April 24, 2006
California versus Bush on energy policy
Fascinating LA Times piece by national politics writer Ron Brownstein on how California is aggressively pursuing an energy policy that focuses on reducing oil usage and cutting down carbon dioxide emissions. What makes this stand out is that, incontrast to the reasons President Bush gives for opposing these actions, they see this as an engine for economic growth, and they have the backing of industry and venture capital.
Two economic assumptions guide the California Idea. One is that the energy mandates will create a mass market that lowers the price for clean technologies like solar electricity or ultra-low-emission cars. The mandates "say everybody is going to have to do this, and that spurs the mass production that brings the price down," says Terry Tamminen, [Governor] Schwarzenegger's special advisor for energy and the environment.
The second assumption is that the mandates will help California capture a leading share of the jobs and investment created by the transition to a clean-energy economy. The requirements on renewable energy, tailpipe emissions and potentially on greenhouse gases will create enormous demand in the state for new products and processes - from solar energy to biofuels to the retrofitting of manufacturing plants. And that should encourage many of the companies meeting that demand to locate in California.
Strikingly, some of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists such as John Doerr and Vinod Khosla and technology executives from Google and Sun Microsystems are enthusiastically promoting the California energy strategy. They recognize that reducing America's reliance on fossil fuels is not only a national security and environmental imperative but also a potential gold rush.
This is a bipartisan move, with the Democratic-controlled Assembly working on legislation that would implement a "cap and trade" system for greenhouse emissions. I think history will prove them right, but read the piece and make up your own mind. Link via Greg
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 24, 2006 to National news
Charles, Great Article. And Gore also approaches the problem from the same angle that it is good for business, jobs and all of us to work on trying, especially at this late date, to reverse Global Warming. So, I love the good news. I also love the bipartisan aspect, more evidence of the good "Purple" can do.
Charles, Just to note, I wish that "Purple" had not taken so **** long to join "Green, Yellow and Blue" because at these levels of CO2 and Methane at 425 ppm, the worsening weather news is very grim...and costs dearly in lives.
A Taste of Things to Come From Down Under
Mon Apr 24, 2006 at 04:30:47 AM CST
The second category five plus hurricane equivalent in a month is about to strike our friends down under.
Cyclone Monica, a slow-moving maximum category-five tropical storm, buffeted Aboriginal communities on the western shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria on Sunday night and halted production at an alumina refinery. Monica, with winds gusting at 350 kph (220 mph), was about 520 km (320 miles) northeast of the tropical city of Darwin on Monday, the Bureau of Meteorology said. It said the storm was expected to cross the coast later on Monday and reach the Darwin area by Tuesday afternoon. Cyclone Monica is of similar intensity to Cyclone Larry, which caused at least A$250 million ($185 million) in damage when it hit the Queensland coast around Innisfail last month, smashing houses and destroying banana crops.
Australia's coastal areas are not as densely populated as their US counterparts. And many communities, such as the town of Darwin, have been built using strict building codes designed to weather the worst storms. But if something like this happened in the US it might mean two Hurricane Andrews, one passing over Florida and another raking the Texas-Louisiana border, within a few weeks of each other. And both those regions are at or near sea level (Or in some cases below sea level). The damage to the US would probably be in the hundreds of billions of dollars, energy infrastructure and shipping would be devastated, and the loss of life could easily be in the thousands--or worse.
[Update 6:56 AM EDT]: More on Cyclone Monica at the WeatherUnderground including a Sat photo showing the stadium effect. HT: Hoya90.
Winds of 220?
Doesn't that make it a giant tornado?
Deadly Stupid Bush.
Get James Lee Witt, Now!
Can we please, for the sake of our own families, ask the Judge in the Ohio trial brought by The Green and Libertarian Parties for which John Kerry had made secure the evidence of Paper Ballots, to move the trial forward before Hurricane Season? If Bush did not win, I want to know now, right now, so that we can get a reality based person in charge to help us all survive...all...green, yellow, blue, purple and red.
I need to clarify: Monica hit with sustained winds of 180 mph. 220 mph was the speed of wind gusts.