Tag Archives: Spills

Energy and Climate Change Items of Interest

Every one of these is a topic I’d like to write an entire blog post about but I don’t have time right now. So, YOU write the blog post!

In Michigan there is an emerging debate and discussion about using the Vast Forests in that state to provide energy. This is a good idea because it does not involve the release of fossil Carbon from fossil fuels. It is a bad idea because it involves the release of Carbon currently trapped in a medium term and important Carbon sink. It is interesting because it highlights a key feature of the whole energy and climate change thing. Sun makes burnable stuff, we burn it. This is just another version of this where we would be relying on trees, and on whatever level of efficiency forests provide. I assume we can build a better mousetrap than this.

In Minnesota, Xcel Energy has broken a record:

MINNEAPOLIS — Xcel Energy issued a press release Wednesday declaring that it had achieved a milestone when 46 percent of customers’ electricity needs in the Upper Midwest were met by wind energy at 3 a.m. Sunday.

That’s an all-time high for Xcel, which recently was named the nation’s top wind power provider for the 10th straight year. At the time of the record, 1,622 of 3,512 megawatts were being produced by wind turbines.

It has been windy in Minnesota over the last few days! Anyway, details here.

When an oil spill or similar environmental disaster happens we are assured that new technologies will make such a thing much more unlikely in the future. Well, “New “Safer” Tank Cars Were Involved in Lynchburg, VA, Oil Train Fire.

And while we are speaking of accidents, “Accident Leads to Scrutiny of Oil Sand Production” and “Fracking disposal wells may cause quakes 30 miles away, researchers say“.

Climate change and President Obama’s legacy:

The satellite images viewed by President Obama before a meeting with eight Western governors were stark, showing how snowpack in California’s mountains had shrunk by 86 percent in a single year.

“It was a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ moment,” recalled White House counselor John D. Podesta, one of two aides who briefed the president that February day. Obama mentioned the images several times as he warned the governors that political leaders had no choice but to cope with global warming’s impact.

Read Juliet Eilperin’s interesting essay in the Washington Post.

Hydro power is “Carbon Free” but also can be environmentally destructive, and it only provides a small amount of our electricity. But, we could in theory get more. A “DOE study suggests America’s rivers are troves of vast untapped hydropower potential and developing many of them could help combat climate change by using renewable energy to reduce reliance on coal-fired power plants that emit climate-changing greenhouse gases.” Climate Central item is HERE.

And finally, Some see proposed wind farm as a threat in Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. I’ve been planning to write up a 10,000 Birds post updating this topic, so maybe that will be my next post there. In the mean time I want to make a proposal. Invent a wind turbine that is very visible to birds. It will be less efficient than other turbines. So what? We need the clean energy, we can pay more for some of it. Just invent the damn thing. I have a design in mind, if you are a serious engineers in the wind power area contact me and I’ll tell you how it works. We’ll share the patent.