Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wind Turbines; Unequiped Coal-fired Power; Upton's Energy & Commerce Powers; Human Excrement as Fertilizer; China's Environmental Damage

(Please note that at the bottom of each blog is the symbol "M", to be used to email this material on to others.)

The UK Daily Mail writes: How much electricity do Britain’s 3,150 wind ­turbines supply to the ­National Grid?  Yesterday afternoon, the figure was just 1.6 per cent, according to the official website of the wholesale electricity market.
Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.
It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.
Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be switched off altogether to prevent damage.
To make matters worse, there is no way of storing the electricity generated on the rare occasions when they are working.
Yet the Government is ploughing ahead with plans to erect 12,500 of these War Of The Worlds windmills in the sea and across our green and pleasant. Some of them will be up to three times the size of the present structures.
Read more:
From the LA Times: BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Along a stretch of Highway 21, in a pastoral, hilly region of Texas, is a vegetative wasteland. Trees are barren, or covered in gray, dying foliage and peeling bark. Fallen, dead limbs litter the ground where pecan growers and ranchers have watched trees die slow, agonizing deaths.

Visible above the horizon is what many plant specialists, environmentalists and scientists believe to be the culprit: the Fayette Power Project — a coal-fired power plant for nearly 30 years has operated mostly without equipment designed to decrease emissions of sulfur dioxide, a component of acid rain. [Wouldn't it seem prudent to use our government resources to aid in providing the equipment that decreases these emission, instead of using funds to create windmills and ethanol, both of which harm the food supply or the environment?  This speaks to aiding our environment while continuing to provide needed power.],0,4272967.story
National Journal reports: Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. is ready for battle.
The incoming Energy and Commerce chairman, who has accused the Environmental Protection Agency of impeding economic recovery with its new climate-change rules, aims to block the agency’s planned regulations, or at least delay them in Congress next year.
“The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright,” Upton argued in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (subscriber) that appeared today, written with Tim Phillips of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
“If Democrats refuse to join Republicans in doing so, then they should at least join a sensible bipartisan compromise to mandate that the EPA delay its regulations until the courts complete their examination of the agency's endangerment finding and proposed rules," the op-ed said.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ writes: Shops selling human excrement began operating in North Korea this year, as acute shortages of fertiliser in the sanctions-wracked country put a price on faeces, an analyst said. Aid groups have said human waste has long been used on domestic crops in the impoverished communist state, but there is now a trade in the readily available commodity, a North Korea analyst told a seminar at a South Korean university. "Each household used to use human excrement as fertiliser. But because it's hard to keep up with the amount, 'human manure' shops showed up at markets,"
The UK Guardian writes: China's economic growth is inflicting more than a trillion yuan's worth of damage on its environment each year, according to a government report that increases pressure on planners to slow the breakneck speed of development. In one of the longest-term accountings of ecological degradation, the China academy for environmental planning calculated that the cost of pollution spills, deteriorating soil, vanishing wetlands, and other impacts surged to 1.3tr yuan (£130bn) in 2008. This was equivalent to 3.9% of the country's GDP. (Snip) The central government has increased efforts to clean up the nation's notoriously filthy air and contaminated water, but the report's authors – who are affiliated to the Ministry of Environmental Protection – say the cost of pollution spills and other environmental damage rose by more than 74.8% in the five years up to 2008.

1 comment:

  1. A ruling by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that details both the threat of “a prisoner of its energy dilemma” as long as Saddam Hussein was in up oil spills or other environmental damage at oil facilities;waste, wildlife and water-related problems, including a turbine .
    Don Blankenship