Sunday, December 02, 2012

Germany guides the way in the field of renewable energy.

Courtesy of the Guardian:  

Germany has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions significantly in recent years as it has pushed forward a renewable agenda leading Europe into an age of wind and solar power. 

In the past year, the country's CO2 emissions fell by 2.4% compared with 2010, according to figures released by Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The decrease, say experts, has largely come through a push towards renewable energy that has accelerated since the country began its move away from nuclear power. 

In the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewable energy rose from 20% to 25%, bringing the country closer to its targets of 35% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. 

"We are on a good track in regard to the increase in the share of renewables," said Brigitte Knopf, deputy head of research at the sustainable solutions project at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Pik). "This is a story of success, though some challenges are still ahead."

Obviously if Germany is capable of such a significant move away from fossil fuels and nuclear energies so is America. But then why are we so far behind?

Well I think since we know that many of our politicians are addicted to oil money, that answer is probably obvious.

However it is worth noting that the presidential candidate most favored by big oil was Mitt Romney, and he lost. So perhaps we are at the precipice of a major change in our country's energy philosophy.

Let's hope so.


  1. Anonymous6:53 AM

    OT:How is it even possible that people still think she would win an Election?

    Taken from Baltimore Sun Letters to the editor online :
    2:00 p.m. EST, December 1, 2012

    I notice how positive articles about Sarah Palin seem to really get her critics stirring ("Palin for president? Very funny," Nov. 28). Not only does the comments section seem to be overwhelmed, but letters to the editor surface as well.

    As a Palin supporter who hopes she runs — and wins — in 2016, let me respond to the usual snark that surfaces.

    She's not qualified. Compared to whom? Barack Obama was a junior senator from Illinois before running for president. In Alaska, Ms. Palin accomplished everything she set out to do in two-thirds of the time.

    She cut spending even in times of surplus, increased benefits for senior citizens, overhauled education and took on Big Oil. She lobbied hard for ethics reform by teaming up with Democrats. And she earned a 93 percent approval rating — the highest ever for a U.S. governor.

    What exactly did Hillary Clinton accomplish as a senator or Bill Clinton do as governor that comes close to that kind of accomplishment and approval?

    She's a quitter! Even though Ms. Palin resigned the governorship to prevent a very small group of extremists from further abusing the Alaska Ethics Act, she still accomplished all of the above. When you take an oath to serve, you promise to uphold the Constitution and do right by the people. You don't take an oath to sit around for an allotted amount of time. The Founding Fathers intended our public servants to do their jobs, then go home and live by the laws they created.

    But she "quit" to make money! The last estimate of Ms. Palin's worth was about $12 million. Mitt Romney is worth about $250 million, the Clintons are worth $80 million, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is worth about $35 million and Sen. John McCain $40 million. The beat goes on with any long-term, career politicians like the Obamas and the Bushes.

    It's clear that if Ms. Palin only wanted to "make money," she could have just run for Congress and spent years there doing nothing.

    When you put it all into perspective, it's a real laugh to hear Obama supporters condescend to her. It's an even bigger laugh to hear the establishment actually ponder running another Bush in 2016.

    The career politicians have given us $16 trillion in debt to pay back. Maybe it's time for us to focus more on what someone does while serving than on how long they stay — or how rich they get — in government.

    Steve Flesher

    1. Anonymous7:30 AM

      Why is this entry in here? Delete it please!Not only is it difficult to understand (who is the writer and who is supportive of whom?) but it is a real distraction to a positive piece about climate change and certainly is a turn off since it is the lead, rambling, lengthy piece of junk in MHO.

    2. WakeUpAmerica8:30 AM

      You need to do DEEPER research and cast a wide net. You have takien the surface talking points of Palin bots and Fake News. Go to primary sources. They are out there by the train load. My god, man, your logic is embarrassing.

    3. Anonymous9:03 AM

      Sarah Palin lives on a Dead Lake and is proud of the waste.

    4. Anonymous9:26 AM

      Steve -- This is the most cogent and rational defense of Palin I have ever read. Thank you for that. And in view of that, I hope you will comment on the Palin pregnancy hoax. This issue is a litmus test for me.

      Do you feel the charge of hoax is unfounded? If so, how do you explain the too-flat-profile photos of Mar 14 (and other photos)? How do you explain the elaborate concoction of the "wild ride" story?

      Or perhaps you feel that the hoax is real but doesn't matter? I would reluctantly agree with this position were it not for Palin making the pregnancy serve as the symbol of the also-bankrupt "family values" Palin pushed, holding her 5-mo-old infant up like Lion King in all manner of locations unsuitable for an infant.

      When I call this issue a "litmus test," I mean that the lying and deception of this hoax mirrors, for me, similar lying and deception on almost every other issue Palin touched.

      I do help you will help us critics of the Palin way to understand how you rationalize this hoax. I would truly appreciate it, because I never see this issue discussed by her supporters (except to deny it without explanation) or by the MSM (who cannot discuss this issue without discussing the role of GOP VIPs in enabling this hoax.

    5. Errr...Steve Flesher is one of the *cough* writers at the other words he's one of the head panty sniffers of Baldy's stanky draws...don't pay that idiot no mind y'all!

    6. Anonymous3:16 PM

      Thank you Mr. Flesher for your contribution. Please keep abreast on the latest Palin developments. We look forward to hearing from you or yours.

  2. a j billings7:03 AM

    I'd like to be optimistic, but the ultra right science scoffers in the USA have equated forward looking technology with being a communist.

    Just look at the opposition to compact fluorescent bulbs. The recent ones last far longer than the old bulbs, don't cost a lot, and use much less power.

    You'd think that penny pinchers would like that, but once again, the Luddites like Rush Limbaugh think using them means you've given in to the Islamic /Marxist plot to take over America.

    Ditto for solar panels, electric cars, wind farms, etc. Granted, electric cars have a long way to go to be price competitive.

    The ultra right just wants to take us back to the 1950's when men ruled the roost, women coulnd't get a mortgage, blacks couldn't vote,
    and light bulbs lasted 2 months :)

  3. wakeUpAmerica7:03 AM

    Fossil duels?

    Great to know. I hope this goes viral internationally

    1. Haven't you ever heard of "Fossil Duels?" Great video game, with teams of fossil hunters competing to see who can make the biggest discoveries and get their findings into a museum before their job bores them to death.

      Okay look, considering how much sleep dust I still had in my eyes when I typed this you're lucky it made any sense whatsoever.

    2. WakeUpAmerica8:26 AM

      Hahahahahaha!!! I feel your pain.

    3. Anonymous8:50 AM

      If you read up the history of fossil hunting in the US, this was exactly what happened. Dueling museums and fossil hunters tearing around the west hunting up the biggest bones they could find. These guys found the huge cache of dinosaur bones located in UT and many other states' findings. Without them, who know when the biggest and best of the US fossils would have been found?
      Video art imitating life yet again.

    4. Anonymous9:31 AM

      Sometimes a cigar is NOT just a cigar. I say connect those typing fingers to your sleepy subconscious as often as you please, G.!

  4. Gryphen, did you know that one of the Head Wingnuts, Director of American Family Association Bryan Fischer, says not using oil is "enormously insensitive" and "hurts God's feelings".
    Courtesy of Raw Story

    I suspect that the actual hurt feelings are coming from those who are raking in the money off Big Oil, but I could be wrong.

    1. Anonymous9:44 AM

      So I guess Fischer also refuses to get his children vaccinated and won't take any medication if he or his family gets sick.

      After all, God must have also created smallpox, polio, E-Coli, strep, diptheria, German measles, tetanus and cancer too. Can't go around treating or (horrors!) preventing those things or it will hurt God's feelings.

      Maybe he should find a nice uranium mine and go roll around in it. God wouldn't create something that would harm him, now would He???

      (I often wonder if it's really hard to be that stupid or if it comes naturally.)

    2. Chella11:24 AM

      Oh my, the stupidity, it burns!!

  5. Anonymous7:34 AM

    Readers and Gryphen may want to follow Russ Baker's "Whowhatwhy" Kickstarter program is fully funded so this is NOT a plea for money.

    1. Anonymous8:19 AM

      Russ Baker was on Coast to Coast last night. I normally don't listen if Wells is the host, but I really wanted to hear what Baker had to say. Very enlightening, and not surprising.

  6. Leland7:51 AM

    Man was given "dominion" over everything on the earth according to the ultra wingers. It gives them the right to do ANYTHING they want without violating "God's Law".

    Also, discovering that Man has the power to destroy the Earth diminishes God's Power because God made Man and HE doesn't make mistakes like that. (SNARK!)

    Also, they are just too stupid to be able to understand the science! They are a lot like a puppy that needs potty training - unless you catch the puppy right in the act of dropping something on the carpet it dies no good to rub their noses in it (It's an analogy people. Don't jump on me for it!) And if you DO catch them at it, they fight against the corrective actions something fierce.

    Big Oil doesn't want to lose out as has been suggested. They don't have the intelligence to recognize that the pharmaceutical sciences LOVE crude oil for medicines and would dearly love to see all that is left reserved for geriatrics medicines (right now for the most part). They just won't make hundreds of billions of dollars a year that way. (Which brings up another argument, but there isn't enough room here.)

    What I think it boils down to is this: They don't want to curtail their profits. Period.

    In the fifties a method for creating totally renewable, safe, clean energy was proposed by someone who argued that wind turbines generating DC power for plants along the Gulf Coast would power electrolysis of water to generate Hydrogen and Oxygen, which could be liquified and shipped to electrical plants. BUrning Hydrogen in an Oxygen atmosphere produces two things: HEAT (a LOT of it!) and pure water.

    The oil companies fought it with everything they had, including lies like fears of the Hindenburg accident and that there was no way anyone could build wind mills capable of generating multi-megawatts of power. Really? There were wind mills being built that generated megawatts of power in the forties!!!! One was in Maine.

    That leaves the safe handling. Well, GEE, guess what fuel the Shuttle uses. Think we could build trucks that had less vibration that THAT thing?

    It was shot down without even a serious study.

    It's kind of funny that this story (see above) is about German technology and foresight. I live in a section of the South (Yeah, I know) where BMW has built a huge plant. It has banks of the same type solar panels pictured. AND, they have tapped the local county dump for Methane which they use for 25% of their heating bills. (Well, I can't say for certain that is still true since they just went through a tremendous expansion.)

    The point is that even in the US, Germany is kicking ass on the subject! Won't work? Do NOT tell the Germans that! They'll laugh in your face!

    And POTUS is TRYING to get these fools to see the possibilities! Has been for years.

    1. Anonymous8:53 AM

      If you go even further back in the history of the engine, bio-diesel was the first fuel they ran on. As it was not that reliably found (crop failures, farm land being located only in certain areas, lack of capacity), it fell to the way side as the oil industry was born.
      The man who invented the diesel engine really wanted them to run on renewable fuel, not that he knew that the oil supply was limited.
      Just imagine for one second how different our whole world would be if they had continued to use bio-fuels way back then.
      No middle east crisis, most likely no global warming/climate change emergency, and a whole lot less warfare.

  7. Anonymous7:56 AM

    In Tonopah, Nevada installation of a design for 24/7 delivery of solar is being built. It is a molten salt storage project that uses heliostats (huge mirrors operated by computer) to collect sunlight, but the minimal loss of heat through the molten salt holding tank permits release of the energy any time of day or night, sun or clouds.

    The Solar II test site is in California and was successfully operated and recognized in the 1970's through the 1990's when it was halted.

    Spain opened the first commercially operating plant last October.

    The IMF gave 5 billion as seed money to encourage the implementation of the same design in a portion of the northern Africa desert in order to supply electricity to Europe via underwater transmission (DC current wiring) routed under the Mediterranean.

    Rocket Dyne and United Technologies claim global license to produce this design and besides the Tonopah installation have another site near Blythe, CA for a project.

    The stimulus money funded an update of this same 24/7 design that exists at Sandia in Albuquerque to allow greater testing ability for future installations and more sophisticated trouble shooting.

    If oil didn't run the USA we could have had a system such as this operating decades ago to furnish pollution free energy. It doesn't matter whether the wind blows or if the sun doesn't shine constantly, the collection takes place during daylight hours and can be stored to be used as needed in the molten salt configuration.

    We subsidize the hell out of the oil industry, to say nothing of the banking industry, so saying the start up costs are expensive is denying the fact that government money has been necessary for any of our huge projects in their beginnings.

    The original designer, an engineer for Sandia, received a commendation from President Clinton for his work as well as Discovery awards and recognition from the legislators in DC. Too threatening to the oil industry so it was put to bed (mothballed the Solar II project)???????????

  8. Anonymous8:16 AM

    My brother married a German girl while he was in the Army. After coming back to the US & her being diagnosed with Type I diabetes, they couldn't afford to be sick in the US so they went back (that's a whole other post). They live in a small town, and he tells me that EVERY house has solar panels. So it's not just larger cities.

    Some of my kids live in AZ, and it's pretty common to see solar panels on houses there, but not as many as you'd think. The sooner solar goes mainstream, the better.

    1. I can confirm that . Taking the train through Bavaria, we saw solar panels on the sides of barns! They are everywhere, often either wind turbines nearby. A beautiful sight.

  9. hedgewytch8:18 AM

    Every single public article with a comments section that is showing an article about renewable energy will attract a large amount of people who are adamant that there is no way we can LIVE without oil.

    Yet even here in Conservo Alaska Land I'm seeing solar panels popping up in all sorts of places like DOT signs, windmills (go Fire Island!) and geothermal. It's here and its viable and its coming - sooner rather than later.

    1. Anonymous1:14 PM

      It looks like we won't be living with oil either.

  10. Anonymous9:40 AM

    In my neighborhood in California, many houses have solar, and I see cars that charge up rather than use oil. I am on the verge of installing panels, getting an e-car.

    I am hoping that a critical mass will soon be reached in various neighborhoods and areas, and that this will serve to bring solar into the mainstream.

  11. Anonymous9:54 AM

    The Palins may be buying ocean front land in Arizona.

    Ice sheets melting at poles faster than before

    What the world needs now is more spooks! They all moved to Benghazi to protect the Embassy.


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