A tale of two visions today - one from Capital Hill where a congressional committee is about to hold a hearing on climate change, and the other via the Wall Street Journal noting that more and more companies are installing their own energy generation - particularly solar.
As the graphic shows, they are finally holding a hearing in the House on Climate Change but the committee is stacked with climate change deniers - you know, the same folks who believe in Unicorns. So while there will certainly be some entertaining sound bites, it is unlikely in the extreme that any meaningful policy will come from this committee. Instead we will be advised that climate change is a hoax, that humans are too puny to harm the Earth, and that in any event, doing anything about it is too expensive and a “job killer.”
Which brings us to the other story (h/t ClimateCrocks.com) about companies installing their own energy generation. Whether it is biomass from their own waste or solar modules on their roofs, more and more companies are installing energy generation as a hedge against increasingly expensive energy from the conventional utilities.
Now no one would accuse Walmart of being some enviro-hugging feel good corporation - so why are they leading this parade? It is simple, they know that these measures are saving them lots and lots of money - and that is the type of green they value the most.
So while their allies on the Hill insist that measures to address climate change are ruining the economy, companies like Walmart are boosting their economic fortunes by adopting the very measures that, coincidentally, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. And that’s no hoax.
We came across this image of recent precipitation patterns in the United States over the past thirty days (H/T ClimateCrocks.com) and it is pretty startling - check it out:
What this map reveals is the Western half of the continental United States consisting of two broad swaths of record drought bracketing an area of record rainfall - none of which is anything like “normal.”
The red in California has contributed to the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park that burned to an area greater than the size of New York City.
Dead center in that sea of purple lies the flooded cities and towns of Colorado.
This sort of “extreme” weather is becoming less extreme in the sense that it is far less rare and approaching the new normal.
For the full story, click on the map.
As everyone knows, major storms, like hurricanes, are given human names like Katrina, Sandy or Ivan. But what did these folks ever do to deserve such infamy? Why not names storms, made far worse by climate change, after those who deny climate change? Surely they are more, worthy! (H/T Climate Denial Crock of the Week.)
That thought experiment leads to the following, very clever and very snarky video:
If you care to sign the petition, you can do so here. (We were number 2986.)
Unicorns are a charming fantasy; mythical creatures from a world that never was.
But to activists trying to bring reason to the Climate Change debate, Unicorns are just as real as the world inhabited by climate change deniers. Noting that “one good fantasy deserves another,” yesterday, activists awarded Unicorn shaped statues to 135 members of Congress who deny that the climate is changing and that human activities are the cause.
Sadly, such mockery is well deserved. Look at this collection of jaw-dropping quotes collected just from members of the California Congressional delegation:
The earth cools, the earth warms…It could be caused by carbon dioxide or methane. Maybe we should kill the cows to stop the methane, or stop breathing to stop the CO2…Thousands of people die every year of cold, so if we had global warming it would save lives…We ought to look out for people. The earth can take care of itself.
Rep. Duncan Hunter
One of the difficulties in examining the issue of the climate change and greenhouse gases is that there is a wide range of scientific opinion on this issue and the science community does not agree to the extent of the problem or the critical threshold of when this problem is truly catastrophic.
Rep. Darrell Issa
We’re all told of course the debate is over and that all the scientists agree… and as all of you know, that is succinctly [sic] not the case.
Rep. Tom McClintock
However, scientists admit that they cannot be sure whether the Earth’s temperature is rising due to cyclical warming and cooling processes, or whether and how much humans are influencing it.
Rep. Devin Nunes
Too often, when congress is asked to pass environmental legislation, the legislation is based on emotional junk science rather than data based on reproducible, rigorous, tested, peer-reviewed results. In no area has this been more obvious than climate change. Because the Kyoto Treaty and much of the suggested environmental legislation would decimate jobs in southern California, constituents may be interested to learn of the growing scientific consensus that global warming is not manmade, if it is in fact even occurring.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
Wow. And because a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s some highlights (er, lowlights) of these wizards of Fantasyland in action:
Fortunately, we have our own antidote to this brand of concentrated stupidity. It is called solar energy and it is a great way to do your part in reducing our carbon footprint, making the world a better place for our children to inherit. Give us a call today and let’s start moving toward a cleaner world, no matter what the deniers say.
A Terrawatt hour of energy - 1 TWh - is a whole lot of energy. It is one thousand, million kilowatt hours of energy. A typical home uses roughly 25 kWhs of energy per day, which means that 1 TWh of energy could run that house and some 110,000 more just like it - for a year! That is indeed, a lot of energy - and that is the amount of energy Enphase systems have reported generating since 2008.
A cool blog post over at the Enphase website reports that at the same time that they were rolling out their new, fourth generation microinverter to much fanfare, they quietly reached the 1 TWh milestone. With more than 100,000 systems installed worldwide (3.3 million units shipped), Enphase is gathering 150 gigabytes of data - each day! (We can only hope that their data centers are solar-powered!)
At Run on Sun we are proud to say that our solar installations have helped contribute to that 1 TWh of energy. To date, systems installed by Run on Sun have accounted for 279 MWh of energy - enough to keep 31 homes fully powered for a year. That is how solar adds up - from lots of small to mid-sized installations around the country we start to combine to have a big impact on energy use. That is a trend that is growing ever more rapidly - and with the growth of clean renewable energy, we lower Greenhouse Gas emissions and save water, too!
Give us a call or click on the button on the right and let’s get you started on joining this wonderful world of renewable energy.