Killer cold

Europe is suffering a hard winter cold snap which is killing hundreds. A state of emergency has been declared in Bosnia where they’re evacuating areas:

…more than 100 remote villages have been cut off by 6 1/2 feet (2 metres) of snow in the mountains. More than three feet (1 metre) fell in Sarajevo, the capital, where a state of emergency has been declared. Three helicopters cruised over eastern Bosnia Sunday, delivering food and picking up people who needed evacuation.

The harsh weather (not climate) is a tragic reminder that it’s cold we should fear, not slightly milder weather that may or may not be blamed on a trace gas.
When cold comes, we get real refugees, not the fake kind that the UN claimed.
Let’s hope the Eastern European weather warms up soon, the death toll is already over 300 as of this morning.

Killer cold

Europe is suffering a hard winter cold snap which is killing hundreds. A state of emergency has been declared in Bosnia where they’re evacuating areas:

…more than 100 remote villages have been cut off by 6 1/2 feet (2 metres) of snow in the mountains. More than three feet (1 metre) fell in Sarajevo, the capital, where a state of emergency has been declared. Three helicopters cruised over eastern Bosnia Sunday, delivering food and picking up people who needed evacuation.

The harsh weather (not climate) is a tragic reminder that it’s cold we should fear, not slightly milder weather that may or may not be blamed on a trace gas.
When cold comes, we get real refugees, not the fake kind that the UN claimed.
Let’s hope the Eastern European weather warms up soon, the death toll is already over 300 as of this morning.

Green technology not so green

The EU has ruled solar panel manufacturers exempt from regulations that restrict the use of dangerous toxins in products.

EU ministers voted on Friday to exempt solar panels from a ban on toxic substances in electrical goods, enabling leading maker First Solar to keep selling its products in the industry’s biggest market.

Also exempted were mercury-laden CFL light bulbs:

Energy-saving light bulbs are also temporarily exempted from the directive.

Canada announced a mercury reduction plan last March, but exempted CFL’s,  for no good reason other than political expediency.  The frozen North later redeemed itself by announcing a two-year delay in the ban on incandescent light bulbs.

The problem toxin for solar panels is cadmium telluride (CdTe), which according to Wikipedia is a pretty nasty piece of work:

[Its]toxicity is not solely due to the cadmium content. One study found that the highly reactive surface of cadmium telluride quantum dots triggers extensive reactive oxygen damage to the cell membrane, mitochondria, and cell nucleus.[5] In addition, the cadmium telluride films are typically recrystallized in a toxic solution of cadmium chloride. The disposal and long term safety of cadmium telluride is a known issue in the large scale commercialization of cadmium telluride solar panels.

 

Remember, too, the wind turbines beloved of hippies everywhere contain rare earth minerals that are possibly the least green thing to drag up out of the ground.  Worse even than the vilified oilsands. But what happens in China, stays in China, so it’s okay.  Oh, and wind turbines chomp up rare birds with an appetite that even Michael Moore can’t match.

Imagine if the Koch Brothers had demanded the EU give a pass to something they manufactured using CdTe.  The leftosphere would implode under it’s own weight.  Greenpeace, the NRDC and Sierra Club would be frothing at the mouth with indignation and calls for donations. But mostly calls for donations.

But because the tech in question is solar, and therefore green?  Crickets, chirping.

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Heatballs frozen out

The EU was one of the first jurisdictions to ban incandescent light bulbs.  Canada and the USA soon followed, ensuring that the Chinese would profit as the only manufacturer of mercury-laden compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s).

There is no good reason to ban the old and popular light bulbs, except as green tokenism.  The main complaint against them was that they emit heat as well as light.  In fact, they are very efficient heaters, which led some enterprising Germans to attempt an end run around the EU’s bulb ban.  Meet the Heatball:

a bright idea

The German authorities were not amused and have seized a shipment of 40,000 heatballs, claiming that the mini-heaters are the banned light bulbs.

We applaud the attempt at giving the people what they want, but instead of clever stunts, what the EU needs is an election.  The US light bulb ban may be overturned after the mid-term rout of the Democrats, and that’s good news for everyone, including Canadians who will be one short border-run away from safe light bulbs that won’t poison pets or cause migraines.

Win.

Old posts about dangerous and useless CFL’s here, here, here, here and here.

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Italy has a solar FiT

Italy has overtaken the US in the pace of building solar power capacity, using feed-in tariffs (FiT)to subsidize the electricity generated by the photovoltaic (PV) panels, much like Ontario has.

The Italian subsidies are not as generous as in Ontario, but the cost of energy in Italy must rise once this power is generated and Italian homeowners are forced to pay more than double the regular rate for PV produced electricity.

The cost of traditional power in Italy is between 9 and 15 cents/KWh for industrial or residential consumers.

The feed-in tariff rate for PV in Italy:

source

The FiT rates are not sustainable, even if the energy is, but there is at least one home-grown green group that would love to make the kind of return on investment PV panel owners are promised.  If you subsidize it, the Don will come.

Round-up tomorrow.

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