10 Sep 2009

Speed Blogging

  • Peter Gleick takes apart the Bureau of Reclamation's cost-benefit report for a new dam: "The entire report would benefit from a smart independent economist reviewing all the assumptions and redoing all the benefit/cost assessment with more realistic numbers." Well, I am busy, but I bet there are plenty of economists available. Will BurRec hire them, though?

  • Speaking of cost-benefit, Cash for Clunkers appears to have a cost that's 10x the benefits, even if this analysis is slightly sloppy. (Read my comment on that post.)

  • Leave them alone, and damaged ecosystems will bounce back fast

  • Can biochar (charcoal) save us from the twin threats of carbon in the air and depleted soils? Maybe.

  • JWT asks, after reading about no carbon man, "what do you do on a 9th Floor walk up in New York without lights?" My answer: Make babies. If so, that's bad news, since babies have the biggest environmental footprint.

  • An author of a book on the politics of climate change was asked "Do we also need to re-think climate economics?" He said "What we have learnt is that politicians tend to choose the most expensive options first. Faced with climate change, what's our solution? In Europe, it's to devote most of our energies to a rapid build-out of wind power. This is the sort of thing that makes nuclear power look cheap."

  • From a UK report on geoengineering: "some geoengineering techniques could have serious unintended and detrimental effects on many people and ecosystems - yet we are still failing to take the only action that will prevent us from having to rely on them..."


  1. Gleick's piece is good, and reminded me of Pardee Dam -- impacts are felt in the foothills and Delta while the East Bay gets the benefits. Something is badly wrong with that picture.

  2. There are lots of technical comments with respect to these articles.
    Here are a couple to think about.

    1. The average amount of time that carbon stays in the soil is 14 years. After that it is back in the atmosphere again.
    2. When there is a stationary high and it is really hot out, there is no wind and no wind generated electricity.

  3. @Eric -- I think that you are talking about "free" carbon, but charcoal hold onto it. Check yourself :)


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