Friday, May 04, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 5-4-07

  • Big news, of course, is that the final IPCC report, this one on costs, is out (details here). Some enviro groups are pleased (I suspect because it tries to undercut the "action costs too much" argument), but reading this critique with its noting of the report's reliance of carbon markets that don't exist and the changes in the report from regulation to "voluntary" action, I'm sorry. And the endorsement of nuke will just bite everyone in the a-- someday, even if wind power still has its problems. The report's better than nothing, but the equivalent of nothing sounds exactly like what the Bushnevs and idiot Australian PMs can still do.
  • Good news from Asia, and bad, and worse. Vietnam is developing a power plant using methane gas from an urban waste dump, providing electricity and reducing a greenhouse gas. Indonesia had the largest amount of deforestation in the world in from 2000 to 2005, with 72% of its intact ancient forests no longer intact. And, cows are now hitting the road for food in Australia as the drought there hits historic proportions. (Of course, Italy is also instituting emergency measures in its northern and central regions, so not everything can be blamed on, you know, Australia's idiot PM.)
  • Among those wind problems mentioned above was the great need for adequate planning and better siting of windfarms. The National Research Council here in the US finds exactly those problems in wind power policy in the Mid-Atlantic states. Won't kill the push but should help make sure better decisions are made.
  • Finally, a new computer model should help make better hurricane prediction in the near future. Because the ones we're getting now for FL are scaring the hooey out of the insurance industry there. (HINT: Planning a trip to West Palm Beach-Boca Raton. Get it done before September.)