Library filed under Pollution

Adding spin to debate

Matt Partridge, who sells Gamesa wind turbines in return for an outlandishly large subsidy, is circularising Welsh newspapers with various bits of evidence for global warming (Have Your Say, March 29). What has global warming got to do with the need, or otherwise, for wind turbines? Nothing - because the Government's own figure for saving the UK's CO2 emission by renewable power generation, mainly wind, is just 9.2 million tonnes per year by 2010. This is less than the emission from a single, medium-sized coal-fired power station, and is less than four ten-thousandths (0.0004) of global CO2 emission, and stands no chance of altering atmospheric CO2 concentration, still less deflecting climate change, as Mr Partridge's advertising spiel implies.
4 Apr 2007

State slowly setting its own emissions goals

As the U.S. Supreme Court took decisive action Monday on the matter of planet-warming emissions, a proposed law in Washington to reduce carbon dioxide pollution continued to creep along, scarred and slightly mangled from multiple revisions. In its original form, the bill would have set state goals for cutting greenhouse gases, created limits for how much carbon dioxide new power plants could release, created a state climate office and required other actions to reduce pollution that's contributing to climate change. Since then, the legislation has morphed into a Franken-bill with new rules tacked onto it and major rewrites. It was then patched together into something approximating its original form and on Monday, it was tacked onto another piece of legislation to help ensure its survival. "Trying to figure out how to stop global warming is complex," said Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish. "We know it's a problem. How do we deal with it? There are various schools of thought."
3 Apr 2007

California’s Greenhouse Gas Policies: Local Solutions to a Global Problem?

Californias_greenhouse_gas_policies_csem_thumb California is in the process of implementing a broad portfolio of policies and regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This paper summarizes the initiatives likely to impact the electricity generating sector. We present calculations showing that there is a substantial risk that two of the most prominent policies could simply result in a reshuffling, on paper, of the electricity generating resources within the West that are dedicated to serving California. This reshuffling is different from the conventional leakage problem as it involves no physical changes to the way electricity is generated across regulated and unregulated regions, but is instead driven by a contractual reshuffling of who buys power from whom. The problem is similar to an ineffective consumer boycott. The problem is still present but less severe if more Western states adopt carbon limitations. We also show that some of the least market-based initiatives, the renewable portfolio standards (RPS), are likely to have the biggest near-term impact on the carbon-intensity of electricity generation in the West. Thus the scale of RPS programs may be limiting the potential role of non-renewable options in reducing carbon emissions from the electricity sector.
1 Apr 2007

Don't follow the herd in this climate of fear

ELVIS is not still alive and living in Brazil. The Royal Family had nothing whatsoever to do with Princess Diana's death. And Marilyn Monroe died of nothing more sinister than a drugs overdose. All of which will convey to you that I am not normally one who believes in conspiracy theories. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the dullest and most obvious explanation is usually the right one. However, I am beginning to join that rebellious group of people who - whisper it - are becoming less, rather than more, convinced of global warming. An enormous industry is growing up and some people are doing very nicely thank-you on the back of climatic change. One can only wonder at the scale of scientific grants. One thing we don't have to wonder about is taxes - any excuse. And the business to be in today is undoubtedly the manufacture of wind turbines and hybrid cars. The most recent alarming report, by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, tells us Glasgow will need 1344 wind turbines by 2050 and Edinburgh's cars will have to be cut by a third. Inverness will have to be a model of eco-brilliance and will have to be forbidden from its planned expansion
26 Mar 2007

Hollywood’s Climate Follies

The actual politics of global warming defies Hollywood's stereotypes. It's not saints vs. sinners. The lifestyles that produce greenhouse gases are deeply ingrained in modern economies and societies. Without major changes in technology, the consequences may be unalterable. Those who believe that addressing global warming is a moral imperative face an equivalent moral imperative to be candid about the costs, difficulties and uncertainties.
21 Mar 2007

Is Green Good? Inconvenient Realities

I just saw a very inconvenient movie. Not An Inconvenient Truth, starring Al Gore, but a new documentary that aired last week on BBC 4 called The Great Global Warming Swindle. The film is not inconvenient because it predicts environmental disaster, but because it forced me to think heretical thoughts. As Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, said in the film, questioning the global-warming orthodoxy has become tantamount to denying the Holocaust..................................All this should lead thinking people to at least keep an open mind. But there is more. Global-warming activists have been urging poor countries not to use their coal and oil, but to turn to wind and solar energy instead. This effectively condemns the two billion people now living without electricity to their misery. According to the World Health Organization, four million children under the age of five die each year from the smoke produced by the indoor fires used in homes without electricity. There is nothing wrong with people in rich countries volunteering to cut their carbon emissions, but demanding this of the extreme poor is inhuman. Global warming has become a religion not only in the sense of intolerance toward dissent, but also as the animating moral crusade of our age. Here too, it is not harmless, if environmentalism is allowed to trump ethics. Our children should not be taught that the height and essence of being good is to be green. I'm all for preserving the environment. I would even pay a premium for a hybrid car - not to stop global warming, but simply to cut down on unhealthy and unpleasant smog. But all this should be at the level of good hygiene, not religion. To do good, one must first do no harm. Global-warming extremism, by harming the poorest of the poor and by substituting for real moral causes, fails this test.
19 Mar 2007

Danish scientist: Global warming is a myth

A Danish scientist said the idea of a "global temperature" and global warming is more political than scientific. University of Copenhagen Professor Bjarne Andresen has analyzed the topic in collaboration with Canadian Professors Christopher Essex from the University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph. It is generally assumed the Earth's atmosphere and oceans have grown warmer during the recent 50 years because of an upward trend in the so-called global temperature, which is the result of complex calculations and averaging of air temperature measurements taken around the world. "It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth," said Andresen, an expert on thermodynamics. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate". He says the currently used method of determining the global temperature -- and any conclusion drawn from it -- is more political than scientific. The argument is presented in the Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics.
15 Mar 2007

Scientists must keep passions in check

The environmental movement has begun to approach scientific issues with a similar zealotry typically found in religious fanaticism. A case in point: global warming................We need skeptical scientists to keep public and political passions in check. Otherwise, we devolve in our thinking to the point where unverified beliefs, held strong enough, can become idolatry.
12 Mar 2007

Only Moonlight for Vermont?

A truly "bold," environmentally conscious state would go nuclear even more. Burlington will only really be the "best of" Green Places when local postcards show its charming leafy streets, with a view of Lake Champlain -- and a nuclear power plant looming in the background.
9 Mar 2007

Eco-extortionists the real Holocaust deniers

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to say that she was happy when her opposition resorted to attacking her or her colleagues’ character. It meant, she said, that they (her opponents) could not win the battle of ideas. If that is true, then the eco-extortionists are definitely on the run.
7 Mar 2007

Global Warming Is Lies' Claims Documentary

Accepted theories about man causing global warming are "lies" claims a controversial new TV documentary. 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' - backed by eminent scientists - is set to rock the accepted consensus that climate change is being driven by humans. The programme, to be screened on Channel 4 on Thursday March 8, will see a series of respected scientists attack the "propaganda" that they claim is killing the world's poor. Even the co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, is shown, claiming African countries should be encouraged to burn more CO2. Nobody in the documentary defends the greenhouse effect theory, as it claims that climate change is natural, has been occurring for years, and ice falling from glaciers is just the spring break-up and as normal as leaves falling in autumn. A source at Channel 4 said: "It is essentially a polemic and we are expecting it to cause trouble, but this is the controversial programming that Channel 4 is renowned for."
7 Mar 2007

Renewable mandate alone is no CO2 fix: WoodMack

Any U.S. law requiring renewable power sources to provide a greater portion of the country’s total electricity would not be enough to plug a rapid rise in emissions of the main gas linked to global warming, according to a new report. Amid rising concerns about fossil fuel supplies and emissions of greenhouse gases, several recently proposed U.S. bills called for a national renewable portfolio standard, a requirement that renewable energy sources, like wind, solar and small hydro, provide about 15 percent of U.S. power in about 20 years. Nearly half of U.S. states have passed their own renewable portfolio mandates. But if the country enacted such a law — without mandates that also cut power demand — U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would still rise 18 percent above current levels by 2026, according to the Wood MacKenzie report, titled “The Impact of a Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard.”
6 Mar 2007

Miniscule saving of CO2 emission

The UK grid does not have this huge resource "elsewhere" as we are an islanded electrical network. As wind grows toward government's targets, we would need either a ludicrous and vulnerable enlargement of our tiny connection to Europe or further investment in thermal generating capacity to support 'compulsory' windpower for a miniscule saving of CO2 emission.
1 Mar 2007

Scientists Present Roadmap for Reducing Climate Change Risks

The United Nations Foundation and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, today released "Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable," the final report of the Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The report, prepared for the upcoming meeting of the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), outlines a roadmap for preventing unmanageable climate changes and adapting to unavoidable ones.
27 Feb 2007

Clouded research

The CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) laboratory experiment, CERN believes, will show the mechanisms through which the sun and cosmic rays can influence the formation of clouds and thus the climate. The CLOUD project will use a high-energy particle beam from an accelerator to closely duplicate cosmic rays found in the atmosphere. This will be the first time this technology will be brought to bear on global warming, the most controversial scientific question of the day. Also for the first time, very basic answers about the drivers of climate change may surface to dispel the general paucity of data on the subject. "By studying the micro-physical processes at work when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, we can begin to understand more fully the connection between cosmic rays and cloud cover," CERN explains. "Clouds exert a strong influence on the Earth's energy balance, and changes of only a few per cent have an important effect on the climate."
27 Feb 2007

Not That Simple

REPORTS on the global-warming debate have now become part of our daily diet of news. Actors, musicians, politicians, columnists and even the occasional climate scientist all weigh in on how soon planetary disaster will strike, who's to blame and what we should do about it. With claims that manmade warming is anywhere from an undeniable fact to a hoax, anyone can be excused for feeling a little bit confused. The media is, almost by definition, most interested in extreme views on the issue, so reporting seldom reveals that broad scientific uncertainty still exists. In fact, a silent majority of scientists still think that global warming could end up falling anywhere between a real problem and a minor nuisance: They can see reasons for it going either way. Call them the global-warming moderates.
26 Feb 2007

Study Questions Prospects for Much Lower Emissions

As Democratic leaders in Congress prepare to put climate change legislation on the agenda, some in the utility industry are arguing that it will take decades of investments and innovation to get substantial reductions in their emissions of greenhouse gases. Electric power companies, which emit about one-third of America’s global warming gases, could reduce their emissions to below the levels of 1990, but that would take about 20 years, no matter how much the utilities spend, according to a new industry study. The report, prepared by the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit consortium, is portrayed as highly optimistic by its authors, who will present the findings on Thursday at an energy conference in Houston.
15 Feb 2007
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