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Gore lies about lying (or maybe he just lies some more)

I haven’t made a post on this site in quite some time. I had to break my silence though on the recent news coming from former US Vice President Al Gore. First let me quote his statement (this is from Reuters):

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

“First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

“It’s hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

He explained his own support for the original program on his presidential ambitions.

U.S. Biofuel Boom Running on Empty

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.

Zealots have no place in an adult conversation

I write this with sadness. I simply do not understand how people can believe in something so strongly that they would want to harm another individual for a different belief.

I recently read an article on Climate Depot that discusses an article on Talking Points Memo. The article on TPM called for the US to “jail or execute global warming deniers”. Wisely, TPM has taken this posting down.

TPM did not act quickly enough since Google indexed the page! If you do a search on the opening text of the article: “What is so frustrating about these fools is that they are the politicians and greedy bastards who don’t want a cut in their profits” you will likely find that it takes a high ranking in Google (currently in first position). The link of course is dead and leads you to a 404 page.

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.

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.

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.

Revolutionary Nanoantenna Skin to Provide Next Gen PC Cooling, Solar Cells

DailyTech – August 11, 2008

Maybe I am wrong!  Most people that know me haven’t heard me say that very often. Maybe Mr. Al Gore is correct. I don’t think anyone has ever heard me say that! But here we have a technology that may make solar cells live up to Mr. Gore’s challenge of several weeks ago.  Although, to be honest, if the technology is being discussed on paper and in prototypes now, the likelihood of it making a significant dent in 10 years is not very likely.  So maybe I am not wrong and Mr. Gore is incorrect after all!

Are the numbers real?

I had a conversation with a co-worker the other day about global warming.  Not surprisingly, I get into this conversation a lot.  I made mention that a significant minority of the data that is used to decipher our warming is actually modified or estimated.  My co-worker was shocked at this so I wanted to share it with my readers.

The best analysis of this process that I have seen is written by Steve McIntyre over at Climate Audit in two separate discussions.  From February 9th:

Unfortunately, the previous year’s December temperature is not included in the first year of a scribal record, so it must be estimated. And because December must be estimated, the resulting DJF is an estimate, as is the resulting annual temperature.

Cyclone’s Waste Heat Motor

Engadget – June 4, 2008

Cyclone Power Technologies is actively talking about their motor that can gather energy from waste heat. It can also grab energy from non-waste heat and use it to create electricity or propel a vehicle. It is another tool in the arsenal to increase the efficiency and flexibility of our power generation. More effort like this needs to be made available to really reduce our reliance on foreign oil and to reduce our emissions.

Engadget had a video of the motor on their site which I have reproduced below. But first, let’s look at how this think works.

According to the company website:

Carbon offset = cheat offset?

I have often complained that carbon offset credits just don’t make sense.  I don’t think that they will do anything to create better behavior and think it is simply a shell game that will only end up lining someone’s pockets.

But I appear to be in the minority in this view.  So I ask those that disagree with me isn’t what is good for the goose good for the gander as well?  I just found this website:

CheatNeutral

What is Cheat Offsetting?

When you cheat on your partner you add to the heartbreak, pain and jealousy in the atmosphere.