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Posts tagged “global warming”

By Robert Rapier on Apr 27, 2008 with 1 response

An Open Letter to Our Next President

Mr. or Madam President, Vice President Dick Cheney once famously quipped “The American way of life is non-negotiable.” I submit that while our next president might not be so brash in stating this, the root of our energy problems can be traced to this attitude. But, nature doesn’t negotiate. It doesn’t appear that any of the remaining presidential candidates understand the basis of the problems we face: Oil is a depleting, finite resource – albeit one crucial for the “American way of life.” Because this resource is so crucial – and obviously not just for Americans – depletion is going to drive prices up as consumers bid for dwindling supplies. Threatening to sue OPEC isn’t going to change that. Threatening… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 16, 2008 with no responses

Fuel from Air?

One thing we seem to have in limitless supply is gullibility. You may have seen the story sweeping through the energy circles of the Web: Federal Lab Says It Can Harvest Fuel From Air We love the painless technological solution. “This solves Global Warming AND produces carbon neutral fuel!” I talk to people all the time who say, in reference to our energy and environmental problems, “They will figure something out.” So along comes a story like this, and the layman reads the headlines and breathes a sigh of relief. We can make fuel from thin air. This must be even better than cars that run on water or cold fusion. So what’s the deal? Here is an explanation from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 4, 2008 with no responses

Winner: Sustainable Production Technology

As I have mentioned before, I am not going to use this blog to promote my new company. I have said very little about it to this point, but I intend to write one post explaining in detail what we do. I do think we have the best (the only?) commercial carbon sequestration technology, and I wanted to highlight that this week we won a national award in the Netherlands for Sustainable Production Technology: Titan Wood Wins Prestigious National Awards for Sustainable Production Technology and Innovation Titan Wood is the wholly owned subsidiary of Accsys Technologies that makes Accoya®. Here is the news release: Titan Wood Limited (“Titan Wood”), has won the overall Dutch National Award for Sustainability Innovation –… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 8, 2008 with 2 responses

Biofuels Aren’t Green?

At least that’s what a new study says. I think it paints with a pretty broad brush, because I do in fact think some can be green. But a new study published in Science, echoing the themes of an earlier study I highlighted, concludes that almost all biofuels in use today will increase greenhouse gas emissions. The Wall Street Journal reports: Biofuels May Hinder Antiglobal-Warming Efforts While the U.S. and others race to expand the use and production of biofuels, two new studies suggest these gasoline alternatives actually will increase carbon-dioxide levels. A study published in the latest issue of Science finds that corn-based ethanol, a type of biofuel pushed heavily in the U.S., will nearly double the output of… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 7, 2008 with no responses

Instant Energy Savings

The latest issue of Mother Earth News has an interesting article on ideas to reduce your carbon footprint: 8 Easy Projects for Instant Energy Savings Some of them are going to be familiar to everyone here, but others may not be. This is what the author achieved: Here are the details: We cut our total energy use from 93,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year to 38,000 kWh per year. This is saving us $4,500 per year in energy costs, and has reduced our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 17 tons! Our rate of return on the money we invested in this program is more than 50 percent — tax free. Altogether, we took on 22 different projects, including two solar… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 31, 2008 with no responses

FutureGen Project Stopped

The FutureGen Project, a clean coal demonstration plant that would have included carbon capture and sequestration (and was #8 on My Top Energy Stories of 2007) has been cancelled. The culprit? Cost overruns of about 80%, and a lot of competing projects. It turns out that carbon sequestration isn’t cheap, and the DOE decided the price tag was too high for this project: U.S. pulls the plug on funding for FutureGen The Department of Energy on Wednesday officially quashed a $1.8 billion clean-coal project slated for central Illinois, leaving the experimental venture to capture carbon emissions dependent on Congress for survival. The FutureGen Industrial Alliance was cooperating with the Energy Department to develop a coal-fired power plant designed to gasify… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 23, 2008 with 1 response

Now That’s an About Face!

It’s been almost two years now that 60 Minutes did a special on ethanol, in which Dan Rather was just bubbly with enthusiasm. He had as a guest Berkeley Professor Dan Kammen, who heads up Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). (I frequently see visitors from RAEL showing up on my site meter). Anyway, Professor Kammen talked up the virtues of ethanol with Dan Rather, and also spoke very positively on ethanol in this article: Ethanol can replace gasoline with significant energy savings, comparable impact on greenhouse gases Boy, that takes me back. You have to love the appeal to authority: Knowledgeable venture capitalists already are putting money behind ethanol and cellulosic technology, as witnessed by recent investments by… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 22, 2008 with no responses

Why We Will Never Address Global Warming

I made the comment below recently in the discussion following an essay: If you put it to a popular vote, and people learned that GHG emissions could be arrested (hypothetically) if they were willing to pay $7/gallon of gasoline, what percentage would vote for that? My guess is that it would be well less than 20%, implying that GW concerns will give way to economic concerns. At one time I was really worried about Global Warming. And at the risk of starting another Global Warming debate here (one that I don’t have time to participate in), my position is that the scientific consensus backs the hypothesis that human activity is contributing to Global Warming. I am not an atmospheric scientist,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 10, 2008 with no responses

FTC Investigates Carbon Offsets

I am still on the road, but wanted to quickly stick something fresh up for discussion. I have long been suspicious of the whole carbon offsets business (and frankly, it reminds me of buying indulgences). The FTC apparently shares similar concerns: F.T.C. Asks if Carbon-Offset Money Is Well Spent Corporations and shoppers in the United States spent more than $54 million last year on carbon offset credits toward tree planting, wind farms, solar plants and other projects to balance the emissions created by, say, using a laptop computer or flying on a jet. But where exactly is that money going? The Federal Trade Commission, which regulates advertising claims, raised the question Tuesday in its first hearing in a series on… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 7, 2008 with no responses

50 people who could save the planet

(Also, a Barack Obama discussion in the comments following this essay). The Guardian has just published a list of 50 people who may save us all from “stranded polar bears, melting glaciers, dried-out rivers and flooding on a horrific scale.” Some of the names certainly belong on the list, and some left me shaking my head: 50 people who could save the planet It is pretty clear to me that the author couldn’t really distinguish between what is complete hype, and what may actually work. Some will get a kick out of seeing Amory Lovins on the list. Especially in light of this article in Energy Tribune. Leonardo DiCaprio is also on the list, but I think he is a… Continue»