tulalycopene 
Member since Sep 16, 2006


North Boise

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Re: “Climate IQ: Dispelling The Top 10 Arguments of Climate Change Skeptics

I enjoyed this article. What is the author's training in science?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by tulalycopene on 01/16/2011 at 11:23 AM

Re: “The Cure That Kills

This is a tragic series of events. I can only wonder- was the father of Mr. Cox on a statin drug, both prior to and after the surgery?

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Robert McKie on 02/03/2008 at 1:03 PM

Re: “The Nuclear Option

In the article, you stated that 1,500 to 2,000 megawatts of installed wind farm capacity is enough for "1.3 million homes". This is a bit of a distortion. It is true that 2,000 megawatts of electricity is enough to power approximately that many homes, but 2,000 megawatts of installed capacity cannot be depended upon to consistently produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity. If a power plant with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts had a factor capacity of 50%, it would actually be able to provide power to about 650,000 households all the time or 1.3 million households with a whole lot of brownouts and blackouts. Overall wind farm factor capacity was about 30% in the U.S. in 2006. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the Foote Creek Rim Wind Project in Wyoming is in "one of the windiest places in America". It has a factor capacity of 43%. According to the Department of Energy, most spare capacity is powered by natural gas (with significant amounts of petroleum fired capacity). Shortfalls would more likely be made up with increased consumption of natural gas (and to a lesser extent, petroleum). Electricity consumption will likely spike in the next few years. Small and large companies alike will soon produce plug-in electric cars. This will reduce oil consumption, but it will further stress the electric grid. Likewise, MRI is just one energy-intensive imaging technique that is steadily replacing existing technology in applications like cardiac imaging and breast cancer screening. While this is happening, the four lower Snake River Dams, several dams on the Klamath River and a number of existing nuclear plants face an uncertain future. The future of energy prices, carbon emissions and the perhaps planet itself depend on our next steps. In order to help the public make informed decisions, proper, thoughtful calculations are essential.

Posted by Robert McKie on 01/24/2008 at 5:07 PM

Re: “What's the Point?

In this article, T.J. Thomson states that Harry Truman was the last Democratic Presidential candidate to win Idaho. Mr. Truman was elected in 1948. According to Federal Government records, Lyndon Johnson narrowly carried Idaho in 1964.

Posted by Robert McKie on 08/24/2007 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Idaho's Economic Answer: Blowin' In the Wind

Wind power is going through an exciting new phase. New technologies and high traditional fuel prices have made it the fasted growing source of electricity worldwide. It has the potential to slow greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy independence and re-invigorate rural economies. I was glad to see that Idaho will soon have a large-scale wind farm in the Cotterel Mountains. Unfortunately, this article was blatantly inaccurate in overstating Cotterel's potential. Mr. Evans states that the proposed Sempra coal plant would have one third the generating capacity of Cotterel. This is simply false. Mr. Evans states that Cotterel will 98 turbines with 1.5 to 3.0 megawatts of generating capacity. Using standard multiplication, this is 147 to 294 megawatts of installed capacity. The article also states that Sempra will have 600 megawatts of installed capacity. Cotterel would require 1,800 megawatts of installed capacity to have as much generating capacity as Mr. Evans implies. This greater than sixfold overestimate of generating capacity is not esoteric or insignificant. In fact, it is the type of error that fattens the profits of big oil, destroys manufacturing jobs and increases our dependence on imported energy. Natural gas and petroleum are used to make up electricity shortfalls in the United States. According to the Department of Energy, natural gas prices have increased more than threefold over the last several years. Electricity generation is one of the leading causes of high demand for natural gas. Overestimates of coal, nuclear, wind, hydroelectric, solar and biomass generating capacity will increase natural gas and petroleum consumption and in turn enrich oil and gas companies. Alternatively, electricity shortfalls can be made up with rolling blackouts of the sort seen this summer. California has habitually overestimated the potential of alternative energy sources and conservation. The product of this was tight electricity supplies in 2000-2001 and in 2006. The first of these shortages was exacerbated when Enron took advantage of short electricity supplies to manipulate markets. The impact of this went way beyond the rolling blackouts. While desperately seeking electricity, California bought electricity previously used to process aluminum in Washington State. Thousands of manufacturing jobs were offshored to places like Iceland where electricity is cheap and plentiful. Manufacturing is energy intensive, and if our country actually wants manufacturing jobs, we need to be honest and realistic about our energy supplies. Ironically, Sempra will import electricity to California. Had California kept up with its generating needs, it would not be scouring the west for coal plant sites. According to the Commerce Department, oil and gas imports are a leading component of the trade deficit. Energy imports take money from the U.S. economy and send it to nations that are often unfriendly, undemocratic, or both. In order to have a discussion about energy, it is supremely important to be honest. Thanks to the Mr. Evans, a generation of pseudo-intellectuals will bleat that Cotterel will produce three times the energy of Sempra. This in turn breeds complacency about the importance of conservation, and blunt the seriousness of the energy crisis. I assume this is a mistake, and that Mr. Evans is not a holder of big oil stock who delights in the loss of American manufacturing jobs. The reality is that Cotterel is just a start, and we need a whole lot more non-fossil fuel powered generating capacity across the United States. This includes several more large scale wind farms and a frank discussion about nuclear, solar and hydroelectric power. Errors of this sort poison the energy debate.

Posted by Robert McKie on 09/16/2006 at 10:54 PM

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