Friday, August 03, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 8-3-07

Lotta talk, will there be walk? From the latest UN conference on the importance of doing something about global warming. The little island nations watching their countries submerge are sounding desperate already, but you know, it might hurt our economies to do something meaningful. . . . Meanwhile, 20 m. people displaced in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal by floods. . . . Good overview on the wealth opening up in the warming Arctic and why the nations with borders on it may not be good cooperators in the future. . . . Great. A natural gas cartel like the petroleum one called OPEC is forming. Even better, Russia will be the major player, along with Venezuela. . . . That National Petroleum Council report on the importance of energy security had a couple of tough shots at the US:

"In the U.S., one of the key ways of accomplishing this was determined (in the report) to be fuel economy standard for passenger vehicles and light trucks using existing technologies," Sieminski said. "Some 3 (million) to 5 million barrels of oil a day could be saved" by doing this.

Tighter standards for appliances, portable electronic devices and commercial buildings could also mitigate demand, though replacing energy-wasting devices within buildings would probably lead to a quicker transformation, said William Finger, a senior associate with the Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy-consulting firm.


Another major factor in energy security lies in ensuring the availability of an experienced workforce to conduct research and development projects, experts say. This poses an immediate concern for the United States, because within the next decade more than half of the country's energy sector workforce will be eligible for retirement. At the same time, the number of students graduating from universities with applicable degrees is shrinking. If this trend continues unchecked, the United States will find itself in a difficult position, said Rodney Nelson, vice president for strategic marketing at Schlumberger Oilfield Services, a corporation that provides technology and services to its customers in the oil and gas industry.

"Unless the U.S. backfills these positions, you could see a real leadership shift in that area from the U.S. to other countries," Nelson told United Press International.

In the end, though, energy security at home relies on energy security abroad, Sieminski said, suggesting energy concerns be more aggressively included in policies that address other major global issues.

Oh, those fuel economy standards. The Dems, as usual, have caved. GM wins again. (Joseph Romm shows how their bought and paid for Congressman deliberately misleads here.) Tell me again what those people are good for? (Wait, don’t answer until you hear how they’re going to make us pay dirty coal producers to clean up their coal for them.) . . . And that big “liberal” donor, George Soros? Biofuel investor and Amazon destroyer. . . . Lake Superior warming and shrinking. Not considered good news. . . . David Roberts at Grist explains why a national “renewable portfolio standard” (requiring a high proportion of electricity derived from renewables) is the way we should be going. Not that the Dems will pay serious attention. . . . Another story on how private insurers are running scared from coastal areas as global warming impact builds. Meaning you and I as taxpayers become the insurance company. Makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it?

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