Monday, November 06, 2006

New drive, old story

Well, it's flashback-time in Sweden. The last week there's been a seventish feeling, at least for those of us who lived back then.

Very suddenly, just like that, the papers are full of enviromental issues galore. Of course, the trigger was the Stern report. Sad that Tony had to trigger this one. In both Sweden, Denmark, Germany and other european countries there are literally millions of people (and some politicians) who have been calling out for action on a sustainable development, reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for the past bloody thirty years!

But nooo... It had to be Tony "the Weathervane" Blair who triggered the sudden concern of mankind's future. Why? What does he wish to accomplish, not for the world but for himself? Can he be re-elected for PM once again? Does he want to distance himself from the fact that most Britains did NOT want to go to war with Iraq? Does he hope that he, by charging enviromental issues, will be forgiven by the British people? Does he think his fellow countrymen have that short memory span?

Yes, that's exactly what I think but hey, I'm not British.

I've been using low energy bulbs ever since they first came out on the market. Not because I was a tree hugger personality but because I was/am lazy. If I don't have to change a lightbulb for a year, I'm one happy person. Actually, the one's in our two bathrooms have been there for three years. Normal lightbulbs rarely burn for more than three months. If they're good quality.

After becoming a father I started to think more about our waste disposal. Much more. I was pretty good at sorting before that but for the past fourteen years I've been painstakingly observant in what waste goes where. It took some time to get my wife in that direction but every little progress is still a progress.

Except for those "wild" late teens I've always tried to drive my cars as little as possible and as soon as I heard that ethanol was a alternative to gasoline I started to experiment with it. Unfortunatly, the only car that has been working just as well on ethanol as on gas is my Volkwagen bus, although the milage has suffered a bit. On the other hand, ethanol is cheaper at the pump.

And did you know that most modern cars actually drive very well on a mixture of gas and ethanol? In Sweden we have two kinds of gasoline; 95 and 98. In both cases there's ethanol mixed with the gas. The figures show how much of the percentage that is gas. Then there's E85 which is 85 per cent ethanol.

Without any changes in the engine most modern cars can drive on a mixture of up to 20 per cent ethanol without losing performance. For some reason, between 20 per cent and up to about 80 per cent the engine looses some performance and milage but above 80 per cent it's better. Note however that ALL cars can't be driven by almost pure ethanol but almost every car built after Y2K should be able to do it. Every gas company keeps quiet about this. Guess why.

However, for me, the timing is perfect. I'm doing a paper on the enviroment and now I can gather all the facts I need just by opening any newspaper I have at hand. I'm just lucky that way, I guess.

But you know what? It doesn't concern me much if the oceans rise a bit because they promised Sweden would get a more Mediterranian-type of weather. And I would just love that.

Just kidding.


Cross my heart.

Oh, I almost forgot... Stockholm, the capitol of Sweden, had almost one inch of snow the other day. Almost. One. Inch. Authorities were un-prepared. Remember, it's November in a country close to the Polar Circle...


JoeinVegas said...

Unprepared? I look at the weather report for Stockholm and think of my friends in Linkoping. We had 54f last night, but 83f this afternoon. No snow predicted.
I tried the bio diesel in ours, it seemed no different. The alcohol for gas isn't offered in Nevada or I would try that on the other car. At least it's a tiny Toyota that gets 40mpg.

Francesca said...

Ever since I moved here to the UK, I've been bombarded with news about the environment and sustainable development. It has made me a bit more aware, but I prbably need to do a bit more. Admittedly, I shut the lights and telly off when I leave the room now, so that's a start.