First, a story from The Guardian:
… Amazon Web Services, which provides a cloud platform for Netflix, Tumblr and Pinterest, was singled out for being secretive about its energy use, and for siting data centres in areas that rely heavily on coal.
The company lagged “far behind its major competitors, with zero reporting of its energy or environmental footprint to any source or stakeholder”, the report said.
Twitter and Oracle were also faulted. Microsoft and Yahoo received middling grades in the report, which looked at energy use by 300 tech companies.
[Links, ironically, in the original. - Ed.]
Prompted by that, the new owners of RedState.com asked me, its erstwhile energy guru, to conduct an energy audit of the site and report to the stakeholders (i.e., the editors, the contributors, the diarist community and the Disqus trolls) what more we can do
to for the planet.
- RedState’s bank of servers is located as closely as possible to their main source of fuel, the Athabasca Tar Sands of northern Alberta. 100% of power consumed is generated by antiquated steam boilers running at 3% efficiency.
- All moving parts in the antiquated electrical dynamos must be lubricated by oil from sperm whales or baby seals.*
- All workers at the site are housed in buildings constructed entirely of old-growth teak from the jungles of Sumatra (former orang-utan habitat). The teak is harvested using state-of-the-art Slash & Burn™ techniques, leading to fires in the 500 foot-thick peat beds.
- The electrons from deleted posts are ground, composted and recycled as new, sustainable posts. (H/T Erick Brockway via twitter.)
- Strict standards are set for the use of renewable energy. For example, any wind turbines used to generate energy must be certified to have already killed the USF&WS-allowed quota of eagles, condors and endangered bats.**
- Erick Erickson’s daily commute (Macon, GA-DC round-trip) is in an aging Gulfstream G650. He buys his carbon indulgences in such quantity that he qualifies for a volume discount.
- RedState’s policy discourages site contributors from reusing hotel towels while at the site’s Annual Gathering, leading to an estimated decline of 20% in the global polar bear population.
In summary, the entire RedState enterprise has a carbon footprint roughly half that of former Vice-President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore.
*Note: No baby seals were clubbed during the preparation of this report.
**However, we can’t say the same about vultures.
Famous seafood restaurant at Pass Manchac, LA. Known for thin fried catfish (foreground).
An article in Monday’s Guardian (UK) would seem to vindicate those of us in the climate skeptic (sceptic?) community who have suspected that computer models of climate processes were overly focused on the warming influence of carbon dioxide. As it turns out, the climate is a complex system, susceptible to influence from volcanos, oceans, variable solar output, soot, etc., just as we have been saying all along. Um, it’s not as if volcanoes have only been erupting these last 17 years, guys.
The “climate community”, undeterred, doubles down.
“This is a complex detective story,” said Benjamin Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, lead author of the study in the journal Nature Geoscience that gives the most detailed account yet of the cooling impact of volcanoes.
“Volcanoes are part of the answer but there’s no factor that is solely responsible for the hiatus,” he told Reuters of the study by a team of US and Canadian experts.
This remarkable interview on Morning Joe with David Schizer, Dean of the Columbia Law School, recapitulates the last five years of my blogging life.
My tongue-in-cheek reaction:
Ladies and gentlemen, my work here is done.
Beginning at about 2:00:
- President Obama has dithered over Keystone XL.
- The benefits of well-regulated fracking far outweigh the risks.
- The shale boom is greatly benefitting the states of North Dakota, Texas and Pennsylvania. New York opted to sit out this dance.
- As a consequence of the domestic boom, oil imports are falling like a stone in a well.
- The private sector, not the Federal government, deserves the credit for the new technology that makes all this possible. Risk taking entrepreneurs like Harold Hamm have fundamentally transformed the energy picture, answering a question our nation’s leaders have grappled with since 1973.
- “Wind [energy] is approaching viability, but it is not something that we can rely on too heavily for a number of years…”
- Scarborough: Due to the energy revolution, “there’s not going to be a viable economic model” for the continued development of alternative sources.
All of this to tell my readers that I am hanging up my blogging shoes. I plan to work in my house, work on my relationships, pet my dogs and start reading real books again.
Thank you for your interest, your comments and your suggestions. Best wishes, happy Thansgiving and may our God, the Creator of the Universe, bless you all.
Formerly Known as Vladimir
Green activists preach about renewable energy sources, using words like ‘holistic’ and ‘sustainable’. Wind energy is one of their favorites; nothing is as free as the wind, n’est-ce pas?
If we truly consider the holistic environmental impact of wind turbines on the environment and the economy, it’s not a pretty picture. Nor is it sustainable.
We’ve previously looked at the reliance of giant wind turbines on rare earth minerals such as neodymium (for example, here and here). Most of the world’s supply of those minerals comes from China. In a new report, the Daily Mail (UK) takes a close look at the state of environmental stewardship in the People’s Republic’s rare earth mining industry. Continue reading
Saying “we fumbled the rollout,” President Barack Obama announced a fix to the vexing problem of canceled health insurance policies Thursday. He told insurers they don’t have to cancel plans next year just because of the Affordable Care Act. (Source.)
It should be obvious to any intelligent being, or even an MSNBC talking head, how this plays out.
Step 1. Obama unilaterally rolled back a provision of the Affordable Care Act (“the law of the land”, last I checked). I’ll leave the analysis of the constitutionality of this act to the (real) constitutional scholars.
Step 2. The insurance companies refuse to offer their old products. They have moved on. I’d expect Ford to bring back the Pinto before the insurance companies remarket a product that has been government-certified as ‘crap’. (For more on why this is the case, RedState’s Leon Wolf provides chapter and verse.)
Step 3. Obama: “Don’t blame me. I said you could buy your old policy, but your nasty old insurance company won’t sell it to you.”
Our system cannot tolerate a Chief Executive who will not accept responsibility, and a national press which refuses to hold him accountable.
Source: Wikipedia Commons.
In 2007, before our domestic shale boom put a big dent in America’s reliance on foreign oil, the Bush Administration made a massive commitment to biofuels. The Renewable Fuels Standard mandated an ever-increasing consumption of ethanol as a motor fuel through 2022.
Candidate Obama, then junior senator from the nation’s #2 corn-producing state, wooed Iowa’s Democratic primary voters with promises of his commitment to their state’s #1 crop. His surprising caucus victory helped make him his party’s nominee. Once in office, President Obama has surrounded himself with policy advisers with deep Corn Belt roots. Corn ethanol assumed its role as a centerpiece of their green energy, anti-Global Warming agenda.
A new report from the Associated Press documents the utter failure of corn ethanol. Continue reading
Following a dismal ratings scorecard, A&E appears to have dumped "The Governor’s Wife." The network aired all four of the season’s remaining episodes Sunday, Nov. 10, between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon.
The TV show-specific website currently says new episodes air at 10 p.m. on Sundays, but "Duck Dynasty" re-runs rolled on through the time-slot Nov. 10.
The show, which stars former La. Gov. Edwin Edwards and his wife, Trina, lost 35,000 viewers between its first and second episodes in its first night, and reviews from across the country were generally unfavorable.