Thursday, May 31, 2007

Glastonbury Festival Set To Teach Climate Lesson

The Rolling Stones Demanded £1million For Glastonbury

I'll be posting part III of "Oxfam, Global Warming and Money" shortly.

If you don't know about the Glastonbury Festival you should, it's a big deal.

As always, Gigwise has the inside poop:

"Not only will this years attendees be provided with a complimentary roll of eco-friendly toilet paper, as previously reported, but the festival will also provide carbon neutral showers and organic food on site."

What really caught my eye was the Stones attitude:

"As we told you earlier this week, Mick Jagger came under fire from his ex-wife Jerry Hall in a newspaper interview, when she claimed that the singer was “tight” with his money."

Take the Gigwise Poll:

Are The Stones greedy swines?

  1. Yes, the money-grabbing bastards
  2. No, they deserve the money

Oxfam, Global Warming and Money-part II

Adapting to climate change: What’s needed in poor countries, and who should pay.

By now you've seen the headlines:

Bloomberg "
Poor Need $50 Billion a Year to Adapt to Climate, Oxfam Says";
Metro (UK) "
Rich should pay £25bn to stop global warming";
Times of India "Coping with warming will cost $50 billion, G-8 must pay share";
Mongabay "U.S. responsible for 44% of global warming bill-Oxfam";
Peoples Daily "
Oxfam calls on rich countries to reduce impact of climate change"
China Daily "Rich must pay bulk of climate change bill - Oxfam"

That fifty billion dollar per year figure isn't the half of it. Or more accurately it is half. On page 22 the report states:

"Indeed, others predict that annual adaptation costs could be at least double this. According to Kermal Dervis, head of UNDP, donors will need to provide 50 to 100 per cent more finance over and above current aid – equivalent to $50–100bn annually – to cover the impacts of climate change. Likewise, Christian Aid estimates that tackling adaptation will require a global fund of $100bn each year."
I believe these are the sources for the $100 billion figure. UNDP, Christian Aid. This isn't the "or more" referred to in the press release, $100 billion is the number two of Oxfam's allies truly believe will be necessary.

The next paragraph on page 22 asks where the money will come from:

"Is this scale of funding – many tens of billions of dollars a year – impossible? Not at all. Staging the 2004 Olympics in Athens cost $9–12bn and the budget for the 2012 Olympics in the UK is already $18bn."

What event is not included in the above example? Here's a hint: it is expected to cost $20 to 40 billion dollars. In the post below I said there was something for the arts community in this report, I think they did some pretty fancy tap-dancing around the 800-pound dragon in the room.

Part 3 of the report is headlined "3 No aid diversion: new finance needed"

This is one of at least a dozen places in the report where the authors state and restate that the $50 ($100) billion is in addition to the 0.7% Official Development Aid requirement of the U.N.'s "Agenda 21" and "Monterrey Consensus".

Here I fail you. I don't believe the U.S. signed on to the 0.7% but I don't recall for sure. If we had I'm sure it would have been in the Times or the Journal.

I spent waaay too much time at the BLS and BEA yesterday but it pays off for you, gentle reader. 2006 U.S. GDP was $13.25 trillion, with just shy of a 13.5 run-rate. Here's table 3.

For the exponentially challenged, call it $93 billion for ODA. Plus Oxfam's 44% of $50 bil. (it really will be closer to $100), and the $450 bil. from the Stern Review (remember the Stern Review? It was in all the papers.) for mitigation; here I'm not sure if we should multiply by Oxfam's 44% or the U.S.'s 25% share of CO2 emissions, we're starting to get to the real number and we should be able to keep it all under a third-of-a-trillion dollars per year for the U.S. contribution (before adding in direct costs like putting vodka in your tank but that's okay, the Stern number of 1% of World Gross Product should be 2% minimum so we've got incorrect estimates piling on incorrect estimates anyway).

I'll wrap up in part three. Don't go anywhere, we've still got Jacques Chirac, Maurice Strong, Tony Soprano and more coming right up.

Here's Oxfam's briefing paper

Oxfam, Global Warming and Money

Adapting to climate change: What’s needed in poor countries, and who should pay
What Oxfam's paper says and what it means.

Yesterday, I noted en passant:
"I read Oxfam's Briefing Paper "Adapting to Climate Change: What's Needed in Poor Countries and Who Should Pay" last night, how many folks can (or would want to) say that."
I have an explanation, a confession and a nit to pick.

Explanation: that bit in parenthesis refers to my sadness at what Oxfam has become. It was founded as the "Oxford Committee for Famine Relief" to feed starving Greek civilians trapped between the British naval blockade and German indifference to their plight.
I first became aware of Oxfam in 1968 when they began airlifting food to the Biafrans being starved into submission by their own government. More here, here and here.

In the forty years since, Oxfam has experienced what the military calls "mission creep", which is natural for any large organization, they tend to self-perpetuate. Oxfam is no longer your father's relief organization, a fact pointed out to me by my English friends and has caused great dissention in the NGO community. Oxfam has been vilified as, at minimum a corporate sellout and at worst a willing stooge of the British government by activists and non-profits. Oxfam's quasi-government position (when I stopped contributing in 1998, 25% of their $168 mm budget came from the gov.) Knowing this history made me feel sorry for myself having to read their paper.

Confession: I am a closet policy wonk and have probably read 100,000 pages on this stuff since Maurice Strong and Al Gore got together for the Rio shindig in 1992. I am a bore at parties.

Nit to pick: I don't think anyone read the actual Oxfam paper! Last night I scanned 300 blogs and newspapers for reactions and every one of them just quoted the press release, usually verbatim and usually just the first few paragraphs!

Now I can maybe understand the journalists not reading the whole 47 pages, they're busy. But the bloggers?
According to Google, Climateer Investing readers are smart, successful and good looking (you think Google doesn't know everything about you?) yet not one of you clicked on the Oxfam link yesterday (okay, it wasn't Google that told us, rather, it was some pretty fancy software, that tells us what you like and what you want more of).

It's a shame no one read Oxfam's paper, there's something for everyone, my lefty friends, right-wing nutjobs, Eurocrats, NGO's, Jacque Chirac, conspiracy theorists, one worlders, the arts community, everyone.

I'll tell you what it means in part two. I love my readers, I really do.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Macro Economics

I've been doing some top-down stuff for private, proprietary purposes (don't you just love alliteration after a day slogging through 13 and 14 digit numbers?).

I read Oxfam's Briefing Paper "Adapting to Climate Change: What's Needed in Poor Countries and Who Should Pay" last night, how many folks can (or would want to) say that.

If you have an interest, the Bureaus of Economic Analysis, Labor Statistics and the Census are beckoning.

I had a couple comments at's Energy Roundup relating to India's nuclear program, if you want to be the hit of tomorrow's party, google: India and Thorium, no quotes. It's the future of fissile.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Global Warming, Politics, Laws and Opportunity--Part II

To summarize part I (below) the McCormick family invented the reaper, sales in the first nine years were zero and in the next seven averaged 31 per year. They then exploded to 800 machines in 1847. What happened?

As reported by The Economist May 16, 1846, the British House of Commons had repealed the "Corn Laws", eliminating the tariff on imported wheat, the day before. Corn in this usage is not maize but rather is generic for grain. Prime Minister Peel won the battle but lost his premiership, the quote of the day was "Peel and repeal."

Some historians have argued that Peel's motive for this early example of free trade was the ongoing famine in Ireland, Peel himself had raised the issue in an earlier speech. This idea is patently false as Ireland's landlords continued to export food throughout the famine, with the dead Irish (est. 800,000 although some historians put the number at two million) being replaced by 977,000 head of cattle.

In his May 15, 1846 speech Peel said: "But let me say, altho it has not been brought prominently under consideration, that, without any reference to the case of Ireland, the working of the law, as far as Great Britain is concerned, during the present year has not been satisfactory."

According to "Historical Statistics of the United States:" wheat exports from the U.S. to the U.K. more than doubled from 1846 to 1847 and the McCormick family fortunes were assured.

Two more recent examples of how changes in the law can lead to great opportunity were the "Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997" whose section 312 made the first half-million dollars of profit from the sale of a primary residence exempt from taxes and removed the requirement to reinvest the proceeds. Combined with the loose money policy of the Fed., the hot money/shenanigans at
Fannie Mae and some pretty fancy footwork on the part of mortgage originators, this law set the stage for the residential real estate boom.

The other example is less well known. The 2003 Medicare Modernization Act established the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit as anyone with an older relative or friend knows.
The Bill also had a "Title II" regarding Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans had been around for years, since 1998 with declining enrollment.

The funding included in the MMA led to enrollment increases from 5.12mm members in 2004 to 7.18mm members in 2006, pretty fast growth for the insurance companies.
More spectacularly, one particular type of plan, "Private-Fee-For-Service" went from 26,932 members in 2004 to 819,352 members in 2006. Insurance companies don't get this type of growth unless they're getting the politicians to change the laws.

The companies that recognized what the changed laws (which I think they bought) meant to them made their investors a lot of money. The biggest promoter of the PFFS plans, Humana, saw its stock go from under $10 in April 2003 to $67 in October 2006.

That's why I'm going to be watching the politicians, and the people giving money to them.

Global Warming, Politics, Laws and Opportunity

Climateer Investing readers will be well served if they keep track of the various bills currently in Congress, or alternatively if they check in with CI from time to time (he said modestly).

We have entered the political (money) phase of the climate change discourse. So of course I am going to write about wheat.

I first became aware of just how much money can be made by paying attention to what the politicians are up to when I re-read the story of Cyrus McCormick and his Reaper twenty years ago. Most of what I knew of the story turned out to be wrong. On Monday evening I dug out my 1961 edition of "Historical Statistics of the United States" for some backround.

First off the reaper was probably invented by Cyrus' dad: The great demonstration of 1831 was done just six weeks after Robert McCormick's failed demonstration. Second, McCormick's version was not the first patented. Third, the invention was a commercial failure (at first).

There have been many reasons put forth to account for the eventual success of the machine. At a 1931 ceremony marking the centennial of the first test a former governor of Virginia said:
Rather jocularly speaking, he was possessed of a combination of qualities which have at all times proved invincible. He was a Virginian, he was a Democrat, and he was a Presbyterian; and so God blessed him with success because he deserved it.

Invented in 1831 and patented in 1834, McCormick didn't sell a single machine until 1840. The sales figures for the early years are debatable but these are the best I could put together:
1840------- 2
1843------ 29
1844------ 50
1845------ 58
1846------ 75

External factors played a part: Florida, Texas and Iowa were admitted to the Union in '45, '45 and '46 respectively.

Miles of railroad trackage, 2818 miles in 1840 increased to 4633 in 1845 and 9021 in 1850.
The nation's asset base grew e.g. life insurance in force went from $4.7mm (face) in 1840 to $97.1mm in 1850. The country was growing pretty fast.

On the corporate level, McCormick was a pioneer of installment sales.
The company moved to Chicago in 1847. Contrary to what this wonderfully illustrated 12 page history says:
It was not until 1847, when he built his own factory in Chicago, that he was able to sell a significant number of machines.
the salesmen's order books were filling up prior to the move.

This is getting to be a long post. I think I will serialize and show the opportunity created by laws and politics in the next posting.

Part II (above)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Global warming drives up prices on beer in Germany

"Beer prices are a very emotional issue in Germany ..."

"It's absolutely outrageous that beer is getting even more expensive," Glutsch said, gulping down the last swig of his half-liter dark beer at lunch. "But there's nothing we can do about it - except drinking less and that's not going to happen."

"Beer drinkers across the country will get upset when beer prices will rise even further in the fall," said Koenig. "We are therefore demanding that government stop its subsidies for biofuels immediately."

From Pravda
Hat Tip Environmental News Network (although they mention the AP version, yr. hmbl. svt. went in search of the definitive story)

This is serious. Does anyone remember what happened the last time Bavarians got pissed and pissed off?

Lousy architecture, dedicated to the memory of those felled 8-9 Nov., 1923.

The corporate history, current back to 1920, is:

Inbev acquired Spaten-Franziskaner-Löwenbräu-Group in 2004 which was created by the merger of Spaten and Lowenbrau in 1997. Lowenbrau aquired Burgerlisches Brauhaus (BB) in either 1920 0r 1921. On Nov. 9, 1923 BB owned the Burgerbrau Keller, where a secular religion was founded, complete with myths, heroes, icons and a messiah.

All the companies were publicly held, although I can't imagine the markets were very liquid in April, '45.
In the words of Hermann Goering: "
Shut up. You've got your beer, haven't you?"

Which Carbon Diet Works Better?

On Friday Climateer Investing said the link in the post below was a "must read".
Now John Tierney of THE New York Times says:

"Attention, global-warming wonks. Ronald Bailey has a must-read (and surprisingly readable, given the subject) post at Reason analyzing ways to slow emissions of greenhouse gases."

Tierney goes on to say:

"The prospect of a cap-and-trade system in America has already set off a lobbying frenzy in Washington by industries hoping to write the rules to their advantage. Given legislators’ eagerness to please their hometown industries, it’s easy to imagine them being just as generous as European politicians."

Mr. Tierney's NYT blog is here. Mr. Bailey's ReasonOnline post is linked above and in the post below.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Carbon Taxes Versus Carbon Markets

What's the best way to limit emissions?
This is a must-read.

Climateer Investing's regular readers know most of the arguments and if you're like me (I know I am) the failure of Europe's Capn' Trade and the potential for gaming the system tip the scales to a carbon tax.

"Is there an objective, scientific way to allocate emissions permits? Not really. The process is inherently political. Chuck Chakravarthy and John Rhoads, energy consultants for Accenture, are blunt in a January article in Public Utilities Fortnightly. “Early winners will be the companies best able to shape regulations,” they warn. They urge utility executives to lobby now for emission allocations that will position them “for maximum economic value as compared with competitors.” There’s a huge amount of money at stake. At the height of the EU carbon market, for example, the allowances were worth about $50 billion."

Ron Bailey at ReasonOnline does a magnificent job in this piece. I repeat, a must read.

Testing Market Efficiency and Price Discovery in European Carbon Markets

While Speaker Pelosi and Senator McCain are jetsetting around (see post below [haven't these people ever heard of video or teleconferencing? Do they have to fly in to see a glacier melting in Greenland? At least get into the '90s, people]) The pro's are wading through stuff like this.

From the abstract:

"We examine the issues of market efficiency and price discovery in the European Union carbon futures market. Our findings suggest that none of the carbon futures contracts examined here are priced according to the cost-of-carry model, although two of the three futures contracts studied here form a stable long-run relationship with the spot price, and hence act as adequate risk mitigation instruments."

44 page PDF
Hat Tip: Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News

Global warming's boom town

A town in Greenland attracts rich green globetrotters.

"Nancy Pelosi, America's House speaker, is due to arrive next week. A helicopter will take her to Swiss Camp, a research station on the ice sheet with its own sauna. Ms Pelosi's visit will follow those of John McCain, a senator and presidential candidate, and Romano Prodi, Italy's prime minister. Germany's Angela Merkel is due in August; José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, is also making plans."

This is the type of hypocritical crap I've been writing about the last few days. What are these duplicitous morons thinking?

From The Economist

Green Living on the Web -- Will Martha and Oprah Join the Fray?

That's the title of Joel Makower's last post on his two steps forward blog. I check in at least once a week. As a professional writer he does things with words I can only dream about.

This post was about all the green sites popping up:

"Where will it all lead? Can the public -- not to mention advertisers -- sustain all of these sites? Will Web surfers soon tire of "green living" and move on to something else? There's plenty at stake here -- untold millions in investments, and millions more in ad dollars pledged by makers of cars, cleaning products, cosmetics, and countless other goods and services."

Here's a post from January:
"Is 'Carbon Neutral' Good Enough?"
"What, in Al Gore's name, is going on here? Has the whole world gone carbon crazy?

Check it out, lots of links from an old pro of the Green game.

(No offense intended by the use of "game" see: freakygirl at the forum quoting Ken Keyes Jr. "Life is just a game, we play it, happyness is here to stay!!!")

Global Experts Urge Joint Efforts To Find New Energy Sources for Vehicles

Two policy questions.

Should we pursue fuels based on the current internal combustion engine paradigm (or variations using carriers such as hydrogen)?
Should we use our current energy resource base to pursue transformational technologies?

Transportation is going to be a tougher nut to crack than power plants.

The correct answer is worth extra credit, 100 trillion dollars and two decades.

From Environmental News Network

Congressman Markey's Exhibition of Courage

When I saw that headline at Desmogblog I thought they were referring to this story: "House panel on global warming to meet on N.H. mountaintop" which I think is a decent way to sequester politicians.

It turns out that Mr. Gelbspan was making a play on words referring to the Smithsonian. I didn't catch the courage part though. The congressman sent a letter saying he was starting an investigation.

The Only Green Vacation Is Staying Home

If you are intellectually honest you know it's true.
This is part 3 of a ramble along the byways of eco-hypocrisy.

Wednesday Russell Seitz, writing at ADAMANT, made gentle fun of right-of-center sites "Planet Gore" and the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Open Market blog. That got me poking around CEI's blog where I found the post with the above headline.

Many well-meaning people are buying into carbon offset schemes that are either not doing what they purport or are outright frauds, as reported so well by the Financial Times among others. HT:'s Energy Roundup. FT stories here, here, here.

That last FT link is interesting, it was the first mention of the sequestration technique of charring wood in the absence of oxygen that I saw. Caveat: tradable carbon credit prices will have to rise five to ten-fold to make the technique economically feasible; it's still a decent way to recharge depleted soils.

This is a big deal because offsets and credits are the last refuge of people who won't change their lifestyle. If the offset/credit deals don't work, people are confronted with having to change their lifestyle, possibly in drastic ways, or admit they don't care or face up to their hypocricy. No other choices. And frankly people don't want to change. There's a reason the Inuit use snowmobiles. There's a reason celebrities fly privately. There's a reason people heat their homes, or drive rather than walk. People are lazy, comfort loving, easifying creatures.

One industry in potentially big trouble is travel. "Travel Experts Mull Ecotourism Threats" Here's The draft statement from the just concluded Oslo eco-tourism conference Here are two headlines that appeared the same day at ENN: Arctic Islands Invite Tourists To See Climate Woes; Travel Experts See Worrisome Downside to Ecotourism. Is it any wonder the hypocrite founder of "Roughguides" has embraced tree planting offsets?

I like trees. At age 12 I sent $5.00 to the National Arbor Day Foundation from my paper route earnings (why you little entrepreneur/philanthropist, you).

The idea of using trees as carbon sinks has real problems. From Forest Fraud, a report by Sinkswatch and

Ten facts about carbon sinks

1. Carbon in trees is not equivalent to carbon in fossil fuels: Tree-stored carbon is easily released into the atmosphere through fire, natural decay and timber harvesting. Carbon in fossil fuels is locked away and only released through human intervention. Carbon credits that equate the two are based on a false premise.

2. One-way road: Trees provide temporary carbon storage as part of the normal cycle of carbon exchange between forests and the atmosphere. The release of carbon from fossil fuels is permanent and, over relevant timescales, will accelerate climate change by increasing the active carbon pool and destabilising carbon flows.

3. Fake credit: Carbon sink credits in the Kyoto Protocol use temporary tree plantations to justify permanent releases of fossil-stored carbon into the atmosphere. Carbon sink credits are fake credits for the climate.

4. Footprint chaos: Carbon sink credits increase the ecological debt of the North. The more fossil fuel a Northern country uses, the more land it is entitled to use to ‘offset’ its emissions. This is unfair and undermines global efforts towards sustainable development.

5. Subsidies for mega-plantations: The Kyoto Protocol stands to provide a new subsidy for the plantations industry. Documented evidence shows how large-scale plantations have negative impacts on forests and forest peoples. Kyoto includes no meaningful safeguards to rule out large-scale monoculture tree plantations from receiving carbon credits.

6. Communities suffer twice: First, climate change affects the livelihoods of forest peoples and rural communities through increased droughts, floods, forest fires and deforestation. Second, carbon sink credits promote the expansion of large-scale tree plantations, which indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities are opposing in many parts of the world.

7. Arming a time bomb: Avoiding climate change requires drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, but carbon sink projects do nothing to help solve this problem; in fact they mask the real crisis. This is sentencing future generations to live with fewer choices and worse conditions.

8. Forest fraud: Forests play a vital role in storing carbon and buffering extreme weather events. But linking forest restoration with carbon credits is a dead-end for forest peoples as well as for the climate. Halting the forest crisis requires action against the underlying causes of deforestation, not a bigger active carbon pool and more monoculture tree plantations.

9. Blind guess: Measuring carbon pools is fraught with uncertainties. Scientists have found that estimates of the carbon balance in Canadian forests could vary by 1000 per cent if seemingly small factors, such as increased levels of atmospheric CO2, are taken into account.

10. Phony climate fix: Real and lasting solutions to the forest crisis and the climate crisis lie in providing incentives for forest-dependent communities and indigenous peoples to restore their forests and practice sustainable forest management. Small-scale pilot projects are already showing positive results, while large-scale carbon sink projects are attracting criticism and protest.

This is getting longer than I planned. Have a great holiday, I'll wrap up in part four.
Part one: New Report Challenges Basic Assumptions of "Climate Change"
Part two: DiCaprio bites back over eco 'hypocrisy'

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pacific Ethanol and VeraSun execs unload shares

"There have been mounting indications in recent weeks of concerns about the long term viability of the corn-based ethanol industry in the face of rising corn prices and increasing concern about the use of grains for food vs. fuel."

From: inside greentech

Lithium-Ion Batteries That Don't Explode

You have to love the folks at MIT, that's a pretty good headline.

"By making such batteries safer, the new material could help clear the way for the widespread use of lithium-ion batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles."

I was just about to write that it may not matter, that there are other battery approaches just coming over the horizon, when I see reference to this in the comments section:

"Battery Breakthrough?"

Followed by this comment: "Funny, I'm still waiting for people to stop hyping EEStor on these posts. I guess people just wait for different things. I have a feeling neither one of us will get what we're waiting for anytime soon."

From MIT's Technology Review

Gasoline Prices and Economists

The gents at Environmental Economics have some thoughts on gasoline related to the two posts below:
"The oil industry wonders why they should invest in more refinery capacity (i.e., supply) today if the US government will subsidize or mandate renewable substitutes in the future. One thing missing from the oil industry's assertion is that if renewable fuels fill the gap, supply of gas will increase and price will fall. The oil industry might be guilty of a bit of disingenuity on this one. Just a bit."


On the Other Hand...

It's an old economics joke, appropriate here because of my comments in the post below.
Econbrowser updates the story of the only refinery currently holding the permits to begin construction, Arizona Clean Fuels 85,000 barrel/day project.

Oil Industry Says Biofuel Push May Hurt at Pump

The B.S. meter says oil spokesmen full of
I usually take a laissez-faire, supply/demand view of energy, but this quote says they're lying profiteers.
"The fragility of the refining system became apparent after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. At the time, President Bush offered to reopen some military bases as sites for constructing refineries and Congress passed legislation to encourage refiners.

But oil companies rejected the idea of constructing new refineries in the United States, saying it would be impractical and too expensive."

Kinda puts the lie to the excuse that they were regulated out of taking action. Since I also think the promise of corn-based ethanol is a very expensive hoax, it goes to show the proof of the old saying (which I just made up) "There's no politics like Power Politics."
From the New York Times

Edit 6:42--Here's what we were reading in October, 2005:
"But the primary motive behind the lack of US refinery new builds is a basic one, a lack of profits for oil companies." From the BBC

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuels Declined by 1.3 Percent in 2006

"Factors that drove emissions lower include weather conditions that reduced the demand for heating and cooling services; higher energy prices for natural gas, motor gasoline, and electricity, that reduced energy demand; and the use of a less carbon-intensive fuel mix (more natural gas and non-carbon fuels) in the generation of electricity."

EIA Press Release

16 page PDF Flash Estimate

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Invisible Hand Throttles Planet Gore

Over at Adamant Rusell Seitz pokes fun at Planet Gore and the CEI:

Greenpeace Executive Director John Passacantando's compensation is three times - perhaps more - the total amount of corporate contributions The National Center for Public Policy Research received in 2006.

"It does one's heart good to see the free market functioning to such good competitive effect in executive compensation. How long before the invisible hand extends itself to the spigot watering the switchgrass median strip of K Street and the weedy biotreme of Planet Gore ?"

Researchers discover 'radiation-eating' fungi

And now a word from our sponsor.

"...The ability of fungi to live off radiation could also prove useful to people"

From PhysOrg

DiCaprio bites back over eco 'hypocrisy'

I don't much care for hypocrites.

I don't care for hypocrites on the right like "Pastor" Ted Haggard, cheating on his wife with a middle-aged male hooker while tweakin' on meth procured with fraudulently obtained funds (sorry about that run-on, I wanted to get it all in one sentence) who tell people how to live their lives.

I don't care for hypocrites on the left like the Hollywood types who preach the green religion while leaving some of the biggest carbon footprints in the history of humankind.

Here's Haggard on climate change: The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group of 51 church denominations, said he had become passionate about global warming because of his experience scuba diving and observing the effects of rising ocean temperatures and pollution on coral reefs.

Talk about politics making strange bedfellows!

Here's Leonardo DiCaprio:
"When the British journalist followed up, saying that many stars used emission-heavy private jets while touting environmental protection, a testy DiCaprio countered that he had taken a commercial flight from New York."

"I try to travel commercial as much as I can..."

Spliced between the interviews are apocalyptic visions of gurgling volcanoes, massive mudslides and clubbed baby seals -- all set against images of America's insatiable consumerism.

DiCaprio said, despite the film's tone, he was optimistic about humanity's fate.

And more Leonardo: DiCaprio to polluters: go green now:

Unlike "An Inconvenient Truth" which focused in large part on Gore, "11th Hour," takes a scholarly look at the causes of the problem -- which some political leaders and scientists deny exists -- and what people can do to stop it.

I don't have a problem with Mr. DiCaprio taking a "scholarly look" (with volcanos?) even though he isn't a scientist; in fact didn't go to college. Hell, for all I know he's an autodidactic polymath, although if he was asked to define autodidact I'd wager he'd lean toward Haggard rather than self-taught. It's not even quotes like this: "I have installed solar panels in my house..." Leo, baby, they go on the house not in.

I do have a problem with "Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has warned that humans face extinction because of global warming."

That's counterproductive and opens oneself up to ridicule. See: "Is this climate porn?: How does climate change communication affect our perceptions and behaviour?"
That's from the Tyndall Centre. Actual Climate Scientists. Not Laurie David at HuffPo blaming global warming for the Greensburg Kansas tornado. Climate Porn, the scientist called it.

It's not Jessica Seinfeld: "Did [Seinfeld] plan to reduce her own carbon footprint by selling off a few of her possessions?
'What I have and what I don't have is not something I talk about,' she said." (HT: "Gawker--daily Manhattan media news and gossip. Reporting live from the center of the universe.")

This is part two of three. I ended the last post with a reference to cannibalism. That wasn't the connector to this post. The connector was the comment that the Englishman who saw a chemtrail conspiracy and the Canadian who said we have to use our governments UFO knowledge were harmless.

What's potentially dangerous is the damage, apathy and ridicule that climate hypocrisy can cause when people blessed with a big megaphone don't walk the walk.

Did I get it back around to Haggard? Vote Here. Your vote counts!
Or maybe not. In the words of Kent Brockman:
"Decision '96; America flips a coin"

New Report Challenges Basic Assumptions of "Climate Change"

This is part one of three. A regular Magnum Opus (as opposed to a Magnum Opie; either (a) Ron Howard reprising the Selleck role or (b) ewww, a truly misbegotten love child, ewww, ewww)

This press release is just an excuse to get moving this morning (and maybe search engine bait).

"An independent lay researcher, with a background in Software Engineering, from Derbyshire, UK, has published a new report which documents ongoing illegal aerosol spraying activities which could be affecting our climate, our health or both." It's a 19 page PDF

Which of course reminded me of this story:

UFO science key to halting climate change: former Canadian defense minister

"A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change, a local paper said Wednesday."

Those two are probably harmless.

But there really are Black Helicopters!

I know because the week after the 9/11 mass murders I was driving from Tahoe to Ely NV on U.S. 50 "The Lonliest Road in America" for the Silver State Classic Challenge. Warning: very non eco-friendly ahead: Pics, History, Records.

I saw only six vehicles in 400 miles and two of those were black helicopters. They passed me at a couple hundred feet and a couple hundred mph.

Which line naturally reminded me of Alferd Packer:

"Damn you, Alferd Packer! There were seven Dimmycrats in Hinsdale County and you ate five of them!"

An alternate version of the judge's outburst is

"Packer, you depraved Republican son of a bitch! There were only five Democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate them all!"

The actual sentencing statement, of course, was a little more in character for an educated state judge:

"Close your ears to the blandishments of hope. Listen not to the flattering promises of life, but prepare for the dread certainty of death.
From Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Evolution of a new born Panda

From the World Wildlife Foundation
Knut, ya just don't have the same megafauna appeal.
Scroll Down

XL-Biorefinery, Big-time Biofuel Investment

Producing Renewable Fuels From Renewable Energy

From Renewable Energy Access

From the Company "Land of Milk and Biofuel-Phoenix Arizona" (Ed Taylor, East Valley Tribune; PR guys don't write this well)

This looks to be the real deal. Self-contained farming; Mother Earth News has been promoting it for at least thirty years (though not on this scale). I am impressed.
Here's XL's website.
Edit 11:11:
Green Car Congress had the story a week-and-a-half ago. "Arizona Dairy Group Building Integrated Dairy-Biofuels Operation"

And here's a story from twenty years ago this summer (I hope this is fair use, I've got a reason for putting out the abstract found on Proquest, this story was class act journalism). I made a mistake in the post below, it appears the the securities analyst making the buyout offer was hospitalized subsequent (not prior) to the call to DJ:

Publication Image
Herd on the Street: 'Garbitrage' Bulls Go Mad
By Brett Duval Fromson. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Jun. 30, 1987. pg. 1

One week ago, a troubled Cincinnati man made a bogus bid for control of Dayton Hudson Corp. Paul David Herrlinger caused the retailer's stock to shoot up $9 a share hours before a family lawyer announced that Mr. Herrlinger was more crazy than rich. Investors who bought Dayton Hudson stock on the preliminary news wire reports found that by the end of the day they had lost an estimated $15 million.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Algae explored as alternative source of fuel

I first read about this in a comment at the Energy Roundup.

A quick scan didn't find it, then again the commenter pretty much demanded "Wall Street Journal Editors" write a story, I've never found that to be very effective.
(an approach that did work is that used by the fellow who called DJ from a mental institution announcing a buyout of Dayton-Hudson Corp. It actually hit the wire.)

A group of dairy farm technology experts is building a $400 million biorefinery near Phoenix that could produce ethanol and biodiesel fuel from algae. That's a pretty big bet.
They seem creative too:

The refinery, named XL Biorefinery-Vicksburg, will use corn for ethanol production during its first year, then shift to algae by 2009, said XL Dairy Chief Executive Dennis Corderman.

Here's the story from the Phoenix Business Journal

I just tried to add a link to and got nothing. If there's no link tomorrow I'll pull the post and find the Dayton-Hudson lunatic buyout offer for you.

International Day of Direct Action Against Climate Change and the G8

Oh happy day!
I haven't heard this kind of lingo in a while: "The 8th of June International Day of Action Against Climate Change and the G8 has been called by the International Rising Tide Network. This is a call for autonomous, decentralized actions appropriate for your town, city, or local area. Use this international day of action to support local struggles against oil refineries, gas pipelines, strip mines and coal-fired power plants. Disrupt the financial backers of the fossil fuel industry. Organise workshops to spread sustainable post-petroleum living skills. Find a weak point in the infrastructure of resource exploitation and throw a literal or symbolic wrench in the works. It’s time to visit your local polluters and give 'em hell!" From

From the 70's Australian broadsheet Direct Action.

From the French version of Wikipedia: Action directe (AD) est un groupe clandestin (aux influences anarchistes et communistes...)

From Wikipedia: Action Directe was a French Maoist/Marxist-Leninist militant group which committed a series of assassinations and violent attacks in France between 1979 and 1987.

I knew something was up when Desmogblog linked to " Thought Online" for the story "Talking about a revolution: Calls for action on global warming, inequality",
which was originally posted at Peoples Weekly World.

I've missed PWW's take on local self-determination such as this story from Estonia, "Estonian gov’t desecrates anti-fascist history"--"On April 27, the Estonian government removed a monument honoring the 270,000 Red Army soldiers who gave their lives in the fight against Nazism in Estonia from a central square in Tallinn, the country’s capital, and moved it to a cemetery two miles away."

Time to brush up on the Dialectical Materialism (nobody told you this was going to be easy):

Lenin's elements of dialectics

Lenin made some brief notes outlining three "elements" of logic after reading Hegel's Science of Logic in 1914. They are:

1) The determination of the concept out of itself [the thing itself must be considered in its relations and in its development];

2) the contradictory nature of the thing itself (the other of itself), the contradictory forces and tendencies in each phenomenon;

3) the union of analysis and synthesis.

Such apparently are the elements of dialectics.

— Lenin, Summary of dialectics

Lenin develops these in a further series of notes, and appears to argue that "the transition of quantity into quality and vice versa" is an example of the unity and opposition of opposites expressed tentatively as "not only the unity of opposites, but the transitions of every determination, quality, feature, side, property into every other [into its opposite?]."

Even Wikipedia gets a little confused as to what Lenin is saying, whereas Lenin seems to nail Hegel (which ain't always easy).

"There's battle lines bein' drawn..."

See you June 8th.

Cleantech Investing blog

Has a lot of links on both the Austin Clean Energy Venture Summit and the Cleantech Venture Forum (Frankfurt edition)

Here's Cleantech Investing

and here's one of the links that caught my eye, from Wired "A global response to climate change will spur a business revolution bigger than the internet." That was Bill Joy talking in Frankfurt.

Schwarzenegger Attacks Ethanol Tariffs, Subsidies

After my mini-rant on the chattering classes (below) I had worked myself up enough, I was going to headline my next post "AND ANOTHER THING". I'm better now.

Here's Arnold by way of Planet Ark, Hat Tip: Junkscience. Ten words I've never juxtaposed before now.

I am a fan of plain-speaking. Diplomats, NGO's and Eurocrats are not. The quote attributed to Talleyrand " La parole a ete donnce a l'homme pour deguiser sa pensee" (Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.) sums up my view of le Diplomatists. If your French is up to it, the title of this paper is where my heart resides.



edit 10:20am

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.
AUTHOR:Edward Young (1683–1765)
QUOTATION:Where Nature’s end of language is declin’d,
And men talk only to conceal the mind. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Love of Fame. Satire ii. Line 207.
BIOGRAPHY:Columbia Encyclopedia.

Speech was made to open man to man, and not to hide him; to promote commerce, and not betray it.—Lloyd: State Worthies (1665; edited by Whitworth), vol. i. p. 503.

Speech was given to the ordinary sort of men whereby to communicate their mind; but to wise men, whereby to conceal it.—Robert South: Sermon, April 30, 1676.

The true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.—Oliver Goldsmith: The Bee, No. 3. (Oct. 20, 1759.)

Ils ne se servent de la pensée que pour autoriser leurs injustices, et emploient les paroles que pour déguiser leurs pensées (Men use thought only to justify their wrong doings, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts).—Francis M. Voltaire: Dialogue xiv. Le Chapon et la Poularde (1766).

When Harel wished to put a joke or witticism into circulation, he was in the habit of connecting it with some celebrated name, on the chance of reclaiming it if it took. Thus he assigned to Talleyrand, in the “Nain Jaune,” the phrase, “Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.”—Fournier: L’Esprit dans l’Histoire.

Kyoto Destroying European Economy

As the reality of economic pain is felt all over Europe, deep cracks in its green foundations are beginning to become apparent. Gunter Verheugen, the EU's industry commissioner, has warned that by "going it alone" Europe is burdening its industries and consumers with soaring costs that are undermining Europe's international competitiveness. Instead of improving environmental conditions, Europe's policy threatens to redirect energy-intensive production to parts of the world that reject mandatory carbon cuts.

From Classical Values (HT: Is it Getting Warmer)

Europe is in big trouble.
It struck me in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami just how much the UNocrats fly around. I was seeing reports from aid workers on the ground about the UN bigwigs checking into Jakarta's Five star hotels and feasting while the Australian and American navies were actually saving lives.
Then last year's Nairobi climate conference, "Climate Change Tourists" Go Home!--"Climate change tourists" is how Kenyan Maasai leader of environmental group Practical Action Sharon Looremeta dismissed the diplomats negotiating over what to do about global warming here in Nairobi. "You come here to look at some climate impacts and some poor people suffering, and then climb on your airplanes and head home," she bitterly added.

It's not just the UN folk of course. It's the Eurocrats and the NGO'ocrats too (apologies to my Irish readers, I was working the three-beat). So far this year it's been Brussels, Bonn Bangkok and Geneva. Coming up Valencia, Nairobi again and Bali in December. As I stay home and read:

Forthcoming Political disasters for Europe in Energy Supply
(It's only ten pages but poorly translated, I have people who would have done a better simultaneous translation, much less translating a transcript)

So the Eurocrats fiddle while Rome burns (Nero's gotten a bad rap). Jetting and feasting. Feasting and jetting.
I am reminded of the Konzentrationslager guards, who as the Red Army approached the various camps descended into depravity and debauchery that surpassed even their own personal bests.

Some day I'll tell you what I really think of these diplomatistes.

New Study Warns U.S. Near Tipping Point in Corn-Based Ethanol

Some notes on the corn ethanol (Moonshine) study from Iowa State University linked below.

"It was funded in part by AMI, Grocery Manufacturers/Food Products Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, NGFA, National Pork Producers Council and National Turkey Federation."--American Meat Institute press release.

The Des Moines Register and the Minneapolis StarTribune focused on financial returns to investors in ethanol and biodiesel plants.

Economists foresee bleak growth in biodiesel. Will ethanol's flame last? " Iowa State researchers say that owners of new ethanol plants will see returns evaporate by next year as ethanol prices drop."

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader "Ethanol industry trend: Will big companies take over?"

In a prescient piece "Food prices continue to rise" The LA Times looked at food price inflation.

And finally an investment opportunity I didn't think of "Large corn crop may lead to storage shortage" from the Ohio Farm Bureau and "Grain storage is a hot commodity" from the Courier (Waterloo, IA)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Emerging Biofuels: Outlook of Effects on U.S. Grain, Oilseed, and Livestock Markets

This paper says, flat out, that corn-based ethanol is currently costing the American consumer $47 per person, $14 Billion per year, just in higher food costs. Add in the $.51 per gallon blender subsidy on the USDA 2007/2008 projected production of 9.3 billion gallons (another $4.74 billion) and we're looking at $19 billion before the price of the product itself!

"The results indicate that expanded U.S. ethanol production will cause long-run crop prices to increase. In response to higher feed costs, livestock farmgate prices will increase enough to cover the feed cost increases. Retail meat, egg, and dairy prices will also increase."
From the abstract.

Price Effects to Date The model calculates the market-clearing price in each year based on expected supply and demand conditions in that year. The model does not contain equations that describe the kind of speculative storage that drives the intertemporal basis on futures markets. What appears to have happened this year is that futures traders have anticipated higher long-run corn prices and have begun to build these high prices into nearby futures contracts. They can do this because corn can be stored from year to year. This means that most of the long-run price changes we anticipate have already shown up in market prices.

If we take the price increase that we have seen since July 2006 of approximately $1.50 per bushel in corn and associated price increases in soybeans and wheat, the per capita increase in food costs is approximately $47. Multiplying this cost by 300 million American consumers gives us a total cost of ethanol of about $14 billion. In addition, taxpayers have contributed $0.51 per gallon of ethanol. Because world feed prices track U.S. feed prices, the rest of the world’s consumers would also see higher food prices.

From Iowa State University
(58 page PDF)
Only if you're really into this stuff, Appendix B (889 page PDF)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Conservationists—and polar bears—should heed the lessons of economics

“NO science in the world is more elevated, more necessary and more useful than economics.”
(said an economist, quoted in the Economist)

I'm not nuts for Knut.
Ursine and canine critters do their thing, I do mine. Ursus maritimus is cute and cuddly to the anthropomorphizing crowd, to me it's a really big carnivore.

Hail Linnaeus, from the Economist

HT: Heiko

Global Warming Gossip

Liz Smith at the Post is reporting (blabbing? rumor-mongering?) and Entertainment Weekly is repeating, that Senator and Mr. Clinton have purchased beachfront property in the Dominican Republic.

Don't they listen to the experts:

Scientist predicts disastrous sea level rise

: There are two things that are cause of concern. First of all, if we look at the history of the Earth, we know that at the warmest interglacial periods, which were probably less than 1 degree Celsius warmer than today, it was still basically the same planet. Sea level was perhaps a few metres higher. But if we go back to the time when the Earth was two or three degrees Celsius warmer, that's about three million years ago, sea level was about 25 metres higher...

The Clinton property is next to that of their friend, Oscar de la Renta. The Senator wore a...

Money, Money, Money

"There's nothing like a little healthy competition and a $50,000 cash prize..."

Ideas, Investment & California's Clean Tech Competition

From Renewable Energy Access

U.N. calls climate debate 'over'--Brundtland,

..."This discussion is behind us. It's over," she told reporters. "The diagnosis is clear, the science is unequivocal -- it's completely immoral, even, to question now, on the basis of what we know, the reports that are out, to question the issue and to question whether we need to move forward at a much stronger pace as humankind to address the issues."

Source: UPI

Where Your Gas Money's Going

That's the headline on a post at this morning's WSJ Energy Roundup.
To which I can only add:

  1. PD Shaw Says:

    Let’s see:

    * federal gas tax (18.4 cents per gallon)
    * state gas tax (NY = 31.9 cents per gallon)
    * state sales tax (NY = 8.3 cents per gallon)
    * state spill tax (NY = 0.3 cents per gallon)
    * state petroleum testing fee (NY = 0.5 cents per gallon)
    * county taxes (NY avg. = 7.9 cents per gallon).

    That’s 67.3 cents per gallon, or about 22% of $3.05 per gallon of gas. I’ve seen estimates that Exxon earns from 5 to 13 cents per gallon in profit.

    I support higher gas taxes, something unlikely to happen if the debate is framed by Schumer.

  2. DO I HEAR AMEN! From a comment posted at The Glittering Eye.

Oil Exec Sequestration May Provide Answer to Global Warming

Dr. Derrick said the plan would require "the annual capture, collection and sequestration of specific carbon-based life forms, including between 200 and 500 oil industry executives, lobbyists and political hacks and cronies, in a 5000-foot deep chasm far below the earth's surface."

"Our analysts estimate the sequestration procedure should be quite simple to implement using either 'gloves-off' coercive methods of the kind advocated by former Vice President Cheney, or by simply placing common oil industry 'bait', such as hookers, bribes, kickbacks and malt whisky, down in the chasm. Most execs will simply follow their noses, then we seal the lid. After, of course, extracting the hookers."

From: Avant News

Energy Dept. Invites Research Proposals for Tapping Supercomputing Resources

Regular readers of Climateer Investing know I have a fascination with really fast computers. This offer from the DOE is a big deal.

"The U.S. Department of Energy is inviting proposals for innovative, large-scale computational science projects. Researchers will be able to use some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers at DOE national laboratories. The advanced computers are not commonly available in academia or the private sector."

"...A project receiving one million hours could run on 2,000 processors for 500 hours, or about 21 days. Running a one-million-hour project on a single-processor desktop computer would take more than 114 years."

And this is what's on offer, the big dog: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has provided computing and storage resources for INCITE projects since the program was launched in 2003. NERSC’s newest system is a 19,496-processor Cray XT4 supercomputer, which will deliver sustained performance of at least 16 trillion calculations per second — with a theoretical peak speed of more than 100 teraflop/s.
Installation began in 2006 and the full system is scheduled to go into production service in late summer 2007.

Other computing systems at NERSC include an IBM POWER 5 system with 888 processors and a peak performance of 7.4 teraflop/s; a 740-processor Linux Networx cluster with a peak speed of 3.1 teraflop/s; and a 6,756-processor IBM supercomputer with a peak speed of 10 teraflop/s. To provide archival data storage for its 2,600 users, NERSC operates a High PerformanceStorage System (HPSS) with a current capacity of 22 petabytes, or three times the volume of information in the Library of Congress. Source

I mentioned the Oak Ridge National Laboratory yesterday. Their website's front and center story? "The Business of Biomass" Tenth fastest in the world

Argonne National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Number 74 on the top 500

Pontificating Pimps of Pollution

"Mark Ellingham, the founder of Rough Guides, and Tony Wheeler, who created Lonely Planet after taking the hippie trail across Asia, want fellow travellers to "fly less and stay longer" and donate money to carbon offsetting schemes. From next month, warnings will appear in all new editions of their guides about the impact of flying on global warming alongside alternative ways of reaching certain destinations.

But the founders of the UK's two biggest travel publishers are refusing to give up flying and admit they are not paragons of environmental virtue.

Asked if he felt guilty about the hundreds of flights he has undertaken, Mr Wheeler - visiting London on a business trip from Australia - said: "Absolutely. I'm the worst example of it. I'm not going to stop but every time I jump on a plane I think, 'oh no, I'm doing it again.'"

This is hypocrisy crossing the line to full blown mental illness. STFU

From GreenMoney Journal (from the stock market to the supermarket

Thursday, May 17, 2007

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

I assume you saw this story: "Federal Loans for Coal Plants Clash With Carbon Cuts"

And you've seen this quote from Jim Hansen "It will become clear over the next ten years that coal-fired power plants that do not capture and sequester CO2 are going to have to be bulldozed"

And you know the chemistry (from the EIA), "...The carbon dioxide emission factors in this article are expressed in terms of the energy content of coal as pounds of carbon dioxide per million Btu. Carbon dioxide (CO2) forms during coal combustion when one atom of carbon (C) unites with two atoms of oxygen (O) from the air. Because the atomic weight of carbon is 12 and that of oxygen is 16, the atomic weight of carbon dioxide is 44. Based on that ratio, and assuming complete combustion, 1 pound of carbon combines with 2.667 pounds of oxygen to produce 3.667 pounds of carbon dioxide. For example, coal with a carbon content of 78 percent and a heating value of 14,000 Btu per pound emits about 204.3 pounds of carbon dioxide per million Btu when completely burned.
Complete combustion of 1 short ton (2,000 pounds) of this coal will generate about 5,720 pounds (2.86 short tons) of carbon dioxide.

And you've read the whole 192 pages of MIT's "The Future of Coal"

And when you think of ethanol it's on the rocks.

What to do? Next week the long promised overview of the state of the science. In the meantime, more ethanol.

Green Car Crash

"Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)"
Andy Warhol $71.72 million.

From the pop artist's Death and Disaster series.
Holy apples and oranges Batman, what's the point of this blog?
I'm impressed with big numbers, ok?

Edit 9:21: I lifted the Batman reference from somewhere. I try to follow the MLA Style Guide to Non-print Resources but sometimes I forget where I saw something. If it's your's, email and I'll cite.

Story Tips for the WSJ Energy Roundup

As a thank-you for yesterday's mention in the ER Blogroll.
Hey, if Oak Ridge National Laboratory can issue their monthly "Story Tips" (April: Climate-"Thirstier Trees on the Horizon") I see no reason Climateer Investing shouldn't.

Maybe one reason. Oak Ridge has this hog of a supercomputer, number ten in the world. Okay maybe two reasons: an average I.Q. up around the median U.S. area code.

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln.

Here are some stories I think would be worthy of the ER's expertise, resources and known interests. (Napa. Twice. Both Written in the afternoon. Hmmm.)

Premier Power Delivers Solar Power To Chateau Montelena Winery

California Hotels Go Green With Low-Flow Toilets, Solar Lights:
Visitors to the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa won't find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer. Instead, on the bureau will be a copy of "An Inconvenient Truth," former Vice President Al Gore's book about global warming.
Major Correction:

Dear Bloomberg reporter,
We need to correct a mistake that ran in Bloomberg last Friday re: an article on Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa.
The article implied that Gideon Bibles were being replaced by Al Gore's book, "An Inconvenient Truth".
This is not the case.
Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa is a new hotel, the grand opening was held on March 30, 2007.
Gideon Bibles have been ordered for all the rooms and will be made available to guests.
Also, Al Gore's book, "An Inconvenient Truth", will also be in each room for guests to read while staying at this new, green hotel for eco-travelers to Northern California.
Please correct the earlier article to reflect these facts.

Thank you.


Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa

See sustainable vineyard practices up close and personal with Kunde Winery’s new Vineyard Tours.

What do a San Rafael convent, a prefabricated home in San Geronimo and a remodeled Mill Valley cottage have in common? All three are eco-friendly and, along with 12 other homes in Marin and Sonoma, will open their doors to visitors May 20 for the second Build It Green home tour.

Biodynamic farming gains ground in the wine world.

A glorious vintage...
...In the vicinity ...Wine tasting, several restaurants and the Solar Living Institute, a destination unto itself.

Fetzer promotes environmentally friendly practices in marketing wine

From Wine Spectator:
"Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes heat for growing grapes, wine on draught in England and wines from the crypt--sort of"

Peju Winery: Harvesting the Sun

And depending on your tastes:

City of Napa Dedicates Solar Power System at Lake Hennessey Pump Station.

Or, Auberge du Soleil (Nancy and Paul Pelosi's place)

Which is reminiscent of the choice just offered by the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative.
April 27................................................May 2
Napa Solar Wine Tour ........................NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE

This type of in-depth, on-the-ground reporting would of course require a team approach, a black card and a no-later-than early August departure from The City.

Burning could offset global warming

Sometimes a headline writer sucks you in with a WTF.
When they do they had better deliver. This one did.

Party tonight? Casually mention "biochar sequestration" and find the solitude that only the truly whack can achieve.

This so-called biochar sequestration could offset about 10 percent of the annual U.S. fossil-fuel emissions in any of several scenarios..."

"we calculate that biochar sequestration in conjunction with bioenergy from pyrolysis becomes economically attractive when the value of avoided carbon dioxide emissions reaches $37 per ton." Currently, the Chicago Climate Exchange is trading carbon dioxide at $4 a ton; it is projected that that the price will rise to $25-$85 a ton in the coming years.

Right now I'm looking at calcium carbonate. Literally. Got a hunk of limestone. CaCO3. That's sequestered carbon, right?. Hmmm.
Make a green pitch, wrap it in recycled fiberboard; et voila! Return of the Pet Rock, eco-version! And seashells, same stuff, calcite. There's the hook! Mom, you're going to Miami Beach.

From: Farmnews (NZ)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Windfall Profit Tax on Milk?

I had the headline written! I really did!

I see Worth Civils at the WSJ's Energy Roundup beat me to the punch!

For the record, the USDA reported last week's average price for a gallon of milk was $3.32.

Windfall Profits Taxes on Oil Companies

As promised, but first a note of explanation about the post below.

I had to get the probe thing out of my system. It seems a lot of politicians want probes, are asking for probes or in the case of Senator Clinton, demanding a probe. I don't know if it's the pols or the J. schools but I wish they'd chill on the probes (see: "Informant's Tip led to ICE Probe").

I have a few things to note on Senator Casey's WPT bill.

Only one of the freshmen Senators (Webb D-VA) that stood with Casey at the press conference have signed on as co-sponsors. In the case of Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), she should probably resist the temptation.

The wording of Casey's bill is almost exactly the same as Senator Dorgan's 2005 WPT bill. Ditto for Senator Durbin's WPT bill. Neither of those old timers have signed on to this latest iteration of their joie de coeur.

If I had to bet, and you gave me 8-5 or better, I'd say they won't be co-sponsors.
Why? He asked rhetorically. One word, agriculture. Take a look at this corn futures chart (ya'll come back now, ya hear). Here's BusinessWeek's top ethanol producing states slideshow.

How awkward would it be to be chatting about windfall profits on one of the Sunday morning talk-shows and get hit by an ag. question?

From Senator Dorgan's website:

"Since 1996, he has served in the Democratic Leadership as an Assistant Democratic Floor Leader, and since 1998, also as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy committee. He is the first North Dakotan to serve in the Senate Leadership.

In addition, Senator Dorgan serves on four other Senate Committees. He is Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, Chairman of the Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee within the Appropriations Committee. Also, he is Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee within the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, and he is a senior member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee where he chairs the Interstate Commerce, Trade and Tourism Subcommittee.

Throughout his career in both the House and Senate, Senator Dorgan has worked to advance the interests of rural America."

Senator Durbin's Illinois is the number two corn producer and the number three ethanol producer.

The freshman Senator from Minnesota (#4 corn; #4 ethanol) may want to leave the co-sponsoring on the windfall profits tax bill to Sen's. Sanders (I-VT) or Whitehouse (D-RI).

I'm curious how the media is going to play gasoline prices this year.

Good Morning America is already hinting at conspiracy and price gouging. We may have to dust off the profit margin comparisons between XOM, BP, CVX and COP vs. DIS, GE, DJ andVIA.

We'll leave NYT out. Good paper; really, really lousy business.

Senate Probe

Probes as promised, windfall taxes next.

Union to shun senator's steroid probe Senator calls for probe into local contamination

Senate resumes debate on controversial probe report

Michael Moore blasts President Bush over federal probe

Nothing to do with probe

Dems Press for Answers in Attorney Probe
Senators: Staffing probe will continue

Stock probe clears Frist
Senate Should Probe INEC - Adudu
Democrats call probe one-sided
Sen. Salazar to sit out ethics probe
Delgado probe watch
MiraCosta billed $195,000 so far for palm tree probe
Domenici subject of Senate probe
Miller to probe 401(k) consultant
O's stay mum on probe
Acquittal of ex-Serono officials won't stop probe
Ethics probe clears Corzine
Informant's tip prompted ICE probe

It must be tough to be a headline writer, I'm sticking with commentary.
Coming up, more on (moron?) windfall profit taxes for big oil.