In the Pipeline: 5/4/11

This is very good news.  But the people who hate people (you know who we mean) are going to spin it as terrible news E&E News (5/3/11) reports: The world’s population will hit 7 billion this year and is expected to reach 10 billion over the next 90 years in a moderate scenario, U.N. demographers said today…Revising projected population growth rates for 2010, the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division said the 7 billion milestone will likely be reached in October…The division’s long-term estimates assume that nations with high population growth rates will achieve lower fertility levels in coming decades, a phenomenon seen as the nations’ economies develop. If fertility rates hold steady, the world’s population could more than triple by 2100, U.N. officials warn…”If we assume that fertility does not decline … we would have a world population of almost 27 billion people by 2100,” researcher Gerhard Heilig said. “So this gives you a very important message: The topic of world population growth is not over yet.”…Population Division chief Hania Zlotnik said the world went from 5 billion to 6.9 billion “in record time” but has witnessed a steady decline in fertility rates through that period, with some of the most advanced nations having such low fertility that they will shrink over coming decades.

The military is entering the energy conversation, but they never ask these fundamental questions: compared to what and at what cost? New York Times (5/3/11) reports: So listen for a moment to two military strategists, working at the highest level of government, as they turn to the subject of leaky air-conditioners in government buildings in New York. “Poorly fitted air-conditioners cost New York City 130 to 180 million dollars a year in extra energy consumption,” one of the strategists, Capt. Wayne Porter of the Navy, said Tuesday. “They generate 370,525 extra tons of carbon dioxide.”…Suppose, he says, you fixed them. And then you got the 40 states that waste the most electricity to match the 10 most efficient. The likely benefits are no surprise — less foreign oil, cost savings, job creation, decreased pollution…Now follow that thread to “A National Strategic Narrative,” a paper written by Captain Porter and Col. Mark Mykleby of the Marines, which calls on the United States to see that it cannot continue to engage the world primarily with military force, but must do so as a nation powered by the strength of its educational system, social policies, international development and diplomacy, and its commitment to sustainable practices in energy and agriculture…“We must recognize that security means more than defense,” they write. After ending the 20th century as the world’s most powerful country, “we failed to recognize that dominance, like fossil fuel, is not a sustainable form of energy.”

Greenies dreams come true — man swaps diesel for ox power on his farm because of high-energy costs New York Times (5/4/5) reports: ON a sunny Sunday just before the vernal equinox, Rich Ciotola set out to clear a pasture strewn with fallen wood. The just-thawed field was spongy, with grass sprouting under tangled branches. Late March and early April are farm-prep time here in the Berkshires, time to gear up for the growing season. But while many farms were oiling and gassing up tractors, Mr. Ciotola was setting out to prepare a pasture using a tool so old it seems almost revolutionary: a team of oxen…Standing just inside the paddock at Moon in the Pond Farm, where he works, he put a rope around Lucas and Larson, his pair of Brown Swiss steer. He led them to the 20-pound maple yoke he had bought secondhand from another ox farmer, hoisted it over their necks and led them trundling through the fence so they could begin hauling fallen logs.

The Grand Plan: Under President Obama’s direction, energy prices have ‘necessarily skyrocketed’ and now consumers must shift towards smaller cars Fuel Fix (5/4/11) reports: The nation’s reviving economy and near-record gasoline prices sent Americans to showrooms to buy fuel-efficient vehicles in April, giving automakers’ sales a boost…General Motors Co.’s sales rose 26 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of 232,538 vehicles were led by its fuel-sipping Chevrolet Cruze, which enjoyed retail sales 180 percent higher than the Chevrolet Cobalt it replaced…Ford Motor Co. logged a 13 percent increase in April, selling 189,778 units, aided by sales of its new Focus and Fiesta cars…Toyota Motor Co. posted the smallest gain of major automakers, with sales rising 1.3 percent on sales of 159,540 vehicles. April marked the first full month for sales since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and damaged manufacturing plants and suppliers’ factories.


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