Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Project Better Place in Hawaii; Carbon Is “Forever”

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Better Place has agreed to build as many as 100,000 charging stations in Hawaii by 2012 in an effort to expand the market for electric vehicles.  Hawaii joins Israel, Denmark, Australia and several Northern California locations in signing on with Better Place, which I wrote about here.  The infrastructure in Israel is supposed to start being put in place in 2009.  Larger deployments are scheduled for 2011.  Electric vehicles will help wind and solar projects come online as their potential for mobile energy storage becomes clear.  Seeing as how most vehicles in Hawaii are only driven 10-20 miles per day, electric vehicles make a lot of sense.

[Update 11Dec08]: Talk-show host Ed Schultz had San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom on in the 2nd hour of his show today.  Newsom spoke with Ed for a minute about the Bay Area’s plans to build an integrated charging system.  He mentioned that sStandardization projects will start next early year, with an eye toward 2010, when car companies will have electric cars available for consumers.  It was brief, but any exposure to Better Place is a good thing at this point, especially with the troubles U.S. automakers are having.

How long will the CO2 introduced by humans last in our climate system?  The mean lifetime was found to be 30,000 – 35,000 years.  CO2 is eventually scrubbed by geologic processes.  Those processes are extremely slow, meaning everything we pump into the atmosphere could last as long as 400,000 years.  That’s pretty much forever, as far as humans are concerned.  The warming caused by that CO2 is also likely to last for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years.  But by all means, believe the salesmen about “clean” coal and oil shale.

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