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Cap and Trade is here

Let me start by explaining that I am not a lover of cap and trade.  The systems that have been proposed to date are simply taxes on certain types of energy so that other forms seem to be more competitive.  They also tend to reward industries that can have a flexibility in energy sources while punishing industries that have to purchase high BTU energy sources.  Finally, they can reward industries and organizations that did nothing to improve their energy use – they were just lucky enough to use less carbon.  To make cap and trade look better, you may also see it referred to carbon trading or carbon offsets but a rose is a rose, regardless of its name (or in this case – a tax is a tax, regardless of its name).

Al Gore’s statements for the Senate

These statements are part of the public record so I am comfortable that I do not harm any copyrights by reproducing them in entirety here.  Please note that these are the prepared statements of former Vice President Al Gore.

If you don’t want to read such serious stuff, I suggest you read “Canceled Due to Global Warming” and have a good chuckle.

Statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee As Prepared Hon. Al Gore Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We are here today to talk about how we as Americans and how the
United States of America as part of the global community should address
the dangerous and growing threat of the climate crisis.

Is a gas car better than a coal car?

There has been a bit of discussion that a plug in hybrid car is really a coal car. I believe that this true statement is meant to actually scare consumers from buying or hoping to buy an all-electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid.

Let’s do a bit of napkin math and assume that energy transmission losses (and other losses) are negligible or at least cancel each other out.

Wind, solar projects race to finish before tax credit expires

USA Today – August 25, 2008

Regardless of your thoughts on global warming, government waste and inefficiencies are something that most of us can agree on. To have alternative energy programs that are on or off, year after year, is simply a waste. I understand the need to have finite limits to programs (except Social Security never seems to end) but they shouldn’t just stop.

Instead the programs should be weaned off of government assisted life support so that the economy can adjust. Having these alternative forms of energy production suddenly cut off forces other programs to never start since the investors can’t be assured of a long and viable future.

In Science, Ignorance is not Bliss

Launch Magazine – July/August issue

Walter Cunningham is one of the astronauts of Apollo 7.  He writes about global warming in the latest issue of Launch Magazine and his comments bear considering.

Mr. Cunningham is important in this discussion because of his obvious intelligence and past leadership but also in his strong ability in analyzing scientific and political events and drawing conclusions.

What I find to be most compelling are:

  • his ridicule of climate models.
  • his discussions of correlation and causation.
  • the replacement of scientific discussion with emotional arguments.
  • the condemnation of Mr. Hansen – one of the early warning voices of global warming and an employee of NASA.

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.

McCain wants $30B for clean-coal research, 45 new nuclear reactors

Phoenix Business Journal – June 25, 2008

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for US President, is deriding the Executive branch for their suggestions to curb energy prices as well as the Democratic leadership for its plans. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

Mr. McCain is proposing more aggressive investment in “clean” coal plants and nuclear energy.  Personally, I am not sure there is such a thing as a clean coal plant but I am all for it if we can make one!  I also think that we need to step up our reliance on nuclear energy and deal with the disposal issue which haunts that technology.

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.

John McCain’s recent speech

Junkscience.com – May 15, 2008

I was about to write a review of John McCain’s recent speech.  I was reading other comments on it first to make sure that I had my thoughts put together and I found Steven Milloy’s review.  He has done an excellent job of discussing the speech.

I am going to pull the highlights from Steven’s article.  Click through at the end to read the whole commentary.

Next to solar power, however, wind power is the most heavily subsidized form of energy. Taxpayers cough up an astounding  $23.37 per megawatt hour of electricity produced, according to the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, coal and natural gas are only subsidized  to a tune of $0.44 and $0.25, respectively.

Carbon-Market Concept Moves to Mainstream

Wall Street Journal – May 14, 2008

I really do not like the concept of trading in carbon. I think that carbon offsets trading only reward bad processes that are extremely cheap and are a band-aid to the real problem. If it is assumed that we need to vastly reduce the carbon footprint then the buying public should be encouraged to buy energy and products that result from lower carbon emissions and discouraged from buying the carbon rich ones.

Allowing a utility that has a coal burning plant in one part of the world to offset that footprint with a geo-thermal plant in another part of the world really doesn’t solve anything. If the two plants served the same marketplace, then their energy would compete but if the two plants are separated by oceans then we really haven’t solved any problems, we have just allowed a company to financially afford a carbon-rich coal plant.