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Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Excited about Hybrids
Topic: Green Business

I have been a long term critic of the hybrids but today is a good day, I learnt about few hybrid car coming our way - Volvo is designing ReCharge - a  plugin hybrid and it seems to be a fun car. Of course, valley is breeding the Tesla which I often see going up and down on Highway 101, then there is the fleet of Priuses which are increasingly clogging the carpool lanes. The most interesting development that I am looking forward to is Honda's commitment to make Hybrids affordable. I recently read a news article where Honda's Top US executive relayed his commitment to control the Hybrid costs to $1900 above the normal cars. I believe it will be very helpful in improving people's will to buy the cars. The government is already doing the job by letting the gasolene price rise, so, economics of the roads is changing. I really see the gas prices touching $6-7 in two years based on the prices in rest of the world that we trail by 3-4 years. So, for the first time, the cost equation is turning in favor of hybrids. I will definitely buy one when I am on the lookout for my next vehicle.

Posted by praneymittal at 9:27 PM PDT
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Saturday, 19 April 2008
Wanted: A green disruptive innovation and a Thomas Edison for Environment
Topic: Green Business

I have always wondered what made America successful vis-a-vis countries where government controls everything. The great formula for the success here is that thinking independently is promoted. An independent brain is a playground for innovation.

We need innovations for environment protection that will change the face of the world. We need innovations that will buck the normal trend of incremental innovations and give us an edge over controlling carbon emissions and using fossil fuels, that innovation will bring us into 21st century (okay okay I know we are already there).

The other important thing that makes companies in this country so great is the fact that they are run by smart people without much interruption. There is enough room for experimenting with strategies without getting too nervous. These CEOs have led the innovation by companies since Thomas Edison's discovery of electric lamp laid the foundation of GE. I believe that the 21st Century company of the magnitude of GE will come from a new Thomas Edison who would comeup with a life changing disruptive innovation in the environment area.

Then, we also need the Envrionment control across the planet to be run like a company too. The topline is defined by production of energy and bottomline being defined by the usage of energy. The CEO of company will focus on increasing the topline by increasing the production of clean energy and decreasing the bottomline by bringing up the efficiency of transportation and utilities. And yes, this person has to be a great visionary. We do not need the senators and congressman defining the policies while they do not have a complete understanding of the environment. Most of them are political people and are better focussed only on politics.

May be I am just day dreaming ....

Posted by praneymittal at 10:07 AM PDT
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Saturday, 12 April 2008
A really green day
Topic: Green News of the day

Today is a great day, a nice sunny California morning, quiet and beautiful. Temperature may cross 80 degrees and a nice spring bloom of flowers provides a nice scenic setting. Here in the bay area, the hills turn green during this time of the year due to Jan - Mar rain and it is a pretty sight. This is not exactly a day to spend in front of the laptop, hence, I am going to take off soon. It is a perfect biking day, there is a trail very close to my house that goes by the Alameda creek and connects to the trail that goes up the Dumbarton bridge. If you do not live in this area, the bay area has a system of trails around the bay called bay trails.It is over 200 miles of paved trails and you can be as close to nature, both water and hills as much as you want. These trails provide you an opportunity to bike almost endlessly.  The trail over Dumbarton bridge is the protected trail runs on the side of Highway 84 and there is a point from where you can see the three downtowns - San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland. And above all, you can literally see the curvature of the earth. You can not reach this point any other way then a bike, it is just too far to walk and it is on a bridge, so, you are not allowed to stop if you are driving.

It is a perfect opportunity to break the daily system of life and just not use any thing that will be harmful to environment. It is a really green day and I am going the green way ...

Posted by praneymittal at 10:10 AM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 12 April 2008 10:34 AM PDT
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Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Not a Green Activist, just a common person
Topic: Ecolories

I have been watching Digg for a past few days and now I can understand. There is a wealth of content on it. I specifically go to it for environment related content that no other news site provides quicker updates on. In many news articles, I run into wacky experiments. Some John Doe went through a list of tasks and finally, managed to get the job done a different way without causing much harm to environment.

These experiments have a high degree of showcase value. Most of them are not viable for mass production or to fight our dependence on oil. If there was one, the inventor will become an overnight billionaire. That is bad news but it is not a waste. Someday, an entrepreneur will pick one of these ideas and create a viable mass production solution which will solve many problems related to fuel dependency and emissions.

But as a common man, I am largely out of this process. I will likely not be able to invent a fuel alternative but am willing to chip in when it comes to saving our green and blue planet. Here are a few things I am planning to do as a common man who cares:

1. Carpool / take public transport a day of work in a week.

2. Not take "To go" food unless I really need it - it reduces the amount of plastic.

3. Pick a thinner stack of napkins in the fast food restaurant. Leave them on the table if unused.

4. Not print a document to just proof read it. Honestly, I dont print anything unless I really really need it. It helps my company save money as well.

5. Use electricity in a frugal way, this helped my electricity bill and saved a lot of emissions. Energy efficient bulbs were just a beginning. Solar garden lights and switching off unnecessary lights alone led to huge savings. My wife's aversion to the heating system also helped a little bit.

Overall, this week I feel happy about the ecolories I saved.

Posted by praneymittal at 4:55 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 April 2008 5:44 PM PDT
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Sunday, 6 April 2008
Interesting followup article to recession thinking...
Topic: Conservation etc ...

This article details change in spending habit patterns:

Lenders retreat as housing market plummets


Posted by praneymittal at 10:49 AM PDT
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Friday, 4 April 2008
Does recession make us greener ?
Topic: Conservation etc ...

The recession is official today. This is evidenced by the job numbers report. Does the thought of losing our job due to "contracting economy" scare us? Yes, A little bit. But it really scares us working in the financial and mortgage industries. I have been always curious if a thought of rainy day will make us run for cover and I think it does. Our spending habits change when the news from media starts brewing in our minds. Suddenly, the drive to LA for a weekend getaway becomes a little bit less interesting and so, does an evening latte in Starbucks. Many of us begin to adapt to the changing market by "conserving" and that is a good thing. Conserving not only helps us save for a rainy day, it helps the environment as well. There are ample ways to have fun without using gas for long painful drives.

 Going slightly off topic, conservation will also help the economy. If the masses have good amount of savings, it will help build a solid foundation for the country. This helps the economy and well-being of the population. The Big Oil and Big Marts would not be as big though.

And finally a big thanks to the Minimalist for providing helpful editing inputs!

Posted by praneymittal at 11:30 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 5 April 2008 6:45 PM PDT
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Thursday, 3 April 2008
Introducing ecolories, the measure of being green!
Topic: Ecolories

Ecolories does not result in any searches on google and that's why I picked this world. I dont consider myself qualified enough to coin new words but this word seems to convey the message best. Being environment friendly is a way of life. Conservation is more so a move forward. I compare this very much to a person on diet. The person watches calories and carbs and has a natural tendency of turning food bottles and cans and reading the food value. A conservation freak is a person playing the same tune, only difference being that wherever this person sees wastage and excess, he/she measures it is ecolories. The lesser the number of ecolories, the lesser the wastage. For example, a person commuting to work in a Chevy Tahoe is gaining ecolories much faster than the person who is say, driving a hybrid or even better, not driving in the worst traffic hours.

So, how many ecolories did you gain today? Can you count? Yes, that to-go lunch pack came with a lot of plastic, you gained a few ecolories there. Oh, and that can of coke that went into the regular bin instead of recycle bin got you some. The water bottles also pile them fast. ... Think ... and post more examples.

Posted by praneymittal at 5:58 PM PDT
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Wednesday, 2 April 2008
Food Vs. Ethanol
Topic: Food Crunch and Ethanol

Posted by praneymittal at 8:19 PM PDT
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Saturday, 29 March 2008
Who stole my bread... Someone in Detroit?
Topic: Food Crunch and Ethanol

This is an interesting thought as we never think that we will ever be short of food grains. But we are in an interesting situation where Detroit life saver Ethanol is stealing your bread. Today, pressure on detroit to develop alternative clean energy has Auto industry hawks eyeing your food plate. The competition for Corn and Wheat is more than ever. Lets see who needs wheat and Corn -

1. Variety of foods - Breads, Flour etc. for humans

2. Beer (For some, it should be number 1) and some other Alcohols

3. Livestock is fed on these grains and is used further up in the foodchain by humans

4. Detroit Automakers who would like to divert wheat and corn production to Ethanol production.

The prices of wheat and corn have been going up because of the lesser production of wheat and more demand for ethanol production which is further leading to increases in prices of livestock based food items as well. I am wondering if this is really green to derive the alternative fuels from human food supply. Ethanol is especially bad as it takes more energy to produce than it has.

I think it is time our policy makers should stop Detroit from going in the direction of Ethanol.

Posted by praneymittal at 10:26 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 April 2008 8:19 PM PDT
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Green and UN Agenda 21

I got some interesting comments on my posts on Digg. A well-qualified gentleman commented as follows -

"The green movement is from the owners of big oil, international bankers like Rockefeller and Rothschilds.
They use the movement to promote social controls on the world, to make us willing slaves.
They empower UN Agenda 21 which is active in the USA today...but we weren't told. Being green isn't about saving the earth, its about controlling the Human beings."

I agree with it in most part. This is interesting as the UN agenda 21 is about bring social awareness and building self sustainable societies. One of the means it suggests is educating the people about environment. I also discovered  a wealth of material on internet which relates it religious beliefs of people, which I found concerning. I dont believe that saving environment is about saving the human beings of any specific religion. It is about saving the planet and making it liveable for all.


Posted by praneymittal at 9:50 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 March 2008 10:22 PM PDT
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