PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

October 23, 2009

350 Rally for Climate Action

Filed under: 6Sustainable Environment,HI Politics,SHAPES platform — rachel @ 2:38 pm

Title: 350 Rally for Climate Action
Location: Hawaii State Capitol
Description: 350 signifies the safe upper limit of CO2 in our atmosphere. Send a firm statement to policymakers that we must act decisively on climate change. Group photo will be taken at 3:50pm.
Start Time: 2:00pm
Date: 10/24/09
End Time: 5:00pm

Click here for the event flyer.


  1. It might have been nice if there was some companies there that sell electric cars– to show off their cars.

    In particular, I’m reminded of a company that had some state funding. I talked to an engineer from there about 10 years ago. He wanted to make a presentation on their company to my engineering society. They will convert your clunker to a lead acid electric car for about $6000 (the most recent rumor). It’s great for local travel– about 20 miles. The range could be made greater with cheap higher capacity batteries. That’s their problem. No one did any battery development beyond NiCad batteries.

    The idea was that you could make back the cost of the conversion from savings in gasoline consumption in a very short time. Today, I’m sure that the time might be one or two years. If the state were to give a $1000 rebate on the conversion, I think that that might not only lead to a great loss in carbon emission but also fund new jobs in the field of work. If there were a carbon tax on clunkers, this rebate might be a form of a negative tax on the conversion.

    I like the idea also from the point of view that most charging would be done at nite when the demand is low. Power companies could make a lot of money from this non-peak demand and this could lower prices during the peak hours. The only difference is that more fuel would be consumed at nite than before. But they make a profit over each barrel consumed so their profits would go up. This has a positive effect on taxes and fee revenues– more if a carbon tax is levied. This will also lead to a decrease in oil shipped to Hawaii because power plants and electric cars are more efficient that gasoline powered cars (thinking clunkers here).

    Comment by Al Toda — November 3, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  2. On a recent episode of NOW, they talked about how the Danish government and “Better Place” are working together to put electric cars into the hands of as many Danish families as possible. Part of that plan is exactly what you describe… when more people have electric cars, they can charge up in non-peak hours. The other cool part is that if they are also plugged in when they are charged up, but not being used (while you are at work for example) their batteries could feed electricity back into the grid. Simply a way to create a huge bank of batteries that don’t have to be centrally stored and maintained!


    Comment by rachel — November 4, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

  3. Yes. I think I saw the same show, and the electric car does not pay the horrendously expensive carbon tax on the other cars.

    I suspect that rail will greatly expand my range of travel if I had an electric car. In the optimistic case, that of which is with stimulus funding, the first and second rail increments are completed in two years. Then the range of my travel from Kapolei to Aloha stadium could be using a combination of rail, electric car to get to the hub at Leeward CC– about two miles from my home– and shuttles to areas around the rail station that are greater than a half mile walk.

    I expect to junk my car in about 5 more years when the 10 year drive train warranty runs out. In the best case scenario the rail would be completed by then to downtown Honolulu– where I’d just need my bike to get around. OTOH, by then some break-throughs in batteries should be coming out, and the range of my converted junk car might easily be 100 miles and I wouldn’t need the rail at all.

    Egs of some battery development I’ve heard about: lithium titanate which are supposed to be better than the regular lithium ion batteries (Apple is using them in some of the lightweight laptops for 4 to 8 hours operation), hybrid ultra-capacitor and lead-acid batteries (the ultracapacitors supply the motor current on startup so a smaller number of batteries are needed for the car), liquid batteries that don’t require solid plates (an attempt increase the current that it can supply and increase the charge up rate), and of course, there may be a breakthrough in fuel cells. IIRC the latest batteries in development for power storage on the smart grid that can supply about 10 Mwatts, are lithium titanate.

    Comment by Al Toda — November 23, 2009 @ 12:46 am

  4. I think that current planning for our energy needs should be about 10 years to break even. In about ten years our alternatives may radically change. The reason for example, is the development of fusion technologies. Here’s a clip of the most credible fusion effort now in Europe…


    This link further explains the ITER program.


    So in about 8 years, we expect that a fusion reactor for an operational fusion plant will be successfully completed. There may be other fusion technologies ready, or demonstrated, by that time. The point is that we will have many changes in the next 10 years, so we must be prepared for them all.

    Comment by Al — December 27, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

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