Saturday, July 30, 2011

I have a few questions for those who are convinced that climate change is a great big conspiracy

Friday, July 29, 2011

US Auto executives are supporting higher standards for fuel efficiency that will require fleets to reach 54.5 MPG by 2025. See Not because they've all become treehuggers, but because it is the best way to preserve America's competitive advantage. If we have to compete based on the lowest price, then low-wage economies win before we get started. But if everyone has to compete based on the most technologically sophisticated and efficient production, then we are playing to our strengths.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stupid decision to put stand-by generators in the basement, loss of back-up power, faulty valves, human error. If the three big nuclear disasters (Fukushima, Chernobyl, 3-Mile Island) had occurred because we didn't understand physics, maybe there would be hope that we would figure it out. But all three incidents happened due to human error and petty cost-cutting that seems impossible to eliminate.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shell and Chevron are set to sign a $1.5 billion deal with the Philippine government to expand the output of the Malampaya natural gas project off the coast of Palawan. Will help lower carbon footprint and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Solar panels in the northern hemisphere should generally tilt south to maximize the generation of energy. But in the US, solar panels are installed with a slightly westward tilt. Why? Because the power of physics is trumped by the power of economics and finance.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The US government took a bold step today, announcing that it is closing 800 computer data centers (about 40% of all government data centers). This will be done by using software that more efficiently allocates processes among servers and by taking advantage of cloud computing. It will save about $3 Billion annually and meaningfully reduce the government's carbon footprint -

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

There's room for hope when Warren Buffett invests in electric cars and batteries, and KKR, AXA, and other insurance companies invest in solar. The fact is: Renewable technologies will continue to come down in price while fossil fuels will continue to go up in price, giving smart investors a very profitable delta.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two articles on the same day point out the complexities of talking about pollution in the oceans. First, based on one good summer for tourism in the Gulf, BP argues in court that the harm caused by its oil gusher is over and no more compensation should be paid. See In other news today, scientists warn that pollution, climate change, and other factors are causing irreversible and potentially catastrophic changes in the world's oceans. See

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One of the largest utilities in the country is shelving plans for a large carbon capture and sequestration project at an old but still functioning coal-fired plant. See Here's the interesting part: It would keep going if everyone was required to do it. Because then it would not be at a competitive disadvantage. But if it is the only one doing it, and it must compete with dirty polluters, then it isn't feasible. This is a utility talking, not some treehugger.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

There is a strong consensus among climate scientists that climate change is happening and it is being caused by human activity. Does democracy mean that non-experts should be able to block us from following the advice of experts on this issue? For an interesting argument, see

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scientists are finding that GM crops are having unintended effects. For example, because GM crops are resistant to Roundup (a pesticide), farmers can use more pesticide and literally wipe out weeds that are essential to the survival of Monarch butterflies. See

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nuclear fusion has made great advances in recent years, to the point where it could be a reality within the next 20 years. All we have to do is invest a tiny fraction of what we spend every year on oil to complete the research. Imagine, a safe, inexhaustible supply of energy from seawater. See

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The President of the Philippines has established a Competition Authority to investigate monopolies and anticompetitive business practices.
I've often wondered why we don't just kill and eat invasive species. This article explains why eating them might be a solution....and what the risks are. See Can’t Eliminate an Invasive Species? Try Eating It. -

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New York State is studying ways that fracking for natural gas can continue without endangering water supplies. See

Friday, July 8, 2011

The President is running for re-election and the Republicans have demonized anyone and anything that sounds like its related to climate change, so the EPA Administrator will take the political heat for basic clean air regulations that will save lives. See EPA Issues Tougher Power Plant Emission Rules -

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Germans have pledged to eliminate nuclear power, the Japanese are ambivalent, and now the British may announce that nuclear will be their chosen course to reduce GHG emissions. See British Energy Minister Backs Nuclear Power Renaissance Is nuclear power green and sustainable?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A ruptured pipeline has spilled oil into the Yellowstone river - Will permanent damage result?