Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Diesel Dos and Donts in this week's EQ

Rapeseed, or Canola Oil as diesel fuel. As far as my admittedly cursory web search can determine, no one, not even the oil industry, seems to think this is a bad idea. There is a downside, as you can hear in segment 3, it makes your car smell like French fry fat. The whole show is filled with upsides and downsides, ins and outs, bottoms and tops, fricks and fracks (you get the point) of looking for alternative ways to fuel our wonderfully wasteful western lifestyle. As far as I can determine, it looks like we'll be cozying up to Gazprom for some time to come.
(Picture nicked from Greenpeace as part of a long article on bio-diesel)

Segment 1 - Stockholm's Congestion Charge Trial
In order to reduce traffic and pollution, the Swedish capital Stockholm is enacting a highly controversial 6-month congestion charge trial. Bill Schiller spoke to the project leaders of Stockholm's congestion charge trial.
Subsequent to this interview, the new toll has been introduced and seems to be working. Check out this article from Radio Sweden entitled "New road toll slashes traffic".

Segment 2 - The Sea Highway
How do you get a heavy goods vehicle from the south of France to the south of Italy on less than a liter of diesel? Answer: put it on a boat. John Laurenson reports on Europe's new sea highway...

Segment 3 - Switching to Rapeseed Oil: A Cheap and Clean Solution?
Rapeseed oil can be used as fuel for cars and trucks. It is biodegradable, non-toxic and has fewer emissions when burned. Michel Walraven went to one of the Dutch rape oil mills in the north of the Netherlands where he was shown how it works.
An interesting article on Dutch biofuel policy. This article is in English.

Segment 4 - Human Powered Energy
Professor AJ Jansen of the faculty for industrial design at Delft Technical University in the Netherlands demonstrated Human Powered Energy devices to Thijs Westerbeek.
You want to know more? This is a Link to the Technical University of Delft's "Human Powered Energy Systems" site.

You can download this program in high quality mp3 format here.


At 1:28 PM, Blogger Jonathan Groubert said...

Subsequent to making this program, I became more aware that I shouldn't have framed it as something new. As a number of listeners have pointed out, the issue has been ongoing for some time. Particularly the idea of using rapeseed biodiesel. The topic was current, buy my framing came off sounding a little out of touch. My apologies to those who felt I needed to do, perhaps, a little more research on the subject.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Adam Daniel Mezei said...

I'm a little uneasy about the notion that Dutch manufacturers and industrial concerns would -- rather facilely -- return to regular diesel should the prices for same become much more cost-effective vis-a-vis biodiesel.

Who wouldn't be as uncomfortable with it, really?

I know I'm being somewhat master of the obvious-ish here...but what's the big deal with finding a (gaping) sinkhole for this elsewhere? There are heaps of places.

C'mon. Let's do the math together: how about The Hague slaps some sort of additional tax bite on all those stag tour operators (like Prague Pissup) which send hapless and bumbling sauced-up horny gangs of British, Dutch, and/or German bachelors to places such as Prague & Bratislava, thereby gaining taxable revenue in the process?

The drunken louts wouldn't know what hit 'em, especially in their state, hm?

Have you seen some of these guys prancing about town, of late? Did you see 'em in Prague, JG?



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