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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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Humble became part of Exxon as the Standard Oil octopus reassembled itself, like the blown apart pieces of the Terminator. (h/t to The Oil Drum)

Global Forecast: Mass suffering, thanks to Salem's own M. Lee Pelton and the rest of the PGE board

Portland General ElectricThis is Oregon's biggest polluter and biggest contributor to a hellish future for billions of people. Image via Wikipedia

GLOBAL TEMPS SET TO RISE OVER TEN DEGREES BY 2100

Independent, UK - The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C (10.8F) by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. Such a rise - which would be much higher nearer the poles - would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the Earth, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable and threatening the basis of human civilization.

We are headed for it, the scientists said, because the carbon dioxide emissions from industry, transport and deforestation which are responsible for warming the atmosphere have increased dramatically since 2002, in a way which no one anticipated, and are now running at treble the annual rate of the 1990s.

Although the 6C rise and its potential disastrous effects have been speculated upon before, this is the first time that scientists have said that society is now on a path to meet it.
Here are the names of the people who would rather that billions suffer than PGE's profits be reduced by so much as a dollar:

Board of Directors
PGE's Board of Directors includes executives in utilities, management, finance and accounting.


Corbin A. McNeill Jr.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Portland General Electric

John W. Ballantine
Retired executive vice president, First Chicago NBD Corp.

Rodney L. Brown Jr.
Managing Partner, Cascadia Law Group PLLC

David A. Dietzler
Retired Pacific Northwest partner-in-charge of audit practice, KPMG LLP

Kirby A. Dyess
Principal, Austin Capital Management LLC

Peggy Y. Fowler
Retired CEO and president, Portland General Electric

Mark B. Ganz
President and CEO, The Regence Group

Neil J. Nelson
President and CEO, Siltronic Corp.

M. Lee Pelton
President, Willamette University

Jim Piro
President and CEO, Portland General Electric

Robert T.F. Reid
Corporate Director
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Another hopeful sign

It is absolutely depressing these days, and not just because the days are getting shorter and shorter. When the very best that politics offers falls far, far short of even a shadow of a reflection of what sustainability requires of us (and the heads of esteemed universities are climate criminals) it is frightening.

So every now and then, it's good to stumble on signs that there is still a lot of creativity out there working on developing practical approaches to things.

The Solution to Boardman Pollution is Conversion, Not Diversion

(h/t to Sightline Institute for the snap.)

Under the "Be Careful What You Wish For" heading comes the ill-conceived plan to stick scrubbers and other emissions reduction devices on the tail end of the Boardman coal-pollution generators (if you look at Boardman realistically, pollution is the main product -- electricity is the much smaller byproduct). The principal issue is that there is no form of CO2 scrubber . . . the carbon starts out as coal, and that's the perfect storage medium for it. But once you burn it, there's no capturing it, and it stays in the atmosphere for up to 1,000 years, destablizing the climate and acidifying the oceans.

Stories like this focus on the direct health effects of all the other nasties emitted along with the CO2 -- but every story fails to mention that these scrubbers and emission controls would cause the plant to produce even more CO2 for every kilowatt. And this is for a plant that's only about 33% efficient to start with (in other words, two-thirds of the energy in the coal is wasted and sent out to heat the atmosphere and only one-third transforms into electricity, which then suffers 8-10% line losses before reaching electric loads -- that's why the plant is really a pollution plant with a small electric byproduct).

The only sane solution is to close the coal burning portion of Boardman ASAP, and replace it with one or two combined-cycle natural gas turbines with heat recovery systems. Such plants can approach 80% efficiency, meriting the name power plants rather than pollution plants, and there is far less CO2 and none of the other nasties (radioactive materials, mercury, sulfer oxides . . . ) emitted either.
coal_boardman.jpg
From the story: Coal-fired power plants still provide about 40 percent of the electricity used in Oregon, about the same amount as comes from hydroelectric dams. Most of the rest comes from natural gas and wind.

But when coal is burned to generate electricity, it releases toxins like sulfur dioxide. Coal plants are also a major source of carbon dioxide, which is the main gas associated with global warming.

Important: Help Salem create an energy strategy

Downtown w:Salem, Oregon from top of w:Oregon ...Image via Wikipedia

Long overdue but all the more welcome as a result.
Help Shape a Community Energy Strategy for Salem!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Salem Conference Center

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Participate in Sessions on: Solar - Wind - Electric Vehicles
Financial incentives and tools to reduce energy, save costs, and generate jobs

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. provide input on draft goals and actions for Salem’s Energy Strategy

Free and Open to the Public.
Lunch attendance requires an RSVP.
RSVP by contacting Annie Gorski at 503.588.6178 or agorski@cityofsalem.net.
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