Greenedia.com Daily Blog Report: Stored Heat Warms Bridges, Tesla Announces Delay, New UN Climate Summit News
This is a selection of today’s most notable blog articles from Greenedia.com where you will find the most extensive collection of environmental blogs, videos and podcasts on the web.
New Developments at UN Climate Summit
The United Nations staged an international summit on Monday to address to growing impact of climate change and a number of high-profile national leaders were in attendance. The Accuweather blog, written by Brett Anderson, reports that “among the notable Americans in attendance were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and former Vice President Al Gore.”
Anderson noted that one of the key issues of the day involved an exchange between developing countries and rich economies where a number of 3rd world nations requested additional help coping with the impact of climate change. According to the post, “developing countries are shy about binding targets since implementation of the promises could brake their rise out of poverty.” The Group of 77, which represents 3rd world countries (including China) stated that “rich countries should deepen their reduction commitments in the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol and help poorer countries.”
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice indicated that America hasn’t completely given up on addressing climate change and she was quoted as saying “the U.S. takes this challenge very seriously and will actively participate in future negotiations.” The post also stated that America is concerned that the Kyoto Protocol applies only to developed countries and won’t address pollution problems in India or China. Anderson also reported that “the U.S. will launch its own climate change meetings later this week which will include 16 major polluting economies, including China.”
Tesla CEO confirms delay
A post from Autobloggreen, an expert green vehicle blog, has revealed a setback with the 2008 delivery of the state-of-the-art Tesla Roadster. According to the post, CEO Michael Marks sent out a letter to waiting customers addressing a recent New York Times article that stated “full production for the Roadster has been delayed until the first quarter of 2008.” While Tesla plans to start building several production models later on this year, it may only be possible to deliver 600 Tesla’s by the end of the 2008 model year.
However, it was not all doom and gloom for the folks at Tesla. Autobloggreen reported that “the Roadster has now been officially validated on the EPA combined cycle with a 245 mile range.” More specifically, “the city range is confirmed at 252 miles with highway range at 236 miles.” A press release issued by Tesla has also revealed that “a validation prototype Tesla Roadster accelerated consistently from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.” Additionally, the post reported that the Tesla has now passed the side impact crash tests that previous prototypes had failed.
Japanese bridge uses stored heat
According to a recent post from Treehugger, a new sustainability initiative in Japan has resulted in the world’s first “stored heat” system for de-icing bridges. The post stated that “In Fukui, Japan, the Snow Management and Construction Technology Research Center has developed a system where they store summer heat for snow-melting in winter by driving a large number of dedicated heat-exchanger piles into the riverbank.” During the warm summer months, the self-contained circulation pump operates automatically as the bridge surface becomes hot, carrying the heat to the underground storage piles where it is conserved until winter arrives.
The post noted that bridges can be especially dangerous in cold climates due to the fact that “they cool more quickly than regular roads, ice can form when the rest of the road seems safe.” Additionally, more de-icing chemicals are required which can cause bridges to deteriorate, not to mention the impact that the de-icing chemicals can have on waterways if spillage occurs.
Treehugger was adamant that this type of technology is extremely beneficial in lowering the environmental impact of bridges and should be adopted worldwide once the technology becomes affordable. “Counting emissions from construction and 50 years of operation, this new technology will result in one-twenty-fifth the carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional electric snow-melting equipment.”
China and America Cooperate on Green Cars
The US Department of Energy has signed a five-year agreement with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology to promote the large-scale deployment of electric, hybrid-electric, fuel cell and alternative fuel technologies within the next generation of vehicles. Green Car Congress, a widely-read blog focused on sustainable automobiles, has reported that this agreement falls under the umbrella of an existing technology-sharing pact that exists between the two countries.
The post stated that the arrangement makes a good deal of sense due to the fact that “the US is the largest consumer and producer of cars in the world, and in 2006, China became second largest consumer of, and the third largest producer of, vehicles in the world.” China’s car-driving population is expected to rise dramatically in the next few decades. “China currently has approximately 9 million passenger cars on the road and by 2030 it is expected to have between 115-147 million passenger cars on the road.”
The pact was signed by the Department of Energy’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy John Mizroch and the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Director General Zhang Zhihong.
According to Green Car Congress, “the two countries will work closely with national laboratories, automotive industries, and private industry organizations involved in energy efficient transportation.” The pact also includes cooperation on technical information exchanges and visits to address research and development programs. Additionally, the post reports that a series of “joint economic, environment, and policy studies to enhance understanding of appropriate mechanisms and policies to promote rapid adoption of electric vehicles in an environmentally and economically sound manner” will also be conducted within the two countries.
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