Cyberwanderer’s Blog

October 5, 2009

Dust Storm – disease or cure; Electric Vehicle stall in Canada

Filed under: World News — cyberwanderer @ 9:13 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

As incidence of dust storm increase in frequency, not only in China and Australia but now also in U.S., scientist are reporting that dust storm are usually linked to outbreak of diseases. This weekend, Washington state dust storm caused pileup on the highway forcing its closure. It has just been re-opened today. Dust storm are reported to carry bacteria, viruses and fungal spores and its minute particle when inhaled are harmful to human’s respiratory system, even without the disease carrying organism.

Japanese observed that in one incident, large amount of dust (800,000 tonnes) was pickup from China’s desert and carried twice around the world. This indicate that one country’s problem, e.g. deforestation, could affect people in other parts of the world. China have recently announced a big project of planting lots of trees to mitigate climate change and sand storm problem.

Source: Guardian.co.uk article

But aside from the ominous news about the harmfulness of dust storm, scientist are also looking at the benefits to marine life and possibly carbon capture (nothing to do with the carbon capture farce for coal power plant). The iron content in dust storm is believed to be leading to a boom in ocean’s algae,  a valuable food source for marine life and big absorber of CO2. Personally, it seems surreal to me that some scientist are thinking of artificially injecting iron into the ocean to produce algae in hope that it would absorb the CO2 produced by our excessive use of fuel. I think in this case, the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies.

Speaking of prevention, electric car is coming to China and that country plan to offer incentives on top of their already heavy investment for helping research and development of electric car. BYD of China will be rolling out their electric vehicle by the end of this year.  Here in Canada, other than tax breaks being offered by Ontario, the federal government have no plans and are happy to drag their feet on this and have even scaled back funding for scientific research and universities.  A Canadian manufacturer of  electric car (Zenn) got zero support from Canadian government. The government deem it  unsafe even in 50 km/h rural road (citing its 40 km/h limit). The Zenn passed U.S. regulation but are prevented from selling here.  So they are unable to sell to Canadians and have to rely on customers abroad. Meanwhile, bicycles are legally allowed on the road. Albeit, a lot of people are still unaware that bicycle have right to full lane, but that’s another story.

Sadly, Zenn is now pulling the plug on their electric vehicle. Back in 2007, the founder have blamed Federal government for putting a road block and preventing their sale here in Canada.

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2 Comments »

  1. Sadly, Zenn is now pulling the plug on their electric vehicle.

    Well, yes and no. They are shifting their business plan from manufacturing electric cars themselves to manufacturing electric drive trains with their EEStor technology for other people’s cars. It’s actually a smart move – Clifford likens it to the Intel business model.

    Now we just have to make sure that this business and this technology stays in Canada!

    Comment by greenjenny — October 5, 2009 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  2. @Hannah, you appear to know what you’re talking about. Do you care sending me your e-mail? I would like to speak more with you.

    Comment by donate auto — December 21, 2009 @ 3:48 am | Reply


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