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Thank gRide it's Thursday

Today is the first anniversary of Genentech’s gRide program where employees are rewarded for not bringing a car to the campus. I have opined on the brilliance of this program and Andrew Tobias a TT subscriber as well as a very well known finance and political person carried the Carpooligan’s blog that I wrote a few months back.

The Marin County Carpooligans can be proud. Collectively over the past 365 days we have 515 times that GRide has rewarded us with a $4 reward. We have therefore received $2,060 collectively for the past year. Assuming each round trip would have consumed 2 gallons of gasoline we reduced the gasoline consumption of the US by 1,030 gallons. Each gallon of gasoline equates to 22 pounds of CO2 emissions so the Carpooligans have collectively reduced CO2 emissions by 22,660 pounds over the past year. We have also reduced the GDP quite considerably by an amount of $8,240 as we estimate that each trip not taken saves approximately $16 dollars.

While the Marin crowd who frolic in hot tubs (according to Bush Senior) when not carpooling have been saving money and the air the US government continues to waste money on ethanol. Ethanol production is way up this year. We will likely produce over 6 billion gallons of ethanol in the US this year. Over $3 billion has been wasted on direct subsidies of the ethanol fuel and a similar amount was given to the farmers to produce the corn that feeds these ethanol plants. We chuckle about the Russians being a bunch of vodka drinking drunkards. Russia only produced 178 million gallons of ethanol last year primarily for drinking and their ethanol production is on the decline. The USA has overtaken Brazil on the ethanol binge. My data come from the ethanol trade group Renewable Fuels Association.

All this talk of booze is making my head spin. I am excited by the recent discovery of gamma ray bursts. This phenomenal amount of energy release occurs when hypernova stars collapse into black holes. I can’t wait for the shares of Exxon Mobil to do likewise when all of America join the Carpooligan Gang. I remember reading the play The Effect Of Gamma Rays on Man In The Moon Marigolds back in high school.

In this drawing of a massive star collapsing to form a black hole, energy id released as jets along the axis of rotation forms a gamma ray burst. Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller/NSF

Forbes had an article on fast cars.

100,000 American’s with a collective IQ of three below plankton were interviewed to yield the result that fuel economy is ranked eighth in most important feature for buying a car. Perhaps the firm that produced the survey J.D. Power biased the results toward horsepower so that they could become an even more powerful force in the survey world. Had a firm named J.D. Fuel Economy produced the survey the results would have certainly been different.

I hope you all enjoyed Halloween last night. I am happy to report that some of the world’s sugar still goes into its intended use of giving us the pleasure of eating sweets rather than being wasted on bio-fuels.

The word of the day is forcible. Dictionary.com must have been one of the J.D. Power survey respondents as there was all this discussion about the use of force required to have power packed cars. More next week.

forcible \FOR-suh-buhl\, adjective:
1. Using force against opposition or resistance; effected or accomplished by force; as, "forcible entry or abduction."
2. Characterized by force, efficiency, or energy; powerful.

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