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Ethanol’s Grocery Bill

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.

THE COPENHAGEN CALL

The following is from the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen that was held the last few days.


As global business leaders assembled at the World Business Summit on Climate Change, we call upon our political leaders to agree an ambitious and effective global climate treaty at COP15 in Copenhagen. Sustainable economic progress requires stabilizing and then reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Success at COP15 will remove uncertainty, unleash additional investment, and bolster current efforts to revive growth in a sustainable way.

By addressing the magnitude of the climate threat with urgency, a powerful global climate change treaty would help establish a firm foundation for a sustainable economic future. This would set a more predictable framework for companies to plan and invest, provide a stimulus for renewed prosperity and a more secure climate system. Economic recovery and urgent action to tackle climate change are complementary boosting the economy and jobs through investment in the new infrastructure needed to reduce emissions.

House panel advances global warming bill

I don’t typically post news feeds here but I am making an exception in this case. It appears that the House committee has passed the bill to implement the foolish cap and trade (carbon trading) bill. Let’s hope that the larger House is more wise but I have my doubts.

This story is from AP.

By DINA CAPPIELLO and H. JOSEF HEBERT

WASHINGTON (AP) Legislation imposing the first nationwide limits on the pollution blamed for global warming advanced in the House late Thursday, clearing a key committee despite strong Republican opposition.

The Energy and Commerce Committee approved the sweeping climate bill 33-25 after repeatedly turning back GOP attempts to kill or weaken the measure during four days of debate.

The Conveyor Belt is broken!?!?

I am shocked and dismayed! (Not really – just being a bit sarcastic and melodramatic)

One of the foundations of predicting the climate is that we have some idea of how water moves around the planet. That water can be in the form of water vapor or liquid water that is flowing in streams, lakes and the oceans. Since the Earth is approximately 2/3 water and water vapor is the single largest greenhouse gas, the way it acts is very important for understanding climate and predicting the future of climate.

Munger on cap and trade: Almost demented

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger tells CNBC’s Becky Quick why a carbon cap and trade system won’t work.

I absolutely agree with Mr. Munger. My rantings on cap and trade (or carbon trading) are almost constant on this site.

I also agree with Senator Gregg that we need to get 100 nuclear plants online as quickly as possible. Nuclear has problems but it is the best and most clean way to generate the amounts of energy that the United States needs.

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Carbon Reality, Again

The Wall Street Journal has an opinion on the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia and his failure of imposing cap and trade sanctions to their economy. The political realities of imposing a tax on certain portions of the economy to their detriment and the reward of other industries is difficult to justify. For instance:

  • are customers (industrial and consumer) willing to pay 10% more for their energy needs due to be generated from coal when another part of the country is served by nuclear?
  • are customers willing to pay considerably more for the trucking of fruits and vegetables than their fellow constituent that lives a little closer to the source?

U.S. global warming rules won’t change to help polar bears

The LA Times is running with an article that says that the Obama administration will not reverse the Bush administration in using the scarcity of polar bears to curb emissions. About a year ago, the US listed the polar bear as a threatened species. The concern of many was that this ruling would be used to control, tax, and sue individual companies to reduce their CO2 output. The Bush administration said that wouldn’t be happening and now the Obama administration appears to agree.

I originally found this article by reading Watts Up With That so go over there and check out his handling of this story.

One last chance to save mankind

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. 

Everyone Hates Ethanol

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.

Heat2Power

There are a variety of techniques and tools that allow an internal combustion engine to capture more of its energy and direct it to moving your car down the road as opposed to sending that energy out of your exhaust. Most of these tools are difficult to use and maintain. They simply are not ready for primetime. However, with the virtual collapse of the automotive manufacturers in the US, it is not likely they are going to be increasing their R&D on getting more performance out of the engines that they make. It is an unfortunate reality that cars are sold on other things than their efficiencies.