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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. 

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Everyone Hates Ethanol

The use of biological processes to create energy for our cars is very suspect.  The current sources of ethanol compete with our food supply which only drives up the price of food which is an extreme burden on the ultra-poor.

While there is a lot of research on alternative sources of ethanol that would not compete with food, this research has yet to make it to development.  The Wall Street Journal put out a good article discussing this a few weeks ago so I thought I would share the highlights.  Click through here to read the entire article.

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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!†

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Cap and Trade is here

Let me start by explaining that I am not a lover of cap and trade.  The systems that have been proposed to date are simply taxes on certain types of energy so that other forms seem to be more competitive.  They also tend to reward industries that can have a flexibility in energy sources while punishing industries that have to purchase high BTU energy sources.  Finally, they can reward industries and organizations that did nothing to improve their energy use – they were just lucky enough to use less carbon.  To make cap and trade look better, you may also see it referred to carbon trading or carbon offsets but a rose is a rose, regardless of its name (or in this case – a tax is a tax, regardless of its name).

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Wind, solar projects race to finish before tax credit expires

USA Today – August 25, 2008

Regardless of your thoughts on global warming, government waste and inefficiencies are something that most of us can agree on. To have alternative energy programs that are on or off, year after year, is simply a waste.† I understand the need to have finite limits to programs (except Social Security never seems to end) but they shouldn’t just stop.

Instead the programs should be weaned off of government assisted life support so that the economy can adjust.† Having these alternative forms of energy production suddenly cut off forces other programs to never start since the investors can’t be assured of a long and viable future.

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McCain wants $30B for clean-coal research, 45 new nuclear reactors

Phoenix Business Journal – June 25, 2008

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for US President, is deriding the Executive branch for their suggestions to curb energy prices as well as the Democratic leadership for its plans. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

Mr. McCain is proposing more aggressive investment in “clean” coal plants and nuclear energy.  Personally, I am not sure there is such a thing as a clean coal plant but I am all for it if we can make one!  I also think that we need to step up our reliance on nuclear energy and deal with the disposal issue which haunts that technology.

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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.

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Schwarzenegger slams Bush administration on global warming – calls Bush efforts bogus

Crooks and Liars – July 13, 2008

This story is all over the web right now but the best coverage that I found was on Crooks and Liars as they include the video as well as a transcript of the interview. Other versions of the story only include a snippet of the actual interview (a lot like what I have done).

 image

STEPHANOPOULOS: How much of that is due, do you think, to global warming, to climate change?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, itís very hard to say. I mean, one thing we know for sure, and that is we have had a drought for two years in a row now.  … And I think that we just have to be aware of those changes. Iím sure, partially, that it has something to do with global warming, also, because we have just now broken a record.

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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!

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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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