In the Pipeline: 1/8/13

You mean those roughnecks and coal miners aren’t kidding when they say they like to hunt and fish in their own back yards? For some reason I used to think it was more sensible to listen to “real” environmentalists from places like Manhattan. WSJ (1/4/13) reports: “The inescapable if unfashionable conclusion is that the human use of fossil fuels has been causing the greening of the planet in three separate ways: first, by displacing firewood as a fuel; second, by warming the climate; and third, by raising carbon dioxide levels, which raise plant growth rates.”


Even the New York Times understands that biofuels are taking food out of the mouths of the world’s poor. NYTimes (1/5/13) reports: “In the tiny tortillerias of this city, people complain ceaselessly about the high price of corn. Just three years ago, one quetzal — about 15 cents — bought eight tortillas; today it buys only four. And eggs have tripled in price because chickens eat corn feed.”


“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in [Boulder] that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” Denver Post (1/6/13) reports: “An army of consultants and citizen working groups are on the march in Boulder, trying to determine whether Xcel Energy, the state’s largest electric utility, can be replaced with a municipal power authority.”


Gore’s Oil bet pays off while his solar stocks sink. Must be because of global warmingWSJ (1/7/13) reports: “Al Gore’s big payday courtesy of a Middle Eastern oil emirate couldn’t come at a better time for the former vice president. That’s because of the rough market for Mr. Gore’s investments in oil alternatives. While Mr. Gore collects an estimated $100 million selling Current TV to Qatar-backed broadcaster Al Jazeera, the recent sale of a solar company backed by Mr. Gore’s venture-capital firm reveals a green-energy disaster.”


The Boring Legacy: “Damon’s fracking hunt finds little good will”. E&ENews (1/2/13) reports: “Although the actors lauded the Times series, the paper’s review of “Promised Land” didn’t return the favor. Reviewer A.O. Scott opined that the film “works” but that it is “unable to fulfill its own promise.”… The Washington Post was less charitable, calling it an “attractive, well-intentioned dry well.” And the Los Angeles Times deemed it ‘an echo of a convincing film rather than the real deal.’”


I don’t remember this, but it appears we’re in the wrong (4/12/12) reports: “Rob Gillette, the ousted CEO of First Solar Inc., earned more than $32 million in compensation from the struggling company for his two years of service, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday… Gillette came to First Solar from Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace in October 2009 and was fired by the Tempe-based solar company’s board of directors in October 2011… First Solar’s share price was greater than $143 the day Gillette’s employment contract began with the company, and it was $100 less when he was fired two years later… Most of his compensation came in the three months of 2009 that he worked, when his total compensation, including salary, bonus, stock and options awards and other perks, reached $16.55 million.”


What’s their REAL agenda? Clean Technica (1/2/13) reports: “The AVSP, according to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is expected to offset more than 775,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of eradicating three million cars from California’s highways over the 20 years of the plant’s projected operation (though, it’s likely to actually run longer than 20 years)… Now, if only we could also get rid of three million cars — then we’d be doing pretty well!”


So can we get back to real work now? All the bickering is less than productive. The Global Warming Policy Foundation (1/7/13) reports: “That the global temperature standstill (observed from 1997 to the present) could continue to at least 2017 would mean a 20-year period of no statistically significant change in global temperatures. Such a period of no increase coming at a time when greenhouse gas forcing is rising will pose fundamental problems for climate models… If the latest Met Office prediction is correct, and it accords far more closely with the observed data than previous predictions, then it will prove to be a lesson in humility. It will show that the previous predictions that were given so confidently as advice to the UK government and so unquestioningly accepted by the media, were wrong, and that the so-called sceptics who were derided for questioning them were actually on the right track.”

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