Category Archives: global warming

Thomas Friedman wants you to pay more for energy

I can’t say it any more clearly than that.  Watching Meet-the-Press, he advocated that government should mandate a certain percentage of electricity be generated from renewable sources.  The only reason that they would need to be mandated is that they are more expensive, which power companies would avoid in order to reduce their costs*.  If renewable sources were more cost-effective, then energy companies would already be using them (or moving to them) to displace dirty-dirty-coal energy.  In fact, this is the case in some areas, namely where hydro-electric power is a big contributor.  Which raises the question — why doesn’t anyone talk about hydro-power anymore?  Now it’s all solar and wind farms… did Hydro cease to be a renewable, clean, technology?  Just curious.

Did anyone tell Friedman, or the rest of the alternative-energy loving population, that we’re in the middle of a financial and economic crisis?  If McCain claims that the economy is ‘fundamentally sound’, they’ll rip into him for being out of touch.  How is this any different?**

Anyhow, as long as mandates are driving adoption, you’re only going to get the minimum amount of ‘alternative’ energy sources to meet the mandate.  Above and beyond that, power companies exist to make a profit, and for the most part consumers are going to choose the least expensive energy option.  (Of course, there are some outliers who will pay more for alternative energy our of some sense of duty, guilt, or piety.)

Friedman’s hope is likely that by forcing enough power to alternative energy sources, there will be some innovation in alternative energy production that will radically change the game.  I’m not sure if there are any examples of this working in the past:  MPG mandates on automobiles have not encouraged innovations that created huge gains — even hybrids are barely enough to keep entire manufacture fleets above their EPA standards.  If federal mandates magically pushed us through these types of barriers, we’d all be driving 100 mpg (likely 100% internal combustion, since hybrid’s are more complicated than they’re worth) cars.  Or electric cars that go farther than 40 miles per charge…  Seriously, how that dinky little Smart car gets less than 100mpg, I’ll never understand.

OK, so MPGs was only one example — if anyone has an example of a federal mandate spontaneously causing leaps in innovation, I’m all ears.  And no, the government never mandated anything related to TCP/IP adoption…

Friedman: “What I say is if climate change is a hoax, it’s the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the United States of America.” (which I thought was a Jesus reference, but now Google seems to be betraying me and not indicating the original source of the phrase; only recent antecendants).  He made this reference as though it was proof that global warming is real (after all, it couldn’t be an elaborate hoax!), completely oblivious to the fact that many reasonable people think otherwise.

“Because everything we would do to get ready for climate change, to build this new green industry, would make us more respected, more entrepreneurial, more competitive, more healthy as a country.”  Respected for falling for an elaborate hoax?  Entrepreneurial for developing solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist — and that in the end nobody is going to want to pay more for?  More competitive by investing more in basic scientific research? — OK, that might actually be valid, but if global warming is a hoax and we fund science aimed at solving global warming problems (ie. a level or two above basic science, like building a better hybrid-engine) then we miss the boat on that.  More respected?  Do you think the truly poor in the world have a huge amount of respect for us, while they starve, knowing that we’re spending discretionary dollars on wind-generated energy instead of dirty coal?  Do you think they’re thinking, “gosh, I’m hungry today, but at least American’s are treating the planet better”?  I’m guessing they’d rather have a full belly.  Better to buy dirty energy, send our savings to Africa, and sustain a young life that might solve some entreprenurial problems closer to his own home; and which might spill over to the rest of the world.

[quotes from Meet the Press transcript]

* let me state this another way:  if alternative energy sources were already more cost-effective, power companies would be turning to them en masse to reduce their energy costs and extract more profits from consumers.  the fact that this is not so is proof that alternative sources cost more (fully-loaded, lifecycle costs; not marginal costs)

** I know, I know; just as they’ll call for alternative energy mandates, and at the same time call for subsidies or exceptions so the poor won’t have to bear the burden.  so the Rich will pay all the alternative-energy excess…  and in their eyes it couldn’t be more fair than that.

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Filed under debunking, dumbfounded, economics, energy policy, global warming, if you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention, pick any two, politics, reasons to homeschool, stupid government, whatnot

8 degrees warmer, and we’re all cannibals…

That’s our fate according to esteem scientist and sociologist, Mr. Ted Turner:

If steps aren’t taken to stem global warming, “We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow,” Turner said during a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday.

“Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,” said Turner, 69. “Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable.”

mmmm-kay.  And he says it like it’s a bad thing… do you know it’s only 52 degree today?  Why, 60 and sunny would feel just great — where do I sign up!?

Admitting that he’s “always suffered from foot-in-the-mouth disease,” Turner added, “I’ve gotten a lot better, though. It’s been a long time since anybody caught me saying something stupid.”

Whoa, Ted.  You might want to read the transcript of what you just said two paragraphs ago.

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Filed under dumbfounded, global warming, hope I die before I get old, I believe the children are our future, lies, whatever

how I roll…

more photos for the un-Facebook’d.

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Filed under global warming, hope I die before I get old

what do you think? Ambulance at Wendy’s

so, I’m walking into Wendy’s the other day, and these guys are getting out of their ambulace [sic], leaving it running.  I figured they were going to grab a burger (maybe a salad?) and run, but they sat and ate their meal as I left.  Walking past the ambulace [sic], I took some pics on my mobile phone thinking their dispatch might agree with me that this was a waste…  I emailed the station, asking if it was standard procedure to waste gas (fuel) like that, and got this response:

Thank you for bringing this to light.As trained hazmat responders we do care about the enviroment. A few things to talk about. First: the fuel consumption is diesel not gas. Diesel as you know has  a low sulphur emission and better rate of consumption for the size engine involved. This means that any carbon will stay low to the ground.Just like “18 wheelers do at a rest areas” ,keeping there motors running to keep possibly the food you receive cold,before and durring its trip to your favorite grocery store.

Second: again these type of vehicles (diesel) are cheaper by amount of consumption to keep the vehicle running at propper temp. This, infact, will burn less fuel and also, less carbon that you receive and see and choke on upon start up and shut down vs at a constant rate..

Third:  an ambulace is the type of vehicle that has a lot of emergency equipment that receives a charge. This, infact, will put a large strain on the vehicles battery system. In order to keep this equipment charged for use, the engine needs to be running at the propper speed to keep the charge up on this emergncy equipment. Sometimes we can plug these vehicles in to a land line and shut the vehicle off. However, there is no land line available at your local fast food place.Are policies incourage the vehicle to be shut down with the propper facilities present.This is the prefered method. Again the mind set of patient care and safety comes first.

With this being said I’m sure you can agree that a person’s life is more important then any of the above mentioned problems.in the time limit to stop and eat at a fast food restaurant.,this all being derived from an operational risk management assessment. Hopefully, when and if you ever need an emergency service, I hope you never do, that all the equipment is in working order,to include the vehicle being able to start, thanks to a crew making sure that their equipment is charged up by keeping the vehicle at the propper engine speed tus keeping the batteries in good working order.

If there are any other questions or training they can be forwarded to myself at the above email.Thank you for your attention to detail.

Again thanks for your attention to detail,

Anybody want to guess how I interpreted this responce [sic]?  For the record, I had considered the power generation requirements of onboard equipment while I was at pondering all this at Wendy’s, but if that’s the case I’d assert that standard procedure should be to only stop at locations with appropriate power facilities (even if that’s only the station house).  I didn’t even tell you what these EMT’s ordered (the next heart attack may be their own…)

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Filed under cathartic, global warming, rant, stupid government, whatever

regarding the Peace prize

nuff said.

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Filed under angry, damn lies, desperate, dumbfounded, global warming, lies, petty jealousy, sad, stupid government, whatever

what is Al compensating for?

ok, I know this is just going to come across as petty jealousy — but what on earth could Al Gore need three 30″ LCDs* for? Seriously, he’s not doing all that climate research himself, is he? Maybe that’s one way he could reduce his carbon footprint — donate one (or two) of those 30″-ers to Me. I’ll even get off his back for a while.

From here, it looks like he has three web pages open on those three displays. Somebody needs to introduce him to Tabs in Firefox — they rock, and you can have like 20 tabs open on the same 15″ screen.

ooh, ooh, PLUS a TV against the wall that he isn’t even watching. how globally conscious is that? unplug it, Al. and even the computer output on the far right display — that’s totally out of his field of vision if you look at the picture. the whole third display is out of his field of vision. not to mention that he can’t possibly be reading that small type on the left display, not from that distance — based on the size of the columns, that text is barely bigger than newsprint — do you read a newspaper from two and a half feet away? the only excuse I can think of for three displays like that is if you’re running a Network Operations Center (NOC), you’re an engineer/rocket-scientist, you’re trading stock and have real-time updates from around the world, or high-end gaming (Half-Life or whatever the kids play these days).

and you might want to kill that thing crawling on the wall, if it isn’t all Endangered and whatnot.

*duh, I just remembered he’s now a Board Member for Apple; they no doubt gave him the displays gratis.
oh and this whole rant was triggered by Time’s The Last Temptation of Al Gore (messianic imaging, anyone?)

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Filed under dumbfounded, global warming, petty jealousy, rant

puh-leeease

“The planet has a fever,” Gore said. “If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, `Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it’s not a problem.’ If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action.”

I could rant for days and days about Gore; but with quotes like that, honestly, why does anyone take him seriously?

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Filed under damn lies, global warming, politics, TERROR