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WSJ: the anti-business newspaper of record?

by a siegel Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 03:42:58 PM EST

The Wall Street Journal prides itself as America's business newspaper of record when, in fact, the editorial board clearly seems to have an anti (sensible) business agenda. Amid the booming "green" business market, they went forward and held what sounds like it was a highly interesting conference last week:  Eco:nomics.  Amid all of the interesting panels, presentations, and discussions, there is an interesting backstory that the WSJ is unlikely to front page:  business leader after business leader rejected the idea that dealing with global warming will have devastating impacts on the economy.

Eco:Nomics attendee David Roberts, of Grist, has done a quite insightful and downright witty post on Eco:Nomics: The decline and fall of the ideologues, subtitled "Delayers and doomsayers receive a chilly reception from pragmatic business leaders."

Read more... (553 words in story)

McCain's Open Letter to Europe

by a siegel Wed Mar 19th, 2008 at 01:24:58 PM EST

The Financial Times published what might be called an Open Letter from John McCain to Europeans:  America Must Be a Good Role Model.   The first questions through the gate, before reading anything other than the title:

  • Does that mean that John McCain believes that American under George W Bush and Richard Cheney has not been a good role model?
  • Does this mean that John McCain believes that George Bush's American does not live up to "our own high standards of morality and international responsibility"?

And, is willing to stand up and say this publicly?

Read more... (5 comments, 1566 words in story)

Making the Green Economy Dirty

by a siegel Mon Mar 10th, 2008 at 12:08:50 AM EST

One of the challenges in pursuing a greener economy ever quicker is the risk, the quite real and serious risk, that quicker could mean dirtier.  The Washington Post carried an expose of one of those risks on its front page this Sunday:  Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China.    WashPost calls out Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co, a producer of "polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world," for dumping a "bubbling white liquid" (silicon tetrachloride) in the middle of a village.

"The land where you dump or bury it will be infertile. No grass or trees will grow in the place. . . . It is like dynamite -- it is poisonous, it is polluting. Human beings can never touch it," said Ren Bingyan, a professor at the School of Material Sciences at Hebei Industrial University.

Read more... (10 comments, 566 words in story)

Energy Smart from Illinois? Foster in Congress ...

by a siegel Sun Mar 9th, 2008 at 12:50:27 AM EST

Yesterday, Illinois held a special election to fill the seat of the Dennis Hastert, the former Republican Speaker of the House, who resigned his seat.  Rather than a seemingly corrupt, extreme right-winger who (at times) makes other Republicans seem almost in the reality-based community, Illinois-14 will be sending someone of substance to the Congress, a man with serious scientific credentials and successful business experience.  Bill Foster is now Congressman Bill Foster.

In short: YEAH!

And, that is very true when it comes to the energy and environmental arenas. Oberweis would have been a disaster on, well, any energy or environmental issue that we can put on the table.  Foster should serve as a substantive voice to help guide US policy toward a prosperous, climate-friendly society.  He also is a successful businessman, which colors his positions both in good and, as will be seen, potentially dangerous ways.

Read more... (3 comments, 1393 words in story)

Geoengineering: basic principles, some thoughts, some questions

by a siegel Thu Mar 6th, 2008 at 04:55:09 AM EST

In the face of the potential for catastrophic climate change and global warming, "geo-engineering" is an arena getting a little attention and some press, such as W Broad, NYT Times

Geoengineering is the deliberate modification of Earth's environment on a large scale "to suit human needs and promote habitability".

One can argue that all efforts to control carbon emissions (to reverse past emissions) falls within GeoEngineering, but that is not the general context of consideration, which often focuses on efforts that would, somehow, have a direct impact on Earth's temperatures (and not, necessarily, on carbon loads).

One step back question, which does not necessarily seem to occur in many conversation, is what principles should guide Geo-Engineering efforts and prioritization of their potential.

Diary rescue by Migeru

Read more... (8 comments, 1240 words in story)

A Black Hole of Denial?

by a siegel Fri Feb 29th, 2008 at 11:34:09 PM EST

Black holes collapse on themselves, with a such a density that they change the path of light with no light escaping them.  In coming days, the Global Warming disinformation organization, the Heartland Institute ("the leading propaganda mill sowing confusion about climate science"), will convene a Global Warming skeptic/delayer/denier coven with the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change.  RealClimate asked a great question:

What if you held a conference, and no (real) scientists came?

For anyone concerned about a polite (an overly polite) shredding of a front organization's event, take the time to read it.  

Read more... (3 comments, 1270 words in story)

McCain's "Black Energy Twisted Action Delay Machine"

by a siegel Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 12:47:30 AM EST

John McCain gets much credit for his Straight Talk when it comes to Global Warming, speaking tough even in the face of a Republican Party that seems determine to reject reality.  The Republican Base seems to trust their hatred of Al Gore more than what the data, science, and the weather all around us (US) say to those focused on reality-based policy-making.  McCain is on the record as to the need to invest in renewable power to deal with Global Warming, even in face of special-interest opposition.

Yet ... yet ... repeatedly ... when given the opportunity to take action to go along with his Green Straight Talk Express, John McCain has boarded the Black Twisted Action Delay Machine and help inhibit (rather than help) a move toward an Energy Smart future.

And, when called on it, John McCain (or his staff director or ???) instructed his Senate Staff to lie about the issue.

Read more... (3 comments, 1743 words in story)

Banking the Globe To Disaster?

by a siegel Thu Jan 24th, 2008 at 06:44:44 AM EST

The World Bank is an important institution, with many tremendous people working at it, with a valuable large charter in terms of changing the world for the better.

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.

 our mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards. ... we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes.

Sadly, as is all too known by anyone who pays attention, the World Bank's core charter (nor most actions) does not speak to sustainability nor to equity. The World Bank does not address ensuring that the path for generating wealth does not foster disaster for tomorrow.

Read more... (13 comments, 914 words in story)

Coal: $35 million of Astroturf

by a siegel Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 03:03:12 PM EST

According to Washington Post reporting, the coal industry is using an Astroturf organization, the Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, to wage a $35 million dollar effort to gain traction in the 2008 Presidential campaign for a more polluting future for America and the Globe.  (Note, this is not how the Post described it, but lets face facts ...)

Read more... (1061 words in story)

CALCUL DES EMISSIONS DE CO2: Calculating your travel CO2 emissions

by a siegel Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 05:10:48 PM EST

The French rail system (SNCF) has added a calculator
for travel carbon emissions, offering up the ability to compare prices and carbon loads for travel by rail, air, or personal vehicle. L'EcoComparateur enables one to know how long the trip will take and the consequences: for the pocket and the climate for that trip.  

Will you be willing to take a few hours longer in travel to save Euro 50?  

How about if that will also cut your travel emissions load by 100 kilos/220 lbs or more?

Read more... (3 comments, 538 words in story)

Energy COOL: Breaking news on the automotive front?

by a siegel Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:22:34 AM EST

To be clear, there is NO Silver Bullet solution to our energy woes, to peak oil, to Global Warming.  

There are, however, approaches that, when combined together, can have a major impact on the challenges before us, that offer a path for rapidly changing our hurtling path toward catastrophic climate change, toward a prosperous, climate-friendly society.

Here are several Energy COOL developments that could, combined, foster a faster move to Energize America:

  • New Plug-In Hybrid announcements
  • '
  • Algae biofuel advances

Read more... (13 comments, 1058 words in story)

Global Warming Hit New Hampshire. Hard.

by a siegel Tue Jan 8th, 2008 at 05:00:39 PM EST

Time magazine has identified "The Eight Keys to New Hampshire"

Fire Marshals, global warming, nostalgia -- these are just a few of the indicators and factors that will help determine the outcome of the nation's first primary

What is truly notable about Time's reporting is that Global Warming is the sole "substance", the sole issue that Time has identified as a critical issue in the New Hampshire voting.  Not Iraq. Not the Economy. Not Health Care. Not US-European Relations.  Not Government Finance. Nor, Torture. Nor ...  No, there are seven 'style' related "keys to New Hampshire" and only one item of 'substance'.

Read more... (620 words in story)

Greening or Greenwashing? Consumer Electronics Show

by a siegel Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 11:53:08 PM EST

The Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA)  is making hay with its decision to green the annual electronics show in Las Vegas.  With 140,000 attendees, the show's direct impact is at least 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions ... without counting the CO2 from 140,000 travelers.  Nor, the shipping of the show materials and other supplies for displays.   Yes, a very serious challenge.  According to a Washington Post article, CEA's chief executive, Gary Shapiro said

"It's pretty ambitious, considering we're larger than the Super Bowl and all the political conventions."

Now, based on the costs from the CarbonFund, assuming that there is no discount for mass scale, for $110,000 CEA will be able to make the show carbon neutral.

Guiltfree Las Vegas partying for a paltry price.

Really, is this greening or Greenwashing?

Read more... (8 comments, 1304 words in story)

Christmas lights: melting away White Christmas?

by a siegel Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:13:27 PM EST

Having lived in Europe and spent many a holiday season in European cities, this discussion from the United States is greatly at odds from what I've encountered in Europe. But, you might find it interesting (distressing?).

Oh, Christmas Eve, the beautiful lights on the streets, glowing above the snow ... scratch that, lighting up the soggy ground, with inflatable reindeer merry-go-rounds, mangers, flashing light displays, and so on ...  As with much of American society, the excesses of last year are only targets to be topped this year.

From a Washington Post article on one light display

The heat ... melted all snow within two feet.

"The heat ... melted all snow ..."

Read more... (4 comments, 920 words in story)

Not just hot air: people putting money where their mouths are?

by a siegel Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 12:18:48 AM EST

According to Big Blue's (IBM's) just released report, Plugging in the Customer, the results of a global poll showed that not only do people say that they are willing to pay more for green energy, they actually are doing so in increasing numbers ... voluntarily.  Where the option exists, some 25 percent of polled people, who have the option, are paying additional money to get "clean" power.

In this global poll, reported in Plugging in The Customer (pdf) and discussed in the press release Tilting at Windmills,

nearly half of consumers surveyed across the globe would pay more for environmentally friendly non-energy products, when it comes to purchasing "green" energy, two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay more for power that could be definitively shown to have lower emissions of greenhouse gases. Australians are most willing to pay a premium for green power, but Americans are most willing to pay a sizable premium, up to an additional 20 percent or more.

Read more... (3 comments, 861 words in story)

Googling our way to a new energy future?

by a siegel Tue Nov 27th, 2007 at 03:26:17 PM EST

Today, Google announced RE C -- think renewable electricity cheaper than coal.  To be honest, it is hard to underestimate the importance of actions like these.

The newly created initiative, known as RE C, , will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies.

To achieve this, Google is planning to start $10s of millions in investments in R&D, with the anticipation of $100s of milions of investment in the coming few years.  

The target:  1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity at or below the cost of coal-generated electricity.

Read more... (6 comments, 1010 words in story)

NIMBYism: a global obstacle to a renewable energy future

by a siegel Mon Nov 26th, 2007 at 07:45:10 AM EST

NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard driven opposition to some form of change) is a challenge to moves to a sensible energy future not just in America but around the globe.  Whether solar panels, drying clothes outdoors, white roofing, subways, or otherwise, a good number of paths toward a better energy future face opposition from those outraged over perceived impositions on their way of life, or at least their views in some way.  Perhaps the most visible battles: over wind turbine installations.

Yesteady, the New York Times traveled to the Greek isles and a battle over a renewable energy future.

Read more... (14 comments, 1113 words in story)

"What's the wisest thing to do ..."

by a siegel Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:15:04 PM EST

What's the wisest thing to do given the uncertainties and risk?

That is the core question that science teacher wonderingmind42 asks in his latest video discussing the challenges of considering Global Warming and how best to deal with the challenges before us.

For some, those who are able to step back and approach problems with logic and thought, WonderingMind42 might provide one of the most powerful ways to discuss Global Warming and our need to take a different path forward.

This 9 minute, 42 second video is worth the 10 minutes ...


Read more... (3 comments, 860 words in story)

50% of electricity from the wind by 2025 ... A Danish Roadmap

by a siegel Sun Nov 18th, 2007 at 10:07:35 PM EST

Denmark has an announced plan for 30 percent of all electricity to come from renewable power by 2025. Well a just released study might make this seemingly ambitious goal a relic of the past.  Ea Energy Analysis produced 50% Wind Power in 2025 laying out the costs, benefits, and challenges of reaching this target.

Read more... (6 comments, 226 words in story)

Pity the fool: Limbaugh falls for Global Warming Denier hoax

by a siegel Sat Nov 10th, 2007 at 01:05:25 AM EST

Oh, the violins are playing, the tears are flowing.  Rush Limbaugh chose to headline with a false paper proving that Global Warming is a Hoax. (For a moment, one must imagine that James Inhofe's heart was beating ...)

Read more... (6 comments, 754 words in story)
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