Sunday, February 24, 2008

One Love

I've been interested in the rise of coal production -- I've noticed a few bad signs in my readings over the last few months -- law exemptions, plant openings... the kinds of murmurings that are single lines in disparate stories from time to time.

I wrote my favorite friendly climate scientist, Dr. Andrew Dessler to ask what he'd heard of late. All he said was that "coal production is an unmitigated disaster and should be halted immediately."

Of course, that's not what's happening.

A report from the Energy Information Administration, the official energy statistic site from the US government, projected coal production for the next many years. "In the IEO2007 reference case, world coal consumption increases by 74 percent over the projection period, from 114.4 quadrillion Btu in 2004 to 199.0 quadrillion Btu in 2030 (Figure 54). Coal consumption increases by 2.6 percent per year on average from 2004 to 2015, then slows to an average increase of 1.8 percent annually from 2015 to 2030."

Furthermore, " Although coal currently is the second-largest fuel source of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (behind oil), accounting for 39 percent of the world total in 2004, it is projected to become the largest source by 2010. The two key factors underlying the increase are a more rapid projected growth rate for world coal consumption than for oil consumption and the fact that carbon dioxide emissions per unit of energy output are higher for coal than for oil or natural gas. In 2030, coal’s share of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions is projected to be 43 percent, compared with 36 percent for oil and 21 percent for natural gas. "
I still keep thinking of Dickens -- and illustrations from his books of coal filled air. (This is one of the originals from Bleakhouse.)

One of the biggest factors right now is China -- where the country is changing so rapidly and is searching for ways to keep up with their own population.

But all over people are seeking alternatives to oil. I was reading another story in the Times today about wood heat -- it seems that all over the North East folks are dragging out their wood stoves to combat heating prices. Sounds good to me -- when I was younger, I lived with my mom in the middle of nowhere Maine -- we used an old Russian fireplace for heat -- a wood burning chimney that heated the whole house by conducting heat through bricks and tile floors.

"Air pollution is still a major concern, particularly with wood boilers. A 2006 report from the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, a nonprofit association of Northeast air quality agencies, found that average particulate emissions from one outdoor wood boiler equaled that of 22 wood stoves, 205 oil furnaces or as many as 8,000 natural gas furnaces."

That I did not know. I didn't want to know it, either.
(From A Tale of Two Cities.)

Yesterday I talked a little bit about the pitfalls of two opposing motivations finding themselves with the same goal -- I was referring to the desire to find an alternative for oil -- those who would like to find an economic relief from the price of oil and those who would like to find an environmental relief from the price of oil may both move to further the production of ethanol. Still, because their motivations are different, should something go wrong, one group may no longer find the solution palatable. What then?

My friend Debbie said the question reminded her of a protest she saw in downtown Boston a few years ago -- there, Orthodox Jews and Nazi skinheads were protesting along side each other in condemnation of Israel. The Jews believe that Israel is an error because it is the requirement of Jews to live in peace with all living things. Not so much the Nazis.

Is one group glad of the others' success? Do the ends justify the means?

For me, it made me think of a very different situation -- but one, too, where opposing motivations wind up in collaboration of sorts. If one person is pursuing love and another is pursuing sex and the two find themselves together...

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
(Bleakhouse: The morning.)

What we want is not the same. What we need ...

One Love, One Heart
Let's get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (One Love)
Hear the children crying (One Heart)
Sayin' give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Sayin' let's get together and feel all right

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love)
There is one question I'd really like to ask (One Heart)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me

One Love, One Heart
Let's get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love)
So shall it be in the end (One Heart)
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
One more thing

Let's get together to fight this Holy Armageddon (One Love)
So when the Man comes there will be no no doom (One Song)
Have pity on those whose chances grove thinner
There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation

Sayin' One Love, One Heart
Let's get together and feel all right
I'm pleading to mankind (One Love)
Oh Lord (One Heart)

Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let's get together and feel all right

-- Bob Marley

No comments: