GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- With the IPCC publishing it latest findings on climate change the denial campaign has been stepped up. American and British organizations are partnering to create confusion over science that is very clear. The denial propagandists have spent a lot of time creating strategies that only a sharp and studied person can see through. Think about this, how many climate change skeptics are scientists from a relevant field of study doing current research? Very few if any. The denial side is filled with pundits, otherwise known as regular people paid money to provide non-expert (but touted as expert) opinions.
- A Tesla electric car caught fire when a metal object pierced the 3-inch protective case to the battery. It is important to remember that cars are inherently unsafe (if less so than decades ago with improvements in safety features and designn), especially the ones driving around with gallons of highly flammable gasloline. Tesla is responding to the incident.
- The decline of coal continues! Two plants in Pennsylvania are closing because they are no longer profitable. This is the power of economics, you don't need to argue with anyone because if something doesn't make money then it stops. So, good-bye coal, and hello cheaper renewable energy.
- The government shutdown, while ultimately ridiculous, is impacting renewable energy. Larger projects with permitting timelines and completion deadlines for government incentives are at risk of not meeting their development targets.
- Renewable energy has become cheaper, but natural gas is still the cheapest energy source in 2013. Natural gas extraction and use is skyrocketing, but what happens when the price spikes and we are stuck on yet another dirty and expensive energy source.
- There is a single word that sums up the argument against nuclear power: Fukushima. If an energy source carries an unacceptable risk to the environment and human health then it should not be used. The joke goes, an oil spill is a disaster, a solar spill is called a nice day.
- Methane gas is a byproduct of materials breaking down; our landfills produce a lot of methane and now it is being sold as car fuel in California. Recapturing our waste to use it again is a very good idea.
- Roads are pollution corridors and lots of people live right next to big roads. Ever see a home on the side of the freeway with black smudge on the outside walls, well that is the same stuff that people are breathing.