Thursday, September 22, 2005

We're On A Mission From God

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Blues Brothers (IMDB), and one of the more frequently used lines in it is "We're on a mission from God". I'm not quite sure why, but that came to mind just now as I was starting to make this entry...

We're thinking about solar panels. Thinking about them very seriously. In fact, I'm starting to have pretty strong impulses to do everything I can to get us as independent of fossil fuels as I can manage. Now, that doesn't mean I'm going to put a whole mess of huge batteries under my driveway or garage, but I'd like to get to the point of generating at least as much electricity as we use.

I'm also thinking about bio-diesel cars instead of the hybrids we've been considering. My main concern with bio-diesel is that if I have to process the oil the way my neighbor does, it's going to be a heck of a lot of work. He spends about 2-3 hours on every 40 gallons. Now, of course, a lot of the point of doing this would be the environmental benefit and political statement of getting off the fossil fuels, so it may well out-weigh the opportunity cost of the oil. I have been hearing that there are starting to be places you can drive up and pump the oil just like in a gas station, which may well counter that.

Decided I ought to take a look at that, so I did a search for bio-diesel, which Google offered to change to biodiesel. The first non-ad entry was for the National Biodiesel Board where they, naturally, have a click-able map of the US showing biodiesel retailers. There is, in fact, a place in Berkeley: BioFuel Oasis. They are charging $3.71 a gallon right now, which is still a bit more than regular diesel. Again, though... opportunity cost vs. political statement & environmental benefits. Not to mention that I might be able to buy it from my neighbor for less than that. How cool would it be to have a diesel hybrid running on biodiesel?

So much I have to look into about both solar & biodiesel/hybrids. Now that the basement is basically finished, I need to catch up on bills & such and get started on those topics...

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