Good day yesterday with Obama making a speech on global warming actions and Markey winning the Senate seat. The Mass. senate seat fight included lots of back and forth on global warming and science, so this win underlined the publics growing interest in the climate, Markey is a climate hawk, one of the strongest voices the House had.
I am bummed out that it took so long, but finally Obama got there, at least part way. The problem with executive orders they can be reversed, and the shorter time in force the easier to do so. He needs to get them in place pronto. The coal power plant rules are totally unclear, they have a goal, but he is going to invite industry to help write it, it's going to be years before the smoke will actually be cleaned. However, just the plan to move on this issue will change the industry, unbuilt plants now will look too expensive, risky or too ill defined, current plants will more likely be scheduled for cleanups or early shut down and wind and solar will be seen as more attractive.
He spent a lot of time bragging up natural gas. NG does have 1/2 the carbon of coal and no soot, but it still relies on boiling billions of gallons of water, cooling issues in warmer rivers, as well as methane leaks. New numbers on fracking damage to water and release of methane into the atmosphere indicates the total greenhouse gas release is equal to coal, so what appears to be the clean fuel may be just as harmful. The only solution coming forward is renewables and new energy stingy products.
A German firm is in mass production of a new small home power management and battery system (to attach to a solar panel) at low price to store 2 hours of energy for evening use in a 4 person house. When used by a significant number of homes this will cut night time power plant requirements, a lot. Power engineers in Germany now believe with a variety of new technologies on the way, they can run 100% on renewables in 20 years or less and screw the gas oil and coal guys, screw Russia and the Middle East and screw the new Saudi America drill baby drill dream.