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Windmills Are Killing Our Birds

The subject of windmills killing birds has been discussed occasionally on the web for several years. Every time the subject gets popular, it suddenly seems to drop out of vogue to discuss. The argument is always that the bird fatalities are a fraction of other human activity and therefore not significant.

There is little doubt that windmills kill birds and bats. Their remains are found at the foot of windmills on a regular basis. Robert Bryce, the author of “Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of ‘Energy Independence‘”, “Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron“, and “Cronies: How Texas Business Became American Policy– and Brought Bush to Power” recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the wind energy industry is being held to a different standard than other energy companies.

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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.

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A lot of talk about George Will

I would never have expected so much discussion regarding George Will when it comes to global warming.† While he is incredibly intelligent, he is hardly a person that one would describe as being an expert at global warming.† It is amazing that when this political commenter says, “Real calamities take our minds off hypothetical ones. Besides, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade, or one-third of the span since the global cooling scare.” and the comment results in multiple articles and arguments from scientists and laypersons about how he is wrong.

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Saving Gas – 11 tips that might help – Part 3 of 3

Your driving habits really affect your gas mileage. While I am not condoning the extreme hypermiling techniques, we can all learn a bit in doing a better job. Read this extremist article but be careful going overboard. This is the third and final entry of this Saving Gas series.

Earlier in this Saving Gas series I wrote that price of crude compared to the price of gold has been pretty steady state. It still hurts when we get a market correction and it affects your budget. This article has 11 tips that might just help a little bit!

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Saving Gas – Part 1 of 3

A little departure from the typical columns on this site.  Rather than simply discussing an aspect of global warming, I am going to discuss a related topic – gas prices.  There are quite a few articles out there on the discussion but I think I have a different perspective for everyone to consider.

First, how bad is it?  Yes, I know that at the time of this writing, gas is over $4 a gallon (just filled up last night) but perhaps we need a reality check.  The good folks over at InflationData.com compiled a table of average crude prices which they also inflation adjusted for 2007.  I have combined that with a chart from WiseGeek that details the price of gold.  Since the WiseGeek site stopped at 2000, I put in the price of gold at the end of 2007 from Goldprice.  I also added today’s approximate pricing for gold (Kitco) and oil (MSNBC).

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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).

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Melting ice cap brings diamond hunters and hopes of independence to Greenland

The Guardian – October 4, 2007

While most people say that the increasing temperatures due to climate change (whether natural or man-made) will cause significant hardship for many, it appears that Greenland may get a boon from the change.

With the receding ice, many of Greenland’s natural resources are available for exploitation and the vast amount of fresh water on the large island gives them some unique opportunities for hydro-electricity as well as distribution of water.

Greenland is dependent on Denmark for its existence and this new found wealth may be the ticket that is required for them to become fully self governed.

I first read of this topic on psfk but the below comments come from its source, which is The Guardian.

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Mathematics Of Ice To Aid Global Warming Forecasts

ScienceDaily – September 11, 2007

Once again, I am impressed that our body of knowledge regarding our world is increasing. I also wonder at how someone can say that we understand all of this well enough to use climate models that are based on 1970s and 1980s technology and assumptions.

This short article discusses how sea ice melts and what happens to it as it moves through the ice and the sea. Understanding the mathematics of this is incredibly important for analysis and prediction of how Earth responds to changing climates.

University of Utah mathematicians have arrived at a new understanding of how salt-saturated ocean water flows through sea ice — a discovery that promises to improve forecasts of how global warming will affect polar icepacks.

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Watch for the coming flood of global warming litigation

Examiner.com – July 31, 2007

This is terrible!

For those of you that are not from the US, you should first understand that the US is a society that loves to sue. There are all sorts of ridiculous stories on spurious litigation (hot coffee is the one that never fails to get a laugh for comedians). Much of the cost of our products (especially medicine) is blamed on companies reserving huge sums of cash to cover legal fees.

Now to think that lawyers will sue due to CO2 emissions or other global warming grievances is terrible. Companies should not be blamed for following standard industry practices unless they did so with full knowledge that the use would significantly affect the users. Or, as with asbestos, there is a clearly defined link between the actions of a company and its placement among the victims. Neither situation would be true for carbon dioxide emissions.

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Hansenís 1988 projections

RealClimate – May 15, 2007

RealClimate is a great site.  If you are not reading this site regularly, you should.  Their articles tend to be much more technical than what I put here on a daily basis and the frequent commentators in the comments tend to really know the science and chemistry behind the weather.  I know that a lot of professionals consider RealClimate to be part of their weekly reading regiment. That being said, I don’t always agree with everything that the editors post (what would be the fun in that).  They certainly have a theme and a message for their site and one should take that into perspective but since I encourage everyone to have an open mind on these very technical and critical matters, reading a well-written site like RealClimate is part of the process.

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