Thursday, August 16, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 8-16-07

Carbon offsets being recognized as fertile ground for fertile scamming, aka “greenwash,” even by the WaPo now. . . . Yet another great takedown of a pretentious tool by David Roberts over at Grist, this time that “speechwriter” named Gerson (with an elbow to idiot Easterbrook for good measure). . . . Speaking of great takedowns, Joseph Romm at Climate Progress rips up the ultimate ivory-tower egghead, Freeman Dyson, who’s written some of the silliest stuff ever written by a “renowned academic” and zips a good one at geo-engineering advocates a little farther down. . . . Climate Policy is continuing its series on cap-and-trade v. emissions taxes, this time focusing on the differences between the two. . . . A couple of major biofuel takedowns today. First, can we finally just cut the crap that biofuels are our best alternative? An OR State U study finds a gas tax would cost 28 times less than biofuels for the same emission reductions. And raising fuel standards would do as well, too. “One mile per gallon increase in the fuel economy standards would do more towards energy independence than all three of these bio fuels put together,” said Jaeger. Only those with a vested and selfish interest in biofuels can sincerely claim that biofuels are our best option, and then sincerely only for them. (And we found out here that one major energy producer, natural gas, actually supports the higher taxes.) Second, here’s the reason we link weather, water, and energy together here. It’s not just that corn as biofuel takes food out of people’s mouths for their cars. It also takes water out of their mouths for their cars. The three factors are all so interrelated, but so many, too many “experts” in any one of them act as if the other two don’t exist. Oil from shale? No problem, except for all the emissions and the water used. Nuclear? Uh, water needed. Hydroelectric? If you’re running the water over a dam to drive a turbine, who’s drinking it? Who’s using it to grow biofuel? We need to stop acting like academic departments never sullied by outside thought. Every proposal for any of the three should carry an impact statement for the other two. Otherwise, it’s too much like academic departments immersed in their own mental mastur . . . pleasure.

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