Where does the Electricity come from to power Electric cars?

Look, I think electric cars are a great idea -SO LONG as we allow more energy to be produced, which the big proponents of electric cars, for some reason, oppose. I remember posting about this irrationality before. Allow me to quote myself:

The three main components of Obama’s [energy] plan are:

— Get 1 million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on U.S. roads within six years.

— Require that 10 percent of U.S. energy comes from renewable sources by the end of his first term – more than double the current level.

Reduce U.S. demand for electricity 15 percent by 2020.

Which brings us to this rather comical audio from the Mark Levin show:

“You plug it in at night!”

So I guess magical ‘green’ electricity comes from “the night”…and evil fossil fuels then must come from Dick Cheney.

Seriously though, the real solution is Nuclear power, as environmentalist Gwyneth Cravens (a former opponent of nuclear energy) points out in her book: Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy:

My book is fundamentally about prejudice based on wrong information.

I used to oppose nuclear power, even though the Sierra Club supported it. By the mid-1970s the Sierra Club turned against nuclear power too. However, as we witness the catastrophic consequences of accelerated global temperature increase, prominent environmentalists as well as skeptics like me have started taking a fresh look at nuclear energy….

[...]

When I began my research eight years ago, I’d assumed that we had many choices in the way we made electricity. But we don’t. Nuclear power is the only large-scale, environmentally-benign, time-tested technology currently available to provide clean electricity. Wind and solar power have a role to play, but since they’re diffuse and intermittent, they can’t provide baseload, and they always require some form of backup–usually from burning fossil fuels, which have a huge impact on public health.

[...]

was surprised to learn that:

  • Nuclear power emits no gases because it does not burn anything; it provides 73% of America’s clean-air electricity generation, using fuel that is tiny in volume but steadily provides an immense amount of energy.
  • Uranium is more energy-dense than any other fuel. If you got all of your electricity for your lifetime solely from nuclear power, your share of the waste would fit in a single soda can. If you got all your electricity from coal, your share would come to 146 tons: 69 tons of solid waste that would fit into six rail cars and 77 tons of carbon dioxide that would contribute to accelerated global warming.
  • A person living within 50 miles of a nuclear plant receives less radiation from it in a year than you get from eating one banana. Someone working in the U.S. Capitol Building is exposed to more radioactivity than a uranium miner.
  • Spent nuclear fuel is always shielded and isolated from the public. Annual waste from one typical reactor could fit in the bed of a standard pickup. The retired fuel from 50 years of U.S. reactor operation could fit in a single football field; it amounts to 77,000 tons. A large coal-fired plant produces ten times as much solid waste in one day, much of it hazardous to health. We discard 179,000 tons of batteries annually–they contain toxic heavy metals.
  • Nuclear power’s carbon dioxide emissions throughout its life-cycle and while producing electricity are about the same as those of wind power.
  • Nuclear plants offer a clean alternative to fossil-fuel plants. In the U.S. 104 nuclear reactors annually prevent emissions of 682 million tons of CO2. Worldwide, over 400 power reactors reduce CO2 emissions by 2 billion metric tons a year.

[...]

As I learned more, I became persuaded that the safety culture that prevails at U.S. nuclear plants and the laws of physics make them a safe and important tool for addressing global warming. Clearly many of my beliefs had originated in misinformation and fear-mongering.

Apple System Preference Icon Goes Poisonous

Of course, In true AlGore/Apple Reality-Distortion-Field fashion – they call it ‘green.’

Brainwash complete.

The Road to Green Tyranny

A new proposal from San Francisco’s mayer, Gavin Newson:

Garbage collectors would inspect San Francisco residents’ trash to make sure pizza crusts aren’t mixed in with chip bags or wine bottles under a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

And if residents or businesses don’t separate the coffee grounds from the newspapers, they would face fines of up to $1,000 and eventually could have their garbage service stopped.

The plan to require proper sorting of refuse would be the nation’s first mandatory recycling and composting law. It would direct garbage collectors to inspect the trash to make sure it is put into the right blue, black or green bin, according to a draft of the legislation prepared by the city’s Department of the Environment.

The program is designed to limit the amount of food and foliage that goes into the city-contracted landfill in Alameda County, where the refuse takes up costly space and decomposes to form methane, one of the most potent of greenhouse gases. It will also help San Francisco, which city officials say currently diverts 70 percent of its waste from landfills, achieve a goal set by the Board of Supervisors to divert 75 percent by 2010 and have zero waste by 2020.

Ed Morrissey breaks it down:

Philosophically speaking, this represents a gross intrusion (in more than one sense of the word) of government into private life.  Recycling plans work because they’re voluntary; most people don’t mind a simple sorting process involving one bin for refuse and another for recyclables.  If they are required to start using three, four, or five bins for sorting their trash upon threat of prosecution, the good will compliance will end and people will stop recycling altogether.  And wait until the municipal courts get flooded with the accused looking to clear their good names and avoid the $1,000 fine.  Plus, can the garbage collectors even levy those citations without being sworn officers of the law or at least employed by law enforcement?

The following video is pretty much right on the money but, Content warning – Strong Language: Here.

More Brown News of the Day

I think I am going to use ‘brown’ to indicate news that runs somewhat contradictory to the typical ‘green’ cause…

DailyTech: So Much For Flooded Cities: Greenland Ice Loss Not Increasing

For global warming activists, Greenland is the most potent weapon of fear in their arsenal. With Antarctica cooling, and the floating ice at the North Pole incapable of affecting sea levels, Greenland alone can contribute the vast amounts of melted ice capable of flooding cities. Greenland — which began gradually melting at the end of the last ice age some 20,000 years ago — continues to slowly shed ice today.The only problem? It’s melting far too slowly. At its current rate, Greenland will take thousands of years to significantly affect sea level. 

Fears have still arisen, however, over claims that melting rate is being accelerated by man-made global warming. Some past studies have indicated this may be happening, by measuring the rate at which glaciers have slid towards the sea, sped by melt water beneath lubricating the process.

However, a new study has concluded that Greenland’s rate of melting is not accelerating, and in fact may actually be decreasing when viewed over a longer timescale. The study, which used 17 years of satellite measurements to reach its conclusions, determined the overall yearly movement of ice to the sea is not increasing, and is actually decreasing in some places.

The researchers noted the speedup observed by past studies was strictly a short-term transient phenomena, occurring primarily in the summer months.

I’m sure the Californian Legislature will carefully consider ignore this new study…

Remember, (I feel like I need to point this out with every post on environmentalism) I am not opposed to conservation. I am opposed to crappy public policy being written into law based on crappy over-exaggerated science.

Denver: Logistical Green Nightmare

I have added emphasis to a couple elements from the following story (read the full WSJ article here):

DENVER — As the Mile High City gears up to host a Democratic bash for 50,000, organizers are discovering the perils of trying to stage a political spectacle that’s also politically correct.

Consider the fanny packs.

The host committee for the Democratic National Convention wanted 15,000 fanny packs for volunteers. But they had to be made of organic cotton. By unionized labor. In the USA.

Official merchandiser Bob DeMasse scoured the country. His weary conclusion: “That just doesn’t exist.”

Ditto for the baseball caps. “We have a union cap or an organic cap,” Mr. DeMasse says. “But we don’t have a union-organic offering.”

[...]

Convention organizers hired the first-ever Director of Greening, longtime environmental activist Andrea Robinson. Her response to the mayor’s challenge: “That terrifies me!”

[...]

To test whether celebratory balloons advertised as biodegradable actually will decompose, Ms. Robinson buried samples in a steaming compost heap. She hired an Official Carbon Adviser, who will measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed. The Democrats hope to pay penance for those emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.

Perhaps Ms. Robinson’s most audacious goal is to reuse, recycle or compost at least 85% of all waste generated during the convention.

The Trash Brigade

To police the four-day event Aug. 25-28, she’s assembling (via paperless online signup) a trash brigade. Decked out in green shirts, 900 volunteers will hover at waste-disposal stations to make sure delegates put each scrap of trash in the proper bin. Lest a fork slip into the wrong container unnoticed, volunteers will paw through every bag before it is hauled away.

That’s the only way to make sure it’s pure,” Ms. Robinson says.

Republicans are pushing conservation, too, as they gear up for their convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Like the Democrats, they’re cutting down on printing by doing as much work as possible by email; using recycled office furniture; and urging employees to walk or take public transportation to work. The Republicans also encourage vendors to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

But Matt Burns, a spokesman for the Republican convention, looks on with undisguised glee at some of the Democrats’ efforts — such as the “lean ‘n’ green” catering guidelines.

Among them: No fried food. And, on the theory that nutritious food is more vibrant, each meal should include “at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white.” (Garnishes don’t count.) At least 70% of ingredients should be organic or grown locally, to minimize emissions from fuel burned during transportation. “One would think,” says Mr. Burns, “that the Democrats in Denver have bigger fish to bake — they have ruled out frying already — than mandating color-coordinated pretzel platters.”

[...]

Joanne Katz, who runs the Denver caterer Three Tomatoes, will take one for the green team by removing her fried goat-cheese won tons with chipotle pepper caramel sauce from the menu. But she questions whether some of the guidelines will have the desired earth-saving effects.

[...]

Ms. Robinson, the greening director, says big showy conventions are part of the American political tradition, and thus worth a few emissions here and there. Also, she hates to be a killjoy.

True, she did try (unsuccessfully) to get bottled water banned from the convention hall. But remember those balloons? She checked the compost heap last week — and found them still intact. She has added more liquid to try to get them to degrade.

And if they don’t? “The balloons will be there,” she promises.

So will the fanny packs — made in the USA of undyed, organic fabric. Mr. DeMasse vows to get a union shop to print the logo, but he says the ink will be petroleum based. Unless, that is, he decides to get the logo embroidered — with biodegradable thread.

Is this a freaking joke? Greening director…? Official Carbon Advisor? 

This is just a little picture of the world environmental activists want to create (hint: totalitarianism). There are people who need desperate help here in this nation and around the world – and yet we’re too busy burying celebratory balloons in compost heaps, “protecting” people from un-colorful french fries, and digging through garbage looking for accidentally tossed forks…

Un-freaking-believable!

This calles for some Mark Steyn:

The biofuels debacle is global warm-mongering in a nutshell: The first victims of poseur environmentalism will always be developing countries. In order for you to put biofuel in your Prius and feel good about yourself for no reason, real actual people in faraway places have to starve to death.

[...]

Whether or not there’s very slight global cooling or very slight global warming, there’s no need for a “war” on either, no rationale for loosing a plague of eco-locusts on the food supply. So why be surprised that totalitarian solutions to mythical problems wind up causing real devastation? As for Time’s tree, by all means put it up: It helps block out the view of starving peasants on the far horizon.

-Mark Steyn

Lost Amazon tribe, or environmental publicity stunt?

 

And the winner is….Stunt!

The man behind photos of warriors from an “undiscovered” Amazon tribe that were beamed around the world has admitted it was a publicity stunt aimed at raising awareness of logging.

Indigenous tribes expert, José Carlos Meirelles, said the tribe had been known of since 1910, and had been photographed to prove that they still existed in an area endangered by logging, The Guardian reported

Full Article

I find stunts (of any nature), with the intention of getting government action on certain agendas to be totally destructive to any groups credibility. If logging is such a huge problem, you shouldn’t need a stunt to get people to notice. What ends up happening is that the public become irrationally worried over certain issues and real practical discussion ends. This becomes particularly dangerous when it starts effecting public policy, which seems to be to goal of these stunts from the outset.  It is my opinion that the ‘Green’ movement is a star example of this.

With that in mind, consider the following Wired article about the ’10 GREEN HERESIES’ (I’ll link to each item):

  1.  Live in Cities: Urban Living Is Kinder to the Planet Than the Suburban Lifestyle
  2.  A/C Is OK: Air-Conditioning Actually Emits Less C02 Than Heating
  3. Organics Are Not the Answer: Surprise! Conventional Agriculture Can Be Easier on the Planet
  4. Farm the Forests: Old-Growth Forests Can Actually Contribute to Global Warming
  5. China Is the Solution: The People’s Republic Leads the Way in Alternative-Energy Hardware
  6. Accept Genetic Engineering: Superefficient Frankencrops Could Put a Real Dent in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  7. Carbon Trading Doesn’t Work: Carbon Credits Were a Great Idea, But the Benefits Are Illusory
  8. Embrace Nuclear Power: Face It. Nukes Are the Most Climate-Friendly Industrial-Scale Form of Energy
  9. Used Cars — Not Hybrids: Don’t Buy That New Prius! Test-Drive a Used Car Instead
  10. Prepare for the Worst: Climate Change Is Inevitable. Get Used to It

In my opinion, there are many legitimate environmental concerns that are being obscured by activism. We need a more honest and practical approach to these issues. This means conducting a rational debate over the issues, not publicity stunts.

Or do you agree with Al Gore that, “the debate is over?”

What kind of -Green- is Al Gore talking about?

I find the following article slightly concerning (I’ve trimmed some from this article for brevity so if you have the time, be sure to go here and read the full thing):

Gore Financially Invested in Climate Cause
By Fred Lucas
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
May 14, 2008

(CNSNews.com) – Weeks before announcing a $300-million, three-year advertising campaign to raise awareness about global warming, Al Gore was conducting a slide show for a group of investors in Monterey, Calif., touting companies such as Bloom Energy, Amryis , Mascoma and other firms that are not household names — yet.

These bio-fuel and green technology firms could be poised to take off, Gore told his audience.

“Here are just a few of the investments I personally think make sense,” he said during the March 1 presentation. “I have a stake in these so I’ll have a disclaimer there.” (See Video)

Gore’s admitted stake in those companies comes from his partnership in the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Gore joined the firm last November, forging a partnership between KPCB and the London-based Generation Investment Management, a firm Gore chairs, and which steers investments in green and “sustainable” companies.

This month, KPCB announced it has invested $500 million into start-up “green growth” companies, and another $700 million into more established greentech, information technology and life science ventures.

The seed money is intended to “grow” the companies so they can be publicly traded. Both funds are closed to further investment. Last week, Generation Investment Management reportedly closed a $683-million “Climate Solutions Fund” to further investment.

The firms, with similar goals, differ in that GIM focuses mostly on public equities, while KPCB focuses on startup or expanding companies that haven’t gone public yet.

But without government action on climate change, some business analysts say green companies backed by KPCB are either unlikely to be profitable or that their growth will be slow.

To Gore’s critics, his financial stake in businesses that could profit from government policies designed to fight global warming demonstrates a motivation other than a selfless desire to protect the planet.

Gore has lobbied Congress and state governments to enact bolder environmental regulations. Gore’s defenders counter that he and his partners are simply looking at companies that will have long-term sustainability during the “climate crisis.”

“There are a bunch of folks that stand to make real money, who have invested a lot in companies that are not worth real money until the agenda that this ad campaign is advocating is achieved,” Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-enterprise think tank, said in an interview.

Companies in the KPCB portfolio, as start-up companies, might be in greater need of a helping hand from government policy changes, but the larger, more established firms in the GIM portfolio also could benefit if the government manipulates the current market by mandating alternative fuels or imposing a cap and trade system.

As a private citizen, Gore is not required to publicly disclose how much of his personal fortune is invested in the venture capital firm. KPCB spokeswoman Brianna Woon declined to say how much Gore had invested in the firms, and she said the firms couldn’t comment at this time on whether the greentech companies can succeed without government action.

Lack of government action could delay profits, but the free market is nonetheless moving toward clean energy on its own, said Gary Patterson, an analyst with the Fiscal Doctor Inc., of Wellesley, Mass. He predicts a good return for the venture capital firm’s green investments.

“It would be very helpful if you have government initiative. Without it, it will take longer for these to be economically viable,” Patterson told Cybercast News Service

However, Bert Ely, a financial analyst with Ely & Associates of Alexandria, Va., is skeptical that the kind of green investment portfolio Gore is advocating can be profitable without government action. History has shown green companies to be risky ventures, he says 

“Wind power, solar and bio-fuels all operate on tax subsidies or purchase requirements,” Ely told Cybercast News Service. “The government stimulates demand. The most notorious subsidy is the 51 cent gas credit for ethanol.”

“To the extent that you got some kind of government mandate here, whether it is cap-and-trade or a purchasing requirement, a taxpayer subsidy, to me that’s a dicey way to look for a return on a venture because what the government giveth it can taketh away — and often does,” Ely said. “You’re making a political bet, not an economic bet.”

(A cap and trade system would set limits on the amount of carbon a company can emit. The limits are called a “cap.” If a company has to exceed the limit, it would be allowed to buy credits from companies that pollute less. This transfer would be the “trade.”)

In public statements, KPCB has pointed to the likelihood of new government policies as a selling point for investors. 

“The growing sense of global urgency over our twin crisis — climate change and energy security — is now driving businesses to become green, consumers to demand green and policy makers to drive policies to accelerate the market adoption of green products,” KPCB partner John Denniston said in a May 1 statement announcing the new ventures. 

James Ritterbusch, a petroleum analyst and president of Galena, Ill.-based Ritterbusch & Associates, is skeptical about the ability of the green firms to succeed without government help. 

“It would be a challenge,” Ritterbusch told Cybercast News Service . “Ethanol would be a model. It was very difficult for ethanol to make inroads at all. Without a subsidy, it’s an uphill battle.”

[...]

Green business ‘will make money’

Last November KPCB and Generation Investment Management announced a “global collaboration to find, fund and accelerate green businesses, technology and policy solutions with the greatest potential to help solve the current climate crisis.”

When Gore joined KPCB as a partner, KCPB’s John Doerr joined the Generation Investment Management advisory board. 

GIM’s long-term strategy for investing goes further than environmental factors, said company spokesman Richard Campbell. He said other sustainability factors, such as corporate governance and staff retention, also play a role. 

“It’s too simple to say that. It’s just too simplistic. Generation’s success is not based on a cap and trade system in the U.S.,” Campbell told Cybercast News Service

“I don’t think you can read anything into Al Gore’s campaign to make people understand the severity of the climate crisis for the last few decades with the performance of the fund management business that he chairs,” Campbell continued.

The GIM portfolio includes investments in firms such as Johnson Controls, which could profit from the battery systems for low-carbon emissions vehicles in the future. It also includes General Electric, which has teamed with the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), an alliance promoting a cap and trade system to the United States.

Campbell said the purpose of GIM is to make money for its investors, and anticipating the climate crisis is one way of doing that.

“Generation believes that the climate crisis will have an enormous impact on financial services, will have an enormous impact on business,” Campbell continued. “Those businesses that are best able to take advantage of the opportunity for climate change will make money and those business that aren’t ready to face up to the challenges of the climate crisis will lose money. That is the basic premise about long term investment.”

Other companies in the Generation portfolio are Metabolix, a firm that develops bio-plastics, and alternative fuels; Waters Inc., a laboratory company that provides products for health care delivery, environmental management food safety and water quality; and Techne Corporation, which manufactures biological products. 

“He’s already in the global warming business,” Matthew Vadum told Cybercast News Service . Vadum is a research associate for the Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank that has investigated Gore’s financial interests in the global warming movement. “I believe Al Gore is a true believer, but he also is a smart businessman.”

========

Here are my closing thoughts. I have absolutely no problem with folks making money through smart investments. However, in essence – Gore  is using environmental concerns to force you (through government taxation) to subsidize companies he has invested in, thus making them artificially successful. In my opinion, this is gaming the system. (If you believe in 90% of the plots from Hollywood movies, this is only something that evil corporations do, such as oil companies and gun manufacturers.)

Meanwhile, Gore has been claiming that the “debate is over” with regards to anthropomorphic global warming. Doesn’t that seem at least a little convenient?

With that in mind, consider this article from just the other day:

Energy Guzzled by Al Gore’s Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month 
Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations 

NASHVILLE - In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. 

“A man’s commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home,” said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.” 

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month. 

In February 2007, An Inconvenient Truth, a film based on a climate change speech developed by Gore, won an Academy Award for best documentary feature. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research uncovered that Gore’s Nashville home guzzled 20 times more electricity than the average American household. 

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s massive home energy use, the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul. 

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration. 

In the wake of becoming the most well-known global warming alarmist, Gore won an Oscar, a Grammy and the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gore saw his personal wealth increase by an estimated $100 million thanks largely to speaking fees and investments related to global warming hysteria. 

“Actions speak louder than words, and Gore’s actions prove that he views climate change not as a serious problem, but as a money-making opportunity,” Johnson said. “Gore is exploiting the public’s concern about the environment to line his pockets and enhance his profile.”  

A Global Warming Tutorial

I think that this should be a required tutorial for anyone, especially media personalities, before they are allowed to discuss anthropomorphic global warming (now often simply called ‘climate change’ – because it turns out the earth wasn’t warming like they thought.)

The reason that this should be required is because it is a widely held view that all scientist are in agreement that man is responsible for causing drastic, dangerous, and irreparable damage to the earths climate.

This just isn’t the case.

Here are five tests concerning the hypothesis that there is “dangerous human-caused global warming” occurring – presented by Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia:

  1. Has global temperature warmed over the last few years?
  2. Is today’s global temperature unnaturally high?
  3. Does CO2 output correlate with temperature change?
  4. Does CO2 lead or lag temperature change?
  5. Does the pattern of temperature change match theoretical predictions of greenhouse warming?

Video responses to these questions follows:

Original videos moved. Here are the four parts from a different lecture (same guy) that also answer the 5 questions above. Just listen to them if you cannot watch.

Do these tests definitely prove there is no such thing as anthropomorphic global warming? No. But they at least present a fairly strong argument that there isn’t a scientific consensus. In other words, the science is not ‘closed.

Note that this is not an argument against conserving energy and being less wasteful. I think those are great things. However – I strongly oppose being forced to do something by the government based on junk science. 

I’ve posted much about this topic. Here are some links. I am not, in any way, asking you to 100% agree. But please at least consider these arguments:

[ht:nb]

 

Green vs. Reality

The problem with BioFuels and Ethanol:

Allow me to re-print this Steyn Quote:

The biofuels debacle is global warm-mongering in a nutshell: The first victims of poseur environmentalism will always be developing countries. In order for you to put biofuel in your Prius and feel good about yourself for no reason, real actual people in faraway places have to starve to death.

[...]

Whether or not there’s very slight global cooling or very slight global warming, there’s no need for a “war” on either, no rationale for loosing a plague of eco-locusts on the food supply. So why be surprised that totalitarian solutions to mythical problems wind up causing real devastation? As for Time’s tree, by all means put it up: It helps block out the view of starving peasants on the far horizon.

-Mark Steyn

I wrote a much lengthier post about this quite a while back (long before people were talking about food shortages) called Green Conservatism. Please read it. We need to come up with realistic practical solutions to our energy problems. 

 

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