Via Rand E Oertle on Helium.com:
"A startling statistic was reported by Rockefeller University's Jesse Ausubel , who calculated that "To power a toaster [by wind power], you need about 100 square metres of windy land. And to power the city of New York," he added, "you'd need a wind farm the size of Connecticut."
The reason for the immense amount of land necessary is that each wind powered turbine gets a maximum of thirty per cent efficiency over a twenty-four hour period. The problem is that the wind does not blow consistently and turbine efficiency ratings drop to six to ten per cent as a general average for all wind turbines.
Wind power efficiency also suffers another decline when the time at which the wind blows does not coincide with the peak usage periods. Power utilities have no way to store the energy developed, further reducing the effectiveness of wind power.
A little known problem comes from environmentalists themselves. Since wind power geography is of a specific kind, meaning open spaces in specific locations, the power must use new transmission lines. Unfortunately, environmentalists have filed law suits stopping the construction of these transmission lines, even though it is from what enviros consider an absolutely necessary power source. Without the transmission lines, wind power is useless.
Another of the lesser known problems of wind power is it's propensity to kill bats and migratory birds that use the same wind currents where turbines are placed to take advantage of the more consistent wind patterns."
From the Green Blog / N.Y. Times:
Polls show that tackling climate change is a low priority for the American public. Indeed, a Yale poll found that only 12 percent of Americans were “very worried” about global warming.
In the last few days, the Environmental Protection Agency seems to have initiated a public campaign to make clear where it, and the science, stand, stating that the rise in greenhouse gases is a serious problem to be confronted.
On Monday night, the E.P.A. administrator, Lisa Jackson, made the point as a guest on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” And on Tuesday, the agency released an 80-page glossy report called “Climate Change Indicators in the United States” to help Americans make sense of climate change data.
That report begins: “Over the last several decades, evidence of human influences on climate change has become increasingly clear and compelling. There is indisputable evidence that human activities such as electricity production and transportation are adding to the concentrations of greenhouse gases that are already naturally present in the atmosphere.”
The agency lays out 24 possible indicators of climate change — from United States greenhouse gas emissions to tropical cyclone activity to bird wintering ranges — while tracing how they have shifted in recent decades. It lays out what is known, according to the agency’s survey of current science, and what remains uncertain.
Some of the conclusions are already well publicized: “In the United States, greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities increased by 14 percent from 1990 to 2008.”
Others are less so: “Long-term studies have found that bird species in North America have shifted their wintering grounds northward by an average of 35 miles since 1966, with a few species shifting by several hundred miles.”
And, given the long snowy winter in the mid-Atlantic states this year, readers will certainly find this one interesting: “The portion of North America covered by snow has generally decreased since 1972, although there has been much year-to-year variability. Snow covered an average of 3.18 million square miles of North America during the years 2000 to 2008, compared with 3.43 million square miles during the 1970s.”
The report makes clear that some phenomena that might be viewed as “proof” of climate change may or may not be: From 2001 to 2009, it notes, roughly 30 to 60 percent of the nation was experiencing drought at any given time. But it adds that “data for this indicator have not been collected for long enough to determine whether droughts are increasing or decreasing.”
Filled with charts and graphs, the report is a valuable resource for voters who are trying to make sense of climate change or how they feel about national environment and energy policy.
And just as the climate skeptics pored over a landmark 2007 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in search of possible errors, I’m sure that they’ll be going over the E.P.A.’s offering with a very fine-tooth comb.
Distressing news last night as we heard there was a fire in a shopping plaza in Dumfries which includes a pet store. I hear they got many, but not all the animals out. They sell mostly small animals (no dogs or cats)... rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, birds, fish... We've adopted a few from there in the past.
My perfect weekend: Joanna Lumley
For me, the perfect weekend begins when my husband, Stephen, and I drive to our cottage in the Dumfriesshire hills. It is midsummer and about 5pm, so there is a good six hours of light left. We pull up and turn off the engine. There is complete silence and hawks are wheeling about in the air above us.
The first thing in my hand will be a pair of secateurs. I would like to be buried with a pair, just in case something needs clipping. I adore snipping and cutting back and dead-heading. It also means there will be plenty to burn and I love a good bonfire.
In my other hand, I will have a glass of something delicious to drink. My favourite whisky is Glengorich. It is a malt, but not one of those rarefied single malts that taste like TCP.
Clothes-wise, Stephen (Barlow, the conductor and composer) and I will be gloriously shambolic. I will wear ragged cotton trousers and a ripped, faded shirt with lots of pockets for secateurs and spare secateurs, and my new camera, which I carry around everywhere.
I used to have a camera with a colossal lens, so by the time I had set it up, the red squirrel I wanted to photograph would have scampered off and been halfway to Skye. Now I have a digital camera. You can get amazing close-ups without doing anything, so secretly I despise it, because it is too easy, but I couldn't do without it.
When we are in Scotland, we live outdoors and only go inside to sleep. I never wash my hair and, because I have to dress up so much for my job, I don't wear make-up. I just hope that somehow the sun has bronzed me to a healthy glow.
If it is a perfect weekend, my son and his wife and my two baby granddaughters will be there, too. Usually, we stuff all our food from the fridge into the car, so Friday night's meal will be a humble supper, maybe cheese on toast and a salad for me and some cold meat or leftovers for the others. We go to bed at 11pm, so we can rise at 7am and make the most of the long day ahead.
On Saturday morning, we drive around picking up bits and pieces, such as local smoked salmon, and there is a place that makes honey and sells it by the roadside. You intend to buy one pot but end up with six. How can you possibly choose between Scottish heather and Scottish blossom or Scottish flowers?
Then we go for a long walk. We go down the valley or around the neighbouring hills - nothing too serious, just two hours or so - with a lot of sitting down, pretending to look at an interesting insect or leaf, to catch our breath. The walk ends up with a picnic behind the cottage. It was the Famous Five who said "Food always tastes better outside" and it is true. We have cheese and tomato sandwiches and a piece of fruit or a bar of chocolate.
In the afternoon, we do a bit of reading, something escapist, such as A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, or Walter Scott, Dickens, or Thomas Hardy. It has to be well written, otherwise you should toss it away.
Before supper, I might have a bath. Our cottage is supplied by a spring, so we're sparing with our water and share it.
My husband is a great cook, so when I help him prepare the meal, I take on the role of commis chef. Because I am a vegetarian, I lose interest in food fairly fast. There is such a limited palate of flavours if a meal is centred on meat or fish. I could eat Indian food for ever, though. I enjoy doing the washing-up, because it is not my job every day; and because I love nice bowls and plates, it's a pleasure to wash them.
A game of Scrabble after supper is fun. My daughter-in-law is terribly good at it, so we keep tight smiles on our faces, but we are very competitive. There is a lot of dragging of heavy dictionaries about. Bedtime is before midnight.
Sundays have to be fought against. There is a sense of gloom, of things coming to an end, that can seep into them, so we might visit friends and spend the afternoon in someone else's garden, and be with their youngsters and ancients. I love that mix of the very young and the very old - and spotty teenagers, too. I used to be one and I remember how I liked people who talked to me sensibly.
Back at the cottage, the fire will be in the wood-burning stove and there will be candlelight. We will watch a video of Monsieur Hulot's Holiday and have friends around for food, so there might be 10 of us at the table.
The meal ends with cheese and walnuts, and then the guests go and we stand outside. We have no neighbours, so there are no lights, just darkness, with stars pricking through the sky and perhaps an extraordinary, apricot-coloured moon. Then the barn owls who live in our attic roll up through the valley, like great white manta rays.
After a last few minutes talking, we go to bed for a night of vivid dreams.
A trip across the U.S. 15 years ago, part two.
Monday, May 30, 1994, Wisconsin
Right now we're on our way up to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin where we might go on an amphibious boat ride around the "Dells". I'm not sure what a dell is, but maybe I'll find out in Wisconsin Dells.
Last night we stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Rockford, Ill. Didn't quite make it to Wisconsin before konking out...
We stopped off at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo yesterday and saw the rainforest exhibit among other things. I like zoos.
We ate dinner in South Bend, Ind. yesterday evening. The whole thing came to 12 dollars... But you get what you pay for... The beef stroganoff was an odd orangish color...
We just stopped off at a cheese shop in Wisconsin. Got some cheese bit snacks and some postcards.
Later today, we'll make it up to Bloomington, Minn. to the largest mall in the U.S. F is very excited about that...
Tuesday, May 31, 1994, South Dakota
Right now we're outside of Henry, S.D. which is west of Watertown, S.D. South Dakota scenery is pretty uneventful so far. Farm after farm after farm after farm. They're big on pheasants here, Pheasant Motel, large pheasant statues, etc.
The people are very friendly. We just stopped for gas and the guy cleaned our windshield and wished us a nice visit to South Dakota.
Yesterday we stopped off at Wisconsin Dells to ride the "Ducks". That was pretty fun. The Ducks are amphibious vehicles from WWII.
Up in the northwestern part of Wisconsin, we got caught in a tornado warning. Hail came down the size of marbles and we had to pull off the highway to find some trees to park under. Didn't see any actual tornadoes, tho.
We made it up to Minneapolis to the Mall of America, the largest mall in the U.S. We rode the rollercoaster and log ride at Camp Snoopy, the largest indoor amusement park, which was in the center of the mall.
We ended up heading west a bit more after the mall. Found a place in Hitchinson, Minn. to sleep.
*Of 21 species of albatrosses, 18 are thought to be at the risk of extinction, with fishing the main threat.
*An albatross is the central emblem in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a metaphor used in Charles Baudelaire's poetry.
*The name albatross is derived from the Arabic meaning for "a pelican" and the Portuguese form Alcatraz, which is also the origin of the name of the former prison.
*Albatrosses pair for life. If their partner dies they may search for years for a new mate without luck.
*The bird has a low reproductive rate, with many producing only one egg a year, and has a life expectancy of 60. They spend most of their lives at sea and can sleep on the ocean.
*A grey-headed albatross from south Georgia was recorded flying around the world in 46 days.
*Albatrosses can be found in every ocean except the North Atlantic.
There were two young birds trapped in the roof space at work today chirping away to each other, and flying around occasionally. I was able to catch the first one on the first try with a plastic bag. The 2nd one took three tries but I got him, which was a very satisfying feeling. After showing some other people my bagged birds, I set them loose outside.
Nala brought a small bird in the house yesterday. It was flapping around with an injured wing and I was able to corner it and get it into a cat box. Gave it some gerbil food, water, hay, and left it in the cat box overnight. We thought it might have been OK as it was still alive this morning, so we put the cat box outside in the rabbit run with the door open so it could fly out if it wanted. It did manage to get out of the cat box briefly, but went back in... so we thought we'd bring it inside again to be warm and give it another day.... but I've just looked and I'm afraid it's had it. Oh well, we tried.
"TONY Blair today urged the public not to panic following the case of bird flu in Scotland."
But how can we believe Blair after the lies he told to get us into Iraq ? I'm going to panic anyway !! AAAaaaaaah !!!!
Luckily, tho, some dead swans found in a Glasgow Park yesterday tested negative. So the Scotland bird flu zone is still only in Fife.... but that affects 3 million poultry....
- Current Mood: pensive
near Cellardyke in Fife
Poultry movements have been restricted in the Fife area following the discovery of the bird.
The H5N1 virus does not at present pose a large-scale threat to humans, as it cannot pass easily from one person to another.
But experts fear the virus could mutate to gain this ability, and in its new form trigger a flu pandemic, potentially putting millions of human lives at risk.
- Current Mood: not dead yet
You may have heard that they've found a cat in Germany that has died from Bird Flu. This puts me in mind of a Mad Cow joke I just heard:
First Cow "Aren't you concerned about Mad Cow Disease?"
Second Cow "Nope".
First Cow "Why ever not?"
Second Cow "Because I am a Penguin".
Here's a link to the story about the cat
and here's my abridged version:
Pets at risk as bird flu kills cat
Pet cats may have to be kept indoors once bird flu arrives in Britain, scientists have said after the death of a cat in Germany from the disease.
The case - the first of a mammal dying from bird flu in Europe - means that cats may be able to pass the H5N1 virus on to humans and that the disease may spread more easily than thought.
Even more worrying is the possibility that cats could help the virus to adapt so that it spreads more easily between mammal species, making a human pandemic more likely.
"It is good to use your common sense. If it is known that the virus is present in a given area, it is sensible to stop the cats getting into contact with infected birds. One possibility would be to keep the cats indoors."
"There are plenty of cats around farms and they have big circles in which they move," he added.
The spokesman added: "There is no need for cat owners to introduce precautionary measures at this stage."
- Current Mood: calm
The Tower of London has decided to keep its famous ravens indoors to protect them from bird flu.
Special aviaries have been created for the six birds within one of the towers of the fortress on the Thames.
Legend has it the Tower of London will collapse and the kingdom will fall if all the ravens leave.
See BBC report here.