Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
carbon offset / trading greenhouse kyoto climate model Inconvenient Truth bio fuel ipcc Glacier

Solar power incentives

GUEST ARTICLE: 

By Shannon Bell

Anyone who’s looked into installing solar panels for their home know that solar power for the entire home is very expensive. At minimum, most homeowners can expect to pay at least $15,000. At maximum, homeowners may pay as much as $45,000 or even $60,000 for a solar panel array that will power their entire home.

However, both federal and state tax credits aim to encourage homeowners to take on a solar project anyway. The federal government, according to the US Department of Energy, will kick in 30% of the cost for a solar project registered before December 31, 2016. A 30% tax break would bring the cost of a $15,000 solar project down to $10,500.

Feinstein says “No!” to solar panels in desert

Kent Bernhard Jr. has written a very well-thought opinion in Portfolio.com. He discusses the realities of creating energy to support our lifestyles and the inherent difficulty in doing so without disturbing the environment in some way. There are no easy answers and no secret formula to create fuel for our consumption. In fact, the only way that we can not affect the environment is to probably revert to the ways of the historical Native American Indians.

Mr. Bernhard goes into great detail on the subject.  He discusses natural gas, wind power, and nuclear.  Please click through and read the entire article but my version will only focus on the first part. In this sampling he discusses Sen. Diane Feinstein and her efforts to block solar energy from the desert.

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.

A Look Into Future Oceans for Shellfish Reasons

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a great article that studies the effect of the increased acidification of the ocean by an increase in carbon dioxide.

I know that many of my readers doubt that CO2 actually has changed the climate. I also have doubts on this since the science is so ambiguous and so strongly relies on computer models. However, the acidification of the ocean due to an increased absorption of carbon dioxide is chemistry and is not subject to fuzzy computer models and guesses.

In case you question that the increase of CO2 is man-made and not natural – check out this article.

Some excerpts from WSJ:

Obamas Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards

Should the governance of pollution be left to the states or should it be governed by the federal government in a single standard? Many times in the past, the EPA has allowed the states (primarily California) to regulate at least portions of their pollution output, primarily in deference to regional challenges in the quality of air for breathing. In the past several years the Bush administration has pushed back on this but now it appear that the Obama administration is going to reverse this trend. He appears to be ready to allow 14 states including California to set their own emissions standards.

Report: Power giants likely to miss renewable energy goal

Sacramento Business Journal – August 4, 2008

Mr. Al Gore recently challenged the US to a goal of 100% renewable energy in 10 years. His lofty goals cited the need for domestic energy independence and his concern that the world would end due to global warming. Many people have questioned the feasibility of this goal and now it appears that California is going to even miss a much more reasonable goal.

The Public Utilities Commission has reported that California is not likely to hit its goal of 20% renewable sources by 2010. They may be able to get there by 2013 but that seems to depend on enough rainwater coming down to keep the dams working.  There is also a goal that California his 30% by 2020 (just a few more years from now then Mr. Gore’s 10 years) and this goal doesn’t seem to be attainable.

Al Gore’s Doomsday Clock

Wall Street Journal – July 22, 2008

Sometimes I think that this site exists solely to condemn Al Gore.  He is easily the person that we discuss more than all else when you consider his film, his rock concerts, and his foolish statements it seems that it is all that one can read on the subject of energy. And to think that this man was a heartbeat away from being the President of the United States for 8 years in addition to a few hanging chads from being elected to the office himself.

Gore Delivers Remarks on Energy and the Climate

Washington Post – July 17, 2008

Mr. Al Gore recently gave a speech in Washington DC regarding energy.  While many in the blogosphere will call Mr. Gore “Pope Gore” and refer to environmentalists as a religion, in this case, I don’t think that Mr. Gore makes many of the outlandish comments which I have chastised him about. Most of his comments are regarding energy independence, the status of the technology of alternative fuels, and the balance of power.

He does make a few global warming references which are a little hard to defend. He implies that the fires in California are caused by manmade global warming – this is probably not true since California has been enjoying an unusually wet climate for several decades and it appears that this current drought is simply going back to status quo.

Antarctic ice shelf ‘hanging by thread’: European scientists

Breitbart.com – July 10, 2008

image This is quite concerning. Most of the instability in the ice shelves in Antarctica have been during the summer.  Now it appears that this shelf is in danger even though the continent is currently undergoing winter.  There have been a rash of shelves collapsing and Nobel Prize winner, Al Gore, spoke of this in his film “An Inconvenient Truth”. It is not conclusive why ice shelves collapse but it is important for us to explore these situations.

It appears that this shelf is being “eroded” underneath by warm waters.  This is likely the cause of the rapid failure of the other shelves as well.  Interestingly, some of the other shelves exhibited water pooling on the surface before their collapse but there is no mention of this situation in this article.

Glaciers on California’s Mt. Shasta keep growing

July 8, 2008 – USA Today

The reasons that a glacier grows or shrinks are not solely due to air temperature (regardless of what Mr. Gore implies).  This story in the USA Today is a prime example of proving this false.  Unfortunately, this mountain seems to be the only mountain in the lower 48 states of the USA that has growing glaciers.

Due to Mt. Shasta’s elevation and proximity to the Pacific ocean with its prevailing winds, the area is seeing an increase in precipitation in the form of snow.  This snow is forming glaciers.

This does not mean that global warming doesn’t cause glaciers to shrink!  This just means that the formation and the maintenance of glaciers is more complicated than just ambient temperature.