8 Jun 2010

Speed Blogging

  • My post on water in Canada and I'm quoted saying that Green Jobs are BS.

  • Electricity from cheese!

  • The Economist has a lot of great articles on water.

  • Scarborough has written a useful overview on using markets to restore in-stream flows. He begins by recounting the history of "water that flows to the sea is wasted" (with a sad photo of the Colorado River Delta), before moving to a state-by-state comparison of in-stream activities and constraints. He ends with a useful description of how to do more trades.

  • People interested in that article should read Gould's 1988 article [pdf] for a useful discussion of the complicated ways that water transfers can produce third-party impacts on other rights holders. (The traditional use of third party refers to member of the community who indirectly benefit from the use to which water is put.) My take away message is that transfers within a watershed are less troubling (and more sustainable) than inter-basin transfers. Even so, it makes sense to be conservative with transfer quantities -- leaving plenty of buffers to reduce the potential for harm.


  1. David: You assert, “...Prius ... battries ...create more pollution than the car saves in reduced energy use." Should you not acknowledge, if not analyze, the Pacific Institute refutation of CNW Marketing Research analysis upon which you base your claim? http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/case_studies/hummer_versus_prius.html

    regards, Don

  2. @Don -- I am not allowed to read PI reports, because I keep finding problems with them. I am happy to bet you a beer that the cabron footprint of my 1998 BMW @ 6,000 miles/year is lower than that of a new Prius, over the next ten years -- esp if you include a battery replacement!

  3. David. Do you have any references on battery pollution beyond the CNW report? I would like to learn more about battery pollution from hybrid vehicles, which are increasing in number. Seems like an important issue to have objective knowledge about.

  4. I read something here that i have not been able to get off my mind. I think you had said something like, water isn't used up unless it is evaporated or respirated otherwise it goes back into the groundwater.

    I have been thinking about this and it seems generally true. So taking long showers and flushing toilet is not a water problem? I am thinking it is now the case. The only water problem is using it for crops lawns and evaporating it in pools and lakes.

    would you clarify my understanding here?

  5. @Don -- google it. I'd look for the cost of mining (including the political cost), refining and disposing.

    @ecshaton -- teh water is "used" in the sense that we can't get it back until nature recycles it (rain!) or we treat it in a plant. Thus long showers CAN "use up" water that could go to other demands. In other words, there's a difference between the physical and economic definition of used.


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