The Oil Spill In the Gulf Of Mexico

Why is Oil in the oceans so frightening?:

[The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico] is currently spilling an estimated 200,000 gallons of oil into the gulf of Mexico every day.

In other words, every day, a new 125,000 square kilometers (or 50,000 square miles) of ocean will eventually get coated in oil when it finishes spreading out

An excellent article describing how oil spreads through water and its frightening impact.

Using Vegetable Oil In A Diesel Engine

Vegetable Oil as Vehicle Fuel:

Using vegetable oil as fuel in diesel engines isn’t a new idea. Rudolf Diesel’s first engines were built to run on peanut oil for the developing world, which had no petrochemicals industry. Running your modern diesel car or van on veg is just going back to what the designer intended.
An ordinary diesel engine cannot run on 100% pure vegetable oil without conversion. Veg oil is too thick and gloopy to get through the fuel pump and injectors. Conversion is moderately expensive and is quite a commitment, so we’ll leave that to the experts.
Instead, we’ll try to thin down the veg oil so that it works correctly in the engine. There are two ways to do this: mix it with something, or convert it into biodiesel.

There’s no complicated science behind it:

The easiest way to do this is to run your tank almost empty. Then when you pop to the supermarket, fill up with diesel, and then add the veg oil. The drive home mixes it all up nicely.
How much veg oil should you use? Start with a light blend, and increase each time you refill. That way, if you notice your car sputtering, you know you’ve hit the limit and should use less next time, and you can top up with regular diesel to thin the mixture back down.

The article describes how vegetable oil should be introduced gradually, what types of oil to use (rapeseed is the best since it’s the runniest), and legal issues (the government will probably want to tax its use).

I’d love to do this, although even if I had a diesel I be hesitant to try it, fearing I’d screw the engine up.

Canada’s Oil

Canada’s oil supply could top Saudi Arabia: report

Alberta’s oilsands could become the single biggest contributor to new global supply within 10 years… That would mean a global shift in oil dominance from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to Canada.

So, Canada will be in demand for its water, lumber, and now oil; and with a national election occuring in a couple weeks, we could be screwed, as How to Save the World notes:

A Harper government, like the Bush and Mulroney governments, will sell off the federal government’s assets to corporate friends at obscene discounts, and deregulate us into a laissez-faire nightmare where corporatist social and environmental destruction will spiral untrammeled and out of control. Even under the weakened Liberals this has already begun.

We will then be America Lite — still bristling at the thought that we’re just like Americans, but with our assets even more substantially owned by Americans than they are today, an economic colony with the fading illusion of relevant political independence. Instead of being the potential role model for the 21st century, we will be the country of great promise that was never realized.

(via Through The Mist Darkly)