In the Pipeline: 4/2/13

When you’re not gambling with your own money, Vegas must be tons of fun. Grist (3/28/13) reports: “We find that 90% of hours are covered most cost-effectively by a system that generates from renewables 180% the electrical energy needed by load, and 99.9% of hours are covered by generating almost 290% of need. Only [9 to 72 hours] of storage were required to cover 99.9% of hours of load over four years. So much excess generation of renewables is a new idea, but it is not problematic or inefficient, any more than it is problematic to build a thermal power plant requiring fuel input at 250% of the electrical output, as we do today.”


The thing is that renewable portfolio standards don’t “promote” increased generation of electricity from wind and solar and what not. They require consumers to buy it under compulsion of law. Bingaman is a perfect choice for an organization that doesn’t understand the difference. Stanford Law School (4/1/13) reports: “Former U.S. Senator and Stanford Law School alumnus Jeff Bingaman will join the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance as a distinguished fellow to develop policies to assist states and local communities in promoting increased use of clean energy. Currently, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted policies to promote increased generation of electricity from renewable energy sources in the form of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).”


Do these people not know how to talk to each other? Maybe federal agencies should make employees sign up for eharmony or After all, wind power is very sexy and chic these days. Renewables Biz (3/29/13) reports: “The GAO identified significant duplication among the 82 different federal initiatives subsidizing wind energy. Despite this duplication, the administration wants to expand federal spending even further. We should eliminate duplication, not throw more money at overlapping initiatives. We should also redirect efforts toward research that will help renewable energy companies compete without taxpayer subsidies.”


Thank God! Now he can speak freely after being muzzled by three different Administrations. What do you want to bet no one wants to hear him? NYTimes (4/1/13) reports: “James E. Hansen, the climate scientist who issued the clearest warning of the 20th century about the dangers of global warming, will retire from NASA this week, giving himself more freedom to pursue political and legal efforts to limit greenhouse gases.”


Yes, the media has cooled on global warming, and so has the earth. Even James Hansen has noted the “pause” in global warming. Media Matters (3/30/13) reports: “Twelve. That’s the combined number of segments that ABC, CBS and NBC’s nightly news programs devoted to climate change throughout all of 2012. This is woefully inadequate. We need coverage that’s consistent with the importance of dealing with this issue… That’s why we and the Sierra Club are joining the League of Conservation Voters in asking those three nightly news programs to do a better job covering climate issues in 2013 than they did in 2012.”


This is a little complicated, so let me boil it down. The media got all excited over a new study that they said showed the warming over the last hundred years has been really spectacular. Only one problem. The guy who actually wrote the study specifically said that the data he had for the last 100 years was pretty close to worthless (statistically speaking). So, as my friend Robert Plant likes to point out, the song remains the same. Global Warming Policy Foundation (4/1/13) reports: “Roger Pielke Jr documents the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct.”


A new, and ridiculous way into the carbon tax discussion…Washington Post (3/30/13) reports: “CONSUMERS AREN’T paying nearly enough for their energy, and that’s a massive problem for the planet.”

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