Monthly Archives: September 2013

What Would Henry Kissinger Do?

On the Sunday morning talk show, Face the Nation, that aired on September 22, 2013, Henry Kissinger said that, “we are on our way to solving the energy situation. Not just solving but becoming a major factor in the energy situation in the world…” He went on to say that solving the energy situation will bring back manufacturing and other jobs to this country.  Was he talking about the so-called XL pipeline? Or was he referring to solar panels, wind turbines, more efficient windows and doors, better insulation materials, fuel-efficient cars and trucks, fuel-efficient heating and air conditioning systems and the huge infrastructure that can evolve to develop, improve, produce, distribute, sell and install these things? Let’s hope the latter, or at least both.

It’s a Beautiful Day, Open Up!

Across many parts of the country we are in that golden period where beautiful days and chilly nights bring a welcome transition from the hot days of summer and make us think of the coming beauty of autumn colors and falling leaves. It is a time to open the windows and enjoy cross ventilation in our homes during the day and keep them open over night to cool down enough so that daytime temperatures do not over heat the house. With just a little bit of attention on our part, we improve the air in our homes and neither heat or cool our living space for, if we are lucky, several weeks. Collectively, this takes a significant bite out of our energy consumption nationally, if only for a short time. If one day, here or there, gets a bit too warm, use ceiling fans rather than closing up and turning on the air conditioning. If it is getting too chilly to keep all the windows open over night, use a blanket to stay warm in bed, or close one or two windows (for instance, in the bathroom to make showering comfortable) but let the house cool down enough so that all day long the home will feel good inside, even if the temperatures outside are approaching 80 degrees.

Another American Made Car of the Future

We’ve talked about Tesla cars, made in California – the attraction they have and their growth and success (see posting from April 2 2013). Today, we focus on a car from the other end of the pricing spectrum… The Elio. While the Tesla is a high-end luxury electric car the Elio promises to be the “everyman’s” accessible, cool, alternative car. Production of the Elio is expected to begin in Shreveport, LA in 2014, providing not only an affordable car at $6,800, but also one that gets 84 miles per gallon. Even more unusual is the look of the car, a three-wheeled two-seater (think Miata meets PT Cruiser).

Maybe the one of the best features of the car is the fact that one can drive out of a dealership in one without spending a cent. The new car buyer leaves with the vehicle and a special credit card used for purchasing gasoline for the car. The plan is that each time the owner gasses up the car; the charge is for triple the fuel cost, with the extra funds going to Elio as a car payment. At 84 mpg, this routine is expected to be relatively painless. If the Elio proves to be a reliable, well-built car, this could bring a spectacular improvement to the quality of life for many. Creating jobs, providing a low cost transportation option, no up front lump sum (that many low income or young buyers have trouble producing) requirements, and a boon to the overarching need for our society to consume less fuel.

Check them out here: