Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
As nations around the world begin to plan for Copenhagen to discuss the next generation Kyoto treaty, it is increasingly obvious that they will be ineffective.
Chief among the reasons for this ineffectiveness is that with the price of oil at its current state, it is simply not cost effective to use alternative fuels that will dump less CO2 into the atmosphere. The oil producing nations are probably not maintaining crude at this level to doom the planet to disaster, they are simply smart business people that are providing their “drugs” to the “addicts” at a price and in a way that will insure that no one can ever move off.READ MORE
Wall Street Journal – February 8, 2008
This is a different twist over what I usually propose. In general, I am for increasing our use of ethanol and other biofuels to reduce our CO2 production as well as to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels from the Middle East. Most people are aware that one of the downsides to this issue is the pressure on food that results. This article points out that the conversion of non-agrarian land to crop land will result in a net spike of increased carbon dioxide release.READ MORE
BloggingStocks.com – January 13, 2008
I am very intrigued with biofuel as an alternative source of liquid fuel to propel our trucks and automobiles down the road. This source combined with plug-in electric technology seems like a very effective method of breaking our addiction to liquid fossil fuel.
General Motors announced this weekend at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that it would partner with Coskata Inc., an Illinois-based renewable energy start-up company that plans to produce ethanol from agricultural, municipal, and industrial waste byproducts.
Reuters – July 19, 2007
If this works out, it is very cool. This is a double whammy – capture emissions and grow algae for the production of bio-diesel. While the process of making bio-diesel can be quite expensive, from an energy perspective, if we can rapidly increase the growing of the raw materials then it could make a big difference.
I tend to be a little skeptical on this since it seems like there is a “revolutionary” process announced every 3-4 months. Many of these processes make great headlines but then die away quickly as the real analysis sets in.READ MORE
I thought that Lord Turnbull’s speach in front of the House of Lords on December 8, 2009 was very well done. It does an excellent job of praising many in the community for their efforts in addition to appropriately questioning the correct next action. As this is a public forum paid for by British taxpayers, I feel that I can include his complete comments here.
I especially like the realism in his comments about the exporting of carbon usage to China (or other less developed countries) and then blaming those countries for their dramatic increase. This is an issue that is often overlooked in the discussion of curtailing carbon output in any individual country.READ MORE
Boone Pickens and Ted Turner are well respected businessmen (the former a big investor and the latter a media mogul and founder of CNN). Both have a history of speaking their mind on public issues and both have a history of making huge sums of money.
While I certainly do not begrudge this gentlemen the right to speak their mind, I wonder if this message (that may be good for America) also is good for their business interests. Mr. Pickens is renown in the energy sector and a large scale switch to natural gas would likely help his wallet. Mr. Turner is a very large landowner in the western States and my gut is that he has found large deposits of natural gas under some of his holdings.READ MORE
Very good article in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding the use of ethanol and how it costs a great deal to add it to our liquid fuel supply. The article points out that depending on the technique used to create ethanol, it adds 5%-34% more greenhouse gas to the environment than pure petroleum.
There is also a case to be made that there is pressure put on food prices due to ethanol production as well.
I am not totally against using ethanol as an additive. I think there is some advantage to keeping the market alive and viable to spur development of new techniques of creating the liquid and new crop energy sources other than corn.READ MORE
Here is an excellent interview with famed scientist James Lovelock. Dr. Lovelock is best known for formulating the controversial Gaia hypothesis in the 1970s, which states that organisms interact with and regulate Earth’s surface and atmosphere. Later this year he will travel to space as Richard Branson’s guest aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
If you read this site often, you know that I really don’t like carbon trading. I don’t think it will help solve any problems and it is only a way to tax people and push industries into doom. Dr. Lovelock appears to agree with me and he is a fairly strong supporter of the theory that global warming is man made.READ MORE
The use of biological processes to create energy for our cars is very suspect. The current sources of ethanol compete with our food supply which only drives up the price of food which is an extreme burden on the ultra-poor.
While there is a lot of research on alternative sources of ethanol that would not compete with food, this research has yet to make it to development. The Wall Street Journal put out a good article discussing this a few weeks ago so I thought I would share the highlights. Click through here to read the entire article.READ MORE
I don’t understand why this study was commissioned. Isn’t the death and destruction of nuclear war bad enough to deter pushing the button? Does anyone really believe that a leader of a nuclear power or a terrorist would be about to start the holocaust and then pause because they were concerned about the environment?
I guess when you work at Stanford though, such thoughts cross your mind. Or maybe it is just the constant pressure within acedemia to “Publish or Perish” to keep your job. Or maybe it has some deeper and political purpose.READ MORE