Composting is fashionable in the creation care and environmentalist movements. Recycling food scraps and yard waste into soil prevents their going to waste. Between
is compostable, including human waste. There are two basic ways to compost:
. Composting has
. Cold composting can take up to a year to produce poor soil containing unsafe microbes. Hot composting requires considerable labor but uses safer microbes. Both require nitrogen-based additives. Other ways of composting use pests, requiring safe containment. Composting can
, and its odors can nauseate people, making it unsuited to urban and suburban settings. It can provide rich nutrients for gardens and small farms, but it is only worth it with enough space and a large supply of waste. The
, let alone cost of materials, quickly exceed the price of fertilizer. In short, it is best on commercial scale.
The same predictions for renewable power have been made for more than 30 years, and yet they keep falling flat. The first image is of the March 22, 2012, headline for
Thirty-four years ago WSJ published a prediction that by 2000 solar would account for 20 percent of U.S. energy needs. Today, twelve years past the predicted date, solar accounts for 8 hundredths of 1 percent—less than 1/250th the prediction in WSJ
. What should we make of E&E News’s
new prediction that in 20 years solar will contribute 10%–15% of global power?
Recent Significant Developments
Economics & Energy“Greenbacks” Energy Boondoggle Versus Real Energy
(Paul Driessen, Eurasian Review
The Obama administration has pushed to have the “production tax-credit” (PTC), a recently extinguished tax credit that paid wind energy producers even if they weren’t contributing to energy markets, reinstated. “The American people are no longer buying the partisan rhetoric. They increasingly understand that new taxes and restrictions on oil companies are not in their best interest. In fact … over 80% of US voters support increased domestic oil and gas production.” Support for “Green” initiatives is waning
UK Has Vast Shale Gas Reserves, Geologists Say
(Henning Gloyststein & Christopher Johnson, Reuters
“UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed one thousand trillion cubic feet … or five times the latest estimate of onshore shale gas of 200 trillion cubic feet.” This amount of natural gas could allow Britain to be an exporter of energy, powering its economy, if the British people can get their government to allow it. The government is slowly yielding to pressure to allow more drilling. [More here
Religion & EthicsRise in Scientific Journal Retractions Prompts Call for Reform
(Carl Zimmer, New York Times
In the past decade retractions in scientific journals have increased tenfold, while published articles have only increased 44%. Why? Fierce academic competition pressures scientists to publish, even if data aren’t complete or hypotheses are weak. There is more to it, though. “Dr. Ness likens scientists today to small-business owners, rather than people trying to satisfy their curiosity about how the world works. ‘You’re marketing and selling to other scientists,’ she said.” The poor climate of scientific research requires that your science be tailored to some interest, as opposed to pure research and testing.
FREE Announces Three Environment Conferences for Religious Leaders
The Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) will host three environmental conferences for religious leaders this summer:
- Faith, the Economy, & Social Justice: Lessons from Butte, America—at Gallatin Gateway, MT. The conference is designed around economic and environmental justice.
- Stewardship Parables from Greater Yellowstone—at Gallatin Gateway, MT. The conference emphasizes environmental stewardship.
- Explorations in Social Entrepreneurship—at Elkhorn Ranch, Gallatin Canyon, MT. The conference focuses on developing entrepreneurial visions for environmental improvement.
For more information, visit FREE online at www.free-eco.org
Law, Regulation, & LitigationThe EPA’s Fracking Miracle
(The Wall Street Journal
“The Environmental Protection Agency once again invited itself to do tangible economic harm—this time to the hydraulic fracturing that is transforming American energy—and somehow … it didn't. In the annals of the unlikely, the EPA's new fracking rules fall somewhere between a Nobel Peace Prize for George W. Bush and a supply-side tax plan from Warren Buffett.” [See the rule here
.] EPA’s lack of self-restraint caused what Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) called “the lost energy decade.”
Related item here
Mercury and Air Toxics Standard Takes Effect amid Mounting Legal Pushback
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
(MATS) quietly took effect on [April 16], kicking off the three-year compliance period mandated under the Clean Air Act…. MATS applies to electric generating units larger than 25 MW that burn coal or oil to generate power for sale and distribution through the national electric grid…. Under the rule, about 1,400 units at about 600 power plants … will be required to reduce emissions of heavy metals … but about 40% of coal-fired units covered by the rule still don’t use advanced controls.” About half of all states are challenging the rule due to the enormous cost and limited health benefits.
Politics & DebateParliament Shoots Down Commission’s Energy Tax Plan
Emerging energy-hungry nations like Poland are rejecting energy-austerity recommendations from the European Parliament. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warns that coming competition
from shale gas drilling across the world, especially in the United States, threatens Russia’s oil exports. More here
Shift on Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals
(Charlie Savage, New York Times
President Obama fights for increased executive power to act without Congressional approval, arguing that America cannot wait on the ineffective legislation of a divided Congress. His unilateral rule affects every issue, especially energy. Conflict over the Keystone XL pipeline
has caused tension between the White House and Congress, especially in light of President Obama’s declining support
on delaying it.
Food & AgricultureEffects of Elevated CO2 on Growth Rates of Three Coccolithophores
(Fiorini, S et al., Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change, 3/27/12)
“The growth rates of three coccolithophores [algaes] were measured by Fiorini et al. (2011) in laboratory batch cultures in both their haploid [one set of genetic material, reproductive] and diploid [two-sets of genetic material, budding] life stages, while they were growing in filtered seawater maintained in equilibrium with air containing either 400 or 760 ppm [carbon dioxide]. ‘the growth rate was consistently higher at elevated pCO2.’” Similar results
were found with Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), which provide most of the worlds oxygen production.
Science & EcologyAstronauts condemn NASA’s global warming endorsement
(Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner
“In an unprecedented slap at NASA’s endorsement of global warming science, nearly 50 former astronauts and scientists--including the ex-boss of the Johnson Space Center--claim the agency is on the wrong side of science and must change course or ruin the reputation of the world’s top space agency.” Read the open letter here
Proof that “Climate Disruption” Is Found All the Way Back to Pre-Industrial Times
(Anthony Watts, WattsUpWithThat.com, 4/10/12)
“A new paper in Quaternary Science Reviews
… demonstrates that there is evidence for extreme weather during both the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age, in fact it was seen as common according to the tree ring records examined.“ Paper here
“Gaia” Scientist James Lovelock: I Was “Alarmist” About Climate Change
(Ian Johnson, MSNBC.com, 4/23/12)
James Lovelock, the scientist who first promoted the “Gaia hypothesis”(that the Earth should be thought of as a single organism), has admitted that the globe is not warming as fast as he once feared. He admits that in the last twenty years climate disasters have not played out according to prediction, meaning global warming alarmists were wrong.
Resisting the Green Dragon
More and more churches and other groups are using Cornwall Alliance’s groundbreaking 13-part video series around the country. With its printable discussion guide, it provides full curriculum for a Sunday school quarter. The accompanying book helps teachers and others dig deeper.
Join Cornwall Alliance Facebook Group Page
To keep up with relevant developments, join Cornwall Alliance’s Facebook Group
page, where we and group members will post and discuss items daily.
Recommended Sites and Newsletters
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
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