July 2, 2009 |
The rubber hit the road in Congress last Friday, but it wasn't a transportation bill or a car-company bailout. It was the House vote on "climate change," which would still be known as "global warming" if average temperatures had not inconveniently failed to go up over the past 11 years. Everyone, of course, wants to be a good steward of our planet. No one wants to be responsible for destroying the rain forests or polar bears. And no one wants his fingerprints on the thermostat if the Earth is warming.
March 9, 2009
If at some point the government requires power plants to capture their emissions of carbon dioxide, a key challenge will be what to do with the stuff. Some have advocated storing the heat-trapping greenhouse gas deep underground. Engineers at Pennsylvania State University have come up with a clever alternative: Turn it back into fuel. They combine the carbon dioxide with water vapor to make methane, the primary component of natural gas, which can be burned in a generator. The concept is not new, but the chemical reaction, which also yields oxygen, requires a lot of energy.
July 10, 2008 |
Industrial-gas company Airgas Inc. announced yesterday that it would build a medium-sized liquid-carbon dioxide plant plant in Georgia. The Radnor-based company said in a statement that the new plant, which will be able to process 450 tons of liquid carbon dioxide a day, would enable it to serve customers in the Georgia and Florida markets. The amount of the investment in the project was not released but is expected to cost $8 million to $12 million. Airgas said it had signed a 15-year agreement with the First United Ethanol L.L.C.
July 1, 2008
Ignoring Zimbabwe I cannot believe what is being allowed to happen in Zimbabwe during their "free and fair election" ("Tsvangirai says Mugabe must negotiate," June 30). Robert Mugabe is a tyrant. Regardless of his former pristine reputation, he has no intention of surrendering his power and he is willing to kill in order to retain it. Over the last weeks, numerous members and activists for Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change have been threatened, kidnapped and killed. This is an election of intimidation, not democracy.
May 16, 2008
Bill Allen's Burlington, Vt., nonprofit is aptly named Forever Young Treehouses. Nothing brings out the kid in us like a tree house. For the last eight years, Forever Young has built universally accessible tree houses around the country, including at Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang summer camp in Ashford, Conn., for children with cancer. Forever Young recently created Lookout Loft, one of three tree houses in Longwood Gardens' "Nature's Castles" exhibit, and is a consultant for Morris Arboretum's canopy walk, which opens next year.
April 14, 2008 |
For years, climate researchers puzzled over a long hot spell around 90 million years ago, when tropical breadfruit trees flourished in Greenland, crocodiles slithered above the Arctic Circle and at least a few dinosaurs roamed Antarctica. It's a serious concern because the warmth came at least in part from greenhouse gases, and climate scientists need to understand that period, they say, to better forecast how rising carbon dioxide levels will change our climate in the future. Computer models scientists rely on for those predictions can't quite account for how steamy it got during that ancient period, says Lee Kump, a geoscience professor at Pennsylvania State University.
February 10, 2008 |
Ted Brinton, 83, stood on a step-stool and carefully unscrewed the 75-watt incandescent bulb from Barbara and Bill Kelley's hallway light fixture. He handed the bulb to Elaine Frost, who recorded the location of the lamp on a form and then selected a 20-watt compact fluorescent lightbulb from her cardboard box. "We're out of three-ways," Frost told him. "OK," he said. "I'll order more. " Brinton twisted the bulb into the socket and instructed Barbara Kelley to flick the light switch.
November 25, 2007 |
Planting a tree used to be such a simple thing. For many, it was a simple act of beautification. Or perhaps a way to shade a patio. But lately, planting a tree has been elevated to a cause, a mission, a step - however tiny, as skeptics note - to stall global warming. In cities throughout the country, in countries around the planet, volunteers are muddying their knees and dirtying their fingernails as they plant more, more, more! Southeastern Pennsylvania's TreeVitalize program is finishing up a mammoth tree-planting spree - more than 14,000 - this fall.
June 7, 2007 |
Despite chronic scandals that suggest it can't clean up even its own offices, the United Nations wants to manage the weather of the entire planet. In the name of cooling global warming, the U.N. is steering toward a role as chief broker for assigning and trading national rights to emit carbon dioxide. The plan amounts to a tax on high per-capita carbon emitters, such as the United States, and subsidies for low emitters, such as Laos and Equatorial Guinea. Unfortunately, a global carbon tax-cum-redistribution system would likely chill the productivity of free societies and subsidize some of the world's worst regimes.