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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

more ranting about the environment

long time readers have probably figured out that i'm much more of an environmentalist that most of the vapid doo gooder/feel gooders out there. biggest difference? i am all for doing something about real issues, rather than yelling about how messed up we are. want to get rid of the "horrible carbon footprint" of modern society? build nukes. lots of them. that way we can stop using precious carbon based fossil fuels that emit tons of carbon dioxide daily. that will help us with our issues in the middle east as well, since our dependence on their oil will be sharply curtailed. find and exploit new sources, or even known old sources, such as the fuel buried in the bottom of the Santa Barbara channel. but of course, environmentalists and nimbys are all flapping over that one.
i've ranted before about the vocal rabble-rousers that insist we DO SOMETHING!!!, but when a workable plan is hatched, they are the first to get in line decrying it. case in point, the Cape Cod wind turbine plan from 2004.
now, many Californians are being absolutely two faced about enviro issues.
Dan Walters has written about in the latest flap in today's Sacramento Bee. Greens like idea of renewable energy, balk at the reality. to quote the article/editorial:
An environmental coalition called Californians for Solar and Clean Energy has submitted more than 700,000 signatures for an initiative measure that would compel the state's utilities to use renewable sources for 40 percent of their electric power supplies by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025, a sharp increase in what the state's current policy requires.

The underlying notion is to reduce our reliance on carbon-generating fuels such as coal and natural gas and thus contribute to the fight against global warming.

Fair enough. If global warming is the threat to human life that we're being told it is, and reducing human-caused carbon emissions is the critical factor, then it will require big changes in the way we live, including how we generate and use energy.

As the coalition's name implies, solar is its preferred form of renewable energy – tapping the rays of the sun to create electricity through photovoltaic panels – although geothermal energy, utilizing heat from the Earth's core, is another source. And, as it happens, California is blessed with copious amounts of both sunshine and geothermal heat.

Merely generating energy from renewable, nonpolluting sources is one thing. Transmitting it from generation sites to where people live is another, and environmental groups that tout renewable energy often oppose transmission lines that would carry the power to homes and businesses, as a long-running battle over a project called "Sunrise Powerlink" illustrates.

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. wants to build the 150-mile-long high-voltage line from solar and geothermal plants in Imperial County to urban users along the coast, but environmentalists and property owners along the proposed route are lining up against it in anticipation of a Public Utilities Commission decision in August.

Environmental groups are especially unhappy with sending the power through Anza-Borrego State Park, even though it would follow an existing power line corridor, while local landowners and governments stiffly oppose alternative routes that bypass the park.

The environmental groups' opposition follows an odd pattern of supporting green policies in a macro sense, only to oppose specific projects that would implement their larger vision.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's proclaimed himself leader of California's – and perhaps humankind's – anti-global warming crusade, appears to be getting a little frustrated with his supposed allies' attitude toward specific projects.

"One energy expert the other day said that the California Mojave Desert … is one of the best spots on planet Earth for solar power plants," Schwarzenegger said in a speech to a recent climate change conference at Yale University. "Pacific Gas and Electric wants to put three huge solar plants right there. And the whole world – the Germans, the French, the Canadians, the Japanese – they all want to come out to California and put solar power plants in the Mojave Desert and in other places. The only thing is that the problem is getting that new energy to the power grid because of environmental hurdles.

"San Diego Gas & Electric wants to develop solar geothermal fields in Imperial Valley and build 150 miles of transmission lines to go and take this power right into San Diego, but it faces opposition even though it would replace an old carbon-based power plant. So the point I'm making is it's not just businesses that have slowed things down, it's not just Republicans that have slowed things down, it's also Democrats and also environmental activists sometimes that slow things down. … I don't know whether this is ironic or absurd. But, I mean, if we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave Desert, I don't know where the hell we can put it."

as my old man used to say: "Put your money where your mouth is"

and here's a link to a youtube video about a discussion on global warming that you probably haven't seen, or heard about. intellesting, velly intellesting.

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Blogger beebs said...

We're in deep trouble in CA. We can't import electricity made in coal fired plants. We can't import LNG to offshore CA. CA can't build nuke plants until a final solution to waste is found.

Where will we get power in the future?

4/23/08, 2:39 PM  

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