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No scientist had email stolen from East Anglia!

Most people that read this site have likely heard of the emails that were stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). I would like to offer a few of my thoughts on the subject.

First, catch the people responsible for breaking into the property of the University of East Anglia. Prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent of the law. I am not versed in the laws of the UK but I would assume that each document and email that was illegally stolen from those servers would be an individual count of theft, so the parties involved would be liable for several thousand counts of theft. No one should ever break the law to further their political interest (and remember there was nothing purely scientific in these emails – they are simply emails with opinions and, as such, are not facts). Breaking the law is simply not a way to discuss the scientific relevance of information. So just as I condemn Mr. Al Gore, former Vice President of the US, for suggesting civil disobedience, I condemn the stealing of information from the University.

World Malaria Day

Today is World Malaria Day. While this site is dedicated to global warming issues, many have said the the increase in global warming will cause an increase in malaria deaths. While it may be true that warmer regions will allow a greater infestation of malaria carrying insects, the conclusion that there will be more deaths is preposterous!

Malaria is one of the easiest to control diseases. Unfortunately, it tends to occur in areas that are poverty stricken so the simple measures that can prevent outbreaks don’t get taken care. Rather than cost the economy in the US billions of dollars in cap and trade, we could eradicate malaria at a fraction of the cost. This is one of the reasons that I contend that fighting global warming using inefficient methods actually inadvertantly causes the deaths of thousands.

Nuclear war would cause more global warming

I don’t understand why this study was commissioned. Isn’t the death and destruction of nuclear war bad enough to deter pushing the button? Does anyone really believe that a leader of a nuclear power or a terrorist would be about to start the holocaust and then pause because they were concerned about the environment?

I guess when you work at Stanford though, such thoughts cross your mind. Or maybe it is just the constant pressure within acedemia to “Publish or Perish” to keep your job. Or maybe it has some deeper and political purpose.

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.

Are hybrids affordable now?

Yahoo! Green – May 30, 2008

This is an interesting study regarding the cost of hybrids. With the price of gas so high, many people are considering a hybrid for their go to work car even if they have a larger vehicle for hauling the kids to the soccer game. The folks at Yahoo! Green did a simple cost analysis which I am not sure is 100% accurate but at least gets you thinking a bit. I recreated their spreadsheet for your review.

Several things that don’t add up or that I question:

John McCain’s recent speech – 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.

Intel says it will become largest buyer of green power in U.S.

Silicon Valley / San jose Business Journal – January 28, 2008

I am not a lover of carbon trading.  I have complained about them multiple times (read some of my comments here, here, and here).  However, I plan on discussing how companies are trying to be “green” and also how they are trying to profit from that effort – at least in the court of public opinion if not on their balance sheet. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

So it seems prudent to take a look at Intel which instead of trading carbon purchased renewable energy credits.  This is not a company that uses huge amounts of energy like a heavy manufacturer like GM or Ford.  However, they are quite large and their energy bill is likely quite considerable.

Toyota Will Offer a Plug-In Hybrid by 2010

The New York Times – January 14, 2008

Toyota is not going to be out-done by GM.  Yesterday, I discussed that GM is spending a lot of effort and money to develop alternative fuels and alternative propulsion options. This article shows that Toyota is not going to stand still in that important competitive battle.

Toyota will offer the first plug-in hybrid in 2010. Plug-in hybrids are important because it is far more efficient to produce electricity at an industrial power utility plant than it is to burn gasoline in your car in the form of a “traditional” hybrid vehicle.

Ford hands over the plug-in Escape hybrid to SCE

AutoblogGreen – December 4, 2007

One of the big problems with hybrid vehicles is that they produce extremely expensive electricity and they do it while putting a great number of pollutants into the air.

Think about it.  You are burning gasoline (a fairly high energy fuel source) to spin a generator to charge a battery. The pollution controls must be small and light enough to fit on a moving vehicle and low cost enough to be affordable to a consumer. On top of that, the gasoline is very expensive source of energy (currently about $3 gallon). To put it into perspective, gasoline contains about 125,000 BTU per gallon while coal is only about 10,000 BTU per pound. The burning of coal at an efficient central power station captures far more of its energy capacity into electricity than the burning of gasoline as it moves down the road.