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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 …

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An interview with renowned climate scientist James Hansen

James Hansen. Photo: nasa.gov James Hansen, NASA's top climate expert, believes scientists have an obligation to speak out when their findings have important implications for the public -- and he certainly put that belief into practice last year when he told The New York Times that the Bush administration was trying to muzzle his calls for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Hansen has been speaking publicly about the threats posed by climate change for more than two decades, though it's only in the last couple of years that the public has begun to listen. These days, Hansen is the closest thing climate …

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The alternative to fear is not lack of emotion

How best to pitch the climate change message?

Mike Hulme of the UK's Tyndall Centre says -- yet again -- that the language of "catastrophe" and "disaster" used by climate-change scientists and advocates is having the opposite of its intended effect: it's making people numb and apathetic. I more or less buy this -- I did, after all, write a five-part series arguing that fear is no friend of greens. But the conclusion Tim Haab draws from it is so spectacularly, diametrically wrong I can only shake my head: In other words, report the facts without the embellishment. ... Factual representation of the science is more likely to …

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Ouch!

Live Aid guy disses Gore’s Live Earth concerts

Here's what Live Aid and Live 8 organizer Bob Geldoff had to say about Gore's Live Earth concerts: "I hope they're a success," De Volkskrant newspaper quoted Geldof as saying in an interview. "But why is (Gore) actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that problem for years. We are all (expletive) conscious of global warming," he said. ... "I would only organize (Live Earth) if I could go on stage and announce concrete environmental measures from the American presidential candidates, Congress or major corporations," he told the newspaper. "They haven't got those …

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Feed-in tariffs: feeding hope for survival

Making a market for solar in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) offers to buy solar power produced by customers at 15 cents/kWh.

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On energy dependencies

The weather will matter more and more

Energy dependence seems to be the topic of the day, or at least the last two days. David Roberts posted a link yesterday to an eye-opening article about the surge of interest among the Amish of Ohio for solar PV panels. I had always assumed, wrongly, that the Amish eschewed electricity, period. Actually, they just don't like depending on the outside world. Meanwhile, renewed violence in Nigeria, a major petroleum producer, is giving oil markets the jitters. So is home-produced energy always better? That is certainly a perennial argument made by proponents of biofuels. Yet as the share of corn …

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Alas, it's still true about what's too good to be true

Crap, another means of continuing business as usual failing to survive scrutiny

Important, albeit somewhat depressing, post about biofuels from algae on chemical engineer Robert Rapier's always excellent blog. Here's his introduction to the article, which you should read in its entirety: The following is a guest post by John Benemann. John has many years of expertise in biomass conversion, and previously co-wrote a guest piece on cellulosic ethanol. On the subject of biodiesel from algae, he literally wrote the book. I originally wrote an article over a year ago in which I mentioned the potential of algal biodiesel. I still believe, as I did then, that biodiesel (or more broadly, renewable …

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RealClimate humor

Who says scientists aren’t funny?

RealClimate has an extended satire against climate denier use of false correlation=causation logic to argue for solar cycles as the main cause of global warming. As humor with extended charts and co-efficients of correlation go, it is quite funny. However, I must admit that an exchange between two commenters on the post was much funnier: James: CO2 has an insulating effect -- we know this because people have measured it. Humans have been putting more CO2 in the atmosphere -- we know this too, because we've measured it. Putting those two facts together, we deduce that the Earth should get …

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Jerry Falwell dead

We shed a tear

Fundamentalist Christian minister Jerry Falwell is dead at 73. It's probably churlish to use the occasion of someone's death to point out that said person was a paranoid, avaricious, hate-spewing enabler of America's basest lizard-brain impulses, so I won't go there. I will, however, note that one of the proudest moments of my young career was being cited by name in the course of a rambling, delusional Falwell sermon on global warming, which apparently is "Satan's Attempt to Re-direct the Church's Primary Focus." Clever, Satan! Very clever. Update [2007-5-15 15:0:8 by David Roberts]: Carpetbagger brings us Falwell's "greatest" hits.

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