Saturday, April 05, 2008


Bio-Fuels: Brought to you by the feel-good environmentalist. Bio-Fuels: increasing global warming, killing the oceans, destroying the rain forest, starving the hungry.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Jane Fonda Endorses Barack Obama;

There Goes the Crossover Vote.

Jane Fonda, the actress and ardent anti-Vietnam War advocate who visited North Vietnam during those hostilities, has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president.

There were no formal ceremonies for the endorsement. In fact, the Obama campaign may just be learning about the actress's approval now as word spreads like lit gunpowder via the Internet. (link)

My Comment: You should not judge a candidate by the people who endorse him. You can't always choose your supporters. Apparently Obama didn't seek this endorsement and if he is smart he will ignore it.

Given that at this point in the race there are only three choices, it is not surprising that Jane Fonda would endorse Obama. Of the three, Obama is the one promising an immediate pull out from Iraq and damn the consequences. I can see how that view would appeal to Jane Fonda.

There are people with whom I have a difference of opinion but still respect. There are very few public people who I truly detest. Jane Fonda is at the top of that short list. Most celebrities who say or do stupid things, I think should simply be ignored. Jane Fonda, however, I cannot forgive for her betrayal of America, her stab in the back of U.S servicemen, and her cheerleading for the North Vietnamese Communist.

I am generally a peace-loving, non-violent, forgiving type of guy. I hope no harm comes to Jane Fonda. However, if a deranged Vietnam vet was determined to assassinate a public figure and could not be talked out of it, and he was asking for nominations, I would not be disappointed if someone nominated Jane Fonda.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ethanol Worse than Gas in Causing Global Warming


“Politicians and Big Business are pushing biofuels like corn-based ethanol as alternative to oil. All they’re doing is driving up food price and making global warming worse- and your paying for it.” These sentences are on the cover of the most recent issue of Time magazine introducing an article entitled The Clean Energy Myth, written by Michael Grunwald.

Grunwald, who is a senior correspondent for Time magazine and has written extensively on environmental issues, examines the consequences of the increased use of ethanol and evaluates ethanol’s effect on global warming.

In the past decade, the US has quadrupled the production of ethanol and the recently passed energy bill mandates another five-fold increase. Grunwald quotes studies that show that the actual effect of the increase of the use of ethanol is that it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it.”

One way this is happening is that the push to produce more ethanol is resulting in clearing of the Amazon rain forest. When the rain forest is destroyed, the act of deforestation releases carbon emission and this deforestation accounts for 20% of all current carbon emissions.

In addition to making global warming worse, in the process we are also destroying the most ecologically diverse places on the earth at an alarmingly accelerated rate, not only in the Amazon but also in Indonesia and other places in the world.

Another point Grunwald makes is that producing fuel from corn provides only a modest gain in net fuel. It takes almost as much energy to create a BTU of energy from corn as is produced.

Other points he the article makes are these:
Only sugarcane-based ethanol is efficient enough to cut carbon emissions by more than it takes to produce the fuel. The rest of the “green fuels” are net carbon emitters.
The U. S. leads the world in corn and soybean production, but if 100% of both crops were turned into fuel, it produces only enough fuel to replace 20% of the gas consumption.

The author is unequivocal that “biofules aren’t part of the solution at all. They’re part of the problem.”

How in the world could we be so irrational as to be mandating ethanol in order to deal with global warming? That is like an alcoholic who switches from beer to bourbon to deal with his drinking problem. The evidence is clear, that as the author says, “we’re better off growing food and drilling for oil.”

It is not as if the truth about ethanol was not known before the new Congress passed the recent energy bill. Rational environmentalist knew this all along but ethanol is trendy and the feel-good environmentalist want it. The rational environmentalists are too few and too timid to counter the feel-good environmentalist and the activist of the environmental movement. The environmental community, with few exceptions, celebrated the passing of the recent energy bill by the newly elected Democratic Congress.

It is disheartening that we are pursuing a policy that is making global warming worse in the name of fighting global warming, but most politicians are willing to give stupid people what they want. The fact that the nations first Presidential nominating contest is in the corn-growing state of Iowa probably plays a roll in the popularity of ethanol also. Candidates for President, of both parties, pander to the Iowa voters by endorsing ethanol. In 2000, John McCain was the only politician with the courage to speak the truth about the folly of ethanol, but apparently McCain wants to be President more than he wants to tell the truth, so this time around he also jumped on the ethanol bandwagon.

I don’t see much hope for curtailing global warming. Everywhere you look, the only news about global warming is bad news. Lofty goals are not met, and the rate of carbon emission continues to grow. Rationality on the issue seems to be in short supply. On the one hand, you have the global warming deniers and on the other hand you have the feel-good enviournmentalist who are happy as long as we do “something” even it that something is worse than doing nothing.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Save Energy, Save Money, Save the Planet

The following exchange is from a posting on a yahoo chat group I belong to called "Climate Concern." Climate Concern is a good group for anyone concerned about the issue of global warming and environmental issues. The link to this group is to the left under "Conversation/Groups." A lot of rational, informed people contribute to this group and there are lot of interesting exchanges and links. Rather than write my original post, I am simply reposted the following exchange. Rod

Save Energy, Save Money, Save the Planet

I watched a wonderful program on PBS where a group in Cambridge made energy efficiency easy and widespread. You can watch it online from the link below:
Save Energy, Save Money, Save the Planet

Could a new effort to fight global warming save money and create jobs at the same time? NOW looks at a city-wide plan in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to make all its buildings more energy efficient. Up to 80 percent of emissions in many urban cities comes from buildings. Cambridge hopes that this unprecedented effort to green its buildings will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent in just five years, the equivalent of taking 33,000 cars off the road. If every major city in America took the same approach, it would have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of the United States —and it would generate tens of millions of new "

The Cambridge Energy Alliance, a nonprofit group, will help clients cut their energy use 15-30 percent, which translates into a lower utility bill. The Alliance will then help clients secure loans to pay for the building retrofits, loans designed to pay themselves off by the savings on those utility bills. Retrofitting thousands of buildings could also create a new green job market in Cambridge. It's a bold new experiment, but the Alliance hopes to become a national model that puts green thinking on display, as well as more green in people's pockets. Will this entrepreneurial effort bring new converts to the environmental movement?

Related Links:Cambridge Energy Alliance
U.S. Green Building Council: LEED Green Building Rating System
North Carolina State University: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
U.S. Dept. of Energy: A Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficieny and Renewable Energy
U.S. Dept. of Energy: Energy Efficient Building Technologies Program


Bob, I saw the same program it was great! I am a conservative who believes global warming is real. Empty symbolic gestures will not solve the problem of global warming. Cajoling or command and control will not do it. Trying to change peoples hearts will not do it. If preaching and trying to change hearts worked, after 2000 years of Christianity, Christian countries would not need policemen. To address global warming we must apply sound economic principles. This is a program that uses sound economics. The bottom line works. Those environmentalist who deny the truth of economics are no better than those who deny the truth of global warming. This program in Cambridge is the kind of program than can work because it makes economic sense. The consumer can do good for the world while doing good for their pocketbook. I am reposting your post on my blog. I was going to post this info anyway, but you have done the work for me.

Thanks, Rod

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