Category Archives: fuel mileage

Quote of the week

World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said the 350 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere since 1750 “will remain there for centuries, causing our planet to warm further and impacting on all aspects of life on earth.”

New gas-mileage standards saving oil, cutting emissions?

Higher fuel efficiency standards will cut oil use and greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the gist of this article. But it is what is beneath the headline that really makes a difference  as far as the health and well-being of fish and wildlife populations: The presence of roads and their fragmenting effect on the landscape everywhere. How about we start shutting some roads and restoring some migratory corridors and making protected areas “whole” again in the process.

The forest fires this time

This op-ed piece by writer Timothy Egan, whose book on the epic northern Idaho fire of many decades ago is a great read, holds nothing back in pointing out the connection between human-caused climate change and the new vagaries of Wild Nature. Will Mitt Romney and his cohorts and even President Obama start clamoring for decisive action to stop the human trashing of our atmosphere? Don’t count on it, sadly.

Connecting the dots: How climate change is fueling western wildfires

This isn’t rocket science. And things have changed a lot from the days in the late 60s when I attended a conservation camp for teenagers in the panhandle of Idaho and us campers helped dig a fireline. Yes, the changing climate is to blame for several wildfire-related issues. Read about it here, thanks to the National Wildlife Federation.

Changing the chemistry of Earth’s oceans

That’s right, buckaroos. And guess who’s responsible: We are, of course. Just as our burning of fossil fuels, like coal, is heating up our planet (the only one we’ve got, sports fans), so is it changing the chemistry of our oceans. The result: Acidification. This editorial from the NY Times explains why we should stop burning rocks like coal and liquids like petroleum. But, of course, we won;’t because knuckleheads wield too much power over our former Democratic government. I won’t name the names here, but people who identify themselves as conservationists or environmentalists or even plain old “naturalist” know the names.

Exxon, Salazar in setttlement talks on offshore drilling

What’s to settle? You either stick with your guns (no drilling whatsoever) o you don’t. To all the laypeople driving around (often when they could be walking instead): The sooner you have to stop buying petroleum products like gasoline and motor oil the quicker we can clean up the mess we’ve been making now for many decades. And stop polluting. The NY Times has this piece on the “talks.”

The military’s new campaign: Cutting its energy costs

This renewed look at saving whee the electricity and motor fuel gauges run is hardly a new initiative. I recall, with fond memories, my boss, the commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (now just 8th Fighter Wing) one day dispatching a base photo lab cameraman to spend a day traveling around Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, for a day in late 985, with instructions to find and photograph every outside light he found burning bright in the bright Korea sun. A few days later, the photographer’s work of several dozen shots was shown during a a wing staff meeting. The offending units knew who they were without further elaboration. That day, and continuing into the next, those dozens upon dozens of outside lights shining over parking lots, alleyways, wash-racks, etc., had been extinguished and the base’s electricity bill fell substantially. This article, from the Norfolk, Va., Virginian Pilot paper, takes a new and refreshing look at the whole energy conservation activity across each of the four military services. And don’t tell U.S. Sen. James Inhofe this, but the article in a paper serving a huge active-duty and retired military audience mentions “greenhouse gases.”