Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Via Benny Peiser

Obama's energy pick endorses nukes, clean coal | Green Tech - CNET News
WASHINGTON--Energy Secretary nominee Steven Chu was greeted with warm approval from a congressional committee during his confirmation hearing Tuesday, at which he acknowledged the need to pursue nuclear and clean-coal energy but promoted energy efficiency as the best means of addressing the nation's energy challenges in the face of a dour economy.

"I feel very strongly what the American family does not want is to pay an increasing fraction of their budget on energy costs," Chu said before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "That we do the best we can on energy efficiency--that, in my mind, remains the lowest hanging fruit."
He said federal loan guarantee programs should be used to jump-start the nuclear industry while the nation develops a long-term plan for safe disposal of waste and researches ways to recycle waste in an economically viable and safe manner.

"The recycling issue is something we don't need a solution for today, or even 10 years from today," Chu said. "It's like coal--one doesn't have a hard moratorium on that while we search for ways to capture carbon safely."

Chu said the United States, India, China, and Russia will not turn their backs to coal, so it is critical to find ways to use it as cleanly as possible, a sentiment many senators agreed with.
Diplomat: Continuity, not change, will shape Obama's foreign policy : Europe World
Brussels - Europe should expect continuity, rather than change, from president-elect Barack Obama on key foreign-policy issues such as Iran, the Middle East and missile defence, the United States' outgoing ambassador to the European Union said Tuesday. And on climate change, one of the most crucial issues on this year's global agenda, Obama will likely echo his predecessor's insistence that any deal should also include India, Brazil and China, Ambassador Kristen Silverberg said.
Europe's expectations are especially high when it comes to the fight against climate change, which made little headway during the Bush administration.

However, Obama will likely echo Bush's demand that a post-Kyoto deal, due to be discussed in Copenhagen in December, include other large polluters such as China, India and Brazil.

"The barriers to a final agreement in Copenhagen won't be disagreement between the US and Europe ... the real challenge will be whether we can work together to secure the agreement of countries like Brazil, India and China, and whether we can make sure it is a truly global agreement."
Why state R&D flops
Those inclined to give credence to such grandiose plans would be well advised to read a recent book titled -- somewhat misleadingly -- Sex, Science & Profits, by British academic Terence Kealey. The book deals with the nature of science, the history of technology and the role of governments in promoting economic growth. It provides a devastating critique of states' failure to fund economically useful knowledge, and suggests that all spending on "technologies of the future" is likely to wind up down the drain.
iTWire - Is the Internet becoming uncool for greenies?
A leading analyst believes that the Internet is in danger of becoming a target for green groups and anti-global warming organisations because of the massive power consumption of data centres. Is it possible that the greenies may soon target the Internet industry as environmental vandals?
Europe's energy crisis demonstrates not only the dangerous dependence on Russian gas supplies. It also lays bare the fact that Europe's green climate and energy policy, in particular the continuous blockade of new nuclear and coal power plants, threatens to turn into a strategic fiasco.
--Benny Peiser, Die Weltwoche, 15 January 2009

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