2005 Archive

01/12/06 EPA promises more accurate measurements of fuel economy (Click here to read the article)Here is the more critical Consumer Reports article  (Click here to read the article)
11/30/05  Is it possible that another country will save us from the insane and corrupt system of agricultural subsidies by suing the U.S.? (Click here to read the article)
11/23/05 Finally, someone in the mainstream media is talking about the carnage brought upon our country and our health by the industrial megafarms that exist only because of our tax money stolen from our pockets by the politicians we elect. To sustain their unnatural existence, these megafarms, whether they're raising crops or animals, require enormous quantities of pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics simply to survive. The result? Pollution, erosion and diseases that spread easily among factory-raised, immune-deficient animals.  These megafarms waste enormous quantities of natural gas, crude oil, and coal to produce undifferentiated commodities, corn, soybeans and sugar, we do not need.  In Florida, the sugar plantations are the single biggest reason for the demise of Everglades. In Iowa, there is massive erosion of top soil after corn/soybean rotations and the wholesale pollution of groundwater with nitrates and herbicides.  At Iowa State University, Professor Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture was just ousted from his chair position because he was perceived as too soft on organic farming. In the meantime, Iowa's farming communities are ravaged by poverty and emptied out of young people.  The average farmer's age is 56 years and his wife usually works in a city to get an extra income and health insurance.  (Click here to read the article)
11/17/05 California is at the forefront of energy efficiency (Click here to read the article)
11/10/05 The not-so-intelligent designers are out! (Click here to read the article)
11/07/05 "In the latest effort, the National Association of Evangelicals, a nonprofit organization that includes 45,000 churches serving 30 million people across the country, is circulating among its leaders the draft of a policy statement that would encourage lawmakers to pass legislation creating mandatory controls for carbon emissions." (Click here to read the article)
11/01/05 Organic and natural food is the fastest growing part of the stagnant food industry, and this is good.  Now many big corporations want a piece of this pie, and this may be tricky. (Click here to read the article)
10/26/05 One of the rare, merely mildly confused and only somewhat incomplete, popular press articles about biofuels.  The author does not comment on the time scale of conversion of cellulose to sugars, and the competing growth of bacteria that transform these sugars into undesired byproducts.  How does one make an aseptic batch of straw?  At what cost? Surely higher that the 55 c per gallon listed as the cost of making cellulosic ethanol from straw... Of course these details are essential to running an industrial process, not an expensive small-scale pilot in a heavily subsidized garage. (Click here to read the article)
10/26/05 China may be trying to curb the wholesale environmental damage its economic growth has caused (Click here to read the article)
09/18/05 Dr. Suzuki worries most about how people have become estranged from nature, habituated to seeing the world "through a fragmented lens," as he puts it, and oblivious to the fact that the economic abundance of the modern world depends on the health of its air, soil and water.  (Click here to read the article)
09/27/05 As predicted several months ago (see the May notes), the big SUV's are going, going, gone...(Click here to read the article)
09/27/05 More expensive hydrocarbons = more expensive everything else.  Time out to think a little? (Click here to read the article)
09/25/05 It turns out that we can drive less (Click here to read the article)
09/24/05 Cow dung for fuel (Click here to read the article)
09/18/05 Writing about science is difficult (Click here to read the article)
08/28/05 Amazon deforestation slows? Hmm...(Click here to read the article)
08/28/05 "In the past, we never thought of the capacity of resources," she said. "We only focused on development." (Click here to read the article)
05/15/05 Even though I have spoken publicly about benefits of nuclear power, I am deeply worried that getting the energy drug addict (US) another fix will prevent him from a long-overdue medical treatment (energy conservation and efficiency) (Click here to read the article)
05/10/05 The chief executive of the General Electric Company, Jeffrey R. Immelt, pushed the company squarely into the global warming debate on Monday, asking the government for a clear energy policy and saying later in an interview that he expected Washington to eventually impose controls on carbon emissions. (Click here to read the article)
05/10/05 Ecology, historically a small science, is getting much bigger and at the same time much smaller. (Click here to read the article)
05/05/05 Ford and GM credit rating is reduced to junk status.  Is it good or bad? Are these U.S. car companies the harbingers of what is going to happen to the rest of the energy-wasting U.S. economy?  (Click here to read the article)
05/03/05 While sales of the U.S. made SUVs have plummeted, at Toyota,  sales of the all-new Avalon full-size sedan were up 166 percent over last year and the gas-electric Prius hybrid saw sales gain 196 percent. (Click here to read the article)
04/27/05 "Getting people to pay attention is Dr. Jackson's mission. In scientific journals, in talks at places as diverse as Unesco headquarters and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Dr. Jackson is telling everyone around about a world slipping into ecological degradation. " (Click here to read the article)
04/21/05  Mr. Greenspan is beginning to see the light.  So why exactly did he support the recent tax cut? (Click here to read the article)
04/21/05  Marla Ruzicka (probably originally Różycka), is a young hero, and the latest collateral damage in a conflict of which she was not a part. She burned alive trying to help the forgotten survivors of previous collateral damage inflicted by us on so many innocent people, and conveniently omitted from our own discussions.  (Click here to read the article)
04/18/05 When you despair at what is going on around you, just look at this incredibly brave young woman who lost her life doing what she believed in,  and do something as well! (Click here to read the article)
04/17/05 The per capita purchasing power in the U.S. is higher than in Europe, and that's good.  The level of cheap credit extended to the U.S. by the world is also very high.  So, an increasing part of our purchasing power is borrowed, and that's bad.  Also the out-of-pocket cost of medical care in the U.S. is high. The author is obviously very proud of the U.S. and glosses over our exploding current-account and long-term debt, as well as medical care costs, and that's really bad.... (Click here to read the article)
03/26/06 Geogreening by example (Click here to read the article)
03/25/05 Canada's vital gas pipeline may out compete the new American Alaska pipeline.  Both cannot be built at the same time because of lack of resources (stainless steel pipes) and crews.  Also Canada will soon stop exporting natural gas to the U.S. Good or bad? (Click here to read the article)
03/25/05 Hybrid cars are also handy when it comes to reduce gasoline consumption (Click here to read the article)
03/25/05 Even though I fundamentally disagree with the premise of this article (subsurface CO2 sequestration is good), I am posting it as a positive development, for the same reasons as the oil peak article below (Click here to read the article)
03/25/05 The main stream media are beginning to notice that conventional oil is running out.  The NYT estimate of the world oil peak in 2006  agrees exactly with my estimate published in the Spring 2005 CE24 notes. (Click here to read the article)
03/15/05  New nuclear plants? It is not certain, of course, whether anyone in the United States will order a new reactor in the next few years, although high prices for natural gas and uncertainty about what rules will apply to coal plants are creating interest. (Click here to read the article)
03/14/05 The new E.P.A. rule is intended to cut mercury emissions to 38 tons, a 21 percent reduction from 1999 levels, in 2010 and to as little as 15 tons, or about a 69 percent reduction, in 2018, according to the draft of the final rule sent to Bush administration budget officials this weekend for final vetting. (Click here to read the article)
03/01/05 Bush signs on to help clean air in China, India U.S.-Germany pact to cut coal emissions (Click here to read the article)
02/28/05 Nuclear waste repository on a tribal ground: Good or Bad? (Click here to read the article)
02/27/05 Education saves lives: "Americans with more income or education have better health than Americans with less; a Swedish Ph.D. graduate has longer life expectancy than a Swede with a master's degree; a British civil servant at the top of the employment hierarchy has greater longevity than one not quite at the top; health has been improving for Russians with university education, getting worse for those without." (Click here to read the article)
02/06/05 President Bush will seek deep cuts in farm and commodity programs in his new budget and in a major policy shift will propose overall limits on subsidy payments to farmers, administration officials said Saturday. (Click here to read the article)
1/31/05 Nuclear energy advocates who have said a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada must be opened before a new power reactor can be ordered are now backing away from that position, as completion of the repository looks later and less certain and the prospect for new reactors improves. (Click here to read the article)
1/30/05 The geo-greens believe that, going forward, if we put all our focus on reducing the price of oil - by conservation, by developing renewable and alternative energies and by expanding nuclear power - we will force more reform than by any other strategy. (Click here to read the article)
1/27/05 Do you want to have a nuclear plant in your backyard?  Perhaps, yes. (Click here to read the article)
1/15/05 Mr. French seems to be bewildered by China's audacious desire  to build a few nuclear power plants. He may not be aware that China's huge population density, and rapid industrial growth, leave no other alternatives. Of course, China could continue to burn even more sulfur-laden coal to produce electricity, choke all of its big cities, and poison the air globally. Luckily, the Chinese government has different plans. Mr. French underestimates the reliable electrical energy produced by the U.S. nuclear power plants by a factor of 1000, making their output roughly equal to all renewable electricity sources other than hydropower. If the U.S. wants to remain competitive in the world, it will have to start building new nuclear power plants soon.  (Click here to read the article)