Oh, Roundup! 

The city of Petaluma in California recently stopped using roundup in parks and school grounds. The result was a 1700% increase in cost of weed control, and a new requirement for operators to wear respirators (unnecessary with roundup which is less toxic than vinegar) while spraying with the far more toxic organic alternatives.

Matt Ridley

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/roundup-or-glyphosate/

Global Warming, Walter Williams

Climate change propaganda is simply a ruse for a socialist agenda. Consider the statements of some environmentalist leaders. Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s chief climate change official, said that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking “probably the most difficult task” they have ever given themselves, “which is to intentionally transform the (global) economic development model.” In 2010, German economist and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official Ottmar Edenhofer said, “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” The article in which that interview appeared summarized Edenhofer’s views this way: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. … The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/global-warming.html

Green. Kills.

Why birds are igniting in midair over Calif.

Wildlife experts say that at least 1,000 and as many as 28,000 birds will die within a year, and Grist reports that the plant has had problems with tortoises as well — scores of them were uprooted from their homes when the plant was constructed, Businessweek reported in 2012.

Gregory Zuckerman on the Frackers and the Energy Revolution – EconTalk

Description:
Gregory Zuckerman of the Wall Street Journal and author of The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, the rise of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), how this technology developed, and the vibrant personalities that pioneered the energy revolution. Topics discussed along the way include the history and future of fracking, environmental concerns about the process, and how the story of fracking is the classic tale of the successes and failures of determined risk-takers. The role of market forces in driving that success and failure runs through the entire conversation.

original source:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2014/Zuckermanfracking.mp3

Water on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus? Science News Flash

Original source:
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/c450913.r13.cf2.rackcdn.com/snf20140404hr.mp3

Description:
You might have seen: New York Times, A Moon of Saturn Has a Sea, Scientists Say; http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/04/science/space/a-moon-of-saturn-has-a-sea-scientists-say.html

That’s ‘sciencism’ at its worst – The Independent

Atheists are more intelligent than religious people? That’s ‘sciencism’ at its worst – Comment – Voices – The Independent

The polemical use of science – called scientism- has nothing to with real science, which is the disinterested pursuit of the truth. It uses the authority of science to invalidate the moral status of groups and individuals and their practices on the ground of their natural inferiority. It is the 21st century equivalent of 19th century craniology.

Charles Krauthammer says something that makes sense!: “Obama’s global-warming folly”

You really would have a difficult time grasping how hard this is for me to wrap my mind around. Charles Krauthammer says a lot of things from his bully pulpit at the Washington Post, but it really never makes sense. For him to write a whole editorial that is pinned so fiercely to reality is mind boggling. This is the economists to gladly ignores all of reality to beat the drum of Keynesian enconomics and wishful socialism.

The United States has already radically cut carbon dioxide emissions — more than any country on earth since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency. Emissions today are back down to 1992 levels.

And yet, at the same time, global emissions have gone up. That’s because — surprise! — we don’t control the energy use of the other 96 percent of humankind. Continue reading

Ever wonder where electricity comes from? (U.S. edition)

What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?

In 2012, the United States generated about 4,054 billion kilowatthours of electricity.  About 68% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, and petroleum), with 37% attributed from coal.

Energy sources and percent share of  total electricity generation in 2012 were:

My problem with electric cars

I have been intending to write something on electric cars for a while, and  my friend Luther finally triggered the words for me during a conversation on Facebook today. (Thanks, Luther!)

  • I tend to look at the whole system, so electric vehicles
    • do not reduce emissions,
    • they increase them,
    • but the emissions get dumped “in someone else’s back yard.” (i.e. in the area of the coal or natural gas fired electric plant).
  • Making matters worse, the only thing that makes owning an electric vehicle financially feasible is:

A quote from Adam Smith that made me think of Tesla Motors

The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

 — Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

Just recently, I saw that Tesla Motors president, Elon Musk, had proposed that the government should increase taxes on gasoline. Continue reading