"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kansas Rejects Coal!

Despite Kansas' reputation for not being particularly at the cutting edge of scientific controversy, Bob Park reports:
EMISSIONS: "THIS DOESN’T LOOK LIKE KANSAS," DORTHY [sic] SAID.
The Kansas Department of Health yesterday rejected a permit for a proposed
coal fired power plant saying emissions threaten health and environment.
It was the first government agency to cite CO2 in denying a permit, in
keeping with a Supreme Court ruling in April that EPA must treat CO2 is a
pollutant, http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN07/wn040607.html . "Quite
simply," Governor Sibelius [sic] said, "we have an obligation to be good
stewards of this state."
This is great! Maybe there's not that much wrong with Kansas after all?

Local news report here; Grist has already discussed this as well.

Unfortunately, the CNN report which implies this might not hold up is probably realistic. Still it's good to raise people's awareness that electricity generation is the biggest part of the problem, and a few people obsessively unplugging microwaves won't really help that much.

Soapbox time: The coal people should get nothing until they they get sequestration working. We should be open to sequestration (and minimally destructive mining practices) though, and we should all, producers and consumers, get used to the idea that energy is going to cost much more than it does now.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems the governor's name is Sebelius, not Sibelius... It was not your error, of course.

Anonymous said...

And I might add, a thought provoking piece of news. Somebody has been listening to the people (like you or Hansen)... it's not all been in vain!

Michael Tobis said...

It's awfully flattering to be in the same sentence as Hansen.

On the other hand, Eli recently put me in the same sentence as Vaclav Havel!

I'm not sure what you all expect from this sort of flattery. It's not as if I have a lot of influence in the world.

Do keep it up, though; it keeps me going...