Category Archives: earth

When will we No Longer Need to Burn Coal?

The trend is clear. Solar and wind costs are falling and are making coal obsolete as a fuel. So when will global coal markets collapse?

If certain preconditions are met, it may be 2040.

That sounds pretty good. And consider this

Even as President Donald Trump takes steps to increase coal use, the market isn’t likely to rebound in the U.S. Coal-fired power is expected to fall by 51 percent over the next two decades. In its place, gas-fired electricity will increase 22 percent, and renewables by a massive 169 percent.

169% Wow!

Margaret Atwood on Plastics

Dame Margaret wrote the Handmaiden’s Tale back in 1985. She wsa already well established as a novelist, poet and activist.

And she has something to say to you about a subject that you probably don’t think about very much – plastics.  We rely on plastics to an astounding degree. So much so that we dump 8 million tons of plastic into the oceans each year. Thta might be ok if plastic was inert. But it is not.

Dame Margaret has a suggestion and it is worth reading.

Damn! I Missed all the Naked Gardening!

You might have missed it, but yesterday was World Naked Gardening day.

Launched back in 2005, the unofficial event happens every first Saturday of May and encourages gardeners around the world to get out in the fields, bare ass exposed to the sun, to get dirty in the name of growing things in the earth. 

While I did not venture forth in my birthday suit, Mashable has a montage of pics of folks who did. Not to worry, all strategic points of interest are protected.

A Hiccup in Roof-top Solar!

The solar panel installation business sucks these days. Most of the “first in” market has been combed over, and the hard sell tactics to get others to join in is pissing people off.  First quarter results across the board have been lousy.

And that goes for Elon Musk’s solar city as well.  Solar City posted a 40% dropü in installations in the first quarter. Wow!

What to make of this? Clearly, the wild days of unlimited growth are at least temporarily over.  We are in a different market now. And in this less surging market, we have excess capacity. Does that mean the end of rooftop solar? Of course not.  It does mean the end of this frothy initial phase of adoption. My guess is that we are still waiting for the “killer product” that will make rooftop solar ubiquitous.

Will it be Musk’s solar roofs? Perhaps. Or perhaps we will see something even better!

Stay tuned!

 

Debunking Carbon Capture

This always sounded too good to be true. The idea is that we can keep on burning coal as long as we “capture” the carbon that goes out the smokestack and re-apply it. It is called “carbon capture”.

Mike Bloomberg had this to say about it

“Carbon capture is total bullshit” and “a figment of the imagination,” Bloomberg said on Monday, addressing a crowd at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance summit in New York.

Now for the bad news

Yet President Donald Trump and many coal industry leaders talk about carbon capture as if it’s already solved the nation’s energy challenges. If we have “clean coal,” why invest in alternatives?

And billions have gone into trying to figure out how to do carbon capture and make “clean coal”. This pisses Bloomberg off, and it should piss you off too.

A Coal Free Day in the UK!

From BI

Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said: “The first day without coal in Britain since the Industrial Revolution marks a watershed in the energy transition. A decade ago, a day without coal would have been unimaginable, and in 10 years’ time our energy system will have radically transformed again.

A good excuse for hoisting a pint! Hooray!