How Many Ways Can You Get Aternative Energy Wrong – Americans will always think of something

Got no more to say than the title. This is some really dumb stuff.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204012004577072470158115782.html

The Cellulosic Ethanol Debacle

Congress mandated purchase of 250 million gallons in 2011. Actual production: 6.6 million.

‘We’ll fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.”

—George W. Bush, 2006 State of the Union address

Years before the Obama Administration dumped $70 billion into solar and wind energy and battery operated cars, and long before anyone heard of Solyndra, President Bush launched his own version of a green energy revolution. The future he saw was biofuels. In addition to showering billions of dollars on corn ethanol, Mr. Bush assured the nation that by 2012 cars and trucks could be powered by cellulosic fuels from switch grass and other plant life.

To launch this wonder-fuel industry, the feds under Mr. Bush and President Obama have pumped at least $1.5 billion of grants and loan subsidies to fledgling producers. Mr. Bush signed an energy bill in 2007 that established a tax credit of $1.01 per gallon produced.

Most important, the Nancy Pelosi Congress passed and Mr. Bush signed a law imposing mandates on oil companies to blend cellulosic fuel into conventional gasoline. This guaranteed producers a market. In 2010 the mandate was 100 million barrels, rising to 250 million in 2011 and 500 million in 2012. By the end of this decade the requirements leap to 10.5 billion gallons a year.

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Go there and read as long as you can bare it. More tomorrow.

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Will We Ever Live On The Moon – Humans prepare to trash the Solar System

When I posted on the transit of Venus, I said that environmentalists are concerned about the environment and that does not end at the Earth’s atmosphere or the heliosphere of even our galaxy. Human’s track record ain’t great so far. We tend to just throw stuff out there because we can. We have fired rockets willy nilly at planets some of which landed successfully but will be on those planets forever. The ones that didn’t go so well are smashed all over the place. We trashed the moon and anyone flying by the Earth would just go EWWWWWW. Look at that mess. So now what is proposed – Mining and Manufacturing. Environmentally things we do just the bestest. This is not good. Double billing here. This guy:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/06/14/will-we-ever-live-on-the-moon/

wrote the op/ed piece here:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120613-will-we-ever-live-on-the-moon

This is not an attack on the writer by the way.

Will we ever… live on the Moon?

14 June 2012

by PHIL PLAIT

Will mankind once again walk on the lunar surface? I wouldn’t even hesitate to say “yes”, because the future is long, and who in the early 1950s would have dared to predict that we would even land a craft on the Moon within 20 years? But in this case, the answer probably isn’t as interesting as the question itself – more specifically, when, and why, and how will we do it?

I can think of many possible scenarios that could lead to us colonising the Moon: an extended economic boom that allows us to fund ambitious space exploration; a breakthrough in launch costs which makes them drastically cheaper; or the discovery of some vital natural resource on the Moon. But I don’t like betting on breakthroughs.

A better question is then: “What is a likely way we’ll end up with a human presence on the Moon?” Given what we know today and extrapolating from there, I have a thought on how this could happen.

Looking into the abyss

Before we talk about settling down on our rocky neighbour, we have to ask why we should head there in the first place.

Looking back on nearly 60 years of space exploration, the answer is obvious. Satellite communication. Weather prediction. Understanding of climate change. Instantaneous broadcasting of radio and television. Global positioning technology. Detailed mapping of the Earth. Environmental monitoring. Government intelligence gathering (which has prevented far more conflict than people credit it for). Disaster warning.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Video About How The Planet Can Be Saved – Environmental claymation

Here we go again . I am going to try to share a video from a cool website I found. You all know how bad I am at this so do not hold your breath.

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/08/the-healing-power-of-new-energy-friday-fun/

The Healing Power of New Energy (Friday Fun)

June 8, 2012 By
Here’s a fun video in support of clean energy and a healthy planet that I ran across on NewEnergyNews recently:

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Well for now I failed but if you go to the New Energy News link you can see it.

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Go there and see the video from The Colbert Report. More tomorrow.

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Climate Change Forces Us To Move Animals – Noah’s ark comes to life

Already a group of scientists and volunteers moved a butterfly north because of the warming climate. Our zoos are being referred to as “lifeboats” for extinct “in the wild” animals. This is no longer funny. People should be going to jail for this but it turns out that jails are only for poor people and white collar criminals not the uber wealthy who control the literal power structure that is causing this.

http://www.livescience.com/17719-species-extinctions-climate-change.html

Extinctions from Climate Change Underestimated

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 04 January 2012 Time: 09:31 AM ET

As climate change progresses, the planet may lose more plant and animal species than predicted, a new modeling study suggests.

This is because current predictions overlook two important factors: the differences in how quickly species relocate and competition among species, according to the researchers, led by Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut.

Already evidence suggests that species have begun to migrate out of ranges made inhospitable by climate change and into newly hospitable territory.

“We have really sophisticated meteorological models for predicting climate change,” Urban said in a statement. “But in real life, animals move around, they compete, they parasitize each other and they eat each other. The majority of our predictions don’t include these important interactions.”

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Life Styles Of The Off The Gridders – Gentle to the Earth

This article speaks for itself.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/living-off-the-grid4.htm

How Living Off the Grid Works

by

Off-the-grid Lifestyle

You’re excited about going off the grid now, right? You’re set to get your solar panels and septic tank. You have the well driller booked and you’re ready to say no to utility bills. Before you follow through on all these moves, you need to think about the lifestyle changes that come with going off the grid.

Even with solar and wind power, you’ll still need to limit your use of electricity. Most people interested in living off the grid do so at least in part to live a greener life, so conserving power goes hand-in-hand with this decision. With adequate solar and wind systems, you should be able to operate most of your electric appliances and gadgets, but not necessarily at the same time. If you’re using a hair dryer, avoid using the microwave. If you fire up the blender, unplug your space heater. Major electricity users like washing machines should be operated at night, when your other power needs are minimal. True disciples of the back-to-land movement wouldn’t use a washer and dryer anyway. Washing clothes by hand and using a clothesline is a rustic alternative.

The same goes for your water use. With a cistern system, in periods of little rain you might need to let the dishes pile up for a couple of days or limit your toilet flushes. Some people go so far as to turn off the shower water while they lather or wash their hair. Collecting additional non-potable water in rain barrels is a great way to water plants, wash dishes and keep your pets hydrated without dipping into your well or cistern.

Energy Star appliances are the most efficient on the market and a good way to save money on your bills. Look for the yellow stickers on the appliances when you buy them and compare the ratings. In addition to saving energy, the government offers rebates on Energy Star appliances, so you’ll be saving money as well. You should­ also switch your light bulbs to the energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Off The Grid – We move into survivalist land

Like I said in the beginning there are many types of people that want to be off the grid. The rich do it because they can. Many people do it to save money. Some people, like Thoreau, like the solitude or are paranoid. Then there are the survivalists. I do not agree with their theories or their ideology, but they are a part of the mix and this site is pretty explicit.

http://offgridsurvival.com/preppingfriendsandfamil/

Talking to Friends and Family about Prepping

A number of readers have emailed me lately asking how they can convince their friends and family to start prepping.

To be honest this is a touchy subject, one that can often make even hardcore preppers feel a bit uncomfortable.

For some, the thought of talking to anyone about prepping fills them with feelings of anxiety. Just the thought of others knowing what preps you have is enough to fill anyone with a sense of paranoia . And who can blame them, lately it seems like every time we turn on the news another government agency is warning people about those dangerous preppers.

For those that do try to talk about the subject, trying to get their family and friends on board can be a headache to say the least.

From friends and family members that truly believe the government will save them in a time of crisis, to those that have been brainwashed by the media to believe that preppers are all  tinfoil hat wearing nutjobs, prepping can often be a touchy or even taboo subject to talk about. While we have touched on the subject in the past, I thought it was important to take another look at how we can help those we care about prepare for an uncertain future.

Dealing with those who believe the Government will help them in a time of crisis.

As a reader who recently wrote to me pointed out, 50 years of being programmed to believe that the government can help is hard to undo. We live in a society that is becoming increasingly reliant on the government to help them in every aspect of their lives. In fact over 67 million Americans now rely on government aid to pay for either housing, food, health care or education. That’s 1 in 5 Americans!

Most people simply don’t realize or believe that they are in any kind of danger. Most Americans live under the belief that the government will be there to help them in a time of crisis. So what can you do to change this mindset and protect those that you care about?

Use the Governments own advice.

Even the government advises people to be prepared. They will be the first to admit that during a time of crisis it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be able to respond in under 72 hours.

At the very least your friends and family should be prepared to survive at home without power, water and utilities for a minimum of 72 hours. While most of the governments advice is rather simplistic,  it may help you introduce the subject to those who depend on the government for everything.

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It is a huge site. Go there and read. More Tomorrow.

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BP Never Got The Issue – They believe they did nothing wrong in the first place

That’s right the OIL SPILL in the Gulf of Mexico was not their fault.  You know what? Between the remediation they have done and a court of law they maybe right. Which is maybe more disgusting. The well was theirs, there is no doubt about that but with the blowpout preventer being bad, the cementing company’s cement job being bad, and the drilling platform operator being bad to dangerous, by the time they get to court (think 20 years if the Exxon Valdez is any gauge) and all three companies may actually end up owing BP money. They sure are trying to put a shiny happy face on it though.

 

Locals call BP’s feel-good Gulf ads ‘propaganda’

Advertising blitz touts recovery of tourism, fishing industries after massive spill

By CAIN BURDEAU

updated 1/8/2012 2:24:03 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 20 months after its massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill — and just as Americans focus on New Orleans, host of the college football championship game — BP is pushing a slick nationwide public relations campaign to persuade Americans that the Gulf region has recovered.

BP PLC’s rosy picture of the Gulf, complete with sparkling beaches, booming businesses, smiling fishermen and waters bursting with seafood, seems a bit too rosy to many people who live there. Even if the British oil giant’s campaign helps promote the Gulf as a place where Americans should have no fear to visit and spend their money, some dismiss it as “BP propaganda.”

The PR blitz is part of the company’s multibillion dollar response to the Gulf oil spill that started after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and leading to the release of more than 200 million gallons (760 million liters) of oil. As engineers struggled to cap the out-of-control well, it turned into the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Now, BP is touting evidence that the Gulf’s ecology has not been severely damaged by the spill and highlighting improving economic signs.

“I’m glad to report that all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy!” BP representative Iris Cross says in one TV spot to an upbeat soundtrack. “And the economy is showing progress, with many areas on the Gulf Coast having their best tourism season in years.”

The campaign, launched just before Christmas, has ramped up for the two-week period around the Sugar Bowl and Bowl Championship Series title game to be played on Monday between Louisiana State University and Alabama.

The company is paying chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh to promote Gulf seafood, it’s hired two seafood trucks to hand out fish tacos and seafood-filled jambalaya to the hundreds of thousands of tourists and fans pouring into the city for the football games and it’s spreading its messages at galas, pre-game parties and vacation giveaways.

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More tomorrow.

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The Climate And Mankind Go Down The Drain – If Copenhagen was a bust Durban was a big boooooom

The world is just now getting over the disinformation campaign led by the rich, the coal companies and the oil companies that argued that global climate change wasn’t happening. The world had a perfect opportunity to clean it all up. China’s chunk of the atmosphere is a pig stye and they have to clean it up. They have people dying. Everyone has gone toxic over the last decade like it doesn’t matter. One of the reasons the world’s economy has stalled out is that it was in the process of moving to more sustainable models but the super rich and the elites dug in their heels and are holding it back. No new jobs. Why cause we don’t wanna. Sounding like three year olds threatening to take their toys and go home. But where is home anyway. They never got around to setting up a paradise on Mars. This article takes a much more tactful approach than mine but:

http://io9.com/5868551/did-the-durban-climate-change-talks-actually-accomplish-anything

Did the Durban climate change talks actually accomplish anything?

The UN’s latest Climate Change Conference recently concluded after two weeks of intense negotiations in Durban, South Africa. There’s going to be a new agreement to address climate change, but does that really mean anything? Let’s break down what happened.

Top image: Chukchi Sea Polar Bears by AP/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There’s no point in denying it — the Durban talks, otherwise known as COP17, didn’t directly accomplish much at all, if anything. In fact, you could argue the talks represented a net loss for the world’s commitment to fighting climate change, as Canada announced it was withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol, the current UN agreement aimed at cutting climate change, placing it in the unusual position of being lectured by China about its environmental policy.

And if you were hoping for an agreement that would lay down concrete steps to cut carbon emissions or lower global temperatures, then these talks were a dismal failure. Instead, they simply got all the countries there to agree to be part of a future, legally binding agreement that will be defined by 2015 and go into effect in 2020. That might just sound like passing the buck — and yeah, it kind of is — but this does represent some small progress from the Kyoto Protocol.

For one thing, this new agreement has the United States on board, which infamously refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Second, this future treaty will be legally binding for all countries, not just those classified as developed. While major developing powers like China and India ratified the Kyoto Protocol, they were under no real requirement to comply with it.

That should change with this new agreement, although a major contention of the final marathon 60-hour negotiating session was India’s objection that their compliance not be “legally binding.” They eventually settled on an agreement that would have “legal force.” What’s the difference? Your guess is as good as mine, though hopefully that will become clearer by 2015. It was also agreed to set up a fund to help developing countries pay for climate compliance, though there are no actual specifics on where the money would come from or how it would be managed.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Durban Climate Conference Was Forged With Magic – As long as they keep running articles like this

The South Africans keep running these marvelous print pieces. So for now I will put off the rant for another day.

http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/ec5b6c004965c6438ebfae8ee8404785/South-African-magic-rescued-climate-talks—Zuma-20111212

South African magic rescued climate talks – Zuma

Monday 12 December 2011 18:20

A touch of South African magic rescued the faltering climate talks in Durban. This is according to President Jacob Zuma who spoke on a state visit to Benin.

Zuma says the country defused tensions between parties and prevented its collapse. “It was South African magic that actually helped and finally we emerged with the results that surprised everyone that Durban emerged with the process. We, as South Africans, should be very proud.”

An estimated 15 000 delegates attended the conference.

Earlier today, Environmental Affairs Minister has likened COP 17 to the historic Kyoto conference in 1997. The Two-week climate talks were aimed at discussing the future of the planet.

The conference moves to Qatar next year

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Durban Climate Summit A Success – They get a new climate observatory

See this is what happens when you do open ended searches. I am sure that you thought I would be ranting here about what a dismal conference it was. Or maybe how everything that they agreed to was a drop in the atmospheric bucket considering how much and how many different types of toxins we spew. And I may do that tomorrow, but today South Africa is smiling because nobody was killed and they got a new observatory out of the deal. From Monaco no less.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201112131459.html

SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Climate Change Observatory for the Country

13 December 2011

A unique climate change observatory, the first of its kind in the world, focusing on bringing scientific information from around the globe to the public, is to be built in Cape Town by the International Polar Foundation.

The announcement, first reported by the SABC on Friday, was made last week at a function attended by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco, who were in Durban for the UN climate change summit (COP 17).

Prince Albert is a patron of the Belgium-based International Polar Foundation (IPF), a non-profit organisation established in 2002 with the aim of “providing a novel interface between science and society”. The IPF’s last major project, completed in 2009, was the construction of a new research station – the world’s first zero-emission research station – in Antarctica.

Interface between science and society

Its next major project is the Polaris Climate Change Observatory, which will be built in the heart of Cape Town’s famous V&A Waterfront, on a jetty that will be specially developed, the IPF says on its website, “to offer visitors of all ages a striking experience as a path to sustainability.

“Featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions, outreach and education activities, spectacular ways of presenting climate facts and figures, highlighting new science and innovations, the Polaris Climate Change Observatory will confirm Cape Town and South Africa as world landmarks for climate action.”

According to the IPF, Cape Town is the perfect location for this “new breed of science centre”, and not only because of the city’s geographical location as a gateway to the Southern Pole.

Scheduled to open in 2014, the first Polaris Climate Change Observatory will bring together “the ingenuity of one of Africa’s premier cities with a revolutionary concept which will change the way visitors understand the world, the changing climate and ways in which humanity can take responsibility and make decisions for the future”.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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