Please Note: This project is not currently active. The content on this site is provided for reference and is not actively maintained.

Posts Tagged ‘oil’

Why Does Sea Level Rise When the Planet Warms?

by March 26, 2012

If you would like to see a high-quality infographic developed for this question, please share it with your network using the sharing icons above—these actions will increase the question’s priority. Please look at the example answers here. Also, if you would value a high-quality answer being available on the Web, please consider a small donation ($0.99) to support our research team.

More »

Sleuthing Out Questions about Hybrid Cars from Twitter

by May 20, 2011

It is hardly news that we are all paying a lot at to fill up our vehicles. As we prepare to launch a multi-week analysis of mood about gas prices (here’s the background on how we extract sentiment from tweets), I’m curious what questions people have that may have been sparked by high gas prices.

Questions around the topic of hybrid cars/vehicles seem like a good starting point, given that one of the key benefits of hybrids is the potential to cut down on fuel expenses. One goal could be to create something like this Wired flow chart that is designed to help people choose a social search site. Not sure yet what the starting question would be to draw in as many people as possible on the topic of hybrids, but I think it would need to be responsive to feeling pain at the pump. One can imagine an interactive flow chart that offered up explanatory videos at various decision points.

st_flowchart_social_f

So, what are people asking about hybrids on Twitter? Below is a sampling of what I observed from a quick search on the string “hybrids ?” (by the way, I’m impressed with Storify’s handy interface for creating this kind of graphic). (more…)

More »

Debates Around Offshore Drilling and Oil Subsidies Heats Up, Is There One Right Answer?

by May 17, 2011

High gas prices infographic 350.org via Good.is

High gas prices infographic 350.org via Good.is

With Congress’ recent vote against [52-48] on increasing oil company taxes and a bill to rapidly expand offshore drilling, the oil-fueled bipartisan spirit is yet again filling the air. I happened upon these brewing debates after seeing an intriguing infographic on GOOD Environment, which they take from the advocacy group 350.org.

At Dialogue Earth, we believe in finding a way to cut through the polarizing rhetoric, for example by seeking areas of agreement in the relationship between offshore drilling and gas prices, and moving forward from there.  This way, we will become a trustworthy source of factual information, divorced of the special interests and biases that may affect other sources.

By promoting this infographic, 350.org helps to illustrate the complexity of a piece of the U.S. energy system.  It shows many different aspects that must be taken into consideration when making decisions that end up potentially shifting the foci of where our energy comes from and also, our energy security.

Ultimately, an important goal for Dialogue Earth is to facilitate the creation and connection of a wide range of broadly endorsed, non advocacy information.

More »

Los Angeles Hosts First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Fueling Station In The US

by May 12, 2011

A Toyota Highlander hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle at the opening of the hydrogen filling station in Torrance, Calif. (NY Times)

A Toyota Highlander hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle at the opening of the hydrogen filling station in Torrance, Calif. (NY Times)

A recent post for TechCrunch by Lora Kolodny highlights the opening of the first US pipeline-fed hydrogen station last Tuesday.  The station is located in Southern California, just adjacent to the Toyota sales and marketing building in Torrance.

Because of the inherent complexity of mobile energy, this topic is of interest to Dialogue Earth.  We are working to provide quality, non-advocacy information to help understand complicated issues related to the environment.  A discussion about hydrogen vehicles raises the issue of greenhouse gas, and indirectly, carbon footprints.  It is important to understand the energy inputs and emissions resulting from all energy sources, including those billed as green.

For a taste of the challenge, my research suggests that most industrial hydrogen, including the hydrogen produced at the plants in Wilmington and Carson, is made through the reformation of hydrocarbons — a process that is purported to increase the energy yield from hydrocarbons to a yield of 80%. Air products claims that this increase in yield is “equivalent to avoiding more than 10 new refineries between 1976 and 2006 along with related carbon footprint during Hydrogen production their construction and operation.”

But how do fuel cells stack up against battery electric vehicles? Or vehicles that use other alternative fuels, such as hybrids?  There are a lot of facts out there, disseminated from all sorts of voices.

This is one niche that Dialogue Earth works to fill. Not by providing people with what they should do, but rather providing people with trustworthy content packed with facts, devoid of special interests, that inform people and assist them in making their own decisions.

More »

Oil Companies’ Profits to Increase Greatly This Year; People’s Energy-Related Questions to Follow Suit.

by May 5, 2011

The rapid increase in oil prices should equate to the oil industry having its best year since 2008, as reported by Chris Kahn for AP (via ABC). Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhilips are expected to report a combined $18.2 billion in first quarter earnings — a 40% increase from last year and just shy of the $20.2 billion that they earned in the first three months of 2008.

An increase in consumption, the constriction of supply (e.g., Libya’s reserve access is currently limited), and also a weaker US dollar are all speculated to contribute to an increase in oil prices.

While some stand to benefit from the rise in oil prices (shareholders), businesses and consumers will feel the hurt as gasoline prices inflate. Increases in gas prices tend to have ripple effects, increasing the prices of transportation and any good or service that is reliant on transportation — bread, toiletries, DVD players, air plane tickets, etc.

The broad societal effect of an increase in oil prices is precisely what makes this issue of interest to Dialogue Earth.  This will undoubtedly augment expressed sentiment related to energy across social media platforms, such as Twitter. (more…)

More »

So, Why Energy?? — The Rationale Behind Choosing Energy For Our Media Challenge

by April 19, 2011

For our upcoming, yearlong Media Challenge, we at Dialogue Earth wanted to choose a topic that is both of importance to our collective future and that is consistently on people’s minds.

Energy was a topic that fit very well with these considerations.

Through its varying forms, energy is a topic that most people think about and must make important decisions about on a daily basis. Whether strategizing about what day of the week you should fill up your gas tank — and if you should fill up all the way, for that matter — or remembering to turn off your lights in an unoccupied room to save money on that monthly electric bill. (more…)

More »

Background Information on Energy Video Pilot

by February 28, 2011

This post supports a new video contest that we are launching with partner Tongal this week on the subject of energy. This is to be the introductory contest for the forthcoming Dialogue Earth Energy Challenge, in which we expect to tackle 10 topics related to energy in 10 video contests spread out over as many months.

In that this is meant to be an introductory video, we realize it cannot do everything—especially because we are asking storytellers to limit their pieces to 90 seconds. Yet, we believe that the larger Energy Challenge needs a gateway video. It should draw people in, eventually inspiring them to click on another video or two to learn more about the details of a particular energy source, etc.

llnl_us_energy_flow_2009_smaller

(more…)

More »

The Gulf Oil Disaster: a peek at the nature of its media coverage

by February 25, 2011

When the Deepwater Horizon wellhead blew out on April 20th this past spring, as with what happens in most catastrophic events, the media went into frenzy.  What followed was a continuous feed of news stories about the Gulf disaster for a little longer than three months. These stories not only described what had happened, but also speculated as to what should happen, made measures of accountability, debated on restorative and retributive justice and described the potential impacts on economic markets and environmental systems as a direct or secondary effect of the spill.

Articles were written from a few varying perspectives: the heartfelt human interest stories, which pushed to convey empathy by humanizing the events; stories told on the basis of markets, externalities, profit and loss; pieces highlighting the corresponding actions of heads of government and policy makers, and stories illustrating the threats that the disaster posed to ecological systems and also populations reliant on these systems.

(more…)

More »