Controversy on CFL bulbs.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Posted by Kaks at 11:29 AM 0 comments  

Carbon Chastity

Friday, June 13, 2008

The First Commandment of the Church of the Environment.

June 12, 2008

I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking nonsense.

Predictions of catastrophe depend on models. Models depend on assumptions about complex planetary systems—from ocean currents to cloud formation—that no one fully understands. Which is why the models are inherently flawed and forever changing. The doomsday scenarios posit a cascade of events, each with a certain probability. The multiple improbability of their simultaneous occurrence renders all such predictions entirely speculative.

Yet on the basis of this speculation, environmental activists, attended by compliant scientists and opportunistic politicians, are advocating radical economic and social regulation. "The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity," warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism."

If you doubt the arrogance, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate to be over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown by Einstein and leading physicists, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming—infinitely more untested, complex, and speculative—is a closed issue.

But declaring it closed has its rewards. It not only dismisses skeptics as the running dogs of reaction, that is, of Exxon, Cheney, and now Klaus. By fiat, it also hugely re-empowers the intellectual left.

For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class—social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies—arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).

Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher's England to Deng's China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history.

Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation—environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but—even better—in the name of Earth itself.

Environmentalists are Gaia's priests, instructing us in her proper service and casting out those who refuse to genuflect. (See Newsweek.) Having proclaimed the ultimate commandment—carbon chastity—they are preparing the supporting canonical legislation that will tell you how much you can travel, what kind of light you will read by, and at what temperature you may set your bedroom thermostat.

On May 26, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane, or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.

There's no greater social power than the power to ration. Other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

So what does the global warming agnostic propose as an alternative? First, more research—untainted and reliable—to determine (a) whether the carbon footprint of humanity is or is not lost among the massive natural forces (from sunspot activity to ocean currents) that affect climate, and (b) if the human effect is indeed significant, whether the planetary climate system has the homeostatic mechanisms (like the feedback loops in the human body, for example) with which to compensate.

Second, reduce our carbon footprint in the interim by doing the doable, rather than the economically ruinous and socially destructive. The most obvious step is a major move to nuclear power, which to the atmosphere is the cleanest of the clean.

But your would-be masters have foreseen this contingency. The Church of the Environment promulgates secondary dogmas as well. One of these is a strict nuclear taboo.

Rather convenient, is it not? Take this major coal-substituting fix off the table, and we will be rationing all the more. Guess who does the rationing? &

Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for the Washington Post. Read more on this article...

DOE Signs Agreement with Wind Energy Industry Leaders, Aims at 20% Electrical Generation by 2030

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

HOUSTON, TX. — On June 2, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Alexander Karsner, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOE and six leading wind industry turbine manufacturers: GE Energy, Siemens Power Generation, Vestas Wind Systems, Clipper Turbine Works, Suzlon Energy, and Gamesa Corporation. This two year collaboration aims to promote wind energy in the United States through advanced technology research and development and siting strategies to advance industrial wind power manufacturing capabilities.

"The MOU between DOE and the six major turbine manufacturers demonstrates the shared commitment of the federal government and the private sector to create the roadmap necessary to achieve 20% wind energy by 2030," Assistant Secretary Karsner said. "To dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our energy security, clean power generation at the gigawatt-scale will be necessary to expand the domestic wind manufacturing base and streamline the permitting process." Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 2:08 PM 0 comments  

Should you be alive today?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Posted by Kaks at 3:41 AM 0 comments  

Melting Asia

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In the past couple of years, Chinese officials have begun sounding like converts to the climate-change cause. In late 2006 12 ministries helped produce a 415-page report on the impact of global warming. It foresees a 5-10% reduction in agricultural output by 2030 (a shift from previous thinking on this among Chinese academics which held that global warming might benefit agriculture overall); more droughts, floods, typhoons and sandstorms; a 40% increase in the population threatened by plague. The report also admits the possibility of damage to the Tibetan railway. Last year China published its first policy document on climate change, admitting that coping with global warming presented “severe challenges”.

China also now admits its own contribution to the problem. Officials reacted frostily last year when the International Energy Agency, a rich-country think-tank, said China would overtake America as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007 or 2008. But the Chinese commerce ministry's website now carries, without negative comment, an article from April this year quoting University of California researchers saying China is already number one.

The impact of climate change on India, a hotter and poorer country, is likely to be worse. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, India's agriculture will suffer more than any other country's. Assuming a global temperature increase of 4.4°C over cultivated areas by 2080, India's agricultural output is projected to fall by 30-40%.

Yet India's response to this doomful scenario has been, at best, haphazard. For example, it has made only occasional studies of 11 Himalayan glaciers. It has also shown little concern for the regional political crisis that climate change threatens. As sea-levels rise, for example, the IPCC warns that 35m refugees could flee Bangladesh's flooded delta by 2050. Yet even in India, attitudes are changing.

Read more: Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 11:05 AM 0 comments  

India oil price hike

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The ministry’s decision to hike the oil price will not have any particular impact on a section of automobile users — the owners of LPG-run vehicles.

The price of auto-LPG in the country is not subsidised by the Government and is being governed by international prices, said Mr Suyash Gupta, General, Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IAC), industry body of auto-LPG suppliers.

Although the auto-LPG, is not being subsidised, its price/litre remains about Rs 15 lesser than petrol, while it is almost equal to or a little less than that of diesel in many Indian cities. The auto-LPG users are still in an advantageous position due to the substantial gain in running cost resulting from better fuel efficiency. The running cost is cut down up to 60 per cent, says the IAC Web Site.

Suzuki is launching the LPG version of M800 this month. Hyundai will launch LPG-Santro and Accent, while planning to launch an LPG variant of i10 next year.

Tata Motors launched the LPG-Indica a fortnight ago.

“The success of Wagon R Duo has proved that there is a huge market for vehicles fitted with LPG kits. As LPG becomes more available we are sure to see more OEM’s launching their LPG variants. Rising cost of fuel is another factor. We could see as much as 10 per cent of all new cars coming fitted with LPG/CNG fuel systems in the next three-five years,” said Mr N.K. Minda, Managing Director of Minda Auto Gas, the company that provides LPG kits to OEMs including Maruti Suzuki.
Read more on this article...

Posted by Kaks at 11:53 AM 0 comments