Enviro News Wrap: Controversy in Wind; Watching the Arctic Melt; Newt's Retreat on Climate Change, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is now a big supporter of wind power. This is crucial in an area where a lot of oil is used to heat homes and a lot of coal is used to make electricity.
- Wind energy is controversial for many reasons, now add to that list the US government proposing a permit to kill a couple of Golden Eagles every year for wind development.
- Africa may be left with some of the world's only healthy forests when we are in the grips of climate change.
- Climate change is a direct attack on Libertarianism. Climate Change is proof that the free market will not produce the highest value for society. If you accept the science of climate change and want to mitigate it you have to support the government regulating our lives and our property.
- Climate change is the largest science experiment ever undertaken by humans, it will be very interesting watching the Arctic melt.
- Newt Gingrich got caught (again) flip-flopping on climate change. He is backpedaling after trying to include in his new book a chapter about how the cost of avoiding climate catastrophe is not too high. Rush Limbaugh swooped in and made sure Newt was not allowed to support a position on climate change that makes sense.
- A cargo ship hit a reef in New Zealand a couple of months ago. It is still on the reef and now it has split in two and continues to taint a previously pristine environment.
- BP is trying to lure tourists back to the Gulf of Mexico with a national ad campaign, its a good effort to revitalize the economy but some of the claims in the ad are misrepresenting the incomplete recovery of the environment.
- An oil spill off the coast of Nigeria is slowly being cleaned up, leaving the local community devastated. Unlike the BP Gulf Oil Spill this spill is routine and the people affected are not compensated.
- You know Obama is doing something right when the American Petroleum Institute says the president's regulation of fracking is misguided. The criticism is that Obama is both supporting the natural gas industry while regulating it to ensure public health. We have been amply poisoned by oil, so lets not do the same thing with natural gas.
- Our dirty energy industry has many indirect effects. One example is a certain type of sandstone is being mined to be used in fracking. This mining effort has an environmental effect of its own.
- Natural gas is touted as a bridge for the US to get off of oil and onto renewable energy sources, like solar. But, the innovations in fracking have significantly dropped the price of natural gas and is slowing the solar industry. How is this supposed to work out?
- Some are predicting that oil prices will increase appreciably and stay high in 2012. With the type of economy we have in the US this is the only way for us to transition away from oil dependence. It will be a difficult yet necessary journey. The best way to get your self prepared for high oil prices is to buy a bicycle or fix up the one in the garage.
- Here is an interesting bit from the San Francisco Chronicle about endangered species, not every single species should be saved.
- A couple in Idaho violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) by dredging and filling a wetland on their property, the EPA ordered them to stop and restore the land. In response, the couple started a court case that has found its way to the Supreme Court. If the couple wins then the EPA will become less powerful when trying to stop projects that are in violation of the Clean Water Act and annual litigation costs will increase for the EPA as well.
- Chinese airlines are claiming that they will not pay the European Union CO2 tax, this will be an interesting struggle. If the US national media machine followed real news this could be the drama of the week.
- Technology for smokestack scrubbers, devices used in smoke stacks that grab CO2 out of the air, has seen steady progress. Is this good or bad? Does this slow us down from ending our dependence on dirty energy like oil and coal?