Author Archive | Kowality Jesus

American Forests Felled to Meet European Renewable Energy Targets

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Visualization by Pitch Interactive. Data: Climate Analysis Indicators Tool 2.0, World Resources Institute; Earth Observatory, NASA; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Forest Legality Alliance; Global Canopy Programme; Global Forest Resources Assessment, 2010; Global Forest Watch; Greenpeace; Hansen et al., Science, 15 November 2013; Natural Resources Canada; United States Department of Agriculture; United States Forest Service; World Wildlife Fund.

 

So renewable energy is green?  Talk about the opposite.

T. Edward Nickens via Audubon:

It seems to defy common sense that trees from forests in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and other southern states could be cut, trucked to a mill, pulverized and pelletized, shipped to a seaport, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and delivered to a power plant in the Netherlands, all in the name of reducing global warming. Yet that’s what’s happening. And during the past five years, such an unlikely scenario has spawned an entirely new industry.

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Where is Vladimir Putin?

He’s probably dead.

Julia Ioffe writes at The Washington Post:

It’s been more than a week now since anybody’s seen Russian President Vladimir Putin. He had a mundane meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on March 5, and then … nothing. Since then, Putin hasn’t been seen in public, and the Russian blogosphere can talk about nothing else. Their president skipped a number of events—including one with his FSB bigwigs—and the Kazakhs, with whom Putin was supposed to meet this week, said the Russian president was ill. They quickly walked it back after the Kremlin denied it. The Kremlin began fiddling with Putin’s schedule. State television began broadcasting news of meetings planned for the future as if they had already happened in order to show that Putin was alive enough to attend meetings.

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Renewable Energy Will, In Fact, Not Solve Climate Change

Y U NO STOP CLIMATE CHANGEjpg

Y U NO STOP CLIMATE CHANGE?

 

Ross Koningstein & David Fork via IEEE Spectrum:

Starting in 2007, Google committed significant resources to tackle the world’s climate and energy problems.

Google’s boldest energy move was an effort known as RE<C, which aimed to develop renewable energy sources that would generate electricity more cheaply than coal-fired power plants do. The company announced that Google would help promising technologies mature by investing in start-ups and conducting its own internal R&D. Its aspirational goal: to produce a gigawatt of renewable power more cheaply than a coal-fired plant could, and to achieve this in years, not decades.

Unfortunately, not every Google moon shot leaves Earth orbit.  By 2011, it was clear that RE<C would not be able to deliver a technology that could compete economically with coal, and Google officially ended the initiative and shut down the related internal R&D projects.  The conclusion: even if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions.

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In Defense of Muhammad (From Both Sides)

So for some reason or another, after centuries of proselytization by the sword and hundreds of terrorist attacks in the 20th/21st century, when a French cartoonist is murdered for being a violence-baiting, blasphemous shock-jock towards Muslims, suddenly everybody thinks Islam is evil.  Yes, Islam has usually been a thorn in the side of Western Civilization and certainly Christendom, but it was begun by a remarkable man both in wisdom and power.  I found some words of Muhammad excerpted from the Koran that show that many who “submit” to Islam are probably just not listening to their prophet very closely.

Even though Arabic is the only holy language of Islam, and the Koran can never be translated yet retain its status as Word-Of-God, these English translations of Muhammad’s statements might give us a teleological vector on what he intended his followers to embody.  Reading the quotes and looking at today’s Muslim world might lead some to wonder “What the hell happened?”

Thus spake Muhammad:

Do you love your creator?… Read the rest

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Environmentalists Have an Irrational Hatred of Nuclear Power

The first American nuclear reactor of the 21st century, Watts-Barr will soon begin operating west of Knoxville in Tennessee.  This reactor will almost continuously generate 1,150 megawatts of electricity for the next 60 years at $0.06/kWhr, with near-zero carbon emissions (over the same period a coal plant would release 500 million tons of CO2, for reference the US releases 6,526 million metric tons CO2 annually).  With this happy marriage of steadily satisfying consumer demand yet generating very little CO2, one would imagine that greenies everywhere like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and thousands of other environmental groups would be out in the streets rejoicing and calling for more nuclear plants!  However, it seems that environmental groups roundly and universally decry the vast potential of nuclear technology.  But why?
We in the pro-nuclear community have yet to collate and diagnose the almost-dogmatic hatred of nuclear power in the environmental movement, but it seems to stem from several uninformed but understandable complaints:

1) People seem to widely conflate ‘nuclear power’ with ‘nuclear weapons,’  however the danger of a nuclear explosion occurring at a power plant is the same danger as a 1988 Ford Pinto going 250 mph, that is, not any danger at all.… Read the rest

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Promoting the Apocalypse

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Eisenhower warned of the dangerous marriage between government and war profiteers, but did he envision how subtle and insidious it would become today?

via The UNZ Review:

If you read a major newspaper on a regular basis you will no doubt have seen the full page ads placed by defense contractors. The ads generally are anodyne, featuring ubiquitous flags and eagles while praising America’s soldiers and war fighting capabilities, sometimes to include a description of a new weapon or weapons system. That a company whose very existence depends on government contracts would feel sufficiently emboldened to turn around and spend substantial sums that themselves derive from the American taxpayer to promote its wares in an attempt to obtain still more of a hopefully increasing defense pie smacks of insensitivity to say the least. I for one find the ads highly offensive, an insult to the taxpayer.

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Origins of the “Jewish Nose”

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Although there are very few distinguishing characteristics of Jewish people, (e.g. European Jews are almost entirely of European genetic stock with a few distinguishing esoteric alleles) due to the Jewish diaspora across many different regions of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, Jews have traditionally been portrayed in Western art as having large, hooked noses. But does this proscribed depiction reflect actual Jewish features? Not very much. Why?

Elissa Goldstein of Jewcy.com relays the fascinating explanation given by historian Sara Lipton:

Historian Sara Lipton has penned a fascinating article for the New York Review of Books about the origins of the caricature of the hook-nosed Jew. In ‘The Invention of the Jewish Nose,‘ Lipton, author of Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Iconography, explains that the image of the Jew with the massive schnoz—the one we know so well from Nazi propaganda, to name just one example—is “far from ‘eternal’” and in fact didn’t exist before 1000 AD.

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The Great Filter to the Fermi Paradox

Environmental space robot

Why have humans not been contacted by aliens (at least officially)? Drake’s Equation states that humans are almost certainly not the only intelligent species in the galaxy (estimates of existing alien civilizations currently range from 2 to 280,000,000 for the Milky Way galaxy). Thus there should be a preponderance of alien races zooming around and colonizing throughout space. Yet neither Bill Clinton, nor George W Bush ever got a photo op with sapient extraterrestrials.

This led Enrico Fermi to coin his famous Fermi Paradox, which observes the discrepancy between the theoretically high number of existing alien civilizations and the curious lack in any observed evidence of their existence.

There are a number of theories which attempt to reconcile this paradox, not the least of which is the theory of the Great Filter. The Great Filter postulates that a harrowing bottleneck of life causes very few civilizations to come into existence, thus we have not seen any evidence of them.… Read the rest

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