September 25, 2013

Blog Stew in a Shale Bowl

 ¶ The big Colorado environmental news of the day: Shell abandons its Western Slope shale oil project. Back in 2010 I linked to an article about why oil shale was not the magic road to energy independence.

 ¶ After the recent flooding in the Big Thompson canyon, some residents refused to leave and created their own local govenment, complete with mayor, security chief, and road-and-bridge department.

Elsewhere, the flood may speed up the process of gentrification and trophy housing.

Wind farms kill eagles. And those are just the bird deaths that someone bothers to record. I really wonder if some day we won't look back on giant wind farms as the equivalent of the dirigibles (airships) of the early 20th century—cool-looking technology, but never really worked out.

The wind farms are not working out too well in Germany.
The government has vowed to break dependence on fossil fuels and source 50 per cent of all electricity from wind, solar, and other renewables by 2030, and 80 per cent by mid-century. But cost estimates have reached 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) over the next 25 years. "It is a worthwhile goal, and the whole world is looking to see whether Germany can do it, so we can't fail. But there have been so many mistakes," [Christoph] Schmidt [chairman of Germany's Council of Economic Experts] said.

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