The Environment

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The Environment

Postby shostakovich » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:55 pm

The nominee for Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne smiled and shook Bush's hand yesterday. To my way of thinking anybody who can do that is unfit for public office.

Today I read in the paper (in Bushspeak): "--he will work closely with state and local leaders to ensure wise stewardship of our resources."

Ah, those crafty speech writers. They know decent folk will infer from that "care for the environment", which is not at all what it says. In fact, it says NOTHING. It doesn't specify what "work" or "close" or "wise" means.

Of course such speech crafting and nothing-saying is not unique to this administration. It's the major crutch of politicians.

Later in the article:

"As a senator and a governor, Dirk Kempthorne has been an unabashed champion of the resource extraction and development interests that profit most from public lands," Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said. "The president could not have chosen a more divisive nominee".


Heck, I'll bet he could have, given a little more time. Maybe the time it takes to vote this guy down will be enough. In any case, the last paragraph pretty much explains what "wise stewardship" actually means.


Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream, to wake with tomorrow's newspaper, and more aggravation to share on this board.

Good night, and good luck.
Shos
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Postby Haggis@wk » Tue May 09, 2006 6:59 am

We can’t drill off our own shores but the Chinese and Indians can. Sheesh


” Cuba's drilling plans have been in place for several years, but now that China, India and others are involved and fuel prices are unusually high, a growing number of lawmakers and business leaders in the United States are starting to complain. They argue that the United States' decades-old ban against drilling in coastal waters is driving up domestic energy costs and, in this case, is giving two of America's chief economic competitors access to energy at the United States' expense.

"This is the irony of ironies," Charles T. Drevna, executive vice president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, said of Cuba's collaboration with China and India. "We have chosen to lock up our resources and stand by to be spectators while these two come in and benefit from things right in our own backyard."


This is a direct result of the law that all nature abhors a vaccuum. Just because we won't drill for oil off our own shores doesn't mean that someone else won't.

Want to hazzard a guess about the Chinese and Indians committment to responsible enviromental stewardship as they take oil almost within sight of Key West?


So the good news Shos is that you don't have to worry about the possibility of greedy American Oil companies "raping" our off shore petroleum resources anymore, the Chinese will take care of that for us
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Shapley » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:37 pm

The latest from the EPA indicates that the air continues to get cleaner, despite news reports to the contrary.

The Bush administration didn't 'gut EPA standards'. What it did was switch from a policy of 'pursue and punish' to one of market-based solutions, a policy which seems to be bearing fruit. Industry now finds that, instead of devoting resources to punitive fines levied by the EPA, it can spend those resources on air-quality programs that work.

V/R
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Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:39 am

As I understand the market-based incentives, the situation would go something like this:

In a certain area there are two similar industries, company 'A' and company 'B'. Company 'A' is an older business, operating from a facility built in the '30s, while company 'B' is more modern, operating from a facility built in the '80s. By EPA requirements, both are required to maintain PM10 emissions at or below 100 tons/year. Company 'A' has been unable to comply with this mandate, producing 140 tons/year. The Clinton administration has fined them heavily for failure to comply. The company has accepted the fines as a cost of business, and realizes that it is cheaper to pay the fines than to upgrade their facilities. They are actively looking at options, should the economics change or the EPA impose stiffer fines or take other actions.

Company 'B' has met these requirements each year, producing 95 tons/year. For relatively little cost, they could reduce those emissions further, but have had no incentive to do so. The total PM10 emissions for the area are thus 140 + 95, or 235 tons/year.

Along comes the Bush administration. Under the Bush policies, the companies are able to buy and sell 'pollution credits', in essence allowing them to meet their mandates by proxy. Company 'A' goes shopping for credits. They approach company 'B' to buy their credits, but find that only 5 tons/year are available. Company 'B' tells them about the availability of additional reductions, but that it is not within their operating budget to do so. Company 'A' determines that it can buy the additional credits at a cost that will allow company 'B' to purchase the upgrades, and still save money compared to the cost of paying the EPA fines. The deal is done and Company 'B' lowers its emissions to 50 tons/year. Company 'A' buys an additional 45 tons/year credit, so that it is now operating below its' new mandate of 145 tons/year without expensive modifications.

The total emissions for the area are now 140 + 50, or 190 tons/year. Thus total emissions have been reduced, which is the goal of the EPA.

Of course, some may argue that the EPA could simply shut down company 'A' for non-compliance, and the total emissions would be 0 + 95 or 95 tons/year. However, the economic impact to the area would be unsatisfactory. As I've said, company 'A' has been actively looking at options, and their contingency in this case was to move the facility to Mexico, where operating costs are lower and the emission standards are a bit more lax.

I think it is a viable system. The latest release from the EPA seems to show that it is a successful one.

V/R
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Postby shostakovich » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:24 pm

Thanks for the example. How did company B eliminate 45 tons/year? What impact did the reduction have?

If air pollution is actually reducing, that's great. I just can't bring myself to credit Bush. :curse:
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:38 pm

shostakovich wrote:Thanks for the example. How did company B eliminate 45 tons/year? What impact did the reduction have?


Well, my command put charged-grid ion trap gizmos in the existing air-scrubber stacks for the plating shop exhaust. The shipyard across the bay is older, and their plating shop has no scrub stacks. (Of course, they handle the pollution problem by loading things-to-be-plated into a LC and driving 'em across the bay to our plating shop.)

The addition of another pollution-reducing device to an existing system is the sort of minor expenditure Shap means, as opposed to the major expenditure of designing a new facility or modifying an older facility that had no pre-existing pollution-reducers at all.
>^..^<
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Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:11 pm

Selma, that is correct. The local power plant was designed originally with a precipitator as the primary means of pollution control. This was installed when the plant was first built, in the '60s or '70s. A scrubber was added in the '80s to combat sulfur emissions. This was probably adequate to get them below then-current air quality requirements. Switching to low-sulfur (Wyoming) coal would have further reduced emissions, but the cost of low-sulfur coal was significantly higher than local high-sulfur (Illinois) coal.

If they were able to sell the 'credits' earned by lowering their emissions, the income from 'pollution credit' sales could have offset the additional cost of switching to low-sulfur coal. As it was, there was no financial incentive to lower emissions further than compliance levels. There are, or were, federal programs that would offset the cost of installation of new technologies, usually through tax breaks, but these did not address operational costs, only installation. The continuing costs of operating the new systems had to be absorbed or passed on to customers.

V/R
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Postby analog » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:23 pm

Shapley wrote: ......... Industry now finds that, instead of devoting resources to punitive fines levied by the EPA, it can spend those resources on air-quality programs that work.

V/R
Shapley


The market approach seems to be making headway as companies strive for image .

From http://www.appliancemagazine.com/news.p ... =0&first=1


Dell, Nokia Top List of "Green" Electronics Companies

Aug 29, 2006
....................................Finland’s Nokia does the best job using minimal amounts of hazardous chemicals, and Round Rock, TX-based Dell is best in providing consumers with programs to help dispose of unwanted computer hardware and other materials, according to Greenpeace's "Guide to Greener Electronics," a report that ranks 14 major computer and mobile phone producers on their use of potentially harmful chemicals and other substances within products, as well as their recycling initiatives.

The ranking of firms included within Greenpeace’s report is as follows:

Nokia, Dell (tie for 1st place)
Hewlett-Packard
Sony Ericsson
Samsung
Sony
LG Electronics
Panasonic
Toshiba
Fujitsu Siemens Computers
Apple
Acer
Motorola
Lenovo
Cogito ergo doleo.
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Postby barfle » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:25 pm

I guess RCA Victor, GE, Fisher, Heath, Altec-Lansing, and Atwater Kent didn't make the list.

:(
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Postby OperaTenor » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:35 pm

On another board I'm a member of, here's what a conservative there had to say about seeing An Inconvenient Truth":

I'm not a big Al Gore fan, and while global warming is obviously happening, I've remained unconvinced that humans are the primary driving force behind that. But this is a very powerful and effective film.

I could quibble about how the opposing viewpoints and science were not given adequate exposure or how he used this soapbox a little too much to air his bitterness about the 2000 election, but I didn't walk away from the film feeling offended by that. I walked away with a new respect for Al Gore as he clearly has put a lot of effort and passion into this work. His political persona is unlikable. His portyal in the film is paternal, gentle, understanding.

What is interesting is that while I don't view the science quite the same way that Gore does, I do subscribe to all of the ideas that he presents (and you have to wait until the last 5 minutes and through the credits to see these ideas), except 1. That one being Kyoto. Distilling my position on Kyoto, my primary gripe is that certain developing nations are on a trajectory to contribute far more to global warming than the US does, yet they would be exempt.

But the underlying force behind human contribution of global warming (if we in fact are significantly contributing) is not the amount of GHG that goes into the atmosphere so much as the rate. This rate is tied to the global population. The population of the planet was touched upon, and fundamentally, that is the root of any human contribution to global warming.

DW and I went out to dinner after the movie. Coincidentally, we both had formulated a picture of the things that we could do better to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We were both most distressed by our friends and family members that talk about how bad GWB (or the US) is for the environment and have 2 less-than-20mpg vehicles in the driveway. This "I'm not going to take personal responsibility until the law says I have to" mentality is understandable from those that do not subscribe to the need for change. But for the rest of us, actions speak louder than words.

I was disappointed that there was no obvious mention of where the proceeds of this movie are going. I do believe everyone should see this film and keep in mind that the real life case argument is not as compeling as is portrayed, but there is no downside to taking individual steps to reduce your personal carbon usage. I do hope that some aspects of this film can be edited into a license free production for showing in schools.

I guess I'm not asking a question or presenting an argument...just taking the opportunity to reflect on a polarizing issue and a film that has had some effect on my position. I am motivated to be part of the solution.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:17 pm

OT,

Had your conservative blogger read the EPA link I posted, he would see that, despite the increase in the number of 'less than 20 MPG SUV's' on the road, aggregate emissions in the USA have dropped 53% even as the number of vehicle miles traveled have risen 178% and energy consuption has risen 48% since 1970.

This trend in aggregate emission reductions has continued unabated during the past five years, despite President Bush' supposed distaste for environmental regulation.

It may not take the punch out of buying gas for those low-mileage SUV's, but it should quell his environmental guilt about it.

V/R
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Postby analog » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:20 pm

barfle wrote:I guess RCA Victor, GE, Fisher, Heath, Altec-Lansing, and Atwater Kent didn't make the list.

:(


Dynaco, Harmon Kardon, Marantz, McIntosh; they just don't make nostalgia like they used to.. sigh......... I miss beam power pentodes.



Mother Nature worked for millions of years putting Carbon underground, and now in the blink of a geological eye we're digging it up and putting it back in the air.

Mother Nature loves a balance. And we upset her carbon balance. Long term, Mother Nature will restore her carbon balance. If she has to rid herself of us to do it she will.


I deleted most of this post, it was in wrong thread anyway.............

:crazy:
Last edited by analog on Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby jamiebk » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:08 pm

Analog....your last sentence was just what I was thinking....Mother nature will find a balance, but I fear that the process won't be very kind to mankind...
Jamie

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Postby analog » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:46 pm

jamiebk wrote:Analog....your last sentence was just what I was thinking....Mother nature will find a balance, but I fear that the process won't be very kind to mankind...


Well I'm not convinced the end is imminent.

Mother Nature gave us Uranium and Thorium enough to get by for a few centuries, if we don't blow one another up with it.

Man is pretty adaptable. I think we'll get through global warming okay. Might be stormy weather, though.


It's not the first time Mom's dealt with a CO2 glut ....



Image

(kyr BP = thousands of years before present)

Did you read those links Shap and Bigjon posted in "Greetings from idiot America' thread discussing the hockey stick? Fascinating! :idea:
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Postby dai bread » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:37 pm

Odd how the CO2 level rises so sharply every 100k yr or so. Has mankind existed before? Or is there something going on that nobody's talking about?
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Postby jamiebk » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:50 am

Just like any living being, the planet inhales and exhales!
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Postby barfle » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:48 am

analog wrote:Dynaco, Harmon Kardon, Marantz, McIntosh; they just don't make nostalgia like they used to.. sigh......... I miss beam power pentodes.


Ahhh, for the good old days, when nostalgia was "in."
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Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:12 am

California Governor, Legislature Agree On Emission Caps

This is Republicanism at work, by Jove! Each of the fifty States has the authority to enact such measures, if they determine the problem to be worthy of it. We've become bogged down with the idea that Federal government is responsible for such fixes, which means we either emplement a one-size-fits-all approach to emissions in all the States, or we create a complex system of mandates for each of the States which fails the 'fair and equitable' requirement of the Constitution.

Let those States that see it as a 'major problem' enact legislation to correct it, as California has done.

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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:03 am

barfle wrote:
analog wrote:Dynaco, Harmon Kardon, Marantz, McIntosh; they just don't make nostalgia like they used to.. sigh......... I miss beam power pentodes.


Ahhh, for the good old days, when nostalgia was "in."

Ahhh, for the good old days, when today's "nostalgia" was the thin bleeding edge... :bugeyes:
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Postby piqaboo » Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:14 am

Whoa - California is going retro! Back to the days when it lead the nation in 'draconian' environmental controls.
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