research on Tesla I found out that the CEO is stepping down and the company has acknowledged that it may face more delays in bringing the Tesla roadster to market. Last July, he was aiming to have a vehicle ready in about a year, Then later, shifted that date to fall 2007. Now looks like another postponement could be in the offing and so you really need to keep your eye on this one.... they say they're still planning for a fall release but it looks like they need a little more time to gear up for competing with the big boys and expanding a little bit to keep up with demand and the challenge for mass manufacturing. I would also keep an eye on this one in terms of battery technology because I don’t think they're quite settled on the final product yet.
Another company to lookout for is one called Wrightspeed. These guys are the makers of an electric drive train for trucks that they plan to sell to establish manufacturers. They have electric sports car already but they want to get into pickup trucks. And according to research the top three selling vehicles last year in America were Pickup trucks: the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado and the Dodge Ram. So if you're looking for something to follow, keep an eye on this company. They do truck conversions. And trucks put out an awful lot of emissions and don't get great mileage. Of course, as always, the big issue is battery life... if the Tesla only goes 200 miles on a charge, how far can a truck hauling a full load of battery parts go on its electrical power?
There's a good electric truck story in Europe... go out to the web and Google “Smith Electric Trucks”... these guys are going to up the ante... they’re already operating in Europe and are vowing to invade America soon...
A good electric truck would be a welcome “British Invasion”!
To add fuel to the fire, Nissan is less excited about ethanol and biodiesel and more excited about electric cars. Nissan is going to come out with more hybrid cars and some completely electric vehicles in a few years. An interesting comment by one of the vice presidents and managers of the technology development division was that he thought that both bio-diesel and ethanol costs were more than regular gas, once changes in mileage and other factors are calculated in. The most important thing is the availability of fuel.
I love this guy! And I quote, “there are also the political and societal questions”, he added. “You have to use cropland that might be better used in growing food do, you have to cut down tropical forests. It's the opposite with cars that run on electricity. The societal questions are easy… the tough part is coming up with a battery that is small enough and cheap enough to put in your car.”
It looks like Nissan is betting on battery powered cars as a second car until they can get batteries to give people enough range and at a price they can afford. Just some food for thought…
I guess if I was investing in any the new technologies now, I might hone my searches down to battery manufacturing companies that have been in business for more than 25 years, have an upswing in their outside investment, and are tied to some of the larger companies like Nissan. I would also look into companies that supply the battery manufacturers with their components.
On the other hand looks like Honda's coming out with more diesel cars, trying to get their MPG up to around 60 or 65 miles a gallon. And the scuttlebutt for the hybrid, which is a car that runs on battery and gas intermittently, is that the 2009 models, which will be offered in 2008, are going to be able to get somewhere between 80 and 90 miles to the gallon. But while we applaud this... again, we need to see where and how the batteries will be recycled. That is key. So as an investor and I would certainly be investigating companies that were gearing up to process used auto batteries and how they were faring.
We'll continue our investigation and updates on the trends in the auto industry, hydrogen is next, and we will try to do our best to keep up with his ever-changing field and hopefully it will be smooth driving for the rest of us. By the way if you've ever been an electric powered vehicle and you know that they are thrilled to drive and much faster more torque than our gas powered cars
The Great Green Game Show - 5:00 Sponsored by: Energy Services Group
Wink: Welcome to the first ever airing of Americas new favorite game show, The Great Green Game Show! I’m your host Wink Hunter. Our show here is very simple. I’ll ask our contestants multiple choice questions and the first to answer correctly gets the points. At the end of the show, the contestant with the most points will be our winner. So let’s meet today’s contestants! Contestant #1 is a waitress from Little Rock, Arkansas and who spends her spare time collecting gummy bears and worms. Please welcome… Olive Duprey! Olive, how many gummy worms do you have?
Olive (not too bright): Oh, I don’t collect gummy worms… I collect gummy bears… and worms. I currently have over 75 gummy bears… it was over 80, but I got hungry… and I have 227 worms. The worms is hard ‘cuz they keep dyin’ and sometimes my boyfriend swipes a couple to go fishin’.
Wink: Well it’s great to have you here Olive, we’re certainly glad you could join us today. Contestant #2 is a professional telemarketer from Bakersfield, California who likes to travel the country in his spare time. Please welcome Chip Forest. What exactly do you sell over the phone there Chip?
Chip (like he’s reading a script… badly): Funny you should ask, sir. Mostly kitchen gagdets. Would you like the lifetime guarantee with that sir?
Wink: No thanks Chip… Tell me, where do you travel when you go? Do you have specific destinations or do you just sort of wander?
Chip: I go to see Marching Bands… I see over 200 Marching Bands per year. But you can upgrade to the deluxe model for just $9.95 more. Could I interest you in an upgrade sir?
Wink: I don’t think so Chip, but thanks for playing our game today! Our final contestant is a Marine SGT from Camp Pendelton, California who likes to get his hands dirty with some organic gardening when he’s not off preserving our way of life. Please give a warm welcome to SGT Dirk Squarejaw. Why organic gardening Dirk?
Dirk: Sir! Our bodies are temples sir! It is imperative that we only put the best things in our bodies to ensure we can maintain peak performance sir!
Wink: Good answer SGT! OK, is everyone ready to play our game? Terrific! Alright, our first category is food. And the question is:
Food which is “produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations” is the definition of:
- – Orgasmic
- – Mechanic
- – Organic or
- – Volcanic?
Wink: Yes, Dirk?
Dirk: Sir, “C” - organic, sir!!!
Ding Ding Ding
Wink: That’s correct SGT, I guess that wasn’t too hard for you. That was worth 5 points. OK, still in the category of food. Our next question is:
“A commitment to social justice in which employees and farmers are treated and paid fairly, sustainable environmental practices are followed and long-term trade relationships are fostered” is the definition of:
- – Fair Warning
- – Fair Trade
- – Fair Weather or
- – Fair Play
Wink: Yes, Olive?
Olive: I’d like to buy an “E” please.
Wink: Sorry, wrong game… Chip or Dirk?
Wink: Yes Chip!
Chip: What is Fairplay?
Wink: Wrong answer and wrong game! Dirk
Wink: Yes Dirk!
Dirk: Sir, “B” – Fairtrade sir!!!
Ding Ding Ding
Wink: Correct! Good for another 5 points. Alright, switching categories, we’re moving to home energy savings. Our first question in this category is:
Throwing a dry _______________ in the dryer with your wet clothes can save up to 25% of the energy bill for your dryer? I’ll repeat that… Throwing a dry (WHAT) in the dryer with your wet clothes can save up to 25% of the energy bill for your dryer? Is it:
- – Cat
- – Tube of Lipstick
- – Can of Hormel Chili or
- – Bath Towel
Wink: Yes, Chip
Chip: I’d like Whoopi Goldberg for the block Alex.
Wink: Sorry Chip! Wrong game and wrong name! Olive or Dirk!
Wink: Yes Olive!
Olive: A – Cat Wink
Wink: No! Dirk?
Wink: Yes Dirk!
Dirk: Sir! D – Bath Towel, sir!
Ding Ding Ding
Wink: Correct again Dirk! You’re on fire! That’s worth another 5 points. Ok. Our final question is still in the home energy category. This one is worth 25 points, so whoever answers this one correctly will go home with all the marbles! Here’s your question… If every household in the U.S. changed just one incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent light bulb, we would save enough energy to light a city of approximately how many people for one year? Is it:
- – 12
- – 17,000
- – 200,000 or
- – 0, it would actually cost more money
Wink: Yes, Olive!
Olive: No Deal!
Wink: You guys are killing me! This is not wheel of fortune… it’s not Hollywood squares, it’s not Deal or no Deal or even jeopardy! It’s the Great Green Game Show! Chip or Dirk!
Wink: Yes, Chip!
Chip: Oh, I’m sorry… I just accidentally leaned on my button.
Wink: Too many jokes! Must mock Chip! Whataya think Dirk? Can you answer our last question and go home with everything?
Dirk: Sir! C – 200,000, sir!
Ding Ding Ding
Wink: Yes! Dirk! You’ve won it all! 40 points and a clean sweep! Let’s tell you what you’ve won!!! Are you ready Dirk? You’ve won… Energy Star appliances! That’s right, Dirk! You’ve won the most energy efficient washer and dryer on the market! Yes, your new washer will do twice the laundry with half the water of your old washer and it’s more fuel efficient to boot! Your new dryer runs on natural gas and will cost only about 60 – 70% of what it cost to run your old dryer! And that’s before you throw in the dry bath towel!!! Olive and Chip… we have some great parting gifts for you both. So join us next week to play another round of the Great Green Game Show!!!
Today’s Top Ten – 3:00 Sponsored by: Myecoagent.com
A quick digression... the nuclear power issue keeps raising its ugly head. Here are the top10 reasons why it may not be a good idea to use nuclear energy to try and save the planet :
- Nuclear waste –The waste from nuclear power plants will be toxic for humans for more than 100,000 years. It's untenable now to secure and store all of the waste from the plants that exist. To scale up to 2,500 or 3,000, let alone 17,000 plants is unthinkable.
- Nuclear proliferation – In discussing the nuclear proliferation issue, Al Gore said, "During my 8 years in the White House, every nuclear weapons proliferation issue we dealt with was connected to a nuclear reactor program." Iran and North Korea are reminding us of this every day. We can't develop a domestic nuclear energy program without confronting proliferation in other countries.
- National Security – Nuclear reactors represent a clear national security risk, and an attractive target for terrorists. In researching the security around nuclear power plants, Robert Kennedy, Jr. found that there are at least eight relatively easy ways to cause a major meltdown at a nuclear power plant.
- Accidents – Forget terrorism for a moment, and remember that mere accidents – human error or natural disasters – can wreak just as much havoc at a nuclear power plant site. The Chernobyl disaster forced the evacuation and resettlement of nearly 400,000 people, without thousands poisoned by radiation.
- Cancer – There are growing concerns that living near nuclear plants increases the risk for childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer – even when a plant has an accident-free track record. One Texas study found increased cancer rates in north central Texas since the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant was established in 1990, and a recent German study found childhood leukemia clusters near several nuclear power sites in Europe.
- Not enough sites – Scaling up to 17,000 – or 2,500 or 3,000 -- nuclear plants isn't possible simply due to the limitation of feasible sites. Nuclear plants need to be located near a source of water for cooling, and there aren't enough locations in the world that are safe from droughts, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other potential disasters that could trigger a nuclear accident. Over 24 nuclear plants are at risk of needing to be shut down this year because of the drought in the Southeast. No water, no nuclear power.
- Not enough uranium – Even if we could find enough feasible sites for a new generation of nuclear plants, we're running out of the uranium necessary to power them. Scientists in both the US and UK have shown that if the current level of nuclear power were expanded to provide all the world's electricity, our uranium would be depleted in less than ten years.
- Costs – Some types of energy production, such as solar power, experience decreasing costs to scale. Like computers and cell phones, when you make more solar panels, costs come down. Nuclear power, however, will experience increasing costs to scale. Due to dwindling sites and uranium resources, each successive new nuclear power plant will only see its costs rise, with taxpayers and consumers ultimately paying the price.
- Private sector unwilling to finance – Due to all of the above, the private sector has largely chosen to take a pass on the financial risks of nuclear power, which is what led the industry to seek taxpayer loan guarantees from Congress in the first place.
And finally, even if all of the above strikes against nuclear power didn't exist, nuclear power still can't be a climate solution because there is…
- No time – Even if nuclear waste, proliferation, national security, accidents, cancer and other dangers of uranium mining and transport, lack of sites, increasing costs, and a private sector unwilling to insure and finance the projects weren't enough to put an end to the debate of nuclear power as a solution for climate change, the final nail in nuclear's coffin is time. We have the next ten years to mount a global effort against climate change. It simply isn't possible to build 17,000 – or 2,500 or 17 for that matter – in ten years.
With so many strikes against nuclear power, it should be off the table as a climate solution, so we need to turn our energies toward the technologies and strategies that can truly make a difference: solar power, wind power, and energy from sustainable and renewable sources
Thanks to Green Delaware for the list. They said “take action” and now we have.
Listener Letters – 1:30 Sponsored by: Option Insurance Group
Our letter today is from Ben Durbin of Oxford, PA. Ben is unhappy and wants to know: Where can I find good “green” news? I’m trying to stay optimistic by finding hopeful news. Any suggestions?
Ben! Good news is everywhere! You just ain’t tryin’ hard enough. First of all, listen to this show. We always have good news. Secondly, you can go to any of a number of websites out there that will give you the straight skinny on a lot of great green topics. I just read this morning in the Grist that four tech companies have partnered with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to introduce the Eco-Patent Commons, which will offer the rights to eco-friendly technologies for free. IBM, Sony, Nokia, and Pitney Bowes have together donated 31 patents into the public domain, including one for a shock-absorbing cardboard tray that would replace the need for Styrofoam peanuts and another for a way to recycle cell phones into new devices. "Innovation to address environmental issues will require both the application of technology as well as new models for sharing intellectual property among companies in different industries," says IBM Senior Vice President Dr. John E. Kelly III. "IBM is excited to bring its patent resources to bear in service of the environment. We strongly urge other companies to contribute to the Eco-Patent Commons." So you just have to look for it. It’s there!
Thanks to Option Insurance Group for sponsoring this week’s Listener Letters. Remember, we’ll answer your questions too.