[GWSG] Net zero; wind power efficiency; privatizing water in TX; acid oceans; Nordhaus replies; natural gas no bridge

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sun Mar 4 08:39:42 EST 2012

1.  An unusually detailed accounting of the costs for an up-scale net zero house in Texas shows that the net effect is a considerable savings.  The home produces enough power to run the family’s Leaf auto.

2.  Windfarms produce 20-25 times more energy than was used in their manufacture and installation, contrary to common propaganda claims.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/29/turbines-energy

3.  Last week the Texas Supreme Court ruled that groundwater is private property just like oil and gas.  In 1999 Bolivia privatized its water and hired Bechtel Corporation to manage it.  In 2000 the people rose to throw out Bechtel and the government with it (as dramatized in the Spanish film Even The Rain).  http://www.wateryfoundation.com/?p=6324

4.  The acidification of the oceans seems to be the greatest in the past 300 million years, and much the fastest.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/01/us-climate-oceans-acid-idUSTRE82025S20120301

5.  A January climate change denial opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal attempted to use the work of Yale economist William Nordhaus in the service of an argument that it is economically preferable to do nothing about climate change.  This is his response.  http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/mar/22/why-global-warming-skeptics-are-wrong/

6.  A year ago after a Cornell study finding that natural gas was at least as bad for the climate as coal I ceased listing material simply advocating or further denying that natural gas should serve as a bridge fuel.  The Cornell study:  http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/news/attachments/Howarth-EtAl-2011.pdf  Since it has been so long, since Myhrvold and Caldeira’s new article “Greenhouse gases, climate change and the transition from coal to low-carbon electricity” in Environmental Research Letters 7 (2012), 1-8, supplies fresh supporting analysis, and since the article has been used as if it supported the use of natural gas, I recommend the account of it in Think Progress.  Joe Romm’s piece links to the original brief article.  http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/01/428764/ddrop-in-warming-requires-rapid-massive-deployment039-of-zero-carbon-power-not-gas/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateprogress%2FlCrX+%28Climate+Progress%29  The root article generally concludes that  it will take fifty years for an energy transition to begin to reverse a warming climate, and that we must not delay a transition away from all fossil fuels.  With a 50 year lag before measures could take effect, what are the odds that positive feedback from climate momentum will overwhelm the mitigating effect of some future effort and deliver us to runaway warming?  The need to cease burning fossil fuels seems ever more urgent.  We also need to work on shortening that 50 years lag, perhaps by drastically cutting power use as we build our renewable capacity.  We are challenged; our response needs to be determined.
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