Saturday, June 30, 2007

EU ministers struggle over car emission rules

There's an enormous conflict there, for example, between the German car industry and the French and Italian (industries)," said German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency through the end of June.

Gabriel has said that if the same figure were required of each carmaker's fleet, it could push companies to make acquisitions just to bring down the average emission levels of their fleets. The European Commission will prepare draft legislation on the subject by the end of this year or early 2008.

From Reuters

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” W.S.

Alternative Energy Stocks...

...gave CI a mention in their "The Week in Cleantech" roundup and I'd like to return the Hat Tip because of an insightful point they made:

"The interesting thing with alternative energy is that it is emerging at a time of tremendous innovation in financial markets. This confluence creates a lot of opportunities for people passionate about both."

One of the key facts to know about finance and markets at the end of the first half of 2007 is how much money is chasing returns right now. You get things like this:

Today, Reuters begins selling two trading services that allow subscribers to set up automatic trading orders based on the news. They will give subscribers the ability to mine past and present Reuters news articles in real time and automatically buy, sell or hold a stock based on market-moving events. From the NYT

Or Waters Financial Technology Intelligence. A great source.

One reason the big nodes (London, New York City, Hong Kong) are still the big nodes is that the speed of light is 11.8 inches per nanosecond. The greater the distance between nodes the slower your execution. Time is indeed money and it can be measured by the cesium-133 standard: 9,192,631,770 cycles (Hz), or turned around, every foot away from the node costs you 9.192 ticks on the atomic clock (and that's photons in a vacuum, in real life you're using fiber-optics or, worse, electrons in copper).

Personally, I think that basing your competitive advantage on execution speed is a mug's game. As IBM said in their Feb. 27 Financial Services newsletter:

"But what happens when every competing firm plugs into algorithmic trading and speed and execution become commodities? Are there other advantages algorithmic transactions can offer?"

Going forward, ideas matter more than money. The kind of intelligence that will be the in highest demand will be the ability to make, as James Burke put it, "Connections".
And that's where AltEnergyStocks nailed it.

Big Ethanol wins big on CAFE

... the ethanol industry — already profiting from a smorgasbord of federal and state subsidies and mandates — will likely find riches in the more stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards being adopted in Congress.

In 1988, however, Congress passed the Alternative Motor Fuels Act, carving out an exception to CAFE standards. If you made a “flex-fuel” car — a car that could run on a blend of 85 percent ethanol (any car can run on 10 percent ethanol, but most cannot handle a fuel blend of mostly ethanol) as well as gasoline — that car would give you huge credits toward your CAFE requirements.

The federal government would multiply ethanol’s mileage by 6.6 and assume all flex-fuel cars would use ethanol half the time. This means a car that gets 20 mpg on gasoline and 15 mpg on ethanol would be treated for CAFE purposes as if it got 60 mpg.

Bet you didn't know that, did ya? Me neither.

Thanks to: Timothy P. Carney for the San Francisco Chronicle
HT: Amy Ridenour

Friday, June 29, 2007

CO2 tax to put Swiss on Kyoto target

The ministry said the new levy was an incentive more than a tax, since it would encourage industry and the public to use fossil fuels more efficiently and trigger investment in renewable energies.

An incentive; yeah that's the ticket.

From the NZZ

The Great Corn Con

The Senate's preposterous new ethanol bill.

The ethanol madness continues!

I don't usually go to Slate for my biofuel news but in this case I got such a kick out of those three lines that I had to take a look. Writer and editors did a pretty good job.

When the bill passes I'll probably go for a corny headline: "Mass cornfusion, cornucopia for rent-seekers" or some such.

Oh Canada? Russia eyes up a frozen asset

According to Russia's media, the geologists returned with the "sensational news" that the ridge was linked to Russian territory, boosting its claim over the triangle, which contains 10 billion tonnes of gas and oil deposits.
From the Sidney Morning Herald

The Canadian Navy's website says:

"The fleet is, ton for ton, as modern and capable as any fleet in the world."

Here's the fleet.

Update I was making a point with the naval reference, remembering that the Canadians had to rent airlift capability (Canada's tsunami response "amateur," CARE chief says) for the 2004 Tsunami relief effort, prompting this Senate committee report: WOUNDED, Canada's Military and the Legacy of Neglect

If the UN is quoted correctly in this Guardian headline:

Darfur conflict heralds era of wars triggered by climate change, UN report warns

Things are going to get very ugly.


The NORDIX Financial Wind Indexes are composed of deviations from 20-year historical wind speed averages compared with present daily figures.

USFE will initially list seven index futures contracts based on two wind regions in New York and five wind regions in Texas as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Center for Environmental Prediction division.

USFE and Weather Bid also plan to develop a comprehensive suite of futures contracts for the benefit of renewable energy, including hydro, solar, geothermal and biomass, and will work closely with renewable energy advocacy groups to promote the new contracts.

From the USFE

If betting on the wind isn't enough action for you, another USFE product might soothe the fever:


USFE's Binary Event Futures (BEF) allow traders to take a "yes" or "no" position on whether or not an event will take place on or by a specified date. The buyer of this futures contract holds the right to collect a fixed cash payout if the defined event occurs.

USFE's contracts are designed by the exchange to be easily understood and clearly defined. The "event" in question for each contract is established by exchange rules prior to listing, and may be associated with a financial, commercial or economic consequence. These fixed rules dictate if and when the contract is settled prior to expiration.

If the event occurs, a BEF contract buyer is entitled to a fixed payout from the contract seller. All settlements occur and are guaranteed by USFE's clearing house, The Clearing Corporation.

For example, USFE's first set of BEF contracts are based on the Chicago Board of Trade's (CBOT) proposed merger with either the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) or the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE). There are two contracts reflecting these events: Should you purchase one FECC contract, and the CBOT does in fact merge with the CME on or before Dec. 3, 2007 (as defined in the contract specifications), you are entitled to the full contract value. The same result would occur if the CBOT merged with ICE on or before Dec. 3, 2007 for the FECI contract.

Again, from the USFE

PG&E Customers can now Pay Extra on Their Bill to Fight Global Warming

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., California's biggest utility, on Thursday said its customers can offset their individual carbon emissions by paying an extra charge to help fund projects to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

I'm sure there will be frolicking and gamboling on Castro Street with this announcement; I picture something akin to Basil Fawlty leaping about upon news of Puss' persistence:

"Hooray! Hooray! The cat lives! The cat lives! Long live the cat!"

From Reuters

Terry:'s the cat?
Basil: How's the cat? We're about to take the life of a public health inspector and you want to know how's the cat? It's gone to London to see the Queen!
Polly: He's all right!
Terry: Great!
Basil: Hooray! Hooray! The cat lives! The cat lives! Long live the cat!

"Basil the Rat" from Wikipedia
Seriously, if you want to do some real good, buy a flashlight for a family in Africa:

Instead of Buying Carbon Offsets...

...Buy a family in Africa a flashlight.

Pollution Credits Stoke Trader Hiring Wave at Banks

"There's been a change in sentiment in the U.S. favoring emissions trading,'' says Richard Sandor, creator of U.S. Treasury futures at the Chicago Board of Trade and chairman of Isle of Man-based Climate Exchange Plc, which owns Europe's biggest exchange for trading permits.

Well, he would, wouldn't he?*

I think we have an early favorite for this year's Mandy Rice-Davies award.

From Bloomberg

*While giving evidence at the trial of Stephen Ward, Rice-Davies made the quip for which she is most remembered and which is frequently used by politicians in Britain. When the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied having an affair or having even met her, she replied, "Well, he would, wouldn't he?".

Biodiesel to Become Cheaper Than Light Oil in 4 Years

The price of biodiesel, an alternative energy source to light oil, will become lower than light oil as early as 2011, securing its economic feasibility, according to a recent report by the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI).

Another report published by the KEEI titled ‘The Economic Feasibility of Adopting Bioethanol for Transportation’ revealed that bioethanol, an alternative energy source to gasoline, will not become economically feasible if the international oil price stays under 50 dollars.

From Dong-A

Thursday, June 28, 2007

U.S. family tries living without China

Bongiorni takes pains to say she does not have a protectionist agenda and, despite the occasional worry about the loss of U.S. jobs to overseas factories, she has nothing against China. Her goal was simply to make Americans aware of how deeply tied they are to the international trading system.

...About 15 percent of the $1.7 trillion in goods the United States imported in 2006 came from China, economist Joel Naroff writes in the foreword. Much of that is the manufactured stuff that fills Wal-Mart and other retailers -- the necessities and frivolities sought by lower- and middle-income Americans.

I, on the other hand, as a method to slow China's CO2 emissions, have considered a trade war (or Toga Party)
From Reuters

Top IEA official: without Iraqi oil, we hit the wall in 2015

In a stunning interview for the French (reference) daily Le Monde, Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (i.e. the intergovernmental body created after the oil shocks of the 70s to coordinate the West's reaction to energy crises) effectively says that peak oil is just around the corner, and that without Iraqi oil, we'll be in deep trouble by 2015

The whole interview is amazingly frank and free of diplomatic obfuscation. He blasts biofuels ("not based on any kind of economic rationality"), he notes that Africa is suffering the most already from expensive oil, he points out that even a slowing of China's growth will not reduce oil demand, and he talks pretty explicitly about production peaks and depletion

Posted by Jerome a Paris in the European Tribune
Complete Le Monde version
HT: Jeffrey J. Brown, an independent petroleum geologist in Addison, Texas.
Posted in comments at the WSJ's Energy Roundup

British Drop Duty on Biofuel-Moonshine in Manchester!

This fundamental change in regulation means that everyone will have the opportunity to produce enough biofuel for their own personal consumption, duty free.

Richard Price, MD Filtertechnik, a supplier to the biodiesel market and sponsor of the Biodiesel-Expo believes biofuel production levels will increase dramatically: "I anticipate this will lead to an explosion of biofuels producers who will create a new "homebrew" market. It is a very exciting time to be in the biofuels business."


Researchers predict 'nanobattery' performance

A Li-ion battery is currently the smallest and lightest way to store as much rechargeable electrical energy as possible.

For folks who haven't experienced the wonders of PhysOrg, EurekAlert, ScienceDaily and BrightSurf, I thought I'd go through the bookmarks and post a few indicators of where we might be going. Here's some PhysOrg stuff on batteries:

Researchers build tiny batteries with viruses
Researcher discovers new materials
New battery technology announced
Brown engineers build a better battery -- with plastic
Next energy technologies may mimic nature
Mileage from megawatts: Study finds enough electric capacity to 'fill up' plug-in vehicles across much of the nation
New 'layered-layered' materials for rechargeable lithium batteries
Researchers move closer to switching nuclear isomer decay on and off
Crystal clues to better batteries
New Technology Aims to Lighten the Load for Soldiers
Engine on a chip promises to best the battery
Scientists Working Toward Better Batteries

Worms are killing the planet, says top researcher

There goes all my retirement planning, shot to hell.

"Still humping the American Dream, that vision of the Big Winner somehow emerging from the last minute pre—dawn chaos of a stale Vegas casino. Big strike in Silver City. Beat the dealer and go home rich. Why not? I stopped at the Money Wheel and dropped a dollar on Thomas Jefferson—a $2 bill, the straight Freak ticket, thinking as always that some idle instinct bet might carry the whole thing off. But no. Just another two bucks down the tube. You bastards! No. Calm down. Learn to enjoy losing. The important thing is to cover this story on its own terms..."

Start a worm farm, only visit the city in autumn**, the good life.

Then this from Materials Recycling Week:
“The emissions that come from these worms can actually be 290 times more potent than carbon dioxide and 20 times more potent than methane. In all environmental systems you get good points and bad points.”

*Hunter S Thompson was a better writer than me.
**John Keats; ditto:
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease, 10
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Sugar company seeks Brazil's largest US float

Cosan’s Bermuda parent filed for a $2bn (€1.5bn) US public offering with depositary receipts on both Brazilian and New York exchanges, the company said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
From Dow Jones

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

ADM considering offer for Brazil's Cosan

...the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is considering a purchase of Brazil's Cosan SA as ADM prepares to enter Brazil's sugarcane ethanol business, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Friday.
From Reuters

Instead of Buying Carbon Offsets...

...Buy a family in Africa a flashlight.

Yesterday Climateer Investing got a mention at Peak Energy and at the Energy Roundup and I thought I should take the opportunity to republish one of the more important stories in our bookmarks. I had to rummage around in the CI link-vault last night and missed some of the traffic but found it; from the New York Times:

Solar Flashlight Lets Africa’s Sun Deliver the Luxury of Light to the Poorest Villages

...“I find it hard sometimes to explain the scope of the problems in these camps with no light,” Mr. Bent said. “If you’re an environmentalist you think about it in terms of discarded batteries and coal and wood burning and kerosene smoke; if you’re a feminist you think of it in terms of security for women and preventing sexual abuse and violence; if you’re an educator you think about it in terms of helping children and adults study at night.”

...“In places where there is absolutely no electricity or running water, having light at night is a luxury many families don’t have and never did and which we take for granted in developed countries,” Ms. Duke said by e-mail. Mr. Bent, a former Marine and Navy pilot, served under diplomatic titles in volatile countries like Angola, Bosnia, Nigeria and Somalia in the early 1990s.

...Since August 2005, when visits to an Eritrean village prompted him to research global access to artificial light, Mr. Bent, 49, a former foreign service officer and Houston oilman, has spent $250,000 to develop and manufacture a solar-powered flashlight.

Here's Mr. Bent's website: BoGo Light (Buy one, give one)
HT: Environmental Evaluation and Cost-Benefit News (we'll read it and show you the good stuff)

I don't know if the Times deliberately left the article on the free side of their registration wall. If it disappears here's a PDF of the article.
If you've got a website or blog, spread the word; it's a good story, light in the darkness.

Update. We had another link I had meant to include:

The maker, SunNight Solar Enterprises LLC, points out in its product promotion that access to inexpensive lighting also provides an economic and social multiplier effect, lifting societies far in excess of simple illumination and creating opportunity without creating dependency.
From ergoweb

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).

The $10 billion project to build the reactor in Cadarache near Marseilles in south France is designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological potential of nuclear fusion amid concerns over growing energy consumption and the impact of conventional fossil fuels on the environment.

The first thermonuclear reactor is expected to be built by 2016. The European Union will cover 40% of the costs and the other participants will contribute 10% each.

From EnergyDaily

Hello, Sandia? 2016?

The headline below is from the Unofficial ITER Fan Club.

Sandia’s Z machine exceeds two billion degrees Kelvin

Canada must charge firms a lot for emissions: panel

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy said that in 2050 companies would have to pay up to C$270 ($250) for each ton of carbon dioxide to meet a goal of cutting greenhouse gases emissions by 65 percent of 2003 levels in 2050.

From Reuters

When I first saw Desmogblog publicize their cost figure of $10 per person, I thought they had made a mistake and posted to that effect. Then they repeated that figure three or four times and I realized they were just doing whatever it is P.R. people do.
Here's an example of someone who picked up on the meme:

"Kevin Grandia of the global warming denialist-busting website, DeSmogBlog, has done the calculations - it only takes $10 per person per year to save the planet.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that it would cost .12% of the world's domestic product to substantially reduce our collective greenhouse gas emissions.

  • GDP of the world economy: US$60 trillion
  • .12% of $60 trillion: $70 billion
  • Total population of the earth: 6.5 billion
  • Cost per person to significantly reduce heat-trapping gas worldwide: $10 a year
  • Cost of saving the planet from droughts, famine, mass flooding, species extinction and rising sea levels: priceless.
His maths: $60 trillion/.0012/6.5 billion = $10 (rounded figures)."

That's from a site called Clipmarks, now I grant you it's not the Wall Street Journal, Times of London, New York Times, LA Times or the Financial Times but the meme did get some traction.

Here's the post I put up in response: "The Innumerate Leading the Illiterate"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Water Scarcity Will Change How We Live and Work

Conservation will be the new ethic. It's the only way, really, given that freshwater is a limited resource and costly to transport for any distance, unlike other natural resources. Higher prices will be a motivating factor. Consumers, both business and residential, will pay more. In some places, they'll pay a lot more with rates that escalate as use increases.

There will be limits on use, some of them by government mandates, as is the case in several California counties already. But most communities with less severe water issues will rely on pleading, cajoling or tax incentives to cut water usage.

Water technology companies will thrive. Sales of equipment for filtration, ultraviolet oxidation and vapor compression, for instance, will rise 15% annually for five years and probably beyond, up from about $1.8 billion today. Leading manufacturers of the equipment, as well as manufacturers of water-efficient appliances, include CH2M Hill, Separation Dynamics, Siemens, EZ Environmental Solutions and SETS Systems.

Watch Australia. When it comes to water, Australia's present may be our future. Climate changes that occurred there about a dozen years ago that dropped the country's average annual rainfall in half forced the nation to adopt among the most innovative conservation projects, substantially reducing per capita water use. Several Australian firms that flourished with their country's programs are also well positioned to benefit from an expanding U.S. market. Among them are Perpetual Water, which makes on-site and in-home water recycling systems, and Caroma, which specializes in highly water-efficient bathroom fittings and accessories.

From Kiplinger

India's emissions may be higher due to dams: study

... India, already one of the world's top polluters, has never measured methane emissions from its 4,500 large dams and has therefore never taken it into account in official data.

According to a study by scientists from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, methane equivalent of 825 million tons of carbon dioxide is released annually by India's dams.

Government officials say methane emissions from dams is not an issue.

From Reuters

Nissan developing smaller, lighter car batteries for hybrids and electrics

As demand for green vehicles grows, automakers are racing to develop viable lithium ion batteries, which are common in gadgets such as laptops and cell phones but have yet to be fully adapted to the more rigorous demands of a car engine.

"We continue on the lithium ion battery. We think for us it’s a competitive advantage," he told reporters during a press conference in Bangkok. "We have a lot of technology is this area, and we think this is going to be very helpful, not only for hybrids but also for electric cars."
While consumer interest has surged in gas-and-electric hybrid cars due to higher fuel prices and global warming, the Brazilian-born Ghosn said Nissan was serious about going one step further and introducing vehicles powered only by electricity.
"If you have an efficient battery for a hybrid, why not go all the way and go for electric cars?" he asked. "It has zero emissions of anything."
From the Boston Herald

Guyana, Japan agree on climate change cooperation

A joint statement issued after the talks in Tokyo said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Bharrat Jagdeo agreed to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, develop renewable energies, manage sustainable forests, ensure provision of clean drinking water and take disaster prevention measures related to rising sea levels.

Jagdeo travelled to Japan last Saturday after the conclusion of the Conference of the Caribbean in Washington DC. According to the joint statement, there was also an exchange of notes on Monday for a water supply project in Corriverton. Discussions were also held on other bilateral issues.

Meanwhile, according to GINA, Jagdeo reiterated Guyana's support for Japan's bid for a permanent place on the UN Security Council.

From Stabroek News

Legal action puts NZ greenhouse polluters on notice

Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman, acting on behalf of Greenpeace, "served notice" (1) on the companies that they could be held liable for their contribution to the damage and costs of climate change, especially if they refuse to change current practices.

"We're trying to open doors for these companies, by saying positive action on climate change is the best way forward, but, we're also firmly "closing the back door" so they can't evade prosecution in the future," said Ms Atkinson.

Cases around the world show climate change litigation is being increasingly used to deal with major greenhouse offenders.

Ms Atkinson likened climate change to tobacco and asbestos cases in terms of potential company liability. Companies in both these industries have had to pay out huge sums of money in compensation.
From: Scoop (NZ)

Here's The Greenpeace press release

Schwarzenegger Says U.S. Must Cut Emissions Before China Does

``We can't go to India and China and say, `This is what we want you to do, we want you to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, when we are in fact the one that has 5 percent of world population and emits 25 percent of greenhouse gases,''' the governor said. ``We have to show leadership.''

Arnold, how about we go to Austria, a Kyoto signatory; a solemn promise they entered into, and ask "WTF, you're 24% over what you voluntarily agreed to?"

From Bloomberg

Galveston poised to defy geologists

GALVESTON, TEXAS — Leaders of this fast-eroding barrier island — the scene of the deadliest hurricane in American history — are about to approve nearly 4,000 new homes and two midrise hotels despite geologists' warnings that the massive development would sever a ridge that serves as the island's natural storm shield.

...City officials "are choosing not to see anything that gets in the way of their precious tax dollars," said study co-author Tim Dellapenna, an assistant professor of marine geology at Texas A&M University. "But believe me, there is a protective ridge on Galveston Island, and this development would cut right through it."

The master-planned community, including a marina and possibly a golf course, would span more than 1,000 acres from the Gulf of Mexico shoreline to the backside overlooking Galveston Bay.

It would urbanize a large swath of the island's sparsely developed center and would lie outside a concrete seawall that protects the older section of the city from storm surges — a barrier built because of a deadly lesson in 1900.

Now I know the re-insurers have some pretty fancy ways to lay off their risk but how do you insure against stupidity?

From The Los Angeles Times

700 MW of Electricity to Come from Landfill Gas

Waste Management (WM) announced on Wednesday an initiative to expand its roster of landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) facilities, resulting in another 60 renewable energy facilities over the next five years.
Talkin' trash and makin' cash.

From Renewable Energy Access

Bank eyes climate change opportunities

Stop me if you've heard this (1):

“We do not debate the rights and wrongs of the science,” Ms. Hudson said in a release. “In our opinion, what matters now is the response of financial markets, sectors and companies to climate change-related reactions.”

From the Globe and Mail
HT: Peak Energy

(1)"I don't know if climate change is caused by burning coal or sun flares or what," said the Moscow-based carbon cowboy. "And I don't really give a shit. Russia is the most energy inefficient country around, and carbon is the most volatile market ever. There's a lot of opportunity to make money." From "The Bored Whore of Kyoto"

Planktos Highlights Real Ocean/Climate Crises & Responds to Recent Misinformation Campaigns

But first, one of my favorite examples of a stock scam (I told you, I have a morbid fascination with the underbelly of the markets, it's like watching the lions approach the wildebeest at the watering hole, you don't want to see it but you can't look away):

...Peter Uttley, Equisure's chairman and a former Lloyds of London executive, took control of the company this week, assuming the chief executive post....

...Uttley said in the press release that his chairman role had been a "passive" one, but he now plans an active reorganization of the company, whose reputation has been stained by allegations that it is a scam insurance operation....

...In an unusually emotional statement to the press, sent from an Equisure board meeting Friday in London, Uttley told his version of events over the summer, which eventually led to the delisting of Equisure shares on the American Stock Exchange.

"The simple truth was consumed in the belly of deception, but now has been vomited for the world to see," Uttley began.

He then proceeded to tell a story of three men, whom he described as "liars," "cheats," and "scallywags," who worked with law enforcement officials and the press to spread false rumors about the company with the intent of buying Equisure out at 50 cents a share, a tiny fraction of the stock's trading price of $15, before AMEX suspended trading Aug. 1.

Isn't that damn fine bloviating? It's hard to research but I think Uttley et. al. got away with $100 mil.

Here's Russ George of Planktos responding (I think) to Greenpeace's submission to the recent meeting of the International Maritime Organization, in the Ottawa Citizen:

I am not the enemy

The environmentalists attacking my plan to seed carbon-sequestering ocean plankton should understand that we are both on the same side

Russ George, Citizen Special

...And yes, we do this for profit and expect to earn good returns for those who invest in our public company stock....

...After all of this work, I was shocked when Planktos came under attack from fringe environmentalists, who were later joined by a few other organizations and scientists with unfounded reservations about Planktos's methods....

...Why, in a time when our beloved planet is in dire straits, would environmentalists turn on their own? Why is the suspicion and cynicism so deep that it would lead to falsified and emotionally charged mudslinging in press releases and letters to the editor? Why the refusal by some to discuss our approach in more accurate detail and to report on those accurate details? And why the refusal by media and others to consider the possibility that their opening volley was misaligned?

Perhaps it is a kind of fundamentalism that drives this, where all for-profit companies are intrinsically evil, all interventions -- even restorative ones -- a form of desecration. Perhaps they fear that if the patient, in this case Mother Earth, is somehow brought back from the edge of death, their raison d'etre will disappear. I have a hard time understanding what their motives might be.

It seems all is fair game once the enemy is identified. But what if the company or person in the sights is not actually an enemy? What if that company and its people are deeply aligned with the same principles, and our snap judgments have led us to see them with dark red glasses?

In a time of dire straits, we really need all hands on deck, working together to find solutions. We are not yet sure of exactly how effective iron fertilization is as a method to restore oceans and alleviate global warming. Our best estimates are that one-half of global carbon excess could be turned into a revived plankton forest...

Verbal mudslinging serves only to degrade our collective green cause and postpone possible solutions. Instead of leading us to come together and collaborate far more extensively than ever before, it leads to factionalism, suspicion, and infighting. It obscures the noble quest for truth. That's why it is so damaging and unfortunate.

What I most dearly hope is that we can all move beyond infighting and into solidarity in finding, researching, and providing true solutions to the perils ahead.

Russ George is founder, president and CEO of Planktos, KlimaFa and HaidaClimate.

As they say on the nature shows:

"Sadly now, there can be but one outcome"

World Wildlife Fund warns against plan by Planktos, Inc.

World Wildlife Fund today announced its opposition to a plan by Planktos, Inc. (OTCBB: PLKT) to dump iron dust in the open ocean west of the Galapagos Islands. The experiment seeks to induce phytoplankton blooms in the hopes that the microscopic marine plants will absorb carbon dioxide. The company is speculating on lucrative ways to combat climate change.

From EurekAlert

Climateer Investing's purpose is not to be "All Planktos, all the time" so I ask your indulgence as we watch this play out. It's a morbid fascination.

Investors: Beware jumping on the carbon-credit bandwagon

A Great Piece of Reporting by David Baines for the Vancouver Sun:

...The smile soon gave way to circumspection as I starting asking Nelson Skalbania about his involvement in what may be the most controversial OTC Bulletin Board company in North America, perhaps the world.

...In August 2005, George agreed to sell his company, Planktos Inc., to a Vancouver-based bulletin board company called Solar Energy Ltd. for $1.5 million.

Solar has since agreed to sell the business to another bulletin board company called Diatom Corp. for 45 million shares. That will give Solar a controlling interest in Diatom, which is now trading as Planktos Corp.

Skalbania is neither an officer nor director of Solar, but his footprints are all over it. Solar's principal executive office is listed as 145-925 West Georgia St., which is Skalbania's office.

Skalbania's business card describes him as "manager" of Solar and a director of Planktos Inc., which operates as a subsidiary of Solar. He also owns big blocks of Solar stock through two private B.C. companies, Baycove Capital Corp. and Regal RV Resorts Inc.

He is also a big booster. When I dropped into his West Georgia office, he tried to persuade me that Planktos has viable solutions to global warming. He appeared genuinely enthusiastic, but I have trouble sharing that enthusiasm.

As a businessman, Skalbania has had a very checkered career. In the early 1980s, his highly levered business empire collapsed, leaving behind dozens of creditors who were owed millions of dollars.

He then turned to the stock market, where he became involved in a series of Vancouver Stock Exchange companies. One was Ponderosa Ventures, which rose to $5 on the basis of a series of acquisitions that eventually went bankrupt.

One of those acquisitions was Columbia Trust. In 1987, RCMP alleged in search warrant information that Skalbania converted for personal use nearly $2 million of a $3-million loan provided by Standard Chartered Bank to Columbia Trust. The RCMP recommended that charges be laid, but to their chagrin, the Crown decided not to proceed.

David Baines, Vancouver Sun

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2007

Report calls on Europe to move on global warming

Europe must start work now to protect power stations, transport systems and agriculture from flooding, droughts, forest fires and landslides likely to be caused by global warming, according to the draft of a report due out this week.
From the IHT

"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Couple Euro-gatherings


Four-fifths of CO2 emissions worldwide come from consumers, not industry, so the greatest potential for energy saving lies in reducing consumer demand. The battle over whether or not mankind is responsible for climate change is being won, but what about the much greater challenge of converting the groundswell of public concern into behavioural shifts that are of real practical value? What new EU policies are needed?

The liberalisation of European gas and electricity markets is designed to stimulate competition and bring prices down, but doesn’t that risk sending the wrong message to consumers? How can low CO2 cleaner energies be better promoted, and how should they be priced? Is the EU’s energy efficiency action plan, as presently conceived, likely to succeed in changing the habits of European citizens.
From Friends of Europe

The 3rd Annual Obesity Europe Conference

In June this year, delegates from across the EU will again gather over two days for the 3rd Annual Obesity Europe Conference, to engage in a pro-active and progressive debate on the current and future trends relating to obesity and nutrition within Europe.

The framework for the event continues to be the current regulatory landscape and this year there will be a fresh look at not only the various actions being taken by the EU Commission, industry and NGO's within the context of policy implementation and scientific innovation, but also the fundamental importance of the social and environmental perspectives that impact upon consumer's abilities when making various lifestyle choices.

EU Commute Leaves Hefty Carbon Footprint

Each month, the 785 members of the European Parliament drag themselves, their luggage and all their important documents the 450 kilometers (280 miles) from Brussels to Strasbourg in order to hold a four-day session there.

This traveling band of politicians is accompanied by journalists, assistants, interpreters and lobbyists -- in total 3,000 people descend upon the French city during the parliamentary sessions. For the rest of the time the politicians are based in the Belgian capital, while the secretariat is situated in Luxembourg.
From Der Spiegel

The commute — by plane, train or automobile — continues even as EU leaders agree that the 27-nation bloc must take the lead in the fight against climate change. Road transport alone accounts for about one-fifth of the EU's carbon dioxide emissions. A study commissioned by the EU's Greens shows that the monthly trek produces over 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, the equivalent of 13,000 return flights from London to New York.
From USA Today

MEP calls for end of 'travelling circus'

Gary Titley, Labour's Leader in Europe, said: "Strasbourg costs £200m a year and leaves a massive carbon footprint.
"The monthly move of the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg is producing 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, the equivalent to the greenhouse gases produced by 13,000 round-trip flights from London to New York.
"As long as we have to travel to Strasbourg, people will rightly say that the EU is wasting money - Strasbourg is a waste of taxpayers money.
"I hope that the results of this vote and the one million citizens signing the one petition, will make the members of the European Council act."
From The Wigan Observer

Dubai eyes Middle East carbon trading market

State-run Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and London-listed carbon-credit company EcoSecurities (ECO.L:) have signed a deal to try and make Dubai the regional centre for trading carbon offsets.

The two are eyeing several projects in the United Arab Emirates that could cut greenhouse gas emissions and generate carbon emissions reduction certificates (CER) under a United Nations scheme.

From Reuters

ENVIRONMENT-INDIA: Wealth From Waste With Bio-Digesters

Saji Das foresees a time when people in this state, at the southern tip of the Indian peninsula, will compete to get at food waste and other rotting organic rubbish rather than holding their noses and walking away quickly.

Das, who has developed special organic digesters capable of dealing with a variety of garbage, has become a pioneer of sorts in this state which boasts of human development indices that compare with the developed world, but has some way to go when it comes to scientifically managing garbage.

So efficient and clean are the digesters that Biotech, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that he runs, has been named a finalist for the 2007 Ashden Awards in Britain, sometimes called the ‘Green Oscar' for the prestige it carries.
From InterPress Service

Methane gas is a renewable source of energy, which is used for cooking, lighting, running engines and for generation of electricity. The cost involved is low when compared to other fuels, according to Saji Das, Managing Director of Biotech.

Initially, the digesters are filled with `Biotech culture' consisting of water and cow dung to start the digestion phase. Once the microbes are cultured in the plant, it will grow and remain inside the treatment plant.

From The Hindu

HT: TreeHugger

U.N. awards most ever CO2 credits to Indian projects

The United Nations awarded more than 5.4 million carbon credits to an Indian company on Monday, including four million carbon credits in the single largest issuance of emissions permits to a Kyoto Protocol project.

The four million credit issuance accounts for 6.5 percent of the total 62 million CERs allocated by the UN so far, with 42 percent of all issued credits going to projects in India.

CERs, each equivalent to the reduction of one tonne of CO2, trading on a secondary market are currently valued at around 14.50 euros.


From Reuters

Uranium Demand Showing Price Weakness

James Finch and Julie Ickes at do a bang up job looking at the uranium market:

Is the Blended Fuel Value
Pointing to a Uranium Price Decline?
In an eye-opening interview with Joe McCourt on May 21st, we learned about his company’s proprietary Blended Fuel Value (BFV). McCourt told us, “The BFV calculates the weighted average price of uranium held by all publicly traded funds as a function of the fund share price. The upward and downward price movement of the BFV reflects North American and European investors’ sentiments on the current spot price of physical uranium.”

Until this past April, the BFV has traded well above the weekly spot uranium price indicators, published by either TradeTech or Ux Consulting. For the week, the BFV has traded a whopping $19/pound BELOW the price indicators.

According to Joe McCourt, who writes in this week’s FreshFUEL, “The value of the BFV should be about $6 higher than spot U3O8 to account for the cost of underwriting and distributing the shares of the fund. Currently, the BFV is about triple that amount lower than the spot price.”

McCourt refers to his BFV as “a measure of plebian wisdom.” He concluded, “Currently, that wisdom is indicating that the legacy prices have moved too high, too quickly.”

Solar tax breaks, rebates in Canada

...It also launched a pilot project in parts of Peel region that will see zero-interest loans offered to any household wanting to install a solar PV or thermal system, as well as geothermal and small wind turbine systems. Such a program eliminates a major barrier to solar technology adoption: high upfront costs

A retail sales tax rebate on all solar equipment has been extended until the end of 2009, and the province will also offer a $500 rebate on the purchase of a solar domestic hot water system, matching the rebate offered by the federal government. That's $1,000 off a system that typically costs $5,000 to $6,000.

As for larger solar thermal projects done for industry or government institutions, the province over the next four years is also matching a federal commitment to pay 25 per cent of any project, to a maximum of $80,000. Those combined contributions could cover half of a project's cost....


To which After Gutenberg responds:

On the other hand, to throw a bit of Lake Ontario cold water on the pitch, a 2005 policy analysis from Greenpeace failed to designate either Canada or Siberia as one of the five most promising regions in the world for development of large scale, thermal solar projects. Conversely, it indicated that such application is inappropriate for those regions.

In promoting cool, green Canadian companies, Tyler just might be stretching his credibility a bit too far. But, in all fairness, we eco-warriors do like to see photographs of toasty, solar-heated, housing in the middle of cruel winter, accomplished with a combination of passive solar, low-cost solar thermal, black paint and duct tape. With considerable engineering, it even could be justifiable and certainly has appeal since it demonstrates homeowner cleverness.

For my money Oregon is the place you oughta be, load up the truck and move to Sublimity.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"free money" for Oregon business owners who invest in solar.

That headline is a quote, I couldn't make it up. This either: In many cases, the incentives and credits paid end up being more than the actual cost of the system.

Alrighty then, time to hit the Oregon Trail.

From EnergyDaily

Green Lawyers

TreeHugger had some comments on the Dallas Morning News story we posted earlier:

Given that the existing amount of US regulation is zero, and California's regs are brand new, what else could be brought to the table? Maybe more, but there's also the potential for some mischief.

While we're not naming any names, firms whose partners might potentially contribute to winning political campaigns of the future, and which can successfully advise clients to do the same, may be positioned to help determine the content, if not the spirit, of climate related regulations and treaties under a future administration. From that, could come even political appointments.


I'm not sure if TH knows that Vinson & Elkins was Enron's counsel. They have a picture of Enron's sign being taken down.

Istanbul Live Earth gig shelved

The BBC had the better headline.

The Washington Post had the better editor:

ANKARA, Turkey -- Istanbul will not be among the cities set to hold a Live Earth concert next month.
Organizers cited insufficient interest and sponsors for the July 7 event.

...A large screen will be set up in Istanbul for viewing the concerts in other cities...

I had better get to work.

Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil

A US company is taking plastics recycling to another level – turning them back into the oil they were made from, and gas.

...Similarly, running 9.1 kilograms of ground-up tyres through the Hawk-10 produces 4.54 litres of diesel oil, 1.42 cubic metres of combustible gas, 1 kg of steel and 3.40 kg of carbon black, Meddick says.

From NewScientist (I kid you not)

Update: Here's another approach.

Japanese scientists have created a process that breaks down certain plastics, allowing the chemicals to be reused to make new higher-quality plastic.

From PhysOrg

Go to the Energy Roundup

Go now. Go to this post. I have to change my Depends.

One of these things is not like the others.

Can you tell which one?

Hint: Besides some pretty fair writing/reportorial skills the poster has a wickedly on point sense of markets.

If you can't figure it out, I'll put another hint at the bottom of this post.

Hint: the poster is a link maven.

Treachery and greenery

Environmentalism has begun to splinter

...But perhaps the biggest rift is over nuclear power. Here, disagreements reach the most rarefied levels. James Lovelock, a chemist who invented the Gaia hypothesis (the earth is a balance of interdependent mechanisms) and is godfather to a generation of greens, provoked much anger and soul-searching in 2004 when he declared that nuclear power offered the only credible solution to climate change.

Opposition to atomic energy, said Mr Lovelock, was based on “irrational fear fed by Hollywood-style fiction, the Green lobbies and the media”. Equally influential organisations such as Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace preach the traditional anti-atomic doctrine.

Henry Kissinger’s remark about student politics—that they are so vicious because the stakes are so small—applies equally well to hardcore Marxists. With little chance of ever achieving political power, they can afford internecine warfare.

Today’s greens have the opposite problem. Environmentalism has moved from a kooky obsession of beardy left-wingers to something that even George Bush, an oilman-turned-president, must at least pay lip-service to.

From The Economist

Should Big Polluters Own the Sky?

The Distribution of Emissions Permits under a Federal Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Program

I want to make clear that I do not accept this report's premise that cap-and-trade is the route for the U.S. to take; Wilberforce didn't propose a slave market to end slavery.
That said:

As Congress debates the issue of global warming, one key issue involves how emission credits or “allowances” should be distributed under a cap-and-trade system. Simply giving allowances away to polluting companies – as Congress did with the Clean Air Act’s acid rain program – could amount to a multi-billion dollar windfall for the nation’s biggest polluters, not to mention a virtual monopoly on the combustion of fossil fuels for incumbent utilities. At stake is billions of dollars – the 10 most polluting electric power companies could collectively be awarded $9 billion in allowances annually.

...Rather than giving away these emissions rights, companies should be obligated to purchase allowances.

14 page PDF from Clean Air Watch

This is in direct conflict with the plan the big boys at the US-CAP envision:

A significant portion of allowances should be initially distributed free to capped entities and to economic sectors particularly disadvantaged by the secondary price effects of a cap...(page 8 of their proposal)

Peasants could see slice of carbon offset revenue

Rich countries can meet their targets under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming by funding emissions cuts in developing countries, but such funds have drawn criticism both for alleged abuses and for focusing on big, industrial projects.

...Now simple, replicable activities, like changing an old inefficient light bulb, can by-pass bureaucratic hurdles, opening the way for private individuals to apply.

...China cornered 60 percent of emissions cuts in a market worth $4.8 billion last year, after a clutch of big chemical plants claimed carbon credits for destroying an especially potent greenhouse gas.

...By contrast, sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa has seen less than 1 percent of total investment.

Miguez is now working with Brazil's Ministry for Development Industry and Trade to enable as many as hundreds of thousands of car drivers to get carbon credits for filling their tanks with ethanol instead of gasoline.

From Reuters

Aviation Week to Host Green Aviation Management Forum

The Forum will examine issues of environmental strategy within the aviation industry and explore sustainable solutions, including emissions trading, alternative fuels, and air traffic management.

"Environmentalism has become an increasingly urgent economic and operational imperative within the aviation industry," said Tom Henricks, President, AVIATION WEEK. "AVIATION WEEK's Green Aviation Management Forum will enable participants to become engaged in the sustainable aviation discussion and transform their green policies from a corporate responsibility to a core business principle," he added.

Press release from McGraw-Hill
From the conference website:

Did you know?

“Every minute by which that we can shorten flight time saves 62 liters of fuel and 160 kg. of carbon emissions. The U.N. identified a 12% inefficiency in global air traffic management. That's a $13.5- billion bill for wasted fuel and 73 million metric tons of unneeded carbon emissions.”

— Giovanni Bisignani
Aviation Week & Space Technolog

If I were invested in this industry I would be very nervous.

From EurekaAlert:

Too little scope for development in today's aircraft technology
New technology can do much to improve certain aspects of aviation in terms of sustainable development over the next fifty years, but this will be nowhere near enough to compensate for the expected growth in air travel. This is the view of researcher Alexander de Haan, who will receive a Ph.D. at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands on Wednesday, June 27 for his research on this subject.

...From the perspective of sustainability, therefore, technological advances will certainly not be able to keep pace with the rapidly increasing demand for air travel over the next fifty years. This is even the case in the scenario with the lowest growth rate. De Haan predicts that the demand for air travel will at least double during that period.

(Off-topic) Banks' banker warns of downturn

THE risk of a 1930s-style economic slump has been heightened by "euphoric" markets tapping cheap global credit, one of the world's pre-eminent financial institutions has said.

In its annual report, the Bank for International Settlements noted that the conditions that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Asian crises in the 1990s reflected the current environment.

From The Age

(Off-topic) The United States faces a severe credit crunch... mounting losses on risky forms of debt catch up with the banks and force them to curb lending and call in existing loans, according to a report by Lombard Street Research.

...The group said the fast-moving crisis at two Bear Stearns hedge funds had exposed the underlying rot in the US sub-prime mortgage market, and the vast nexus of collateralised debt obligations known as CDOs.

“With defaults at their highest in the 37 years that records have been kept, it could be a long hot summer”...

From The Telegraph

Must see! The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter "Since 2006 86 major U.S. lenders have 'imploded'."

Lawyers preparing for explosion of climate-related work

Top Dallas firm Thompson & Knight started a dedicated climate-change practice June 4 with 26 lawyers. Monday, Dallas' Vinson & Elkins will unveil its 41-lawyer group, headed by a former senior counsel for the World Bank.

From the Dallas Morning News

Vinson and Elkins was the fine firm that represented, advised and counseled Enron.

They may be slow in getting to the rent-seeking party; Climateer noted this California Bar Journal headline almost two months ago:

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Environmental law enters the era of global warming

Climate change offers business opportunities as a new law practice area

YUP. That's what the California Bar Journal used as their sub-head for this article.

Peruvian prehistoric penguins were taller than Danny Devito

Danny Devito is 4'11" tall. These penguins topped out at 5 feet, and lived during a particularly sweltering time in Earth's history. 36 million years ago Icadyptes salasi plied the waters off the southern coast of Peru.

Rhea Perlman was not available for comment.
Climarazzi has only this picture to verify Scientific American's claim

Update: Science also had the story albeit without the Danny DeVito hook.

"No one predicted that penguins reached the equator before about 10 million years ago," says Clarke, "and here we show them at 42 million years at least." The two newly described species, along with unpublished data indicating the presence of three others, suggest that penguins diversified in the heat, not after chillier temperatures set in.

Lucy Liu was not available for comment.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Eastern Europe gears up to reap more power from wind

...Emerging Energy Research projects a 13-fold growth in Eastern European wind power capacity by 2015, to 7,552 megawatts from 569 megawatts in 2006, with most of the increase in Poland, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Hungary.


From the IHT

Put yourself in China’s shoes

Five hundred years ago, average incomes in Europe, India and China were about the same. Then the Europeans got the jump on everybody else technologically, grew unimaginably rich and powerful, and conquered practically the whole world.

They also industrialized, and for two hundred years it was their industries, their cities, their vehicles that poured excess carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Now the rich countries are willing to curb their emissions — but they can easily afford to, because they are already rich and bound to remain so.

From The Telegraph (Calcutta)

LEDs Move Into Home Lighting Market

Last Tuesday, Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics NV expanded its LED presence by offering $688 million to acquire Color Kinetics Inc., a decade-old Boston company that designed the CN Tower's new lighting and holds patents on systems to control LED color and brightness.

Fritz Morgan, Color Kinetics' chief technology officer, said the semiconductor technology underlying LEDs is becoming more affordable and efficient at a rate on par with advances in computing speed. Today's LEDs are about as efficient as the latest compact fluorescents, Morgan said, and they are improving faster than fluorescents.

From PhysOrg

EC Pushes Tax To Discourage Coal and Oil Use

A blast from the past!

The European Community executive, seeking to limit carbon-dioxide emissions linked to global warming, recommended Wednesday that member states adopt a new energy tax equal to $10 per barrel of oil.

From the IHT, September 26, 1991

Study: India could check emissions and still record high growth

India, which is among the fastest growing economies globally, is currently the fifth largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

According to the government's own data, annual emissions of carbon dioxide would rise from 1 billion tonnes at present to 5.5 billion tons per year by 2031, meaning India would overtake Japan and Russia to become the world's third largest carbon dioxide emitter after the United States and China by 2030.

From The Nation (Thailand)

Can Montana's coal-loving governor be green too?

The governor has taken up the cause of alternative energy with gusto. In 2005 he signed into law a “renewable portfolio standard” that requires 15% of electricity sold in Montana to be from renewables by 2015. Wind is already near 10%, he says, and improved transmission lines are on the way.
Last month he signed a bill offering tax incentives to many renewables—including cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel. “It brings tears to my eyes whenever I see another field of camelina,” he says—an oilseed crop, like safflower and sunflowers.

But Mr Schweitzer's real passion these days is “coal to liquids” (CTL): diesel fuel from gasifying coal. This process is costly and emits lots of carbon dioxide, which is bad for global warming, but Mr Schweitzer says that much of the carbon can be sequestered. Montana's two senators—both Democrats, like Mr Schweitzer—also support CTL; an amendment to the federal energy bill pushed by one of them to help the industry has just failed in the Senate.

From The Economist

The Science Channel wants you and your green inventions!

Do you take it upon yourself to create your own ingenious solutions to environmental conundrums?

From the Science Channel by way of

"There are three ways of ruining myself: women, gambling, and inventors. The last is the least agreeable but most certain.''
-Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild

Glastonbury activism alive and well

Climate change
On site, Glastonbury's “I Count” campaign, aims to get 100,000 festival-goers to sign up in support of preventing climate change.
Lucy Pearce, “I Count” campaign manager, described it as creating a “massive, popular, irresistible movement for change”.
Three main campaign sponsors are charities Oxfam and WaterAid and environmental group Greenpeace, all of which benefit from funds from the festival.
An ecological theme ran throughout the muddy pastures.
From The Australian

More than 1,200 hurt at sodden Glastonbury
From The Independent

The Who close out rain-swept Glastonbury
From SoundGenerator

Man Dies At Glastonbury Festival

Diva makes emergency landing
From icWales

Muddy Glastonbury fans head home
From DotMusic

Energy crisis cannot be solved by renewables,

oil chiefs say.

Alrighty then.

From the head of Shell (a member of USCAP)
Alternative energy sources, such as renewables, will not fill the gap, says Mr van der Veer, who forecasts that even with major technological breakthroughs, renewables could account for only 30 per cent of energy supply by the middle of the century.

“Contrary to public perceptions, renewable energy is not the silver bullet that will soon solve all our problems,” he writes.

From the head of Exxon (not a member of USCAP)
...The ExxonMobil chief criticised the EU’s carbon trading system, calling it an administratively complex system that lacked transparency and failed to deliver a uniform and predictable cost of carbon. “
It’s all about moving the money around,” he said.

Mr Tillerson said he would prefer a carbon tax that would enable the cost of carbon to spread through the economy in a uniform way, letting governments use the revenues to mitigate its effect by reducing employment or income taxes.

From the Times of London

Rich Nations Accused of Green Imperialism on Climate Change

From The Irrawady

Chen Feng, the chairman of China Hainan Airlines, said "now is not the time" to fix blame but to create an international solution, noting that the West was the original polluter when its industries were ruining the environment 100 years ago.

"So the way I see it is, you (the West) were robbers and bandits before you became right-minded people," he told the discussion.

Ralph R Peterson, the chairman of a US management, design and construction firm, said Asia's economic growth path appears unsustainable because of high and inefficient energy consumption that contributed to pollution.

He said Southeast Asian nations produce 11 percent of global output and use 21 percent of world oil. China's output is 5.5 percent of world gross domestic product while it uses 15 percent of global energy. India's energy efficiency is o­ne tenth of global average while China's water use per unit of GDP is four times the world's average.

No mention of zǒugǒu
(Running Dog Lackeys)

Trade War or Toga Party? Is it ethical to buy goods from China and India?

Gazprom Pipeline Plan May Fuel Worry (Europe)

The WSJ's Energy Roundup brings our attention to the above headline and story.

Climateer Investing was also intrigued by this headline:
Gazprom bid to cut off China gas

Gas shortages

If the Russian government responds to Gazprom's proposal and intervenes in the export agreements on Sakhalin-1, China will not have any access to Russian gas, despite a growing need for energy supplies to power its booming economy.

Such an action will also heighten concerns over the growing influence of state-run Gazprom and the Kremlin's grip on its domestic gas industry.

Russian gas accounts for 25% of supplies to the European Union (EU).

But critically, it means that gas shortages in Russia must be more serious than what is being said, analysts believe.


Update: IEA Studies Safety Net for Natural-Gas Supply, Official Says

By Stephen Voss and Mathew Carr

June 19 (Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency, an adviser to 26 oil-consuming nations, may build a ``safety net'' of natural-gas stockpiles to buttress supply, said the agency's executive director, Claude Mandil.

``The safety net for natural gas is to be studied and considered,'' Mandil said today at the Financial Times Global Energy Leaders Summit in London.

The plan for stockpiles is likely to be different from the oil industry's safety net of crude and oil products, he said. ``It is a must for OECD countries and all consuming countries.''

The IEA has also started discussions with other, non-IEA consuming nations, including China and India, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Stephen Voss in London at Mathew Carr in London at

Last Updated: June 19, 2007 06:12 EDT

The fight for the world's food

Most people in Britain won't have noticed. On the supermarket shelves the signs are still subtle. But the onset of a major change will be sitting in front of many people this morning in their breakfast bowl. The price of cereals in this country has jumped by 12 per cent in the past year. And the cost of milk on the global market has leapt by nearly 60 per cent. In short we may be reaching the end of cheap food.

... Like any other self-respecting trend this one now has its own name: agflation. Beneath this harmless-sounding piece of jargon - the conflation of agriculture and inflation - lie two main drivers that suggest that cheap food is about to become a thing of the past. Agflation, to those that believe that it is really happening, is an increase in the price of food that occurs as a result of increased demand from human consumption and the diversion of crops into usage as an alternative energy resource.

From The Independent

On cost, no other country can currently compete with Brazil for biofuel production

A Sugar Cane High for Biofuel Investment

...Demand for Brazilian ethanol is likely to be driven still higher by European Union policies to increase the proportion of biofuel used to power the transport sector. The 1993 Biofuels Directive set an indicative target for each member state to source at least 5.75% of transport fuels from plant material by 2010. With the latest estimate barely reaching 1%, that target is very likely to be missed, but the EU Council of Ministers has this year strengthened it with a new, compulsory target to achieve 10% biofuel content by 2020.

From ERSC Society Today

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Withdraws 1995-2004 Audit Opinions on Bankrupt Yukos

... PwC has refuted accusations of incompetence, saying Yukos's responsibility could not be shifted onto auditors. (or Arthur Andersen)

From RIA Novosti

Ukraine to move away from Russian design for nuclear plant

He said the design for a fourth reactor at the Soviet-era Yuzhno-Ukrainskaya power plant, whose three operational units generate 1,000 megawatts each, will be chosen instead from among proposals submitted by France's Areva, the United States' Westinghouse and a South Korean company.

...The Chernobyl station, the first to be built on Ukrainian territory, was halted following the world's worst civilian nuclear disaster to date there in 1986.

From RIA Novosti

Ecuador says tourism is threatening the Galapagos Islands...

...and has asked UNESCO to add the habitat that inspired the theory of evolution to its endangered list, the culture agency said Friday.

From PhysOrg

Carbon trading: Where greed is green

When the British decided to end slavery, Wilberforce set up a slave market. Oh wait, that would have been stupid.
And repugnant-Climateer.

...a slice of a market now worth about $30 billion, but which could grow to $1 trillion within a decade.

"Carbon will be the world's biggest commodity market, and it could become the world's biggest market overall," said Redshaw, the head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital. But he said that in his current job, unlike some of his previous ones, including a stint as a British power trader at Enron, "I don't have to compromise on anything when I get out of bed in the morning."

If greed is suddenly good for the environment, then the seedbed for this vast new financial experiment is London. A report released Tuesday by International Financial Services London, a company promoting British-based financial services, said that British companies were the leading global investors in carbon projects and that more carbon was traded in London than in any other city.

...Carbon could become "one of the fasting-growing markets ever, with volumes comparable to credit derivatives inside of a decade," said Chris Leeds, 38, the head of emissions trading at Merrill Lynch in London, who plans to expand his team to five traders from two by the end of this year.

From the IHT
HT: PeakEnergy
Thanks to Professor David J.C. MacKay for the slave market analogy.