Tag Archives: environment

Plug-in Prius press

Today’s (Oct 12, 2012) Burnaby Now has an article on how we came to purchase our Plug-in Prius.  Many thanks to Jennifer Moreau for making me sound articulate, and to Jason Lang for doing his valiant best with a not-quite-photogenic subject.  :)

The photo was taken at a bank of charging outlets at BCIT’s Burnaby campus.  Amusingly, while regular parking spots are $3 per hour, charging spots are $3.25 per hour.  So, there’s a $0.25 / hour premium for the charging service.

Since the outlets will deliver about 1 kWh per hour, that translates to an electricity price of 25 cents / kWh, about 4x BC Hydro’s standard rate.  Of course, that’s probably justified by the fact that BCIT had to do a bunch of work to install the charging posts in the first place.  :)

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We live uphill from BCIT, so driving there involved a lot of downhill driving — enough downhill driving that the brakes regenerated enough energy to give the vehicle 1.7 km of all-electric range.  Since 3 kWh is good for roughly 20 km of electric-vehicle range, that would imply the vehicle recovered about 250Wh.

So, what does 250 Wh represent?  Well, it’s about enough energy to power a hair dryer for ten minutes.  Which gives a sense of just how much energy hair dryers consume!!  :)

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Addendum: just for clarity, the line towards the end of the article should be read, “he’s done the right thing and saved money”.  The right thing isn’t the saving of money, in this particular case; rather, the saving-of-money would be a nice bonus in addition to having done the right thing.  :)

Commemorating Joe Romm’s “Language Intelligence”

Joe Romm‘s book Language Intelligence is now out in the US (but maddeningly, remains unavailable in Canada).  Early reviews proclaim it as both a rhetorical masterpiece, and a masterpiece on rhetoric.

To commemorate the book in my small way, I dug up a piece I wrote for a competition on Dr. Romm’s blog, Climate Progress.  In 2009, he asked readers what they’d have Obama say, if they could write the energy and environment portion of his inaugural speech.

I made a couple light edits; some phrases sounded a lot better three years ago than they do now.  Regrettably, Obama’s “yes we can” is among them.  It rings hollow in 2012, given that his governing philosophy has largely been “no we can’t” — no we can’t switch to single-payer, universal health coverage; no we can’t prosecute financial corruption; no we can’t pass a climate bill; and so forth.

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