Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hansen on Climate

NYT op-ed yesterday:
Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk.

That is the long-term outlook. But near-term, things will be bad enough. Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Economic losses would be incalculable. More and more of the Midwest would be a dust bowl. California’s Central Valley could no longer be irrigated. Food prices would rise to unprecedented levels.

If this sounds apocalyptic, it is. This is why we need to reduce emissions dramatically. President Obama has the power not only to deny tar sands oil additional access to Gulf Coast refining, which Canada desires in part for export markets, but also to encourage economic incentives to leave tar sands and other dirty fuels in the ground.
The near-term picture will not be influenced very much by particular choices on the tar-sands (though the long-term certainly will). Still, Hansen is a first rate scientist and not to be ignored lightly. Those are indeed pretty apocalyptic predictions.

Update (5/11/12): Andy Revkin solicited some dissenting views from other scientists here.

OPEC: Global Fuel Supply Flat in April (plus Europe)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Republicans against Small Government and Market Discipline

This is just an amusing footnote to my post the other day about how my local coal power plant is shut down:
In an effort to keep AES Cayuga open, the bankrupt coal-fired power plant in Lansing, Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County, purposed legislation Tuesday to aid the plant.

AES Cayuga has not produced power since early March because it cannot compete with power plants using lower cost natural gas, AES Cayuga Plant Manager Jerry Goodenough told The Journal last week.

This proposed legislation, titled S.6842, recommends the establishment of a power purchase agreement with the New York State Power Authority. The legislation would ensure that the AES Cayuga plant reopens and remains operational for a minimum of three years.

Under the legislation, energy purchased from the AES Cayuga plant would be directed to supplement the state's ReCharge NY program. The ReCharge NY program allocates low-cost power to New York State employers.

The plant filed for bankruptcy in Dec. 2011 citing persistent adverse conditions in the New York power generation market. The company has sustained losses of tens of millions of dollars since 2010.
Emphasis mine.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012