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Posts from October 2009

Industrial Wind Technology: Interview of Jon Boone by Allegheny Treasures

By Jon Boone -- October 31, 2009

Editor note: Jon Boone’s previous post on industrial wind parks led to this interview by Michael Morgan of Allegheny Treasures, an information resource dedicated to preserving the historic mountains of West Virginia and understanding the impact of industrial wind installations. 

Introduction: It’s been extremely difficult to bridge the gap that exists between those who know little about the issue and those who have a more comprehensive understanding of the workings of the electrical grid and the related technologies that supply it, like wind energy.  For many, their only information comes from the local press, “green” promotions by so-called environmental organizations, and occasional visits to web sites dedicated to one side or the other.  It’s often a mind-boggling quagmire!

The following conversation with Jon Boone, who now lives in Oakland, MD after a 30 year career at the University of Maryland, College Park, is an attempt to bridge that gap, perhaps allowing us to better understand the limitations of and problems associated with industrial wind technology.…

Political Capitalism: Understanding the Beast that Broke the Cage (Part I: what is political capitalism?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 30, 2009

Editor note: This piece is reproduced from the website www.politicalcaptitalism.org with the permission of the author. This post, the first in a series, is germane to the current debate over climate/energy legislation that is backed by a number of large U.S. corporations (Enron then; GE, Duke, DuPont, etc. now).

Political capitalism is a private-property, market-oriented system that is compromised by business-sponsored government intervention. It is a socioeconomic system in which many or most regulations, subsidies, and tax-code provisions result from the lobbying efforts of directly affected businesses and their allies.

Today in the United States, there is greater political transparency and competition between political elites than was evident in the business-dominated past (the 19th and most of the 20th centuries). Interventions routinely result from non-business special interests representing education, the environment, labor, minorities, religion, retirees, science, and taxpayers, among others.…

Dear Superfreakonomics Critics: Time Is Money in the Climate Debate Too

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#r_murphy">Robert Murphy</a> -- October 29, 2009

One of the ugliest battles in the blogosphere climate wars has involved the newly released Superfreakonomics, sequel to the best-selling Freakonomics. In the new book’s final chapter (available here in pdf), economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner set out to challenge the view that massively restricting carbon emissions is the only hope for averting planetwide catastrophe.

In this post I will link to some of the major commentary on the book so far, and then focus on U.C. Berkeley economist Brad DeLong’s specific claims that Levitt and Dubner’s arguments in support of geoengineering are somehow “bad economics.” As we’ll see, Levitt and Dubner might be wrong, but if so they are wrong because of the numbers. DeLong is painting their views as self-evidently absurd, but that’s only because he himself is overlooking a basic economic point.…

Is Texas Governor Perry Off Climate Base? (Groupthink vs. Science Revisited)

By Chip Knappenberger -- October 28, 2009

Kerry-Boxer: Its Bite is Worse than its Bark

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#mlewis">Marlo Lewis</a> -- October 27, 2009

The Rest of Waxman–Markey: Caveat Emptor!

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#robertmichaels">Robert Michaels</a> -- October 26, 2009

Industrial Wind Plants: Bad Economics, Bad Ecology

By Jon Boone -- October 24, 2009

Climate Change: The Resilience Option (far better than climate stasis)

By Kenneth P. Green -- October 23, 2009

Okay, Joe Romm: How about a Wager on $65 Oil? (‘peak-oil’ bull or closet bear?)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- October 21, 2009

High Capital Costs Plague Solar (RPS mandates, cost dilution via energy mixing required) Part II

By Robert Peltier -- October 20, 2009