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Climate & Energy

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Flying wind generators: maybe more than just another techno toy

Neat

World wide wind potential (using only conventional wind technology) exceeds our current energy needs by many times. However, that is merely the potential of wind near the ground, at 80 to 100 meters. Most wind energy is in the jet stream, miles over our heads. No one is going to build a tower that high to support a wind turbine; cost alone would prohibit that. But we can use flying energy generators -- turbines supported by kites or balloons or what amounts to stationary helicopters. The latter technology (stationary helicopters supporting wind turbines) has actually been demonstrated briefly, and has …

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An interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.’s new climate strategy

Rupert Murdoch. When Rupert Murdoch, the cantankerous and conservative owner of Fox News, enthusiastically joins the fight against climate change, you know we're past the tipping point on the issue. Think landslide. Last week, the media mogul pledged not only to make his News Corp. empire carbon neutral, but to persuade the hundreds of millions of people who watch his TV channels and read his newspapers to join the cause. Messages about climate change will be woven throughout News Corp.'s entertainment content, he said, from movies to books to TV sitcoms, and the issue will have an increasing presence in …

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How to profit from the end of the world

MarketWatch is running a ginormous series of articles under the rubric, "an investor guide to global warming." It's about the market opportunities opened up by climate change and the companies that are moving in to take advantage. Lots of good stuff to peruse.

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Solar's inevitable dominance

Don’t fight it

Energy wonk Robert McLeod has long post filled with statistics and graphs, arguing a simple point: if historical trends continue, solar power is going to dominate. Soon. (You'll recognize this as substantially similar to the argument made by solar booster Travis Bradford.) If you're into statistics and graphs, read the whole thing. If not, here are some good excerpts: Photovoltaic cells are not like any other method humanity uses to collect and use energy. Existing techniques extract energy either from mechanical motion (wind, hydroelectric, tidal) or heat differentials (fossil fuels, nuclear, solar-thermal). Whereas all these systems produce useful work by …

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Dig deeper

CNBC dreams of abiotic oil: (via Hugg)

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A drumbeat worth paying attention to

Eyes wide shut toward global collapse?

Ecological Footprint, Energy Consumption, and the Looming Collapse: This article explores dynamic relations governing population growth, resource depletion, and world economics by means of a few simple modeling and simulation exercises. To this end, we start out by exploring the concept of an ecological footprint, representing the amount of land that a person needs to produce everything that he or she consumes: food, clothing, energy, shelter, the tools that are needed to make the clothing, etc. and place it in relation with the human development index, a measure of the quality of life of an individual. We then relate the …

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A biblical view of climate change and the death of Jerry Falwell

Quoting some scripture

It seems appropriate that we consider the death of Jerry Falwell in the spirit by which he lived -- on a "higher level ... the Biblical perspective" -- and take a peek into what the Bible has to say about climate change as well. Reverend Falwell retained an unshakable faith in Biblical inerrancy, while demonstrating a remarkably supple ability to revise his own interpretation of presumably self-evident, literal truths. Falwell applied the theology of Biblical one-liners to buttress a view of the world and Christianity wholly uncontemplated and incomprehensible to Biblical authors and redactors -- whether or not one believes …

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Smells Like Progress

As climate summit continues, fed-up mayors unveil actual plans They cover 1 percent of the Earth's surface, but the world's cities spew 80 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions -- and 180 percent of climate-action plans. "Where national governments can't or won't lead, cities will," said Toronto Mayor David Miller at the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York City. Yesterday, Miller unveiled an online social-networking carbon calculator called Zerofootprint Toronto that will, he says, "help make my city not only one of the greenest on the planet, but one of the most innovative as well." He's not alone: Los Angeles …

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The great Cornholio

Corn ethanol politics

I really don't have anything to add, so here are some excerpts from Motley Fool telling it like it is: My theory is that the political support for massive biofuel expansion comes down to securing constituents' votes. Politicians know they can benefit politically from selling the benefits of biofuels ... and they also know there's too much at stake politically to back away from the issue. What states' politicians stand to benefit the most from backing biofuel? For starters, we can look at the top 10 ethanol-producing states, [by millions of gallons]: (Thanks KO) Iowa 3,286 Nebraska 1,345 Illinois 1,212 …