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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.

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New Priorities For Our Energy Future

Boone Pickens and Ted Turner are well respected businessmen (the former a big  investor and the latter a media mogul and founder of CNN). Both have a history of speaking their mind on public issues and both have a history of making huge sums of money.

While I certainly do not begrudge this gentlemen the right to speak their mind, I wonder if this message (that may be good for America) also is good for their business interests. Mr. Pickens is renown in the energy sector and a large scale switch to natural gas would likely help his wallet. Mr. Turner is a very large landowner in the western States and my gut is that he has found large deposits of natural gas under some of his holdings.

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Al Gore’s Doomsday Clock

Wall Street Journal – July 22, 2008

Sometimes I think that this site exists solely to condemn Al Gore.  He is easily the person that we discuss more than all else when you consider his film, his rock concerts, and his foolish statements it seems that it is all that one can read on the subject of energy. And to think that this man was a heartbeat away from being the President of the United States for 8 years in addition to a few hanging chads from being elected to the office himself.

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John McCain’s recent speech

Junkscience.com – 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.

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Chevy Fuel Solutions: The View from Thailand

GMNext – December 18, 2007

Regardless of your stance on global warming, I am sure that we can all agree that using our resources appropriately is very important. GM Chevrolet has introduced a vehicle to the Thailand market that will use natural gas as a fuel and this seems to be exactly what is needed in today’s evolving marketplace.

Obviously, one of the problems that needs to be solved is a distribution model for the fuel. One of the benefits to our current fuel sources is that there are only 3-5 major fuels (several octane levels and diesel) and they are all handled in approximately the same way from a transportation and storage viewpoint. Adding another fuel that is shipped and stored with entirely different technology would complicate supply chain issues.

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Africa: Live Earth Vs. Africa

allAffrica.com – July 11, 2007

I will admit it, I am cynical of Live Earth. Even though I write on global warming daily in this site, I feel there are far more important things that can and should be done to ease human suffering than trying to change our climate trends. The human suffering in parts of the world is pretty extreme and, while global warming will make this worse, there are other things that can be done TODAY to ease much of that suffering.

While I am still in internal debate about the cause of any climate change, I have no doubt that we can save thousands, if not millions, of lives very quickly if we would give simple things like malaria more attention.

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An Ice Age versus Global Warming

The American Daily – February 25, 2007

This is more commentary than fact however the author raises some interesting points.  It is worthwhile for the average reader to spend a few minutes thinking about these points.  I rarely like the argument “common sense” since it is rare for people to agree with this logic, however it is still worthwhile to think through the conclusions made in the article.

2080 is a mere 73 years from now. In meteorological terms, it is a blink of the eye. Real climatologists measure time far differently than the rest of us. While the IPCC, Al Gore, and the other fear mongers are warning of the horrors of Global Warming, it is useful to look at the time scales. The end of the last Ice Age was 11,500 ago.

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Critics question how green Gore really is

Detroit Free Press – February 27, 2007

An interesting commentary on the use of power by staunch environmentalist, Vice President Al Gore. It seems that even after the success of his film “An Inconvenient Truth”, Vice President Gore has increased the power footprint at his primary residence.

The home’s average monthly electric bill last year was just under $1,200, according to bills that the Tennessean acquired from Nashville Electric Service.Gore’s power bill shows, however, that the former vice president may be doing just that. Gore purchased 108 blocks of “green power” for each of the past three months, according to a summary of the bills. That’s a total of $432 a month Gore paid extra for solar or other renewable energy sources.

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Global Warming

MSN Encarta

This site wouldn’t be complete without an encyclopedia entry!

Global Warming, increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere, oceans, and landmasses of Earth. The planet has warmed (and cooled) many times during the 4.65 billion years of its history. At present Earth appears to be facing a rapid warming, which most scientists believe results, at least in part, from human activities. The chief cause of this warming is thought to be the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which releases into the atmosphere carbon dioxide and other substances known as greenhouse gases. As the atmosphere becomes richer in these gases, it becomes a better insulator, retaining more of the heat provided to the planet by the Sun.

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