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Showing posts from July, 2011

Where are our National Leaders?

July 25, 2011 - So: how do you like living in a world of human-induced climate change? Have you wondered what it would be like, once climate change really "kicked in?" I know I have. This, of course, is only the beginning. It's going to get much worse. The folks at the Weather Channel keep telling us this is a Heat Wave With a Difference. That's because of its historic wide-spread occurrence over much of the nation. That, and one more thing: the very high levels of humidity accompanying the heat.

The humidity is so high because hot air can hold more water than dry air can. The hotter the air gets, the more water it can hold! Here comes the remarkably bad news - all that water in the air acts as a greenhouse gas (GHG). It keeps heat from reflecting back into space. Where does that leave us? In a terribly difficult situation. The Gulf of Mexico's sea surface temperature (SST) is higher than ever, and that causes increased evaporation. There's the water. Air temp…

The Transitional Economy

July 18, 2011 - I am not a native Cincinnatian. I don't have terribly strong feelings about Cincy one way or the other. Since I'm kind of an artsy-fartsy person, the fact that Cincy has an incredible arts scene for a city its size - only about 300,000 people live in the city proper - is perfect. Since I'm also a gardener, the fact that Cincinnati is cursed with the worst soil on the planet is a bummer. Since I'm a suburbanite, the fact that the city is, and has long been, broke, is a subject of little interest. (Build your tax base, already!!)

All of the foregoing notwithstanding, the tree hugger in me is gleeful about the lead story in this week's Business Courier: "Cincinnati cleans up," followed by the words "Region's green economy now responsible for thousands of jobs." In other words, jobs created by business with an eye toward not just the bottom line, but the environment as well, have become enough of a factor to be written about in a …

Small Victories Begin To Add Up

July 11, 2011 - An amazing thing has happened while we weren't looking: progress is being made in the fight to mitigate climate change. Some of that progress has occurred in big steps, some in baby steps, but one thing is certain - all progress is important when it comes to saving our planet and providing future generations with a future. People the world over have become fed up, waiting for governments to take the lead, so they're steppin' out and steppin' up. Here's what I mean:

Let's start here in the US. I could scarcely believe my eyes when I read this story! Americans, if you can believe it, now derive 12% of their energy from renewable sources. You read that right: 12 percent of our energy now comes from sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. Renewables have far surpassed nuclear, which stands at a measly two percent. While I harbor a few doubts on the subject of burning biomass, I'll set those to the side for the moment and just enjoy …

Is a Half-Truth Really Better than None?

Hi Everybody - Well, once again I must apologize for my tardiness. This time, Google/blogspot isn't allowing me to copy and paste my articles into their posting app, so I had to re-type. Sorry for the delay.

July 4, 2011 - It just keeps getting better: during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) sorrowfully pointed out that, if the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA) of 2003 had only been fully implemented, the forest fires out West wouldn't be burning. It's all the fault of the Forest Service, she lamented. Come to find out, the HFRA was never - you guessed it - fully funded (as was the case with so many of GWB's "great ideas"). Furthermore, says Roger Sedjo of Resources for the Future, Murkowski, along with other members of the committee, fails to account for the type of forests found in the Southwest - pine. Pine trees have evolved to go to seed as the result of being exposed to the heat…