Monday, July 02, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 7-02-07

Interesting but flawed story on how TX is beginning serious desalinization efforts. Manages to tell the entire thing without once mentioning how much energy it takes to take the salt out. We’re caught in a loop here. Too much of our alternative energy—nuke, coal sands, etc.—takes a lot of water. Too much of our future water may take a lot of energy. We need to start linking these two in our plans instead of assuming the past supplies will be our future supplies. Still, I don’t see how we don’t do some desalinating in the future so good to get the experience in. Even if it’s in TX. . . . Photo array of musicians worth applauding for their green efforts here. . . . This is actually a strangely jumbled story on the peat bogs uncovered by deforestation in Indonesia and the opportunities financed by carbon credits to re-forest the areas to stop the CO2 emissions from those bogs, if the investors can get the locals to sign on. At least that’s what I think the article’s about. Check it out and let me know if you get something different. Maybe it’s just Monday. . . . Hear those screws tightening? Maybe it’s this Christian Science Monitor headline: US Consumers Pay Highest Energy Bills in Decades. Even better, this point near the end: consumer confidence is at the level it was just before the 2001 recession. What are the bookies giving for things getting better long-term, huh? . . . Bummer. Your religion has a giant icicle to worship (really), and global warming, well, you get the picture. . . . “Japan and India warned on Monday that the world faces a major challenge in tackling climate change while seeking to keep economies growing.” Well, yeah. Maybe the growth will have to come in dealing with the climate change, you think? No mention of that in this story, though. Until these “leaders” get that into their heads, the fight will just go on until the climate wins. That won’t be pretty. . . . More bikes and less energy, that’s a UN report recommendation. What’s that sound I hear? Crickets?? . . . While at the UN, the UN Secretary has called on the fast-growing developing nations like China, Brazil, and India to pull their heads out of their as . . . to do more on greenhouse gases. None of this “well, let’s commiserate with the nations that didn’t get started screwing up the planet like the West early enough.” Instead he says flat out: "Time is of (the) essence to galvanise political will and coordinate concrete action," he warned. "Both developing countries and developed countries have common responsibilities." He also called for all the wealthier nations to get busy and ready to help the poverty-stricken nations, which do not include China, Brazil, or India right now, no matter how much they filibuster and stall. It’s going to get nasty and the finger-pointing can wait until the planet is saved. . . . Looks like one of those “advanced tech” plans we always hear about that will let us get at that harder-to-get-at oil and save the day just bit the dust. . . . Finally, a good news-bad news thing over at Only In It for the Gold. Nature may have “thermostat” to keep the planet cool. That thermostat is also known as hurricanes or cyclones. . . . Maybe that’s one reason one of the “adaptations” the EU is proposing for its citizens is moving entire coastal cities, among other, less dramatic things that would normally seem fairly impressive by themselves. . . . Harvard research indicating more US deaths with global warming, more in summer than winter. . . . Finally, not sure if this is good or bad, but it sounds impressive so it’s probably something to keep a wary eye on: California researchers plan to make biofuels in a novel way that doesn't involve food crops or microbial fermentation. A new research effort involving three University of California campuses and West Biofuels LLC, will develop a prototype research reactor that will use steam, sand and catalysts to efficiently convert forest, urban, and agricultural "cellulosic" wastes that would otherwise go to landfills into alcohol that can be used as a gasoline additive. Could be a breakthrough, maybe not, but anything that finds an energy use for sewage can’t be all bad. You just wouldn’t want to be in traffic behind one of the cars using the fuel very long, probably.

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