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Showing posts from November, 2012

By George, They Think They’ve Got It

November 26, 2012 - Making fuel from trash has been a kind of holy grail – long sought after, much desired.Many have cried “Eureka,” only to find that either money or interest had dried up.I suspect lack of interest was frequently the culprit, when energy companies were the source of funds.Now, however, we have two companies that have built multimillion-dollar factories for the purpose of large-scale, commercial production of cellulosic biofuel.One will, in fact, be shipping product by the end of this month. KiOR has built their plant in Columbus, Mississippi, at a cost of $200 million.Its goal is the manufacture of 13 million gallons of fuel annually from wood waste.How can they already be shipping fuel?They have customers!FedEx, Weyerhauser and Chevron, to be exact.This sounds serious, for which we can all be grateful.Here’s why: No. 1 - KiOR’s fuel isn’t made from an edible crop, like corn.All of us have heard of food riots in various parts of the world, and have heard the warnings …

The Sky Really Is Falling

November 19, 2012 - With the issuance of the World Bank report Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 Degree Centigrade Warmer World Must Be Avoided, the chorus of voices in Washington, D.C. that belong to organizations that have at last found their courage has become quite raucous.  What are they saying?

This will happen!  That will happen!  This AND that will happen!  This and that must not happen!  It's serious!  It's very, Very, VERY serious!!  Why?  Because this will happen!  And that will happen!  Etc., etc., etc.

Not that they're wrong.  Far from it; the ramifications of doing nothing - which is, in essence, what we are currently doing - are staggeringly awful.  I've covered them quite thoroughly, in the nearly four years I've been writing this blog.  This part of the report they got right. Without mitigative actions, we're in a world of hurt.  Yes, the World Bank speaks truth. They are to be commended.  (They also need to be told to stop funding coal-burning plant…

Occupy, You Make Me Proud to be an American

November 12 - Some of my best moments are when my children make me proud.  As any mother will tell you, once you become a mother, your nurturing instincts encompass every mother's children, everywhere. That's because, though human beings at their worst could mortify toxic sludge, human beings at their best are the outstretched hand of G-d.  The pleasure-filled looks on our children's faces when they do the work of uplifting those in need would make any mother kvel. As every mother knows, our children are at their very best when they take good care of each other.

First the members of Occupy took it upon themselves to help the survivors of Hurricane Sandy.  Going door to door, they have checked on the occupants of countless homes to determine their condition and their needs.  They have distributed food and clothing, and have offered comfort to so many who were badly shaken by the storm's battering.  Recognizing a job that required more than aid agencies by themselves cou…

Only When I Laugh

November 5, 2012 - Americans keep taking baby steps on the slow, reluctant path toward climate resilience.  Last week we found out just how far that has gotten us.  For the two of you who remain unconvinced, PricewaterhouseCooper, accounting and consultancy behemoth, has been thoughtful enough to issue its annual low-carbon economy index.  Considering that Hurricane Sandy is where we stand now, there's little in the way of shock value in PwC's latest research.  Well, unless knowing that the world is on track for 11.4 degrees F. of average warming by the end of this century shocks you.

It should, considering that 90 percent of all species will have become extinct at that increased level in average temperature.   The Middle East, along with southern Europe and northern Africa, will have become unlivable.  How ironic that the nations which comprise the Middle East seem traditionally incapable of getting along with one another (or, in the case of Syria, with even itself), fighting…