buy kite, cut carbon

according to this article, someone has finally figured out that if you attach a giant kite to a giant ship, you save on fuel. heaven forbid someone in the long haul shipping industry ever run across a kite-boarder or a sail boat… wind, totally mystifying, right?

let’s look at the numbers. apparently, freight accounts for 25% of the US’s transport emissions, which is 8% of the country’s total emissions, and one kite on one ship could decrease fuel consumption up to 35%. Do the math (?) and that amounts to, and i quote:

A United Nations (International Maritime Organisation) study found that up to 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved every year by the broad application of SkySails’ technology on the world merchant fleet, SkySail said.

Neat! 100 million tonnes of carbon. that’s a lot, right?

well, if i may draw your attention back to the carbon footprint graphic, you will see that the US, as a nation, ranks #2 in (worst) carbon emissions in the world! that makes 8% a not-so-very insignificant number… in fact that 8% is 2025 million metric tonnes (according to here), so a decrease of 100 million would, voila, be about a 5% reduction in all transportation emissions, or 0.4% in total emissions, based on the 2007 numbers.  impossible?! (… well maybe, someone want to check the units on that one?)

Oh, and fyi, other ways to decrease fuel consumption on a ship … go slower, among other things

so, back to the kite, SkySails. did i mention that it’s run by a computer which controls the flight path. pretty. fancy. kite.

helsinki & the underground master plan

you may have seen this on Gizmodo, but if not, fyi, helsinki has become the first city with an underground master plan. Thanks to their constricted urban landscape (sea and existing buildings), they have decided to mitigate sprawl by digging deep and “going green”. This of course, made possible, by the shallow layer of hard bedrock located right below the city. They even cool computers with sea water, and use the heat for houses. Smart Fins…

Richard Quest explains all:


eco-bridge or birdy-blender?

maybe this could be a good idea …

or maybe it will completely fail and make minced meat out of a whole lot of birds.

According to Gizmodo:

This Solar Wind concept is the brainchild of designers Francesco Colarossi, Giovanna Saracino and Luisa Saracino, who came second in a competition to dream up a bridge spanning the Italian areas of Bagnara and Scilla.

If chosen, the solar highway would stretch 12.4 miles, with the bridge’s wind turbines generating enough electricity to power 15,000 houses a year. Naturally the solar panels would also generate electricity, and the greenhouses would allow passing drivers to buy roadside fruit and vegetables from indie growers.

but read the comments and you may start to think otherwise…

indie growers?

also it looks like a bridge made out of clocks. and is it just me or does it look like half of it is a really narrow lane of cars and the other half is trying to be the highline in nyc?

Four Loko lives on…

I know being in Canada we haven’t had much first-hand experience with the awesome wide-awake drunk feeling provided by alcohol-energy drink Four Loko, and now we’ll get to miss out on it’s environmental benefits, too.  As retailers stop selling it due to FDA pressure in the US, truckloads of it are being sent to processing plants to be turned into pure ethanol.

I sincerely like the implications this has for using biofuels of a more renewable nature (that don’t consume foodcrops).

And I ironically appreciate that now hipsters can literally have a Four Loko fueled night.  What a world we live in.

See the story here on Fuel Fix.