Tag Archive for fossil fuels

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.


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.


Renewable Energy

renewable-energy-cubeThe New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has taken a step forward in solving a major concern with regard to renewable energy. Storage = consistency of power. As we move forward in the area of energy storage, we continue to allow for our evolution away from fossil fuels.

The grants are a great step forward.

One thing that we must do with this research, and something on which I see little written, is be certain that we design storage systems with end of life design in mind. Storage and renewable energy will have less meaning if the technologies result in additional pollution or end of life waste.

I hope that the grants are taking this into account.

Read the full article:
State Invests in Backup Storage for Solar Power and Wind Energy Systems


Germany’s Solar Powered Network survives Solar Eclipse

We have heard renewable naysayers claim that solar and wind are unreliable…that they are not able to provide an even source of power and that the system cannot handle the irregularities of the renewable generating systems. Well, a good test was held in Germany when a solar eclipse resulted in a huge spike and drop in solar power production.

Instead of panicking and shutting off the solar grid (which Italy did to protect its system), Germany applied a thorough engineering solution and guess what; the system did not crash. In fact it worked just fine.


Well, I am sure that those who make the most from fossil fuels, or those that simply can’t stand change, will have a new excuse next week for us to remain in the 20th Century.

Read the full article:
German power net survives solar eclipse


Climate Change – Part 3

If it was not so serious, the vote taken by the U.S. Senate to affirm that humans are not the cause of climate change would be a joke. The rejection by an entire political party of scientific data is so inane that it defies any attempt to explain the underlying rationale.

Having been involved in the political arena I can understand disagreeing on solutions to problems. I can even respect that there are differing ideologies. What I cannot abide by is sheer banality.

As related to prior blog posts that reference simple physics, I say clearly that it is time for our elected officials to get their heads out of the sand. Grow up and act like adults, not petulant children and act decisively on energy.

The Senate on Thursday again voted to reject two measures related to the Keystone XL pipeline that declared that humans are a cause of climate change — the second set of votes on the issue in two days.

Senators are using the Keystone debate to argue over climate issues. The Democrats want to force their Republican colleagues to come out one way or another on whether they believe humans have a role in changes to the climate and the rise of global temperatures. Republicans telegraphed their intent to attack President Obama’s climate policy agenda.

Mr. Obama is expected to veto the underlying bill that would force federal approval of the Keystone pipeline and allow construction to begin. Still, the debate has led to the first Senate floor votes in eight years on climate change measures.

earth-fossil-fuelsOn Thursday, the Senate voted 56 to 42 not to take up an amendment offered by Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont, that declared that climate change is real, is caused by humans and wreaks devastation. The amendment also called on the federal government to lead the way in the national transition away from dependence on fossil fuels.

Senators voted 54 to 46 not to take up an amendment offered by Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, that also declared human-caused climate change to be real and devastating, and urged the government to support research on technologies that would capture carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

A third, Republican-sponsored amendment, which was rejected 51 to 46, was more political in nature. Offered by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, it called on the Senate to nullify a climate change agreement in November between the United States and China in which both nations pledged to reduce their carbon emissions.

Read the full article:
Senate Rejects Human Role in Climate Change
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.