Monday, June 25, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 6-25-07

Stopped reading Slate when it finally passed a threshold of silliness and bullsh-t that couldn't be made up by the occasional decent article. At Climate Progress, Joseph Romm shows that Slate still hasn't gotten back on the good side of that threshold, with their silly Emily Yoffe parroting the idiot denier points that any rudimentary review of the Net would disprove. But that would take work from a woman who once tried to be Mrs. America. And she published in WaPo, hitting the Daily Double of media that I haven't read in years. Once she appears with Hannity or O'Reilly to spread her crap, she'll hit that trifecta. . . . China’s p-ssed that it’s having to take blame now for greenhouse gas emissions when the West did the early damage. As I’ve said before, their upset over our hypocrisy is understandable . . . and irrelevant. If you come lately to the group who’s sawing off the limb you’re all on and people finally recognize the need to stop sawing, you don’t get to keep sawing just because the others got to do it first. And you don’t get to saw as much as you want while insisting the others take greater responsibility. Yes, it’s very unfair, but this insistence that we live on Planet Fair just makes it more likely the limb is going to go, with the Chinese holding the biggest saw. . . . So OPEC doesn’t like biofuels and will monkey with oil supply to protect their edge there. Other nations about to get hammered for buying into an econ paradigm about to be undone by reality. I don’t see how making proclamations that encourage nations finally looking seriously at alternatives to your product is really going to help much (see here how even the US has 10% of its energy coming from renewables now), but then I’m not the one who still has economies based on only one product after decades to move into other directions. . . . David Roberts at Grist has one of his typically incisive “random observations,” this time about arguments that we still really need coal:

1. There's so much coal, and renewables are so far from competitive, that it's not realistic to think we could live without it.
2. Coal gasification is awesome, but it needs tons of subsidies. Coal liquefication is awesome, but it needs tons of subsidies. Carbon sequestration is awesome, but it needs tons of subsidies.

We can't live without it, but it can't survive without subsidies. Weird.

Meanwhile, for those of us who may think our present and future water woes may be solved by desalinization, here’s a good article on the high-intensity energy and greenhouse gas emission required to make that happen. Sounds like just taking better care of the water we already have might be a better route.

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