Day: September 18, 2008

Coal-to-Liquid: Useless

Liquid transportation fuels derived from coal and natural gas could help the United States reduce its dependence on petroleum. The fuels could be produced domestically or imported from fossil fuel-rich countries. The goal of this paper is to determine the life-cycle GHG emissions of coal- and natural gas-based Fischer−Tropsch (FT) liquids, as well as to compare production costs. The results show that the use of coal- or natural gas-based FT liquids will likely lead to significant increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels. In a best-case scenario, coal- or natural gas-based FT-liquids have emissions only comparable to petroleum-based fuels. In addition, the economic advantages of gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuels are not obvious: there is a narrow range of petroleum and natural gas prices at which GTL fuels would be competitive with petroleum-based fuels. CTL fuels are generally cheaper than petroleum-based fuels. However, recent reports suggest there is uncertainty about the availability of economically viable coal resources in the United States. If the U.S. has a goal of increasing its energy security, and at the same time significantly reducing its GHG emissions, neither CTL nor GTL consumption seem a reasonable path to follow.

Comparative Analysis of the Production Costs and Life-Cycle GHG Emissions of FT Liquid Fuels from Coal and Natural Gas.

To summarize, no cost benefits, increased GHG emissions, a lot of uncertainty, let’s not follow this madness of trying to make coal into gasoline.

Palin's E-Mail Practices and Accountability

McCain's vice-presidential pick apparently used the accounts to communicate with key aides about government business

ABC News: Experts Don’t Yahoo Over Palin’s E-Mail Practices.

If I were to use my gmail account for official company business, I would get into all kinds of hot water. Many companies would consider it a serious violation of policies and procedures. Yet Americans want these people running their country? No standards whatsoever.

Tariq Ali: Has the U.S. Invasion of Pakistan Begun?

The decision to make public a presidential order of last July authorizing American strikes inside Pakistan without seeking the approval of the Pakistani government ends a long debate within, and on the periphery of, the Bush administration. Senator Barack Obama, aware of this ongoing debate during his own long battle with Hillary Clinton, tried to outflank her by supporting a policy of U.S. strikes into Pakistan. Senator John McCain and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin have now echoed this view and so it has become, by consensus, official U.S. policy.Its effects on Pakistan could be catastrophic, creating a severe crisis within the army and in the country at large. The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are opposed to the U.S. presence in the region, viewing it as the most serious threat to peace.

Tomgram: Tariq Ali, Has the U.S. Invasion of Pakistan Begun?

This part of the world could see even more escalation in violence and death. Imagine the terror in the population as unmanned drones routinely fly over and drop bombs from the sky. The US government created this problem in the 1980s when fighting its proxy cold war. It decided that communism was a big enough threat to justify the arming of religious fundamentalists. We still continue to pay the price.

When will this colonialist meddling end? If the last 100+ years have shown us anything, Western forces cannot control this region by force, yet they keep trying, keep killing people and keep the flames alive.

Unfortunately, the women and children of this area just don’t have good alternatives. They either get oppressed by their moronic fundamentalist men or get western bombs hurled from the sky at them. Would 20 years of peace, under even fundamentalist conditions, provide enough stability to make incremental change possible? I don’t know, but I do know that unmanned “drones” dropping bombs from the sky will not bring peace.