The estimate of wind energy related bird losses attributed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the column is in fact the opinion of one biologist and not an official agency statistic. The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, a collaboration of government officials, conservationists and industry representatives, more accurately estimates, based on actual data collected from over 100 wind farms nationally, the loss to be 200,000 birds annually. Read more »
Subsidies are dumb, they distort the market and in general encourage that which should not be encouraged…like biofuels.
Five years ago, rural America was giddy for ethanol.
Backed by government subsidies and mandates, hundreds of ethanol plants rose among the golden fields of the Corn Belt, bringing jobs and business to small towns, providing farmers with a new market for their crops and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the producers of this corn-based fuel blend.
Those days of promise and prosperity are vanishing. Read more »
I have a recycling bin, I chuck everything in it…everything, it is much easier than actually giving a shit about recycling. Turns out this is the best way to encourage recycling.
In Houston, for example, they want to construct a high-tech sorting facility that would allow 75 percent of the city’s trash to be recycled using technologies from the mining and refining industries (residents put everything in one bin; technology handles the rest). In Boston, they want to put more youth data in the hands of parents and empower them to share it more easily with educators, technologists, and researchers to ensure the best programs for their children. Even in a smaller town, like Springfield, Oregon, they are trying to create mobile primary healthcare that combine at-your-door service with telemedicine technology in order to reduce EMS and ER costs. Read more »
While the Green Taliban and Labour moan about the minimum wage of $550 per week ($13.75 x 40 hours) this inspiring story of a family living on $35 per week puts all that in perspective.
Since almost losing her home and business during the height of the recession, Lyn has saved more than $100,000 by cutting her weekly shopping bill down from $200 to just $35. She says without the drastic measures, she would have lost everything.
“I’d be on the DPB right now, I think,” she says from her Northland farm. “I was really in the poo in 2009. I spent money without thinking about it and I had no nest egg, so when I ran out of money and the farm was struggling, the banks wouldn’t help me.”
Excellent – Lyn owns her life and accepts responsibility for her situation – seems she does not expect or want to be dependant upon the state
Lyn’s youngest daughter Stevie – once resistant to the budget – has developed a real skill for making innovative lunches and snacks in the kitchen from nothing at all.
Living mostly out of her garden – collecting milk and eggs from her livestock and only purchasing staple items such as flour, sugar and legumes – Lyn also refuses to buy any cleaning products and cosmetics, replacing the majority with baking soda.
Amazingly, the entire family doesn’t miss any food item from their “previous life” – the only thing Stevie misses is dishwashing liquid. Read more »
As news broke yesterday, fuelled by uninformed idiocy from the SST, and Lucy Craymer and Charles Anderson running a hate campaign against the New Zealand agriculture sector the Green Taliban went on attack issuing statements about ‘chemicals’.
In a 2008 interview with Gordon Campbell – check out Russel Norman’s last answer:
Campbell: So from what you’re saying, if the Greens are in government after the next election, it will be asking farmers to pay the full costs of its emissions much sooner ?
Norman: Yeah…and its actually in a good position to reduce its emissions. The technology already exists. Its just nuts. They’re half of our emissions, and we’re saying the sector doesn’t have to do anything.
Campbell:Excuse me, but the technology to reduce methane emissions doesn’t exist at the moment.
Norman: The technology to reduce nitrous oxide emissions exists at the moment, with nitrification inhibitors.
Because of green taliban policies mandating bio-fuel content in fuel supplies farmers in the US are switching crops from producing food to producing fuel. The resulting shortage of grains like corn is causing dire consequences in third world countries.
In a globalized world, the expansion of the biofuels industry has contributed to spikes in food prices and a shortage of land for food-based agriculture in poor corners of Asia, Africa and Latin America because the raw material is grown wherever it is cheapest.
Nowhere, perhaps, is that squeeze more obvious than in Guatemala, which is “getting hit from both sides of the Atlantic,” in its fields and at its markets, said Timothy Wise, a Tufts University development expert who is studying the problem globally with Actionaid, a policy group based in Washington that focuses on poverty. Read more »
Len Brown wants us to have the most liveable city in the world…perhaps I might subscribe to his plans if he had said most productive city in the world…unfortunately his plans preclude that and thus doom Auckland to mediocrity and poverty.
The denser the city, the more productive, efficient and powerful it becomes. The theoretical physicists, Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West calculated that if the population of a city is doubled, average wages go up by 15%, as do other measures of productivity, like patents per capita. Economic output of a city of 10 million people will be 15-20% higher than that of two cities of 5 million people. Incomes are on average five times higher in urbanised countries with a largely rural population. And at the same time, resource use and carbon emissions plummet by 15% for every doubling in density, because of more efficient use of infrastructure and better use of public transportation.
Finally the Government in the UK is getting the picture.
Chancellor George Osborne is referring to the climate warmists in Government – rife in the coalition wet Liberal Democrats, and even scattered through his own party – as “the environmental Taliban.”
George Osborne has started referring to Parliamentary climate change campaigners as the “environmental Taliban”, it emerged today, as the Treasury fights to water down renewable commitments in the Government’s flagship Energy Bill.
Members of the Coalition’s quad of decision makers including the Chancellor, David Cameron and Nick Clegg met today in attempt to thrash out details of the bill which is due to be published within weeks.
Ed Davey, the Climate Change Secretary, is pushing for the legislation to contain a specific legally binding commitment on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted by powers stations by 2030 to “bind in” the Government to renewable energy.
He is also arguing that the Treasury should be the ultimate guarantor of the loans that renewable energy companies will need to take out to invest in new renewable and nuclear power stations. These so-called “contracts for difference”, it is argued, would give investors the confidence that there will be long-term revenues in renewables and reduce the cost of upfront capital expenditure for new low-carbon projects.
But Mr Osborne and the Treasury have been opposing both measures. Senior Conservative sources said that Mr Osborne’s objections to the plans reflect his growing scepticism about the need to take immediate action to decarbonise the economy during a time of recession.
“I think that George’s position reflects a growing scepticism about current climate change policy across the party,” said one MP.
“It was fine to be talking about spending money on climate change in the good times but when energy bills are going up it doesn’t seem like good politics.”
Another source added: “George has started referring to the green lobby in Government and Tory party as the environmental Taliban. It’s meant as a joke but it shows where he’s coming from.”
Mr Osborne is also pushing for the creation of a ‘levy control framework’ which would, in effect, put a cap on the total subsidy from tax payers and energy consumers going towards green power.
This would allow the Chancellor to claim he is helping keep energy bills down at a time of recession. However critics claim it will result in a “dash for gas” and higher, less green energy in the longer term.
Cameron may be too lily-livered to take a stand on this, but he has shown a bit of spine recently with some sharp attacks on that mega-trough the EU.
Words are good, but what’s the chance of some action?
And will we ever get someone in the NZ government to stand up and state that NZ spending on Warmist Green lunacy, cow-farting cures and Meridian’s hideous eye-sore windmills included, is a waste of time and money foisted upon us by our own environmental taliban?
Biofuels are often touted by the batty greenies as the saviour of our planet. The reality is far worse than their wooly headed thinking:
As Lester Brown – president of Washington’s Earth Policy Institute – has long pointed out, biofuels pit the hungry against relatively affluent motorists in competition for crops. Unsurprisingly, the drivers are winning. Forty per cent of the US corn crop now goes for fuel, not food, while the land used to grow biofuels for Europe alone could instead be used to feed 127 million people.
The competition drives up food prices – it has been partly responsible for recent abrupt increases that have driven scores of millions into hunger – and has helped stimulate a spate of land-grabbing in the Third World. Oxfam reported this week that an area of land eight times the size of the UK had been sold off over the past decade – and that two thirds of the deals appear to have been struck for the growing of biofuels. Often small farmers are thrown off the land, to join the destitute and hungry.
And all this may actually accelerate climate change. Studies show that most – if not all – biofuels cause lower emissions of greenhouse gases than the petrol and diesel they replace. But these do not take into account the indirect effects of displacing food production: as farmland is given over to producing fuel, cultivators move elsewhere to fell forests or plough up peatlands, emitting carbon dioxide as they do so. By some estimates, these emissions could, by 2020, be equivalent to putting over 25 million more cars on the road.
As usual, when the price of oil goes up new technology comes along, and supply increases, prices fall, and everyone starts talking about peak oil again because they forget new technology changes what is economically viable to extract.
As car makers race to wean themselves off the world’s dwindling supplies of oil, an academic in the United States has made the startling claim that we may be facing an oil glut.
Energy expert – and former oil industry executive – Leonardo Maugeri has authored a report that claims oil production will actually increase in the coming years, flying in the face of theories that suggest there will be a “peak oil” scenario in the foreseeable future.
Maugeri’s report, published by the Belfer Center at Harvard University, states: “contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption.”
Maugeri’s explanation for his claims comes from broader use of existing technologies in drilling for oil, including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking. He claims that oil production may ramp up by 20 per cent over the next eight years, and there may even be a “collapse” in oil prices, and, in turn, lower prices for fuel from about 2015.