November 16, 2008
Twenty nations including Japan, Italy and Australia may be releasing more greenhouse-gas pollution than they agreed to under the Kyoto treaty to curb global warming.
They're failing to rein in carbon-dioxide output enough to meet their pledges signed in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, according to reports by individual countries. As a penalty for missing their goals under the treaty, the nations are required to buy permits for every excess ton of the heat-trapping gas released through 2012. That will total 2.3 billion permits for 20 nations, New Carbon Finance, a research firm in London, has estimated.
The potential penalty, 36 billion euros ($46 billion) for the group based on current permit prices, and the fact that only a minority of 37 Kyoto signatory nations may meet their pledges bodes poorly for international efforts to limit global warming.
``This shows there's a lot more interest in promising stuff than actually keeping those promises,'' :S:d1" onmouseover="return escape( popwSearchNews( this ))">Bjorn Lomborg, author of the book ``The Skeptical Environmentalist,'' said in a telephone interview from Copenhagen. ``What you should be doing is investing in research and development to make much more dramatic emissions cuts much cheaper in the future.''
Amen, brother. Amen.
November 12, 2008
November 06, 2008
And they are not talking about Al Gore after dinner. Actually, the salmon seem to think windmills may be a bad thing.
But while all that sounds great, it is important to understand that there are serious concerns to consider.
You see, when the wind is really blowing and the farms are operating at maximum capacity, the present system will not be able to handle all of that electricity, which ultimately affects fish.
This isn't just a theory - it actually happened recently. At the end of June, there was an unexpected surge in wind power and too much energy was created for the regional grid to handle. To compensate, the dams cut their power by spilling more water.
Spilling more water is dangerous for fish because water plunging from the dams into the river becomes saturated with air. Air is mostly nitrogen and salmon do not like nitrogen saturation.
"I think it caught us just a little bit off guard because the rate of growth of wind has been so fast," said Elliot Mainzer with the Bonneville Power Administration. He's in charge of strategies for balancing the electricity needs and supplies of the future.
Part of the problem is that right now we actually have enough electricity to meet demand in the Northwest but excess green power produced here can't just be sent back east.
That's because the electrical grid in the Western United States has little connection to the rest of the country.
In August, the Bonneville Power Administration asked gas and coal-fired facilities to look at 'generation increases or generation decreases.' In short, they asked if the facilities would be willing to produce less power when wind turbines are producing at high levels.
The rub with that is that anyone who owns a coal or gas-fired electricity plant made a huge investment and is essentially being asked to cut their income.
However, the Bonneville Power Administration is trying to broker a deal where the wind industry can compensate their greenhouse gas-producing competition for lowering their production.
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