New Mexico Building Fake City to Test Alternative Energy
September 7, 2011 2:00 P.M.
By Greg Pollowitz
This isn’t a joke:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico, home to several of the nation’s premier scientific, nuclear and military institutions, is planning to take part in an unprecedented science project — a 20-square-mile model of a small U.S. city.
A Washington, D.C.-based technology company announced plans Tuesday to build the state’s newest ghost town to test everything from renewable energy innovations to intelligent traffic systems, next-generation wireless networks and smart-grid cyber security systems.
Although no one will live there, the replica city will be modeled after a typical American town of 35,000 people, complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new.
Pegasus Global Holdings CEO Bob Brumley says the $200 million project, known as The Center, will be a first of its kind in the U.S., creating a place for scientists at the state’s universities, federal labs and military installations to test their innovations for upgrading cities to 21st century green technology and infrastructure in a real world setting.
It will also enable them to rub shoulders with investors, meaning it could ultimately draw enough new businesses to give the state a technology corridor like that in California’s Silicon Valley or Virginia’s Reston, Brumley said.
Report: Increased Energy Production Would Boost Jobs, Federal Revenue
Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie released a report on Wednesday that lends weight to arguments for greater energy exploration and production in the United States. The economic effects of such a policy, the report asserts, would be uniformly positive. (The Foundry)
German Solar Firms Eclipsed by Chinese Rivals
Green energy used to be Germany’s great hope for its economic future. But now the German solar industry is in trouble amid huge losses, job cuts and the threat of bankruptcies. Chinese firms are gaining an ever greater share of the German market — and are benefiting from German subsidies for renewable energy. (Spiegel)
German solar incentives facing big cut: sources
Terence Corcoran: Making water the new oil
Environmentalists aim to demonize water trade and consumption
Through the summer, thousands streamed into the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto to take in a couple of blockbuster shows. The biggest draw was Water: The Exhibition, which drew more than 150,000 visitors. It closed on Labour Day, a couple of weeks after a companion exhibit of industrial photography — titled Edward Burtynsky: Oil — also closed. Needless to say, the two didn’t mix well — unless, of course, you’re in the modern museum business of catering to the prevailing ideological themes of the day, in which case the two exhibits were perfectly in tune. (Financial Post)
Water rights: All wet
This nebulous ‘positive right’ will only worsen shortages
By Bruce Pardy
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that declared a human right to clean drinking water and sanitation. The resolution was approved by a vote of 122 to none. Forty-one countries abstained, including Canada, the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Japan. Their reluctance makes sense. In fact, in recent years the Canadian government has led resistance to the creation of international water rights, and should be congratulated for its foresight. (Financial Post)
Spurned on smog, Lisa Jackson has a choice to make
By ROBIN BRAVENDER
Will EPA chief Lisa Jackson stay or go? (Politico)
Boxer hopes environmental groups sue Obama
By Justin Sink
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that she hopes environmental activists sue the administration over President Obama’s decision last week to push off smog-control regulations. (The Hill)
Liberal Dems to Obama: Don’t cave on other EPA rules after ozone retreat
By Ben Geman
Liberal Senate Democrats are pressing the White House to hold firm on several air-pollution rules following President Obama’s surprise decision to scuttle looming smog standards that had come under heavy attack from Republicans and industry groups.
The ozone decision announced Friday disappointed environmentalists and many Democrats, who are now urging the White House to avoid a repeat performance on other pollution regulations that are in the GOP’s political crosshairs heading into the 2012 elections. (E2 Wire)
World environment programs in budget crosshairs
What do flood prevention in Nepal, wildlife preservation in Namibia and reef fishing in Indonesia have to do with the U.S. budget?
Global conservation programs like these have all gotten help from the U.S. government, and they are probably prime targets of the budget-cutting congressional “super committee,” since they sit at the crossroads of two things Americans don’t like spending much money on: foreign aid and the environment.
As the 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction work to whittle the budget by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years — if they fail to do so by November 23, automatic spending cuts kick in — they may take aim at funds that pay for international conservation efforts.
That’s of deep concern to the nongovernmental organizations that run these programs and see them as relative bargains that can prevent vastly more expensive relief operations or security threats caused by thinning natural resources in unstable parts of the world. (Reuters)
Why I’m ‘Ginned Up’ about Regulation
By Blake Hurst
President Obama seems to be unaware of any regulations that would concern farmers and equally ill-informed as to the source of those regulations.
President Obama recently informed a farmer in Illinois that rumors of increased regulation of farming by his administration are “unfounded,” with said rumors “ginned up” by Washington lobbyists. (The American)
First off the rank in the silly scale we have:
EU bans GM-contaminated honey from general sale
Bavarian beekeepers forced to declare their honey as genetically modified because of contamination from nearby Monsanto crops (Guardian)
People who get all excited about biotech and “novel foods” frankly mystify me. It’s as though they fear turning into what they eat (and presumably they only eat humans in order to maintain their “biological purity”). Some tell me they are afraid of “poisons” in GM products and are horrified when it is explained their favorite organic produce is awash in natural toxins and in fact could not exist otherwise (any plant failing to produce defenses against consumers is eaten off the planet without managing to perpetuate as a species). Anti-biotech hysteria is such a silly game.
Next we have an unsubstantiated conspiracy story of smuggling, “honey laundering” and ooh! “danger”. There’s a buried admission that traces of “contaminants” are at the limits of detection, if at all and the anecdotal allusion to possible malfeasance by an unknown and an unknowable source. All this from hand wingers “Food Safety News”. Meh.
If it reads like protectionist propaganda and it sounds like protectionist propaganda…
Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves
The Other Climate Theory – The politics behind cosmic rays.
In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times “To Skeptics on Global Warming” in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.
But a few physicists weren’t worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or “cosmic rays,” whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.
Curiously though, Dessler states: “Over a century, however, clouds can indeed play an important role amplifying climate change“. Not too sure over his century-long time scales but his statement is pretty much an affirmation of Svensmark’s Cosmic Ray Theory where a more aggressive solar output is amplified by reduced cloudiness allowing yet more absorption of incident radiation and conversely reduced solar warming is exacerbated by increased cloudiness and reduced absorption of incident radiation. Specifically solar climate effect amplified by clouds, not climate effect initiated by clouds. So what’s his problem? Comments from Roger Pielke Sr. and Luboš Motl appended.
Texas A&M prof says study shows that clouds don’t cause climate change
New Paper: Models Continue To Show Too Much Recent Warming
About a month or so ago, Science magazine published a paper by Susan Solomon and colleagues that concluded that aerosols in the upper atmosphere that were unaccounted for in earlier estimations, have, over the past 10 years or so, acted to offset about 0.07°C of warming that would have otherwise occurred. In other words, we shouldn’t be so hard on the climate models for failing to anticipate the dearth of warming over the past 10-15 years.
Or should we?
It turns out, that what the paper really says, is that the amount of global warming that should have occurred over the past 10-15 years (that is, if the climate models were getting things correct) is about 25% greater than the model-expected warming from the combination of increases in greenhouse gases and lower atmospheric pollution alone. Which means that the observed warming during this same time—which has been close to nil—is even harder to explain and makes the models look even worse.
But, of course, that is not at all how the results were spun to the press. (WCR)
Garbage not even worth rebutting any more…
Pacific shows climate change a reality: UN chief
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that visiting Pacific nations threatened by rising seas had reinforced his belief that climate change was real and posed a genuine threat to humanity.
Ban stopped in the Solomon Islands and Kiribati on his way to New Zealand for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and described the two small nations as “on the front line” of the climate change issue. (Independent)
500 Million People Will Be Displaced By Glaciers Melting In Greenland And The Himalayas
‘Hockey Stick’ Creator Michael Mann Seeks Court’s Help to Ensure No Inquiry, No ‘Exoneration’
September 6th, 2011 | Author: ATI
Dr. Michael Mann, lead author of the discredited “hockey stick” graph that was once hailed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the “smoking gun” of the catastrophic man-made global warming theory, has asked to intervene in American Tradition Institute’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that seeks certain records produced by Mann and others while he was at the University of Virginia, for the purpose of keeping them hidden from the taxpayer.
Specifically over the weekend ATI’s Environmental Law Center received service from two Pennsylvania attorneys who seek the court’s permission to argue for Dr. Mann to intervene in ATI’s case. The attorneys also filed a motion to stay production of documents still withheld by UVA, which are to be provided to ATI’s lawyers in roughly two weeks under a protective order that UVA voluntarily agreed to in May. Dr. Mann’s lawyers also desire a hearing in mid-September, in an effort to further delay UVA’s scheduled production of records under the order.
Dr. Mann’s argument, distilled, is that the court must bend the rules to allow him to block implementation of a transparency law, so as to shield his sensibilities from offense once the taxpayer – on whose dime he subsists – sees the methods he employed to advance the global warming theory and related policies. ATI’s Environmental Law Center is not sympathetic. (ATI)
We Need To Do More When It Comes To Having Brief, Panicked Thoughts About Climate Change
BY RHETT STEVENSON
The 20 hottest years on record have all taken place in the past quarter century. The resulting floods, wildfires, and heat waves have all had deadly consequences, and if we don’t reduce carbon emissions immediately, humanity faces bleak prospects. We can no longer ignore this issue. Beginning today, we must all do more when it comes to our brief and panicked thoughts about climate change.
Indeed, if there was ever a time when a desperate call to take action against global warming should race through our heads as we lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, that time is now.
Many well-intentioned people will take 20 seconds out of their week to consider the consequences of the lifestyle they’ve chosen, perhaps contemplating how their reliance on fossil fuels has contributed to the rapid melting of the Arctic ice cap. But if progress is what we truly want, 20 seconds is simply not enough. Not by a long shot. An issue this critical demands at least 45 seconds to a solid minute of real, concentrated panic.
And I’m not talking about letting the image of a drowning polar bear play out in your mind now and then. If we’re at all serious, we need to let ourselves occasionally be struck with grim visions of coastal cities washing away and people starving as drought-stricken farmlands fail to yield crops—and we need to do this regularly, every couple days or so, before continuing to go about our routines as usual.
This may seem like a lot to ask, but no one ever said making an effort to think about change was easy. (The Onion)
Can game theory save the UN climate talks?
German academics have used the mathematics behind the strategic behaviour of countries to propose a way though the myriad impasses
America will never sign up, but the EU will if China does, which is unlikely if Africa doesn’t. No nation wants to go it alone but Russia doesn’t want to do anything, and the poor want the rich to absorb all the costs but the rich will only agree to sign if the poor do more.
Yes, I’m talking about the great game of the UN global climate talks, which resume in a few weeks’ time in Panama – the last gathering before the big annual meeting, this year in Durban, South Africa, at the end of November.