Wednesday, December 21, 2011
BP shutting solar unit as industry struggles
3:13 pm ET 12/21/2011 - MarketWatch Databased News
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- After prominently featuring solar panels in its brand advertisements and at some of its gas stations, BP PLC is planning to shutter its BP Solar operation, according to reports on Wednesday.
BP PLC said global economic challenges have impacted the solar industry, making it difficult to sustain long term returns, according to an internal BP email cited by press reports. The move will affect 100 jobs.
BP, which has been in the solar business for decades, had featured solar panels prominently in its Beyond Petroleum advertising campaign.
BP said the solar business, which has been flooded by excess supply from China, has become commoditized.
A phone call and email to BP by MarketWatch was not immediately returned. BP will hold on to other alternative energy businesses, including wind.
BP inked a supply contract with JA Solar in 2010 as it started scaling back its own solar panel factories and trimming jobs.
Sam Wilkinson, senior market analyst of IMS Research said BP's decision comes as global photovoltaic module manufacturing capacity reaches 50 gigawatts, while demand is expected to total only 24 gigawatts this year. Average prices are now 44% lower than they were one year ago.
"Rapid manufacturing expansions have coincided with a slowdown in the growth of global demand," Wilkinson said in a statement emailed to MarketWatch. "The result has been intense competition and a fierce price war, and not enough demand to support all of the industry's hundreds of suppliers."
The move comes just days after First Solar, the only pure-play solar panel maker in the S&P 500 , issued a profit warning for 2012 and said it'll refocus its business toward large-scale utility projects, rather than residential solar panels. See: First Solar falls to lowest level since 2007.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Wind Power Pipe Dream
Written by Alan Caruba, Warning Signs
December 12 2011
Image via Wikipedia
Imagine if you will America’s mountain ranges topped by row upon row of wind turbines and America’s deserts and plains covered by solar panels. How ugly is that?
A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Wildlife Slows Wind Power”, took note of the slaughter of birds and bats by these Cuisinarts of the countryside. The problem has reached such proportions that “New federal rules on how wind-power operators must manage threats to wildlife could create another challenge for the fast-growing industry as it seeks more footholds in the U.S. energy landscape.”
The wind-power industry is heavily subsidized by loan guarantees and mandates, and like solar power is turning out to be a vast pit of wasted funding that also raises the cost of electricity to communities whose utilities have been required to purchase its output.
It is another environmental pipe dream and one intended to enrich those who go into this dubious business.
Not only uneconomical, it utterly fails to produce sufficient electrical energy to meet the demand of America’s homes, businesses and industry. As the article noted, “The U.S. now has more than 43,000 megawatts of wind capacity, double the level three years ago, generating roughly 3% of the nation’s electricity.”
Try to imagine how many wind turbines it would require to produce anywhere near the nation’s needs. Now consider that the wind does not blow in a constant stream and often does not blow at all.
Consider also that the increase in wind power has occurred within the last three years, precisely the time in which the Obama administration has been in office, throwing taxpayer money at this pathetically inadequate means of generating electricity while doing all it can to shut down coal-fired plants currently responsible for fifty percent of all the electricity generated. Concurrent with this have been attacks on the coal mining industry.
In early 2011 a study sponsored by the John Muir trust of the wind turbines in California found that wind farms are much less efficient than claimed, producing below 20% of capacity more than half the time and below 10% of capacity for more than a third of the time. The report found that the suggested output was particularly low during the times of highest demand.
Unknown to most Americans is the fact that wind power generation requires 100% backup. To maintain electrical grid capacity, the ability to supply customer demand for continuous electricity, every wind farm must have a backup generating facility. Thus, it is coal-fired, gas-powered, nuclear and hydroelectric power generation that ensures a reliable supply of electricity to consumers.
This means that the backup facility must have twice the real rated capacity of the wind farm. The result is more capital is required to ensure this, along with operating and maintenance costs when a traditional power company is forced to include wind power in its inventory. This is a global phenomenon wherever wind power is part of the mix.
The noise generated by wind turbines is such that, especially in rural areas, lawsuits and complaints, also noting lost property value. Such lawsuits have cropped up in Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, among other states. Increasingly, direct physiological impacts that include rapid heartbeat, nausea and blurred vision have been attributed to the turbine’s ultra-low-frequency sound and vibrations.
An expert on the detrimental aspects of wind power, John Droz, Jr., has created a website for those interested in the facts. Droz notes that “wind energy was abandoned well over a hundred years ago as it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs of power, even in the late 1800s.” It is an outmoded source of power comparable to plowing farmland using oxen.
Due to intensive lobbying based on the discredited notion that carbon dioxide emissions from traditional power generation plants (with the exception of nuclear power and natural gas) cause “global warming”, this bogus justification is the basis for the wind power industry. Another idiotic rationale is “energy diversity.”
The demand from wind (and solar) power executives for a federal “national renewable electricity standard” would inflict this ridiculous form of power generation upon consumers and it is entirely one of their self-interest. It ignores the nation’s growing population and the need for more electricity generation by means that have a long-established record of efficiency, low cost, and predictability.
Like so much that is based on environmental schemes, it should be abandoned at the earliest possible time.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Britain bought into the global warming hoax and now they're paying the price: flaming wind turbines, power outages, and freezing in the proverbial dark. Thank Al Gore.
From the big breeze to the big freeze: After hurricane-force gusts destroy wind turbines Britain braces itself for snow and bitter cold
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2071633/UK-weather-Wind-turbine-EXPLODES-hurricane-force-gusts-batter-Northern-Britain.html#ixzz1g8itJySr
Al Gore, the man who almost became President......now there is a REALLY CHILLING THOUGHT!
Buddhism and Climate Change: Political Fads vs. Pursuit of Truth
Posted By Mark Stuertz On December 9, 2011 @ 11:30 am In Uncategorized
As the second wave of Climategate emails  gums-up the Durban Climate Change Conference , it’s instructive to revisit the Buddhist position on climate change. In May of 2009 just before the first batch of Climategate emails hit, a group of 20 Buddhist teachers from all traditions released The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change .
The authors urged members of the international Buddhist community to sign the document in the run-up to the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. The Dalai Lama  was the first to sign, endorsing a “sustainable” atmospheric carbon dioxide limit of no more than 350 parts per million.
The declaration is a peculiar document. At its core, Buddhism is the practice of cultivating compassion to dissipate preoccupation with one’s self — to experience the truth of impermanence by surrendering attachment to things, feelings, and perceptions.
Does the declaration mesh with Buddhism?
The declaration makes note of the “overwhelming” scientific consensus that human activity is triggering environmental breakdown on a global scale. It states with assurance that if humans continue on their current energy-consuming ways, half the species on the planet will be extinct by the end of this century.
To avert catastrophe, the declaration urges fundamental changes in Western civilization. It insists we “de-carbonize” energy systems “by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources that are limitless, benign, and harmonious with nature.” It calls for an end to all coal plant construction.
The document stresses that wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal power are sufficient to meet all of the world’s energy needs. If political leaders refuse to make these changes, putting the long-term good of humankind above the short-term benefits of fossil-fuel corporations, the declaration calls for “sustained campaigns of citizen action.”
The crisis is so pressing that the Dalai Lama indicated he would shelve the issue of Tibetan independence and Chinese oppression, and instead focus on the threats climate change poses to the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau. This is according to leaked diplomatic cables  between “His Holiness” and Timothy Roemer, U.S. ambassador to India.
The most disturbing aspect of this unwavering Buddhist stance is not so much the blindness it exhibits to the corruption , data manipulation  and suppression , willful deception , intolerance , and even violent sadism  infecting the climate change movement. It’s not even the scientific and evidentiary fallacies embedded in the declaration itself. (Example: The Himalayan glacier “crisis” the Dalai Lama notes was based largely on an environmental activist group’s press report  and a typo . While some Himalayan glaciers appear to be in retreat, others are expanding , and there is no evidence to suggest that they will disappear by the end of this century  as some climate alarmists argue.)
Also contrary to the declaration, science is never certain and isn’t the result of “consensus.” The latest findings from CERN  indicating that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light  potentially upend the “consensus” of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
The declaration insists that alternative energy sources are “benign.” Far from being “limitless” and “sustainable,” wind, geothermal, and solar power systems consume vast amounts of very limited land  and groundwater resources . Windmill and solar panel manufacturing and maintenance are energy-intensive , generate toxic chemicals, and require mining processes that are often environmentally destructive . Windmills also kill thousands of birds annually .
While the declaration’s suggested abolition of carbon-based fuels might thrill most Buddhists, in reality it would likely unleash a plague of famine and disease to rival the darkest scenarios posited by the climate change alarmists. Fertilizers and pesticides that maintain global food supplies are almost exclusively derived from petroleum. As are virtually all of the life-saving drugs and many of the medical supplies  used to treat injury and disease.
Also: fossil fuels are crucial to providing reliable base load power, or the minimum amount of energy required to power essential services such as hospitals, water treatment plants, communications, and traffic signals and airports. Would the Buddhist community accept mass starvation, chaos, injury, infection, and disease as the price of assuaging its offense over widespread fossil fuel use?
The most disturbing element of the declaration: it is in direct conflict with Buddhism itself.
Among the central tenets of Buddhism is the reality of impermanence and the ignorance generated by ego-consciousness. The ego not only attempts to cement experience into permanence, it strives for control over its surroundings, struggling to conform reality to its personal perceptions. This leads to suffering.
But while the term “climate change” acknowledges impermanence — the climate after all is constantly in flux — the movement itself obsesses over maintaining ill-defined or arbitrary points of stability. The core implication of the climate change movement is that there exists some ideal average global temperature that we must strive at all costs to maintain. What is this temperature? No one ever says. Most likely it’s the average global temperature measured in 1967 — the Summer of Love — since the climate change priesthood consists mostly of Baby Boomers who seem reflexively nostalgic for their “Youthquake ” years.
The declaration also implies that humans have the capability via massive citizen action to dramatically alter the Earth’s climate — to stop planetary change through the sheer force of human effort. What is this if not the height of conceit — ego on steroids?
It’s a conceit that assumes we know far more about the ebbs and flows of the planet than we actually do; one that presumes the narrow parameters that describe the Earth at this moment are the benchmark of how the Earth must always be — “sustainability.”
Example: the declaration assigns a “sustainable” atmospheric CO2 limit of 350 parts per million. Yet over the course of geological history, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have varied widely, reaching as high as 2,000 parts per million during the Jurassic Period , for example. The declaration’s 350 ppm limit is actually a low-end outlier in the context of geological history.
In fact for much of the 19th century CO2 concentrations  were higher — at times more than 400 ppm  — than they are today. Yet the Earth and life survived, even thrived, during these episodes. Far from an awareness of impermanence, the declaration seems to reflect a fetish for contrived stasis.
Our “ecological emergency” stems from a sense of disconnection from the Earth itself, the declaration states — from the illusion of separateness. But doesn’t the declaration reinforce that sense of separateness by emphasizing the illusion that humans can control the climate? Doesn’t it “disconnect” humans from the Earth by suggesting they are a disturbance in the natural order rather than a part of it? If the Earth is indeed becoming “sick” (whatever that means) as a result of human activity, isn’t that simply another manifestation of the planet’s dynamism and impermanence?
After all, the Earth has “sickened” itself many times over the course of geological history. Massive toxic gas releases from its bowels via supervolcanoes  have resulted in catastrophic destruction and mass extinctions. “Ecological emergencies” far more severe than anything envisioned by the climate change movement are a regular feature of the global lifecycle. Far from extraordinary, species extinction is a constant: 99.99 percent of all species that have ever lived are extinct. Virtually all became extinct without the disturbances of human activity.
To reach the conclusions posited in the Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, you must discard the Buddhist principles of the truth of impermanence and the illusions of ego. The alleged climate change crisis stems from the three poisons of greed, ill will, and delusion, notes the declaration. It is disheartening that the Buddhist community seems unaware of these festering poisons in the climate change movement.
Article printed from PJ Media: http://pjmedia.com
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/buddhism-and-climate-change-political-fads-vs-pursuit-of-truth/
URLs in this post:
 Climategate emails: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204452104577059830626002226.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
 Durban Climate Change Conference: http://unfccc.int/meetings/durban_nov_2011/meeting/6245.php
 The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change: http://www.ecobuddhism.org/bcp/all_content/buddhist_declaration/
 Dalai Lama: http://www.dalailama.com/biography/a-brief-biography
 leaked diplomatic cables: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/MA06Ad01.html
 corruption: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/
 data manipulation: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/23/climategate_2_first_look/
 suppression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mLxgNKRSpk
 willful deception: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2066240/Second-leak-climate-emails-Political-giants-weigh-bias-scientists-bowing-financial-pressure-sponsors.html
 intolerance: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33371.html
 violent sadism: http://youtu.be/PDXQsnkuBCM
 environmental activist group’s press report: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html
 a typo: http://pjmedia.com/blog/climategate-imminent-demise-of-glaciers-due-to-a-typo/2/
 others are expanding: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8284223/Some-Himalayan-glaciers-are-advancing-rather-than-melting-study-finds.html
 by the end of this century: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100119/full/463276a.html
 CERN: http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/About/About-en.html
 travel faster than the speed of light: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/nov/18/neutrinos-still-faster-than-light
 very limited land: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/06/03/are-we-running-out-of-places-to-build-wind-farms/
 groundwater resources: http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/columnists/dawn-stover/the-myth-of-renewable-energy
 are energy-intensive: http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/solar-new-ethanol
 often environmentally destructive: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/clean-energy-apos-s-dirty-little-secret/7377/
 kill thousands of birds annually: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/may/03/checking-george-will-birds-and-wind-turbines/
 life-saving drugs and many of the medical supplies: http://www.pmpnews.com/news/petroleum-and-health-care-evaluating-and-managing-health-cares-vulnerability-petroleum-supply-s
 Youthquake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youthquake_%28movement%29
 2,000 parts per million during the Jurassic Period: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html
 19th century CO2 concentrations: http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/EE%2018-2_Beck.pdf
 at times more than 400 ppm: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/bayreuth/bayreuth1e.htm
 supervolcanoes: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/02/04/volcano-mass-extinction.html
Monday, September 12, 2011
The Slow, Certain Death of the Global Warming Theory
By Alan Caruba.
September 12, 2011 source
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I have been predicting the death of the global warming theory since late in the last decade when it became obvious that the Earth had entered into a cooling cycle. By 2009 the leak of thousands of emails between the “scientists” whose computer models the claims were based upon revealed they were in a state of panic regarding this obvious phenomenon.
Employed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming (IPCC), those “scientists” have since been protected by the universities who benefited greatly from the huge grants of public funding they received. The issue of whether such men should be prosecuted for deceiving the entire world remains to be decided.
The lead player, Dr. James Hansen, still on the payroll of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is the man who told Congress in 1988 that global warming threatened mankind and the Earth. He has since switched to lying about coal and oil, two of the fossil fuels on which the economies of all nations depend, claiming they are deadly pollutants that must be abandoned in favor of “clean energy”, wind and solar.
Former Vice President Al Gore, the most public face of “global warming”, has become a public joke. Recall, however, that he received a Nobel Prize and an Oscar in additions to the millions earned from the sale of “carbon credits” to offset “greenhouse gases.” Some exchanges devoted to these credits have closed their doors. The proposed Cap-and-Trade legislation based on them lingers in Congress.
One need not be a climate scientist or meteorologist to conclude that humans have nothing to do with the climate or the weather. Watching huge hurricanes wreak havoc, along with other weather-related events should be enough for anyone to conclude that humans do not “cause” such things.
Occam’s Razor is the ancient principle that the simplest explanation is the most likely the correct one, but billions in public funding, taxpayer’s dollars, have been diverted to the “research” that corrupt scientists have used to justify the global warming fraud.
MIT Professor, Dr. Richard Lindzen, an internationally recognized authority on atmospheric science, said, "Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century's developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age."
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those courageous scientists that stood their ground against the global warming fraud. Recently the Heartland Institute, in concert with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and the Science and Environmental Policy Project, published “Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report.” It is 430 pages co-authored by Dr. Craig D. Idso, Dr. Robert M. Carter, and Dr. S. Fred Singer, all of whom have been among the scientists repeatedly slandered as “global warming deniers” and “skeptics” for their efforts to educate the public.
The report, in carefully documented scientific language, identifies the way the warmists' computer models over-estimated the amount of warming, ignored the fact that increased carbon dioxide benefits plant growth, that there is less melting in the Arctic, Antarctic and on mountain tops than claimed, and that there is no sign of acceleration of sea-level rise in recent decades.
A recent Rasmussen survey indicates that upwards of 60% of Americans have concluded that humans have nothing to do with “global warming” or any other aspect of the climate. This is extraordinary when one considers how the mainstream media, the curriculums in the nation’s schools, and the unceasing efforts of major environmental organizations have tried to impose the global warming claims on the public.
In a similar fashion, “The Other Climate Theory” by Anne Jolis, an editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe, describes how a project of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has put what may well be the final nail in the global warming coffin. The work of physicists using particle beam technology, CERN confirmed that the Sun’s cosmic rays enhanced cloud formation. The IPCC’s 2007 report had peremptorily dismissed this possibility, but then the IPCC’s reports have been the basis for the global warming fraud, asserting a “consensus” among scientists that never existed.
Thus the scientific method of describing a phenomenon, formulating a hypothesis to explain it, and performing tests to confirm or reject a hypothesis, has once again demonstrated that “global warming” is just so much hot air.
This is not stopped the Environmental Protection Agency from doing everything in its power to destroy the energy sector of the nation based in part on the global warming fraud.
Universities across America have entire departments and units devoted to keeping the global warming fraud alive. The mainstream press is heavily invested in it. Schools continue to frighten children with its claims. All this and other efforts will fail because science—real science—does not support it.
Monday, August 29, 2011
The more important, somewhat hidden message here is that people are not as concerned about "climate change" as they were, and I maintain it is because an increasing number of people recognize that the idea of man-caused global warming or climate change is a fraud, a hoax, a myth perpetuated by those seeking to make a profit from the "big lie", that it is a scam. They see through the mass media dramatic exxageration of weather events. In other words they're not buying Al Gore's lies any more. Take his Nobel Prize, (along with Obama's) and put them in the trash where they belong.
Climate change concern declines: Nielsen
12:00 pm ET 08/29/2011 - MarketWatch Pulse News Bullet
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Worldwide fears about climate change have receded in the past four years, as other environmental issues such as air and water pollution, water shortages, packaging waste and use of pesticides have been given more attention, according to a new report issued Monday by Nielsen Co. In an Internet survey of more than 25,000 respondents in 51 countries, 69% said they are worried about climate chance, up from 66% in 2009, but down from 72% in 2007. Meanwhile, 77% of respondents named air pollution as a main concern, while 75% cited water pollution. For 73% of those surveyed, pesticides were seen as a serious problem, Nielsen said. "Focus on immediate worries such as job security, local school quality, crime and economic well-being have all diminished media attention for climate stories in the past two years," said Maxwell Boykoff, senior visiting research associate at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
However, I say the people living off the government gravy train by exaggerating if not outright lying about the dangers of human induced dangerous or "catastrophic" climate change need to at least be called out and exposed as the opportunistic low-life, bottom dwellers they are. Tarring and feathering and riding Al Gore out of town on a rail would not be out of line. Better yet, have him share a jail cell with Bernie Madoff.
America and indeed many countries around the world are up to their eyeballs in debt and much of this debt can be laid at the feet of those who have wasted billions of dollars and euros and every other currency, money that would be be far better spend on solvable problems like education, healthcare and feeding the hungry rather than tilting at windmills, "saving" polar bears or coral reefs or any number of other supposedly man-caused effects on the environment.
Climate prostitutes, charlatans and comedians
Posted: 23 Aug 2011 01:12 PM PDT
© rgbdigital.co.uk - Fotolia.com Put these guys on Comedy Central. Put ‘em in an asylum … a mandatory restitution program … jail perhaps … or a witness protection program, if they turn state’s evidence on other perpetrators. But keep them away from our money – and our energy, economic, healthcare and education policies.
Climate prostitutes, parasites and charlatans have been devouring billions in US taxpayer dollars, year after year, plus billions more in corporate shareholder cash, activist foundation funds and state government grants. The laws, mandates, subsidies and regulations they advance have cost taxpayers and consumers still more billions for “alternative” energy and other schemes that send prices skyrocketing, kill jobs, and reduce health and living standards.
See the rest of the story here: http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/home/9315-climate-prostitutes-charlatans-and-comedians?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatechangedispatch%2FnkcO+%28Climate+Change+Dispatch+news%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Global warming runs out of gas
For those who have a wish to hear the grating sound of a man distempered and frustrated that the cause for which he has given at least a decade of his time, the "greatest moral challenge of our time," is lost, I recommend listening to Al Gore as he was captured during an address at an Aspen global warming conference two weeks ago. It is a revelation.
It is of the utmost importance that all politicians, no matter what their political stripes, be exposed as frauds and hypocrites, if that is what they are. Unfortunately this is not always as easily as that done with a certain politician with the unfortunate name of Wiener. Al Gore will forever be associated with the multi-billion dollar mistake of blaming every aspect of climate change on mankind's activity. This serious scandal goes on as we grow corn to brew into ethanol to burn as fuel in our vehicles while millions of people suffer and die from starvation such as what is now occurring in Somalia.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Perry rejects global warming, debt-ceiling compromise
Posted: 17 Aug 2011 09:59 AM PDT
Rick Perry continues his campaigning in New Hampshire today, where Mitt Romney is expected to perform strongly in the first primary of the nomination process (Iowa is a caucus, of course). The Texas governor and new frontrunner — at least in one poll — campaigned strongly to the right, rejecting both the notion of anthropogenic global warming and the debt-ceiling compromise approved by Congress earlier this month:
Rick Perry says he does not believe in global warming. The newest Republican presidential candidate also says he would not have signed the debt-ceiling compromise brokered by Republicans and Democrats. …
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
by Richard Mills - Ahead of the herd
Published : May 11th, 2011
"As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information"
For most of human history we’ve been consuming resources at a rate lower than what the planet was able to regenerate.
Unfortunately we have crossed a critical threshold. The demand we are now placing on our planets resources appears to have begun to outpace the rate at which nature can replenish them.
The gap between human demand and supply is known as ecological overshoot. To better understand the concept think of your bank account – in it you have $5000.00 paying monthly interest. Month after month you take the interest plus $100. That $100 is your financial, or for our purposes, your ecological overshoot and its withdrawal is obviously unsustainable.
“One lesson from the five great global extinctions is that species and ecosystems come and go, but the evolutionary process continues. In short, life forms have a future on Earth, but humankind’s future depends on its stewardship of ecosystems that favor Homo sapiens.” John Cairns, Jr., Future of Life on Earth
Freshwater aquifers are one of the most important natural resources in the world today, but in recent decades the rate at which we’re pumping them dry has more than doubled. The amount of water pumped has gone from 126 to 283 cubic kilometers per year - if water was pumped as rapidly from the Great Lakes they would be dry in roughly 80 years.
These fast shrinking underground reservoirs are essential to life on this planet. They sustain streams, wetlands, and ecosystems and they resist land subsidence and salt water intrusion into our fresh water supplies.
Many people think of aquifers as underground lakes but that’s not the case - the water is held between rock particles. Water infiltrates into the soil through pores and cracks until it reaches what is called the zone of saturation - all of the spaces between the rocks are filled with water, not air. This zone of saturation occurs because water infiltrating the soil reaches an impermeable layer of rocks it can’t soak through.
Water held in aquifers is known as groundwater. The water table is located at the top of the zone of saturation.
Almost all of the planet’s liquid fresh water is stored in aquifers. Some of the largest cities in the developing world - Jakarta, Dhaka, Lima, and Mexico City - depend on aquifers for almost all their water.
Most rural areas pump groundwater from wells drilled into an aquifer.
There are two types of aquifers: replenishable (a permeable layer of rock above the water table and an impermeable one beneath it) and non-replenishable (also known as fossil aquifers, no recharge) aquifers. Most of the aquifers in India and the shallow aquifer under the North China Plain are replenishable. When these are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping is automatically reduced to the rate of recharge or refill.
For fossil aquifers - such as the vast U.S. Ogallala aquifer, the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, or the Saudi aquifer - depletion brings pumping to an end.
Groundwater represents about 30 percent of the available fresh water on the planet - surface water accounts for less than one percent. The rest is locked up in glaciers or the polar ice caps.
The highest rates of groundwater depletion are in some of the world's major agricultural centers:
California's central valley
Midwestern United States
China’s wheat crop is mostly grown in the semi-arid northern part of the country and is particularly vulnerable to water shortages. A World Bank study indicates that China is over pumping three river basins in the north, the Hai, the Yellow and the Huai.
Irrigated land accounts for four-fifths of the grain harvest in China.
In India the water situation is even more serious - the 21 million wells drilled are lowering water tables in most of the country - in North Gujarat, the water table is falling by 6 meters per year. In the state of Tamil Nadu falling water tables have dried up 95 percent of the wells owned by small farmers.
Irrigated land accounts close to three-fifths of the grain harvest in India.
Indian water well drillers are now using modified oil drilling technology and going as deep as 1,000 meters.
In North America the major concern is over water levels in the Ogallala aquifer under the U.S. Great Plains - the world's bread basket. The Ogallala is the world's largest known aquifer having an approximate area of 450,600 square kilometers and stretches from southern South Dakota through parts of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and northern Texas.
The Ogallala Aquifer was formed roughly 10 million years ago when water flowed onto the plains from retreating glaciers and streams of the Rocky Mountains. The Ogallala is no longer being recharged by the Rockies and precipitation in the region is only 30-60 cm per year.
In three leading grain producing states - Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas - the underground water table has dropped by more than 30 meters.
In the Pakistani part of the fertile Punjab plain, the drop in water tables appears to be similar to that in India.
Iran is over pumping its aquifers by an average of 5 billion tons of water per year.
Saudi Arabia, relying heavily on subsidies, developed an extensive irrigated agriculture based on its deep fossil aquifer - and they sucked it dry. Some Saudi farmers are now pumping water from wells that are 4,000 feet deep.
In Yemen the water table under most of the country is falling by roughly 2 meters a year. In western Yemen’s Sana’a Basin, the estimated annual water extraction of 224 million tons exceeds the annual recharge of 42 million tons, this drops the water table 6 meters per year.
In Mexico the demand for water is outstripping supply. In the agricultural state of Guanajuato the water table is falling by 2 meters or more a year.
When groundwater is depleted the effects (besides lessening of supply or no more water) can be drastic. Land subsidence happens when porous formations that once held water collapse resulting in the surface layer settling. Water won’t compress, but when the water is sucked out of an aquifer air fills the void between the rocks where the water use to be. Air compresses and the ground sinks or compacts - the aquifer will never hold the same amount of water again.
One study shows that from 1986 to 1992 some parts of the Mexico City Aquifer’s water levels dropped 6 to 10 meters. Areas of Mexico City, as a consequence, have fallen as much as 8.5 meters. The subsidence (ground compaction) is also damaging the sewer system, potentially leading to untreated sewage mixing with fresh water in the aquifer.
In March of 2009, Enoch City in Iron County, Cedar Valley Utah, contacted the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) about what they believed to be a fault running through one of their new subdivisions. It was determined by the UGS that it was a fissure caused by the groundwater level dropping as much as 114 feet since 1939 due to pumping more groundwater than is recharged (refilled).
Another effect of over pumping is saltwater intrusion. If too much groundwater is pumped out from coastal aquifers saltwater may flow into them causing contamination of the aquifer. Many coastal aquifers - the Biscayne Aquifer near Miami and the New Jersey Coastal Plain aquifer for example - have problems with saltwater intrusion.
Streams, rivers and lakes are almost always closely connected with an aquifer. The depletion of aquifers doesn’t allow these surface waters to be recharged - lowering water levels in aquifers is being reflected in reduced amounts of water flowing at the surface. This is happening along the Atlantic Coastal Plain, groundwater depletion is also responsible for the Yellow River in China not reaching the ocean for months at a time, the failure of the Colorado River in the U.S. and the Indus River in Pakistan failing to reach the ocean every day.
"If you let the population grow by extending the irrigated areas using groundwater that is not being recharged, then you will run into a wall at a certain point in time, and you will have hunger and social unrest to go with it. That is something that you can see coming for miles." Marc Bierkens of Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands
Water is a commodity whose scarcity will have a profound effect on the world within the next decade - the danger to us from the worsening ecological overshoot concerning the world’s fresh water supply makes the reevaluation of our values mandatory. We will have to drastically change the way in which we view our freshwater as a resource.
“Current estimates indicate that we will not have enough water to feed ourselves in 25 years time.” International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Director General Colin Chartres
The central issue for us over the next few decades is not climate change or the global financial crisis - it is whether humanity can achieve and sustain the enormous harvest we need from this planet to feed ourselves.
Is this soon to be front and center issue - our fresh water resources - on your radar screen?
If not maybe it should be.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Once politicians smell the blood in the water of public opinion, they do what they do best. They jump on the popular bandwagon, act is if they know what they're talking about, and with sincerity oozing from every pore they plead with the public to help them save Mother Earth, whales, polar bears and everything in between by what else, donating to their campaigns and voting for them. (Think buffoons like John Kerry, Al Gore, and now Obama.)
Finally, the liberal mainstream media picks up on the emotional sensationalism surrounding the repeated threats of impending doom and prints claims like those made in the following article and publishes them as if they were the gospel itself. It is a tried and true method of manipulating and fleecing the public, and unfortunately, it is unlikely to end any time soon.
Meanwhile, we can only hope to help educate and inform those who will listen and learn, and perhaps, if people must tighten their belts enough, they will recognize this environmental fraud for what it is and vote these self-righteous, hypocritical environmental opportunists out of office.
Fifteen Foolish Forecasts: How did environmentalists get it so wrong on Earth Day 1970?
April 22, 2011 ·
What was once Earth Day has now morphed into Earth Hour and Earth Week. The success of the celebration can only be explained by the fact that no one ever bothers to go back to check the accuracy of the eco-wackos’ past predictions.
For example, the predictions made at the first Earth Day in 1970 were wrong. No, wrong isn’t a strong enough word. They were spectacularly wrong. Let’s cover all the tenses and say they were wrong, they are wrong, and then make our own prediction and say they will be wrong in the future.
Jim Morrison, gone. Elvis Presley, gone. Michael Jackson, gone. But none of them were killed by the environment.
Need proof? Here are some of the hilarious, remarkably wrong predictions made on Earth Day 1970.
“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist
“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist
“By… some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day
“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director
“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
• New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day
“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson
“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
Today, Earth Day, the eco-wackos will surely get their day moment in the spotlight and their soundbites on the nightly news. They’ll predict a future even grimmer than they predicted 41 years ago.
And they’ll be just as wrong 41 years from now.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Most of all, this "Earth Day", let us remember who is and has been behind this "environmental" "green" movement, why, and how. The battle over global warming may be over, but the war over environmental reason and sanity versus liberal, idealistic fascism goes on. Case in point? Look at the current battle with the EPA trying to stop oil and gas drilling by creating the "boogie-man" of "dangerous" hyro-fracking of wells. http://geopetesview.blogspot.com/
The environmental extremists will not give up easily. Their minds are set; their crusade against capitalism, economic health, and freedom is clear. The war is not over, not by half. The following article says it well.
What Greens Really Believe
Written by Alan Caruba, Warning Signs
April 20 2011
Earth Day was established in 1970 and millions of Americans and others around the world have been steadily brainwashed to embrace the impression that environmentalism is about protecting the Earth, but when Greens talk among themselves, it is a very different story and a frightening one at that.
The massive propaganda program that supports the Green agenda is impressive in its scope. Its locus is the United Nations whose Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was revealed in 2009 to be a complete hoax based on the manipulation of computer models to predict a warming due to excess carbon dioxide. There never was any threat from CO2. It is a gas that is vital to the growth of all vegetation on Earth. It represents a very minor, even minuscule, part of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Nothing, however, deters the Green agenda and, since the first Earth Day, it has penetrated the nation’s schools and, of course, its politics, deliberately deterring and thwarting access to the nation’s vast reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas; the greatest such reserves in the world! It is a drag on business development. It is the ultimate nanny state seeking to alter people's lifestyles through coercion, legislation, and persuasion.
What most people are unaware of is the fascistic hatred of mankind that underlies the philosophic basis of environmentalism.
Kenneth Boulding, originator of the “Spaceship Earth” concept, was quoted by William Tuck in “Progress and Privilege”, 1982, as saying “The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals, but absolutely limited by the state.” Lamont Cole, an ecologist, has said, “To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem."
Stewart Brand, writing in the Whole Earth Catalog, wrote, “We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into the Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion—guilt-free at last!”
I doubt most people are wishing for a disaster and, when they occur such as the earthquakes in Haiti and in Japan, the first instinct of decent people worldwide is to mobilize to help those affected. This is a very human reaction, but it is not a Green one.
Helen Caldicott of the Union of Concerned Scientists characterized capitalism, saying “Free enterprise really means rich people get richer. They have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process…Capitalism is destroying the earth.”
It is no coincidence that Earth Day is also the birthday of Vladimir Illich Lenin, the founder of the former Soviet Union and devotee of Karl Marx, the creator of Communism. The Communist revolution worldwide led to the murder of an estimated one hundred million throughout the last century.
At the heart of environmentalism, aside from its wish for far fewer humans, is a hatred of capitalism. The failures of communism and socialism everywhere attest to the way state control of all aspects of life is ignored by Greens.
David Foreman, founder of Earth First!, said, “We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects…We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, hold dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wildness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settle land.”
Thus, agriculture, the key to civilization, is decried as harming the Earth and all manner of business and industrial enterprises, dependent on the provision of energy, is regarded as evil.
Major environmental organizations, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club to name just two, oppose the use of coal, oil, and natural gas to provide energy.
So much of what environmentalism preaches and claims in its propaganda is utterly false, but telling lies is part and parcel of the Green message.
Timothy Wirth, a former U.S. Senator (D-CO) said, “What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”
Virtually everything being advocated by the Obama administration represents this willingness to take action and tell lies about the nation’s need for energy, with the exception of the worst ways of producing it, wind, solar, and biofuels. Even before gasoline prices climbed to new highs, negatively affecting all aspects of life in America, Dr. Steven Chu, the Secretary of Energy, was advocating higher prices.
The few quotes cited here do not begin to illuminate the horrors that environmentalism would visit on mankind or the nihilistic view it holds, but they represent a far greater body of Green writings and statements over the years that indicate the extent of the threat it poses to humanity.
A deluge of environmental propaganda will precede Earth Day, April 22, 2011. It should be seen as a warning to all who believe in the Creator and all who wish to advance a world at peace, one in which humanity benefits from trade, prosperity, and modern technology worldwide.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Of course lies make fools of people like Al Gore, and this should give the millions who supported him at least a little pause for thought. Al Gore doesn't care because he has taken the money and run long ago in a classic scam. Far worse are the billions of dollars of taxpayers money spent to promote the hoax and finance "alternative" sources of energy that are doomed to be economic failures and disaster. The most notable of these failures are solar, wind, ethanol and to a lesser degree, geothermal energy.
Now the people are paying for this huge hoax with lost jobs, increased taxes, a more unstable world, governments hopelessly in debt and an increasingly restive population, as we've just seen in Egypt. Hang on to your hats, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Friday, January 28, 2011
We've been lied to by people like Al Gore (and Carol Browner) long enough. Read on, and for some background on these issues, search the archives of this blog and others. Books will be written on this whole issue for decades to come and Al Gore will go down in history as thoroughly discredited as the namesake of the "Ponzi Scheme" or all others who defraud the public on a massive scale. The truth will prevail.
By Matt Cover
(CNSNews.com) – The abrupt resignation of Carol Browner, President Barack Obama’s global warming czar, and the omission by Obama of global warming from his State of the Union speech on Tuesday could mean that the White House has given up on global warming, according to climate change analysts.
Browner, who announced her resignation Tuesday, led the White House effort to enact global warming legislation and policy. A former director of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, Browner was well regarded in the environmentalist community and served officially as director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama left out any reference to global warming or the more ambiguously named climate change, seemingly abandoning what had been one of the most prominent policy areas of the past two years.
Browner’s signature legislative goal – cap and trade legislation – failed in Congress last year when it was not brought up for a vote in the Senate after narrowly passing in the House.
Most recently, Browner was rumored to be in the running to replace Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. Instead of Browner, Obama chose former J.P Morgan Chase executive William Daley.
ClimateDepot.com proprietor Marc Morano told CNSNews.com that Browner’s departure was likely a sign of frustration with Obama and the president’s lack of attention to her signature issues.
“She’s probably frustrated with Obama’s lack of commitment on this issue,” Morano said. “I think Carol Browner is frustrated because she realizes Obama is not the man she thought he was when it comes to global warming.”
“Obama is terrified of the issue – it’s never been more than a check-box issue for him – so she was basically reduced to not doing that much of anything and she realized that nothing was going to happen,” he said.
Morano also said that Browner probably read the writing on the wall following the November election that swept a wave of conservative Republicans into Congress, effectively making any new environmental legislation all but impossible.
“I think she realizes that her hands may be tied,” Morano said. “She [probably] doesn’t feel like she can be as effective as she wants to. She is a hardcore, committed greenie [environmentalist].”
Morano said that Obama’s omission of global warming from his State of the Union indicated that he would be “running” away from the issue in 2012 because it has become politically unpopular.
“Browner doesn’t want to be in a position where she’s going to be open to a lot of shots especially with the new Republican House and not be able to do what she wants to do because Obama’s going to be focused on reelection and running terrified of the man-made global warming issue,” said Morano.
“The new political expediency is skepticism,” he said. “Man-made global warming is the new butt of jokes in Washington.”
Myron Ebell, director of Energy and Global Warming Policy at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, said it was “hard to say” why Browner left, citing her rumored loss of the chief of staff position.
Ebell said that her departure and Obama’s omitting global warming from his speech may indicate that the administration was merely putting global warming policy on the back burner, preferring a stealthier approach.
“It may be that the White House decided, well, we’re off global warming and she’s the point person on global warming so she no longer has a role here,” he said.
“Remember that when Obama acknowledged this fall that cap and trade was not going to be enacted he said that – and this is pretty close to an exact quote – that there’s more than one way to skin that cat,” said Ebell. “And I think what they’re doing is they are adopting a lower-profile policy, a set of policies, to achieve the same goals without ever mentioning global warming or cap and trade or anything that will allow us to refer back to candidate Obama’s comment when he was senator [to the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle] that ‘under my cap and trade plan electric rates will necessarily skyrocket.’”
“They still want that, they just want to achieve it in a way that the public will have a much harder time seeing and therefore opposing,” said Ebell.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
The real tragedy here, beyond the waste of huge amounts of taxpayer money to the detriment of all, is the fact that that the entire motivation to develop these alternative sources of energy has been based on the enormous hoax that is the concept of man-caused global warming. It is all blamed on the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the burning of "fossil fuels" like oil, gas, and coal. What an utterably idiotic and scientifically untenable theory! Yet so successful has the environmental industry or lobby been over the past several decades, led by shysters and hucksters like James Hanson and Al Gore, that many people have bought into the myth. Indeed an entire industrial and academic cult has grown around this huge hoax.
Fortunately for all of us the man-caused global warming hoax has been exposed and all things relating to it are predictably coming to an end. As far as I am concerned it can not come any time too soon. Read on and search this blog for articles and information supporting and outlining the demise of the myth of man-caused global warming, or what is now popularly and ridiculously called "climate change".
Written by John O'Sullivan, Suite 101 20 January 2011
Image via Wikipedia
Huge new recent discoveries in gas, oil and rare mineral deposits see major investors and governments bail out of a collapsing green energy market.
Environmental investments look to be going up in smoke according to Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (January 20, 2011). Peiser presents a swath of news reports making distinctly unpleasant reading both for environmentalists and green investors.
European Governments Signal End to Renewable Energy ‘Bubble’
Peiser shows the rush away from green energy began in earnest in December 2010 when first a pro-green Spain slashed funding for wind projects by 35% and declared photovoltaic plants would be cut by 45%.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Climate-change funds shift focus from wind, solar
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The poor performance of some sectors aiming to slow climate change is pushing money managers to cast further afield for investments that both carry green credentials and are likely to post better returns.
Some renewable-energy stocks, such as those in solar and wind industries, have fallen spectacularly in recent years, belying hopes that they were poised to break out.
Money managers say this poor performance is in part due to a lack of hoped-for policies to help these industries grow. As a result, say the managers, they are looking at other areas of the market that are part of the climate-change story, such as recycling and energy efficiency. Even eBay Inc , as a promoter of reusing goods, fits the bill.
"Nobody's questioning the long-term prospects, market share or gains of [renewable energy] sectors, but over the medium it's not been that good," said Vipin Ahuja, manager of Allianz RCM EcoTrends Fund . "So people are looking elsewhere for sustainable stories for the next couple of years."
Ahuja's fund, which he joined about one year ago, is down 19% a year in the past three years, according to data from Morningstar Inc.
The deteriorating prospect for new policies to combat climate change has been palpable at the recent U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancun, where delegates from nearly 200 countries met to hash out a possible extension of the Kyoto Protocol and other policies.
The more sober atmosphere this year, particularly compared to the gathering's predecessor in Copenhagen, reflected toned- down hopes the world's largest polluters would reach agreement on policies to combat global warming and promote renewable energy. Read MarketWatch's coverage of the Cancun climate talks.
Those downgraded expectations have left their mark on solar-panel stocks, once Wall Street darlings.
In mid-2008 First Solar Inc.'s stock trading at close to $300. Today, it's at about $132.
It's a similar story with many of First Solar's peers, including SunPower Corp. , whose stock has fallen from close to $100 to about $12 in the past 30 months. The MAC Solar Energy Index is down an annualized 27% in the past three years.
Others in the renewable energy space have also suffered, such as wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems , which has seen its stock price fall from more than $140 in 2008 to less than $30 a share this week.
One example of how politics has hurt the renewable sector is the failure to pass a federal renewable portfolio standards policy. The rule would have forced utility companies across the U.S. to supply a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources.
"That discouraged many utilities from signing, for example, agreements for wind [farm] installations," said Colm O'Connor, a portfolio manager at Kleinwort Benson Investors who is part of the management team on Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund, which is down an annualized 26% over the past three years, according to Morningstar.
"In the past year we've avoided wind and solar investments," said Richard Mercado, manager of London-based F&C Global Climate Opportunities Fund.
Merchado said the fund has been looking more at the natural gas sector, and -- in a theme several money managers repeated -- also at so-called mainstream companies with a climate-change slant. For example, eBay is one of the fund's investments as it "promotes re-using products and not throwing them out," said Merchado.
Merchado said the most represented sector in the fund is energy efficiency. This focus chimed with that of other managers, several of whom pointed to developments in LED technology as an example of the trend. As the costs come down, use of LEDs in anything from televisions to traffic lights increases, and lighting for commercial spaces becomes possible.
Another example of looking at efficient, rather than renewable, energy is demand-response technology. These services let utilities manage consumer demand more efficiently by relaying energy usage data back to providers.
O'Connor said he plays demand response by investing in meter makers such as EnerNOC Inc. and Comverge Inc. .
Ben Allen, director of research at Parnassus Investments, said that since 2007 his firm has invested in Waste Management Inc. , which he said has been focusing on energy efficiency by turning waste into electricity. Another company Parnassus likes is Cooper Industries PLC, in part because of the company's growing LED business.
Allianz RCM's Ahuja said his fund's holdings in LED-related companies went from zero to about 15% in the past year.
Sticking with it
But though solar and wind have suffered recently, that's not the whole tale. For example, while there's no federal renewable portfolio standard, O'Connor said that 29 states have their own standards. And the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the stimulus bill -- created two programs of credits to promote renewable power projects.
What's more, Ahuja noted that global demand for solar energy grew 100% in 2009. And, he said, some solar companies have seen their share prices grow, or at least hold up better than others, in recent years, such as China's Trina Solar Ltd. and Yingli Green Energy Holdings .
Some sectors in the climate change theme, such as renewables, are subject to policy volatility, said Bruce Kahn, senior investment analyst at DB Climate Change Advisors, a unit of Deutsche Bank .
"I agree that the area is struggling in the short term, but we're investing in the long-term trend and trading around the volatility," he said. "It tells me that you can't pick sectors when dealing with this kind of volatility -- it's a stock-pickers universe."