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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.

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.

9 Jobs Lost For Every 4 Created

I will repeat the title with the full quote:

“Spain’s experience reveals with high confidence, by two different methods, that the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 jobs on average, or about 9 jobs lost for every 4 created.”

Tony Blankley opines on RealClearPolitics (and elsewhere) that using government funding for creation of “green” jobs will reduce the net number of jobs in the US. If you are not familiar with Mr. Blankley, you can find his editorial work on The Washington Times, hear him occasionally on The MacLaughlin Group and he is the most intelligent voice on the nationally syndicated Left, Right and Center.

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.

Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas

KUSI

John Coleman spoke before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce on the subject of global warming.  Mr. Coleman is not your typical weatherman!  Some say he is the father of the weatherman on TV (not likely) but at the very least he is one one of the most successful.  A full profile is available for him on Wikipedia but among his many accomplishments, he was the first weatherman on the national morning talk shows (remember David Hartman?) and also founded The Weather Channel.

Mr. Coleman is pretty adamant that the current global warming trend (which many question actually exists) is most likely natural in origin and has little to do with the influences of man.

The Cause Of Global Warming. Is It You?

GUEST ARTICLE:

By Erik Leipoldt

We know the Earth is getting warmer.

The International Panel on Climate Change predicts a global temperature rise of about 5C by the end of this century. Thats enough for major changes. Like in rising seawater levels, in food production and rainfall.

Knowing why we are in this fix is the first step to doing something about it. Yes, thats you and me. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

There are four levels at which to understand the cause of global warming.

* The mechanics of global warming

* What we do

* Our beliefs and values, and

Biofuels May Hinder Antiglobal-Warming Efforts

Wall Street Journal – February 8, 2008

This is a different twist over what I usually propose.  In general, I am for increasing our use of ethanol and other biofuels to reduce our CO2 production as well as to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels from the Middle East. Most people are aware that one of the downsides to this issue is the pressure on food that results. This article points out that the conversion of non-agrarian land to crop land will result in a net spike of increased carbon dioxide release.

The world’s rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan

The Independent – February 5, 2008

The plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean will not affect global warming. Since this site is dedicated to the discussion of global warming, I assume that my readers will be interested in this very disconcerting story on the massive amounts of plastic trash that is floating in the Pacific Ocean that resembles a “chunky soup” analogy. The density of the trash makes one feel like “it is everywhere.”

No Right Turn even discusses how this plastic can get into our food cycle and poison us!

An Inconvenient Reduction

Wall Street Journal – December 3, 2007

I am not a big believer in taxes. I do think that the government needs funds to operate and therefore has the right obligation to tax its citizens for services rendered. I also understand that, just like all costs, the act of taxing can be a deterrent to activity. Taxing “sin” activity such as tobacco and alcohol is simply good policy. If it was possible to tax overly fatty food, I would probably be in favor of that as well.

Based on this logic, it make sense to tax certain activity that adds pollution to the atmosphere. I question the logic of taxing automobiles but I do think that taxes on fossil fuels make a certain amount of sense as a revenue source and an activity deterrent. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).