Thursday, November 29, 2007

Really Good Things

A cryptoclimatological discoverist from the Kansas state legislature expounds on the Great Chain of Being:

A state legislator Wednesday criticized rejection of two coal-fired power plants in western Kansas, saying carbon dioxide emissions were good for crops.

“One of the really good things about CO2 is that plants perform better under stress (drought, etc.) with increased levels of CO2,” Rep. Larry Powell, R-Garden City, said in a letter disseminated to the media.
Ideally, CO2 will increase agricultural yield, which'll increase earth's carrying capacity, which'll increase earth's population, which'll increase CO2 emissions, which'll increase agricultural yield. World without end, amen!

Powell's information comes from a report by Craig and Keith Idso, who've been singing this tune for many years now (with a little help from ExxonMobil and the rabidly pro-coal Western Fuels Association).

All their huffing and puffing will come to nothing, though. Coal is the fuel of the past; the fuel of the future is low-grade synthetic crude extracted from oil shale with "portable" nuclear reactors that may or may not actually work:
Though it would produce 27 megawatts worth of thermal energy, Hyperion doesn’t like to think of its product as a “reactor.” It’s self-contained, involves no moving parts and, therefore, doesn’t require a human operator....

“The lab is doing a lot of work on oil shales and oil sands, but there’s no way to get power to those facilities,” Blackwell says. “So, this nuclear battery would be brought in and that would provide the power to run a small city of industrial use.”
Oil shale extraction is thirsty work. But since increasing CO2 emissions will make crops more drought resistant, it seems logical that this'll free up water for the oil shale boom.

All things considered, I'm feeling cautiously optimistic.

(Photo: Mid-day dust storm in Garden City, Kansas, 1935.)


Anonymous said...


I saw your post at Eschaton about "illegal immigrants"who make a difference. The head of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins is an "illegal" from Mexico. Just saying...

olvlzl said...

One of the great services Molly Ivins provided was the reporting on the activities of the Texas legislature. Just when you think that no governmental body could be stupider than congress, someone in a state legislature somewhere proves that it hardly has a monopoly on addle brained idiots. Having seen and known a number of legislators in Maine and New Hampshire (Molly would have had a field day) the only question is whether state legislatures or local government is the real locus of idiocy and corruption. I'm guessing that in most cases it's the locals, on whom no one is reporting except the local rag whose owner is a locally based crook too.

Anonymous said...

God, what next.

The last I looked, I was one of those cops that beat the shit out of that Rodney King character. Hard enough to live with, basically wiping out the positive karma of being a photographer known nation-wide for my treatment of the Viet-Nam Memorial (not incidentally, a nice bit of sensitivity, seeing as I'm not even an American), and at the same time a reasonably well-known academic sociologist operating out of, as I recall, Alabama. Some other minor manifestations, as I recall, mostly in the line of more-or-less minor malignancies such as realtors or the like; nothing that I can't rise above, with a bit of diligent caritas. And now and then there is a flash of the real me, always a welcome bit of validation.

But now this. I'm a global warming denialist. One that rose up in a democratic venue and pissed into the lucent chalice of science, for all to see. I am besmirched. And I read it here first.

A new terror is brought, willy-nilly, to our horrified attention in this Age of Brass. The Google Doppelganger. Find out in an instant what's being done in your name. Live with it.

It's an alias for me, from this day forward.

(not the above, but quite another) Larry Powell (quondam)