Archive for the ‘clean energy’ Category

Another Greenie for safe, clean Nuclear Power

December 9, 2007

By way of Hot Air is this Wired story about Gwyneth Cravens, an environmentalist who now supports clean, safe Nuclear Power.

Every day spent burning coal for power translates into damaged lungs and ecosystem destruction.

Wind and solar can’t produce the “base-load” (or everyday) steady supply needed, and the only realistic — and safe — alternative is nuclear.

In the U.S., 24,000 people a year die from coal pollution. Hundreds of thousands more people suffer from lung and heart disease directly attributable to coal pollution.

WN: That’s opposed to a minuscule number of people who have been directly harmed by nuclear power?

Cravens: It’s zero in the United States. Of course there is the occasional industrial accident amongst the workers. But over the lifetime cycle of nuclear power, if you go cradle-to-grave with uranium, the total carbon emissions are about those of wind power.

WN: You have an interesting statistic comparing the waste levels produced by individuals over a lifetime.

Cravens: A family in four in France, where they reprocess nuclear fuel, would produce only enough waste to fit in a coffee cup over a whole lifetime. A lifetime of getting all your electricity from coal-fired plants would make a single person’s share of solid waste (in the United States) 68 tons, which would require six 12-ton railroad cars to haul away. Your share of CO2 would be 77 tons.

WN: People still fear Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. You say neither of these catastrophic events was as harmful as widely believed.

Cravens: Chernobyl’s reactor had no containment building. If they had had that reactor in a containment dome, we wouldn’t be talking about it the way we are. But there was a radioactive release, and people were affected. So far about 60 people have died, most of them — almost all of them — from immediate exposure when they were fighting the fire in the reactor, and the emergency workers.

Three Mile Island really scared people, partly because it was so badly bungled by nuclear industry and regulatory commissions. The psychological effects were real, but in a dozen independent studies, no health effects have been found as a result of the Three Mile Island event.

Radiation was never a risk at Three Mile Island. People in New Mexico, every day of their lives, get from nature maybe 100 or 300 times more exposure than citizens around Three Mile Island got during that event.

Bryan reminds us of the old joke, “more Americans have died in Ted Kennedy’s car than from nuclear accidents.”

Cutting pollution

December 2, 2007

While I’m not convinced that the Cult of Algore’s latest entry in global gloom and doom is as certain as even Mr. Gore admits is isn’t, I do think it a good idea to cut emissions of fossil fuels. I’ve been on the ecology bandwagon since the 70’s. I recycle, compost, and have been using lower power light bulbs years before the “cool kids” started doing it. I have pushed for cleaner fuel sources such as wind (unlike my two democrat Senators), solar and nuclear.

By way of Mr. Reynolds, is this article on ways to cut energy use (and save yourself some money too).

"Environmentalists" against clean energy

June 7, 2007

By way of Mr. Reynolds, comes this Wall Street Journal story on how so-called “environmentalists” fight clean energy:

Al Gore has been hectoring Americans to pare back their lifestyles to fight global warming. But if Mr. Gore wants us to rethink our priorities in the face of this mother of all environmental threats, surely he has convinced his fellow greens to rethink theirs, right?

Wrong. If their opposition to the Klamath hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest is any indication, the greens, it appears, are just as unwilling to sacrifice their pet causes as a Texas rancher is to sacrifice his pickup truck. If anything, the radicalization of the environmental movement is the bigger obstacle to addressing global warming than the allegedly gluttonous American way of life. . . .

These dams provide cheap, renewable energy to 70,000 homes in Oregon and California. Replacing this energy with natural gas — the cleanest fossil-fuel source — would still pump 473,000 tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. This is roughly equal to the annual emissions of 102,000 cars.

Given this alternative, one would think that environmentalists would form a human shield around the dams to protect them. Instead, they have been fighting tooth-and-nail to tear them down because the dams stand in the way of migrating salmon. Environmentalists don’t even let many states, including California, count hydro as renewable. . . .

Their opposition to nuclear energy is well known. Wind power? Two years ago the Center for Biological Diversity sued California’s Altamont Pass Wind Farm for obstructing and shredding migrating birds. (“Cuisinarts of the sky” is what many greens call wind farms.) Solar? Worldwatch Institute’s Christopher Flavin has been decidedly lukewarm about solar farms because they involve placing acres of mirrors in pristine desert habitat. The Sierra Club and Wilderness Society once testified before Congress to keep California’s Mojave Desert — one of the prime solar sites in the country — off limits to all development. Geothermal energy? They are unlikely to get enviro blessings, because some of the best sites are located on protected federal lands.

Really Green Energy

May 9, 2007

From the MIT Tech Review:

While researchers and technologists around the world scramble to find cleaner sources of energy, some chemists are turning to nature’s own elegant solution: photosynthesis. In photosynthesis, green plants use the energy in sunlight to break down water and carbon dioxide. By manipulating electrons and hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon atoms in a series of complex chemical reactions, the process ultimately produces the cellulose and lignin that form the structure of the plant, as well as stored energy in the form of sugar. Understanding how this process works, thinks Daniel Nocera, professor of chemistry at MIT, could lead to ways to produce and store solar energy in forms that are practical for powering cars and providing electricity even when the sun isn’t shining.

An Earth Day Note

April 22, 2007

Blonde Sagacity notes:

I thought on this Earth Day 2007 I would address the much-touted hatred of the Earth and environment by the maniacal, and yet somehow still stupid, George W. Bush. The left is always saying how Bush turns his back on anything Green because he’s an oil man from an oil state with lots of oil-rich donors, but is that really the case? Let’s look to historical facts and an article written by a Bush-hater for the answer…

We already know that Bush’s home in Crawford, Texas is WAY more earth-friendly than Al Gore’s mansion, but what we may not know is that Bush was the brains behind the WIND ENERGY success in Texas…in 1996. YEARS before AL Gore decided to tell us his Inconvenient Truths.

Would this be the same Wind Energy that Teddy Kennedy didn’t want near his home because saving the environment wasn’t aesthetically pleasing enough for him?

An oil-rich state that produces more wind-energy than other state…and initiated by none other than, enemy of the left, George W. Bush. Hmmm, why haven’t we read about this over at HuffPo?

Read the whole thing.

Getting to know your biofuels

April 10, 2007

Popular Mechanics has an article on the subject.

Keep in mind that the hard far left extremist moonbats consider Popular Mechanics part of the Evil Conspiracy ™.

Clean, Greenhouse-friendly Energy!

April 6, 2007

By way of Mr. Reynolds comes an interesting read on the recent Supreme Court ruling on “greenhouse gases:

The irony is that the beneficiary of Monday’s ruling won’t be wind power, solar power, or any of the other renewable technologies favored by the Green establishment. Their economic and technological limitations are too severe for them ever to occupy more than a small niche in the American energy economy. Instead, one of the winners from Massachusetts v. EPA just may be something that many of the environmentalists who brought the suit have long abhorred: nuclear power. Like renewables, nuclear power generates electricity with no pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. But unlike renewables, nuclear is capable of generating reliable power on a massive scale, which is what our country’s future energy demands will require.

Nuclear power is on the verge of making a comeback in the United States. Thanks to several favorable provisions in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, as well as a streamlined licensing process, it is possible we could see the construction of new plants start within several years. The economics for new plant construction are still being worked out, particularly with regard to financing and federal loan guarantees. But there can be no doubt that federal efforts to hamstring coal can only help nuclear. Moreover, any future regulatory scheme allowing nuclear power plant operators to earn credits for generating emissions-free electricity would enhance nuclear’s attractiveness to investors.

Read the whole thing

Better biofuels through chemistry

April 3, 2007

There are very solid reasons for finding alternates to fossil fuels (including reducing the value of Middle Eastern oil reserve).
Amyris Biotechnologies is doing research into alternate biofuels using synthetic biology.

Unlike the conventional genetic engineering currently used in the manufacture of antibiotics and protein drugs such as insulin, synthetic biology involves hacking the entire metabolic system–changing the structure of some proteins, altering the expression of others, and adding in genes from other organisms–to create an efficient microbial machine.

The researchers selected several candidate compounds based on their energy content (ethanol has only 70 percent the energy of gasoline), their volatility (an ideal fuel shouldn’t evaporate too fast), and their solubility in water (unlike ethanol, a water-insoluble fuel could be piped around the country like petroleum). After narrowing the list by determining which fuels could be both produced in the lab and used in today’s engines, they were left with a selection of compounds including replacements for both diesel and jet fuel. “We’ve tested a lot of fuels with fantastic properties,” says Neil Renninger, Amyris cofounder and vice president of development.

It’s a fair bet that somebody will be protesting this and calling it “Frankenfuel.”

Speaking of Kennedys and energy…

February 13, 2007

Michael Stubblefield, , of Oxnard CA, is the longtime air quality chairman of the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club, has an op-ed on RFJ, Jr. and his “inconsistent views” on energy and pollution:

For an “environmentalist,” RFK Jr. has some inconsistent views on how America should respond to the imminent threat of global warming that, according to the recent United Nations report, is both real and far worse than anyone realized.

While RFK Jr. is extolling the virtues of LNG as a “bridge” fuel out here on the West Coast, he’s simultaneously spearheading the opposition to a carbon-free wind farm proposed by Cape Wind Associates LLC on the East Coast, even in the face of virtually categorical endorsement by most environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club’s Massachusetts Chapter.

Cape Wind wants to build America’s first offshore wind farm at Horseshoe Shoal, a shallow part of Nantucket Sound. On a really windy day, Cape Wind estimates that its project will produce up to 468 megawatts of electricity (the maximum expected peak demand is 454 megawatts), with absolutely zero emissions. On a typically breezy day, the project will produce about 170 megawatts, which is 75 percent of the 230 megawatt demand of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard. Does Nantucket Sound really need this energy?

The New England Independent System Operator says that it needed it by 2006! But RFK Jr. and his millionaire clientele who have summer homes in the area have fought Cape Wind for the last six years and it’s still dead in the water.

Read the whole thing.

Cool Space techology we can use now…

November 25, 2006

Reading “The Sky People” reminded me of the Orion Space Drive. A method of travel we could be using for interplanetary travel (or trips to the Asteroid Belt and back) right now.

That is of course if leftist bed wetters were not such sissys about nuclear techology.

That is what is stopping of from having lots of clean, safe, environmental friendly nuclear power production here in the US as well.

Come on people! Step away from the bong and think about it! It is the environmentally friendly thing to do and it reduces the nations dependancy on foreign oil. Greens and far left liberals should be all over this like Botox on Pelosi!