Thursday, May 16, 2013

The other way to fix global warming

If we actually have an economically feasible way to do this, it would totally be the way to go. It would fix our existing warming problem while allowing us to keep using coal and oil until they actually get used up. Why don't the Kochs and the coal industry throw some money at this?

Direct air carbon capture technology must be developed to help fight climate change. - Slate Magazine

Carbon price working? Coal slumps, clean energy soars

Carbon price working? Coal slumps, clean energy soars

Sunday, May 5, 2013

InfoWorld Says Linux has Already Won on the Desktop

This is an interesting perspective, but I'm still keeping my linux distro desktop.

The Linux desktop is already the new normal | Open Source Software - InfoWorld

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Uses and Misuses of a Carbon Tax

Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times about how a carbon tax could be used to help balance the Federal budget. Part of what attracts him is the idea that the revenues from a carbon tax could be used, partly, to reduce income tax rates and thereby gain Republican support. But I suspect Friedman is wrong about both the politics and the tax policy of this issue.

He's wrong about the politics because the Republican base, enraged and inspired by various institutes and organizations controlled by the Kochs and their running dogs, will never accept a carbon tax. The Tea Party believes that global warming is a liberal conspiracy, intended to cripple the American economy and thus somehow usher in Shariah Law, and the Tea Party will never accept any Republican motion in this direction. The ideological rigidity that makes it impossible for the Republicans to contemplate a tax increase of any size will double down to prevent a carbon tax from being passed. A carbon tax is not the ticket to a grand unified budget bargain for the exact same reason that we have a budget impasse in the first place: fanatical Republican intransigence.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Other Renewable Energy Challenge

There are two technical challenges involved in building a renewable energy economy. The first one is familiar to most people: finding cost effective ways to capture the sun's energy, and there are lots of great designs and devices being developed to make solar and wind energy competitive with current prices for oil and coal.

But the other challenge is energy storage. Renewable energy, in most places, most of the time, is an intermittent energy source. The sun only shines during the day, and the wind doesn't blow all of the time. If you want to power a modern, 24-7 economy with renewable energy, you have to have a cheap way to store the cheap solar energy you generate during the day so that you can use it at night.

This article from Slate is a nice, quick survey of some proposed energy storage solutions. I'm attracted to the train idea. It's simple, and I like simple.

Energy storage technology: Batteries, flywheels, compressed air, rail storage. - Slate Magazine

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Australia’s carbon price: The woman who made it happen

For me the key point is the line: "...Harris' power only derives from how well she and the CCA board can argue their case in public...". And that's what we're missing from the Obama adminstration, someone tasked to make this case in public, all the time, until we get action from Congress.

Australia’s carbon price: The woman who made it happen

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The GOP’s Three Fiscal Lies - The Daily Beast

Lots of people have examined the three specific arguments that Tomasky refutes in this piece. But what really resonated with me is his call for Democrats to refute them in public. The biggest problem I have with Obama is that he will not loudly and consistently attack these arguments. The American people need guidance on fiscal matters, not attempts to pander to the misconceptions that Republicans have drilled into their heads.

The GOP’s Three Fiscal Lies - The Daily Beast