Friday, October 31, 2008

Energy Independence, Carbon Footprint Travel Guilt, and Huey Long This Weekend On The Election Day Edition Of Sustainable Georgia

As we hurtle towards Election Day on Tuesday, the conversation about national security is strangely absent from the debate. Environmental issues have also slipped under the tide of tax cut sound-bytes washing through these final days before the vote. But there may be no more important issue in front of us as a state and as a nation than energy independence. If we’re relying less on foreign oil, then we are a safer country, and a more sustainable country. Americans cut our use of foreign oil by more than half in the late 1970’s. What will it take to do that again? On this week's Sustainable Georgia we’re going to re-air an earlier interview with Jimmy Carter Library Director Dr. Jay Hakes about his book A Declaration of Energy Independence. The discussion encompasses history, public policy, and the differences between the two major candidates on energy policy and what that bodes for our future foreign oil consumption.

Atlanta-based UPS Corporation spends a lot of time thinking and engineering ways to save gallons of fuel every trip down your block. We'll hear from NPR and Melissa Stiers about their latest wrinkle, a hydraulic-hybrid truck that uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to capture and store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in a hybrid electric vehicle. In this case, the diesel engine is used to periodically recharge pressure in the hydraulic propulsion system. Fuel economy is increased in three ways: vehicle braking energy is recovered that normally is wasted; the engine is operated more efficiently, and the engine can be shut off when stopped or decelerating.

The Sustainable Georgia Shout Out this week goes to Keep Georgia Beautiful’s Man of The Year, Steve Levetan. Isla Earth reveals new lighting technology that uses old world ideas. Travel Experts Rick Steves and Tony Wheeler discuss world travel and carbon footprint guilt. And, we’ll recycle an old Huey Long campaign song to pump everyone up for Election Day.

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