environment


Imagine that. Scientists doing empirical work:

“The researchers say that their empirical findings (note empirical – as opposed to models on a computer) prove…”

A scientific study on the results of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill has yielded some surprising results that appear to disprove fears of methane release as a global warming “tipping point” to catastrophic warming. The theory as currently incorporated by most climate models requires “tipping points” to go from mild anthropogenic warming to catastrophic global warming. The most plausibleand significant of these potential tipping points has always … Read More

via hauntingthelibrary

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John Droz Jr. has posted a couple of brilliant little videos on MasterResource highlighting some very pertinent questions about the efficacy of wind as a source of energy.

Part 1: Dick & Jane Talk Wind Power

I found the rejoinder “compared to what?” a very effective method of countering the green mumbo jumbo that is often spouted by wind supporters. Though well meaning, they seem completely oblivious to the fact that their simplistic arguments in favour of wind do not hold up to scrutiny. Nor do they recognize that they are mindlessly repeating the talking points of self-interested green promoters. In this, Big Wind is little different from Big Oil.

Part 2: Jane Speaks With Her Town Representative

In this video, I like the way Jane turns the tables on wind developers. It should not be up to the citizen to prove the shortcomings of a particular wind project, but for the developers to prove its benefits. Of course, in the absence of any objective scientific study on the costs and benefits of wind power, the wind industry is understandably loath to go down this path. But that should not stop citizens from demanding it.

As a Canadian living in Canada, I’ve always thought that concern over global warming was misplaced. So what if it went up a few degrees. Overall, life in our northern climate might actually be more pleasant.

In a new book, The World In 2050, Lawrence C. Smith considers the upside for Canada:

By the year 2050 Canada could be enjoying newfound status as a global superpower blessed with a developed north, plenty of fresh water, a growing population and new shipping lanes through the Arctic.

That’s the theory put forward in Laurence C. Smith’s new book “The World in 2050” — a scientific exploration of the effects of climate change over the next 40 years.

According to Smith’s 40-year projection, global warming will free up northern natural resources such as oil, gas and water. That in turn will attract immigrants and lead to new infrastructure and development for northern rim countries — NORCs, as he calls them — at a time when southern countries will be running out of resources and seeing their populations fall.

Of course, the underlying climate alarmist scenario in the book portends disaster for other parts of the world. But if this is the case, why should Canada actually pay to address the issue while forgoing these potential benefits? Maybe the other parts of the world should be paying us.

The disconnect between economics and the environment is a common theme among the schemes promoted by environmentalists and politicians. Take curbside recycling:

Unlike commercial and industrial recycling — a thriving voluntary market that annually salvages tens of millions of tons of metal, paper, glass, and plastic — mandatory household recycling is a money loser. Cost studies show that curbside recycling can cost, on average, 60 percent more per ton than conventional garbage disposal…

“There is not a community curbside recycling program in the United States that covers its cost,’’ says Jay Lehr, science director at the Heartland Institute and author of a handbook on environmental science. They exist primarily to make people “feel warm and fuzzy about what they are doing for the environment.’’

Voters evidently support this stuff since the guys that propose it seem to get re-elected. It is ironic though that caring about the environment is reduced to just another consumer good, one that is actually forced upon us by politicians and environmentalists. I thought consumerism was what environmentalists abhor.

Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein notes that circumstance, not principle, is the primary factor behind the respective stances of different states with respect to climate change. Of course, that doesn’t stop a fair amount of hypocrisy along the way.

What’s preternaturally stupid is to buy into the perpetual bitching of environmentalists that our per capita emissions are among the highest in the world, as if every Canadian was running around setting oil fires.

We live in a big, cold, northern, developed, sparsely-populated, oil-producing country, where the energy requirements for electricity generation, heat and travel alone are enormous compared to other nations.

That’s why our per capita emissions are high, not because we’re evil.

Which brings us to the Kyoto accord, a deal designed mainly by European drafters to punish a big, cold, northern, developed, sparsely-populated, oil-producing country like Canada, while rewarding an environmental basket case like Russia.

Actually, the main intent of Kyoto was to hobble the U.S. economy, but the Americans weren’t dumb enough to ratify it.

Our previous Liberal government was, and the only feeling Canadians should have about that is not shame over failing to implement Kyoto, but anger the vainglorious Jean Chretien ratified it, either because he didn’t know what he was doing, or did know and never intended to implement it beyond posing for the photo-op.

Read the rest.

Matt Patterson notes Al Gore’s shrinking influence in the Washington Times Post:

The fortunes of Mr. Gore’s global-warming crusade certainly are in decline: A recent Rasmussen poll found that just 34 percent of respondents “feel human activity is the main contributor” to global warming and that the percentage of those who consider global warming a “serious issue” has “trended down slightly since last November.”

Mr. Gore himself is to blame for at least some of the public backlash against global-warming orthodoxy: Using bad science to justify bad policy will inevitably rub people the wrong way. And Mr. Gore has not helped his cause by consistently expressing outrageous falsehoods (“the debate is over”) and shamelessly trying to shield his assertions from legitimate criticism by claiming “settled science.” All the while, he has enriched himself and pushed a left-wing economic agenda.

Do Nobel Prizes come with a best before date?

 

The Economist points out one of the paradoxes of energy efficiency:

Solid-state lamps, which use souped-up versions of the light-emitting diodes that shine from the faces of digital clocks and flash irritatingly on the front panels of audio and video equipment, will indeed make lighting better. But precedent suggests that this will serve merely to increase the demand for light. The consequence may not be just more light for the same amount of energy, but an actual increase in energy consumption, rather than the decrease hoped for by those promoting new forms of lighting.

The light perceived by the human eye is measured in units called lumen-hours. This is about the amount produced by burning a candle for an hour. In 1700 a typical Briton consumed 580 lumen-hours in the course of a year, from candles, wood and oil. Today, burning electric lights, he uses about 46 megalumen-hours—almost 100,000 times as much. Better technology has stimulated demand, resulting in more energy being purchased for conversion into light.

This phenomenon is known as the rebound effect or Jevon’s paradox. Saving the environment is not as easy as it seems.

Source: Marc Roberts Cartoons

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