Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Renewable energy “can be summarized as high costs combined with low reliability.”

Thursday, February 16th, 2012


says Ben Zycher in his new book, Renewable Electricity Generation: Economic Analysis and Outlook, which I found this morning while reading Steven Hayward’s OMNIBUS EPIC GREENFAIL BLOG

Back on the crony energy/Solyndra front (you do remember Solyndra, don’t you?), as the time Solyndra went upside down the defenders of green energy downplayed it by saying it was just one loan out of $35 billion, and investments sometimes go bad, right? What’s the big deal. The Obama Administration has now released a dry report saying that total taxpayer losses from bad loans in the program may reach $2.7 billion, which starts to look like real money, even if the figure is a low-ball estimate, which is likely is. The Wall Street Journal comments on the issue today.

The WSJ’s article, The Green Eyeshade Report
Got questions about Solyndra? Don’t look here.

Only in Washington is $2.7 billion in losses considered performing “well.” But the bigger problem is that the Allison report addresses none of the main issues. Because Mr. Allison’s brief was to examine only current loans, the report failed to investigate the bankruptcies of Solyndra or Beacon Power, an energy-storage company. So apart from its biggest failures, the program is a success.

Next thing you know, Washington will want to sell you a car that only people making $175,000 a year can afford.

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Should the Dept. of Labor really be in the business of setting “prevailing wage standards” for an industry that hasn’t even gotten off the ground yet?

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Brian Preston asks that question, and also, NYT Falls Off the Green Jobs Bandwagon? after reading this NY Times article,
Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises

A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.

UPDATE,
Looks like the Times buried the story.

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EPA pays to upgrade unsafe Mexican trucks

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

First the US is lending Brazil’s Petrobras $2billion for offshore drilling; now the EPA is paying to upgrade mufflers with catalytic converters in old Mexican trucks that won’t meet US safety standards anyway,
U.S. Pays To Upgrade Mexican Trucks

In the latest effort to accommodate its cherished trade partner in the south, the U.S. government is paying to upgrade outdated Mexican trucks that hemorrhage illegal amounts of exhaust on their trips north to deliver merchandise.

The Mexican trucks enter the U.S. under a 17-year-old international trade pact known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and they’ve created an air pollution crisis. The air quality in border towns has been especially impacted by the exorbitant levels of exhaust released by the Mexican trucks, which also fail to meet American safety standards.

Since the Mexican truckers have no intention of fixing the problem, Uncle Sam has stepped in to save the environment. U.S. taxpayers have picked up the cost to replace old mufflers on dozens of trucks and many more are scheduled to be upgraded by the middle of this year. The unbelievable story was reported this week by an Arizona newspaper that says replacing the old mufflers with new catalytic converters will reduce harmful diesel emissions by up to 30%.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is running the operation but the money is actually coming from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),

And how much is that costing?

Each truck costs U.S. taxpayers about $1,600.

Probably more than the market value of some of the trucks.

a few years ago the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General determined that Mexican trucks that regularly travel throughout American highways are rarely checked for safety by U.S. authorities despite a provision requiring it. Rules requiring that every Mexican truck undergo a thorough safety compliance check and that every driver has a valid license and is proficient in English have been virtually ignored, according to the IG’s findings.

Doug Ross

I swear to all that’s holy: someone in the Obama administration has a dastardly sense of humor. Just when you think they can’t do anything more completely, utterly insane, they bust out a brand new comedy sketch.

Gateway Pundit:

The fact that Obama’s EPA is punishing US industry with a slew of new business-killing regulations is one thing… The fact that Obama’s EPA is paying the Lung Association to defeat Republicans is somethnig else… But, this takes the cake.

Photo via IOwnTheWorld.

Via Memeorandum

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Cancun Is Cold

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

My latest article, Cancun Is Cold on Climate Change, is up at RightNetwork. Please read it and leave a comment.

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10:10 Cut your carbon or we’ll decimate you – “No pressure!” VIDEO

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Either cut your carbon emissions by 10%, or you’ll get decimated: that’s the message of a new video by the 10:10 global campaign – all for the sake of “keeping the planet safe for everyone”.

The Romans rarely would use decimation as a punishment, but the environmentally-aware cooks that came up with this campaign don’t see what’s wrong with the approach:

WARNING: LOTS OF DISTURBING GORE, including a violent scene involving children.
You’re been warned

Ed Morrissey:

What makes this fascinating is that the people who produce this dreck have no clue as to just how far removed they have become from normal human sensibilities, or at least they didn’t until the video began provoking the fully-predictable reaction. They have become so wrapped up in Gaia that they seem to have little connection to humanity.

Instapundit:

It always ends up as mass murder, real or fantasized, with these people. That’s what they do. Treat them with all the respect they deserve.

James Delingpole points out that this Richard Curtis (he of The Vicar of Dibley, Mr Bean, Bridget Jones, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) film was paid by British taxpayer money,

The 10:10 Campaign is supported by:
ActionAid (Govt of UK 2nd largest funder in 2009);
The Carbon Trust (surely #1 on the list of quangos-to-go);
The Energy Saving Trust.

Be not surprised that The Guardian is their ‘media partner’.

On the other hand, if you’re outraged by the video, you might be interested to know that they also have a small number of genuine commercial sponsors: O2, Sony and Kyocera all have helped fund the 10:10 Campaign.

Ed Driscoll has lots more on Springtime for Al Gore.

Maybe Curtis – the pasty little hypocrite – ought to title this despicable little gem No Weddings and Your Funeral.

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Lights out

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, we may have stumbled into the only way to profit and make money in the Obama economy.

How idiocy innovation killed the lights

IN WINCHESTER, VA. The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison’s innovations in the 1870s.

The remaining 200 workers at the plant here will lose their jobs.

Guess where those jobs are going?

China?

Hell yeah!

Now think about this:

  • the fluorescents are more expensive,
  • last very little time (I’ve had to change the fluorescents here at casa de Fausta twice, even when they are supposed to last “as long as seven years”)
  • they make you look like death warmed over
  • they are legislated in the cause of global warming, which is a scam to begin with
  • and it’s costing thousands of American jobs here in the USA.

What is there not to love? It’s the perfect setup for a black market! Go forth and find yourself some incandescents to peddle.

And then,
Watch For It – The Mexican Incandescent Light Bulb Cartel. Nah, I say it’s a home-grown black market opportunity.

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Thursday night tango: Todo te nombra

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Chan Park & Mónica Paz dancing to Francisco Canaro’s Todo te nombra,

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“Snub the tub”, says Charles

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

No more Tired Old Ass Soak for you, if Charles gets his way!

One must take shorter showers, says Charles: Prince urges British families to ’snub the bathtub’

Prince Charles has told British families to take shorter showers to help protect the environment.

The instruction came at the end of a list of 20 lifestyle changes recommended by the Prince of Wales for his new green campaign, Start.

In separate advice endorsed by the Prince, he was more detailed – urging people to give up baths in favour of ’short, refreshing’ five minute showers.

His campaign website reads: ‘Snub the tub. If everybody in a four-person family replaced one bath a week with a five-minute shower, you could save between £5 and £15 per year off your energy bill.’

Is that your sporran or are you happy to see me?

In true Green spirit, Charles preaches what he doesn’t practice,

As for the Prince of Wales himself, Clarence House last night remained tight-lipped on whether he takes short showers.

Years ago people were speculating on the higiene habits of Il Tampone, but I digress.

A spokesman simply said: ‘The Prince of Wales does the vast majority of the things on the list.

Such as?

‘loving your leftovers’, holidaying closer to home and reusing ‘what can’t be recycled, such as paint tins’.

Charles, who flies private jets to ceremonial shindigs at exotic locales probably “loves his leftovers” enough to feed them to his dogs (do his employees get meals free of charge? just asking!), and I don’t think Charles has seen a ‘paint tin’ since he was in kindergarten and the teacher handed him some tempera for fingerpainting.

The Prince isn’t exactly slumming it in a Prius; but just so you can relate to the guy, the article goes on,

The Prince’s Jaguar, Audi and Range Rover cars run on biodiesel made from used cooking oil, while his 40- year-old Aston Martin uses bioethanol made entirely from wine.

I wonder what Camilla runs on – cooking oil or wine?

H/t American Thinker.

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Good news from the gulf

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

On the Surface, Gulf Oil Spill Is Vanishing Fast; Concerns Stay

The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected, a piece of good news that raises tricky new questions about how fast the government should scale back its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The immense patches of surface oil that covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the April 20 oil rig explosion are largely gone, though sightings of tar balls and emulsified oil continue here and there.

Reporters flying over the area Sunday spotted only a few patches of sheen and an occasional streak of thicker oil, and radar images taken since then suggest that these few remaining patches are quickly breaking down in the warm surface waters of the gulf.

Now the question is, will Obama undo that drilling moratorium?

Don’t count on it.

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Due to a number of tasks that need to be completed this morning, there will be no podcast today.

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Leave my shower alone!

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Since the average sized bathtub is too short, I love a really great shower, and would absolutely love to have one of these installed in the house. Imagine 12 lovely gallons of water a minute. Alas, the government says “no”:

[showerJUMP] Altmans ProductsShower Rose

Water Capacity

Federal maximum for a ’showerhead’: 2.5 gallons per minute, at 80 pounds per square inch

Shower Rose, a discontinued device: 12 gallons per minute, at 55 pounds a square inch

Compared to the Shower Rose, the shower complying with the Federal maximum is a Water Pik.

A Water Fight Over Luxury Showers

Regulators are going after some of the luxury shower fixtures that took off in the housing boom. Many have multiple nozzles, cost thousands of dollars and emit as many as 12 gallons of water a minute. In May, the DOE stunned the plumbing-products industry when it said it would adopt a strict definition of the term “showerhead” in enforcing standards that have been on the books—but largely unenforced—for nearly 20 years.

Why?

The showdown is a challenge to President Barack Obama and his energy secretary, Steven Chu, as they try to cajole—or compel—Americans to use water and energy more efficiently.

Yes siree, Barack Obama, the guy who flew his dog on a separate plane to a weekend vacation in Maine, doesn’t want you to luxuriate in a shower – he wants to force you to use energy more efficiently.

Don’t blame Obama only; the law was passed in 1992, when George H. W. Bush was in office.

Because the government can, and will, regulate you out of the comforts of your own bathroom. As I said last October,

Living in green misery and living in a totalitarian society might go hand-in-hand. Take advantage and enjoy the benefits of a free capitalist society while you can, and shower on.

I predict the start of a black market on non-compliant showerheads.

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