Intertwined with the AGW issue is alternative energy and energy saving products. One such item that I profiled late last year was the LED light bulb. One particular company that had created a buzz with their projection of selling LED bulbs during the 1st quarter of 2008 was Polybrite. I even interviewed the president of Polybrite and put the interview in the blog post titled "A true revolution in lighting". A reader (rbtl) was browsing through the old blog posts yesterday and commented on Polybrite. Thanks so much for bringing this up again rbtl! Rbtl provided a link to a blog about the parent company of Polybrite which is Goeken Group Corporation. A recent post is critical of the parent corporation for promising LED technology and not delivering. Since I was told that the LED bulbs would be available this year (before April) and I did not see anything delivered, I tried to contact the company a couple times over the last two months. So far I have not gotten a reply, which has me worried. LED lightning has huge potential. It could reduce energy demands in the U.S. by a significant margin. What has happened? Maybe the slow economy affected their decision. Single LED bulbs from Polybrite could cost $10 to 15. Even though LED bulbs could save people money in the long run, they might not be able to afford them right now. Another possibility is that the major light bulb manufacturers have sunk a ton of money into compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs and even though CF bulbs are inferior in nearly every measure, the companies still want to get a return on their investment. So maybe they are holding out on the delivery of LED bulbs. If I get a response from Polybrite I will be sure to share it with you. Sylvania was one of the companies that was supposed to distribute LED bulbs this year, but I haven’t seen any standard LED bulbs on their website. I In the meantime here is another website that caught the LED story late last year.
In any case, the product is not a hoax. In my own house, I am still using the sample lights I received . They work great. I hope whatever problems or barriers that exist will be resolved and LEDs will be available to the general public soon. LED bulbs are part of the solution for a cleaner more efficient future.
Some people claim we had better start being more efficient today and stop using fossil fuels or we are all doomed. James Hansen made news earlier this week by saying "if we don’t stop using fossil fuels we are all toast". Now there is a new way to put it. Here is another write-up about Hansen’s latest. I suppose he has to come up with some new terminology because he has been saying we are doomed since 1988. I have heard the "if we don’t stop using fossil fuels NOW…we are all doomed" line for more than 15 years. In the intervening time period, floods have occurred, tornadoes have occurred, hurricanes have ravaged coastlines, droughts have caused food shortages, but we certainly have not met our doom. Not even close. After monitoring the issue for so long I have become a bit jaded and little skeptical every time a new headline crosses the wire proclaiming environmental Armageddon. It just keeps on year after year after year. A lot of these predictions go all the way back to the 1960s. Even though Paul Ehrlich’s book "The Population Bomb" turned out to be complete and utter fiction – a big scare story – people still listen to and believe him when he speaks out on environmental issues. I suppose if you are in the business of "doom and gloom" then you just keep on saying it year after year hoping to be correct at some point, or perhaps there will be some significant event at which point you can at least partially say "I told you so".
On the opposite end of things, I suppose people could define me as a skeptic, but that is not my gig. I try to take a more measured tone – adapting as the conditions change. If you read the blog often, you know that I advocate all kinds of alternative energy solutions (light LED lighting) and give out all kinds of tips on how to conserve gas and save money. I ride my bike every chance I get! My opinion is that we should invest in the new technology that will reduce our need for fossil fuels but not force people into paying carbon taxes. Technology and progress is what has kept us out of the "Armageddon scenarios". Every time someone like Malthus, Ehrlich, or Hansen makes a prediction of disaster, they don’t take into account the most important resource of all, and that is human ingenuity.
If you are a frequent reader of the blog, you know I keep track of all the predictions of disaster in the "AGW list". It is the big list of bad things that have occurred or will occur because of AGW (anthropogenic global warming). There are new things that come out every day but I am finding it harder to add to the list because there is so much on it already. Almost every bad thing that could possibly happen to the planet has already been prophesied, so now it is getting to be repetitive. This article claims there will be more wars due to AGW. This is at least the tenth time we have encountered this prediction in the last 8 months, so it is already on the list. It is interesting to note that levels of violence and war have been in a long term decline and it continues today – even with the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan. Check out this TED video if you don’t believe me.
This article claims that long distance migratory song bird populations have declined because of AGW. We already have a couple of bird items on the list so this one will only be an update.
Here is another repeat, a prediction that disease will become rampant among the animal kingdom. It does use some new terminology with regards to honey bees - "colony collapse disorder" so I think we can add it. The article also makes a pretty dramatic statement:
Global warming is predicted to lead to extreme swings in weather events such as droughts and floods. These could theoretically lead normally tolerable diseases to converge and trigger multiple outbreaks of epidemics with catastrophic mortality.
So here is the updated AGW list:
(More bee colony collapse disorder and other multiple infectious disease outbreaks, Caribou populations will decline, 1 in 8 bird species could go extinct – including long distance migratory song birds, eucalyptus leaves will become less nutritious and Koala bears will die, the 2008 tropical storm disaster in Myanmar, Tropical bugs will not reproduce, toxic chemicals will pour out of glaciers, Narwhals will go extinct, more deadly algae blooms, more poverty, a massive increase in volcanic activity, new disease outbreaks from previously frozen corpses, irreversibly alter water circulation in Lake Tahoe, dramatically decreased rice production, fewer flowers in the Rocky Mountains, the Butterfly fish will starve, transportation system will be ruined, air pollution related deaths will increase, tropical fish could go deaf, more “ocean deserts”, more tundra wildfires, collapsing oceanic food webs, sharks devastating Antarctic sea life, the drying up of Lake Mead by 2021, plant-devouring insect invasions, poor food quality, increased human mortality, more solastalgia/mental illness, more wars, the past 1993 conflict in Somalia, more intense heat waves, more heat deaths, polar bears starving, Isle Royale Moose dying, Walruses dying, Penguins starving (including King penguins), Australian bats dying, more hurricanes, less hurricanes, more intense and bigger hurricanes, more stormy weather, rising oceans, more acidic oceans, California wildfires, more droughts, more floods, future disastrous declines in food production, coral reefs (hard and soft) dying, enormous extinctions of plant and animal species, massive loss of fish in the Bering Sea, the earth literally being torn apart, Amazon deforestation, a bigger ozone hole, a smaller ozone hole, less fresh water, more obesity, more hunger, more asthma, more allergies, more infectious disease, …more to come)
That is is for today. I will be on vacation until next Tuesday. Be sure to tune into Megan and Brian’s forecast over the next couple of days to keep up to date on the severe weather chances. It looks like Friday will be the day with the highest threat.
Meteorologist Justin Loew
Posted under Uncategorized
This post was written by jloew on June 25, 2008