Tuesday, February 05, 2008

such beautiful sunsets


I've been skimming through a book called Lives Per Gallon by Terry Tamminen. Tamminen is a long time environmental activist in California, and was Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, working with Governor Arnold.

The book is handy because he's collected every piece of "smog will kill you" research ever done, and you can use the book as a bibliography on this topic area.



Here are some other neat notes from the book:

On Military Spending to Protect the Oil Supply

He's studied how much the U.S. devotes to military spending to place troops and technology in oil producing areas, to protect the oil supply. His number, EXCLUDING IRAQ, is between $55 to $100 billion each year. According to one report, the American military is spending $98 million to protect one single pipeline down in Colombia and Venezuela (page 59).

On How to design a planet

He ponders how you would design cities etc if you had the chance to wipe the slate clean and start all over again. Would you....
"build residences in the middle of the most fragile natural resources and then build the workplaces 50 km away? Would you connect the two with costly ribbons of steel and concrete? To get from one point to another, would you put people in 3-ton steel and plastic containers, propelled by a highly flammable substance that could only be found in sufficient quantity on the opposite side of the globe? A substance that could only be made useful by drilling thousands of meters into the planet and then filtering the stuff in factories built on vast, industrial wastelands?" (page 165).

On another way to react to 9/11

"What if the United States had responded to the September 11, 2001, attacks by directing the $100 billion that was spent during the FIRST YEAR of war in Iraq on a crash program to build alternative fuel vehicles and fueling stations, launching a new economy, phasing out our use of oil, and underwriting well-paying U.S. jobs and exports in alternative energy production for decades to come?" (page 159).

Anyway - there are some interesting points in the book, but it's definitely not something you can read straight through. And even for a dude like me, Tamminen is a bit too over the top sometimes with his agenda.

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