Archives for Eco-nerd

Incandescent Lights: What EISA Really Means

There’s been a lot of press coverage recently of the incandescent lighting provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and it’s largely been of the form “The US Government is banning incandescent light bulbs.” While this makes for good prime-time newsvertainment, it’s not really true. The tungsten light bulb was invented in 1905 as a fairly radical improvement on the earlier carbon filament bulbs, which would generally last less than a week before burning out. The humble incandescent light bulb was pretty constantly improved — both in terms of lifetime and efficiency — until about 1964. At
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Categories: Dear God, Make It Stop!, Eco-nerd, Politics and Local Topics, and Science.

Get ‘Em While They’re Hot

Tesla Motors is now taking deposits for their ├╝ber-cool Model S sedan, which is planned for production in 2011 — they’ll be sold off in first-come-first-served order. The claims are 0-60 mph in a smooth 5.6 seconds, with seating for 5 adults. And 300 miles on a charge. Base models start at $50,000 — which seems quite the bargain, when you consider that it’s likely to compete with luxury sedans for amenities. For a mere $5,000 ($4,950 of which can be refunded, at least as long as Tesla remains solvent), you can get your place in line.
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Categories: Eco-nerd, Tech, and Toys.

A Cheaper Eco-Sport Car

It certainly doesn’t approach the allure of the Tesla Roadster, but there’s another set of high-performance, alternate-technology cars in the works as well: a Brazilian company is poised to launch a line of cars under the name “Obvio!” next year. The low end model, the Obvio! 828, starts at $14,000 for a hybrid version that runs on gas, ethanol, or any mix of the two; it gets mileage of 33 MPG city/44 MPG highway on gasoline (30/40 on ethanol) with a top speed of 100 MPH. It also comes in an electric-only version with a 200 – 240 mile range
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Categories: Eco-nerd and Toys.

Eating Patagonian Toothfish?

You may or may not be aware that the sudden rise in popularity of the Patagonian toothfish (aka “Chilean Sea Bass”) in the 1990s, combined with their slow rate of maturity, led to the near extinction of that fish. Conservationists called for a complete ban on their consumption until such a time as the species’ viability can be assured. Today, I was in Whole Foods; they stopped carrying Patagoinian toothfish over 7 years ago in response to the overfishing situation. But today — today, they had it in stock, accompanied by a big “Welcome Back Chilean Sea Bass!” banner. They
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Categories: Eco-nerd and Food.

Full Spectrum CFL Bulbs

For quite a long time, Jean has been extolling the virtues of full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs. Not only do they have better color rendering than other fluorescents; they also purportedly have psychological effects that help most people feel better overall. Unfortunately, the full-spectrum bulbs that I’ve known about have all been either tubes (which I have only in the kitchen) or highly-specialized lamp bulbs (which are of no use to me). I have just recently been made aware of the availability of full spectrum compact fluorescent light bulbs. They’re a bit pricy, but probably worth trying out. I’ll have to order
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Categories: Eco-nerd.

Got a spare $100,000?

Ben brought to my attention a new breed of electic car that Tesla Motors is producing. The vehicles themselves are styled and manufactured by Lotus. The first car out the gate is the “Tesla Roadster” — a two seater with a trunk that can be described only as “vestigial.” It’s a soft-top convertable with a hard top option. So it’s an electic sports car? Yep. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise: the Japanese have been outperfoming gas-powered cars using electric prototypes for years. (According to Wired, Tesla Motors has other cars in the works as well). This car
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Categories: Eco-nerd, Science, and Toys.