Open Thread Plus Toles Cartoon Of The Week

A cyber-penny for your thoughts.

39 Responses to Open Thread Plus Toles Cartoon Of The Week

  1. The Wonderer says:

    The WaPo had an awful front page article Thursday, “Government-subsidized green light bulb carries costly price tag” about Phillips winning the L prize for an energy efficient LED light bulb. It stresses the initial “expensive bulb” cost of $50, but you had to go to the continuation page graphic to realize it has 30 times the bulb life. Not even included in the online version of the article is a strip at the bottom of the graphic showing the lifetime cost (including energy) to be comparable to the equivalent 30 incandescents over its lifetime. Utterly disappointing.

  2. The Wonderer says:

    I’m just curious, is there any evidence whatsoever that Daylight Saving Time saves energy, or makes us safer?

  3. Maddow is going to have Inhofe on her show next week.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    Here’s another good cartoon:

    As for Snowe, she doesn’t deserve the martyr pedestal. Back when the Democrats controlled the Senate, she could have blocked the filibuster over key climate legislation. She was apparently afraid of McConnell, and didn’t step up or say a word. All of the Republicans are now either horrible or cowardly.

  5. climatehawk1 says:

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby (U.S. and Canada): – please join and support their efforts.

  6. Tom King says:

    Just watched “A Brilliant Madness: John Nash”. The delusions he experienced after his breakdown offer a haunting hint of the world inhabited by Climate Deniers. Granted, the particular conspiracies he imagines are not the same, but the intractable nature of the delusions is shared. Once you depart on this ship, it seems very difficult to ever return to port. Maybe someone should produce a similar drama where a Climate Denier gradually recovers his lucidity and goes to to live a productive life.

  7. Raul M. says:

    Me having to have the neatest LED light bulb is a disappointment. One the one hand there are great advancements in the LED’s for Christmas decorations. The price after Christmas is good and the lights are already set up to just be fit into a track for ambient lighting. Run in a under counter insert, the lighting is bright enough and doable.

  8. Gestur says:

    Joe blogged on this in May of 2010, specifically on the Kotchen and Grant (2010) study. As that study suggests, DST increases energy use. I don’t know of any analyses of safety.

  9. Robert says:

    I’m with Mike. What good is a moderate if she keeps it to herself?

  10. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Or worse!

  11. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    What the world needs is a 470nm blue LED which has a zero volt forward drop, a 250 volt reverse breakdown, and a piece-part cost of ten cents. Next, we need a 100% efficient yellow phosphor which, when pumped at 470nm, glows with a color temperature of 3000 deg-K, and costs ten cents-per-kg.

  12. Brian R Smith says:

    Financing the transition… the good news:
    Forget Kyoto – climate bonds will drive the green revolution

    This piece by John Mathews from Australian website The Conversation may deserve a repost in CP, or a review as part of an update on key developments in free market mechanisms targeting climate change, which I think would be timely – and encouraging to all. Mathews:

    “ The International Energy Agency has talked of sums like $20 trillion to be invested up to the year 2030 – less than 20 years away. The Green Climate Fund [$100 billion], even if it ever got off the ground, would raise just 1/200th of the sums needed.
    So where are the funds going to come from?
    The answer is that they will have to come from the bond markets – the real engines of capitalism. The scale of these markets is awesome. The Bank for International Settlements states that the total size of the global debt securities market (domestic and international securities) was about $100 trillion as of June 2011
    Almost all of those funds are invested ultimately in projects that uphold the fossil fuel economy – drilling new oil wells, building coal-fired power stations, pipelines and all the rest of it.
    Yet the institutional investors (pension and superannuation funds, insurance funds, sovereign wealth funds) – the dominant players in these markets – are deeply unhappy about making such carbon-exposed investments with all their uncertainties, such as possible exposure to rising carbon taxes, or future punitive actions. The security of their investments in fossil-fuelled projects is increasingly in doubt.”
    “Now there is a group of financial markets activists based in London that are trying to do something about this. They are called the Climate Bonds Initiative.”

    The Climate Bonds Initiative is a project of Network for Sustainable Financial Markets.
    Add this news to the private sector resolve demonstrated at the UN Foundation’s clean energy investment conference covered by Stephen Lacey [ Leading Global Investors Call the False Dichotomy Between Economy and Environment “Nonsense” ] and there may be hope that even the most right wing free marketers can love.
    See also: Siemens spots a 50 billion (euro) opportunity

  13. Brian R Smith says:

    …composed in Word & copied in, none of the links appear as links, sorry. Help?

  14. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    As my “righty” in-laws would say: “So! A guy from Illinois lays siege at Petersburg again!!” ;o)
    The good news is that BHO is convinced this is a winning issue. The bad news is that it’s always politics driving the decisions. Always! :o(

  15. Dick Smith says:

    Although the Jaberwock made more sense to me, I’m curious about:

    1. your best estimate of when these items will be on the market, and

    2. your best crude estimate of the energy conservation impact that each change would have.

  16. Chris Lock says:

    I am thinking about “peak oil” in a rather impractical and maybe simplistic way. What happens when oil prices become so high that emergency vehicles can’t respond to emergencies? Police have to chase the few remaining stolen cars on bicycles. Ambulances take all day when the gurney is pulled by a horse. Transit buses are equipped with pedals so everyone fit enough cycles for those who can’t.

    I don’t know about North America, but in the UK during WWII, there was no gasoline available for private use; gasoline was only available for the military, food distribution, emergency vehicles and public transportation. Imagine how transformative that would be today, in order to save what oil we had left.

    We ban the private automobile.

    And that’s why I am not optimistic about our future. We as a society are not capable anymore of making truly significant changes. And the only way we could is if we were to see climate change at least as threatening as Hitler’s Nazi armies.

  17. If Rachel proves as informed on energy / climate as she is on water issues, then it should be a great show. But then her father worked in the water industry so some of that was probably absorbed.

  18. After listening to Newt blather about $2.50 / gal gasoline, he should adopt a new theme song: The Great Pretender.

  19. Tom King says:

    The complete absence of imagination is what really holds us in place. People will drive around in Nissan Leafs. The first hundred thousand might be expensive, but logic dictates the ultimate price will be substantially less than gasoline engines. Even in terms of transporting fuel, logic dictates that a wire must be cheaper than a pipe.

  20. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Taking my tongue out of my cheek for a moment…
    Neither the LED not the phosphor are physically possible. An LED emitting light energy without consuming electrical energy could, along with a photocell, be used to construct the fabled perpetual motion machine. The 100% efficient phosphor is, again impossible, but more subtly so. Phosphors must be pumped with shorter (higher energy) wavelengths in order to emit longer (lower energy) wavelengths. Florescent lights, for instance, are pumped with uV.

    But If we could get LED bulbs with a 100W equivalent rating, for 5X to 10X the price of a traditional incandescent, and with a more pleasing (softer) color temperature… then we’d have something.

  21. john tucker says:

    Two new technologies announced that if confirmed and creatively implemented might have some interesting implications:

    LED converts heat into light

    Technical Physics in Prague pointed out that, since this provided a mechanism for radiation to remove heat from a semiconductor lattice, there was no barrier in principle to an LED being more than 100% efficient, in which case it would actually cool its surroundings. ( )

    Graphene in new ‘battery’ breakthrough?

    “The output of our device is also continuous and it works solely by harvesting the thermal energy of the surrounding copper-chloride ions, which, in theory, is limitless,” says Xu.

    According to the researchers, the battery works rather like a solar cell. The copper ions (Cu2+) continually collide with the graphene strip in the battery. This collision is energetic enough to displace an electron from the graphene.( )

  22. Tim Laporte says:

    That is a fascinating article, Brian. My understanding of bond markets is a bit shaky, but if I understand this correctly, the development and deployment of Climate Bonds could be the most important innovation for financing the transition to the zero-carbon economy at the investment scale needed. It would be great for Stephen or Joe to do an article on this.

    The link to article you mention is here:

  23. The world’s most bad-ass bicycle anthem at Grist

    Have a listen.

  24. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    The bad news is that people are fooled into believing that renewable energy deployments cut fossil fuel usage, thus disarming their will to protest.

    In reality, in the absence of a global climate treaty cutting each nation’s CO2e emission rights, any and every bit of fossil fuel locally displaced is bought and burnt elsewhere. – As last year’s record increase in CO2 output plainly demonstrated.

    I’m all for sustainable energy deployments, but they don’t resolve the issue of global GHG emissions – only an equitable and efficient climate treaty can achieve that.



  25. Irv Beiman says:

    Does anyone know anything about the “Arctic Methane Emergency” and the 1000m diameter methane plumes going into the atmosphere at the East Siberian Arctic Shelf? This was reported at a ?Geophysical Sciences Conference in SFO in Dec 2011 by a Russian scientist with 20 yrs experience in Arctic research. The website indicates there is a group meeting with UK biz leaders and Parliament this month to discuss possible responses, including geo-engineering.

  26. Electric Vehicles: I’m encouraged by news from the White House that they are making efforts to promote electric vehicles (unfortunately also promoting natural gas vehicles). The proposal would increase the tax credit to $10,000 and give it at the time of purchase, rather than after filing taxes. It also promotes research in batteries, electric motors, chargers, . . . See:

    I also recently completed calculations comparing EVs to gasoline cars using data from the Argonne Laboratories Greenhouse gases Regulated Emissions and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET)program and other EIA & EPA data. The short conclusion is that an electric car reduces greenhouse gases by 45% compared to an average car on the average U.S. grid. An electric car using solar power to charge the batteries reduces CO2 by 86% (counting CO2 produced in making solar panels and in making the car). For details, please see:;postID=352951112865941921

  27. hekdic says:

    There was a long discussion on about this subject a couple weeks ago. Check their archives.

  28. John Tucker says:

    I am worried, like you, that they are allowing states to choose NG over electric. I dont feel NG should be subsidized at all. Its not that much more efficient and its GG benefits that far over existing fuels are questionable.

    Obama makes alternative-fuel vehicle push

    The president proposed increasing the current $7,500 tax credit for advanced technology vehicles to a maximum of $10,000. The credit would also be broadened so that it applies to more different types of vehicles

    funds from the National Community Deployment Challenge will be used to help 10 to 15 “model communities” create incentives and infrastructure

    Communities will be able to use the funds in support of plug-in electric, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cell or any other advanced vehicle technology. The communities would then become “real-world laboratories,” the White House said, providing models for full-scale deployment of these advanced technologies

    The program would also support the creation of up to five liquefied natural gas corridors that would allow commercial trucks to use natural gas to transport goods.
    ( )

  29. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    “. . . . an electric car reduces greenhouse gases by 45% compared to an average car on the average U.S. grid. ”

    Why compare with the average car ? This obviously provides a misleading answer.

    Here in the UK 4-seater cars (built by GM) are being advertised on TV with the sales pitch focussed on them doing 78mpg in urban driving. How do the fossil-grid electric vehicles compare with that for carbon debt?

    BHO’s interest in both gas & electric vehicles evidently has bog-all to do with climate, and everything to do with the looming unaffordability of petrol in developed nations.



  30. From Peru says:


    Well is a heat wave considering that is still winter there. At the North Pole itself, the anomaly is over +20ºC above average, approaching melting temperature (0ºC)

  31. Raul M. says:

    By taking a pragmatic position for response to the Arctic warming, do they risk backlash when we find out we are screwed.
    By the way the Arctic is a huge area and the melt prediction has gone from 2016 being way to soon to possibly an ice collapse this summer.
    Enjoy, some report that a huge crowd gathered and cheered when a glacier collapsed recently.
    Time to party?

  32. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Barry Saxifrage –
    on the Hansen on TED thread you wrote:
    “Actually if we stop emitting CO2 now we end up where we are today at 0.9C. That is because the biosphere will remove CO2 to bring us into energy balance at around 0.9C. If we stop our aerosols now as well we rise over a decade to 1.3C and then fall over a century back to 0.9C. That is according to a recent peer-reviewed study.”

    It is news to me that we are at more than just over 0.7C of AGW at present, and the paper’s findings seem questionable in other regards. For instance:

    – It has long been accepted that Ocean Thermal Inertia timelags warming from GHGs by about 40 years. At present we have ~0.7C from the mid-’70s 335ppm CO2 (55ppm over pre-industrial) and will see the warming from the next 60ppm up to the present 395ppm over the next forty years. This would imply at least another 0.7C in the pipeline. So what is the paper’s refutation of the Ocean Thermal Inertia dynamic ?

    – Hansen himself recently reported the inevitable loss of the sulphate parasol as raising warming by between 80% and 140% IIRC, but the paper posits just a 44% rise (1.3/0.9). So what is its refutation of Hansen’s findings ?

    – The paper evidently ignores the interactive mega-feedbacks, of which seven out of eight are already accelerating – a paper in Geophysical Letters last year (discussed here on CP) quantified arctic albedo loss as already posing a forcing equivalent to ~30% of anthro-CO2 outputs. Given a predictable doubling of warming to 1.4C off Ocean Thermal Inertia, and likely at least another doubling to 2.8C off the loss of the sulphate parasol, we’d then have at least four times the warming driving the feedbacks’ current acceleration – which makes their CO2e output an utterly critical factor in assessing future prospects and strategy. So what is the paper’s justification for ignoring them ?



  33. Chris Winter says:

    If methane is coming out at such volumes in one or a few places, it ought to be economical to capture and store it. Then clean it up and use it to power vehicles fueled by natural gas, or for some sort of industrial processes.

  34. John Tucker says:

    Well im going to stay away form the nuclear thread a bit as it is irritating and at least it isn’t advocating shuttering resources.

    Moving on I was trying to find emission information for refineries as that is central to the Keystone argument and as the tactically incompetent green populist left avoids reasonable complex arguments.

    The epa is a bit below a positive user friendliness rating here as I am still working my way through it. [ ] [ ]

    But some points I find important:

    U.S. petroleum product exports exceeded imports in 2011 for first time in over six decades

    Strong global demand helped propel distillate exports, as distillate fuel, which includes diesel, had a higher profit margin for U.S. refiners than gasoline. ( )

    EPA Puts Greenhouse Gas Rules for Oil Refineries on Backburner -Mar 8, 2012

    “petroleum refineries emit about 200 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. That’s about one-tenth of the 2,200 million metric tons of what’s spewed each year by utilities generating electricity with fossil fuels.” ( )

    Heavy oil could significantly increase refinery emissions: study

    “Preliminary estimates from fuel cycle analysis suggest that a switch to “heavy oil and tar sands could increase the greenhouse gas intensity of petroleum energy by as much as 17-40% with oil extraction and processing rather than tailpipe emissions accounting for the increment,” the study said. “This raises the possibility that a switch to these oils might impede or foreclose the total reduction in emissions from all sources that is needed to avoid severe climate disruptions.” ( )

    And from 2004 from a report released by a rather aggressive environmental group (they include benzine and formaldehyde as carcinogens – which is valid I feel)

    Refinery Location Pounds of Carcinogens per year
    BP Texas City, TX 2,084,113
    ExxonMobil Baytown, TX 173,730
    Flint Hills Corpus Christi, TX 134,513
    La Gloria Tyler, TX 120,379
    Lyondell-Citgo Houston, TX 114,787
    ExxonMobil Baton Rouge, LA 103,168
    ( )

    In a 1999 report to congress:

    “Oil refineries are one of the major sources of toxic air emissions in the United States. Air pollutants are considered “toxic” when they have the potential to cause serious adverse health effects, such as cancer, neurotoxicity, or reproductive toxicity. Examples of these toxic air pollutants include benzene, a known human carcinogen, and xylenes, which depress the central
    nervous system, damage the kidneys, and irritate the respiratory system.

    In 1997, refineries reported releasing over 58 million pounds of toxic air pollutants.
    Overall, according to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), oil refineries were the fourth largest industrial source of toxic air pollutants. Refineries are the largest industrial source of air emissions of benzene (emitting over 2.9 million pounds), the second largest of xylenes (4.2
    million pounds) and methyl ethyl ketone (4.1 million pounds), and the third largest industrial source of air emissions of toluene (7 million pounds).”

    ( )

  35. John Tucker says:

    That floored me – that millions of POUNDS of carcinogens per year – for over what like 50 years now? If barely detectable tritium leaks from reactor water, far below health concerns, and no one is exposed its a scandal.

    Below 4.5 million exposed to above threshold levels that posed cancer risks FOR DECADES, children included, and no one even bats an eyelash.

    “in 1995, EPA estimated that 4.5 million individuals living within 30 miles of oil refineries were exposed to benzene at concentrations that posed cancer risks that were higher than the Clean Air Act’s acceptable risk threshold.

  36. Bill G says:

    Why the shock and surprise over what Bastardi said on Fox “News”?

    Fox “News” watchers shun any other information source, therefore Fox has no worries about viewers realizing their “news” is bogus. Viewers simply don’t know any better.

    This is also why Republican politicians can make such blatantly false statements that amaze people exposed to many information sources. Again, Fox will air the falsehoods and present them as truth.

    Propaganda is a dangerous thing for a democracy, especially in the age of TV where the false information can enter 50+ million homes. A democracy must have truth or it can perish. Just ask Germany.

  37. Chris Winter says:

    Another cartoon — to save, perhaps, until next Hallowe’en.