Friday, July 27, 2007

Renewable energy wrecks environment, scientist claims

"Renewable" energy isn't green. That's the claim of a prominent scientist with Rockefeller University in New York, who played an early role in bringing the issue of global warming to public attention. Writing in a scholarly journal, Jesse Ausubel, director of the university's Program for the Human Environment, has now issued a scathing reassessment of the "renewable" energy sources that are supposed to save humanity from pollution and global warming.

The climate change is believed to be caused by emissions of heattrapping gases from use of traditional energy sources. Meeting global energy demands through socalled renewable sourcesbuilding enough wind farms, damming enough rivers, and growing enough biomasswill wreck the environment, Ausubel argues. Biomass consists of plants and animal wastes used as fuel.

The solution? "If we want to minimize new structures and the rape of nature, nuclear energy is the best option," Ausubel said. But longtime renewableenergy advocates are skeptical.

Ausubel's paper appears in the current issue of the International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, a journal that publishes many pronuclear power papers. Ausubel analysed the amount of energy that each socalled renewable source can produce. He also compared the strain on nature caused by renewables with the demand for space of nuclear power. "Nuclear energy is green," he wrote. Considered in terms of power produced per amount of land used, "nuclear has astronomical advantages over its competitors."

Technologies succeed, he wrote, when they enjoy economies of scalesituations in which largerscale production leads to more efficient production. But renewables don't work that way, he added.

Jim Pierobon, director of communications for the American Council on Renewable Energy based in Washington, D.C., said Ausubel's claims shouldn't be accepted at face value. There are valid critiques of some specific renewable energy sources, "relatively credible arguments," he said. But a blanket criticism such as Ausubel's "begs for a more thorough discussion," he added. "We think the positives [of renewable energy] stand up very well."

Ausubel's research focuses on a mix of environmental and industrial themes. He was an organizer of the first U.N. World Climate Conference in 1979, which played a key role in calling attention to global warming. He was also an originator of the field of industrial ecology, the science of interactions between industrial processes.

Ausubel said a consideration of each socalled renewable paints a grim picture of the environmental impact of renewables. Hypothetically flooding the entire province of Ontario, Canada, and damming the water would only generate 80 percent of the total power output of Canada's 25 nuclear power stations, he explains. Put another way, each square kilometre (247 acres) of dammed land would provide the electricity for just 12 Canadians.

Biomass energy is also horribly inefficient and destructive, he continued. To power much of the United States, vast areas would need to be shaved or harvested annually. To get the same electricity from biomass as from one nuclear plant would require 2,500 square km (618,000 acres) of prime Iowa land. "Increased use of biomass fuel in any form is criminal," said Ausubel, adding that every automobile would require a pasture of one to two hectares (2.5 to five acres.) "Humans must spare land for nature."

Wind and solar energy come in for similar criticisms under Ausubel's pen, but he praises nuclear energy. The full footprint of uranium mining might add a few hundred square kilometres and there are considerations of waste storage, safety and security, he admitted. Yet the dense heart of the atom offers far the smallest footprint in nature of any energy source, he said; nuclear energy, enjoying from economies of scale, could multiply its power output and even shrink the energy system.

"Renewables may be renewable but they are not green," he said


Tangerine offsets

Post lifted from Don Surber.

Ben Smith of Politico has the latest target of wrath from the left — tangerines. The wife of John Edwards said that eating foods from far away leads to global warming because of the “carbon footprint” left by transporting the food. She is swearing off eating food not grown in North Carolina:

“I live in North Carolina. I’ll probably never eat a tangerine again.”

Hmm. Wonder if her boycott extends to “Wendy’s,” where she and John spend each anniversary — except when John Kerry brings in seafood catered from the local yacht club.

I can just see Mrs. Edwards foraging around her $25 million estate looking for nuts and berries. Of course, she doesn’t hunt — what with her aversion to guns and all. Not all the Politico readers were convinced, as evidenced by their comments:

davenjan: “Yeah, right…and they won’t drink orange juice either. What a joke!!!!!!!”

eric: “Somebody ask Clinton what her position is on tangelos.”

Howard: “Are these people serious? Does anybody give a rip what fruit they eat? Maybe better nutrition in general would help them think more clearly.”

Chim Chim: “What about the bananas?”

Joey Libtard: “I’m shaking my Minute Maid Orange Juice in anger.”

Terry: “So are we safe from global warming now? Can I go back to using multiple sheets of toliet paper?”

rob: “Does this mean puss in boots will give up his hairspray?”

Art B from Woodland Hills: “Wait a minute… she should be FOR Global Warming… that way she can grow tangerines in her yard!!! and bananas, coconuts, and all other tropical foods.”

David: “I bet she’ll be buying Tangerine offsets in no time.”

Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner. Tangerine offsets. I love it. Remember, there are 2 Americas: One with rotting fruit in its back yard, the other with scurvy.


"This issue of energy and global warming has the promise of creating millions of new jobs in America. It can be a win-win, if we do it right." -Sen. Hillary Clinton, at last night's Democratic debate in South Carolina

And with that, Clinton seemingly stumbled into the classic economic trap known as the Broken Window Fallacy. As described by the French economist Fredric Bastiat, the fallacy imagines some punk kid chucking a rock through a store window. A bad thing, right? Yet a contrarian onlooker offers that the troublemaker may have actually helped the economy because now the storeowner will have to hire a glazier, who will make money replacing the window. Then the glazier will use that money to buy bread from a baker, who then might buy shoes from a cobbler. And the "multiplier effect" goes on and on, creating a more prosperous economy.

But Bastiat points out that such reasoning ignores the hidden costs to the shopkeeper, who was forced to spend money on windows instead of something else that may have had higher value to him or society, like a new suit or investing in a start-up tech firm. As the great economics writer Henry Hazlitt once put it:

The glazier's gain of business, in short, is merely the tailor's loss of business. No new "employment" has been added. The people in the crowd were thinking only of two parties to the transaction, the baker and the glazier. They had forgotten the potential third party involved, the tailor. They forgot him precisely because he will not now enter the scene. They will see the new window in the next day or two. They will never see the extra suit, precisely because it will never be made. They see only what is immediately visible to the eye.

It is certainly unlikely that spending money on climate change will be the "win-win" free lunch Clinton describes, anymore than natural disasters or wars are economic free lunches, even though they seem to spur economic activity. (Indeed, dealing with climate change is often called the "moral equivalent of war.")

Last year, the British government released a review on the economics of climate change, authored by economist Nicholas Stern. It concluded that we should spend 1 percent of the global economy every year to avoid the worse effects of climate change. Now even if you take Stern's numbers as correct-and many think he overestimates the economic risks of doing nothing-he still advocates spending $700 billion a year on a supposed problem, dough that might have a better return on investment if spent elsewhere.

If climate change "creates" 10 million new jobs over the next decade, who is to say those jobs would not have been created anyway, in the nanotechnology industry or healthcare or business consulting or some industry we have yet to imagine? We may need to spend money to deal with global warming, but to think of it as an actual independent economic gain is a stretch.


`24' Star Sutherland: `Global Warming Is A Crime For Which We Are All Guilty!'

Post lifted from Newsbusters

Remember all that media chatter in January about the hit TV series "24" being conservative? Well, likely to the applause of Jack Bauer's green fans, the producers announced the following Saturday:

"24," the Emmy Award-winning series from Imagine and Twentieth Century Fox Television, will strive to become the first television production ever to save enough energy and reduce enough carbon emissions over the course of a season to render its entire season finale "carbon neutral."

Star Kiefer Sutherland has already filmed a public service annoucement which begins: "Global warming is a crime for which we are all guilty!"

Think that will put to rest all the "24" is conservative nonsense? No, I don't either. Regardless, here's their plan:

Introducing the use of biodiesel fuels to power generators and production vehicles;

Previously, the show powered its electric generators and large transportation vehicles with diesel fuel. This season, the show intends to use a combination of petroleum diesel and biodiesel (a clean-burning alternative fuel produced from renewable resources), which should result in emission reductions ranging from 5% on the vehicles to as much as 100% on the generators.

Running all on-stage production activities on "green power";

Through the L.A. Department of Water and Power, the show will purchase all of its energy from renewable power sources (such as wind, water and solar). As a result, this "green energy" will be brought into the Los Angeles power grid from outlying areas, thereby reducing overall emissions and pollution in greater Los Angeles.

Rewiring an entire stage to use electric, rather than diesel-generated, power;

Previously, one of the two stages housing "24"' had insufficient power capacity necessary to light the sets and run the equipment, necessitating the use of supplemental diesel-gas-fueled generators. Twentieth Century Fox Television is investing in rewiring this building, which it leases, so that no diesel generators will be needed this season.

Integrating fuel-saving and low-emission hybrid vehicles into the production fleet;

This season, the show intends to incorporate as many lower-emission vehicles as possible into departments that require considerable road trave,l such as Locations, Transportation and Production Assistance.

Creating a series of PSAs about the issue starring Kiefer Sutherland and key cast members;

Kiefer Sutherland has already shot a public service announcement describing "24"'s commitment to this issue. This season, the series intends to participate in a series of PSAs educating viewers about climate change and offering information about how they can be part of the solution.

When appropriate, incorporating the issue of global warming and the importance of carbon emission reduction into storylines;

Posting information, resources and do-it-yourself techniques for viewers to reduce their own carbon footprints on the "24" page at;

Accruing enough carbon reduction savings through these and other innovations to render production of the entire final episode officially "carbon neutral."

Carbon neutrality refers to a product having a balance of zero between the amount of carbon absorbed and the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere during the production of the product. Carbon neutrality is achieved through energy reduction, green power use, and purchasing "offsets" which represent investment in alternative energy and carbon reduction.

Great. Now one of my favorite shows has become part of Al Gore's scam. And I was having such a great Saturday.


The Lockwood paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film but it is in fact an absolute gift to climate atheists. What the paper says was of course all well-known already but the concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years really is invaluable. And the one fact that the paper documents so well -- that solar output is on the downturn -- is also hilarious, given its source. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even be the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards.

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