Of course, from XKCD.
(Click image to see bigger picture. Hat tip to Carl Safina for the joke.)
No tanker trucks needed, no pipelines, no roads, no utilities, no security forces to defend them, and no government back-room-deals with oil and gas companies.
Hat tip to Eco inventos for the original inspiration.
This is an extension of Eli Rabett’s earlier piece.
Eli Rabett offers a sobering post.
(Click image for larger picture.)
That’s from Solomon, Plattner, Knutti, and Friedlingstein, PNAS, 2009, “Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions”.
Originally posted on Peter G Knight:
A great deal has been written in the last few years about so-called “imposter syndrome” – the feeling experienced by many young academics that somehow they don’t really belong in their new role as a lecturer and that somehow they should never have been allowed to make the step up from being a student. The fear is that you are not good enough, that you don’t deserve this, that you won’t cope and that you will in due course be found out and exposed. There are books about it. There’s a TED Talk about it. Seeing what has already been written makes me feel like an imposter even thinking about writing this post.
If you are in that situation I have two pieces of advice to get you started:
View original 812 more words
We fully expect utilities and regulators to make a good faith effort to preserve the status quo “regulatory compact,” whereby the monopoly utility provides a safe and reliable service and regulators allow it to earn a reasonable low-risk return. However, we also expect them to be playing a constant game of catch-up as solar develops. The costs of solar and storage technologies are falling quickly and may fall even faster as higher demand builds additional scale. But the cost of distribution grids and thermally generated power are more likely to rise than to fall, in our view. As a result, regulators and utilities will be constantly trying to respond to a moving target, which is precisely the environment where slow-moving incumbents can fall behind.
This is from Barclays, not exactly a bastion of left-wing environmental progressivism. It means, Investors: Pay Attention.
It’s a nice companion to Bloomberg’s Why the U.S. Power Grid’s Days Are Numbered, subtitled “Homegrown green energy is making power utilities irrelevant”. Sure, green energy has a long way to go. But this is exponential growth we’re talkin’. Nothing withstands that kind of onslaught.
(Click on image to see larger one.)
Even though solar and wind growth in the USA is impressive, China is still beating us, by a big margin. Original data
Hat tip to Jeff Galkowski, my son, post-doc in Mathematics at McGill University and at Stanford University, a University of Rochester grad, who recently received a doctorate in Mathematics from University of California, Berkeley.
These are ongoing leaks of natural gas in the Westwood area. They are reported, as required by law, by Eversource, the local utility, to Massachusetts government authorities, along with an indication of Eversource’s estimate of the severity of the leak. All that’s been done here is to display these locations on a Google map, something anyone could do at any time.
There is, apparently, no urgency on the part of the utility to fix these, something which gives pause to those of us who consider fugitive emissions of this methane to be both a threat to climate and to public safety. Moreover, suppliers of natural gas to utilities like Eversource and National Grid, are going crazy building additional transmission lines. National Grid is intending to increase pressure for delivery in these lines which, naturally, will make the leaking worse.
Apparently, the quarterly profitability of utilities and natural gas suppliers allows the construction of new pipelines, paid, as it is by ratepayers, but not the repair of existing pipelines, which may not be.
Natural gas: Not clean. Not cheap. A bridge to nowhere. Dangerous to your family and to the environment.
Ditch natural gas. Switch to solar energy.
This can be found online. And you can check the status of your community in Massachusetts yourself.
There has been news coverage.
By the way, this “sigma.995” says the wind speeds are for where the atmospheric pressure is 0.995 of Sea Level atmospheric pressure.
In an experiment, we asked people, who live in the U.S. state of Vermont, to what extent they care about other communities/people (self-transcendent values), or their own status and power (self-enhancing values). Prior research suggests that people with self-transcendent values tend to be more concerned about environmental issues and act on them compared with their self-enhancing peers. After assessing value orientations, our study participants received information about climate change. One group  received information on local climate impacts (in the Vermont region), while another group received information on global climate impacts (focusing on other regions in the world – i.e., not in Vermont). A control group received no climate information. Following this stage, we asked participants how important they thought climate change was, the extent to which they were willing to make changes in their lives to reduce their personal contribution to climate change (e.g., driving less), and their support for climate policy measures. As we expected, regardless of the kind of information (global or local), participants who held a strong, versus weak, self-transcendent values were more concerned about climate change, more willing to engage in pro-environmental behaviour (such as switching to public transportation), and more supportive of climate policy. However, the focus of the climate information – local or global – greatly mattered for individuals with strong self-enhancing values. For these individuals, hearing about likely local impacts of climate change was demotivating. Instead of spurring action, hearing the local projections about increased flooding and other likely local outcomes made self-enhancing people care less than their similar self-transcendent value oriented peers who read about global outcomes.
I am very sorry, but I am deeply pessimistic. I really see no path to success on climate change.
Seeing how it performs, both now and in United States history, I am increasingly skeptical the United States Constitution and its 50 mirrors around the country are capable of solving a problem on this spatial and temporal scale. I don’t believe that simply fixing the Citizens United fiasco will do it. And I also believe that, for similar reasons, the This Changes Everything thesis of Naomi Klein would also fail if realized.
Maybe there’s a simpler explanation than Professor Kahneman’s explanation … or maybe his is the same as this. My brother says “Some people are just selfish.”
However the evidence is to be interpreted, this is yet another reason why I am enthusiastic about initiatives which cause the individual and their family to gain, such as the solar and wind energy disruption I have written and extolled several times about here. Basically these are the things Professor Tony Seba writes and speaks about.
I think many environmentalists and environmental progressives have a long way to come to catch up with this. I think many feel the core problem is corporations not people. And, yet, I see, for instance, no overt corporate control in the sheer love and frenzy associated with buying gifts over the Christmas holidays. That’s more like an addiction. But people want things and, in doing so, they produce waste, including greenhouse gases.
So, what to do?
First, and fortunately, energy will go in the right direction, at least for consumers. It will be predominantly electric wind and solar generated, and there will be electric cars and trucks. Some manufacturers have already seen where this is going. Other sectors and more will eventually follow, after solar and wind energy scales. These grow at least 40% every two years. That’s exponential growth. Unfortunately, as I’ve noted many times before, this means people tied by job and unrelenting loyalty to fossil fuel energy and companies will get hurt, either by exponentially increasing rates or by loss of their livelihoods. The former might be alleviated for a time by states and governments spreading the costs over the taxpayer base. Eventually it will be seen as too expensive and an antiquated idea.
Second, for those purchasing decisions, consumers need to see the price of climate and greenhouse gases in the things they buy, so only an aggressive and steep Carbon Tax will send that signal. (More here.) Sorry, I don’t think cap ‘n’ trade mechanisms work in the long run. I don’t mind them or even mind using them in the short term and in the absence of something better, but ….
I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people. -Isaac Newton
David Fratantoni is the current Chief Technology Officer for Horizon Marine, Inc., a small but well respected company that focuses on oceanographic expertise and environmental forecasting. Before working for Horizon, David was an associated scientist with tenure at the Woods Hole Oceanic Institute, one of the premier oceanographic institutions in the world. David Fratantoni graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Ocean Engineering. He then joined the Ph.D program at the University of Miami and graduated in 1996 with a doctorate in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. Due to his work as an oceanographer, David has spent an average of 2 months every year for the past 18 years working on ships in various oceans around the world. As a leading oceanographer, David Fratantoni has also been involved with various academic and professional publications. He has been both an editor as well as a contributor to various papers and journal articles that deal with oceanography and related topics.
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