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- The Futility of Alternative Energy in the Midst of Hyper-Population Growth (Connectin... - 0 views

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    Most Coloradans and Americans plow through their daily lives without a clue as to their future or their children's outlook concerning America's energy crisis. However, last summer, a glimpse of the future confronted them. At $4.20 per gallon of gas, they squirmed on their wallets while complaining, "These prices are insane, ridiculous, crazy…." When a barrel of oil reached $140.00 in August 2008, Americans limited their driving, so much so, they drove 12 million less miles that month. They bought more fuel efficient cars. They carpooled. They clamored for alternative fuels. "We must move toward wind, solar, nuclear and coal for our energy needs," screamed our politicians. "We must provide for future generations and keep our economy growing."
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No need for coal plants: Wind and solar will do | DL-Online | Detroit Lakes, Minnesota - 0 views

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    Big Stone II's demise is not a bad sign for wind, it is the opposite. Now is the opportunity to move ahead to the next economy, not to worry about what we lost with a big polluter. Let's give this gift to our future generations - a better future. Take a deep breath and let's take a look at what the next energy economy will look like. We will move to an entirely non-fossil fuel economy based on solar and wind. We will have 89,000 solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar panels, 1.7 million rooftop PV systems to reduce combustion on most of our houses and perhaps solar water as well. We will have 3.8 million wind turbines worldwide taking up a total area smaller than the size of Manhattan. When the wind doesn't blow in South Dakota, it blows in North Dakota, or Nebraska, or the steppes of Russia. Distributed wind is where we should be headed. And hydro-power can "firm" intermittent wind - we have plenty of dams on the Missouri.
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    Big Stone II's demise is not a bad sign for wind, it is the opposite. Now is the opportunity to move ahead to the next economy, not to worry about what we lost with a big polluter. Let's give this gift to our future generations - a better future. Take a deep breath and let's take a look at what the next energy economy will look like. We will move to an entirely non-fossil fuel economy based on solar and wind. We will have 89,000 solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar panels, 1.7 million rooftop PV systems to reduce combustion on most of our houses and perhaps solar water as well. We will have 3.8 million wind turbines worldwide taking up a total area smaller than the size of Manhattan. When the wind doesn't blow in South Dakota, it blows in North Dakota, or Nebraska, or the steppes of Russia. Distributed wind is where we should be headed. And hydro-power can "firm" intermittent wind - we have plenty of dams on the Missouri.
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Farmers fight plans for new oil refinery - CNN.com - 0 views

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    Farmland stretches as far as the eye can see -- row upon row of corn stalks waving in the breeze. It's an unlikely place to watch America debate its energy crisis but a battle is raging in this corner of South Dakota over what could be the nation's first new oil refinery in 30 years. Farmer Dale Harkness wants future generations to enjoy the land in Elk Point, South Dakota, as it is now. Farmer Dale Harkness wants future generations to enjoy the land in Elk Point, South Dakota, as it is now. Click to view previous image 1 of 3 Click to view next image Plans were kept secret for months but residents of Union County have now voted in favor of rezoning land for a $10-billion refinery capable of converting 400,000 barrels of Canadian oil into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel every day.
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Efficiency & renewables | Energy Bulletin - 0 views

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    The American Physical Society has just released a report on improving energy efficiency in the transportation and buildings sector: Energy = Future Think Efficiency There are links from the above to an Executive Summary and the full report (100 page PDF). This is not just a "change your light bulbs" document, but rather a comprehensive, information-filled challenge to the status quo with regards to government inaction with regards to energy conservation. It is also not a document on energy production and future difficulties in being able to do enough of this to keep the lights on -- even with better efficiency. But it is well worth a read, with lots of data on energy use and great graphics.
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DOE report paints bleak picture of our electric future - 0 views

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    There's a long tradition of using Fridays to release reports you'd rather not see attract attention, and the Department of Energy has used the last Friday of the Bush Administration to release a big one. Its Electricity Advisory Committee, composed primarily of power industry executives, has released a series of reports on the future of the US electric grid. These include focused looks at the potential for power storage and the smart grid, but it's the overall evaluation that's badly off the administration's message: the government needs to make a significant intervention in the power market, it's completely failed to do so for the past eight years (and longer), and conservation needs to be part of anything we do.
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Peak Energy: The future is Amish ? - 0 views

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    Energy Bulletin's Bart Anderson has an interview in, of all places, a French cyberpunk journal - The future is Amish, not Mad Max: interview with Bart Anderson of EB. Laurent Courau: Your site puts forward the concept of "peak oil." Could you begin by reviewing this essential point for the readers of La Spirale? Bart Anderson: There is a limited amount of petroleum in the earth. After the easy deposits have been exploited, we go after deposits that are more difficult and expensive to develop (e.g. tar sands, deepwater and arctic oil). At a certain point - peak oil - the amount of oil produced reaches a maximum. Afterwards, less and less oil is produced. In this way oil production follows a more-or-less bell-shaped curve, Hubbert's Curve. The curve takes its name from the Shell Oil geoscientist, M. King Hubbert, who presented the idea in 1956 and predicted the peaking of U.S. oil production, which occurred in 1970.
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The Oil Drum | The Connection Between Financial Markets and Energy - Open Thread - 0 views

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    (1) Some of the organizations with problems were no doubt speculating in oil futures. Once the prices started to drop, the balance sheets of the organizations were affected, and they suddenly needed more capital. (2) As the companies who speculated in the oil market (all of them, not just the particular ones having problems today) try to unwind their positions because of margin calls, they drive down the price of oil in the futures market. That is likely why we are seeing declining oil prices, at a time when fundamentals would say they should be rising.
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AFP: Murky future seen for clean energy - 0 views

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    "President Barack Obama has vowed the Gulf of Mexico spill would speed the end of US dependence on fossil fuels, but experts doubt reality can match his rhetoric. "The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now," Obama said in a primetime televised address from the Oval Office. Amid the worst environmental disaster in US history, supporters of renewable energy had hoped images of sullied coasts and dramatic engineering failings would spark just such a revolution: the beginning of the end for fossil fuels."
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The future of energy - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com - 0 views

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    If the plans being laid for the economy and the environment work out the way President-elect Barack Obama's advisers hope they do, the future of energy can be summed up in one word: electricity. That one word covers a lot of policy twists, however: What will the economic downturn mean for initiatives to cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions? What will the recent drop in gasoline prices mean for efforts to boost alternatives to fossil fuels? Can the electrical grid handle increased demand? How do you smooth out the highs and lows of power generation? Where will all that power come from?
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US may clamp down on oil futures trading- International Business-News-The Economic Times - 0 views

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    Congress may outlaw elements of oil futures trading that lawmakers found distorted demand and contributed to the 69% surge in prices in the past year. US legislators are considering limits on the number of oil contracts an investor can hold and may increase disclosure requirements. Speculators such as Goldman Sachs Group use the practices to bet on price swings, which may drive up prices, though they have no intention of taking delivery of underlying goods, lawmakers say.
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Public Citizen | Press Room - It's About Time the Feds Investigated Energy Futures Market - 0 views

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    We applaud the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for publicly acknowledging what most educated observers have been saying for months: Wall Street speculators are reaping unconscionable profits by exploiting and manipulating the unregulated energy trading markets.
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The Oil Drum: Europe | China's liquid fuels future - 0 views

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    How are the 1.3 billion Chinese going to cope with their growing needs for energy? Can the increase in Chinese liquid fuel consumption be maintained? Even in the face of a nearby world oil production peak? Or will China have to cope with a liquid fuel crisis in the near term future? This post focuses on whether China will or will not be able to meet their increasing demand for liquid fuels until 2015.
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Wonk Room » Big Oil: 'Together, We Can' Ignore Climate Change - 0 views

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    The American Petroleum Institute (API), the trade organization for the oil and natural gas industry, has just begun running a feel-good commercial that argues "America's future" lies in drilling out domestic reserves of oil and natural gas off our coasts, in our western lands, and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Here's what the ad says:
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Department of Energy - DOE Launches New Website to Bring Energy Technology Information ... - 0 views

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    Secretary Chu announced today that the Department of Energy is launching Open Energy Information (www.openEI.org) - a new open-source web platform that will make DOE resources and open energy data widely available to the public. The data and tools housed on the free, editable and evolving wiki-platform will be used by government officials, the private sector, project developers, the international community, and others to help deploy clean energy technologies across the country and around the world. The website was launched as part of a broader effort at DOE, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and across the Obama Administration to promote the openness, transparency, and accessibility of the federal government. "This information platform will allow people across the globe to benefit from the Department of Energy's clean energy data and technical resources," said Secretary Chu. "The true potential of this tool will grow with the public's participation - as they add new data and share their expertise - to ensure that all communities have access to the information they need to broadly deploy the clean energy resources of the future."
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    Secretary Chu announced today that the Department of Energy is launching Open Energy Information (www.openEI.org) - a new open-source web platform that will make DOE resources and open energy data widely available to the public. The data and tools housed on the free, editable and evolving wiki-platform will be used by government officials, the private sector, project developers, the international community, and others to help deploy clean energy technologies across the country and around the world. The website was launched as part of a broader effort at DOE, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and across the Obama Administration to promote the openness, transparency, and accessibility of the federal government. "This information platform will allow people across the globe to benefit from the Department of Energy's clean energy data and technical resources," said Secretary Chu. "The true potential of this tool will grow with the public's participation - as they add new data and share their expertise - to ensure that all communities have access to the information they need to broadly deploy the clean energy resources of the future."
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AFP: Uncertain future for US climate law after Copenhagen - 0 views

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    "The future of a US climate law is hanging in the balance in Congress as lawmakers gear up for crucial midterm elections amid a persistent economic slump, experts say. Further reducing the impetus, UN climate talks in Copenhagen ended last month with a non-binding agreement to limit warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (two Celsius) that did not set binding targets to reduce the emissions of gases scientists say are heating up the world's atmosphere to dangerous levels. Among the thorniest problems facing a possible US law is striking an agreement on creating a "cap-and-trade" market for greenhouse gases that would force heavy polluters to buy credits from companies that pollute less, creating financial incentives to fight global warming."
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To Plan for Emergency, or Not? - 0 views

  • It’s worth asking: What is Transition actually capable of doing to respond to an unprecedented economic crisis? In the most cynical assessment, it consists essentially of a lot of well-meaning local activists wanting to envision a better future. These are not the sorts of people to engage in serious emergency response work, nor do they have the support mechanisms to enable them to do it.
  • If what we are proposing to do can only succeed if we have a decade or so of “normal” economic conditions during which to grow our base, train more trainers, and deploy our methods, then . . . it may indeed be too late. But if we can adapt quickly and thereby strategically help our communities adapt, the result may be beneficial both to communities and to those who are organizing Transition efforts.
  • I intend to focus primarily on identifying efforts taking place in communities around the world that (1) address basic human needs in the context of economic collapse (2) are replicable and/or scalable, and (3) set us on the path toward sustainability. In fact this will also be the main focus for Post Carbon Institute for the foreseeable future, as we expand our Fellows program. I hope that what we come up with as a think tank will be immediately useful to Transition initiatives everywhere.
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  • The key aspect of it, as with all of this, is tone. If it is presented as an emergency response force training, I don’t think it would be as effective as if it was Transition Teams or something. It would be great to get some marketing/advertising bods on board with it, to really focus the presentation and the language.
  • As you say, many people will be focused on questions like “how can I remortgage the house so as to reduce my payments”, “how can I reduce my overheads by switching to a different home phone provider” and “how secure is my job”, rather than “how am I going to store rainwater”, “how am I going to dig up my garden” and so on.” If we can address people’s very real economic concerns, we will be offering tangible benefit. What are some strategies for saving money? Get family and friends to move in with you. Find ways to cook with less fuel (solar cookers are only one of many strategies there), use less water (gray-water recycling with or without re-plumbing your house), ditch your car, share stuff, repair stuff, make stuff. How to live happily without x, y, and z. How to live more happily and healthily than ever on a fraction of the income. The big question on everyone’s mind is: How can I get by once I’ve lost my job (or now that I’ve lost it)? Learning how to raise capital and form cooperative ventures that benefit the community (and are therefore worthy of community support) could be a life-saver. Also: how to set up barter networks, how to make community currencies work for you.
  • Why are we not having discussions about how it will feel if all our efforts to transition fail?
  • the reason we all see it necessary to transition away from fossil fuels is that if we don’t, dire things will happen. But what if it’s actually too late to prevent some of those dire things from happening, and they occur during our Transition period and process?
  • Obviously, what Transition and PCI have been advocating (community gardens, local currencies, etc.) are in fact at least partial solutions to these very problems, but so far we have discussed them in terms of proactive efforts to keep the problems from happening, or to build a better world in the future. Should the growing presence of these problems affect how our solutions are described (to the general public, to policy makers, or among ourselves) and/or how they are implemented?
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    Are the relocalization eco-freaks finally getting a clue??
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Radioactive Waste: German Company Sent Nuclear Material for Open-Air Storage in Siberia... - 0 views

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    The Western media reported last week on how the German company Urenco shipped nuclear material to Siberia, where the highly toxic waste was stored in containers in the open air. The company has stopped deliveries and will store the material with higher standards in Germany in the future. The radiation warning sign was so small that few passers-by took note in the commuter rail station in Kapitolovo, Russia. Fifty-six steel canisters were sitting there on a summer day three years ago. Just a stone's throw away, people were waiting for trains to take them to downtown St. Petersburg.
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    The Western media reported last week on how the German company Urenco shipped nuclear material to Siberia, where the highly toxic waste was stored in containers in the open air. The company has stopped deliveries and will store the material with higher standards in Germany in the future. The radiation warning sign was so small that few passers-by took note in the commuter rail station in Kapitolovo, Russia. Fifty-six steel canisters were sitting there on a summer day three years ago. Just a stone's throw away, people were waiting for trains to take them to downtown St. Petersburg.
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Study Predicts Natural Gas Use Will Double - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Natural gas will provide an increasing share of America's energy needs over the next several decades, doubling its share of the energy market to 40 percent, from 20 percent, according to a report to be released Friday by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The increase, the report concluded, will come largely at the expense of coal and will be driven both by abundant supplies of natural gas - made more available by shale drilling - and by measures to restrict the carbon dioxide emissions that are linked to climate change. In the long term, however, the future may be dimmer for natural gas if stricter regulations are put in place to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 - a goal set by President Obama. Although lower in carbon than coal, natural gas is still too carbon-intensive to be used under such a target absent some method of carbon capture, the authors of the report concluded.
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Going After Clean-Coal Technology | Newsweek - 0 views

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    In the elusive search for the reliable energy source of the future, the prospect of clean coal is creating a lot of buzz. But while the concept-to scrub coal clean before burning, then capture and store harmful gases deep underground-may seem promising, a coalition of environment and climate groups argue in a new media campaign that the technology simply doesn't exist. The Alliance for Climate Protection and several other prominent organizations-including the Sierra Club and National Resources Defense Council-launched a multipronged campaign to "debrand" the clean part of clean coal, pointing out that there's no conclusive evidence to confirm the entire process would work the way it's being marketed. In the campaign's TV ad, a technician sarcastically enters the door of a clean coal production plant, only to find there's nothing on the other side. "Take a good long look," he says, standing in a barren desert, "this is today's clean coal technology."
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Directory:Barack Obama's Stance and Policies on Renewable Energy - PESWiki - 0 views

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    President-elect, Barack Obama, has had a very favorable view of renewable energy, and has presented some specific plans about how to increase the renewable portfolio in the United States. Below is a lis of items in his proposed Comprehensive Energy Plan, with attention to both short term and long term objectives. Comprehensive Energy Plan * Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump. * Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. * Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future. * Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined. * Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America. * Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
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