Archive for Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Renewable energy advocates say climate in crisis

September 26, 2007


— Advocates of renewable energy Tuesday said global climate change required a massive public response, similar to the United States' effort in World War II.

"We don't have that sense of urgency about the climate change crisis, and it's more serious" than World War II, said Wes Jackson, president of the Salina-based Land Institute.

Jackson's comments were made to about 200 people during the annual Kansas Renewable Energy and Efficiency Conference.

Jackson said 54 percent of all oil ever burned has been used in the last 22 years.

Burning fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, produces carbon dioxide emissions that have led to drastic climate changes that the world is only beginning to deal with, he said.

"The speed with which this is coming shortens the timeframe that we have to act," he said. "Look at the numbers, but more importantly, look at your grandchildren."

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson said the time is right for Kansas to jump to the forefront in the production of wind energy. Kansas is one of the windiest states in the nation.

And, he said, market forces and the prospect of federal requirements for more renewable energy are making wind energy even more appealing to investors.

Kansas' current production of 364 megawatts of wind-generated electricity will increase more than three-fold by 2010, he said.

"We are truly making phenomenal progress," he said.

He also touted the increased production of ethanol in Kansas.

After his speech, Parkinson criticized a proposed coal power project in western Kansas, which would put twin 700-megawatt units in production with most of the electricity going out of state.

He said development of coal plants hurts the progress of wind energy and should only be considered "as an absolute last resort."

The permits for the plant are being considered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

Build the transmission lines, forget the coal plants.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

But it's not staying in state. Does that affect your opinion?

LogicMan 10 years, 7 months ago

"He said development of coal plants hurts the progress of wind energy..."

No. The plant's developers have publicly stated that they will install spare transmission line capacity that can be used for wind turbines. Nearness of such transmission lines is what's preventing many wind farms from being developed.

gr 10 years, 7 months ago

"with most of the electricity going out of state"

If it stayed in state, that would somehow change his opinion?

gr 10 years, 7 months ago

"But it's not staying in state."

Do you mean, as in selfish?

csgblaw 10 years, 7 months ago

A large percentage of many products that are produced in-state are sold in markets outside of the Kansas. Similarly, many of the products Kansas consumer's purchase are made outside of the state. What is the point of the geographic discrimination when it comes to electricity generation?

Richard Heckler 10 years, 7 months ago

  • Not using energy, rather than produc- ing, using and disposing of it, is far easier on the environment, the econ- omy, ratepayers and taxpayers. Reduced energy use means reduced GHG emis- sions and other pollutants.
  • Individuals can start their own con- servation program by installing com- pact fluorescent bulbs, turning off lights, using power strips to turn off TVs, DVDs and computers, hanging wash outside, and purchasing effi- cient equipment. Choosing a vehicle that gets more MPG, combining trips, telecommuting, slowing down, having proper tire inflation and clean air filters can save fuel.
  • State electric utility commissions fre- quently require energy efficiency and conservation programs to reduce kilo- watt usage. "Peak shaving" programs that reduce use during times of peak demand (very hot days, for example) can reduce the need for more power plants. Such programs might include having the ability to turn off house- hold electric water heaters or reducing industrial and commercial lighting and power use. "Any time use reduc- tion" programs might include incen- tives to replace old, inefficient appli- ances, lighting and motors.
  • Designing buildings to take advan- tage of sunlight and insulating adequately produce savings.
  • Land use planning to better suit mass transit, walking, or reducing traffic congestion will reduce GHG emissions.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report from Working Group III "Mitigation of Climate Change- Summary for Policymakers." (IPCC, WGIII, SPM) May 5, 2007

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 7 months ago

Humans can do zilch to stop climate change. You may as well remain happy and safe by driving an SUV.

RedwoodCoast 10 years, 7 months ago

OK, lets say that a person who drinks coffee daily is also having trouble sleeping at night. The lack of quality sleep is adversely affecting their daily life. So the person goes to the doctor, who points out a number of possible causes for the insomnia, one of which is the person's coffee consumption. However, the person likes drinking coffee and does not want to alter their lifestyle in a manner that does not involve drinking coffee. It would make perfect sense that the coffee is what is affecting the person's sleep, but the possibility of other factors causes them to rule out coffee drinking. Certainly, not drinking coffee probably would not do the person any harm and would likely result in better sleep, but the person refuses, saying that they've been drinking coffee for years with no problems.

This is the same issue with climate change. It would make perfect sense that decreasing our CO2 emissions would not hurt a thing. Rather, it would probably be the wise thing to do. However, the mere fact that a few influential and highly political people claim that "we do not know for sure that we are causing climate change" is causing people to argue for the continued intensive use of fossil fuels. Since that is the only thing we, as the human species, can alter in our lifestyles that may or may not have an effect on climate change, why not do it? I guarantee that, even if it turns out we were wrong, we will be much better off in the long run. We only need to look back about 7500 years to the melting of the Laurentide ice sheets to see what drastic effects sudden climate change can have on the environment. If this happens again, Lawrence will cease to be a "tree city." Kansas farmers will scarcely be able to grow those promising biofuels. But since that probably won't happen until after most people posting on this forum are dead, then what do we care?

Godot 10 years, 7 months ago

Of course, they say this; if the crisis did not exist, their business model would evaporate.

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