Energy Archives

Don’t Freak Out About Nuclear Power

It’s not often I agree with Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, but I certainly do this time. Regarding the issues with the nuclear power plants in Japan that are near meltdown, he advises caution on making pronouncements on the use of nuclear power in general, given that just about any energy source has its drawbacks. There is a bigger picture.

If we imagine a hundred years into the future of fossil fuels and a hundred of nuclear power, at the end of a century, how much damage do we imagine each will have caused? I suspect that if it’s really an either/or, the nuclear route is likely much safer.

Again, I’m not wanting to say anything definitive. But even at these moments when we see the most frightening side of nuclear power, I think we should still draw back and look at the global — meant both literally and figuratively — costs of different fuels and consider the possibility that nuclear power is actually safer for our own health and that of the planet.

It took the 5th strongest earthquake since 1900 and the resulting tsunami to do this. Very little can withstand that.

Friday Link Wrap-up

Hunter Baker, writing at "First Things", responds to Jim Wallis’ question "What Would Jesus Cut", referring to government spending. (Which begs the question, would Jesus borrow us into prosperity?)

Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, admits to double counting some savings that ObamaCare™ would bring. Not really news, except for those who haven’t been paying attention.

Media Matters, an allegedly non-partisan press watchdog group, has a Transparency project that lists major donors to conservative and libertarian organizations. "The Agitator" notes that, while a number of those conservative organizations themselves already provide this transparency, Media Matters itself does not.

Who’s going to clean up this mess in Wisconsin?

It could cost as much as $7.5 million to repair damage protesters have done to the Capitol Building marble say officials in Madison. Fixing posters to the marble with tape and glue appears to have done the bulk of the damage.

During testimony Thursday, a representative from the Attorney General’s office said a contractor estimated it would cost $500,000 to remove all of the posters and garbage. He says it would cost $6 million to restore the marble inside of the Capitol building and another $1 million to touch up the marble outside of the building.

Guess who came to the rescue? The Tea Party. Liberals trashed it, conservatives will care for it.

Mark Steyn notes a very odd way to say, "Thank you.". A young Kosovar is who killed 2 US servicemen in a Frankfurt airport. I mean, we didn’t even wait for UN resolutions before helping Kosovo get its independence. That’s gratitude?

Remember how upset the Left was about indefinite detentions and military tribunals at Guantanamo, and how much the press covered it? Yeah, well, all that is back on again and now they’re rather quiet about it. Wonder what changed.

Michael Moore and Rachel Maddow say, no, we’re not broke as a nation. Reality begs to differ.

Bummer. A set-back for reprogrammed adult stem cells. Undisturbed adult stem cells continue to be extremely useful, but trying to reprogram them into what are essentially embryonic stem cells is having problems.

Look, if you’re going to be biased in what you say, I have no problem with that. Just be honest about it. NPR isn’t. James O’Keefe strikes again at the heart of liberal bias at the network. NPR tries some damage control, but Patterico calls their ombudsman on it. Predictably, liberals now deplore gotcha’ journalism. (Though calling up a governor and misrepresenting who you are is just fine. Wonder what changed.) And apparently O’Keefe isn’t done with the revelations.

The UK’s CEO of the national power grid is predicting that blackouts will be just a part of the new normal once wind turbines become more prominent and supplant other means of electricity generation. How long before paying to not get blacked out becomes popular, and the politization of energy begins?

Civility Watch: Credible death threats against the Palins.

And finally, the Society of Centurions is named after the Centurion who was at the cross when Jesus died, and ultimately admitted, "Surely he was the Son of God". It is an organization for former abortion providers. Changing one’s view on abortion is one thing. Considering it wrong after you’ve provided them is another thing entirely. Priests for Life admonishes, "Let’s pray for the Centurions, and may their numbers increase!" Amen.

Friday Link Wrap-Up

I may start doing this more often.  I collect links during the week, some I comment on here, and some just languish in Google Bookmarks.  Normally I’m going to save it all until the end of the week, but this installment will be a bit longer than others since I’ve got some aging links here that really want to see the light of day.  So here they are, usually, but not always, in reverse chronological order:

Coattails?  What coattails?  "Some Democrats on the campaign trail have hit upon a winning campaign tactic: Run against President Obama and his agenda — especially the health care overhaul."

Seeking asylum in the US for … homeschooling persecution?  "A German Christian family received asylum in Tennessee after being severely penalized for illegally homeschooling their children in Germany."  I’ve covered this particular situation before; here, here, here, here, here and here.

California, parts of which are boycotting Arizona for it’s new immigration law, which just enforce existing federal law, should take a look at it’s own lawbooks first.  They might find something familiar.

The economic meltdown in Greece should be a wake-up call to politicians of both parties in the US.  Otherwise, it may turn out to be, rather, a coming attraction.

ObamaCare(tm) is predicted to increase the crowding in our hospitals’ emergency rooms.  "Some Democrats agree with this assessment. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) suspects the fallout that occurred in Massachusetts’ emergency rooms could happen nationwide after health reform kicks in."  But he still voted for this snake oil anyway.

"Economic Woes Threaten Chavez’s Socialist Vision"  Only on NPR would this be news.  For the rest of this, it’s a redundancy.

Comedy Central stands on the bedrock of free speech and will mock anyone, just as long as there’s no chance of getting beheaded for it.  "The show in development, "JC," is a half-hour about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York."

Green energy falling by the wayside in Europe.  Seems the massive subsidies for this alleged cost-saving energy are too much for governments going through financial troubles.  Should we (will we) take note?

A Modest Proposal

I’ve been mulling this over for quite a while, and I think it’s time to put these thoughts out there and see if I can get other fair-minded folks to back me up on this.  I’ll have to admit it’s not something that’ll be easy to adjust to, but I think that, in the end, you’ll thank me.

On average, every year airline travel kills 1,000 people.  Every year.  Now, statistics about deaths per passenger or per passenger-mile are used to try to mitigate this, but if one of those 1,000 people is someone you know — friend, family, or perhaps yourself — it doesn’t matter how many others didn’t die.  Those are 1,000 people that aren’t going to be landing at an airport near you ever again.  Consider this; that’s 1/3 of a 9-11-type terrorist attack every year.  Where’s the uproar about that

And even if you cravenly choose to brush this aside, let’s not forget the death traps that are automobiles.  On an average year, these instruments of death cause 40,000 – 50,000 deaths!  Every year!  Osama bin Laden doesn’t have to kill us infidels with planes; he can just wait for Detroit to do it for him. 

Given the immense human cost of these modes of transportation, I think that any sober individual would agree that these statistics prove that air flight and driving should be outlawed, or at least a moratorium put on their use until such time as they can be made completely harmless to man and beast alike. 

This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a Democrat/Republican, liberal/conservative thing.  All Americans have life, and losing it should be avoided at all costs.  Even one death is too much if we truly value the safety of our people, especially our children.  Children are usually put into these instruments of death without a say in the matter, and so we must speak for them.  Ban transportation for the children.

This may adversely affect our culture, our economy, and our competitiveness in the world market, but again, what is one life worth?  Environmentalists seek to save endangered animals; what about the endangered humans?

In conclusion, instead of moving around so much, we should stay still.  Still, baby, still! 


In other news today, with the oil spill from the BP rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico ,which killed 11, heading for land, many on the Left are calling for a stop to off-shore drillingSome are invoking an accident from 21 years ago to buttress their point, and asking for at least a moratorium on new drilling.  Perfection, apparently, has not yet been reached.

D.A.R.E Loses Major Battle

No, not that D.A.R.E. I’m talking about Democrats Against Renewable Energy.  The Obama administration has prevailed.

BOSTON, Mass – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved the Cape Wind renewable energy project on federal submerged lands in Nantucket Sound, but will require the developer of the $1 billion wind farm to agree to additional binding measures to minimize the potential adverse impacts of construction and operation of the facility.

“After careful consideration of all the concerns expressed during the lengthy review and consultation process and thorough analyses of the many factors involved, I find that the public benefits weigh in favor of approving the Cape Wind project at the Horseshoe Shoal location,” Salazar said in an announcement at the State House in Boston. “With this decision we are beginning a new direction in our Nation’s energy future, ushering in America’s first offshore wind energy facility and opening a new chapter in the history of this region.”

The Cape Wind project would be the first wind farm on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, generating enough power to meet 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island combined. The project would create several hundred construction jobs and be one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the nation, cutting carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year.

This project has been held up for at least 7 years, with liberal luminaries like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Walter Cronkite opposing it.  It’s all well and good for us plebeians, but not where it might spoil the view for the well-heeled. 

It’s good of the Obama administration to get this project unstuck, but he has to get his own party on-board with renewable energy in their own backyards, and ensure that delays like this don’t happen again, if he wants to be taken seriously with this whole "green energy" thing.

From Chuck Asay.  Click for full-size version.

On major things like global warming and the economy, expert opinions are good to have, but if we jump to conclusions too soon we may not have the whole story.  And predicting the future has been notoriously difficult, even for the experts.

Back to the Future

This was the title of a post on Redstate by Aaron Gardner, regarding where the Republican Party goes from here.  Gardner started, as his foundation of what the Republicans need to stand for, from the party platform of 1980, when Reagan was swept into the White House with 489 electoral votes.  He made some of his own modifications, but overall the (lengthy) statement stands as a good starting point.

Read the rest of this entry

The *yawn* Second Presidential Debate

Short impression of the 2nd Presidential Debate:  Just like the 1st Presidential Debate, but with more walking around.

Not much new ground covered in this debate, even though there was ample opportunity for it.  The questions just teed up the candidates for the same stump speech excerpts we heard last time.  As such, Obama comes out of the debate in the driver’s seat since the pressure for a game changer was on McCain. 

A few notes:

Obama continued to lie about what brought about this financial crisis.  The wheels did not magically start to come off the day George W. Bush sat down in the Oval Office chair, and the party-line votes regarding Fannie and Freddie put the Democrats on the side against regulation of those institutions.  Even Bill Clinton has debunked this line.  That John McCain didn’t even bother to set the record straight on this is a huge missed opportunity, moreso because it was a carbon copy of Obama’s line in the first debate.

If I hear the phrase "fundamental difference" one more time, I’ll scream.

One bit of new ground that was actually covered was McCain’s 300 billion dollar bailout of people who bought more home than they could afford.  I was extremely disappointed in this.  As I said recently, huge federal debt is not the way to fix a problem that is debt-related.  This is a further example of how our politicians have been conditioned to go after votes by offering giveaways because we respond to giveaways.  McCain’s obviously looking to curry favor with those who think the government should protect people from the consequences of their decisions.  This makes as much fiscal sense as allowing me to refinance my car every year at its new, lower value.  No, I incurred a debt that I am morally obligated to pay.  This is another example of the faux "fairness" and class warfare our country has come to accept to a large extent. 

What about illegal immigration?  What about abortion?  What about judicial appointments?  What about a host of other issues that haven’t been touched on in 2 debates?  Mr. Brokaw, you fell down on the job.

If health care is a "right", Mr. Obama, is food now a right as well?  Which is more important; food that you need every day or health care you need once in a while? 

John, John, John…don’t crack jokes.  They really didn’t work.

Obama is suddenly for nuclear power?  I’m sure there were some environmentalist supporters of his who spewed coffee out their noses at that.

Anyway, so much for another debate.  Not very notable, and mostly a rehash. 

Environmentalists Against Green Power

If the desert isn’t a good place for solar energy, where is?

Solar companies proposing large power plants in the Mojave Desert are facing opposition from conservationists. They say a rush to build solar here threatens to tear up large tracts of desert habitat and open space.

Environmentalists want to stick with rootops, but as FuturePundit notes, there are other governmental obstacles to that.  In addition, California has state mandates for green energy increase, and rooftops alone won’t cut it.

The Greens are going to be their worst enemy in this.

Can Wind Power Turbines Affect Weather?

I’ve wondered about this before, but couldn’t figure out how.  It could remove some of the thrust of the wind and have … some sort of effect.  Perhaps seeds don’t get blown as far or something like that.

Well, this Q&A column from the NY Times notes that one study suggests that the turbines / windmills could force the agitation of moister ground air with drier air higher up to produce a drying effect at ground level.  That’s probably not a big deal if your windfarm is in the desert southwest, and maybe not even if it’s out at sea.  But it makes it less likely you’ll want to toss up windmills in the middle of fields in the country’s breadbasket.

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