$467 Million for Solar and Geothermal

obama-green

Congratulations to the president for making a good decision, he has done some things well and other poorly but this is a good step.

For one, these are the two alternative energy sources that have by far the most potential.  Ignoring investment into bio-fuels and wind is very smart.

Also the bulk of the money goes towards research and development, which is important because this will allow us to perfect the technologies before putting them into widespread use.

$350 million for geothermal shows great foresight as, in my opinion anyway, this is truly a source of unlimited dependable energy.

Many will probably aygrue that this money would be better spent on some other part of the economy and as someone who has been laid off due to this recession I can understand the point.  However, this constitutes a very small chunk of the overall stimulus package and if you don’t think long term, you’re doomed to live in the past.

Plus I plan on having kids and I know they will benifit from this even if I don’t see the results anytime soon.

Managed relocation of endangered wildlife

usa elephants

This is a debate that has become more relevant as more and more people get freaked out about all the species that are being killed indirectly by people.

I say why not?

If Asian elephants are being poached or if most of china’s air and water is fairly poisonous, send them to South Dakota. Nature is nothing if not adaptable though it does seem impossible to predict what would happen, some cases of invasive species are quite nasty.

We killed a lot of animals in this country, Teddy Roosevelt shot one of each and put them in the Smithsonian and way before that Native Americans killed all the animals of any large size in North and South America.  Now we have a lot of empty spaces that are devoid of large animals and since grazing generally improves the quality of the ecosystem over time, it could be beneficial to the American landscape as well as to the animals.

elephant-around-world

Bio-Fuels are bad part 3: Ethanol

ethanol is bad

In addition to causing more green house emissions in the process of creating ethanol from corn and not getting better gas mileage, apparently ethanol causes expensive damage to engines, the fuel pump in particular.  Which makes perfect sense considering that alcohol can be corrosive to plastic and rubber.

So when you see a picture of corn on the side of the gas pump, it’s a bad sign.

Detailed Article

John Adams was a smart man

unite_or_die

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.

-John Adams

Why burning carbon is bad, Chaos Theory and Laws of Thermodynamics

entropy

Givens:

The Earth is a closed system exposed to radiation.

  • Second law of thermodynamics, about entropy:
The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value or equilibrium.
  • First law of thermodynamics, about the conservation of energy:
The change in the internal energy of a closed thermodynamic system is equal to the sum of the amount of heat energy supplied to the system and the work done on the system.

A Basic Explanation of Chaos Theory:  This is a mathematical theorem that attempts to predict the behavior (results) of complex systems.  The result (answer) is K, which is a range of values not an actual number.  The greater the number of variables, the larger the value of K.  In a system with an infinite number of variables or a system where a large proportion of the variables are unknown, K is also undefinable.

Chaos Theory is the backbone of climate modeling.

Preliminary Conclusions:

Climate Modeling is inherently inaccurate because the unknown variables are too many.

-The chemical composition of the Earth is drastically different than it has ever been before due to our proliferation of heavy elements.

–This means that models based on historical climate change are also invalid.

Hypothesis:

The equilibrium of the planet has been thrown out of balance due to human activity.

The system has had significant additional work done on it by human industrial and population growth, increasing the internal energy and entropy.

The accumulation of heavy elements in the atmosphere has caused a green house effect, whereby the system’s membrane has become less permeable in terms of heat transference while retaining the same degree of permeability in terms of ultraviolet radiation.

The One Conclusion:

The Earth is experiencing an increase in Heat and Entropy.

This does NOT mean anyone has any idea what will happen as a result, all we can do is takes informed steps to minimise the effects of the earth restoring it’s own equilibrium.

living_earth

The future of Exxon-Mobil

What will the giant oil companies of the world do when production declines and what will they do when the black gold runs out entirely?

If the Arctic continues it’s recessive trend, the Exxon-Mobils will have a brief stay of execution with new-found reserves in the former great white north, but then what?

They may use their drilling expertise to mine gas hydrates at the bottom of the ocean. I have mentioned that this is really a bad idea.

Exxon Mobil is the largest company in the world and something should be done with their equipment and employees, most of the companies are American owned anyway so we have a personal stake in the future of the oil companies…imagine having to bail them out!

So the solution is Geothermal.

I don’t know if I’ve commented on this before but I believe that Geothermal is the best renewable energy resource we have.

-It’s unlimited

-It’s constant

-Requires small overhead to convert heat energy to electric

—We have perfected the technology of drilling!

Ok maybe it’s not perfect but if there is any technology we have improved to the utmost, it’s oil drilling.  Bottom line; drilling a big hole is how we harness geothermal energy.

So there’s your future big oil, you make a profit no matter what the price per barrel but someday those barrels will be empty.

Geothermal_System_400

Top 50 renewable energy users

Some surprising ones like Pepsi, Dell, Whole Foods, Dannon are using 100% renewable energy.  This seems like a good business decision strictly in terms of long term business strategy.

Imagine the competitive advantage of having your transportation and distribution budgets not being dependent on the price of oil.

EPA Top Fifty

A short discussion of Cap and Trade

cap_and_trade_article
Emissions trading (or emission trading) is an administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. It is sometimes called cap and trade.
A central authority (usually a government or international body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or other groups are issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits) which represent the right to emit a specific amount. The total amount of allowances and credits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. The transfer of allowances is referred to as a trade. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed. Thus, in theory, those that can easily reduce emissions most cheaply will do so, achieving the pollution reduction at the lowest possible cost to society.
It’s not every day we get to invent a commodity…
TeamLDCO (6:46:36 PM): do you have a post about cap and trade anywhere in your blog?
IRAHit (6:48:59 PM): no
IRAHit (6:49:09 PM): that’s a good idea though
TeamLDCO (6:49:23 PM): are you for or against it?
IRAHit (6:50:39 PM): well it seems to be working in europe as another commodities market
TeamLDCO (6:50:53 PM): hmm
TeamLDCO (6:51:16 PM): then why do conservatives say its a failure if it’s working?
IRAHit (6:51:24 PM): but it might put the US at a disadvantage
IRAHit (6:51:37 PM): they say it won’t work in the states
IRAHit (6:52:38 PM): cause china india africa south america ain’t capping shit
IRAHit (6:53:39 PM): we could pay a heavy price for being green
IRAHit (6:53:58 PM): though in the long term it would pay off
TeamLDCO (6:54:14 PM): thats what i think too
TeamLDCO (6:54:30 PM): so republicans don’t want to pay the initial costs
IRAHit (6:56:02 PM): well they seem to have less of a concern about global warming
IRAHit (6:56:14 PM): but yeah basically
IRAHit (6:56:52 PM): when the oil runs out we will be glad we have a sustainable energy infrastructure
TeamLDCO (7:00:13 PM): and
TeamLDCO (7:00:17 PM): at the current pace
TeamLDCO (7:00:24 PM): oil will be gone in our children’s lifetime
IRAHit (7:00:59 PM): probably ours
TeamLDCO (7:01:07 PM): geez

Interactive renewable energy map

NRDC Map

This is an interesting little tool showing the potential energy of different parts of the US.

also more on this later but

“Several types of energy resources and specific technologies used to capture these resources claim to be renewable, despite either relying on dirty fossil fuel energy resources or creating other pollution hazards in the process. Following are three often-cited resources whose proponents claim are renewable but in fact they are not:

  • Coal waste from coal mining
  • Methane gas from coal mines
  • Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facilities, i.e. waste incineration”
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