Thursday, August 18, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 8-18-11

“De Omnibus Dubitandum”
Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality!

As California attempts to divorce itself from fossil-fueled electricity, it may be trading one environmental sin for another -- although you don't hear state officials admitting it.
Wind power is the fastest growing component in the state's green energy portfolio, but wildlife advocates say the marriage has an unintended consequence: dead birds, including protected species of eagles, hawks and owls.

Wind Turbines on a wind farm in the Mojave Desert in South California. "The cumulative impacts are huge," said Shawn Smallwood, one of the few recognized experts studying the impact of wind farms on migratory birds. "It is not inconceivable to me that we could reduce golden eagle populations by a great deal, if not wipe them out."

California supports roughly 2,500 golden eagles. The state's largest wind farms kill, on average, more than 80 eagles per year. But the state is set to triple wind capacity in the coming years as it tries to become the first state in the nation to generate 33 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2020.

The federal government handed out $37.2 billion in direct energy subsidies in 2010, an increase of more than $19 billion over 2007. This 50 percent increase from three years ago confirms that federal energy favors are a part of our out-of-control spending problem. Of that $19 billion increase, additional subsidies for renewables amounted to more than $9 billion, a 186 percent increase. Subsidies for renewables now total $14.7 billion. Wind power was the biggest recipient of federal energy dollars. Last year, this sector took in almost $5 billion in subsidies – a more-than-tenfold increase from 2007. Meanwhile, solar energy subsidies increased six times over the same period, from $179 million to $1.13 billion. And biofuels (think ethanol) saw a jump from $4 billion to $6.6 billion.

Funneling money into renewables is certainly politically popular. Officials write the checks and then (loudly) declare themselves champions of, say, “the energy economy of the future,” or “the green revolution” or whatever new catchphrase has proven powerful with voters. But, at the end of the day, someone ought to ask: What exactly do green firms have to show for all that money?

And the truth is: Not much.

Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The unglamorous work of insulating crawl spaces and attics had emerged as a silver bullet in a bleak economy – able to create jobs and shrink carbon footprint – and the announcement came with great fanfare…… But will the city hit its goals? Curtis was hopeful Seattle would make it by 2013, when the funding ends. Greenwich, of Puget Sound Sage, said the city needs to retrofit 100 to 200 homes a month to create 2,000 jobs. Woo, of Got Green, thinks the city needs to throw more money on incentives. Greenwich said the energy retrofit market has turned out to be extremely complicated, with required hammering out of job standards, hiring practices, wages and how best to measure energy benefits. "The city is really going to have to step up its game to get the 2,000 retrofits," Greenwich said.

My Take – “"But if this would have been easy, it would have been done already." No, if it had been easy …or worth doing…. some businessman would have already done it a long time ago. Throwing away taxpayer money to create an economic solution is now; has been in the past; will be in the future a long term failure to society. And all the excuses in the world won’t change that. And in point of fact; when the grant money runs out; so do these "jobs".

There is one more thing. Why is energy efficency "green"? Energy efficiency is an economic issue or it wouldn't exist. This cannot be sold based on environmentalism; it has to be sold on a dollar savings basis. That makes it an economic issue...not a green issue. This is why there is so much difficulty determining what actually constitutes a "green job". We need to recognize this "green" claptrap is blatantly fraudulent.

Things You Won't See On The News

Ominous Parallels
Social Degeneration Part 2
Fat-uous Approaches To the Obesity Problem
The Facts Contradict Obama's Calls for Higher Taxes on the Rich and Corporations
Federal Budget 101

Final Thought - I want to thank Dave Dietz for sending these newspaper headlines to me. I have no particular point to make; I just thought they were worth sharing.

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Miners Refuse to Work After Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
War Dims Hope of Peace
If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Space
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead


"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax -
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."


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