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Green coach

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Car services are a bit beyond my means, or perhaps I should say, I have no specific idea what car services cost because I've always assumed they are beyond my means. Which, I'm sure, they are. But enough about me.

Planettran has put the eco-twist on car service by putting into service a fleet of Priuses to ferry the swells around town.

NStar green

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People want to know: Is NStar's announcement yesterday that, beginning in July, customers willing to pay an extra fee will be able to get half or all their electricity from wind generators a big deal, or just a bunch of hot air?

The answer is, neither. It doesn't give Massachusetts utility customers any greater ability to support the development of wind power than they already had, but it may accelerate the trend, regardless.

The big payoff

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Even among those of us who want to be part of the solution to global climate change, there is a lot of confusion on how to get there. Buy a Prius? Put a solar cell on the roof? Grow your own vegetables? All helpful ideas, but is any of those the best way to proceed?

The problem, of course, is that there is no one right answer. It's true that if you take one of those actions, you'll likely be helping. But we're on a deadline here: The level considered safe is 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and we're already at 385 and growing by 2 ppm a year.

Another D2E leftover

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Sorry, Second Rotation, for calling you a leftover, and I do so only in the sense that I didn't follow up soon after the show.

Second Rotation has figured out a way to profit from buying used cell phones, computers, cameras, gaming consoles, GPSs, and other electronic gizmos that are sitting in your drawer, unused. (If you've already sent them to the landfill, too late.)

Didn’t see this coming

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I intend my headline more in a philosophical sense than literal, since this isn't the first I've heard that there is a backlog in wind-turbine construction. This story from CNet News's excellent green tech blog says that GE calculates its backlog at $12 billion, up a billion just in the past quarter, and more than twice its size just a year ago.

AAA alternative

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I encountered boosters for the Better World Club at the recent Down 2 Earth trade show. It says it's better than Triple-A, and maybe it is. I'm a Triple-A member and have found it good enough but not outstanding, so I'm neither seeking an alternative or wedded to what I have. As you can imagine from its name and from the venue it bought table space at, BWC touts itself as a being more eco-minded. Among its offerings are: * Roadside assistance for bicycles as well as cars * They donate 1% of revenues to environmental clean-up and advocacy.

Back to Earth

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So now the three days of Down:2:Earth are done, and I've got plenty to share — more than I think I will have the bandwidth for. It wasn't as bad as the information bulge that resulted from BE'08, which I'm still trying to work through, but then again, d2e wasn't nearly as monumental. Nevertheless, it is a credit to the show that there is more to report on than there is time to report on.

Coal, the "alternative fuel"

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I cannot imagine a single person outside the coal industry who is enthusiastic about coal. Never mind enthusiastic — I cannot imagine any thinking person with a direct financial interest having any toleration for doing anything whatsoever with coal other than leaving it in the ground, undisturbed, forever.

I know that the president refers to our country as the Saudi Arabia of coal, but a) he's completely co-opted on any traditional-energy topic, and b) he's ... well, I'll just leave it at a).


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