Thursday, January 31, 2008

Do you want unemployment and stagnation? Clinton does

Bill Clinton wants to slow the US economy. He said so yesterday. "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren." William J wants millions for himself. See the NY Times for the story on his pushing uranium mines - $31 million for him, his foundation. But for you - stagnant income and, of course, unemployment. At ABC News:
Former President Bill Clinton was in Denver, Colorado, stumping for his wife yesterday. In a long, and interesting speech, he characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren." At a time that the nation is worried about a recession is that really the characterization his wife would want him making? "Slow down our economy"? I don't really think there's much debate that, at least initially, a full commitment to reduce greenhouse gases would slow down the economy….So was this a moment of candor? He went on to say that his the U.S. -- and those countries that have committed to reducing greenhouse gases -- could ultimately increase jobs and raise wages with a good energy plan.. So there was something of a contradiction there. Or perhaps he mis-spoke. Or perhaps this characterization was a description of what would happen if there isn't a worldwide effort…I'm not quite certain
As the author says, it was a long speech and he didn't make himself clear. The story has a link to the video.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

United Nations defaces ancient art

The UN is irresponsible, demonstrated again. They call their people peacekeepers? They defile and deface. This time in Western Saharan. The Times UK:
Spectacular prehistoric depictions of animal and human figures created up to 6,000 years ago on Western Saharan rocks have been vandalised by United Nations peacekeepers, The Times has learnt. Archaeological sites boasting ancient paintings and engravings of giraffes, buffalo and elephants have been defaced within the past two years by personnel attached to the UN mission, known by its French acronym, Minurso. Graffiti, some of it more than a metre high and sprayed with paint meant for use for marking routes, now blights the rock art at Lajuad, an isolated site known as Devil Mountain, which is regarded by the local Sahrawi population as a mystical place of great cultural significance. Many of the UN “graffiti artists” signed and dated their work, revealing their identities and where they are from. Minurso personnel stationed in Western Sahara come from almost 30 countries. They are monitoring a ceasefire between the occupying Moroccan forces and the Polisario Front, which is seeking independence. One Croatian peacekeeper scrawled “Petar CroArmy” across a rock face.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

National health care - Big brother chooses who lives

Doctors in the UK are asking the national health care system to deny surgery to the elderly, unhealthy, obese and smokers. Not all care; just the care that keep the patient alive. Why? Because they can't afford to care for everyone. What did they promise? To care for everyone. "Care"? The government care? Like the IRS does. The second part of most universal care plans is not allowing the patient to pay for his care with his own money! I don't think the UK does that. But Hillary's 1993 plan did. And many countries do. The Telegraph UK:
Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives. Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone. ... About one in 10 hospitals already deny some surgery to obese patients and smokers, with restrictions most common in hospitals battling debt. Managers defend the policies because of the higher risk of complications on the operating table for unfit patients. But critics believe that patients are being denied care simply to save money.

The Gimli Glider retired

The aircraft involved in one of the most remarkable feats of flying by a commercial airline pilot - ever - was retired and flown to desert storage this week. In 1983, when the Boeing 767 was first in service, Air Canada 767, #604, registry C-GAUN, was a on a routine flight from Ottawa to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It ran out of fuel due to confusion over metric conversion by, not one, but two ground crews. It was dropping fast, of course, so the pilots took it to one of the the airport in Gimli, Manitoba, and did a "dead-stick" landing. The pilots would not have any control at all, but Boeing provided a RAT - ram air turbine - which deploys when both engines are out. It is a propeller that, driven by the wind, provides minimal power to the hydraulic system for the flight control surfaces - rudder, elevators and ailerons, I think. It was a remarkable feat. Accomplished by skill and the lucky combination that one pilot had been stationed at a no-longer-open military base at the Gimli airport and the other was a glider pilot. Glider! On the ground -- The nose landing gear didn't lock in place. Without full flaps, air brakes and thrust reversers, the tire braking was overstressed, which caused a fire. There were no injuries at the time the aircraft stopped, but some during evacuation. The full story from Soaring Magazine in 1997 Associated Press
The two pilots and several crew members who safely landed the legendary "Gimli Glider" are boarding the plane again Thursday as it makes what could be its final flight. Pilot Robert Pearson and his first officer Maurice Quintal will board the Air Canada Boeing 767 in Montreal to oversee Thursday's flight, which will carry it to its new home at California's Mojave Airport. "Four groups ... have shown some interest in acquiring the airplane, either for flying test beds for engines or for museum purposes, so it may not stay there too long," Pearson said. "Hopefully somebody will find a use for it." Three of the six flight attendants who were on Flight 143 will also be on board Thursday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mugabe makes dog food causing people to starve

Robert Mugabe continues to run Zimbabwe into the ground. Zimbabwe used to export food every year. But now There is an absolute shortage of grain to feed the people. So what is Mugabe doing with their precious grain? Making dog food. The Scotsman
THE state-run grain company in Zimbabwe has turned to making luxury dog food, while up to four million of the country's people starve. Doggy's Delight is a new product from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), the only firm to which farmers are allowed to sell their wheat and maize. It is supposed to supply millers with grain for flour to make bread. But, in addition to making dog food, the company has announced that it will focus on poultry feeds this year. Recent figures show Zimbabwe has a 360,000-tonne shortfall of maize – used to make the staple mealie-meal – and a 255,000-tonne wheat shortfall. That means more than a third of Zimbabweans are likely to need food aid in the run-up to presidential and parliamentary elections in March, according to aid agencies.
----------------- Also: Barclay's bank is funding Mugabe's land grab. The Scotsman again

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Environmentalists are the worst polluters

Greenies are the worst polluters - measured by carbon footprint, which is their measure. What did you expect? They would practice what they preach? From the Telegraph UK:
A survey of travel habits has revealed that the most environmentally conscious people are also the biggest polluters. "Green" consumers have some of the biggest carbon footprints because they are still hooked on flying abroad or driving their cars while their adherence to the green cause is mostly limited to small gestures. ... Geoff Wicken, the author of the report, pointed to David Cameron, the Conservative leader, as a classic eco-adopter because despite styling himself as a green warrior he also takes flights in private helicopters and planes.
"Do as I say, not as I do." This survey was done in the UK. Surveys in the US and France had similar results. Tip: Jim Miller

Monday, January 21, 2008

World not running out of oil, say experts

Oil industry experts say the picture looks pretty good for the supply of oil. The rule of thumb has been that existing wells decrease production at 8% per year. But the current actual experience is 4.5%. This, of course, is offset by discovery of new fields. Indeed, the peak production of oil might be reached due to reduced demand, rather than lack of supply. As we know, there are huge efforts to exploit alternate sources of energy and the reduce the demand. From The Times UK
Doom-laden forecasts that world oil supplies are poised to fall off the edge of a cliff are wide of the mark, according to leading oil industry experts who gave warning that human factors, not geology, will drive the oil market. A landmark study of more than 800 oilfields by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera) has concluded that rates of decline are only 4.5 per cent a year, almost half the rate previously believed, leading the consultancy to conclude that oil output will continue to rise over the next decade. Peter Jackson, the report's author, said: “We will be able to grow supply to well over 100million barrels per day by 2017.” Current world oil output is in the region of 85million barrels a day. The optimistic view of the world's oil resource was also given support by BP's chief economist, Peter Davies, who dismissed theories of “Peak Oil” as fallacious. Instead, he gave warning that world oil production would peak as demand weakened, because of political constraints, including taxation and government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, Mr Davies said that peaks in world production had been wrongly predicted throughout history but he agreed that oil might peak within a generation “as a result of a peaking of demand rather than supply”. ... In his book Twilight in the Desert, Matthew Simmons of Simmons & Co, the consultancy, said the big Saudi fields reached their peak output in 1981 but Cera yesterday said that Ghawar was not failing. “There is no technical evidence that Ghawar is about to decline,” said Mr Jackson. Cera reckons that oil output, including unconventional oil, such as tar sands, could allow oil to peak at much higher levels of as much as 112 million barrels per day, with average rates of more than 100million bpd. The Cera analysis targeted oilfields producing more than 10,000 barrels a day of conventional oil and concluded that overall output was declining at a rate of 4.5 per cent a year and that field decline rates were not increasing. This is much lower than the 7 to 8percent average rate that is generally assumed in the industry. Typically, Peak Oil theorists believe that the output of oil reserves can be plotted on a graph as a bell curve, rising to a peak and then falling rapidly. It was proposed in 1950 by M King Hubbert, a US geologist, who successfully predicted the peak of onshore oil production in the United States. His analysis is disputed by many geologists today, who argue that technology has changed the equation, allowing oil companies to produce more oil from reservoirs than was previously possible.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hugo Chavez explains himself

The President-trying-to-be-dictator of Venezuela Hugo Chavez explained himself in a 4-hour speech to the national assembly this week. He chews coca every day. And not the raw stuff that peasants use to control hunger; it's coca paste, he says, which is semi-refined and considered highly addictive. Believe Hugo. Here are his words from the Miami Herald:
''I chew coca every day in the morning . . . and look how I am,'' he is seen saying on a video of the speech, as he shows his biceps to the audience. Chávez, who does not drink alcohol, added that just as Fidel Castro ''sends me Coppelia ice cream and a lot of other things that regularly reach me from Havana,'' Bolivian President Evo Morales ``sends me coca paste . . . I recommend it to you.''
Coca paste is illegal in Venezuela; the leaves are also. He says he consumes it every day. He considers himself to be above the law.
'If he is affirming that he consumes coca paste, he is admitting that he is consuming a substance that is illegal in Bolivia as well as Venezuela,'' said Hernán Maldonado, a Bolivian analyst living in Miami. ''Plus, it's an accusation that Evo Morales is a narco-trafficker'' for sending him the paste.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

US couldn't bomb WW II death camps

It's cheap and easy today to say we should have bombed Germany's concentration camps and death camps. With today's satellites, long-range aircraft and precision bombing we could to it - today. But then we couldn't. We didn't know, first, that they existed, then, where they were. Our bombers didn't have the range to bomb and return to safe bases. They didn't have daily satellite images. They didn't have precision bombs. Even President Bush has fallen into the "we should have..." J. R. Dunn at American Thinker has the details.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ghandi told Jews to accept being martyred. Grandson continues

Israel National News:
In a 1938 essay, Mohandas ("Mahatma") Gandhi, the spiritual and political leader of the Indian independence movement, counseled Jews in Nazi Germany to neither flee nor resist, but rather offer themselves up to be killed by their enemies, since their "suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy." ... But Jewish martyrdom is not something to be courted. And so, Mr. Gandhi's advice for Jews during the Holocaust was, even if consonant with his personal beliefs, from Judaism's point of view, profoundly wrong. And Gandhi's advice was even more disturbing in light of his admission, in that same essay, that the "cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me." Jews, he said, should "make... their home where they are born." It is, moreover, he went on, "inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs."
Today his grandson castigates the Jews for not forgetting the Holocaust and "moving on":
Apples, they say, don't fall far from trees. A rotten one fell with a loud splat recently over at the Washington Post. On a weblog - "On Faith" - sponsored by that paper in conjunction with Newsweek magazine, Arun Gandhi, a grandson of Mohandas and co-founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester, opined that "the Jews today" are intent on making Germans feel guilty for the Holocaust (which he chose to spell with a lower-case "h") and that they insist that "the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews." "The world did feel sorry," he reminded his readers, "for the episode." But "when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on, the regret turns into anger."

You can own the 40-foot Robosaurus

It's going to be auctioned in the Phoenix area. It's great. It breathes fire, picks up a car. Watch out! Here it comes! See a video of it in action.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ineffective ways to stimulate the economy

The economy has been strong, but there are signs of weakness. Won't the politicians do something? Just do something! Don Luskin at Poor and Stupid: Politicians seem to be agreed that we're in a recession -- but then again they always see the worst when it gives them an opportunity to be the heroes with a "solution." The problem is that most of the "stimulus" proposals we've heard are worse than worthless. Here's our friend Brian Riedl at Heritage, with some important warnings about that.
President Bush may offer a stimulus package, and congressional leaders are discussing a proposal centered around tax rebates. Tax rebates, however, don't stimulate the economy... ... tax rebates fail because they don't encourage productivity or wealth creation. No one has to work, save, invest or create any new wealth to receive a rebate. Critics contend that rebates "inject" new money into the economy, increasing demand and therefore production. But every dollar that government rebates "inject" into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy (and even money borrowed from foreigners brings a reduction in net exports). No new spending power is created. It is merely redistributed from one group of people to another.
What works: Measures that give people incentive to work more or work harder or to invest more. Just getting people to spend more is of fleeting benefit. The incentives listed have longer effects.

Webcams - Great Pyramids to Yosemite

Great pyramids Safari in Africa San Francisco from Marin county Yosemite - Half Dome Mana Kai resort in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. I have stayed there.

And best of all

BlogCam - a long page of current and recent images from around the world

Also Fox news directory of webcams.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

HIgh Cost of China's one-child policy

Everyone praises China for slowing its population increase by allowing only one child per couple. (Why didn't it stop growth?) But it has had one perverse effect and is causing long-term problems. First, the Chinese greatly prefer boys over girls, so they select boys and males outnumber females by 123 to 100. But the big cost comes in the future. China's frantic growth is fueled by 20-year-olds, not 55s. But the population will age quickly with a very small younger cohort. Wall Street Journal:
This "success," however, comes with immense inadvertent costs and unintended consequences. Thanks to a decade and a half of sub-replacement fertility, China's working-age population is poised to peak in size, and then start to decline, more or less indefinitely, within less than a decade. A generation from now, China's potential labor force (ages 15-64) will be no larger than it is today, perhaps smaller. This presages a radical change in China's growth environment from the generation just completed, during which time (1980-2005) the country's working-age population expanded by over 55%. "Composition effects" only make the picture worse. Until now, young people have been the life force raising the overall level of education and technical attainment in China's work force. But between 2005 and 2030, China's 15-24 age group is slated to slump in absolute size, with a projected decline of over 20% in store. In fact, the only part of the working-age population that stands to increase in size between now and 2030 is the over-50 cohort. Will they bring the dynamism we have come to expect from China in recent decades? On current trajectories, China's total population will start to decline around 2030. Even so, China must expect a "population explosion" between then and now -- one entirely comprised of senior citizens. Between 2005 and 2030, China's 65-plus age cohort will likely more than double in size, to 235 million or more, from about 100 million now. And because of the fall-off in young people, China's age profile will "gray" in the decades ahead at a pace almost never before witnessed in human history. China is still a fairly youthful society today -- but by 2030, by such metrics as median population age, the country will be "grayer" than the United States -- "grayer," that is, than the U.S. of 2030, not the U.S. of today. How will China's future senior citizens support themselves? China still has no official national pension system. Up to now, China's de facto national pension system has been the family -- but that social safety net is unraveling, and rapidly. Until very recently, thanks to relatively large Chinese families, almost every Chinese woman had given birth to at least one son -- under Confucian tradition, their first line of support. But just two decades from now, thanks to the "success" of the one-child policy, roughly a third of women entering their 60s will have no living son. In such numbers, one can see the making of a slow-motion humanitarian tragedy. But the withering away of the Chinese family under population control has even more far-reaching implications. In Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China, extreme sub-replacement fertility has already been in effect for over a generation. If this continues for another generation, we will see the emergence of a new norm: a "4-2-1 family" composed of four grandparents, but only two children, and just one grandchild. The children in these new family structures will have no brothers or sisters, no uncles or aunts, and no cousins. Their only blood relatives will be their ancestors.
I remain an optimist for the human race. Every child is created in God's image and has high value = the same high value as the billionaire. China is hurting itself by its false view of its own people.

Monday, January 14, 2008

World Bank hiding fraud

The new President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick has learned his job quickly - to cover up fraud. The Bank's internal investigation arm, headed by Suzanne Rich Folsom, investigated $559 million spend on work improving and repairing health-care facilities in India. They found that in one project of $54 million 9 out of 10 dollars spent involved questionable procurement practices. 9 of 10 dollars misused. Does Zoellick put Folsom's report in the spotlight? No. He says the government of India is cooperating. He hides her and her report. Fraud in World Bank projects? Protected, as usual. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page is now free!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fifteen stunning bridges and 3 proposed

Fifteen great bridges, one about to begin construction, one proposed. One is a distant pipe dream - across the Bering Straight. It is 50 miles across treacherous seas. There are two islands in the right place - the Diomedes - that could help. But it's 66 degrees north, just below the Arctic Circle. And, still, what would it connect? A very distant peninsula in Siberia to a very remote peninsula 120 miles from Nome, Alaska, which is not close to anything! But enjoy the others. They are great. Google Earth has beautiful 3-D models of the Golden Gate (8th longest single span), Bosporous bridge in Istanbul, Turkey (14th) and Oakland Bay bridge. Frikoo

New York Photos

12/27/07 to 1/3/08 Link Link the second

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fraud at UN stunning

Al Jazeera reports it. Does ABC? Only in Australia.
Fraud and abuse have reached unexpected levels at the UN, an internal investigative unit has said. Investigations are curently being undertaken into about 250 alleged financial and sexual offences, highlighting the scale of possible impropriety afflicting the world body. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, head of the UN office of internal oversight services (OIOS), said in a press conference: "Our caseload has been very steady over the last three months, around 250 cases. "We found mismanagement and fraud and corruption to an extent we didn't really expect."

Snow in Baghdad - Global Warming

The first time in memory. Snow fell in Baghdad yesterday Reuters

Thursday, January 10, 2008

TierneyLab - Greenland glacier advancing - Added

Did you hear about the glacier that is advancing rapidly? The Kangerdlugssuaq in Greenland and another slowed their receding, John Tierney at his NY Times blog links to a report in Science.
But a paper published online this afternoon by Science reports that two of the largest glaciers have suddenly slowed, bringing the rate of melting last year down to near the previous rate. At one glacier, Kangerdlugssuaq, “average thinning over the glacier during the summer of 2006 declined to near zero, with some apparent thickening in areas on the main trunk.”
It was warmer there earlier in the 20th century also, then the glaciers expanded!
Greenland was about as warm or warmer in the 1930’s and 40’s, and many of the glaciers were smaller than they are now. This was a period of rapid glacier shrinkage world-wide, followed by at least partial re-expansion during a colder period from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. Of course, we don’t know very much about how the glacier dynamics changed then because we didn’t have satellites to observe it.
And one surged to regain the loss. See the photo at this follow-up entry. His Blog - TierneyLab John Tierney of the New York Times is a straight journalist now focusing on science. We noticed him about two years ago when he made a bet that the price of oil would not continue to spiral upward - ala Julian Simon. I don't know the price point and due date.... We will see. But he was responding to the "always getting worse" crowd. Check his blog. Update 1/11/08 Reuters reports that geologists have learned that glaciers grew in Greenland during a time Earth was warmer overall than now.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Only hazardous light bulbs will be legal

Congress outlawed safe light bulbs. Only hazardous lights will be legal. Not this year, but sooner than you think. I am not making this up. Who heard the debate? The Daily Green reports:
Under the measure, all light bulbs must use 25% to 30% less energy than today's products by 2012 to 2014. The phase-in will start with 100-watt bulbs in 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in 2014. By 2020, bulbs must be 70% more efficient. Compact fluorescent bulbs already meet that 70% efficiency standard. They also last six to 10 times longer than incandescents. Compact fluorescents now cost around $2, vs. about 50 cents for an incandescent. Halogen bulbs, specially designed energy-saving incandescents and the emerging light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
NW Cable News looks at the hazards. Read carefully, then tell me why I should not remove the ones already in my home:
“Well, we have a lot of hazardous waste,” said Dave Neal. As the director of Waste Management for Ada County [Idaho], Dave Neal knows a thing or two about toxic trash. “We have a lot of paints, a lot of solvents, a lot of poisons and material of that type,” said Neal. That's why he's very cautious when handling this household item, commonly thought to be nothing more than an attempt to "go green." “You really don't wanna break these,” said Neal. These lights are energy efficient bulbs [compact flourescent]. They use fluorescent lighting and consume far less energy than a standard incandescent bulb. But they also contain the toxic element - mercury. If the bulb is broken, mercury is released and can enter your system in a matter of seconds. “You can get dizzy, you can feel nauseous,” said Kai Elgethun. State toxicologist, Kai Elguthen, says those minor symptoms are the least of your worries if you've been exposed. “The biggest concern with mercury is potential effects on the nervous system,” said Elgethun. To avoid life long health effects, toxicology experts say if you break an energy efficient bulb, leave the room and stay out for at least 15 minutes to let the air clear. Don't vacuum the mess up, that air could spread toxic mercury droplets all around your home. Instead using rubber gloves, sweep up the mess, put it in a plastic bag and take it to be disposed as hazardous waste. “They're very toxic and people need to be aware that they give off a kind of a warm glow, but they can be very dangerous to your health if handled improperly,” said Neal.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Global cooling

Record snow in New Hampshire last month. Snow for the first time in 89 years in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2007 was not hotter than 2006 or 2001. Sorry, Albert Gore, Jr. Jeff Jacoby at Boston Globe:
Given the number of worldwide cold events, it is no surprise that 2007 didn't turn out to be the warmest ever. In fact, 2007's global temperature was essentially the same as that in 2006 - and 2005, and 2004, and every year back to 2001. The record set in 1998 has not been surpassed. For nearly a decade now, there has been no global warming. Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to accumulate - it's up about 4 percent since 1998 - the global mean temperature has remained flat. That raises some obvious questions about the theory that CO2 is the cause of climate change. Yet so relentlessly has the alarmist scenario been hyped, and so disdainfully have dissenting views been dismissed, that millions of people assume Gore must be right when he insists: "The debate in the scientific community is over." But it isn't. Just last month, more than 100 scientists signed a strongly worded open letter pointing out that climate change is a well-known natural phenomenon, and that adapting to it is far more sensible than attempting to prevent it.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Geothermal energy potential in Washington - YES Update

Washington, the state, is on the Pacific rim - where tectonic plates rub over each other and volcanos form. Volcanos - They have thermal energy, lots of it. "Geothermal" is the term for capturing energy occurring naturally underground and putting it to use. How much geothermal energy is being captured for us in Washington? None. How much potential is there? Lots. There are many hot springs. And volcanos. What does it cost to capture geothermal energy for use? Not much. The initial construction costs might be substantial, but the cost to operate is near zero. Lawrence Molloy writes in the Seattle Times
... Yet, Washington state has zero megawatts of geothermal. "It also has zero planned, proposed or within the plant-approval process, even though we have excellent potential," laments Susan Petty, one of the world's leading geothermal reservoir engineers. Petty, who is based in Seattle, points out there is no current hard data on the exact nature of the state's geothermal resources. But, working off 25-year-old geologic studies, it's reasonable to say we are among the top-10 states. Petty also notes Washington state is unprepared to respond or assist if a geothermal development permit were submitted today. This is a major oversight that must be addressed. Though nothing firm has materialized, there has been at least one early expression of interest. Gov. Christine Gregoire is committed to renewable energy, but faced strong opposition over the Horizon wind farm outside of Ellensburg because of its size and profile. That would not be an issue with geothermal: It has the smallest surface footprint among renewable forms of energy; less space than the Seattle Center grounds would be needed to produce the energy equivalent of 65 wind turbines along the ridgeline in Kittitas County. Geothermal in Washington state also would generate solid, respected jobs in parts of the state that are seeking to expand their employment bases.
But we have to consider all the costs:
Yet, we must not mislead ourselves into thinking geothermal is a clean and limitless energy (we did that with nuclear power in the 1950s). There are impacts. Water issues are the biggest concern, especially if developers work on the cheap and do not have the proper recovery technology. Carbon dioxide is produced, but the impacts are one-fifteenth to one-thirtieth those of natural gas, the cleanest of the abundant fuel sources currently in our portfolio. If geothermal is done correctly and respectfully — no development on sacred sites or in wilderness areas and national parks — we can bring hundreds of megawatts online in Washington state. The discussion needs to begin now with the tribes, utilities, environmentalists and state agencies.
Engineer Lawrence Molloy has worked on clean energy technologies around the Pacific Rim for more than a decade. He was a member of the Port of Seattle Commission from 2001 to 2005. Update - Commenter "anonymous" adds: See North of the Hot Zone web site for more information about geothermal in Washington. There will be a lunch-time brownbag presentation on January 17 in Seattle:
Who: Geothermal engineer Susan Petty & Lawrence Molloy will host this presentation and Q&A session When: Thursday, January 17th, Noon to 1:30pm Where: NW Energy Coalition Office - 811 1st Ave, Suite 305, Seattle

Friday, January 04, 2008

Biofuels might be worse than using coal and oil

Count all the costs. Not just the end use that you see. The experts are considering displacing production of food and taking out forests for crops. About half the biofuel sources had a net negative effect on the environment. The Guardian (UK):
Using biofuels made from corn, sugar cane and soy could have a greater environmental impact than burning fossil fuels, according to experts. Although the fuels themselves emit fewer greenhouse gases, they all have higher costs in terms of biodiversity loss and destruction of farmland. The problems of climate change and the rising cost of oil have led to a race to develop environmentally-friendly biofuels, such as palm oil or ethanol derived from corn and sugar cane. The EU has proposed that 10% of all fuel used in transport should come from biofuels by 2020 and the emerging global market is expected to be worth billions of dollars a year. But the new fuels have attracted controversy. "Regardless of how effective sugar cane is for producing ethanol, its benefits quickly diminish if carbon-rich tropical forests are being razed to make the sugar cane fields, thereby causing vast greenhouse-gas emission increases," Jörn Scharlemann and William Laurance, of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, write in Science today. "Such comparisons become even more lopsided if the full environmental benefits of tropical forests - for example, for biodiversity conservation, hydrological functioning, and soil protection - are included."
Via Tidepool.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't host the terrorist

Ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani refused to host a terrorist. And he was widely condemned for not being "diplomatic." Good for him. In October, 1995, the United Nations was having its 50th anniversary. New York City hosted the world leaders to a concert at Lincoln Center. Why would NYC invite terrorists? "Why not?" seemed to be the consensus. When Yassar Arafat was making his way to a private box at the event Mayor Giuliani ordered him expelled. The terrorist had not been invited. The New York Times conveyed the condemnation:
A day after Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani expelled Yasir Arafat from a concert for world leaders at Lincoln Center, the Clinton Administration sharply criticized the Mayor yesterday for what Washington officials called an embarrassing breach of international diplomacy. Mr. Giuliani, clearly relishing the controversy, insisted that he could never forgive and play host to Mr. Arafat even though the Palestinian leader has been embraced as a peacemaker by the Israeli and United States Governments. A spokesman for the United States Mission to the United Nations said the Administration made it clear to the city that Mr. Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, could be invited to local events. Mr. Clinton invited him to a White House reception on Sunday. "We regard the incident as unfortunate in light of the constructive role that Chairman Arafat has played in the Mideast peace process," said the spokesman, James P. Rubin. A senior Administration official in Washington, who insisted on not beingidentified, went even further, saying the incident on Monday night was "an embarrassment to everyone associated with diplomacy."
But this is Rudy Giuliani, not Bill Clinton. Diplomacy does not include rewarding terrorists.
But the Mayor, explaining his decision yesterday, called Mr. Arafat a murderer and terrorist, and said he was not impressed by the fact that Mr. Arafat had twice been invited to the White House to sign the Middle East peace accords, or that he shared the Nobel Peace Prize. "I would not invite Yasir Arafat to anything, anywhere, anytime, anyplace," Mr. Giuliani said at a news conference yesterday. "I don't forget."
Giuliani is not my first choice for president, but I could support him. He is a leader in the war we are now involved.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Jonah Goldberg - Liberal Facism

New book - Liberal Fascism - covered by Donald Luskin. Ron Radosh reviews it in the New York Sun:
Jonah Goldberg — who is rightfully fed up with the left's regularly and somewhat indiscriminately calling conservatives fascist — turns the tide by addressing the issue head on, in "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning" (Doubleday, 467 pages, $27.95). Not only is it a slander to yell fascist at the right; Mr. Goldberg presents a strong and compelling case that the very idea of fascism emanated from the ranks of liberalism. As he argues, contemporary liberalism descended from the ranks of 20th-century progressivism, and "shares intellectual roots with European fascism."

No warming this year - again and again

2007 was no warmer than 2006. No year since 2001 has been warmer than 2001. Global warming has stopped. It’s not a viewpoint or a sceptic’s inaccuracy. It’s an observational fact. Dr. David Whitehouse, the British astronomer and former science editor of the BBC, tells us:
"Global warming stopped? Surely not. What heresy is this? Haven't we been told that the science of global warming is settled beyond doubt and that all that's left to the so-called sceptics is the odd errant glacier that refuses to melt? "Aren't we told that if we don't act now rising temperatures will render most of the surface of the Earth uninhabitable within our lifetimes? But as we digest these apocalyptic comments, read the recent IPCC's Synthesis report that says climate change could become irreversible. Witness the drama at Bali as news emerges that something is not quite right in the global warming camp. "With only few days remaining in 2007, the indications are the global temperature for this year is the same as that for 2006 - there has been no warming over the 12 months. But is this just a blip in the ever upward trend you may ask? No. The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased. Temperatures across the world are not increasing as they should according to the fundamental theory behind global warming - the greenhouse effect."
Via American Thinker ,