Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘wind power

Random Link Friday

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Random Link Friday.

* Happy 90th Birthday, Nelson Mandela.

* With the passage of a major new wind power initiative, is Texas now the most energy-conscious state in the union?

* Top 10 7 religions you never knew existed. (Who didn’t know about Jainism, Falun Gong, and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church?)

* Wikipedia’s list of unsolved problems in diverse fields like physics, linguistics, economics, cognitive science, and philosophy.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Eco-Optimism

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When President John F. Kennedy challenged our nation to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely in 10 years, many people doubted we could accomplish that goal. But 8 years and 2 months later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon.

Here’s the full text of the Al Gore “Moonshot” speech from earlier today.

That’s why I’m proposing today a strategic initiative designed to free us from the crises that are holding us down and to regain control of our own destiny. It’s not the only thing we need to do. But this strategic challenge is the lynchpin of a bold new strategy needed to re-power America.

Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.

Between this and the similar T. Boone Pickens ad campaign I must confess to a little bit of eco-optimism lately. Maybe we won’t just drill ourselves into oblivion; maybe we’ll actually try to solve these problems while we still can.

There’s more commentary around the blogs, including Climate Progress, Huffington Post, and a nice annotated version of the speech at Dot Earth.

This is a generational moment. A moment when we decide our own path and our collective fate. I’m asking you – each of you – to join me and build this future. Please join the WE campaign at wecansolveit.org. We need you. And we need you now. We’re committed to changing not just light bulbs, but laws. And laws will only change with leadership.

On July 16, 1969, the United States of America was finally ready to meet President Kennedy’s challenge of landing Americans on the moon. I will never forget standing beside my father a few miles from the launch site, waiting for the giant Saturn 5 rocket to lift Apollo 11 into the sky. I was a young man, 21 years old, who had graduated from college a month before and was enlisting in the United States Army three weeks later.

I will never forget the inspiration of those minutes. The power and the vibration of the giant rocket’s engines shook my entire body. As I watched the rocket rise, slowly at first and then with great speed, the sound was deafening. We craned our necks to follow its path until we were looking straight up into the air. And then four days later, I watched along with hundreds of millions of others around the world as Neil Armstrong took one small step to the surface of the moon and changed the history of the human race.

We must now lift our nation to reach another goal that will change history. Our entire civilization depends upon us now embarking on a new journey of exploration and discovery. Our success depends on our willingness as a people to undertake this journey and to complete it within 10 years. Once again, we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 17, 2008 at 8:31 pm

‘Last Chance’

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Exactly 20 years after warning America about global warming, a top NASA scientist said the situation has gotten so bad that the world’s only hope is drastic action.

Burning fossil fuels like coal is the chief cause of man-made greenhouse gases. Hansen said the Earth’s atmosphere has got to get back to a level of 350 parts of carbon dioxide per million. Last month, it was 10% higher: 386.7 parts per million.

Hansen said he’ll testify on behalf of British protesters against new coal-fired power plants. Protesters have chained themselves to gates and equipment at sites of several proposed coal plants in England.

“The thing that I think is most important is to block coal-fired power plants,” Hansen told the luncheon. “I’m not yet at the point of chaining myself but we somehow have to draw attention to this.”

Frank Maisano, a spokesman for many U.S. utilities, including those trying to build new coal plants, said while Hansen has shown foresight as a scientist, his “stop them all approach is very simplistic” and shows that he is beyond his level of expertise.

The year of Hansen’s original testimony was the world’s hottest year on record. Since then, 14 years have been hotter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Two decades later, Hansen spent his time on the question of whether it’s too late to do anything about it. His answer: There’s still time to stop the worst, but not much time.

“We see a tipping point occurring right before our eyes,” Hansen told the AP before the luncheon. “The Arctic is the first tipping point and it’s occurring exactly the way we said it would.”

Hansen, echoing work by other scientists, said that in five to 10 years, the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer.

In more positive news, Honda is releasing a hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicle, while wind power is outpacing nuclear power 10-to-1, with China leading the pack.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 24, 2008 at 11:30 am