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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:27 pm 
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broken iris wrote:
Yet again, private industry shows up when government fails:

http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/*

*wind power people will like this one.


And LW, please note that it's tax credits that made this possible, not zero interest gubm'nt loans. :wink:


THE GUBMINT LIIIIIEEEESSSS!!!!

I don't care if tax credits made that possible. They shouldn't be getting tax credits period. That's not the gubmints biznezz. If it was really profitable, it wouldn't need a tax credit.

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:40 am 
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broken iris wrote:
Yet again, private industry shows up when government fails:

http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/*

*wind power people will like this one.


And LW, please note that it's tax credits that made this possible, not zero interest gubm'nt loans. :wink:

:nice:

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:27 am 
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"James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in New York, is one of the most respected scientists working in the field of climate studies. It was his famous speech to the US Congress twenty years ago that put climate change on the US political agenda, and led indirectly to the Earth Summit and the Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. Now he has something else to say.

For most of the past decade, Hansen adhered to the emerging consensus among climate scientists that the maximum permissible concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 450 parts per million (ppm). That was believed to give us a fifty percent chance of getting away with an average global temperature only 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) hotter than it was at the beginning of the 1990s. Now Hansen doesn't believe in 450 ppm any more.

450 ppm was chosen partly because it seemed impossible to stop the rise in carbon dioxide before that -- we're already at 387 ppm, and going up almost 3 ppm per year -- and partly because it seemed relatively safe.

Two degrees C hotter would turn a lot of sub-tropical land into desert, cause bigger hurricanes, and turn most of Asia's big rivers into seasonal watercourses that are empty in summer, but it would not melt the icecaps.

At least that's what they thought, although everybody knew that the numbers were soft.

You can do a lot with climate models, but the Earth hasn't actually seen a carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration as high as 450 ppm since about 35 million years ago
. So Hansen and some colleagues went to work on exactly that period, and came back with some bad news. If you leave the world at even 425 ppm for very long, all the ice will probably melt: Greenland, Antarctica, the lot. And the sea level will go up 70-80 metres (240-270 ft.)

How do they know? Because the world was very hot and completely ice-free for a long time before 35 million years ago, but the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was falling gradually. When it reached 425 ppm, Antarctica began to freeze over. So if that's where the first permanent ice appeared while CO2 was on the way down, it's probably where the last permanent ice will disappear when CO2 is on its way back up.

Now, there's a big margin of error when you are dealing with 35 million years ago: plus or minus 75 ppm, in this case. That means that the fatal number when all the ice disappears could be as high as 500 ppm -- or it could be as low as 350 ppm. If that is the range within which ALL the world's ice will eventually melt, and you like living in the Holocene, then you probably should not put all your money on a 450 ppm ceiling for CO2.

So James Hansen is now spearheading a campaign to get 350 ppm recognised as the real long-term target we should be aiming at. Tricky, since we are already at 387 ppm and rising fast, but last week, when I spoke to him at the Tallberg Forum's annual conference in Sweden, he explained: "To figure out the optimum is going to take a while, but the fundamental thing about the 350 [ppm target], and the reason that it completely changes the ball-game, is precisely the fact that it's less than we have now."

"Even if the optimum turns out to be 325 or 300 or something else, we've go to go through 350 to get there. So we know the direction now that we've go to go, and it's fundamentally different. It means that we really have to start to act almost immediately. Even if we cut off coal emissions entirely, CO2 would still get up to at least 400, maybe 425, and then we're going to have to draw it down, and we're almost certainly going to have to do it within decades."

But there is time. The oceans and the ice-sheets react so slowly to changes in the air temperature that you can overshoot the limit for a while, so long as you get the temperature back down before irreversible changes set in. Stop at 450 ppm in twenty-five years' time, then get back below 400 in another twenty-five, and down to 350 by, say, 2075.


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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:48 pm 
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corky wrote:

How do they know? They used their secret time machine to travel back and measure the changes in CO2 ppm over millions of years, while at the same time monitoring their secret duplicate "control Earth" that held all other possible heating agents constant. Otherwise, they couldn't possibly "know", and if the said they did they would be lying.



FTFY. :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Quote:
James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in New York, is one of the most respected scientists working in the field of climate studies.


:haha:

Laughing stock? Anyone who uses the .01 percentile chance as justification to bury the global economy and starve a billion people because of it should be totally laughed at.

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:25 pm 
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LittleWing wrote:
Quote:
James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in New York, is one of the most respected scientists working in the field of climate studies.


:haha:

Laughing stock? Anyone who uses the .01 percentile chance as justification to bury the global economy and starve a billion people because of it should be totally laughed at.


Why don't you go about "debunking" that study from two weeks ago. Or do you like being laughed at?

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:31 pm 
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glorified_version wrote:
LittleWing wrote:
Quote:
James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in New York, is one of the most respected scientists working in the field of climate studies.


:haha:

Laughing stock? Anyone who uses the .01 percentile chance as justification to bury the global economy and starve a billion people because of it should be totally laughed at.


Why don't you go about "debunking" that study from two weeks ago. Or do you like being laughed at?


That'd be a total waste of time. I'm not going to waste time discussing Nusselt numbers and Prandtl numbers just to appease you people.

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:40 pm 
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LittleWing wrote:
glorified_version wrote:
LittleWing wrote:
Quote:
James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in New York, is one of the most respected scientists working in the field of climate studies.


:haha:

Laughing stock? Anyone who uses the .01 percentile chance as justification to bury the global economy and starve a billion people because of it should be totally laughed at.


Why don't you go about "debunking" that study from two weeks ago. Or do you like being laughed at?


That'd be a total waste of time. I'm not going to waste time discussing Nusselt numbers and Prandtl numbers just to appease you people.


:haha: :haha: :haha:

Don't ever change

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:50 pm 
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In Canada we are struggling with what to do with the current fully electric vehicles. Think of them as practical golf carts.

Do you allow a vehicle with a top sepeed of 24 mph on roads witha speed limit of 30 mph? Do you allow these cars on the road even though they do not meet the same safety requirements and standars as the other vehicles?

How is your area of the world handling them?


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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Interesting article from Slate:

Quote:
the spectator
The Columbia Journalism Review's Division Over Dissent
Is global warming now beyond debate?
By Ron Rosenbaum
Posted Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, at 6:09 PM ET
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When does dissent become Untruth and lose the rights and respect due to "legitimate dissent"? Who decides—and how—what dissent deserves to be heard and what doesn't? When do journalists have to "protect" readers from Untruth masking itself as dissent or skepticism?

I found myself thinking about this when I came across an unexpected disjunction in the July/August issue of the Columbia Journalism Review. The issue leads off with a strong, sharply worded editorial called "The Dissent Deficit." (It's not online, but it should be.) In it, the magazine, a publication of the Columbia School of Journalism—and thus a semi-official upholder of standards in the semi-official profession of journalism—argues clearly and unequivocally that allowing dissent to be heard and understood is part of a journalist's mission.

The editorial contends that doing so sometimes requires looking beyond the majority consensus as defined by the media on the basis of a few sound bites and paying extra attention to dissenting views, because they often present important challenges to conventional wisdom on urgent issues that deserve a hearing.

The editorial deplores the way that journalism has lately been failing in this mission: "Rather than engage speech that strays too far from the dangerously narrow borders of our public discourse, the gatekeepers of that discourse—our mass media—tend to effectively shout it down, marginalize it, or ignore it."

So true. The editorial offers the media's treatment of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a dissident whose views, particularly on American foreign policy's responsibility for 9/11, have gotten no more than sound-bite treatment, as an example.

I found that the editorial gave the best short summary of Wright's view of "black liberation theology," especially the concept of "transformation," and made a strong case that Wright and his views deserve attention rather than derision. He shouldn't be erased from public discourse with the excuse that we've "moved on," that we're all "post-racial" now.

The CJR editorial encourages journalists not to marginalize dissenters, however unpopular or out of step. Implicit are the notions that today's dissenters can become tomorrow's majority, that our nation was founded on dissent, that the Bill of Rights (and especially the First Amendment) was written by dissenters, for dissenters. That the journalistic profession deserves what respect it retains not for being the stenographers of the Official Truth but for conveying dissent and debate.

It was troubling, then, to find, in an article in the very same issue of CJR, an argument that seems to me to unmistakably marginalize certain kinds of dissent.

The contention appears in an article called, with deceptive blandness, "Climate Change: What's Next?" The article doesn't present itself as a marginalizer of dissent. It rather presents itself as a guide for "green journalists" on what aspects of climate change should be covered now that the Truth about "global warming"—whether it's real, and whether it's mainly caused by humans—is known.

About two-thirds of the story offers tips and warnings like "watch out for techno-optimism." Alas, the author doesn't inspire confidence that she takes her own warnings to heart. The very first paragraph of her story contains a classic of credulous "techno-optimism":

… a decade from now, Abu Dhabi hopes to have the first city in the world with zero carbon emissions. In a windswept stretch of desert, developers plan to build Masdar city, a livable environment for fifty thousand people that relies entirely on solar power and other renewable energy.

All that's missing from the breathless, real-estate-brochure prose is a plug for the 24-hour health club and the concierge service for condo owners.

But, the article tells us, the danger of "techno-optimism" pales before the perils of handling dissent.

The first problem in the evaluation of what dissent should be heard is how certain we are about the truth. If we know the truth, why allow dissent from it into journalism? But who decides when we've reached that point of certainty? In any case, as the author's Abu Dhabi effusion suggests, there's no lack of certainty about what the Official Truth is in her mind:

After several years of stumbling, mainstream science and environmental coverage has generally adopted the scientific consensus that increases in heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels and tropical deforestation are changing the planet's climate, causing adverse effects even more rapidly than had been predicted.

She's correct in saying that this is the consensus, that most journalists now accept what's known as the "anthropogenic theory" of global warming: that it is our carbon footprint that is the key cause of global warming, rather than—as a few scientists still argue—changes in solar activity, slight changes in the tilt of the earth's axis, the kinds of climate change that the earth constantly experienced long before man lit the first coal-burning plant.

But here lies danger, "a danger that the subtleties of the science, and its uncertainty, might be missed by reporters unfamiliar with the territory," especially when confronted with "studies that contradict one another." Faced with conflicting studies, she tells us, "scientists look for consistency among several reports before concluding something is true." This is, frankly, a misunderstanding or misstating of the way science works.

She seems to be confusing consensus among scientists and scientific truth. They are two different things. The history of science repeatedly shows a "consensus" being overturned by an unexpected truth that dissents from the consensus. Scientific truth has continued to evolve, often in unexpected ways, and scientific consensus always remains "falsifiable," to use Karl Popper's phrase, one any science reporter should be familiar with. All the more reason for reporting on scientific dissent, one would think. Yet when I read her description of how science proceeds, it seems to me she is suggesting science proceeds by a vote: Whoever who has the greatest number of consistent papers—papers that agree with him or her—"wins." As in, has the Truth.

In fact, the history of science frequently demonstrates that science proceeds when contradictory—dissenting—studies provoke more studies, encourage rethinking rather than being marginalized by "the consensus" or the "consistency" of previous reports.

Indeed, the century's foremost historian of science, Thomas Kuhn, believed, as even "green" reporters should know, that science often proceeds by major unexpected shifts: Just when an old consensus congealed, new dissenting, contradictory reports heralded a "paradigm shift" that often ended up tossing the old "consensus" into the junk bin.

If it hadn't been for the lone dissenting voice of that crazy guy in the Swiss patent office with his papers on "relativity," we still might believe the "consensus" that Newtonian mechanics explained a deterministic universe. And what about Ignaz Semmelweis and his lone crusade against the "consensus" that doctors need not wash their hands before going from an infected to an uninfected patient? Or the nutty counterintuitive dissenting idea of vaccination? The consensus was wrong. In fact, science proceeds by overturning consensus.

Sometimes the consensus proves to be long-lasting, but in science, any consensus, even the new consensus that formed around relativity, is subject to the challenges of Popper's "falsifiability." But even if—or because—not all truths in science are final, argument about what the truth is, and competition among competing ideas, often helps us to get closer to it.

But our CJR author appears to believe that the green consensus, the anthropogenic theory of global warming, has some special need to be protected from doubters and dissenters, and that reporters who don't do their job to insulate it are not being "helpful." When faced with dissent from the sacrosanct green consensus, the author, as we'll see, argues that the "helpful" reporter must always show the dissenters are wrong if they are to be given any attention at all.

This was the contention that stunned me—that reporters must protect us from dissent—especially in light of the CJR editorial deploring the "dangerously narrow borders of our public discourse."

The contention that reporters must be "helpful" in protecting us from dissent is best understood in the context of the "no last word" anecdote in which the author tells us of the way your loyal green reporter must manage conflicting reports.

She tells the story of a report that indicated the rest of the century would bring fewer hurricanes. It was important to her that "experienced" green journalists were able to cite other reports that there would be "more and more powerful hurricanes." (Italics hers.)

She praises a reporter who concludes his story "with a scientist's caveat": "We don't regard this [new, fewer-hurricane report] as the last word on this topic."

So, "no last word" is the way to go. Except when it isn't.

We learn this as the CJR writer slaps the wrist of a local TV station for allowing "skeptics" to be heard without someone representing the consensus being given the last word.

"Last year," she writes, "a meteorologist at CBS's Chicago station did a special report that featured local scientists discussing the hazards of global warming in one segment, well-known national skeptics in another, and ended with a cop-out: 'What is the truth about global warming? … It depends on who you talk to.' " In other words, no last word.

Bad CBS affiliate, bad! "Not helpful, and not good reporting" she tells us. "The he-said, she-said reporting just won't do."

Setting aside for a moment, if you can, the sanctimonious tone of the knuckle rapping ("just won't do"), there are two ways to interpret this no-no, both objectionable, both anti-dissent.

One implication is that these "nationally known skeptics" should never have been given air time in the first place because the debate is over, the Truth is known, their dissent has no claim on our attention; their dissent is, in fact, pernicious.

The second way of reading her "not helpful" condemnation is that if one allows dissenters on air to express their dissent, the approach shouldn't be "he-said, she-said." No, the viewers must be protected from this pernicious dissent. We should get "he-said, she-said, but he (or she) is wrong, and here is the correct way to think."

It may be that believers in anthropogenic global warming are right. I have no strong position on the matter, aside from agreeing with the CJR editorial that there's a danger in narrowing the permissible borders of dissent.

But I take issue with the author's contention that the time for dissent has ended. "The era of 'equal time' for skeptics who argue that global warming is just a result of natural variation and not human intervention seems to be largely over—except on talk radio, cable, and local television," she tells us.

And of course we all know that the Truth is to be found only on networks and major national print outlets. Their record has been nigh unto infallible.

But wait! I think I've found an insidious infiltration of forbidden dissent in the citadel of Truth that the CJR writer neglected to condemn. One of the environmental reporters the writer speaks of reverently, the New York Times' Andy Revkin, runs the Times' Dot Earth blog and features on his blogroll a hotbed of "just won't do" climate-change skeptics: the Climate Debate Daily blog (an offshoot of the highly respected Arts & Letters Daily). Revkin provides no protective warning to the reader that he will be entering the realm of verboten dissent from the Consensus.

I find Climate Debate Daily a particularly important site precisely because it does give "equal time" to different arguments about climate change. Take a look at it. It's just two lists of links, one of reports and studies that support the consensus view and one of studies that don't. No warnings on the site about what is True and what constitutes Dangerous Dissent. Exactly the sort of thing that our CJR reporter says is just not done.

And yet one cannot read the site without believing there are dissents from the consensus by scientists who deserve a hearing, if only so that their theses can be disproved. Check out, for instance, this work by an Australian scientist who was once charged with enforcing limits on greenhouse gases by the government but who now has changed his mind on the issue! It happens perhaps more often than "green journalists" let us know.

At a dinner recently, I listened as Nick Lemann, the dean of Columbia's J-school, talked about the difficulty the school had in helping the students get the hang of "structuring an inquiry." At the heart of structuring an inquiry, he said, was the need to "find the arguments." Not deny the arguments. Find them, explore them.

But which arguments? It's a fascinating subject that I've spent some time considering. My last two books, Explaining Hitler and The Shakespeare Wars, were, in part anyway, efforts to decide which of the myriad arguments about and dissenting visions of each of these figures was worth pursuing. For instance, with Hitler, after investigating, I wanted to refute the myth (often used in a heavy-handed way by anti-Semites) that Hitler was part Jewish. The risk is that in giving attention to the argument, one can spread it even while refuting it. But to ignore it was worse. Perhaps this is what our green journalist with her tsk-tsking really fears, and it's a legitimate fear. But I'd argue that journalists should be on the side of vigorous argument, not deciding for readers what is truth and then not exposing them to certain arguments.

In my Shakespeare book, I mentioned—but didn't devote time to—what I regarded as the already well-refuted argument that someone other than Shakespeare wrote the plays in the canon. This doesn't mean I would stop others from arguing about it; it just is my belief that it wasn't worth the attention and that since life was short, one would be better off spending one's time rereading the plays than arguing over who wrote them. In any case, the fate of the earth was not at stake.

But the argument over the green consensus does matter: If the green alarmists are right, we will have to turn our civilization inside out virtually overnight to save ourselves. One would like to know this is based on good, well-tested science, not mere "consensus."

Skepticism is particularly important and particularly worth attention from journalists. Especially considering the abysmal record green journalists have on the ethanol fiasco.

Here we should give the CJR reporter credit where due: She does include perhaps the single most important question that such an article could ask, one I haven't heard asked by most mainstream enviro-cheerleader media:

[W]here were the skeptical scientists, politicians and journalists earlier, when ethanol was first being promoted in Congress?

Indeed I don't remember reading a lot of "dissent" on the idea. Shouldn't it have occurred to someone green that taking acreage once capable of producing food on a planet with hundreds of millions of starving people and using it to lower the carbon footprint of your SUV might end up causing the deaths of those who lack food or the means to pay the soaring prices of ethanol-induced shortage?

But it doesn't seem to occur to her that the delegitimizing of dissent she encourages with her "just won't do" sanctimony might have been responsible for making reporters fearful of being "greenlisted" for dissenting from The Consensus at the time.

I think it's time for "green reporters," the new self-promoting subprofession, to take responsibility for the ethanol fiasco. Go back into their files and show us the stories they wrote that carry a hint that there might be a downside to taking food out of the mouths of the hungry. Those who fail the test—who didn't speak out, even on "talk radio, cable TV or local news"—shouldn't be so skeptical about skeptics.

I'd suggest they all be assigned to read the CJR editorial about protecting dissent and the danger of "narrowing the borders" of what is permissible. The problem is, as Freeman Dyson, one of the great scientists of our age, put it in a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, environmentalism can become a religion, and religions always seek to silence or marginalize heretics. CJR has been an invaluable voice in defending that aspect of the First Amendment dealing with the freedom of the press; it should be vigilant about the other aspect that forbids the establishment of a religion.

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:42 pm 
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Thanks for posting that, it's a great read.

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:34 pm 
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http://www.powermag.com/ExportedSite/BlogArticles/111.htm

Why Boone Pickens invests in wind

Legendary energy investor T. Boone Pickens –the guy who in the 1980s completely picked the pocket of Gulf Oil – says he will become a major investor in wind power.

Is this a savvy reading of the electricity market, or an attempt to piggyback on federal tax subsidies? Long-time energy analyst, and wind power skeptic Glenn Schleede, argues for the latter.

Schleede in a recent note to his friends, colleagues, and news contacts, says a Pickens announcement that he intends to put up to $10 billion into wind – mostly on land he already owns or controls -- is evidence of why Congress needs to shut down the renewables production tax credit. The tax credit is up for renewal in Washington.

Pickens recently announced he will spend some $3 billion on a wind farm on his own property in Texas to take advantage of the generous subsidies for wind power. Pickens said he expects a 25% return on investment in his wind project. He has said he contemplates a total investment of $10 billion in Texas wind.

Schleede, a veteran energy analyst who was a major official in the Reagan administration Office of Management and Budget, and has been an anti-wind gadfly for more than a decade, argues in a May 13 paper that the Pickens announcement is powerful evidence why the wind subsidy is a mistake.

“Wind farms,” argues Schleede, a former coal industry lobbyist, “are being built primarily for their lucrative tax benefits and subsidies – not because of their environmental and energy benefits.” The Pickens wind investments, he says, amount to “a 25% return with little risk.”

When it comes to investment risk, argues Schleede, Pickens has a five-card poker hand that can’t be topped.

* The federal production tax credit, which will reduce the tax liability of the Pickens wind farm by $2.45 billion over 10 years.

* Accelerated depreciation, a “generous 5-year, double declining balance accelerated derepciation” for federal tax purposes, worth as much as another $3.5 billion in six years. If the project is 50% debt financed, says Schleede, Pickens would “recover thru depreciation all of his equity investment in less than two years and in just over one year if the project begins operation late in the first tax year.”

* Texas tax franchise breaks. Texas law allows a deduction from state tax laws in two ways, says Schleede. First, the total cost of the system can get reduced from the company’s total taxable capital. Alternatively, he notes, 10% of the cost of the wind system can be deducted from the company’s income.

* The Texas renewable portfolio standard and renewable energy credits flow to the bottom line of wind projects in the Lone Star State. “The higher costs forced on electric distribution companies,” says Schleede, “are passed on to electric customers in their monthly bills – apparently with the blessing of the state’s political leaders and regulators.”

* Pass-through of transmission costs. The cost of moving wind long distances from where it is generated to where consumers can use it, he notes, will be “borne by electric customers in their monthly bills, not by the ‘wind farm’ owners.” In addition to the capital costs of transmission, Schleede notes, customers will pay for the line losses of wind as it moves from the point of generation to the customers. Also, he argues that “wind farms use transmission capacity inefficiently, resulting in high unit cost for the electricity that is eventually received.”

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Quote:
Pickens said he expects a 25% return on investment in his wind project.


What's that? 3X the windfall profits rate of big oil?

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:30 pm 
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,408502,00.html

9 Polar Bears Spotted on Risky Open Ocean Swims

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Nine polar bears were observed in one day swimming in open ocean off Alaska's northwest coast, an increase from previous surveys that may indicate warming conditions are forcing bears to make riskier, long-distance swims to stable sea ice or land.

The bears were spotted in the Chukchi Sea on a flight by a federal marine contractor, Science Applications International Corp.

It was hired for the Minerals Management Service in advance of future offshore oil development. The MMS in February leased 2.76 million acres within an offshore area slightly smaller than Pennsylvania.

Observers Saturday were looking for whales but also recorded walrus and polar bears, said project director Janet Clark. Many were swimming north and ranged from 15 to 65 miles off shore, she said.

Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne in May declared polar bears a threatened species because of an alarming loss of summer sea ice and forecasts the trend will continue.

Polar bears spend most of their lives on sea ice, which they use as a platform to hunt their primary prey, ringed seals.

Shallow water over the continental shelf is the most biologically productive for seals, but pack ice in recent years has receded far beyond the shelf.

Conservation groups fear that one consequence of less ice will be more energy-sapping, long-distance swims by polar bears trying to reach feeding, mating or denning areas.

Steven Amstrup, senior polar bear scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Anchorage, said the bears could have been on a patch of ice that broke up northwest of Alaska's coast.

"The bears that had been on that last bit of ice that remained over shallow shelf waters, are now swimming either toward land or toward the rest of the sea ice, which is a considerable distance north," he said in an e-mail response to questions.

It probably is not a big deal for a polar bear in good condition to swim 10 or 15 miles, Amstrup said, but swims of 50 to 100 miles could be exhausting.

"We have some observations of bears swimming into shore when the sea ice was not visible on the horizon," he said. "In some of these cases, the bears arrive so spent energetically, that they literally don't move for a couple days after hitting shore."

Only further research can tell the effect of greater swimming distances on polar bear populations, he said.

"Polar bears can swim quite well, but they are not aquatic animals," he said. "Their home is on the surface of the ice."

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:20 pm 
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LittleWing wrote:
Quote:
Pickens said he expects a 25% return on investment in his wind project.


What's that? 3X the windfall profits rate of big oil?



LOL. I thought you were gonna bash me for supporting that guy on the last page. At least this proves tax breaks will encourage investment in alternative energy. I'm not sure the costs balance out in this case, but it is what it is.

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Last edited by broken iris on Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:36 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:44 am 
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As awesome as that is, I'm pretty sure it's a fake.

Windmills have a high end on them where they will just automatically stop turning if the wind gets too high. What you probably see there is a test video from the production company itself doing catastrophic failure testing.

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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:08 am 
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LittleWing wrote:
As awesome as that is


At least you know awesome when you see it.


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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:58 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What should be done about climate change?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:00 pm 
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climate change was much to my liking today...high of 65 with a light cool breeze


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