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Lord Turnbull’s comments

I thought that Lord Turnbull’s speach in front of the House of Lords on December 8, 2009 was very well done. It does an excellent job of praising many in the community for their efforts in addition to appropriately questioning the correct next action. As this is a public forum paid for by British taxpayers, I feel that I can include his complete comments here.

I especially like the realism in his comments about the exporting of carbon usage to China (or other less developed countries) and then blaming those countries for their dramatic increase. This is an issue that is often overlooked in the discussion of curtailing carbon output in any individual country.

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. 

Dilbert tries to reduce his carbon footprint

Dilbert is trying to do his best to reduce his carbon footprint but he may have gone a bit over the top on his efforts.  Click on the image to go to the Dilbert site and see it as full size.

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Pelosi’s Energy Stonewall

Wall Street Journal – August 1, 2008

The Wall Street Journal has a rather cynical look at the state of our elected representatives and their current stance on energy bills.  It appears that the rank and file elected representative is quite in favor of doing something proactive to increase energy supply.  However, Ms. Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, and her partner Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, have effectively stifled anything good (or bad) from their respective chambers just to prevent more energy production either in the form of drilling, nuclear, or traditional sources. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

The opinion even goes so far as to charge that the actions of the Legislature have put 93% of the US energy footprint off-limits to expansion.

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/

Did you know that you can have these articles emailed to you? Click on the Subscribe to email link in the upper right corner, fill out the details, and you are set. No one will see your email address and you won’t get more spam by doing this.

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.

The Greenest Hypocrites of 2007

FOXNews.com – December 6, 2007

Steven Milroy is the author of Junk Science which is a great site for exploring more information on scientific concepts, particularly on global warming. He also writes a regular column for Fox.

In this column, Steve itemizes the top ten greatest “green” hypocrisies. Personally, I think he is stretching on several of them – especially number 4 since it is impossible with today’s current technology to truly have a worldwide active discussion without physically being co-located. Yes, it is easy to get half a dozen people together online but getting hundreds together is simply a nightmare and not easily handled with today’s bandwidths.

Pope to make climate action a moral obligation

The Independent – September 23, 2007

It seems that all politicians want to get involved in climate control on one side or the other. The Pope (whom many will say is not a politician) is not immune to this effort.

On one side of the equation, I think this is appropriate but on the other, I have some concerns. If the Pope restricts his comments to saying that humanity is obligated to care for the world then I think this is appropriate. I am not a theologian but even I can find several references in the Bible to support this argument.

Can you buy a greener conscience?

Los Angeles Times – September 2, 2007

P.T. Barnum supposedly said that there was a sucker born every minute. Sometimes, when I read about carbon credits, I am not sure who the sucker is – the person buying, the person selling, or the general public for thinking it is helping!

I really don’t like carbon credit schemes.  I have written about them multiple times and most of what I read simply doesn’t make sense and is closer to scam than it is to solution.

In order for credits to be feasible and to be more than a “feel good” gesture, we need solid accounting, accountability, and penalties. We have none of that now and this article makes this painfully clear. We cannot allow credits to be used for minor contributions to a project. The credit must go to the cost of reducing the greenhouse gas. 

Climate bill shaves $533 billion off economy

Reuters – August 6, 2007

How much does it cost to save the planet?  According to Energy Information Administration the current bill to reduce the carbon footprint of the US would cost the US economy $533B. Is that too much?

I rarely trust these numbers as they always seem to be wrong. When have you ever heard of a study like this being correct? I think the models for economic prediction are almost as bad as the models to predict the climate! 

Also, the article states that gasoline prices will only be 23 cents higher in 2020 than 2009.  That would be a bargain compared to the steep increase in gasoline in the last 3 years! Statements like this only make me question the authenticity of the study.