Future Energy eNews December 29, 2003 Integrity Research Institute

Future Energy eNews December 29, 2003 Integrity Research Institute

1) COAL: US keeps promoting it while Canada and Europe are growing up and moving beyond it.

2) MAGLEV TRAIN: Sets new speed record in Japan - 361 mph.

3) ENERGY RELIABILITY: Energy grid legislation reviewed by Alliance to Save Energy

4) ENERGY DEPLETION: Oil and gas situation evaluated by geologist, Dale Allen Pfeiffer

5) GLOBAL WARMING: Now connected to 150,000 deaths says the United Nations WHO

6) ENERGY FUTURES: Conference in NJ - Feb, 2004 - presented by the Energy Management Institution

7) ENERGY MOVEMENT: New organization formed by astronaut and author, Dr. Brian O'Leary

Lester R. Brown December 3, 2003 http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update30.htm

On Monday, November 24, the U.S. Congress abandoned all hope for this year
of passing an energy bill laden with subsidies for fossil fuels, including
coal. While the White House strongly supports heavy subsidies to expand coal
burning, other industrial countries are turning away from this
climate-disruptive fuel, including our northern neighbor, Canada.

In Ontario, Canada's most populous province, the three major political
parties agreed early this year on the phase out of that province's five
large coal-fired power plants by 2015. This bold plan accelerated with the
early October election of Premier Dalton McGuinty, who has pledged to close
all the coal-fired power plants by 2007, eight years ahead of the earlier

The goal is to clean up the air locally and help stabilize climate globally.
In terms of cutting carbon emissions, shutting down just the huge Nanticoke
power station on the shore of Lake Erie would be equal to taking 4 million
cars off Canadian roads.

Ontario is the first Canadian province to turn its back on coal. Its
political leaders simply concluded that the health and environmental costs
of coal burning are too high. Jack Gibbons, Director of the Ontario Clear
Air Alliance, calls coal "a nineteenth century fuel that has no place in
twenty-first century Ontario." Other East Canadian provinces including Nova
Scotia and New Brunswick may soon follow its lead.

Several leading industrial countries are turning away from coal including
the United Kingdom and Germany. The United Kingdom, which used coal to
launch the Industrial Revolution more than two centuries ago, cut coal use
by 40 percent between 1990 and 2001 mainly by substituting natural gas.
(Data at www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update30_data.htm.)

Germany, Europe's largest industrial economy, cut coal use by a comparable
41 percent from 1990 to 2001. Reduced subsidies, gains in energy
productivity, and the massive harnessing of wind energy means the use of
coal may be on its way out in Germany as well.

Although some major industrial countries, such as the United States and
Japan, are still increasing their coal use, world use has changed little in
the last 5 years. And the movement to phase out coal is gaining momentum.
The Economist, a business-oriented publication, which surprised many readers
in July 2002 with a cover story entitled "Coal: Environmental Enemy Number
1," is urging adoption of a carbon tax to discourage coal use.

If global temperature continues to rise and the world experiences more
crop-withering heat waves of the sort that shrunk the grain harvests of
India and the United States last year and of Europe this year, or the
life-threatening heat wave that claimed 35,000 European lives in August, the
pressure to move away from coal will intensify.

There are two ways of reducing coal use. One is raising energy productivity.
The other is shifting to less carbon-intensive sources of energy. Just one
quick example on the productivity side. If a world increasingly concerned
about climate change were to decide that over the next three years all of
the old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs would be replaced with the new
compact fluorescent bulbs, which use less than a third as much electricity,
hundreds of coal-fired power plants could be closed.

On the renewable side, wind power, now expanding by over 30 percent a year,
is on its way to becoming one of the world's leading sources of electricity.
Europe is the leader with 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity.

In early October, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) updated its
projections for wind electric generation, raising them by one-fourth to
75,000 megawatts by 2010 and to 180,000 megawatts by 2020. In 2020, EWEA
projects that wind-generated electricity will satisfy the residential
electricity needs of 194 million Europeans, half the region's population.

As though on cue, two weeks later the United Kingdom approved construction
of four massive new offshore wind farms. Western Europe, with enough
offshore wind out to a depth of 40 meters (130 feet) to satisfy most of its
electricity needs, is fast turning to this new source. While the North Sea
is rich in both oil and wind, the oil is being depleted; the wind is not.

Solar cell use worldwide also is expanding by over 30 percent a year. The
cost of solar cell generated electricity is falling steadily but lags the
fall in the cost of wind power by roughly a decade.

Unfortunately, the United States is falling behind in both wind and solar
energy development. Once a leader in wind electric-generation, it has ceded
leadership to Europe. And in solar cell production it recently has been
eclipsed by Japan. If Congress resuscitates the energy bill next year, it
should consider the global environmental consequences of its actions, the
job-creating potential of these new energy sources, and the long term costs
of lagging in the development of these new energy industries.

Lester R. Brown is President of the Earth Policy Institute and author of
Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble.
Additional data and information sources at www.earth-policy.org
or contact jlarsen@earth-policy.org

2) Japan's Maglev Train Sets Speed Record
The Associated Press, December 2, 2003,

TOKYO (Dec. 2) - A magnetically levitated Japanese train raced to a new record Tuesday, topping its own record set just last month.

The experimental maglev set the world's top speed for a train, clocking 361 mph in a test run in Yamanashi Prefecture (state), west of Tokyo, Central Japan Railway Co., which is carrying out the experiments, said in a statement.

Maglev trains differ from conventional trains in that magnets lift them slightly off the track, eliminating speed-reducing friction and reducing noise.

A Japanese maglev train runs on a test line in Tsuru, central Japan.

The maglev is part of a government-financed project to develop faster trains for a country that is already home to some of the world's speediest. Central Japan Railway Co., part of the former state-run railway, is jointly developing the maglev with Japan's Railway Technology Research Institute.

Germany has developed a maglev train, and the United States also is planning one.

Cal Poly: Fundamentals of Maglev

Ed. Note: IRI offers a comprehensive Eric Laithwaite: Gyromagnetic Genius Report documenting the life and complete publication collection of the inventor of magnetic levitation (maglev), including Britain's first experimental maglev train. Visit www.integrityresearchinstitute.org for ordering information.

3) The Electric Reliability Security Act of 2003 (S. 1754)

Alliance to Save Energy, e-FFICIENCY Archive: http://www.ase.org/e-FFICIENCY/archives December 10, 2003

After the California blackouts and price spikes in 2000-2001, an aggressive energy efficiency campaign reduced electricity use in California by a remarkable 7% in just one year, and helped avoid future problems. Yet in the wake of the Northeast-Midwest blackout of 2003, the "comprehensive" energy bill Congress considered this fall does nothing to promote similar measures nationwide. Regardless of whether that energy bill passes or dies next year, we need to take action now to save energy and increase the reliability of our aging electric grid.

The Electric Reliability Security Act of 2003 (S. 1754) is an innovative and timely bill to improve electric reliability in the U.S., in large part through energy efficiency. It was introduced on October 17, 2003 by Senator James Jeffords (I-VT). This bill includes both a strong Public Benefit Fund, which would fund local energy efficiency programs via a small surcharge on electricity bills, and an Energy Efficiency Performance Standard, which would require electric utilities to meet customer demand in part through flexible measures to reduce energy use rather than by building more power plants. Each of these programs would do more to save energy than everything in the "comprehensive" energy bill combined.

Please urge your Senators to move our nation towards energy security, consumer savings, and a healthy environment by cosponsoring S. 1754. The Electric Reliability Security Act of 2003, introduced by Sen. Jeffords, would do more than the whole "comprehensive" energy bill before Congress to create a more efficient and reliable electric system.

Over the last two decades, states have worked with regulated utilities using "Integrated Resource Planning" and utility demand-side management programs to avoid the need for almost 100 300-Megawatt (MW) power plants, saving consumers billions of dollars. However, utility spending on public benefit programs nationwide has been cut in half as the electricity industry has been partially deregulated. We need new federal policies that can bring the benefits of efficiency back to the electric system. Two of the most effective national policy strategies for increasing energy efficiency are a federal public benefits fund (PBF) and a federal energy efficiency performance standard (EEPS).

S. 1754 includes both a strong PBF, which would create a guaranteed stream of funds for energy efficiency via a small surcharge on consumers' electricity bills, and an EEPS, which would require retail electricity suppliers to meet customer needs in part through energy efficiency and load reduction programs rather than by constructing new generation and transmission facilities. The bill also includes:

·Support for real-time demand response to reduce electric load at peak periods through time-based metering and communications technologies;

·Net-metering and interconnection standards to promote distributed generation, as the production of electricity at the site of use through small, efficient or renewable generators can reduce transmission load, enhance reliability, and cut environmental emissions; and

·Mandatory reliability standards and other reliability provisions.

In light of the recent electricity blackouts in the Northeast and Midwest and in California, as well as the looming natural gas crisis, increasing the efficiency of our electricity infrastructure is crucial. We should act now to make real improvements in the efficiency and reliability of our electric system by having other Senators cosponsor S. 1754.

4) Energy Depletion
By Geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer EV World, December, 2003 www.evworld.com and http://home.earthlink.net/~annallen0416/energydepletion.html

The world will soon face a choice between driving our cars or feeding our families. Modern agriculture is heavily dependent on fossil fuels to run the equipment, fertilize the crops and kill the pests.

5) Global Warming Kills 150,000 People a Year, Warns UN
By Terry Kirby, Friday 12 December 2003
Independent UK,

Global warming is killing about 150,000 people a year, mostly in deprived and tropical areas, and the toll could rise dramatically if efforts are not made to combat climate change, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned yesterday.

The United Nations agency said the health of millions of people was under threat as a consequence of rising temperatures and uncertain weather patterns, which many scientists claim are caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

The WHO said climate change could cause increases in malaria and other insect-born diseases, malnutrition and pollution-related diseases, as well as deaths from extreme one-offs such as this summer's heatwave in Europe.

The report, which has been published this week to coincide with the UN conference in Milan on climate change, blamed global warming for 2.4 per cent of diarrhea cases and 2 per cent of all cases of malaria worldwide. It estimated that, by 2030, climate change could cause 300,000 deaths annually and that a further 5.5 million years of healthy living had been lost worldwide due to debilitating diseases caused by rising temperatures.

The report said: "The 1990s were the hottest decade on record and the upward trend in the world's temperature does not look like it is abating. In Europe this past summer, for example, an estimated 20,000 people died due to extremely hot temperatures."

Much of Europe suffered heavily in the heatwave because air conditioning is not common in homes, in part because of high energy costs. The conference heard on Wednesday insurance estimates which suggested that the European heatwave cost $10bn (£5.7bn). Hospitals in London had reported an increase in admissions of young children suffering renal problems. Dr Bettina Menne, a WHO hygiene specialist, said the problems were probably linked to dehydration during the heatwave.

The WHO said that installing air conditioning in homes, workplaces, hospitals or residences for the elderly would also risk increasing the emissions of gases from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

Kerstin Leitner, the WHO assistant director general, said: "There is growing evidence that changes in the global climate will have profound effects on the health and well-being of citizens in countries around the world."

The report said that even a rise of a few degrees in average annual temperatures could expose millions more people to the threat from malaria. This would be by both extending the malaria season in countries, where it is already endemic, and also by allowing the malaria mosquito to live in countries where, at present, it cannot survive, such as Europe. Other diseases spread by mosquitoes, such as dengue fever, could also increase.

Hotter and wetter conditions are also likely to increase the spread of diarrhoeal disease, which is particularly dangerous to children. And people living in deprived conditions who cannot afford proper refrigeration are more likely to eat food tainted with increased bacterial contamination, caused by higher temperatures. Countries which are heavily dependent on a predictable monsoon season for the cultivation of rice crops - such as India, Bangladesh and Burma - are more likely to suffer increases in malnutrition if the changes affect the reliability of the rainy season.

The report also said that increasing air pollution might lead to a rise in allergic conditions, such as asthma, and lung and respiratory complaints.

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7) Brian O'Leary Forms New Energy Movement Organization

Brian O'Leary, Ph.D., December 10, 2003, www.brianoleary.com

As most of you know, the world has plunged into a
physically unsustainable situation, one in which U.S.
energy policy has become a total disaster--for the
environment, for peace and for a future in which we
can have energy sources we can count on. The fact that
such sources are now being researched is very
good news, but the public awareness and support of
this is almost totally missing.

To meet this need, some of us have formed the New
Energy Movement, a nonprofit whose purpose is public
education, debate and support of promising new energy
sources with the objective of zero emissions globally by
2020. Our new website
will give you a better idea of what we're doing and how
you can become involved.

Courtesy of http://www.integrityresearchinstitute.org, wishing everyone a Happy New Year and Peace on Earth.

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