Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hydrogen Fueling Station in Vermont

Thanks to a Department of Energy Grant secured by Vermont representative Bernie Sanders, Northern Power Systems and Proton Energy Systems will be constructing an advanced hydrogen fueling station near Burlington, VT. A partnership with EVermont helped bring about this project, which will begin as soon as local approvals have been completed.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Energy deregulation is good for you

Some of the very same companies that engaged in market manipulation to cheat consumers are now banding together to lobby for more energy deregulation. With an energy bill set to be unveiled in Congress in early April, these stealth lobbyists hope to sway opinion in their favor.

"It is disingenuous for this lobby group to push deregulation policies that they claim are good for consumers when history shows that their own companies used these very policies to profit from the biggest consumer rip-off in history," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Long Emergency

"People cannot stand too much reality," Carl Jung said, as James Howard Kunstler reminds us in this Rolling Stone article, The Long Emergency. The reality that Kunstler paints is truly grim, even for those of us who hope there is a way out of our pending energy crisis through alternative energy and efficiency improvements. The year of peak oil production (as has been projected by other analysts, as well) may be 2005. As we slide downhill, forced to give up the amenities that many take for granted, the behavior of the citizens of our oil-addicted society is likely to be less than civic-minded.

Hot air and global warming

Never underestimate the ability of the current administration to obfuscate in the face of facts and, if that fails, to declare the sun rises in the West, as this article from the Boston Globe, Hot air and global warming, points out.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Rise of Sea Level Inevitable

As discussed in this article from the journal Science, the most recent computer modeling shows that the global warming patterns in place at the moment will result in an evitable rise in sea levels worldwide. This presumes that no additional greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere (which, of course, isn't the case at the moment). As the world's greatest producer of greenhouse gases, the United States, sleeps, the need for urgency grows. The Union of Concerned Scientists offers some suggestions for changes in this piece, Global warming is real and underway.

The official position of the U.S., as expressed by James L. Connaughton, senior environmental and natural resources advisor to President Bush, is that more study is needed, as expressed in this article published by The Royal Society.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ten Simple Ways to Save Energy

Amidst the earth-shaking news (the latest global warming warnings) and the deeply disturbing news (the opening of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling), sometimes it's good to just step back and consider the day-to-day things you can do to make a difference in this world. This E-Magazine article, Ten Simple Ways to Save Energy, offers tips on personal ways that everyone can cut energy use in their home. If enough people followed this advice, maybe we wouldn't have to sacrifice the few remaining areas where wildlife can thrive to the engines of industry.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Demand for Hybrids Exceeds Supply

The popularity of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles is rising, as evidenced by long waiting lists for available models and steadily increasing production from manufacturers. The winner of a recent contest to create a slogan came up with the phrase "Green Cars Today, Blue Skies Tomorrow" and she is now driving the grand prize, a 2005 Toyota Prius.

Oil Production About to Peak

While forecasts for the point at which oil production worldwide begins to decline have been made by analysts for years, John S. Herold, Inc. breaks the analysis down company by company. Noteworthy for being the firm that first identified the pending collapse of Enron by bringing to light their dwindling profit margins, this latest analysis shows seven of the major oil companies reaching production peaks within 48 months. From there, it's all downhill.

As the executive vice president of Herold puts it, "If the dinosaurs are going extinct, we are trying to figure out which ones are going to go extinct the soonest."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Mount Kilimanjaro Stripped of Snow

For those global warming skeptics, recent photos of Mount Kilimanjaro without its snowcap for the first time in 11,000 years should be reason for pause. How many wake-up calls before the flat-earth crowd gets the message? Reuters tells the story at this link.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Worldwide Wind Power

A new organization, The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), promises to bring together leading forces in this swiftly growing industry, including more than 1,500 organizations distributed throughout 50 countries. As described in this news release, Wind Power Goes Global, from the Environment News Service, this newly formed group represents virtually all of the major wind turbine manufacturers, companies that have a collective wind power capacity of 47,317 megawatts.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Battles Over Wind Energy

It's not too surprising that with wind energy gaining popularity around the world, conventional energy producers are stepping up the attacks. As pointed out in this article, New Dispute Blows Through Wind Energy, the attacks are often deceptive and those with interests in fossil fuel and nuclear energy have a habit of twisting the facts to support bogus arguments.