Archive for the ‘ecology’ Category

Special Earth Day Book Pick!

April 22, 2009

Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy by Gwyneth Cravens

Find out why Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore thinks the Nuclear Energy is the ecologically sound thing to do.

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Straight talk common sense from Senator McCain

June 19, 2008

Senator McCain has called for a rational step toward making America more energy independent by calling for the construction of 45 new Nuclear power plants.

This should also greatly please anyone who is firmly committed to the reduction of carbon emissions.

McCain said the 104 nuclear reactors currently operating around the country produce about 20 percent of the nation’s annual electricity needs.

“Every year, these reactors alone spare the atmosphere from the equivalent of nearly all auto emissions in America.”

An alternative to liquid pork

April 22, 2008

Corn based ethanol has a few problems, including its expense and the fact that corn is what people should be eating, not cars.

A program at University of Tennessee
is looking at using common switchgrass to produce ethanol.

Tennessee could become the “Saudi Arabia of cellulose” with its farm-to-market plan to produce ethanol from switchgrass, beginning with a demonstration refinery being developed in partnership with the University of Tennessee.

Fueled by the best science from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT, and with funding from the state, the refinery is expected to produce ethanol for less than $1.50 per gallon within five years.

Ethanol from Garbage and Old Tires

March 10, 2008

Good news for America, bad news for those making a killing over liquid pork. Details at MIT Tech Review (registration required)

The tubes are the core of a bioreactor, which is itself the heart of a new tech­nology that Coskata claims can make etha­nol out of wood chips, household garbage, grass, and old tires–indeed, just about any organic material. The bioreactor, Tobey explains, allows the company to combine thermochemical and biological approaches to synthesizing ethanol. Taking advantage of both, he says, makes Coskata’s process cheaper and more versatile than either the technologies widely used today to make ethanol from corn or the experimental processes designed to work with sources other than corn.

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).

A short "Global Warming" roundup

November 27, 2007

First off, Don Surber points out that Canada has figured out that Kyoto Protocols were not about reducing the planet’s carbon footprint:

The National Post said Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a victory over the Kyoto Protocol at a meeting of the the Commonwealth nations (nee, the British Empire) meeting in Uganda.

Canada succeeded in watering down a resolution backing Kyoto. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “Canada’s view is we need binding targets on all nations.”

Reported Mike Blanchfield: “The Kyoto protocol exempts developing nations, including major emitters India and China, from commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. Canada had insisted on Friday that it would sign no agreement in Kampala unless any targets included all major emitters. Disagreement on this issue may explain the vague nature of Saturday’s declaration. It called for a post-Kyoto agreement to reduce greenhouse gases but spoke only of ‘long term aspirational goals for emissions reduction to which all countries would contribute’.”

And therein lies the intellectual dishonesty of the Kyoto Protocol. If the world were in such peril from carbon dioxide, then all nations would reduce their emissions, not just the West and Japan.

Bonus quote from his post that is just too cool to leave out:

A friend once explained the difference between the United States and Canada as this: Americans view the outdoors as a place to play and have fun; Canadians respect it as a dangerous place that has things that can eat you.

Christopher Booker notes the following in the Telegraph:

The scare over global warming, and our politicians’ response to it, is becoming ever more bizarre. On the one hand we have the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change coming up with yet another of its notoriously politicised reports, hyping up the scare by claiming that world surface temperatures have been higher in 11 of the past 12 years (1995-2006) than ever previously recorded.

This carefully ignores the latest US satellite figures showing temperatures having fallen since 1998, declining in 2007 to a 1983 level – not to mention the newly revised figures for US surface temperatures showing that the 1930s had four of the 10 warmest years of the past century, with the hottest year of all being not 1998, as was previously claimed, but 1934.

The Whistler at Say Anything points out:

Clearly if carbon dioxide was the force the UN and Al Gore say it is then the Earth couldn’t have been cooling in the last 9 years. They can’t explain why the Earth went through a 30 year warming trend before world war two, then experienced a thirty year cooling trend. Then the warming trend started again which it appears despite all the rhetoric has ended.

Remember kids, reducing pollution is a good thing. Doing so by buying car that has several hundred pounds of toxic heavy metals in it that produced more of a carbon footprint in its manufacturing than building a H2 Hummer would produce is (and costs more to produce) not the way to do it.

Further Proof…

November 21, 2007

Megan McArdle has another data point on why the “dangers of Global Warming” is really an excuse for the the Third World to mug the industrial nations:

“Why not nuclear? We asked. The World Bank doesn’t support nuclear, though it’s not clear why. Geopolitically, of course, there are proliferation concerns, and questions about whether developing countries can safely manage a nuclear plant. On the other side of the ledger, however, is the fact that without nuclear, all these developing countries are going to be dumping a gigantic load of carbon into the atmosphere. Shouldn’t we at least be thinking hard about safer reactors for the developing world?”

Bizarre bedfellows

October 19, 2007

One thing that has always puzzled me is the really bizarre relationship between hard core “Greens” and flat out Communist and Socialist Reds. Given that Communist governments routinely commit ecological atrocities on a vast scale, it makes you wonder just how sane hard cord Greens really are.

Examining the Science…

August 11, 2007

behind the cult of Global Warming.
Read the whole thing.