Saturday, November 1, 2008

Some Suggestions, Please...

This is still a fairly new blog, so I am not sure if I have enough of a reader base to get many comments on this post. However, I am looking for some suggestions or feedback for reading material or things to take note of or pay attention to when it comes to environmental awareness. Please note, that although I frequently chastise the "Green movement" on my blogs, I do so not because I do not care about the environment. It is because I care about it enough to realize that most of the sorts of things that "environmentalists" waste time staging protests over are not the things that they should be worrying about.

Most of the time, environmentalist protests are mere publicity stunts that only accomplish in pissing people off without doing anything useful for the environment at all. The average "environmentalist" seems to be somebody who protests about issues that are a threat to a philosophy governed by neo-luddism; i.e. scaling back production and consumption because modern technology is "evil". This as opposed to a true environmentalist who is concerned enough about the environment to identify what the real problems are as derived by credible scientific research and suggests practical solutions to them, instead of wanting to drag everybody back to the middle ages.

I care about the environment not just because I am a biologist and I like plants and animals. It is also because from a pragmatic standpoint, you cannot isolate humanity from the natural environment. Whatever heavy metals leak into the water table or poisonous substances drift into the air, you and I will eventually ingest or inhale. There is no running away from that fact. Other species may long be affected before humans are by this phenomenon, but a dirty environment would not do anybody any favors. I also admit that for me, there is a bit of a sentimental dimension to this as well. I would much rather look at a beautiful forest or a rustic coastline, rather than miles of solar panels or wind turbines.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that I want to know what would be the best sources of information for credible environmental news or research? I do not consider myself an expert on this subject by any means. However it is often hard to determine what "big" issues are based on valid evidence and what are not as you read the daily news, as even otherwise intelligent leaders are buying into pseudoscience. The government mandated wasting of money in the form of subsidies for wind, solar, and ethanol across the world is a prime example of this. None of these three sources of energy are economically feasible. All they are doing is driving up costs for food and energy, in addition to destroying valuable or beautiful land just so the Greens and various politicians can feel good about themselves. The fact that even otherwise intelligent people have bought into this fiasco hook, line, and sinker disgusts me to no end.

I have been recommended a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjørn Lomborg during a conversation with a friend of mine who is a respected geologist. I have not had a chance to read it yet. Has anybody else who is currently reading this blog read this book? What other recommendations would my readers make?

18 comments:

Rod Adams said...

I have been enjoying Cool It by Byorn Lomborg and Beyond Fossil Fools by Joseph Shuster.

If you have not yet read Gwyneth Cravens's Power To Save The World you should definitely add that to your list.

Welcome to the pro nuclear blogging community, Neurovore.

Rod Adams
Atomic Insights

Randal Leavitt said...

"The Bottomless Well"
PW Huber and MP Mills
ISBN 0-465-03116-1

"Nobody's Fuel"
DH Lightfoot
http://www.nobodysfuel.com/

"Canadian Nuclear FAQ"
Dr J Whitlock
http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/

"Nuclear Issues"
JAL Robertson
http://www.magma.ca/~jalrober/

"A Fading Fad"
R Leavitt
http://positiveenergy.blogspot.com/2008/07/fading-fad.html

DV8 2XL said...

You wouldn't go wrong reading EcoWorld blog which supports rational environmentalism (to the point where they have been unfairly called 'deniers.' The often have several pointers to articles and books that take a less strident, and more scientific view of the issues.

I would also like to welcome you aboard as well. Thank Rod for pointing me here.

Neurovore said...

Thank you for your contributions, gentlemen. I will be sure to take a look at these suggestions as soon as I am able. I am glad that there are still some sane environmentalists.

By the way, I am also a frequent reader of DrBuzz0's blog. He mentioned that if you take all of the hysteria surrounding depleted uranium and apply it to a series of chemical substances known as dioxins, you might have something. Apparently, dioxins are highly poisionous and they do not break down, in addition to being easily taken up by living organisms.

I do not know enough about dioxins to be able to confirm or deny this. What exactly is a dioxin and where can I find out more about them? Are they really as bad as DrBuzz0 says they are?

Marcel F. Williams said...

I'd strongly recommend Nobel Prize winning Chemist, George Olah's 2006 book: Beyond Oil & Gas: The Methanol Economy. He has a great chapter on nuclear energy.

You should probably visit my blog where I frequently discuss nuclear and renewable energy and resolving some of the problems related to these technologies at:
http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/

I also recommend joining the message board forums:

Know Nukes Forum:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Know_Nukes

and

All Energy Forum:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/All-Energy

Marcel

Jim Holm said...

The Solar Fraud (Why solar energy won't run the world.) [Second Edition] by Howard C. Hayden, PhD. http://www.EnergyAdvocate.com

Jim Holm

http://www.coal2nuclear.com

(a work in progress)

J Tjostem said...

I am a retired biology prof with an interest in our world energy situation. In addition to Cravens and Shuster I would commend Senator Pete Domenici's A Brighter Tomorrow.

Neurovore said...

One thing that I have always wondered about as well is this tidbit of information that I have heard from an instructor of mine, many years ago. He said that one of the biggest sources of pollution is actually raw sewage runoff from cities with inadequate sewage systems or improperly enforced sewage treatment regulations. He mentioned a tourist town in Wisconsin as an example (I forgot the name) of which the population rapidly expanded. Because of this, the network of piping carrying untreated sewage water did not keep up with the rapid increase of population. Every time it rains, raw sewage runoff from the dilapidated pipes flows into the surrounding water table. None of the politicians in the town want to put forth the money to fix it, because putting in new pipes and repairing the older ones would be a huge expense that would probably mean raising city taxes.

Just how big of a problem is raw sewage runoff in small to mid-sized urban areas?

Robert Hargraves said...

There is a reading list of books for my course, Energy Policy and Environmental Choices: Rethinking Nuclear Power, at
http://rethinkingnuclearpower.googlepages.com

Pete said...

Regarding the sewage problem in Wisconsin, I think you are referring to a cryptosporidium outbreak in 1993. The root cause of this was apparently an improperly designed intake pipe for the city's water supply.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_Cryptosporidium_outbreak

Neurovore said...

I see. Thank you for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

"Hard Green" and "The Bottomless Well" by Peter Huber. "Energy Victory" by Robert Zubrin. "Megawatts and Megatons" by Garwin and Charpak. Anything by Richard Rhodes.

Over 700 communities in the USA have sewage overflow during "high" rains. This is as designed, to save money previously.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2008/09/stormwater_and_sewage_the_fate.html

http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/cso/demo.cfm

Richard said...

Hi,

Just come across your blog and found in interesting.

People may be interested in your views and / or information on the GNEP programme.

Regards

Richard

Neurovore said...

Hello, Richard. It is always nice to see a new face around here. If I may ask, how did you come across N^4?

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