Letters to the Editor

Climate change

August 7, 2010


To the editor:

I am concerned about climate change. The essentials are not terribly complicated. The Earth’s atmosphere is thin — according to Timothy Ferris in “The Science of Liberty,” thinner relative to the planet’s diameter than the layer of moisture covering one’s eyes. Nitrogen and oxygen comprise 99 percent of the atmosphere. These gases hold in no heat, but the remaining critical 1 percent includes several “greenhouse” gases, notably, water vapor, CO2 and methane.

These absorb infrared light rather than letting it escape — acting like the closed windows of a parked car. To a point this is good, but it is estimated that nearly a third of the CO2 in the atmosphere today is manmade. CO2 in the atmosphere has reached 385 ppm versus the 275 that it was for the last 10,000 years.

Ignoring this could be extremely unpleasant and dauntingly expensive to reverse. At higher levels the threat arises of runaway warming, as global temperatures spiral upward, utterly out of control. In 2007, a United Nations panel on climate change made up of 170 scientists warned us that greenhouse gas emissions have increased 70 percent between 1970 and 2004 and average warming over the past 50 years is very likely (a probability of over 90 percent) due to greenhouse gas increases.

The coal plant in western Kansas does little for Kansans or the planet Earth. The rest of the country is moving in other directions. Kansans can comment on the proposed plant through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.


Liberty_One 7 years, 8 months ago

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

Well there's a carefully thought-out refutation if I've ever heard one.

riverdrifter 7 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

uncleandyt 7 years, 8 months ago

A chunk of ice the size of Manhattan (NY) just broke away.

notorious_agenda 7 years, 8 months ago

That chunk broke off because the glacier has been growing its stated in every article they wrote about it.

Jimo 7 years, 8 months ago

If you have nothing to say then you may remain silent.

Liberty275 7 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if the erratics across Kansas fell from the sky the last time the sky fell!. They couldn't have come from glaciers that used to tower over Lawrence.

SnakeFist 7 years, 8 months ago

"The sky is falling!" is what we hear from you every time you blather about liberties being taken away.

I wonder who has more credibility, you or thousands of scientists with relevant education and research. Like most regressives, you have opinions about everything but know nothing. I'm not surprised, however, that you have nothing better to do but rush to be the first to post an inane comment.

SnakeFist 7 years, 8 months ago

Liberty, you're smart enough to recognize that the assertion that all scientists who are funded by government grants are automatically biased in favor of an outcome that supports big government is ridiculous.

Rather than attack the veracity of the thousands of scientists who disagree with you, at least do what many conservatives do and cite contradictory evidence from some lone-voice assistant professor at Third-World University.

SnakeFist 7 years, 8 months ago

No, almost everyone who disagrees doesn't even have that much credibility. So we're not even - I have thousands of scientists with relevant education and research on my side, and you have millions of anti-intellectuals with nothing more than a fear of change on your side. I'll take the opinion of the former over the latter any day.

George Lippencott 7 years, 8 months ago

Well I seriously wonder if many responsible people doubt the climate of the planet may be changing and that we have had a hand in it.

The hard part is what to do about it. The new plant represents the newest in technology for a coal-based plant. The choices in the near term for electric power in Kansas are coal, gas, nuclear and wind. WE have all three. Each has its own drawback.

IMHO, it is not possible to rely totally on wind energy at this time, as it is not reliable enough to power by itself our local economy. More importantly, the costs of converting from a carbon-based economy are already hitting the average Kansan. The faster you go the more it costs in the short term.

As far as some of the more exotic power generation concepts - we are just not there from a technology standpoint to build major facilities. In time. If there is any patience left.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

  1. Conserve energy - our energy needs are not fixed.
  2. The plant, if built, will supply almost all of it's energy to other states - it's not being built to supply needs in Kansas.
  3. You left out solar - grid-tie solar systems are practical for individuals, especially with rebates.
  4. How long do you think we can wait?

jonas_opines 7 years, 8 months ago

Ooh! We haven't had one of these in a while!

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 8 months ago

Stop the coal plant! Let the states that will use the energy build it there.

George Lippencott 7 years, 8 months ago

So we move it west a bit. WE lose the jobs. We get the smoke! Neat!

Anthony Schmidt 7 years, 8 months ago

George I attended the hearings in OP last week with the Ks Dept of Health and Environ. It was pointed out that Colorado has decided to pursue other electric sources and that this plant (whose construction will not be startied until 2016 anyway) is likely just a contingency plan. The jobs will likely largely be given to out of state union workers and once it is built will end up being somewhere less than 200 jobs. The state has spent millions debating this 19th century technology as the US just falls further behind as a leader into this new century.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 8 months ago

For those who are interested in actually learning about the issues, I recommend checking out the www.gpace.org website. It has a timetable about the Holcomb expansion project, explores all of the issues, then provides an easy link to submit your opinion about the project. Anyone who really studies the issue will realize that this is a bailout of a financially strapped company who is asking the rest of Kansans to pay a steep price to get them out of trouble. Our children's future clearly indicates that we should stand against this last gasp effort.

Remember Climategate? You know, the "scandal" that deniers broke about how the science was being fiddled with to skew the results? Caused a worldwide stir about the credibility of the whole concept of climate change? Guess what. The commission set up to do the in-depth study of what happened came out, and: ITS GOOD SCIENCE AFTER ALL! If you really doubt this, then read it in its entirety for yourself: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/07/findings-muir-russell-review

Have you heard about these results, tho? Of course not. Doesn't sell as many papers. Or maybe I should say it doesn't draw as many people to the media websites.

George Lippencott 7 years, 8 months ago

Actually I read of the commissions results in the LJW.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

So the LTE writer is saying what - that man-made hydrocarbons is the reason my eyes are getting hot?

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 8 months ago

Another large problem is the amount of dihydrogen monoxide in the air. This problem is frequently overlooked.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 8 months ago

Sometimes people try to obfuscate the issue by referring to dihydrogen monoxide as hydrogen hydroxide.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 8 months ago

In my opinion, the greatest climate problem we have here in Kansas is the large amount of solidified dihydrogen monoxide falling from the sky. On many occasions, the landscape has been literally covered with it.

Its removal has been time consuming, tedious, and expensive.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 8 months ago

But it is the intermittent nature of the dihydogen monoxide that not only makes it of questionable use for generating electricity around here, it also creates a situation where you see folks spending good money to spread it all over their yards! They also add vegetation to this potentially dangerous compound, and the organic sludge decomposes and leaves alcoholic residue that people quaff in large quantities this time of year, especially on weekends.


missunderestimate 7 years, 8 months ago

Build it.

And God bless Western Kansas.

You can see Colorado from their backyards.

matix 7 years, 8 months ago

One thing worse than climate change. Climate not-changing.

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

oh the horror! we're doomed unless we make it change

citizen4honor 7 years, 8 months ago

Tell the whole truth. CO2 is .02 to .03 percent - of the atmosphere and is a trace compound. That's 2 parts out of 10,000 parts. We can't measure the exact amount because it varies across the earth. It's considered a harmless gas. Where there are higher levels of CO2 plants grow bigger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsOL5nWkn1k

Climate is mostly caused by the earth's position in the solar system. Not gases.

Funny truth. Catalytic converters required in CA to reduce emissions turn - you guess it -- CO into HARMLESS CO2 (from their own gov't websites). So they are purposely CREATING CO2.

In reality, humans give off the most CO2 along with animals. Plants use it up. Great system the amazing earth.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

C4H, A few things you have wrong:

PPM is parts per million. Since the end of the last ice age to the industrial revolution it was in the neighborhood of 270 ppm, or about 0.027%. Since humans started taking carbon out of the ground and burning it, the level has risen to around 390 ppm, or about 0.039%. Rounding errors aside, you've missed a couple of key concepts: you don't have to count every last molecule to be able to tell it's gone up; and, whatever energy it was causing the earth to retain at 270 ppm, it is causing more at 390 ppm. We aren't changing much in the way of CO2 levels, but then, we're only expecting a 1% change in average temperatures per doubling of CO2.

If you give the plants in a greenhouse plenty of water, nutrients, and keep the temperature range within the plant's comfort zone, yes, you can get more growth with higher levels of CO2. However, change the thermodynamic characteristics of the earth, and you change the amount and timing of rain, and the temperature range changes. I believe that changing the amount of water available, when it is available, and how hot it gets will be a larger factor than how much CO2 there is when it comes to plant growth. Raise all of the month of July's temperatures by 2-4 degrees F and I'm betting the negatives outweigh the positives.

The change in energy flux caused by wobbles of the earth in its orbit are about 2 orders of magnitude lower than the change in energy flux caused by a doubling of CO2. This isn't a guess or based on a model; it can be calculated with physics. So, saying that these wobbles can have an effect and CO2 can not, does not make a great deal of sense.

Catalytic converters? CO is toxic at much lower levels than CO2; your point is pointless.

Yes, everyone knows that there are large turnovers of carbon in the biological systems. Plants take carbon out of the sea and air; animals return it to the sea and air. Some people realize that there is a difference between stirring a pot and adding more spice to it. The timing, the amount, and the isotope levels of the increase are consistent with manmade sources and inconsistent with everything else. If the amount that we are adding were inconsequential, the level would not be going up.

citizen4honor 7 years, 8 months ago

I didn't say PPM I said 2 out of 10,000 so everyone would understand that it wasn't 3%.

Catalytic converters - my point was that the CA gov't website says "harmless CO2".

How exactly are they reading the "isotope" level increase in CO2? It varies in winter from summer, after a storm, parts of the earth. How exacty does something so small that varies from day to day, location by location, get accurately measured?

Brian Laird 7 years, 8 months ago

They measure isotope ratios, not levels. Even if the levels fluctuate, the ratios will stay relatively constant.

Jimo 7 years, 8 months ago

I'd love to hear the scientific theory that explains how stopping one coal plant in Kansas is relevant when China opens a new coal plant every week.

Absent a global solution this is a waste of effort, energy and purpose.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

No drop of water thinks that it is responsible for the flood, eh?

Jimo 7 years, 8 months ago

Is that something like pissing into the wind?

Jimo 7 years, 8 months ago

Who said it was right? I said it was just wasted effort.

christy kennedy 7 years, 8 months ago

Good letter. It's science, people. Just because it doesn't immediately shut off your cable or raise the price of beer doesn't mean you should scoff at the facts and make fun of those with the ability to think big picture and worry for our collective future.

Yeah, China has too many coal plants and small fights and individual changes often seem futile, but that's not a reason to maintain an "Oh well" what can we do? attitude. We need to reverse a process already out of hand. Every, single positive and thoughtful change means something and will benefit the planet and its inhabitants in the long run.

citizen4honor 7 years, 8 months ago

China has too many coal plants? Who decides that? China pollutes alot - that's true.

What process do you want to reverse? Plant some trees - that will do it. Plain and simple.

More electric cars? Well they need a coal plant or nuclear to create the energy. Our energy GRID is a major concern coz it was started in the 1940's and is just old.

Wind? Can't store electricity so it's only a supplement. Nuclear - good choice.

Show me the evidence that we are in a climate heatwave caused by CO2 gases. Maybe population growth is the real reason since humans are the biggest contributor. Remember last year was colder than previous, right now we are in a heat wave. Maybe climate just fluctuates. Maybe because people like George Soros has spent over $7 Billion creating businesses to handle climate change is the real reason for climate change. http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/cleantech-hits-the-jackpot-george-soros-to-invest-1-billion-in/19193275/
Just an observation.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

Show you the evidence? You have to shut your eyes pretty tight not to see it.

Try not to confuse snapshots of weather with climate.

Money? Maybe the percent of the world's money that is controlled by the fossil fuel industry is why politicians are so reluctant to do something about regulating or taxing its use.

citizen4honor 7 years, 8 months ago

2009 Last year was the coldest in 100 years in Canada and the among the coldest reported for most of earth and 2008 worldwide was the coldest in 10 years. Hum........... I thought global warming was happening at an alarming rate increasing degrees/year. Hum.........

Jimo 7 years, 8 months ago

"Yeah, China has too many coal plants and small fights and individual changes often seem futile, but that's not a reason to maintain an "Oh well" what can we do? attitude."

Who is proposing that?

No excuse for a "let's do something so we can feel good about doing something no matter how little is accomplished" attitude.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

The point is that if coal-power plants are allowed to be built here, is there any point in expecting China to find other ways to power their economy?

Hypocrisy is a very weak bargaining position.

Jimo 7 years, 8 months ago

No, the point is there is no scientific basis to conclude that a miniature reduction in CO2 emissions from eliminating a single Kansas plant does anything to alter global conditions. So please don't mention CO2 in your b/s argument.

Besides, there's nothing in this letter about bargaining positions. Please keep on topic.

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

knee jerk reactions to theory of the day take money out of the pockets of those who can least afford increases in cost of living.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

The earth was experiencing much bigger shifts in climate long before humans arrived on the scene and the only way fossil fuels got burned was if they got struck by lightning while they were out grazing. Oddly enough, the planet survived. THAT'S science, a proven record of what's actually occurred, not a computer model.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

Oddly enough, the paleo record you refer to is considered by many to be stronger evidence regarding how sensitive the earth is to energy imbalances than the GCMs.

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

paleo record can't tell us how the dinosaurs became extinct, there are some good, er I mean educated guesses. but the climate guesstimates must become law

Ken Lassman 7 years, 8 months ago

The paleo record doesn't show how cities, economies and nations would be able to survive those shifts. If all you have to do is eat, reproduce and migrate, you can survive changing sea levels, climate shifts, extended droughts, etc. Turns out that while we're a very clever species, we've weighted ourselves down with our built environments, our internet, and our fossil fuel driven lifestyles that are quite sensitive to the huge shifts that will come as byproducts of our lifestyle.

The dinosaurs had the asteroid. Will our "freedom" to live as we please be ours? Toynbee said that civilizations weren't murdered, they committed suicide. We'll see if he's true again, no?

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

Nota, So, you are suggesting that the plants and wildlife, biological systems in general, including our agricultural industry, would do just as well in a climate similar to the PETM or somewhere in the cretaceous. I doubt it.

The planet has survived major climate shifts. A lot of the life went through mass extinction events at the same time.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

Maybe it's our turn.

It is nothing more than hubris to think we can control the climate of our planet. It is even greater hubris to think that we should somehow be exempt from the cycle of extinction you refer to.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

I wouldn't say 'control'; I think 'influence' would be more appropriate. There are a lot of things people can effect or put into motion without there being much control involved.

So, first, it is not a problem, and now it is OK for us to condemn our progeny to extinction. (Personally, I think humans will survive; the world might just not be as pleasant a place to live in.) I'm not sure where you are going next.

blindrabbit 7 years, 8 months ago

Jimo" Got your blinders on??? Just because China opens new coal plants is not a reason for us to continue to do so. Maybe some difference in quality of life; maybe don't want to deplete our ground water in Western Kansas. Anyway, if things continue here in the US without technology changes in energy production, China will have bypassed us in 20 years. They will be nuclear converted while we slide in foreign oil and dirty coal. It's up to us, or like a ostrich, keep our head burried in the sand.

Similar to the US auto industry's arrogance in the 1970's when Japan began the long arse kicking they laid on us.

Brian Laird 7 years, 8 months ago

It wasn't measured 10000 years ago. It was measured recently ice core samples containing gas trapped 10000 years ago.

Brian Laird 7 years, 8 months ago

Over the past 400,000 years or so, the CO2 concentration, as measured from ice cores has varied between about 180 ppm (during ice ages) and 280ppm (during the interglacial periods). The last ice age ended just over 10,000 years ago, so for most of the last 10K years we have been between 260 ppm and 280ppm - consistent with the values during an interglacial period. Over the last 100 years we have gone from this typical interglacial maximum of 280 to the present value of 390. This is a 40% increase over the typical peak (interglacial) values over the past 400K years.

Mr_B9 7 years, 8 months ago

It sure is funny how all densely populated city squealers that work and live in non compliant energy based buildings have it all worked out. Even if you have an energy efficient auto I bet you are not efficient with that. Do you carpool, make responsible trips out to shop, school, children's social activities, etc...? Sure blame climate change on the coal.
It is time we look at what we have and make it more energy efficient and quit this blame game about something that may not even be real. With current technology we have enough natural resources to support ourselves. There is something much bigger in the government plan than what you are squealing about. Attack that and their spending of OUR tax dollars. I swear once duped always duped. I bet you don't need somebody to wipe yourselves so why do you need to be dictated too by a wasteful government, because THEY say it is so. Stand up and stand tall. I vote for energy efficiency reform instead of unproductive green energy. Stimulate that...... Honestly I am not even sure there is a problem made by MAN in the climate change department but I do support energy efficiency. Why? Because it saves all of us money. If Al Gore and the rest of the green energy supporters owned major stock in coal you wouldn't hear a word. It is all driven by lobbyist, money and fear. FYI: Al Gore does not lead by example so quit worshipping him. Seriously, in the big picture it makes you look even more duped. The government puppeteer is just playing with his puppets again. Is that really what you want to be while your on this planet?

blindrabbit 7 years, 8 months ago

Did I and Boltzman: Not fair to blaspheme here; Sarah said the man walked with the dinosaurs and implied that the earth was less than your 10,000 years old. To be sure, I confirmed it by looking into the Creation Musuem in olde Kentuckeee. Take a look at their web-site, I'm sure you will be likewise convinced.

Mr_B9: Just got in from hugging some trees; really needed to after mowing 4 hours in the hot sun, a little gin and tonic helps also. By-the-way, your comment about worshipping Al Gore is interesting; the only time I see his name mentioned is by bloggers like you. Are you all fixated on him somehow?

Brian Laird 7 years, 8 months ago

Yes, my bad. I was just speaking hypothetically about a fantasy sic fi planet. I hope I didn't give the impression that I think the Earth is older than 6000 years. If I did, I recant most humbly.

E pur si muove!

Ken Lassman 7 years, 8 months ago

It's not either or, B9; it's both AND. Yes, folks can contribute do reducing their carbon footprint, and, if cognizant of the reality of climate change, will hopefully freely do so. That doesn't negate the impact of coal fired plants, which can be avoided just like the poor energy consuming habits of individuals.

If you don't like taxpayer's money spent on green energy, then why spend it on fossil fuels and nukes? A bit of a double standard if you think of it. Do you realize what the public component has been for past Sunflower plants, and what it will be for this one? Open your eyes.

And if you're so skeptical about Al Gore's money, why not check into who is behind the oil and coal fired plants in Kansas? You'll find them in the Kansas legislator's contribution lists. Now THERE are the real puppets.

Mr_B9 7 years, 8 months ago

Please lead us to the appropriate contribution list links. Could be an interesting read.

According to their web site: http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=19515 Guess I am not savvy enough to find the link myself.. Thanks in advance...

"If you don't like taxpayer's money spent on green energy, then why spend it on fossil fuels and nukes? A bit of a double standard if you think of it."

No, not really. Fossil fuels and nukes is technology that has proven to provide us with a rich source of energy. Is it clean? I would like to see cleaner but it certainly works and works well. Why should independent companies be gifted with our tax dollars (stimulus money) to try and reinvent the wheel? Please know I am not against renewable energy but if it is going to happen in this lifetime and if it is indeed such a hot commodity then I should think it would have no problem finding private investors hoping to capitalize off it's success. Obviously if the government is forcing this down our throats it proves to me, it is indeed, not such a hot commodity. I just reflect on the stimulus money gifted to Smith Electric Vehicles. Their parent company has been in business over 80 years. Wow, if you don't have it figured out by then, well I say bad investment. Invest the stimulus money into something truly viable or better yet let the taxpayers keep their hard earned money.
More people, more coal plants and more CO2. Please refrain from exhaling.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 8 months ago


This is a big database where you can put in your zip code and see who in your community contributed. Go down the list, find the candidate of your choice, then click on the policitical action committee, and it'll take you to another link where you can download everyone who contributed to that PAC.

This is the raw data and will take some time; google around some more using "campaign contributions" "Kansas legislature" and "oil and gas" and you might find someone who has done the work for you.

I have no idea of your thought process when you think it's OK to give huge subsidies to existing corporations who produce nukes and coal fired electricity and not wind, solar and other renewables. One of the reasons that wind and solar haven't taken off is not because they don't already work at competitive prices is because the government has not created a stable enough of an environment financially that investors consider it to be a sound enough place to park their money. The feds start a subsidy, then don't renew it, then think about it, put it back on, change the rules, then take it away again. Wind is already substantially cheaper than new coal even without carbon sequestration driving the price of new coal even higher. Concentrated Solar Power, particularly in the SW is looking to undercut new coal as well. And not surprisingly, there has been substantially more wind installed than either coal or nukes in the past few years, both in the US and globally.

Even China has pushed their industries to produce both solar and wind, and those industries have gone from nonexistent to the biggest producers of renewables on the planet. They don't have to be told that they need alternatives--they have to breathe the stuff too, you know.

And if you don't think that nukes were given gigantic subsidies and breaks from the start, then you're just not thinking. And the reason we have to reinvent the wheel is that the wheel is going to run right over our way of life if we don't. Wake up!

Mr_B9 7 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for posting the navigation instructions. I do appreciate your kindness. Your points are valid and we will see in time how we progress as a nation. Thanks again....

Mr_B9 7 years, 8 months ago

Factoid: The price of a kilowatt-hour of solar energy (the amount required to power ten 100-watt lightbulbs for an hour) is about 25 cents, versus around 10 cents for a kilowatt-hour of natural gas- or coal-generated electricity from the grid.

Bill Griffith 7 years, 8 months ago

At the risk of dousing some of the vigor of this firefight, I would like to offer up an abstract published in The Journal of Risk Research, entitled "Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus" (Kahan, Smith, Brahan), February 2010 which is part ot the Cultural Cognition Project. This paper makes a good case why people seem to be talking past each other on the climate issue despite so much research being invested in the topic. This will help many of you figure out why the other guy is so damn wrong...

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

I, for one, am cutting back on bean consumption. It's a win win situation... for everyone in the room with me and the environment.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 8 months ago

Most American businesses that use energy are worried about cap and trade. A lot of things have been coming out because of the climate change issue that concern business people. Much of what you hear is politically driven which we all know is unreliable.

We have competing scientific theories and we are told the facts are overwhelming that man is destroying the planet. We are told that there is an emergency and a point of no return. But the jury, the American people, is still out on possible solutions.

Let's look at the history of Kansas. Since the first oil wells were drilled here, this has been one of the greatest energy states. I doubt if a lot of people realize just how much oil, natural gas and coal Kansas possessed and still lies beneath the ground today. How well did we develop these resources? How responsible have we been in using this states energy wealth?

The answer is certainly that we could have done better. We now know that we are one of the great Wind energy states in terms of potential. How well have we developed this energy? The answer is not enough.

I think our leaders need to ask themselves if they want to accept the status quo or whether they can do a better job of developing the great energy resources that Kansas still has available. If we sell out our future to private corporations from other states for the benefit of other states, is that a responsible use or our energy wealth? What of our great water resource, the Ogallala Aquifer? Are we good stewards of the land or just in it for the short term. How much do we really care about the future of Kansas? Are we willing to go along with the crowd or do we have the courage to take a chance on being something better even if it might not be politically popular? It might be morally right.

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

yes, climate is changing

if I beleive theory homo sapiens would already be long gone by theory o'day long ago, AGP theory, bunk

strive for clean energy, exploit natural resources

one can invest in outcome of theory if they wish

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

my educated guess is as good as your educated guess

Ken Lassman 7 years, 8 months ago

So far you have refrained from showing the educated part of your guess. Climategate was a scam (see the link above) and it turns out that the scientists were accurate and right. New wind and solar produced more new electricity than coal or nukes did the last few years, and combined with improvements in energy efficiency, we should never have to produce a new coal or nuke plant again. Check out the issue of Scientific American and many other places to see how it'll work.

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

Wind generators do not provide electricity where it is needed. For most part the energy company's pet projects for public relations to out green the next and are heavily subidized. Most population centers are not in the wind zones and transmission loss is an inconvenient problem. ex. Generate electricity in AZ, transmission loss AZ to OH approx 60%. Like I've said before, in Denver or Boulder, CO one can make oneself feel better by opting to buy the more expensive wind generated electricity but not one kwh reaches your house from wind farms. If you wish to invest or consume the toni electricity, go for it.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 8 months ago

You must not realize that the electrical grid deals with swings in demand upwards of 100% on a daily basis already, so we already have in place a system that can handle the issue of "intermittency." If the system can deal with 1,000 MW power plants coming on line and off line, sometimes with very little notice, then it is a system quite capable of handling the "problem" of intermittency.

If anything, the grid has the potential of becoming even more capable of handling this "problem" as we get more and more electric cars on the road. They can become extensions of the grid by providing a storage capacity to deal with excess generation during times when wind and solar provide too much power. There are companies who are working full time on developing this capability, in fact. And, like I have shown in posts elsewhere, there are already 39,000 MW of wind powered electricity capacity in the US and it's going up every month. This is not a theoretical, pie-in-the-sky technology. Even the Dept. of Energy reports that they see no reason why wind can't provide a full 20% of the nation's electrical needs by 2050. Germany's there already, and China's wind capacity is growing so fast that they've revised their goal to 100,000 MW of wind generated electricity by 2020.

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

At what price? watermelons and walnuts comparison. Not even those clever heavily subsidized germans can overcome physics of transmission loss, even in more densly populated country. China? You will build it here! Puleeze! Can you say population density? One has to live where the wind blows to exploit wind generated electricity. A very small but usefull addition to the grid only in certain localized areas. In US, at current rates, one does not mind paying more for the toni kind of electricity. If cost effective exploit it but don't raise my elec. bill for a more expensive idea. I do not see where there can be found any economy of scale even with Gov't wishfull thinking projection. Of course germans pay more for electric utilities even with fluctuating euro/dollar market. and this - New 'Staudinger' coal power plant of German E.ON AG and Johannes Heithoff, the research chief for the German utility RWE, said his company's goal is to burn through its 3.4 billion metric tons of brown coal reserves, German coal consumption up 18% in Q1Published: 17 May 2010 10:47 CET . Looks like they exploit coal too.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

Transmission loss occurs with any form of generation.

If we removed all subsidies for current power generation, then we could see what the actual comparisons might be between differing forms.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

All power generation is currently heavily subsidized.

That makes it hard to compare accurately.

And, what's the problem with using wind farms in KS? We have plenty of wind here, and should be able to use the power here, not ship it off to some other state.

tbaker 7 years, 8 months ago

Coal is bad huh Mr. Schmidt? Does that mean you like Nuclear power then? Or do you prefer going back to candles and chloroform in the OR all together? Talk about thinner than the moisture on your eyeball, we've had this same atmosphere for how many billions of years and we've been accurately measuring global average temperature for how long? Maybe about 70 years? and we aren't even doing a very good job of that. How thin is that? I’m all for reducing pollution any way and everywhere we can. I want the cleanest planet I can find for me and everyone I love and care about to live on, but please sir, do wise up. Global Warming is a hoax designed to give government more control over your life and take more of your money.

Anthony Schmidt 7 years, 8 months ago

Hey, I'm just stating the science. Maybe 170 scientists are in the governments pocket towards a big hoax. But my understanding is that science is a process of constantly questioning data and reevealuating, and maybe finding some inaccuracy and hopefully finding the truth. That is how we cure illnesses and that is how we cure problems on a global scale. My understanding from the science is that Greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere today will stay up there for decades: Is it ethical to bequeath them to our descendants? Pounding the table and insisting, “We must leave free enterprise alone” is inadequate. You can ignore the scientific probablilities (90% likelyhood that climate change is man-made) but I propose we do the job responsibly meaning we stare at a lot of curving lines on graphs and try to find the sweet spot. One line predicts the growth of the world economy – which increases the potential ability of our descendants to deal with the problem. Another projects a long term economic decline occasioned by global warming – which weakens our descendants spending power, though it may also reduce pollution. A third line predicts the “discount rate” which takes into account the declining purchasing power of a dollar over time – and so forth. Responsible stewardship requires dealing in quantities and probabilities, with little recourse to comforting certitudes.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

Has it ever occurred to you that the controversy over global warming might be a hoax designed to continue the money flow into the fossil fuel industry. Are there any fossil fuel lobbyists in Washington? Yeap, lots, and they are getting paid a lot more than your average scientist.

George Lippencott 7 years, 8 months ago

tonytornado (anonymous) replies… “George I attended the hearings in OP last week ...”

There will be O& M jobs - small in number but big in proportion out there. By the by - out of state construction workers are what a lot of Mr. Obama's stash has supported - union members.

The issue with me is not the utility or profitability of the plant but the legal basis by which we accept or approve it. Some of you on here seem to express the notion of a referendum on whatever any business plans. WE have laws. If no law blocks this plant - then it is up to the builders and the local politicians. If we do not want this to continue - then we need to improve our laws.

This plant will affect me - I care. That said I do not want to give up my nation of laws to avoid that impact. We need better laws. By the by, the carbon bill that floated around back there would have addressed this only on the margins. Maybe the EPA will make some rational rules - maybe?

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

Rational rules from any gov't agency or legislative body? I admire your guarded optimisim! I'm a hopeless optimist, I think man will solve enough problems technologically going forward to survive as a species. If past performance is any indicator of future. Which begs the question, was it a dem or repub that invented fire? Probably a repub but then the party was much different way back then, that repub later beamce a member of the dem party.

blindrabbit 7 years, 8 months ago

Boltzman: Did not mistake your age of earth issue; I fully agree; I just needed a segway to get at the Griz Mom . I suggest we organize a road trip to the Creation Museum, I need a new fix.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago


I said ppm, not you, to make sure that everyone would be on the same page as far as how the numbers are calculated. You said 2 and 3 where more traditional rounding would arrive at 3 and 4.

FYI, a storm, chemical reaction, etc., does not change 12C, 13C, 14C into any other isotope.

I think you are inferring a bit much from what one part of the government has to say about CO2 in comparison to CO.

Boltzman, (level of A) / (level of B) = ratio of A to B. I said level, you say ratio. It makes little difference.

Actually, no, the ratios are not constant. The ratios of the carbon isotopes in the biosphere as they were 150 years ago are different from the ratios in fossil fuels. The ratios in the biosphere today have shifted to look more like the ratios in fossil fuels than they used to.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

Boltzman, On second read, I think you and I are not in any real disagreement. Sorry.

Anthony Schmidt 7 years, 8 months ago

I suspect this CO2, CO thing is something intended to disguise, conceal, or deceive the real issue. And Boltzman, Blindrabbit and cg22165 in relation to your posts above about Dihydrogen monoxide this is a pretty well known internet hoax. But why do it?

Brian Laird 7 years, 8 months ago

I do have a post on here concerning "dihidrogen monoxide".

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

Global strategy? I think we first need to get the world to focus on basic human rights. Think I'll petition the delegate from Iran on the HRC to jump start woman's right to walk on street without head covering. Then we can move toward the more complex global problems like irradicating malarial mosquito.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 8 months ago

FWIW, there may have been 170 authors of the 2007 IPCC report, but a lot more scientists were referenced by them. In the scientific basis section alone, there are about 14 pages of contributors. It looks like about 40 authors per page; so,...


"Contributors to the IPCC WGI Fourth Assessment Report"



independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

my skeptical scientist can kick all your green scientist's a$$.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

That would be meaningful if this were ultimate fighting, perhaps.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 8 months ago

We don't need science, obviously. If Senator Sam gets elected, this problem will 'go away.'

mr_right_wing 7 years, 8 months ago

So why are we not passing legislation to eliminate water vapour, it is the #1 'greenhouse gas'!

Let's make laws to limit or eliminate people's water vapour footprint.

Get that under control, then we can deal with co2!

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