Monday, December 06, 2004

Blow me down with a windmill

The Myron Ebell Climate prepares you for the misinformation floating in the pipeline. A professor in Calgary University's Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, David Keith, published a paper, sponsored by BP and the Ford Foundation, about how the use of wind turbines could change the climate by slowing down the Earth's air flow.

This news came to me in an interview on NPR (National Petroleum Radio), where he outlines his case.

To be fair, he does say that -- compared to climate change caused by burning fossil fuels -- this effect may be negligible or possibly beneficial since it merely alters the distribution of energy in the atmosphere. But this is not the message Myron Ebell is going to blab when he wakes up from his Bush re-election post-party coma. You can tell it's a bum cherry he can't resist. Even better, since trees produce good deal more drag on the wind than any sleek white windmill, it's a good excuse for cutting down forests.

Carbon sequestration by planting wood is not the answer. Interestingly, Professor Keith is in the business of Geologic Storage of CO2 which the oil companies are pretty much in favour of now. The idea is to get the government to pay them to pump gas into their old and depleted oil reservoirs and help squirt out the last remaining drops of the black stuff as a profitable byproduct. A win-win situation, if there ever was one, because it's a technical fix: governments and what passes for public opinion are easily taken for a ride by a solution that involves no change whatsoever to anyone's present lifestyle. Even if that lifestyle involves being subject to bombing raids because they happen to live in a country that has oil in the ground.

No matter how flawed the ideas are, you can bet your bottom dollar that Professor Keith, Myron Ebell, and the cronies of the scientific establishment with their comfortable jobs, grant proposals, and prestigious petro-publications are going to come out and speak the truth. The truth is not worth anything to these guys, when measured in dollars. The utter shame and catastrophic failure of our elite intelligensia to prepare us for the fact that our way of life is not sustainable, will not be sustained, and has got to change, will be the curse of later generations for as long as the record of their present folly is preserved.


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4:08 AM, July 23, 2006 Permanent link to this entry  

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