mm476: The next Windy City?

August 22, 2008
© David Davis | Dreamstime.com

© David Davis | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’s Musings

Two recurring themes on this site converge this week, as alternative energy, mainly windmills, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, not a presidential candidate, occupy the same NYTimes story.

nytimes[3]

Bloomberg Offers Windmill Power Plan

By MICHAEL BARBARO | Published: August 19, 2008

In a plan that would drastically remake New York City’s skyline and shores, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is seeking to put wind turbines on the city’s bridges and skyscrapers and in its waters as part of a wide-ranging push to develop renewable energy.

The plan, while still in its early stages, appears to be the boldest environmental proposal to date from the mayor, who has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his administration.

Mr. Bloomberg said he would ask private companies and investors to study how windmills can be built across the city, with the aim of weaning it off the nation’s overtaxed power grid, which has produced several crippling blackouts in New York over the last decade.

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mm473: If only it were actually oil they spew in such quantities

August 19, 2008
© Eline Spek | Dreamstime.com

© Eline Spek | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’s Musings

How can you tell a Rovian Republican is lying?

His lips are moving.

It’s less than three months to election day, and the Rovian machinery of mis- and disinformation has lurched into gear.

Jerome Corsi’s new No. 1 bestseller is beneath contempt; the Obama campaign seems to have learned from the stricken paralysis that was the Kerry campaign’s reaction to Corsi’s Swift Boat slander, and one can only hope that the Corsi’s latest spurious attacks will be swiftly deflected.

But there’s a lot more going on in the Fantasyland that is the Republican commentariat.

Take oil, for example.

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mm429: World Bank: biofuels cause starvation

July 4, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

As food prices rise around the world, evidence that the biofuels initiatives are the cause keeps becoming clearer. As the entire issue of petroleum alternatives has become most pressing, the relationship between the diversion of food stocks to fuel stocks has been guessed at, but there have been few firm numbers of the impact.

Today The Guardian seems to have found the smoking gun.

First, a review. We have discussed this topic many times:

Fuel from Food: Just a bad idea all around

mm367: It’s not just a bad idea, it’s a crime
mm360: Global food price crisis: Genocide?
mm298: Nutty Richard Branson flies to Holland on biofuel
mm282: If it sounds too good to be true…
mm260: The other oil shock
mm233: Corn in the news – and not just in Iowa!
mm194: Friedman: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
mm193: Fuel without oil, or corn
mm084: Food versus fools – Salon.com
mm053: The case for turning crops into fuel – Saletan

guardian

Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis

Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive

Aditya Chakrabortty | The Guardian, Friday July 4, 2008

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

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mm419: At last! Jellyfish found to be useful

June 23, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Global climate change. Is it reality? Is it soft-headed hype?

I’m thinking that reality is more and more likely. Believe that the residents of the flooded Midwestern U.S. might be more inclined to agree with that assessment today than they might have a few weeks ago. The residents of New Orleans and the nearby Gulf Coast, still hard at work rebuilding three years on, might have by this time become convinced in the reality of global warming.

We cover climate change occasionally in this space. Just the other day we blasted a story from last September, now unaccountably missing from the archives, but preserved here, noting melting of Arctic ice sufficient to open the until-then speculative Northwest Passage. Earlier, a dissenting view, in an analysis of whether the phenomenon of global warming truly exists.

In fact, so extensive is the scientific discussion around this issue, the estimable Arts & Letters Daily recently spun off a fascinating Climate Debate Daily that has joined its parent in our blogroll.

Never had much enthusiasm for jellyfish. Toured an aquarium a few years ago (Long Beach? Boston? New Orleans?) that had a specialization in same, although current on line evidence won’t verify that. I don’t swim in ocean beaches where jellyfish are a danger (although I did as a vacationing child in Miami Beach).

All in all, don’t think of them much. And I guess I don’t think much of them.

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mm336: 10 minutes that might change our lives

April 2, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

They don’t call me a curmudgeon for nothing.

The earnest entreaties of persons of the green persuasion (and no, I don’t mean Martians) leave me cold.

Nevertheless.

This video has been out for several months; as vast as the Internet is, it had evaded me until I happened on it the other day.

Spend 10 minutes. It’s an earnest entreaty.

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mm317: Water — the theme — part 2

March 16, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Yr (justifiably) humble svt always considered himself the curmudgeonly anti-environmentalist.

MUDGE’s reaction to soft-headed hand-wringing over pollution, water shortages, spotted owls and the like was: guys, the human species is going to use this planet up; there’s no going back. So stop wasting time looking backward (golden age for environmentalists: the year 1700? — when the average Western European lived to the ripe old age of 25), and start looking outward, toward new planets to discover and migrate to.

That’s what I used to say. It still may be correct, in a macro way, but it’s not going to happen in my lifetime, I reluctantly conclude, so I’d best pay more attention to what I breathe, eat and absorb, or that lifetime might be shortened drastically. Not to speak of the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren.

But, oh,  the final frontier

We’ve commented frequently on topics such as alternative energy for transportation (none too soon, paid $3.26/gallon the other day); alternative energy for electric utilities; and the safety and continuity of our food supplies.

And water (here and here and, the source of today’s title, here).

A couple of environmentally discomforting stories hit this week, obscured perhaps in the shadows cast by the unseemly fall of hubris filled governor (political hypocrisy, THE story of the week, disquiets us pretty much every week), and water is the theme.

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mm237: Has global warming stopped?

December 30, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

From the UK’s New Statesman, this eye-opening observation.

We’ve heard the hype, but what are the statistics of global warming? Could it be that despite all of the apocalyptic alarm, the planet has actually not warmed significantly over the past several years?

Yes.

newstatesman

Has global warming stopped?

David Whitehouse | Published 19 December 2007

‘The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 and every year since 2001’

Global warming stopped? Surely not. What heresy is this? Haven’t we been told that the science of global warming is settled beyond doubt and that all that’s left to the so-called sceptics is the odd errant glacier that refuses to melt?

Aren’t we told that if we don’t act now rising temperatures will render most of the surface of the Earth uninhabitable within our lifetimes? But as we digest these apocalyptic comments, read the recent IPCC’s Synthesis report that says climate change could become irreversible. Witness the drama at Bali as news emerges that something is not quite right in the global warming camp.

With only few days remaining in 2007, the indications are the global temperature for this year is the same as that for 2006 – there has been no warming over the 12 months.

But is this just a blip in the ever upward trend you may ask? No.

Sounds like a very inconvenient truth…

For the past decade the world has not warmed. Global warming has stopped. It’s not a viewpoint or a sceptic’s inaccuracy. It’s an observational fact. Clearly the world of the past 30 years is warmer than the previous decades and there is abundant evidence (in the northern hemisphere at least) that the world is responding to those elevated temperatures. But the evidence shows that global warming as such has ceased.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

New Statesman – Has global warming stopped?

Turns out that the relationship between increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (not in doubt it has increased) and global warming is only a theory, and an unproven one at that, as carbon in the atmosphere has continued to increase while actual warming has plateaued.

The science is fascinating, the ramifications profound, but we are fools if we think we have a sufficient understanding of such a complicated system as the Earth’s atmosphere’s interaction with sunlight to decide. We know far less than many think we do or would like you to think we do. We must explain why global warming has stopped.

Never have been particularly fond of the carbon market. Seems much more like a particularly cynical form of derivative financial tool rather than a truly effective means of controlling carbon based pollution.

And, it provides a green cloak to polluters, provides a money making opportunity to the cap and trade market, and yet has not diminished the increase of carbon in the atmosphere; indeed, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased during the entire lifetime of that market.

And yet, the planet has not become warmer in that timeframe. Go figure…

I mean it, scientists and politicians: go figure out what’s really going on up there!

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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