Monday, July 27, 2015

Fuelverine

John Brackett, the engineer who shows you how to hack your car's computer in the movie PUMP, has created an interesting web site loaded with great information. Check it out: Fuelverine.

On the web site, Brackett writes:
I created this site to give you a choice, because your government and the car manufacturers keep pretending you don’t have one. With the latest EPA regulations, $5,000-15,000 per vehicle is added just in emissions control systems to keep that dirty gasoline from polluting our atmosphere. With alternative fuels, most of these components wouldn’t be needed. There are half a dozen other fuel choices that could be made locally, burn cleaner, create local jobs, improve infrastructure and provide true energy independence. But why are we not allowed to use them? Is it a chicken vs the egg problem? Yes. Is it a technical problem? Not in the slightest. Is this your problem even if you don’t have a car? Yes. Everything in our economy is tied to the cost of oil and transportation, which is controlled by a monopoly, lobbyists, and your government. Do you realize every taxpayer spends $5,700 per year in subsidies for the oil companies… who are making record profits while our country goes more in debt. In whose interest is it that we don’t have fuel choice?

Everything on a car will break, and if it doesn’t, the bolt next to it will. Then you have to heat, cut, grind, lather, repeat. It’s an endless cycle and if you don’t do your own car work, will usually cost you a grand per visit for what used to be simple tasks. This story is only going to get worse over the upcoming years. So much so, that I don’t believe people will be able to afford a vehicle at current trends, especially when gas goes back to $5/gallon, which it will.

So who am I to tell you what to do? My education is in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration on Automotive Engineering. With the guidance of some brilliant minds, I’ve been able to run engines on a dozen fuels cleanly and reliably. Now it’s your turn to learn what you can do to enable your own fuel choice and start demanding a change.

Check it out: Fuelverine.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Exxon knew of climate change in 1981 – but it funded deniers for 27 more years

"ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.

"The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago – factoring that knowledge into its decision about an enormous gas field in south-east Asia. The field, off the coast of Indonesia, would have been the single largest source of global warming pollution at the time.

"'Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia,' Lenny Bernstein, a 30-year industry veteran and Exxon’s former in-house climate expert, wrote in the email. 'This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2,' or carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.

"However, Exxon’s public position was marked by continued refusal to acknowledge the dangers of climate change, even in response to appeals from the Rockefellers, its founding family, and its continued financial support for climate denial."

Read the whole article: Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years.

Oil company funds dozens of front groups and researchers trying to discredit links between fossil fuels and climate change – or denying climate change was occurring at all

"Members of the Rockefeller family tried to get ExxonMobil to acknowledge the dangers of climate change a decade ago – but failed in their efforts to reform the oil giant.

"In letters, lunch meetings, and shareholder resolutions, the descendants of John D Rockefeller, founder of the oil empire that eventually became Exxon, sought repeatedly to persuade the company to abandon climate denial and begin shifting their business towards clean energy.

"'The head of investor relations was really surprised to find we didn’t love Exxon as it was but thought changes might be a good idea,' said Neva Rockefeller Goodwin.

"Over the next few years, Goodwin and about a dozen other Rockefellers launched three separate shareholder resolutions pressing Exxon to recognise climate change and invest in renewable energy. The cousins also sought an independent chairman, believing it would make the company more responsive.

"At the time the oil company was the main funder of dozens of front groups and researchers rubbishing any link between the burning of fossil fuels and climate change – or denying climate change was occurring at all."

Read the whole article: Rockefeller family tried and failed to get ExxonMobil to accept climate change.

Needless to say, this is not fuel competition. This is not fuels competing with each other in a competitive marketplace. This is deceptive, monopolistic non-competition.

US taxpayers subsidising world's biggest fossil fuel companies

"The world’s biggest and most profitable fossil fuel companies are receiving huge and rising subsidies from US taxpayers...

"A Guardian investigation of three specific projects, run by Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum, has revealed that the subsidises were all granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry."

Read the rest: US taxpayers subsidising world's biggest fossil fuel companies.

Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry

"A prominent academic and climate change denier’s work was funded almost entirely by the energy industry, receiving more than $1.2m from companies, lobby groups and oil billionaires over more than a decade, newly released documents show.

"Over the last 14 years Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, received a total of $1.25m from Exxon Mobil, Southern Company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and a foundation run by the ultra-conservative Koch brothers..."

Read the rest: Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry.

This is not fuel competition. This is deception.