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Feinstein says “No!” to solar panels in desert

Kent Bernhard Jr. has written a very well-thought opinion in Portfolio.com. He discusses the realities of creating energy to support our lifestyles and the inherent difficulty in doing so without disturbing the environment in some way. There are no easy answers and no secret formula to create fuel for our consumption. In fact, the only way that we can not affect the environment is to probably revert to the ways of the historical Native American Indians.

Mr. Bernhard goes into great detail on the subject.  He discusses natural gas, wind power, and nuclear.  Please click through and read the entire article but my version will only focus on the first part. In this sampling he discusses Sen. Diane Feinstein and her efforts to block solar energy from the desert.

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.

House panel advances global warming bill

I don’t typically post news feeds here but I am making an exception in this case. It appears that the House committee has passed the bill to implement the foolish cap and trade (carbon trading) bill. Let’s hope that the larger House is more wise but I have my doubts.

This story is from AP.

By DINA CAPPIELLO and H. JOSEF HEBERT

WASHINGTON (AP) Legislation imposing the first nationwide limits on the pollution blamed for global warming advanced in the House late Thursday, clearing a key committee despite strong Republican opposition.

The Energy and Commerce Committee approved the sweeping climate bill 33-25 after repeatedly turning back GOP attempts to kill or weaken the measure during four days of debate.

A Look Into Future Oceans for Shellfish Reasons

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a great article that studies the effect of the increased acidification of the ocean by an increase in carbon dioxide.

I know that many of my readers doubt that CO2 actually has changed the climate. I also have doubts on this since the science is so ambiguous and so strongly relies on computer models. However, the acidification of the ocean due to an increased absorption of carbon dioxide is chemistry and is not subject to fuzzy computer models and guesses.

In case you question that the increase of CO2 is man-made and not natural – check out this article.

Some excerpts from WSJ:

The politicians are all screwed up!

Stupid title, I know. Everyone knows that the sun comes up in the East, water freezes to ice at 32F and politicians are all screwed up. It has become a fact of life just like death and taxes.

Right now, the Democrat party is in control of the US government. They have a majority in both houses and they control the executive branch. You would think that they could pull of their agenda of taxing energy use dramatically to change the production of carbon dioxide. But a little thing happened on the way to legislation – VOTERS!

NASA Prepares to Launch Satellite Designed to Study Global Warming

This is absolutely wonderful news.  There is no question that we don’t fully understand the complexities of our atmosphere.  Our models which predict doom and gloom are woefully inadequate (which doesn’t make them incorrect – it just leaves room for extreme doubt).

Perhaps this study will solve one of my mysteries in the global warming discussion and that is that North America actually appears to sink CO2 rather than emit the gas.  We know that carbon dioxide is increasing from man’s efforts due to the isotope nature of the CO2 in the air but we still struggle understanding how CO2 spreads through the atmosphere.

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.

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:

Administration Releases EPA Report, Then Repudiates It

July 12, 2008 – Wall Street Journal

The Bush administration continues to struggle with what to do with global warming and carbon dioxide as a pollutant.  The Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant resulting from the burning of several fossil fuels. This has caused the EPA to try to figure out what to do with this new authority without destroying the economy.

As with most issues that revolve around Washington DC, this one is embroiled in politics with both major Presidential candidates chiming in.

The Bush administration published a government blueprint to reduce the U.S. output of global-warming gases, but at the same time rejected the document out of hand — saying it relied on “untested legal theories” and would impose “crippling costs” on the U.S. economy.

Global Warming Chief Among Threats to Coral Reefs

Environment News Service – July 7, 2008

image The degradation of coral life has been happening for quite some time.  I remember multiple articles on the effects of water pollution on coral life back in the 70s and 80s (before the Internet so I can’t point to those articles – sorry).

This article now includes global warming in that threat.  Since this is coming from the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium and the organization reportedly meets every 4 years then the problem is at least 44 years old!