Category Archives: Climate

Alternative Energy Still Being Oversold

You have surely noticed, if you’ve been checking in on my blog, that I have been absent for quite a while. My age, abetted by my normal laziness, along with some minor health problems, are to be blamed. Maybe I just needed a special message to spur me to “get back to work.” The post below is such. Some of you may know that I worked in alternative energy for five years at GE just after the OPEC oil embargo in 1973 and have posted a number of comments on the subject in my blog. 

Finally, many of the utopian programs in wind and solar energy are bearing bitter fruit, resulting in more objective opinions of the area such as the one below by Lonborg. He is excellent in considering the total picture and I have included it in its entirety.

COPENHAGEN– One of the world’s biggest green-energy public-policy experiments is coming to a bitter end in Germany, with important lessons for policymakers elsewhere. Germany once prided itself on being the “photovoltaic world champion”, doling out generous subsidies – totaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany’s Ruhr University– to citizens to invest in solar energy. But now the German government is vowing to cut the subsidies sooner than planned, and to phase out support over the next five years. What went wrong? Continue reading

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Europe Continues Cuts in Solar and Wind Subsidies

Here’s today’s update by Peter Gosselin on the status of support and subsidies by European governments for the alternate energy sources of solar and wind. Cuts by the US Congress shouldn’t be far behind. Good riddance, in that the systems cannot compete economically in the energy generation field. And the subsidies just line the pockets of investors slopping at the government trough while adding to the electric bill of all citizens.

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Useless Ethanol – But Iowa’s Primary “Rules”

Any thorough analysis of ethanol you can read arrives at the same conclusion; it is not good for cars, not good for the atmosphere, and not good for the price/availability of food. Yet I am pessimistic that any helpful change will be made by our government.  The farm lobbies are very strong and the Iowa primary will support the government subsidies. All candidates that hope to do well in the Iowa primary must go public with an “Ethanol is next to Godliness” pronouncement.

There is a glimmer of hope though in that the German people are seeing the light now and that Europe may follow. Perhaps our leaders will become more aware of ethanol’s impact.

Below is a post by Peter Gossilin, a German scientist and blogger I read most every day, about the subject that I found interesting. He does not cover the problems of shipping ethanol. Continue reading

Sea Ice References Links

Link to sea ice charts: http://wp.me/P7y4l-5Kc This links to the blog of Anthony Watts who gathered these ice charts in one place for easy reference. Here is enough data to answer just about any questions about the arctic and antarctic ice variations over time.

I will write on this soon, but the charts are interesting in themselves and I thought you might like to study them without my comment, which will come along in a few days.

I Knew Your Breath was Polluting, But I Blamed it on Garlic!

But it turns out, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, you are polluting by exhaling carbon dioxide! And the Supreme Court in Massachusetts vs EPA, http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf, permits the EPA to call carbon dioxide a pollutant, http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment.html.

Although any significant government regulations and controls regarding carbon dioxide are unlikely to result from all this to-and-fro-ing by the powerful adherents of both sides of the argument, one must wonder, “How in the world did we get this far?” 

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Déjà Vu All Over Again – Wind Power

Once upon a time long ago, in 1973, OPEC “tied a knot in our gasoline hoses” and had us standing in long lines to fill up our cars. The country became panicky and a myriad of actions were proposed to alleviate the effects of the embargo. Many were band-aided into a package of salvation called Energy Independence, but not including such practical approaches as a surge in drilling for more oil. Included were the usual solutions or “hopey-changey” things like windmills and photovoltaic power that are also bundled into today’s salvation, Alternative Power.

One of the first acts of government in 1974 was to establish the United States Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) an organization to throw money at the problem, preferably into the districts of the congressmen who were in charge of the appropriations. It was formed from the functions of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) other than its regulatory groups. These groups became the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, essentially as it is today. The Energy Research and Development Administration was finally activated in January 1975.

While this huge, slow re-organization was going on, the government was pushing in many directions, including getting all government buildings to set their thermostats to 68 degrees, as I remember. President Carter made his “memorable” TV address in his cardigan sweater while admonishing us to get cool and stay cool.

Anyone who had any work with the government agencies knew that money was going to be flowing fast from Washington and there were many suggestions and proposals advanced to “help” the government spend it. Continue reading

Windmills Are Losing Their Wind

In 2008, billionaire T. Boone Pickens unveiled his ‘Pickens Plan’ on national TV, which calls for America to end its dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of wind power and natural gas. Over the next two years, he spent $80 million on TV commercials and $2 billion on General Electric wind turbines.

Unfortunately market forces were not favorable to Mr. Pickens, and in December 2010 he announced that he is getting out of the wind power business. What does he plan to do with his $2 billion worth of idle wind turbines? He is trying to sell them to Canada, because of Canadian law that mandates consumers to buy more renewable electricity regardless of cost. Continue reading