Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The Big Send Off for our intrepid Solar Road Trip Roadies went off very well, with much speechifying and presence of paparazzi.

The students for their part managed to do quite well under the spotlight. Jean, who's in my Environmental Sustainability class Tuesdays and Thursdays, was on TV for what she said was the first time. I though she came across quite well.

Well done, Jean! Whenever I'm on TV I seem to mumble out of my beard.

I wanted to make sure the van really was already running on biodiesel, so I went sniffing once Amanda had started it up. In all the fuss it would have been easy for Jesse to postpone the run down to China's biodiesel filling station.

Oh ye of little faith.

But no, the exhaust smelled like burnt french fries.

Just the way it should.

(Biodiesel is sold in China, Maine, which is only one among many: Moscow, Poland, Norway, great Maine towns named for just about anywhere other than Maine.)

I hope Amanda and the other van-certified driver remember to let the van's glow plug work for a few minutes each morning. It would be bad to have a solar road trip and not make it to the road.

That biodiesel needs a bit more heat priming than regular diesel.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...

in more day-to-day climate education activities, I have to cover climate data, archives and proxy records for today's Global Change class.

To liven up what otherwise would be a drab tour of the many types of data record in nature, I'm going to talk about glaciology and the hockey stick controversy.

I've always liked glaciers and a good argument.

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