Thursday, February 17, 2011

Obama's Clean Energy; Dead Birds Were Poisoned; 43 Fellows Complain to the Royal Society; Restoring New Orleans' Marshes; Keystone Pipeline; Oops - IPCC Wrong Again

“Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all — and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.” — Barack Obama
Daily Caller opines: Folks, you are being treated like infants — while you are being robbed. Windmills and solar panels are not “innovative”; they exist only because some politicians have made icons of them and are wedded to them as a result.
The answer to that drivel is not only that being new does not in any way mean a company needs welfare but also: if your company can’t survive without government subsidies, then go bankrupt. After all, the truth is that they’ll go bankrupt even if we do give them that wealth transfer.
Read more:
A South Dakota TV News reports: It happened in places like Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky. Hundreds of birds mysteriously found dead.
Folks in Yankton, South Dakota, thought they were being added to the list after hundreds of dead birds were found there on Monday.  Turns out the unpleasant feathered discovery has a solid explanation.  They were poisoned.
Some had thought 200 starlings found dead in Yankton's Riverside park had frozen to death. But they were actually poisoned on purpose, by the US Department of Agriculture.
They say a local farmer had been having troubles with about 5,000 starlings defecating in his feed meal. Department of Ag officials say because of health concerns for the farmer's animals and staff they decided to kill the birds. [You mean they actually put the health of cows and human beings above the lives of starlings?]

The UK Telegraph writes:  As I’ve reported before, the Warmist bias of the Royal Society has become such a standing joke that last year 43 of its fellows wrote in to complain. Under its two previous presidents, Lord May and Lord Rees, it has tossed aside its traditions of lofty neutrality and eagerly embraced a new role as political activist for the green lobby 
The Boston Globe writes: For years, coastal scientists have been saying that the best way to protect New Orleans from hurricanes is to restore Louisiana’s marshes so they can tampen down hurricane-generated storm surges. Researchers have calculated that every mile of healthy marsh reduces storm surges by a foot. In other words, if Louisiana had allowed its marshes to grow naturally for the past 75 years, the storm surge generated by hurricane Katrina would have never broken New Orleans’ levees and flooded the city.
While there are no guarantees, it is clear that this is probably Louisiana’s last and best chance to repair her ravaged shoreline, and not a moment too soon. It is only a matter of time before the next Katrina bears down on this low-lying and vulnerable coast.
The Washington Post writes: A massive feat of engineering by any measure, the Keystone pipeline expansion project would transport crude oil close to 1,700 miles from "oil sands" in the icy reaches of Hardisty, Alberta, down through the Great Plains to the refineries of Port Arthur, Tex. In doing so, the giant pipe also promises to allay some fears about U.S. energy security: The oil will come from a trusted ally, and its cross-continental path avoids visions of another deep-sea drilling disaster.
On one hand the move to extend TransCanada's existing pipeline - which runs from Hardisty to the Illinois towns of Wood River and Patoka and has a daily capacity of 435,000 barrels - offers obvious benefits. The extension will generate 13,000 construction and 7,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States over roughly two years, according to the company, and could transport as much as 500,000 additional barrels of oil a day. It also could help stabilize electricity prices for several rural co-ops along the route.
. The process consumes more energy and water than most conventional drilling methods, can require clear-cuts of forests and creates tailings that can pollute nearby waterways.
When I think of the State Department I think of many things they do well," said Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.). "But I would tell you, siting pipelines is not anything I would think of when I think of State Department expertise."
The UK Guardian writes: One paragraph, buried in 3,000 pages of reports and published almost three years ago, has humbled the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Facing global outcry, Rajendra Pachauri backed down and apologised today for a disputed IPCC claim that there was a very high chance the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035.
The assertion, now discredited, was included in the most recent IPCC report assessing climate change science, ­published in 2007. Those reports are widely credited with convincing the world that human activity was causing global warming.
But Pachauri admitted in an IPCC statement (pdf) that in this case "the clear and well-established standards of evidence required by the IPCC procedures were not applied properly", and "poorly substantiated estimates" of the speed of glacier melting had made it into print.
Glaciologists who spoke to the Guardian say Himalayan glaciers contain so much ice it will be 300 years before it vanishes. [I dare say that would be true only if this planet does not have another Ice Age.]

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