July 14, 2007

Half a percent of conservation, or 60,000 square miles of industrial wind turbines?

"Renewables in Global Energy Supply", International Energy Agency (IEA), January 2007:
Further expansion of wind power will promote significant reductions in greenhouse gases. (pp. 25-26)

The Alternative Policy Scenario presented in this year's World Energy Outlook ... shows how the global energy market could evolve if countries around the world were to adopt a set of policies and measures that they are now considering and might be expected to implement over the projection period. (p. 12)
In 2004, according to the IEA, wind generated 0.47% of the world's electricity, namely, 82 terawatt-hours* (TWh, or 1 million megawatt-hours) out of 17,450 TWh (a figure that is found in another IEA publication, "Key World Energy Statistics", 2006). They project that wind generation will grow about 18-fold by 2030, to 1,440 TWh (p. 12).

But how much will total electricity generation also increase by 2030? On page 13, they state that the share of all renewables will increase from 18% in 2004 to more than 25% of all electricity in 2030, and that the absolute amount will increase from 3,179 TWh in 2004 to 7,775 TWh in 2030. As 3,179 is 18% of 17,450, 7,775 is 25% of 31,100.

Wind's share of electricity generation, therefore, will rise from 0.47% in 2004 to only 4.6% in 2030.

Considering the destruction of landscape and communities, of wildlife and human health, by sprawling wind energy facilities, the responsible choice is obviously to increase conservation by that slight amount and say NO to big wind.

*According to the AWEA, 7,976 MW of wind capacity was added worldwide in 2004, for a total at the end of the year of 47,317 MW. The average for the year from the capacity at the end of 2003 (39,341 MW) to that at the end of 2004, therefore, is 42,329 MW. An output of 82 million MWh (average rate of 9,361 MW) represents 22% of that capacity. At a 22% capacity factor, 1,440 TWh would require an installed capacity of 750,000 MW. Requiring at least 50 acres per installed megawatt, that would be a total of 60,000 square miles. (Not to mention the millions of tons of materials, miles of roads and transmission lines, cement, etc.)

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, wind turbines, environment, environmentalism, human rights, animal rights

July 12, 2007

Bush et al. crimes are institutional, not going away

From "The Grand Inquisitors", by David Cole, New York Review of Books, July 19, 2007:

Schwarz and Huq's Unchecked and Unbalanced provides a more structural critique of executive excess in the post–September 11 era. Presidential aggrandizement, they remind us, was not invented by George W. Bush. In 1975 and 1976, Congress's Church Committee, on which Schwarz served as legal counsel, revealed extensive abuses of executive power during the cold war, including widespread illegal spying on Americans. Schwarz and Huq suggest that the problem is not just that people like Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, and Gonzales have been in power, but that institutional flaws make it all too easy for such officials to get away with unconstitutional initiatives in times of crisis. The Church Committee diagnosed four such flaws that encouraged the cold war abuses: ambiguous laws and instructions; implicit orders from high officials to violate the law; secrecy; and feeble congressional oversight. Schwarz and Huq demonstrate that despite many post-Watergate reforms, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the same institutional factors are central to understanding the Bush administration's recent torture, rendition, and warrantless wiretapping policies.

In short, where [Joe] Conason [It Can Happen Here] stresses the actions of power-hungry politicians and enabling lawyers, Schwarz and Huq emphasize the importance of structural features in the organization of our federal government. Both diagnoses capture a significant part of the story. In some sense, we have had the worst of all possible combinations: Ashcroft and Gonzales, not to mention Bush and Cheney, came to power just when they could do the most damage. They arrived in office with strong ideological commitments to unchecked power, and they exercised authority at a time when the concept of restraint was most vulnerable. If Conason's focus on particular politicians and officials is right, we might expect the problems to subside with a new administration. But if, as I believe, Schwarz and Huq's structural criticism is equally if not more correct, the problems will continue, albeit perhaps less acutely, well after President Bush leaves office.

human rights, anarchism

July 10, 2007

Europe drying up for wind energy developers

'Wind energy in the U.S. "is like Europe was years ago," says Xavier Viteri, head of Iberdrola's renewable-energy business. "There's a lot of room for development there ...."' (Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2007, page A1)

That raises the question, Why isn't Europe like Europe was? Clearly, the momentum has slowed. Even "showcase" Denmark hasn't added new wind capacity since 2004. Doubts have arisen about the utility of wind energy on the grid. Adverse impacts (to wildlife, landscape, and human health) can no longer be denied. Instead of repeating Europe's mistakes, the U.S. and Canada ought to consider the limits of wind energy that European countries have already discovered.

There's a good reason Iberdrola and other European wind developers are moving their efforts to North America. Europe doesn't want them any more. Let's learn from that experience instead of repeating the same boondoggle.

wind power, wind energy

July 9, 2007

Health benefits of moderate drinking

"An extensive body of data shows concordant J-shaped associations between alcohol intake and a variety of adverse health outcomes, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, stroke, dementia, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and all-cause mortality." O’Keefe JH, Bybee KA, Lavie CJ, "Alcohol and cardiovascular health: the razor-sharp double-edged sword", Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2007;50(11) [in press].

Here are some graphs showing the "J-shaped curve", i.e., a drink or two every day reduces the risk of the outcome in question, but more than a few drinks returns one to the same level of risk as with abstention and then increases the risk.

These graphs examine only the effect of the alcohol consumed, not other benefits such as those documented for red wine.

One "drink" contains 10-15 grams of alcohol (ethanol): approximately 12 oz. of beer, 4-5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. 80-proof liquor, or 1 oz. 100-proof liquor.

Alcohol and All-Cause Mortality
The relationship of daily alcohol consumption to the relative risk of all-cause mortality in men and women. DiCastelnuovo A, Castanzo S, Bagnardi V, Donati MB, Iacoviello L, de Gaetano G, "Alcohol dosing and total mortality in men and women", Archives of Internal Medicine 2006;166:2437–45.

Alcohol and Stroke Risk
Relationship between daily alcohol and ischemic stroke. This was fully adjusted for the usual stroke factors. OR = odds ratio. Sacco RL, Elkind M, Boden-Albala B, et al., "The protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on ischemic stroke", JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association 1999;281:53–60.

Alcohol and Risk of Diabetes
Alcohol intake and incidence of new type 2 diabetes. Koppes LL, Dekker JM, Hendriks HF, Bouter LM, Heine RJ, "Moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of prospective observational studies", Diabetes Care 2005;28:719–25.

Also:  Bell S, Daskalopoulou M, Rapsomaniki E, et al., "Association between clinically recorded alcohol consumption and initial presentation of 12 cardiovascular diseases: population based cohort study using linked health records", The BMJ 2017;356 (Published 22 March 2017). doi: 10.1136/bmj.j909

July 8, 2007

Ridge Protectors Country Auction, July 12



Hundreds of wonderful advertising ephemera, 1890s to 1900s; 1760 engraving of England/Wales framed & matted; 3 prs. important early andirons, 18th & early 19th cent, ornate brass & iron; Audubon folio of 26 prints, 1950s; hanging knife sharpening stone in tiger maple case. c. 1840; primitive lift-top desk/till, orig. green paint, c. 1850; Reed & Barton and Webster &Wilcox ornate silver plate trays; Rosenthal demitasse chocolate set for 6; 1870 Waterbury brass bucket 8" h x 12" diam., hand wrought bail; Bohemian lustre electrified mantle lamp, castle and deer pattern, orig. cut glass drops; Cape Cod lighter; 19th cent. sled in blue paint with flower; 2 Heidi Schoop peasant/Dutch girl planter/vases; early primitive rope bed, Mercersburg, PA; cultured pearls, with appraisals, 16" strand and 14K gold ring; Flexible Flyer sled, c. 1940; folio containing prints by Winslow Homer, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Delacroix; cut glass cruet, sawtooth & zipper design; cut overlay purple & clear bottle; advertising box, Colman's mustard, Paris Exposition 1878; vintage ephemera including ornate Valentines, postcards, paper dolls, and children's books; Harrison Fisher book "Beauties" 1913; oil on canvas, boy holding puppies 26" x 14.5"; ornate Victorian walnut tapestry chair; grain-painted frame with watercolor of baby; landscape, oil on canvas 16" x 20" by Walker; Dutch home scene print in good gilt frame; claw-foot bathtub; crystal frame and starburst centerpiece; 2 Art Deco mesh evening bags; wooden library ladder, ornate early spool bed, and much much more.

other items coming in:

2 matching trestle end tables, yellow birch, VT made, arts & crafts style
2 primitive strawberry crates
3 paintings of the same mystery woman, signed E. Mardeff, 1916, oil on canvas
Colored lithograph print young boy holding dog
Ogee veneer frame 26" x 17"
Guilt edged frame with wooden matte 25" x 18"
Oriental watercolor, figural garden scene with original teakwood frame
Contemporary oil on board, Fridtjof Schroder, "Beauty and the Beast"
Animal landscape, oil on board, signed William Mearns, 23" x 17"
Zeiss Ikon Contaflex 35 mm camera, light meter, flash, lenses, original manuals
Pictorial book of New York, 1905, Whittemann
Pictorial book of Western Pacific Railway
Group of vintage magazines c. 1890-1900 The Delineator, Babyland, others
Group of vintage children's book, Raphael Tuck and others
Period pastel, peasant girl and dog, c. 1895 24" x 18"
Silver plate, William Rogers, round serving plate
Period magazines, Collier's and Life
Still life, oil on board, c. 1940 9" x 7"
Detailed vintage porcelain figural planter
Venetian gold glass cornucopia
3 piece group colored blown glass, small, highly decorative, floral
Sawyer print, Willoughby Lake, VT
Pressed glass footed compote 8" diam
Portable Singer sewing machine, c. 1940 with original table
3 nesting tables, c. 1900 Duncan Phyfe Style
Collapsible wooden sewing table
2 large leather suitcases, c. 1930s
Brass spittoon
Big crock with lid for pickles or sauerkraut
Dining room and foyer matching chandeliers
Hand-crafted big, hope chest by Mike Michaud and Sean Foley
Lamp by Highbeams
Antique Dollhouse (made out of old wooden "sharp cheese" boxes)
Antique spool bed
School desk with lift top, inkwell and attached swiveling chair
Dark mission-style arm chair with cane backs restored
2 mission style rocking chairs
Old piano stool, upholstered
Small red painted Sheridan chair
3 canebottom chairs, one fully restored
2 mule-ear ladderback chairs with cane seats
White painted splint seat (splat? seat?) low chair
Antique Kilim runner in browns, tans and a little blue. 38" x 109"
Victorian leather settee for a gentleman's library

P.S. More sterling silver has come in, an inlaid chess table, Irish porcelain, a practically new horse cart, brass candelabra, Victorian needlepoint lady's arm chair, wonderful rustic porch chairs made by Gerry and Paul Bednarz, rustic wooden out building (maybe 15 feet x 10 feet?), Lenox china, a 1900 clothes wringer on a wooden stand in working order, handmade baskets by Linda Kozak, cedar hope chest by Sean Foley and Mike Michaud, plus at least 30 more items donated I apologize for leaving out.


July 1, 2007

Reduce your carbon footprint by replacing meat

Today's New York Times "Style" section takes a dubious look at "ecoconsumption". ("Green consumerism" is an oxymoron.) It includes a sidebar of more substantive suggestions from The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook for reducing one's carbon footprint. Number 1:
Whenever possible, replace meat with soy or other vegetable protein in your diet. It takes eight times as much energy to produce a pound of meat as it does a pound of tofu.
environment, environmentalism

War is for making money

"I think most wars are to make money, and this one's no different. There are a lot of companies over there making a ton of money, and the only ones suffering are the soldiers and the Iraqi people."

--Stuart Ashley