Links: ‘The Green God that Failed—Almost’ . . . California Cuts Climate Change Spending . . .

Steve Hayward on ‘The Green God that Failed—Almost,’ an analysis of Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans.

Planet of the Humans dropped from YouTube. In the Guardian. HT-RealClearEnergy.

California budget cuts billions from climate change funding. HT-GWPF.

Continue reading “Links: ‘The Green God that Failed—Almost’ . . . California Cuts Climate Change Spending . . .”

Yes, There Are Trees in Downtown Washington, D.C.

R. J. Smith reports on the sylvan species outside his window:

There are plenty of trees here. Can anyone identify the very tall but little-spreading tree across the street from my apartment?  (See photo.) It’s 75′ to 80′ tall. The autumn leaves are never brilliant red.  Or even red.  Dirty brownish-yellow.

Photo by R. J. Smith, private conservationist.

The District’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) is always seeking new and better city street trees. They must be hardy, pollution-tolerant, drought tolerant. Various species come and go in and out of in favor.

Some have shallow roots and heave the sidewalks.  Others splinter too easily and fall on cars— like the otherwise gorgeous and near-perfect Bradford Pear. They’re now out of fashion. Also, they rapidly invade roadsides and fields. Lots of big ones were removed in DC especially in front of private apartment buildings on building property. There are still a number on city streets, but I don’t see any new plantings.

Gingko was very popular for a while. Pollution-resistant, with gorgeous brilliant yellow fall leaves. But as they matured, they dropped all that stinky dog-poop fruit. People using canes always were slipping in the mush of crushed fruit. I remember Garrett Hardin hated them as he had to walk something like five extra blocks to avoid them to get to work in the autumn. He walked very slowly and used metal elbow canes, from childhood polio. For a while there was talk of the Department of Agriculture trying to develop a sterile female tree. No news since. Continue reading “Yes, There Are Trees in Downtown Washington, D.C.”

Monday’s Links: Climate Change and Cancer . . .

Latest alarm: Climate change is reducing cancer survival rates? Sterling Burnett critiques.

The Environmental Optimism of Elinor Ostrom: A new book  looks at how  polycentric institutions can protect the environment.

Environmentalists hold two contradictory ideas : climate change is an existential crisis and  renewable energy will resolve it. By Stephen Davies.

And about BlackRock . . .

Continue reading “Monday’s Links: Climate Change and Cancer . . .”

The Breached Michigan Dam Was Supposed to Save Mussels?

Thirteen years of regulatory oversight?

From the Detroit News:

 

Numerous violations and longstanding concerns that the Edenville Dam could not withstand a significant flood led the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revoke its license for power generation in September 2018.

***

“Thirteen years after acquiring the license for the project, the licensee has still not increased spillway capacity, leaving the project in danger,” wrote Jennifer Hill, director of the division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance. “The spillway capacity deficiencies must be remedied in order to protect life, limb and property.”

Saving Mussels not People?

Also from the Detroit News:

 

Days after feds revoked the dam’s license to generate power, the state assumed oversight, inspected the dam and declared it and its spillways to be in “fair structural condition.”

***

Over the next two years, state regulators appear to have focused increasingly on what they said was the company’s unauthorized drawdown of winter water levels of Wixom Lake, which they said created a danger to freshwater mussels.

Continue reading “The Breached Michigan Dam Was Supposed to Save Mussels?”

The Environmental Harm of Big Batteries

By H. Sterling Burnett

I recently wrote about the impossibility of relying on giant storage batteries to enable the nation to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Physics tells us batteries can store only a minuscule amount of the power we would need for backup.

A recent Heartland Institute study by Paul Driessen gives us another reason to be skeptical of talk about big batteries as a tool of renewable energy. If you care about the environment you wouldn’t want to run a power system on batteries even if it were possible and cost-effective to do so.

The materials for batteries have to be mined, and due to strict environmental and labor regulations in the United States, the vast majority (100 percent of most of the elements and minerals) come from countries overseas where labor and environmental regulations are laxer. Cobalt is used in modern batteries, for example, and the single largest source of cobalt is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Child labor, often forced, is used to mine much of the cobalt from the DRC. Russia and China are the next largest sources of cobalt. Continue reading “The Environmental Harm of Big Batteries”