Sustaining Future

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Energy theft

Well, why I did not think of this term?

Piezoelectric Roadways is highway Robbery, Stop Thief.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

This year is coolest since 2000

That's right, BBC reported that 2008 is the coolest year since the turn of the century.

However, 2008 is the 9th warmest year since 1880.

Here is the list:
1998 - 14.52C
2005 - 14.48C
2003 - 14.46C
2002 - 14.46C
2004 - 14.43C
2006 - 14.42C
2007 - 14.40C
2001 - 14.40C
1997 - 14.36C
2008 - 14.31C
Data: Met Office Hadley Centre


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Food production in Cities

I have pointed out the lack of sun light deep inside a high rise building is one of the major problems with the concept of vertical farms.

Adam Stein, in Corn on the 8th floor, turnips on level 23… pointed out correctly another important limitation of such a development - the prices of real estates in cities are high. In his words,"[t]here’s a reason that farms and factories decamped to more suitable locations."

But is this concept totally without its merit?

This is a photograph of public housing in Hong Kong [photo by Michael Wolf]

Can you see the two white vertical walls on either side of the photograph? Depending on direction, this wall is constantly exposed to sunlight, the main requirement for capturing the sun's energy for growing. Assisted by the existing wall, the scaffolding needed to farm vertically will be very significantly reduced. If vegetables are grown, for example using hanging grow beds, they can be locally distributed economically.

Instead of a large high building as a vertical farm, what about a high hydroponic system attached to an existing tall building?


Researchers Roll Out Energy Generating Roads

via inhabitat

Engineers at Innowattech in Israel recently created a new type of road that generates electricity as vehicles pass over it! The supercharged surface is embedded with piezoelectric crystals, which transform kinetic energy from passing vehicles into an electrical current.

Physics tells us that energy is conserved. So my question is where does the energy come from? OK, I know the answer, the energy comes from the cars traveling on the road.

Before committing to such a project, one must ask if the additional energy used by cars traveling on such road are energy that would have been lost anyway, or it is an additional load. If it is the latter, I would say it is not a project worth continuing. Thermodynamic laws dictate that there will be energy lost in transformation!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Human-power Argmented Hybrid Car

Yesterday, I blogged about an ugly human-power argmented Solar Hybrid car. Today, I can show you a beautiful rendering. While this is not a solar car (why not?), inside this concept car, is
an array of exercise equipment, which includes a stepping machine, rowing machine, bench press, pull up simulator and arm weights!

The battery of the car can be charged by these exercise equipments, cool!

More here.


Very disappointed with Kelvin Rudd

Australia to cut greenhouse gas emissions by five percent by 2020. Not good enough!

This is the time the world should start reversing the carbon emission, ie start getting the CO2 back from atmosphere, not just SLOWING the current emission.

The current global recession is NOT an excuse to slow the emission control. It is the CHANCE to create millions of green jobs! Think outside the square!


Monday, December 15, 2008


From Wikipedia,
Kombucha is the Western name for sweetened tea or tisane that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms called a "kombucha colony".

The main health claim of Kombucha is that it can help detoxification and/or cancer prevention.

The alternativeConsumer has an article on how to prepare Kombucha at home economically


The prototype is ugly, but the concept is great

Human-power argmented solar hybrid car:

How will that compare with an electric-assisted bike, I wonder?