Friday, October 19, 2007
President Bush convened a conference of major economic powers last month
at which he vowed the U.S. "will do its part" to reduce emissions. Just
what part is that, you might ask? Yesterday, John Marburger Head of the
White House S&T Office, rejected the target of holding the global rise to
2 degrees C, recommended by leading climate scientists and European
leaders, but he offered no alternative. We have come to expect that.
Where was Marburger when Bush proposed non-solutions like the "hydrogen
economy" and corn ethanol? No one even mentions hydrogen anymore and the
only thing keeping corn ethanol alive is subsidies and ignorance of the
energy balance. Is anybody advising the President?
The Kansas Department of Health yesterday rejected a permit for a proposed
coal fired power plant saying emissions threaten health and environment.
It was the first government agency to cite CO2 in denying a permit, in
keeping with a Supreme Court ruling in April that EPA must treat CO2 is a
pollutant, (WN 6 Apr 07) . "Quite
simply," Governor Sibelius said, "we have an obligation to be good
stewards of this state."
My fingers typed “Science and Technology” last week, when my brain knew I
was talking about The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Well, I
got the URL right, http://www.oism.org . It's a cottage industry run by
Arthur Robinson and his children. He put it in Cave Junction during the
Cold War to avoid bombs, and sold plans for both home schooling and bomb
Remember the scary incident in June when the Russian computers that
control ISS orientation crashed while Atlantis was docked?
(WN 15 Jun 07) . They found a way
around it, but not the cause. James Oberg in IEEE Spectrum explains what
happened: a cable connector corroded. It's a swamp up there. Meanwhile,
an opportunity presents itself. Tom Pickens, a Texas investor who amassed
his billions by shrewd inheritance from, believes Big Pharma should run
ISS and reap big profits from – well, protein crystals grown in zero
gravity - gasp! (WN 3 Mar 00) . In
the past I've suggested giving the ISS to China, but they don't seem to
want it. Why not give it to Tom Pickens instead?