My colleague, Shaun Chapman, of our New York City office, offers this update on solar policy progress in the Empire State:
EDF chief Fred Krupp appeared on the Charlie Rose show yesterday. For the most part, it was the usual stumping for cap-and-trade. However, Rose pushed him on the question of whether, in the short-term, we …
Some biofuel experts seem to think that the next big biofuel source should be kudzu in the U.S. I hope biodiversity experts and readers from the South will comment on this idea. Take the poll beneath the fold:
It seems that another way that the GOP will try to win on this issue is by painting carbon pricing as a massive tax increase. This is just dishonest, though politically it’s their best bet …
This is a guest essay from Amory B. Lovins and Imran Sheikh of the Rocky Mountain Institute. It is part two of a series; see part one here. ----- Part two of David Bradish's critical look at "The Nuclear Illusion" (PDF) raises two additional issues to which we respond here. As in his first critique, it appears that, unable to rebut and hence unwilling to address our paper's data and logic, Mr. Bradish must content himself with trying to manufacture an illusion of confusion. Does RMI's data fit their definition [of micropower]? Yes, precisely; it just doesn't fit various other definitions that Mr. Bradish has invented on his own. We clearly defines micropower (an Economist magazine term) thus at pp. 11-12: 1. onsite generation of electricity (at the customer, not at a remote utility plant) -- usually cogeneration of electricity plus recovered waste heat (outside the U.S. this is usually called CHP -- combined-heat-and-power): this is about half gas-fired, and saves at least half the carbon and much of the cost of the separate power plants and boilers it displaces; [and] 2. distributed renewables -- all renewable power sources except big hydro plants, which are defined here as dams larger than 10 megawatts (MW). Mr. Bradish arbitrarily and wrongly assumes "that the size of 'micropower' plants is 10 MW or less," then claims this is our definition and contradicts our data. It's not and it doesn't. Our 10 MW limit applies only to small hydro, distinguishing it from big hydro using the most conservative criterion. Any power source except small hydro can be larger than 10 MW but still meet our micropower definition: WADE's onsite-fueled-generator definition, which we've adopted, includes onsite units up to somewhat over 180 MWe for gas turbines (though few actual units are over 120 MWe) and up to 60 MWe for engines, as well as onsite (nearly always cogenerating) steam turbines of any size if they're in China and India; however, WADE's database excludes steam turbines elsewhere, and all units below 1 MWe.
Let's say a pollster walks up to you and asks you the following question: "A town maintains a fleet of vehicles for town employee use. It has two types of vehicles. Type A gets 15 miles per gallon. Type B gets 34 miles per gallon. The town has 100 Type A vehicles and 100 Type B vehicles. Each car in the fleet is driven 10,000 miles per year." The town wants to replace these vehicles with corresponding hybrid models in order to to reduce gas consumption of the fleet and thereby reduce harmful environmental consequences. Should they (1) replace the 100 vehicles that get 15 mpg with vehicles that get 19 mpg , or (2) replace the 100 vehicles that get 34 mpg with vehicles that get 44 mpg? If you are like the people who were actually surveyed by Richard Larrick and Jack Soll of Duke University, you chose option two. After all, an increase of 10 mpg clearly sounds better than a measly 4 mpg. And yet, some simple number crunching reveals that the town fuel efficiency is improved more in option one (by 14,035 gallons) than in option two (by 6,684 gallons).
Op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman. Reads like a Grist post. Go figure.
This is a guest essay from Chip Ward, author and board member of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. It was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom’s kind permission. —– In the …
Originally posted at the Wonk Room. The traditional media rarely discusses extreme weather events in the context of global warming. However, as the Wonk Room Global Boiling series has documented, scientists have been warning us for years that climate change will increase catastrophic weather events like the California wildfires, the East Coast heatwave, and the Midwest floods that have been taking lives and causing billions in damage in recent days. Yesterday, the federal government released a report that assembles this knowledge in stark and unequivocal terms. "Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate," by the multi-agency U.S. Climate Change Science Program with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the lead, warns that changes in extreme weather are "among the most serious challenges to society" (PDF) in dealing with global warming. After reporting that heat waves, severe rainfall, and intense hurricanes have been on the rise -- all linked to man-made global warming -- the authors deliver this warning about the future:
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