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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.

The Climate Change Climate Change

Funny title.  You may have to read it a couple times to get it.  I didn’t create it – I am not that creative.

Kim Strassel has an opinion in the Wall Street Journal where she does a fair amount of reporting on the difficulties that politicians are having in dealing with the coming global warming catastrophe. It seems that politicians are a lot like many of my readers, when scientists can’t agree on what is happening (and not just little disagreements but violently opposed to each other) one should probably wait to spend trillions of dollars on which side is correct.

Here are some highlights from Ms. Strassel’s article:

Global Wind Day

Today is Global Wind Day.

While there are some problems with relying on wind power for the bulk of our energy needs in the US, wind probably has a place to augment and help us meet our needs, especially if the US doesn’t quickly add more nuclear generation capability!

A short video from Wind Power Works

 

While I typically do not reproduce pages in whole, I am going to put the entire text of the Wind Day campaign here for your convenience. You should also go to the Global Wind Day site.

Climate change failure ‘immoral’ – Oxfam

A new report from Oxfam has been released that states that the UK and the US must cut its output of carbon dioxide by 45% to prevent the catastrophe that awaits us. In addition, the poorer nations of the world would need to receive $148 billion US (90B ).

There does not appear to be any new scientific evidence of global warming in this paper.  Instead it references the 2007 IPCC findings and then studies that financial impact of those assertions.

The Telegraph recently wrote a story on the report.

The UK needs to cut greenhouse gases by 45 per cent by 2020 to prevent the world “lurching into climate disaster”, according to a new report from Oxfam.

Not cool anymore

I really can’t comment on the news that it will take 1,000 years to recover from today’s carbon dioxide pollution better than Mr. Taranto of the Wall Street Journal.

I do want to make three additional comments before you read below.  If it takes 1,000 years to recover from an overload of carbon dioxide that has already poisoned our atmosphere then:

  1. why would we risk ruining our current economy for a solution that is likely to not ever happen?
  2. if it takes 1,000 years to get healthy doesn’t it stand to reason that it takes 1,000 years (or at least a couple of hundred) to get sick?
  3. is this just another example of inference based on mathematical computer models that have little to do with reality?

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.

What is your ecological footprint

The Independent has a calculator that will ask you a series of questions, do some magical math, and tell you your impact on the globe.  The questionnaire is Europe based so for the US based readers answer the Europe questions as if the question was about the US (travel domestic and international).  Also for the monetary ranges, just assume that 1 US dollar is equal to 1 pound.  What’s your planetary impact?

For the record, I was 4 planets.

http://independent.footprint.wwf.org.uk/

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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.

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.

We Can Solve It advertising campaign

On Friday, I showed a preview clip of Al Gore on Sunday’s 60 Minutes television show. While my comments were not very flattering towards Mr. Gore, I at least did not call him any names or degrade his intelligence (as he did to others). I did question his motives and will continue to do that. Today, though, I want everyone to see his first TV ad which has the theme of not waiting for someone else to lead through the problem.

Scroll to the bottom of this article to see the embedded ad.