Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bill McKibben Interview of

I heard a great interview with Bill McKibbon of at Speaking of Faith. Here is the link.

He has some interesting points about the cost of climate change to the world economy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

America is falling behind in the Green Revolution

Just like the automobile industry, the US is falling behind Asia in the area of green technology. Japan is about 10 years ahead of the US in solar technology. That country offers residential solar technology on a large scale. China has been putting in tons of money in development of wind technology.

According to a report from the Breakthrough Institute and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, as reported in the Financial Times, the US attracted about $56 billion in private capital for renewable energy technology between 2000 and 2008. China ended this same period with $41 billion in private capital invested. However, the report states that over the next 5 years, Japan, China and South Korea would between them invest a total of $509 billion in clean technology. In contrast, the US will invest about $172 billion over that same period.

This report states further that China is poised to repeat the same success in green technology that South Korea and Japan had established in electronics and automobiles. It looks like these "Green Tigers" will be the leaders in the gren technology industry with the US trying to play catch up once again. This will be a missed opportunity for the US the shift its economy from an unbalanced service oriented economy back to a balanced service and manufacturing economy. This economic transformation will benefit the US both in economic growth and security.

Unfortunately, we may be too late. China is already the leader in exporting solar power components and has one of the biggest wind turbine manufacturing industries. This year China will export the first wind turbine destined for use in a US wind farm valued at $1.5 billion. With a 10% unemployment rate, this is unacceptable that we would not be providing these wind turbines by our own companies to US wind farms.

According to the report, the US relies on foreign-owned companies to manufacture most wind turbines and produces less than 10% of the world's solar cells. In addition, we have already fell behind the other foreign automobile companies in hybrid and electric car technology.

The US needs to take the lead in this. There should be no debate on this by Congress because it benefits all Americans: conservatives, liberals, independents, farmers, city dwellers, the wealthy and the poor. Let's get to work become the leader in the Eco-economy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

News from Copenhagen December 9th

Well, it looks like that China and the US cannot play nice in the global sandbox. China yesterday pushed back the climate change obligations onto the developed countries stating that the developed countries should be responsible for reducing carbon emissions, not the developing countries.

The US has returned responded by stating that it is China, whose Co2 emissions will increase dramatically in the upcoming years, that needs to seriously commit to such C02 reductions.

The fact is the both US and China have to step up to the plate. One country, the US, is currently the largest emitter and the other country, China, will be the largest emitter. Until these two countries commit to take serious action to reduce their emissions, the rest of the world will not take action. We are in an international relations suspended state in a rapidly changing environment. It is time for these two "babies" to grow up, get out of the sandbox and start acting like adults and not like children.

Speaking of children, a US Republican "delegation" is showing up to Denmark to protest any real commitment by the President to a global pact to reduce Co2 emissions. They claim that any such action will have a negative impact on US jobs. The added that the President should not make the same mistake that Al Gore did in Kyoto by committing to something he cannot deliver. And we thought health care reform was tough. Wait until the White House pushes for a climate change bill. That will make the health care reform protests look like a tea party in comparison to the battles that will occur on the Senate and House floor and the various Jerry Springer like town hall meetings throughout the country.

So here is a word of advice to polar bears and nations at sea level, seek hire ground.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This Month's Number: 57%


The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press did a recent polling of 1500 adults regarding the issue of whether global warming is caused by man made activities. The result is that only 57% of those polled believe that there is strong scientific evidence that that the Earth is warming due to man's actions. This dropped considerably from 77% in 2006 and 71% in 2008.

What is happening here? There are more sceptics out there that are getting public exposure to "challenge" the scientific evidence. Because of the 24/7 news cycle and the variety of different methods to express your opinion via the Internet and other forms of electronic communication, there is a larger audience that is being exposed to this counter position.

In addition, although this happened after the polling, more than 3000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) were released to the public after their servers were hacked. According to news reports, there is evidence in these documents and e-mails that certain scientists were working together to exclude or "massage" certain data in order to unequivocally reach the conclusion that man is causing global warning. Also, it has been reported that there were efforts to exclude scientists who were critics of this position.

Unfortunately, this new news might push that 57% down to a level where the majority believes that man is not causing global warming. More importantly, the scientific community is now facing an issue of credibility. They already had a hard time convincing people beforehand. Now, they are facing a more sceptic public with a lack of credibility. Good luck. I am going to start working on that Ark.