Tag Archive for fossil fuels

Fuel Economy….The President Clearly Does not Understand the Term LEADERSHIP

In yet another move to undo what makes sense for the country, it appears that fuel economy standards will be rolled back from the goals set during President Obama’s administration. Well, why not. As I have noted in prior blogs, this President really is all about short term benefits for fossil fuels.

Fuel EconomyOf course, this is just a part of the mistaken world of “let’s take it now and the hell with the future” that he is proving to be his M.O. Every time that fuel standards have been raised, the auto industry has cried…and then met them. The argument now is of course, that people want bigger cars and trucks because fuel is relatively cheap.

Thus, my title…LEADERSHIP means leading…not following the sheep. As soon as prices for oil rise, which they will at some point, we will switch again and fuel economy will become important. But, rather than leading us into a better and more economically and environmentally sustainable world, the ignorant are pandering to the informed who can manipulate them.

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Automakers Near a Victory on Rollback of Fuel Standards
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Nuclear Power Plants

I have written several times about Nuclear Power and I am still amazed at the articles and discussions that I read on how this form of power production is being pushed as a means of reducing carbon emissions and thus, should be pushed forward. More amazing is the logic that we should go forward with Nuclear Power in spite of the risks associated with its use.

Nuclear Power Plants IllustrationAs I have stated before, I am not overly concerned about the safe running of a nuclear power plant in the United States. I have had the privilege of seeing nuclear power plants in operation and I have a high level of confidence in their operational safety. It is the long term safety issues that concerns me.

No one has adequately addressed issues regarding nuclear waste storage or safety. No one has adequately addressed the issues of subsidies by taxpayers that are more than 60 years old.

I do hear about the unfair subsidies for clean energy sources and conservation…but let me sum up this way.

If a solar field is subsidized, it is still catching up to a century of subsidies for fossil fuels and decades of subsidies for nuclear.

If a solar field, dam or windmill fails, the result is a short term and localized disaster. If a nuclear power plant, or nuclear waste is let loose, well, we know the result.

This new found love for nuclear power is a misplaced affection that will cost all of us for thousands of years to come. It simply does not pass the test for sustainability.

I do hope this is the last time it comes up, but I doubt it.

Read the full article:
Nuclear Plants, Despite Safety Concerns, Gain Support as Clean Energy Sources
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The Cost of Fossil Fuels

The Cost of Fossil FuelsI cannot blame the utility company for looking at renewable energy and the lower profits caused by the availability of cheap fossil fuels. But of course, the cost of fossil fuels is not real.

We still, and I know that I have been on my soapbox about this for some time, provide obscene levels of subsidy to fossil fuels. Thus the price for these fuels is already artificially low.

We will never move forward unless we either:

  1. Take those subsidies away from fossil fuels.
  2. Charge for their true cost in terms of environmental and ecosystem cost.
  3. Provide the same subsidies to alternative power sources at the same level.

Read the full article:
In Britain, a Green Utility Company Sees Winds of Change
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Lacking a Carbon Budget for Emissions

Why can’t we come up with a carbon budget for emissions? The Times article is quite clear even if it does not say so…we lack global leadership at virtually all levels.

emissions-pollution

This is not a knock on our leaders (well maybe a slight one)..just a nod to the reality of politics….

What I find most interesting is the insistence that those countries that are trying to raise their economic standards are sold on the idea that they need centralized power and polluting industries to get there. Some companies (such as Hermann Miller in the US) have shown that they can make high quality products using renewable power.

In another thought, wouldn’t countries be less susceptible to disruptions with a decentralized power system that relies on small scale power generation scaled to the size of a community? Why do we always lend money for the big projects…like power lines and plants…(see the picture of a power line destroyed in the Ukraine)…and weak power distribution cyber security….and limit our investment in decentralized systems that don’t rely on fossil fuels?

Just a thought…

Read the full article:
Paris Climate Talks Avoid Scientists’ Idea of ‘Carbon Budget’
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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