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Why geosequestration is another distraction

Always keep the bait dangling just out of reach

The July/August 2007 issue of World Watch magazine (produced by the Worldwatch Institute) includes a concise demolition of carbon geosequestration in the form of a letter to the editor by one Luc Gagnon, "a senior advisor on climate change for Hydro-Quebec." I'd quote the letter but the Worldwatch site doesn't have it online yet. So I went searching for more by Gagnon and found this short, powerful PDF making essentially the same point (in almost the same language). An interesting table indeed, of "energy payback ratio of electricity generation options based on life-cycle assessments": Short summary: No matter how much …

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Umbra on passive solar

Dear Umbra, Not to belabor the home heating series, I'm considering installing a masonry stove. I've read that they're quite efficient, though costly to build. What's your take in relation to the other options you've discussed? What about other alternative heating methods like passive solar heating and radiant floor heating? John Logan, Utah P.S. I'm glad you mentioned insulation and glazing. We've been remodeling and recently upgraded these items, and it's made a tremendous difference. Dearest John, Not to belabor solar energy ... but I do want to discuss passive solar, and yours is the only question I could unearth …

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Prospects May Have Shifted During Flight

Booming airline industry gives nod to climate change The world's biggest air show opens in France today, and the commercial airline industry is all hepped up on salted peanuts: after two years in the red, it's expected to reap $5 billion in profits this year. Both Boeing and Airbus announced billions of dollars of aircraft orders today, and the industry -- which spews about 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions -- shows no signs of slowing down. It does, however, show signs of recognizing its impacts. Last week, Airbus exec Louis Gallois pledged a 25 percent increase in R&D …

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Dorgan Grinder

As oil prices dip, industry faces questions about summer supplies Oil prices dipped from a nearly nine-month high today, and everyone's atwitter over what the summer will hold. The industry is beset by turmoil, with hostage-takings in Nigeria and turf battles in Gaza the latest contributors to price and supply instabilities. In addition, the U.S. biofuels push is leading Big Oil to cut back on refinery-expansion plans. U.S. motorists used 143 billion gallons of gasoline in 2006, and had been expected to demand 161 billion gallons by 2017 -- a scenario that saw Big Oil planning a 10 percent boost …

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Give ethanol a chance: The case for corn-based fuel

With the right rules in place, it could work

Working Assets is my long-distance phone company. I love it dearly for its combination of business efficiency, social responsibility and progressive politics. Each month, my phone bill carries alerts that urge me to take action on a specific issue or two. Recent Citizen Actions suggest the gravity of the issues chosen: "Save Our Constitution," "Impeach Dick Cheney," "Close Guantanamo." This month Working Assets urged me to "Say No to Ethanol." How did the use of ethanol end up alongside tyranny and torture as an evil to be conquered? A couple of years ago, I was waiting my turn to speak …

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Spinning the news on Cape Wind

Disagreement over threat to national security

Cape Wind claims to have cleared another hurdle today. From their press release: Today's Department of Defense (DOD) report is good news for Cape Wind. The report clearly finds Cape Wind to be outside of the wind-turbine offset zone being proposed for PAVE PAWS radar systems. Now the DOD has reached the same determination as the U.S. Air Force -- that Cape Wind will not negatively impact the Air Force PAVE PAWS radar system. This report puts to rest in a final form any reasonable concern about this issue. The reality is that projects like Cape Wind strengthen national security …

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The geopolitics of 'energy independence'

More than meets the eye

If you think that the current governmental and corporate interest in ethanol has something to do with global warming, think again. It is dawning on the U.S. government that (1) most of the remaining supplies of oil are in unfriendly hands, and (2) that there isn't enough oil remaining to feed a constantly growing global demand. With oil production plateauing, governments can turn to three main strategies to maintain fuel supplies: (1) consume what's left of the planet by growing huge amounts of biofuels; (2) fry what's left of the atmosphere by converting coal to oil or exploiting dirty, expensive …

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Western civilization?

What a nice idea

If Gandhi were around today, I think he would be less reasonable and tractable about the climate crisis; instead, he would challenge the moral integrity of so-called western civilization. The galvanizing march to the salt flats (the famous "Salt March") would be a tour of threatened island nations: Inuit seeking redress for loss of habitat, mountain people facing bewildering change, deluges in Bangladesh, landslides in the Philippines, and masses of people in the Indus-Ganges-Yangtze river basins facing an uncertain future over water supplies. It would be a march to bear witness to the moral wrongness that pervades the fossil-fuel civilization. …

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Fancy yourself persuasive?

Record a message to the candidates about warming; win prizes

If you had 30 seconds on camera to convince the presidential candidates to take global warming seriously, what would you say? How would you say it? Would you sing? Use visual aides? Do it in the buff? Why not give it a whirl? LCV is having a Hot Spot Contest, gathering 30 second videos from (above) average folk like you. The winning spot will win two tickets to the Live Earth show on 07/07/07. If you do submit one (via YouTube), lemme know. Maybe I'll run a few here, too. Who knows, maybe a talent scout will see it and …

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Kill the vampires!

There oughta be a law: Off means off

Here's why you need to put all your electronics on power strips/surge protectors; so you can actually turn them off and save the massive amounts of energy these vampires suck out of the system (and your wallet). We need a law that says by 2009 no new electronic devices can be sold without a hard off setting that actually turns the device entirely off (i.e., no current drain whatsoever). It's not hard -- it's how everything used to work.

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