1. Bobby B.

    To expand upon my penchant for “cherry picking”, let’s broaden the scope and dissect a few consecutive statements from this article (instead of just one):

    1. “Banks have taken notice of green energy opportunities, including investing in wind and solar technologies. But it’s also become aware of the growing financial risk to companies, such as Duke Energy Corp., that emit carbon dioxide.”

    a) It makes perfect sense to me for big banking to focus a majority of its investment capital on technology that will one day produce all of 5% of the world’s energy needs. They may see some nice short-term gains but the long-term logic seems a bit flawed.

    b) Financial risk to companies like Duke Energy? How so? They currently tap, refine and distribute natural gas (much cleaner than petroleum based products), and turn a nice little profit in the process. The only financial risk would be the result of some invasive new euro-socialist laws that grandfathered penalization of their particular operation. This naturally leads to the next statement.

    2. “Federal regulations appear on the way from the Democratically controlled Congress, which has been considering how to regulate the gas, blamed as a major cause of global warming.”

    Typical class envy, social politics at work here. The democrats want to use the issue of global warming (still an unproven science) to redistribute wealth from their historic political adversaries to their present political co-conspirators. Yeah, I know, both sides do it but only one claims that it’s “for the children”. Wrong, just like the other side, it’s for their own political and personal gain.

    3. ‘We have decided, as have other banks, to start assessing the cost of carbon in our risk and underwriting processes,’

    It may a good business move. However, when the oil and gas and coal industries start pulling their vast wealth out of the coffers of big banking, what will the banking industry have left? We serfs don’t have enough invested to make up that kind of shortfall. Sure the fed can print up “funny money” to fill their safes but without a solid and supportive industrial sector you just get hyper-inflation. That’s a good formula for making more of us common folk dependent upon the government teat. And by the way, when the dust settles, traditional energy will still be around and still finding ways to make money.

    Three cheers for Bank of America’s vision…

  2. Rose Jones

    Why are you posting on “Sustainablog” if you think
    “global warming” is still; “unproven science”?
    This is stick your head in the sand thinking.

  3. Maria Surma Manka

    Bobby B – It’s a financial risk to Duke Energy because they operate a lot of coal plants that emit CO2, not just natural gas like you said.

    Tim – Thanks, but the multi-media brilliance was all Jeff! ha!

  4. Bobby B.

    Rose – I post on “Sustainablog”, because Jeff said that I would always be welcome to post on his blog and that he appreciated most of my dissenting views. If he were to take away that privilege, it would be perfectly okay with me but completely counter to his beliefs regarding free speech and the exchange of ideas. Wouldn’t advocating restrictions on free speech be “stick your head in the sand thinking”?

    But let’s go one more step with the analysis. I heard today at an industrial energy conference that “perception is reality”. The speaker was basically issuing a warning that the perception of global warming (regardless of the “science” involved) would become reality once the the democrats own both houses of congress and the presidency; and that businesses need to be prepare for the coming confiscatory penalization regarding GHG. This preparation would likely explain why big energy is buying up the more promising, green upstart companies. Hence, a reinforcement of my argument that “traditional energy will still be around and still finding ways to make money”. Those that seek creative solutions for the future will always trump those that only point out today’s shortcomings.

    Maria – Coal is king when it comes to generating electricity and will continue to be when the dust has settled, unless you guys are willing to get on board with nuclear energy. The coming advancements in clean coal will keep it viable for decades. So, rather that rail against it in its entirity, why not support the efforts to make it better?

  5. Maria Surma Manka

    Bobby B – Many clean energy supporters also support cleaner coal technologies, including myself. The point is to cut emissions so we don’t keep adding to the global warming problem – and if coal can be part of that solution (and I think it has to be because of our over-reliance on it) instead of adding to it, great If not, then we’ve got to look at ramping up other sources.

  6. Bobby B.

    I don’t know if we should accept the statement that we have an “over-reliance” on coal as completely accurate. At least its origins are primarily domestic, which helps to avoid the international concerns such as we have with oil and natural gas. The sheer quantity of the stuff combined with its accessibility, its ease of processing, the established delivery routes, and the century-plus-proven methods of extracting its high energy content have made it the foundation of the electric energy pyramid. And technology continues to step up to minimize its environmental impact. It might be nice to consider replacing it wholesale with something “cleaner”, but such technology would need to pay similar output dividends and thus far nothing really does.

    Excluding nuclear from the discussion, wind, solar and ocean current power production are nice ideas but far from capable of meeting today’s demands; much less tomorrow’s. These leading green technologies are also far from perfect. Wind farms have a history of bird kills, noise pollution and low energy output. They are making improvements but there is still much progress to be made. However, even the greenies in Massachusetts don’t want them in Nantucket Sound simply because they are so unattractive. Solar has a low input-output ratio and the collectors are grossly overpriced. There have also been long-standing safety concerns regarding employees that might fall off of the larger collectors while cleaning them. Solar panels have to be cleaned periodically to maintain what effeciency they have and falls are the number one work place killer. So, the concern is legitimate and OSHA doesn’t allow industry to play around with safety. Ocean current power is still in its infancy, so I can’t say too much about it one way or the other.

    To close, does anyone ever wonder what happens to the energy that bounces off of a solar collector? Knowing its inherent ineffeciency and the reflective properties of the materials used to make them, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a large amount of energy gets bounced back towards the atmosphere? Would canvassing the vast expanses of land that would be necessary to power even one city with solar collectors unintentionally accelerate global warming by reflecting heat back into what you guys believe is an atmosphere overburdened with heat collecting CO2? The land and seas act as a heat sink. If you cover the sink with mirrors, where does all that unused heat go? Why aren’t your IPCC approved scientists asking such questions, if a commoner like me can think of them?


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