After dominating the US domestic news for most of the summer, the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has disappeared as quickly as it first burst on the scene at the end of April. Though BP and the government are still working on the “final fix” for the previously leaking deepwater well, when the “static kill” plugged the gusher media interest soon faded. A report issued by the National Incident Command (NIC) found that about 26% percent of the oil released from the runaway well was still in the water or onshore, but federal scientists believe that it is breaking down rapidly in both places. Even so, a re-instated ban on deepwater drilling stays in place, blocking further exploration and bringing howls of protest from gulf area governors and oil executives alike. In a strange example of unexpected consequences, the drilling ban, backed by most green groups, may be leading to greater environmental damage by increasing oil imports from America's neighbor to the north—Canada. It turns out that producing a barrel of oil from Canadian tar-sands generates 82% more greenhouse-gas emissions than does the average barrel refined in the US. And then there is the mess that extracting it leaves behind.
Driven by a constantly expanding need for electricity, Chile is considering building seven new dams and a transmission line through its southern wilderness. This isolated land of condors and monkey puzzle trees is home to the third largest reserve of frozen freshwater in the world—the Southern Ice Field. Critics say the environmental risks have not been fully examined, and the risk to southern Chile's unique ecosystems is unacceptably high. Proponents of the dam project argue that hydroelectricity is a clean source of energy, just waiting to be tapped. Chile needs the 3500 MW/yr of power to meet its development goals and lacks indigenous oil or coal reserves. Moreover, the electricity from the dams would displace dirty generation, greatly reducing Chile's greenhouse gas emissions. Give all the benefits, why are so many people, within Chile and without, so opposed to the dams—opposed to the point of preferring new coal plants?
An average US citizen or corporate entity who kills an endangered animal can be in big trouble with the law. Birds, eagles in particular, are zealously protected by nature lovers in America and around the world. Yet a July 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, California, estimated that an average of 80 golden eagles were killed there by wind turbines each year. The study, funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, estimated that about 10,000 other protected birds were being killed along with the eagles every year at Altamont. Where is the outrage over this slaughter? It would seem ecologists have a blind spot when it comes to the wind energy industry. As a result, the carnage caused by wind turbines, the “Cuisinarts of the Air,” is getting greenwashed. And birds are not the only creatures wind turbines kill—they kill bats and people as well.
There are a number of scientists who disbelive the theory that an asteroid impact killed the dinosaurs. They point to evidence that some species of sauropod may have survived the Chicxulub impact—widely hailed as the smoking gun in the dinosaur extinction—as proof that the event was simply not big enough to be a knockout blow. Now, according to Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University, new information reinforces his claim that a much larger impact that he has named Shiva, actually did the dinosaurs in.
The search for ways to reduce carbon emissions has led to government grant money for schemes ranging from promising to wacky. Recognizing that there is no currently viable replacement for fossil fuels, with the possible exception of nuclear power, the US and other countries with large coal deposits are desperately looking for ways to continue burning coal without incurring the wrath of nature or the IPCC. Clear evidence of the seriousness of this effort is evident in this week's special edition of Science, dedicated to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology.
When it comes to climate, the early Paleogene period (~65-34 mya), at the start of the Cenozoic Era, had one of the most Eden like climates of the Phanerozoic Eon. As the Cenozoic progressed a cooling trend set in leading up to the formation of permanent ice caps and the Pleistocene Ice Age we are still experiencing. But before the world started to ice up our planet underwent one of the most dramatic bouts of global warming known to science—the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM. Recently, global warming activists have tried to liken human CO2 emissions to the cause of the PETM, 55 million years ago. Is it true, that our actions may trigger a sudden sharp rise in global temperature?
The Sunrise Powerlink is a proposed power transmission line that would wind its way 150 miles, from Imperial County east of San Diego, through Anza-Borrego State Park, and down into San Diego. Proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), the line is needed to transport wind and solar energy from projects in Imperial County to San Diego. You would think that the eco-lobby would be 100% behind a transmission line dedicated wholly to carrying “Save the Earth” solar and geothermal power from plants in the desert to power users in San Diego—unfortunately the green lobby doesn't agree.
A town in Norfolk, UK, has begun heating many of its buildings, including the schools, by burning oil made from melted-down cow and pig carcasses. Around 30 properties in the North Norfolk town—including both the primary and the secondary school—are taking part in test trials, which started in December. The 12-month heating trial is being sponsored by the University of East Anglia (UEA), whose Low Carbon Innovation Centre was instrumental in setting up the plan.
Listening to the verbal posturing by some eco-activists and like minded politicians might give one the impression that, with the recent sharp drop in world oil prices, all pressure to accelerate domestic oil production has abated. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Once again the counter argument is made by the most unlikely of sources, the OEDC IEA—an organization that, along with the UN IPCC, helped serve as ground zero for the global warming hysteria outbreak of recent times.
You really must admire the staunch, muddle through regardless attitude of the British Parliament. With the UK stock market plummeting and facing severe energy shortages in the near future Britain's Parliament went ahead and passed one of the most restrictive pieces of “green” legislation to ever emerge from a developed country's government. Over the last few weeks Ministers have bowed to pressure from the public and Members of Parliament (MPs) to strengthen the bill by increasing the target for cutting emissions from 60 per cent to 80 per cent by 2050 and closing a loophole that would have left emissions from international aviation and shipping emissions unregulated.
Every now and then you see a statement like “a great future source of energy is hydrogen.” Such statements are lies—hydrogen is only an energy carrier or transfer media and not a substance capable of providing new energy. Hydrogen will never be a source of new energy here on Earth until we figure out how to make nuclear fusion work. This is because chemical uses of hydrogen, be it fuel cells or internal combustion (IC) engines, only work if you start out with free hydrogen: H2 .
Investors spent $320 million to build the Maple Ridge Wind farm, comprising 195 Vesta wind turbans each generating a maximum of 1.65 MW of electricity. Collectively, the turbines are capable of producing a maximum of 320 MW, which accounted for three quarters of the wind power capacity of New York when it became operational in 2006. The Maple Ridge Wind Farm, located in upstate New York, is a 50/50 joint effort of PPM Energy and Horizon Wind Energy. These companies are not philanthropies; they expect to get paid for producing electricity.
This article came from moneyrunner on The Virginian blog site. It was too good to pass up. Here is every word. Enjoy the exposure of another two-faced pol.