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Posts tagged “climate change”

By Robert Rapier on Aug 5, 2009 with no responses

What’s 72 Million Gallons Anyway?

I just read a story this morning suggesting that the “Cash for Clunkers” program is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by only a trivial amount: ‘Cash for clunkers’ effect on pollution? A blip While the focus of the story is that this won’t do much for climate change, this is the piece that attracted my interest: America will be using nearly 72 million fewer gallons of gasoline a year because of the program, based on the first quarter-million vehicles replaced. U.S. drivers go through that amount of gas every 4 1/2 hours, according to the Department of Energy. In the context of the amount of gasoline we use – 140 billion or so gallons per year (a bit less… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 1, 2009 with no responses

What If I’m Wrong?

Risk Assessments I spend a lot of time playing “What if?” We all do this. I do this when I am driving – “What if that car at the next intersection pulls out in front of me?” – when I am working – “What if that high pressure line ruptures?” – and at home – “What if I wake up and find the house is on fire?” I also spend a lot of time pondering the question “What if there are energy shortages in the near future?“ When we do this, we are generally trying to understand the potential consequences of various responses to a given situation. This sort of exercise is a form of risk assessment, and it is… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 29, 2009 with no responses

Tariffs in the Climate Bill

A number of people have written to ask why I haven’t commented on the climate bill. There are two reasons. First, the House and Senate versions are very different, so the final form may not resemble the version the House just passed. Second, I haven’t had the time to read through much of it. There was one issue that I considered quite important, but I didn’t know whether it was in the bill. Jim Mulva was recently quoted as saying that the climate bill would impose higher taxes on domestic fuel versus imports. While we can agree that Mulva’s comments are self-serving, I also believe that most people would oppose a bill that shifts more of our fuel supply to… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 16, 2009 with no responses

Mulva on Replacing Oil

My former CEO Jim Mulva spoke today at the National Summit in Detroit, and had some newsworthy comments. Bloomberg reported on his talk: Conoco Chief Says Replacing Oil May Take a Century June 16 (Bloomberg) — ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it may take a century for the nation to replace fossil fuels with alternative energy sources. I don’t know of too many people who think we have a century’s worth of oil left. Natural gas and coal? I also seriously doubt we have that much of either of those, especially allowing for economic growth. What I think this means – in any case – is that we have some potentially difficult times in front of us. However,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 26, 2009 with 1 response

The White Revolution

When I was recently transcribing the interview that Vinod Khosla did for the Milken Institute, something he said caught my attention: Hybrids are an uneconomic way to reduce carbon dioxide. If you go to hybrids or electric cars, your cost of carbon reduction is about $100/ton. If you have 10 ways of reducing carbon at $50/ton, why would you spend $100? My beef is not with hybrids; we are investing in hybrid batteries; there is a good market and we can make money at it. But do I believe it’s going to solve the climate change problem? No. Save yourself the five grand, and instead paint your roof white. You will save more carbon that way. He then cited this… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 1, 2009 with no responses

Vinod Khosla at Milken Institute: Part II

This is a continuation of the previous post covering Vinod Khosla’s (VK) recent lengthy interview Milken Institute 2009 Global Conference. The interview was conducted by Elizabeth Corcoran (EC) of Forbes and can be viewed here. In Part I, VK discussed the role of government money, capital intensity of renewable projects, and some of his solar investments. Part II picks up at the 13:40 mark of the 75 minute interview. In this section, VK covers his strategy for cutting poor performers from his portfolio, discusses butanol, suggests that cellulosic ethanol can replace oil, says nuclear power can’t compete without subsidies, says cap and trade is inevitable, talks efficiency and smart grid, and tells us that he is often wrong. EC (13:40):… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 18, 2008 with no responses

The Consensus on Global Warming Weakens?

Update: Or maybe not. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this story. Climate Progress reports on the controversy: Physicists forced to reaffirm that human-caused global warming is “incontrovertible” First off, I like Joseph Romm, who wrote the article above. But he is guilty of what I think is too common any time global warming is the subject. He uses inflammatory and leading language to frame the issue: Now you can be just as sure that any denier talk point is wrong without studying it in detail…a denier website…rich man’s (failed) James Inhofe I think Romm makes a good argument that there is a lot more to the story than all of the headlines yesterday indicated. There is no need… Continue»