Climate & Energy

Bring in the noise

For every problem there’s a solution that’s simple, attractive, and wrong

Like the noise standard one jurisdiction in Michigan has adopted for wind turbines: "Based on their studies, noise was identified as a key problem. After lengthy research and discussion the regulation was made simple. "If it makes noise and we can measure it, you shut it down," Arndt said." Shall we apply that to coal burners and natural gas turbines (jet engines)??

An interview with Sam Brownback about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: Sam Brownback dropped out of the presidential race on Oct. 19, 2007. Sam Brownback. Photo: “America …

The meaning of global warming, part one

Stabilizing the climate requires technology, public investment, and global economic development

The following is a guest essay by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, the latest in the ongoing conversation about their new book Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. —– …

British government approves world’s largest offshore wind farm

Plans for the world’s largest offshore wind farm have been approved by the British government. The project, led by Shell and European energy company Eon, would place up to 341 turbines over 90 square miles …

Survey on what we’re willing to do for the climate crisis

Not a whole lot, apparently.

Yucca Mountain may be doubled in size, need more funding

In a move sure to endear Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository to fiercely opposed Nevadans, the Department of Energy has proposed doubling its size. Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) concisely sums up the reaction of …

Nice electrical power you got there. Shame if something happened to it.

The coal industry’s extortion is on increasingly obvious display

Good God. If you want to see the coal industry’s bizarre, Möbius strip arguments in all their glory, check out this Reuters article conveying the comments of Brett Harvey, CEO of coal producer Consol Energy. …

Debunking Shellenberger & Nordhaus -- Part III

What Californians know that Shellenberger & Nordhaus don’t

"The kind of technological revolution called for by energy experts typically does not occur via regulatory fiat" claim Shellenberger & Nordhaus. Actually, that is typically the only way it occurs. I defy anyone to name a country that has successfully adopted alternative fuels for vehicles without employing some kind of regulatory mandate. This is also true in the electricity sector. Consider that in terms of electricity consumption, the average Californian generates under one third the carbon dioxide emissions of the average American while paying the same annual bill. Did California accomplish this by technology breakthroughs that S&N mistakenly say we need? Not at all. They did it by accelerating the deployment of boring old technology -- insulation, efficient lightbulbs, refrigerators, and other appliances, light-colored roofs, and so on -- through tough building codes and intelligent utility regulations, especially ones that put efficiency on an equal footing with new generation. The result: From 1976 to 2005, electricity consumption per capita grew 60 percent in the rest of the nation, while it stayed flat in hi-tech, fast-growing California. S&N think we must have massive $30 billion-a-year government programs and clean technologies. One of their central arguments is that "big, long-term investments in new technologies are made only by governments." This is perhaps half true, but 100 percent irrelevant. What we need is big, long-term investment in existing technologies -- and that is made primarily by the private sector stimulated by government regulations. Why isn't government spending more important? Let me relate an eye-opening story from my time in government.

He's even lazy about pandering

Fred Thompson half-heartedly justifies flip-flop on ethanol

Ol’ Fred Thompson has decided that ethanol’s great after all, even though he voted against subsidies as an allegedly-small-government conservative in the Senate. Why, Fred? We know it can’t be a craven pander to Iowa …

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