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To: FUBHO who wrote (30739)4/14/2012 5:46:20 PM
From: Land Shark
   of 80534
I don't believe you're at all concerned about the birds. Otherwise, you'd be talking about habitat destruction, mercury poisoning, etc.. You'd also be concerned about birds colliding with buildings and transmission lines.

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To: Land Shark who wrote (30743)4/14/2012 6:53:50 PM
From: Brumar89
2 Recommendations   of 80534
Repeating your lie doesn't do any good.

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To: Land Shark who wrote (30745)4/14/2012 6:55:55 PM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 80534
That windmills are a threat to raptors and bats is a well established fact. The windmills in CA are slowly reducing the golden eagle and raptor populations ... when a condor is eventually hit hell will break lose.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (30748)4/14/2012 7:18:30 PM
From: miraje
3 Recommendations   of 80534
That windmills are a threat to raptors and bats is a well established fact.

Wasn't it Suncor that got hit with a huge fine because a couple of ducks landed in one of their tailing ponds and croaked? Meanwhile, these windmills get a free ride as they Cuisinart numerous endangered raptors and bats.

Guess it's OK to off these critters as long as it's done in a politically correct "green" manner..

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To: miraje who wrote (30749)4/14/2012 7:28:26 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 80534
Can't remember the company. But I agree with the point.

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To: miraje who wrote (30749)4/15/2012 11:53:33 AM
From: miraje
7 Recommendations   of 80534
All aboard the California Choo Choo. Get your one way ticket to a bankrupt train wreck..

Steven Greenhut: Social engineers drive bullet train

Transportation these days isn't about getting from here to there, but about creating government-funded jobs and pursuing big-vision projects that have little correlation to how we actually live.


Special to the Register

SACRAMENTO – Americans suffer under the delusion that transportation systems are just that – systems for transporting people from one destination to another. What most of us fail to recognize is that the politicians, activists and planners who play the greatest roles in creating those systems have far different goals.

To today's transportation movers and shakers, such systems are giant jobs-creation programs designed to boost economies and provide high wages to members of influential unions – and are key to remaking society in a way that is nicer to the environment and leads to a changed citizenry that is less likely to rely on automobiles. Think of transportation these days less as civil engineering and more as social engineering.

Grasping those points is crucial to understanding the debate in California over a proposed high-speed-rail system, a project defined by inexplicable route selections, massive cost overruns, predicted travel times that will never be realized even under the most optimistic scenarios, and fantasy-land funding promises.

None of those realities stops the political locomotives promoting "high-speed" rail from chugging along. At a news conference last month, a coalition of construction unions and business leaders championed the project. "We need jobs, and we need jobs now," one union official said at the rally, according to a Palo Alto publication. But government cannot create economic growth by shaking down taxpayers and running up debt, even if those dollars are used to benefit one particular interest group in one segment of the economy.

At least we know where the unions are coming from. But consider the big picture, as pitched by President Barack Obama: "What we're talking about is a vision for high-speed rail in America. ... Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour, walking only a few steps to public transportation, and ending up just blocks from your destination."

Actually, it's hard to know what he is talking about. Riders still need to get from home to the center of a city, and there's no way that any rail system is going to take most riders to within walking distance of their destinations. Train rides are far slower than plane flights. I have pipe dreams, too, but at least I don't have the ability to fund them with your money.

Unfortunately, California's voters in 2008 approved Proposition 1A, which authorized nearly $10 billion in debt spending to begin this rail line, which would ultimately link Anaheim with San Francisco. The rest of the money for the system (originally predicted at around $40 billion) would come from federal funding and a variety of local and state sources. Since then, Congress has killed the Obama administration's rail plan. California's state government still struggles under a massive deficit. Local governments are scrambling amid a down economy and overspending on things such as pensions and high salaries for government workers, with some municipalities now considering bankruptcy. There is no money, and taxpayers already are struggling here.

Even in spend-happy California, the bullet-train proposal has become something of a joke – a project rarely discussed without including the term "boondoggle." So, California High Speed Rail Authority approved Thursday and forwarded to the state Legislature a new business plan that purports to solve the criticisms of the project. The new plan claims to have slashed $30 billion from a price tag that had ballooned to nearly $100 billion.

And instead of just building a "train to nowhere" between two out-of-the-way stops in the state's Central Valley, the new business plan was amended at the last minute to restore Anaheim as the route's southern terminus, although the L.A.-to-Anaheim leg might not be at top speed because a decision will be made later on spending the money to electrify the L.A.-to-Anaheim segment – necessary for "high-speed rail." The system for years will also share tracks at some points with conventional commuter trains.

So much for an Asian-style rail system that was to speed people between Southern California and San Francisco in 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Even one of the architects of the system has complained bitterly that the new proposal has become a "train robbery" that diverts rail funds to local commuter lines. Many critics argue that the new business plan almost certainly violates the clear dictates in Prop. 1A – i.e., that the train move people quickly between South and North without requiring transfer.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who refuses to address the bloated state government even as he spends more and demands more from taxpayers, argues that the state's Draconian carbon-emission cap-and-trade system, which imposes fees on businesses that produce carbon dioxide in the name of fighting global warming, will fund the train line. That amounts to yet another massive tax on businesses to fund something far less than necessary. How many more companies will head for the exits or expand their operations in states that encourage business creation rather than view private enterprise as a cash cow that can always be milked?

Boosters still argue that private investment will help fund the system even though it's unlikely that any private companies would invest in a boondoggle. The Chinese might be glad to lend California the money, but that's a different matter.

Here's how ridiculous the proposal is: The notoriously spendthrift Legislature is in no rush to approve the new plan just sent it by the train authority, according to recent news reports.

Meanwhile, many Californians wonder why hundreds of miles of rail is needed when they can hop an inexpensive flight at John Wayne or LAX and be in San Francisco in about 70 minutes. Those who think that way are forgetting the rules at the beginning of this column. Transportation these days isn't about getting from here to there, but about creating government-funded jobs and pursuing big-vision projects that have little correlation to how we actually live. No wonder the state roads and freeways – not to mention its budget – are such a mess.

Steven Greenhut is vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. He is based in Sacramento.

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From: Brumar894/15/2012 2:21:03 PM
2 Recommendations   of 80534
Too many penguins

April 14, 2012 by Don Surber

That is correct. We have twice as many penguins in Antarctica than scientists thought, a count by satellite revealed. Far from being a species endangered by the carelessness of man, scientists say we have nearly 600,000 emperor penguins. The scientists counted 44 colonies of these birds — including 7 previously unknown. Counting penguins in Antarctica is so easy, I may apply for the job because they are black and white against the snows of Antarctica.

From Science Daily: “A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird, which breeds in remote areas that are very difficult to study because they often are inaccessible with temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit.”

This blows holes through the theory that global warming endangers penguins. That theory as articulated by Penguin World: “Scientists believe that half of the population of penguins in the Antarctic region has been depleted in the last 50 years due to the climate change. It is the species known as the Emperor Penguins that have seen the largest losses. This is due to the warming trends continuing for several years. There is plenty of change that takes place over that span of time, and most of it isn’t positive when it comes to the natural habitat of the penguins.”

Of course, the research on penguins goes beyond this silly global warming fairy tale.

From Science Daily:

“The methods we used are an enormous step forward in Antarctic ecology because we can conduct research safely and efficiently with little environmental impact, and determine estimates of an entire penguin population, said co-author Michelle LaRue from the University of Minnesota and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

“The implications of this study are far-reaching: we now have a cost-effective way to apply our methods to other poorly-understood species in the Antarctic, to strengthen on-going field research, and to provide accurate information for international conservation efforts.”

Scientists still think penguin populations will decrease over the next century due to global warming. We shall see. At the other end of the world, they have more polar bears than they thought.

Too many penguins. Too many polar bears. Too little change. Not a good time to be a doomsayer.

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From: russet4/15/2012 2:48:17 PM
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Iceland's volcanoes may power UK The energy minister is to visit Iceland in May to discuss connecting the UK to its abundant geothermal energy

Damian Carrington, Wednesday 11 April 2012 18.59 BST

    Iceland could soon be pumping low-carbon electricity into the UK under government-backed plans for thousands of miles of high-voltage cables across the ocean floor. Photograph: Alamy

    The volcanoes of Iceland could soon be pumping low-carbon electricity into the UK under government-backed plans for thousands of miles of high-voltage cables across the ocean floor.

    The energy minister, Charles Hendry, is to visit Iceland in May to discuss connecting the UK to its abundant geothermal energy. "We are in active discussions with the Icelandic government and they are very keen," Hendry told the Guardian. To reach Iceland, which sits over a mid-ocean split in the earth's crust, the cable would have to be 1,000 to 1,500km long and by far the longest in the world.

    Hendry has already met the head of Iceland's national grid about the plan. The web of sea-floor cables – called interconnectors – planned for the next decade would link the UK to a Europe-wide supergrid, which is backed by the prime minister. The supergrid would combine the wind and wave power of northern Europe with solar projects such as Desertec in southern Europe and north Africa to deliver reliable, clean energy to meet climate change targets and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports.

    There are two existing international interconnectors, to France and the Netherlands, but nine more are either in construction, formal planning or undergoing feasibility studies. The next to open, in autumn 2012, will be a link between the Republic of Ireland and Wales, allowing green energy from the windswept Atlantic coast of Ireland to be delivered to British homes.

    The UK has been energy independent for virtually its entire history. But with the North Sea's oil and gas failing and coal banned as too polluting, Hendry is frank about the future: "We will be dependent on imported energy." The cables "are an absolutely critical part of energy security and for low carbon energy", he said.

    The government's legally binding targets to reduce carbon emissions is another key driver for the new interconnectors, which if all built could supply a third of the nation's average electricity demand. Renewable energy, such as the offshore wind power at the heart of the government's renewable plans, is zero carbon once built but is also intermittent, meaning back-up gas plants or energy storage are needed. A 900km interconnector to Norway, due to open by 2019, would enable excess wind energy to pump water into storage lakes above the fjords. Then, when the electricity is needed, floodgates are opened and the water flows back down through turbines. Both the pump storage and the high-voltage direct-current interconnectors lose very little energy.

    Another ambitious interconnector would link England to Alderney, where very strong tides could produce 4GW of electricity, and then on to France and the new 1.6GW nuclear power plant being built at Flamanville. Commercial agreements for this were signed in February.

    Interconnector cables can be laid very rapidly – at over 30km a day – but remain significant engineering projects, with each kilometre containing 800 tonnes of copper. The most time-consuming aspect is settling international agreements and preparing landing sites and pylons to handle and distribute a large amount of electricity. "It's like taking a large nuclear power station onshore," said Hendry.

    He argued that a web of high-voltage cables ending the energy isolation of the British Isles will help keep household energy bills down, by allowing access to the cheapest energy at any particular time.

    Tony Glover, at energy grid trade body the Energy Networks Association, said: "For consumers the ability to link electricity supplies from the rest of Europe is good for competition and will generally help to keep prices competitive." The interconnectors can be built commercially with operators paying for the investment by taking a cut on the electricity transferred.

    As well as consumer energy bills, Hendry also argued that interconnectors will help reduce the cost of the intermittency of renewable energy. "Interconnectors are an incredibly effective way to counter the argument that you need to back up each gigawatt of wind with a gigawatt of gas – they quite clearly show you do not," he said.

    Interconnectors require large investments. The Britain-Netherland interconnector, which opened in 2011 and was the first international link in 25 years, cost £500m. But Greenpeace's Doug Parr said: "Interconnectors are the cheapest way of backing up wind, because you avoid the greater capital cost of building power stations. We will of course be buying power in when the wind is not blowing, but the interconnectors mean we can sell our wind power when it does, and we have the best wind resource in Europe."

    However, Simon Less at the thinktank Policy Exchange, urged caution in relying on interconnectors for back-up: "Major new interconnection in north western Europe might not offset much of the need for backup plant because winter high pressure weather patterns can extend low wind conditions right across Europe."

    Norway's pump storage could counter that fear but there is competition for access to that resource, with Germany also negotiating over an interconnector. "We are keen we should be first," said Hendry.

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    From: russet4/15/2012 2:51:57 PM
    1 Recommendation   of 80534
    Iceland Exports Energy as Data An arctic nation looks to large-scale computing for an economic boost.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 By Lucas Laursen
    Iceland's main exports are aluminum and fish. Now the isolated nation is hoping to offer the world a new commodity: a cheap, guiltless way to store its data.

    In February, a startup called Verne Global opened a large server farm on an old NATO base near Iceland's main airport and began offering "100% renewable" computing services to the rest of the world. It's one of three data centers in Iceland and part of what Iceland's government hopes will be a new local industry.

    Iceland produces more electricity per capita than any other country in the world. Nearly all its power is renewable, coming from either glacier-fed rivers or steaming geothermal vents. And it's cheap, too. At 4.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, electrons on the island cost around half the average retail rate in the United States.

    About four-fifths of Iceland's electricity is currently used to smelt aluminum. Big companies like Alcoa have set up facilities to take advantage of cheap power; they then export the metal. According to the government's master plan for hydropower and geothermal resources, Iceland could double its power generation. But environmentalists oppose expansion of the aluminum industry.

    That has Iceland's government looking to attract new power-intensive industries. Data centers use up to 2 percent of electricity produced in the United States and are the fastest-growing source of electricity consumption globally. By 2020, according to some estimates, the data centers that store e-mails, Web files, and all manner of documents could be drawing 1,300 terawatt-hours of electricity yearly, or four times 2007 levels.

    The right sales pitch could grab Iceland a share of that market. Invest in Iceland, a government-funded agency in Reykjavik, estimates that Verne's data center, the largest of the three on the island, could create up to 100 jobs for Icelanders. While that's a modest start, things "can move really fast if some large players in the market decide to set up," says Arnar Gudmundsson, a project manager at Invest in Iceland.

    Another country might sell electricity to energy-hungry neighbors. But Iceland lacks neighbors. Every decade or so, someone runs the numbers to see what it would cost to plug the country into Europe's electricity grid. Depending on where it made land, the cable would have to be around twice the length of the longest existing undersea power link, which stretches 580 kilometers between Norway and the Netherlands.

    Last year, a study by Landsvirkjun, Iceland's state-owned energy company, concluded that the cable could be economically feasible, though it would cost two billion euros. Still, it could take a decade to plan and build, estimates Óli Grétar Blöndal Sveinsson, Landsvirkjun's executive vice president for research and development.

    Meanwhile, Iceland already has three fiber-optic links to North America, Scotland, and Denmark, and there are plans to lay a new 100-gigabit-per-second undersea cable along a great circular path stretching 6,700 kilometers from New York to Canada, with a branch to Iceland. "It's far more expensive to export energy than the data, and the data is more valuable," says John Pflueger, principal environmental strategist for Dell and a director of Green Grid, an industry group. "Iceland can be a net exporter of information and derive value from that."

    Iceland won't work as a location for every application. Even moving at the speed of light, data takes 36 milliseconds to reach New York. That rules the island out as a site for certain time-sensitive computations: high-speed traders, for example, need to be within a few miles of stock exchanges.

    But the renewable sources of Iceland's power could give the country an edge. Greenpeace last year published a report excoriating major tech firms, including Apple and Facebook, for relying on coal and nuclear energy to power server farms. "We see this infrastructure being quite critical to a low-carbon economy," says Gary Cook, senior information technology analyst for Greenpeace in San Francisco. "We need to put them in the right places."

    Among Verne's first clients is Greenqloud, a cloud computing operation that bills itself as "100 percent carbon neutral." However, Verne marketing manager Lisa Rhodes says it's "still debatable" whether green energy will be a major selling point. She says Verne, whose facility has access to 50 megawatts of power, picked Iceland to set up shop mostly because of its cheap electricity rates.

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    From: Brumar894/15/2012 4:22:35 PM
    1 Recommendation   of 80534
    Richard Muller (a warmist himself) utterly lambasts Michael Mann, Jim Hansen and company in this video:

    Just look at what Mike's trick hid.

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