Morning Report

Hot Enuf

Hot Enuf

Yep, that reads 105 in the shade , and it will be over 110 by mid-afternoon. It’ll get hotter through the weekend.  They say it’s due to a high pressure cell over the Phoenix area, but what else would we expect in Phoenix in July?

In other news, the latest Scientific American has a feature article on biofuels.  It’s “good-bye Corn” and “hello Grass” – the switchgrass weed or even plain old lawn clippings can be made into large-scale biofuel resources. This is important: not only does it look bad when the wealthiest nation is diverting corn, a nutrient and water-hungry worldwide food resource, into biofuel — it’s an inefficient way to replace coal and petrochemicals.

Biofuels should be looked at as the stopgap they are, and not as a way to reduce our contribution to global climate change.  While importantly reducing our dependence on increasingly scarce world petroleum reserves, biofuels contribute to the CO2 greenhouse buildup just as rapdly as more familiar products from Shell, Exxon and Chevron. It would be a leap of the imagination to expect electric cars in every garage by tomorrow morning, but the sooner we are able to regard the internal combustion engine as a “legacy device”, the better.

We can’t just stop using legacy fuels and devices, we can only transition with all deliberate speed.  At the moment I am grateful for anything that keeps the AC running here. Opening the windows at night is no good when it only gets down to 88F at night. I would like a device that costs under $10 and  converts sunlight directly into a heat pump. But who wouldn’t?

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