Sunday, September 12, 2010
Warmists finally concede that warming would bring more rain
Except in Russia, where it causes drought! In fact, if you look back at past Warmist pronouncements, ALL droughts are caused by global warming. But expecting consistency and logic from the Green/Left would be VERY optimistic
An environmental group pushing clean energy released a report Wednesday connecting 2010's bumper crop of extreme weather events to global warming from greenhouse gases. Those include wildfires in the West, drought-driven smog in Russia and historic floods in Pakistan and the U.S.
"We've had two once-in-500-years floods in the last 15 years in Iowa," Ken Bradley of Environment Minnesota told reporters, "As the earth warms up, and as the water evaporates from the ocean and other areas, that is what is increasing the precipitation."
Bradley released his group's "Extreme Weather Report" with the help of two heavy hitters in the climate change debate, polar explorer Will Steger and veteran meteorologist Paul Douglas. The press conference took place at WeatherNation, the private forecasting agency headed by Douglas in Excelsior.
Solar Power makes electricity an unattainable product for poor people
Comment from China
What can Solar power do, what can wind power do?
There is a very real problem staring everybody in the face. Solar power, wind power, can they be implemented on a large scale? Can they provide large scale industries with enough electricity? Can they supply trains with the power to fly along the tracks?
It is obvious, that the answer is in the negative.
Solar power is the same as wind power, not stable in the slightest. A cloudy or rainy day, and the ability of solar power to generate electricity is influenced, in a big way. We see that windmills will stand there, not moving for long periods of time, because wind is not constant, sometimes and sometimes not, it’ll lose its temper.
With the current state of technology, there are still many difficulties with storing electricity form large scale electricty [farms]. Just turn electrical power in to chemical power, and then turn it back in to electrical power at the time of need, is ok. But the efficiency of such conversions is not great, this still needs research.
One obvious conclusion is that: traditional energy sources are irreplacable, wind power, solar power and other new energy resources can only fill the gap over a long period of time. For these new energy resources to be used in large scale manufacturing industries, well, there is still a long way to go.
But in Africa, and many other non-developed coutries, we often see some green environmental organizations publicizing everywher all knids of save the environment theories, holding all kinds of training, and speeches, teachingthe local people how to use electricity, giving people the knowledge about how to nurture environmental conciousness; how to battle heavy pollution, avoid using oil, avoid using coal, and how it is best to use solar power and wind power.
Where did this solar and wind power equipment come from? The answer is Europe. Nuclear power tech is primarily in the hands of the French, whilst wind, solar, nuclear power techs are also concentrated in Eurpean, USA etc. countries.
In 2009, May, when the African Union were implementing these policies with Western enery experts, they were interviewed by [luxiushe], and said that electricity was terribly important for manufacturing, agriculture, and other industries, but only 30% of the population had access to electricity.
Africa has an incredible amount of coal and oil, yet in the eyes of the environmentalists, these resources are not to be touched. They can only use clean energy, and must wait for solar, wind and other new energy methods to mature, only then may they gain the opportunity to develop their economy.
In order to look after the environment, and not destroy nature, many countries in Africa must buy terribly expensive solar and wind power equipment from Europe. Yet this causes them to spend much of their hard earned money, and credit; and also causes them to forsake other development opportunities.
To use a metaphor, traditional energy sources are still the poor man’s staple food; whilst solar, wind power etc. can be eaten once in a while, anything more is rather idealistic. If poor people were to rely primarily on renewable energy sources, these beautiful, upmarket foodstuffs, then after a while they’d more than likely starve to death.
Currently, solar panels have an energy conversion rate of about 15-20%. Whilst newer, more advanced solar panels have an energy conversion rate that is limited at 29%. so, their cost is much higher than their returns. In a situation where there are no subsidies, there are absolutely no advantages to using solar and wind power over traditional coal and hydro etc.
If we take another look at Europe; although wind and solar have been implemented on a large scale, but they are still heavily reliant on traditional energy sources, like coal, and hydro. Solar panels have become one of the greatest modern status symbols for the wealthy.
Is solar power really clean? Investigations show that the base silicon that solar panels rely on is extracted via a energy intensive, heavily polluting industry. And where is this industry based? China.
China has already become the world’s biggest photovoltaic industrial market. The most important ingredient in solar power is polycrystalline silicon. The efficiency of manufacturing the panels is rather low, and a lot of pollution is generated as a by-product. When local industries started producing polycrystalline silicon, they were mostly reliant on outdated technology. Apart from high energy consumption, for every ton of pure polycrystalline silicon created, there were also more than 8 tons of ammonium chlorid[adized] silcon as by-product, as well as other things.
The prosperity of China’s solar power industry, at the price of the environment of those rather weak distant regions, in order to attract commerce and investment, in order to collect tax revenue, very many environmental appraisal programmes have not yet been strictly implemented.
Looking at China’s solar power market, and also nuclear technology, important raw materials, the sales market abroad, etc, China is only a simple processing factory, transporting profit abroad, its own body covered in grime and sweat.
Green police proliferating
Beware the green police. They don't carry guns and there's no police academy to train them, but if you don't recycle your trash properly, they can walk up your driveway and give you a $100 ticket.
They know what's in your trash, they know what you eat, they know how often you bring your recycles to the curb -- and they may be coming to your town soon. That is, if they're not already there.
In a growing number of cities across the U.S., local governments are placing computer chips in recycling bins to collect data on refuse disposal, and then fining residents who don't participate in recycling efforts and forcing others into educational programs meant to instill respect for the environment.
From Charlotte, N.C., to Cleveland, Ohio, from Boise, Idaho, to Flint, Mich., the green police are spreading out. And that alarms some privacy advocates who are asking: Should local governments have the right to monitor how you divide your paper cups from your plastic forks? Is that really the role of government?
In Dayton, Ohio, chips placed in recycle bins transmit information to garbage trucks to keep track of whether residents are recycling -- a program that incensed Arizona Sen. John McCain, who pointed out that the city was awarded half a million dollars in stimulus money for it.
Harry Lewis, a computer science professor at Harvard University and a noted privacy expert, cried foul about the "spy chips," which are already in use in several cities and are often funded by government stimulus programs. He noted that cattle farmers use the same chips to tell if Betsy the Cow has generated her milk quota for the day. "It's treating people like cattle!" Lewis cried. Are people "supposed to produce recyclable waste, rather than certain quantities of milk"? What, he asked, happens if you don't generate enough?
But there's a clear upside to the technology, said Michael Kanellos, editor in chief of GreenTech Media. "By tagging bins, haulers can weigh garbage, and weighing brings accountability. Consumers that diligently recycle will likely become eligible for rebates in some jurisdictions," he wrote recently. "Conversely, those who throw away excessive amounts of trash may face steeper tariffs in the future ... recycling, meanwhile, will go from being something that gives the consumer peace of mind to a way to reduce household bills."
Best and worse case scenarios
Dayton City Manager Thomas Ritchie said the city is using the chips to aid marketing campaigns, not to punish uncooperative citizens. "The data will be used to identify which residents participate in the recycling program, at what rate do they participate and the average weight of each participant’s recycling," he said.
Charlotte, N.C., also uses trash tags, and it gathers similar information. City spokeswoman Charita Curtis said the city uses the data from the tags -- low-power radio frequency IDs (RFIDs) -- to find which areas aren't recycling as often and to start education initiatives there. The data is not shared outside of the city, she stressed, and it's not used to track down specific residents. The RFID program is also voluntary.
“We can do targeted recycling education for areas with low participation, providing information on how to recycle, what can be recycled, the importance of recycling to encourage more recycling participation,” Curtis said. “Some residents may not participate simply because they don't know how to and we'd provide that education in hopes that they start recycling or recycle more.”
But there's no volunteering in Cleveland, where the trash police can fine you $100 for not recycling. Cleveland will run reports on who fails to recycle consistently, and then it will send out the green cops, waste collection commissioner Ronnie Owens told ABC News.
In late August, Cleveland's city council voted to roll out the tags to 25,000 residents, and it may extend the program to the entire city. It costs $30 per ton to haul away trash, but the city gets paid $26 per ton to recycle it. The program should generate about $170,000 annually in revenue for the city, the Washington Times reported.
But the new equipment and bins cost $2.5 million, so it will take about 15 years to recoup the costs of deploying the technology. Cleveland officials did not immediately respond to requests for more information, but reports indicate that officials will know when you bring your trash to the kerb -- and may go through your trash to ensure you're recycling properly.
Right to trash privacy
Privacy experts, meanwhile, are up in arms about how these chips are being used to collect data.
Lewis said Cleveland residents need to ask whether sacrificing their privacy -- having the government snoop through their trash -- is worth the environmental benefit. If not, he said, they should start a referendum to overthrow the ruling. Part of the issue, he said, is that the system is easy to fool: A neighbor, he said, might dump your recycling into his bin to avoid fines.
The trash police could unfairly give the worst citizens a pass, Lewis added. He warned that those generating the most waste by using bottled water instead of tap water (plastic water bottles are a major source of trash) could earn credits for recycling all those wasteful bottles -- a reward for a poor choice, in other words.
Mari Frank, a privacy expert and attorney, questioned the openness of the data. "It clearly looks like the reason for the RFID is to collect money, but the privacy issues are paramount," she said. "I believe these RFIDs are using technology to violate our Fourth Amendment rights of search and seizure," she said. "The community should have the right to informed consent."
What comes next?
Lewis says the solution lies in improving education and awareness, not punishment. He said economic incentives work for recycling -- getting money back for aluminum cans and newspapers is a proven tactic.
Frank was skeptical about the future potential exploitation of the RFID trash collection data, and questioned whether the next step might be to attach a GPS receiver to bins to see where residents put them and how they are used. Lewis wondered whether a city might use trash collection data for other, more invasive purposes.
"If the government wanted to know our drinking habits by neighborhood or household -- purely for 'public health reasons,' of course -- it could mandate RFIDs on liquor bottles and reprogram the scanners to collect data on where the most vodka is being consumed," he said.
"And it's not just the government either. Suppose a major distiller went to your town and offered to pay to collect data about who was throwing out which kinds of bottles. They might be prepared to chip the bottles without being told they had to -- and your town might be able to use the new revenue source to hold down its tax rate."
Barack Obama: 'no' to solar panels on the White House roof
A quest to get Barack Obama to shout his commitment to solar power from the roof tops - by re-installing vintage solar panels at the White House - ended in disappointment for environmental campaigners today.
Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, had led a group of environmental activists to Washington in a bio-diesel van hoping to persuade Obama to re-install a set of solar panels originally put up by Jimmy Carter.
The actual Carter-era solar panels - which weigh in at 55 kilograms and are nearly 2 metres long - are out-dated now. But campaigners had hoped that the White House would embrace at least the symbolism of going solar - much like Michelle Obama kicked off her healthy food movement by planting a vegetable garden.
"Clearly, a solar panel on the White House roof won't solve climate change - and we'd rather have strong presidential leadership on energy transformation. But given the political scene, this may be as good as we'll get for the moment," McKibben said in a Washington Post comment this morning.
A California company Sungevity had offered to equip the White House with the latest technology.
But the White House declined - twitchy perhaps about inviting any comparison to one-term Democratic president Carter in the run-up to the very difficult mid-term elections in November.
And Then There Was Light: Will Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs INCREASE Energy Use?
It seemed so simple: To reduce energy use, Americans must abandon the old-fashioned incandescent light bulb in favor of new energy-efficient lighting. Congress even passed legislation in 2007 mandating a phase-out of the familiar “Edison” bulb in the name of saving energy.
Now comes a study concluding that energy-efficient lighting will likely increase energy use. The study, sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is based on the observation that the percentage of gross national product spent on artificial lighting has remained remarkably constant for the past three hundred years. Instead of using advances in technology to reduce expenditures on energy, individuals have consistently opted to take advantage the lower costs made possible by those advances to increase the light around them.
The same result is likely with new technologies, the new study’s authors find, focusing particularly on solid-state lighting technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The increase in energy use may be substantial. The report estimates that the total consumption of light could increase by a factor of 10 over the next two decades. And the amount of energy used to produce that light could double.
That’s bad news if your only goal is to reduce energy consumption. But if you are actually concerned with improving human welfare, it’s quite good news. Benefits could range from increased workplace efficiency to reduced crime to fewer cases of depression. “[R]ather than functioning as an instrument of decreased energy use,” said lead author Jeff Tsao of Sandia, “LEDs may be instead the next step in increasing human productivity and quality of life.”
If that’s correct, there’s still no reason to make the new lighting technology mandatory. But for the reduce-energy-consumption-at-all-costs crowd, the prospects may create a dilemma. For them, as The Economist wrote, “the answer may not be to ban old-fashioned incandescent bulbs … but to make them mandatory.”
'Green' jobs no longer stimulating
Noticeably absent from President Obama's latest economic-stimulus package are any further attempts to create jobs through "green" energy projects, reflecting a year in which the administration's original, loudly trumpeted efforts proved largely unfruitful.
The long delays typical with environmentally friendly projects - combined with reports of green stimulus funds being used to create jobs in China and other countries, rather than in the U.S. - appear to have killed the administration's appetite for pushing green projects as an economic cure.
After months of hype about the potential for green energy to stimulate job growth and lead the economy out of a recession, the results turned out to be disappointing, if not dismal. About $92 billion - more than 11 percent - of Mr. Obama's original $814 billion of stimulus funds were targeted for renewable energy projects when the measure was pushed through Congress in early 2009.
Even some of the administration's liberal allies have expressed skepticism over the original stimulus package's use of green investments as a way to spur quick employment growth at home.
"Spending on renewables is slow to get out of the door. Leaks to foreign companies is an inadequate driver of jobs and growth and may not create a strong exporting industry," said Samuel Sherraden, an economic analyst at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based progressive think tank.
Only about $20 billion of the allotted funds have been spent - the slowest disbursement rate for any category of stimulus spending. Private analysts are skeptical of White House estimates that the green funding created 190,700 jobs.
The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States.
Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland, said much of the green stimulus funding was "squandered." "Large grants to build green buildings don't generate many new jobs, except for a few architects," he said. "Subsidies for windmills and solar panels created lots of jobs in China," but few at home.
In one of several embarrassing disclosures for the administration, a report last fall by American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop found that 11 U.S. wind farms used their grants to purchase 695 out of 982 wind turbines from overseas suppliers.
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Posted by JR at 5:21 PM