Friday, November 13, 2009

Electric Carbon Labeling Proposal

Climate Change vs. Global Warming

Advocates of the Kyoto protocol - which was supposed to fight Global Warming by shutting off, and robbing, rich countries - prepare now for The Treaty at Copenhagen, where the plan to rob rich countries, and launder money to other countries.

Unfortunately the concept that the earth will moderate it's own climate very well, thank you, seems to have reared it's ugly head. So now the watch-word is "Climate Change", instead of "Global Warming". Different problem, but the tree huggers are still monitoring cows eking out that methane, and gasping at coal fumes.

President of the United States B. Hussein Obama is expected to laud the efforts. His own Cap and Tax plan is straight from the One World Government plan of the tree huggers heading to Copenhagen. The Treaty intends to tax our Cap and Tax plan, tax the US as a bonus, and take responsibility for enforcing the environmental provisions of The Treaty, and of the One World Government that treaty creates.

(Hint to B. Hussein Obama: They will pick someone *else* to be the world leader. You couldn't buy that ticket any more than you could buy getting the Olympic committee to pick Chicago. It won't happen. And odds are that they won't pick any of your buddies in Iran or Venezuela, either.)

My Proposal

Let's require the EPA, appliance and car makers, ISP's and hosting services, utility companies, and all others - to label the amount of carbon that a coal fired plant uses to generate that electricity.

How much carbon?

Let's survey all coal-fired plants. For each, determine how many kilowatt hours of electricity are produced in the course of a year, and how many tons of coal were burned. A year makes a nice, round, seasonally adjusted total. It doesn't take into account the variations from year to year as the earth warms . . or cools . . or other factors, but it gives us a starting figure. Only count electricity consumed or provided for use by customers of the power station.

Figure out how much electricity and fossil fuel, from diesel to natural gas to propane, to mine and transport all that coal to that power plant.

Compute the tons of coal burned, plus the carbon burden to get that ton of coal to that plant, for each kilowatt hour *delivered* from the transmission lines leading from that plant. The utility companies know and work with "line losses" all the time - they *know* what percentage of power placed on the power line is lost (heat and electromagnetic losses) in getting a kilowatt hour of energy to a customer.

Multiply the largest amount of carbon per kilowatt hour by 0.707106781187, or sqrt(2)/2. This ratio is commonly used to find the Root Mean Square, the power factor of alternating current electricity. It is the difference between peak power and RMS power - a useful distinction.

The Goal - end coal fired plants.

Let's assume, for a moment, that climate change and burning coal in power plants have anything in common. Stop laughing. Now, if we thought that burning coal in power plants was the single most reprehensible thing that humankind is doing to destroy the environment. I am looking at you and your deforestation disasters, Asia, Bolivia, Africa. And I am counting all those plane trips to Copenhagen, tree huggers.

Anyway, then obviously the goal has to be to stop using the last kilowatt hour of electricity that requires that last coal fired power plant to keep operating. I mean, if we drop our usage below that threshhold, we can stop using that power plant, right?

So, until that happy day, we label everything that uses electricity. That car charger, that electric water heater, that electric pencil sharpener. We post how many kilowatt hours that gizmo uses in a year of average use. Because if that DVD player uses one kilowatt hour per year, then that might be the very last kilowatt hour that prevents turning off that last coal fired power plant. So every kilowatt hour is identical, and each might be the last. So label each and every use as to how many pounds or tons of carbon using that electricity is responsible for.

What about stuff that doesn't use electricity - AA cell batteries, and garden broad forks, UPS delivery and, and AT&T, The US Congress and the jail in Newkirk, OK? Any organization with an electric light, a computer, an electric pencil sharpener, an electric jail cell lock - they use electricity. Utility companies should include the pounds of carbon each user is responsible for, with total kilowatt hours, on each monthly bill. Each organization and individual should have to report their total kilowatt hours on their income tax return, to keep the US government apprised of who is responsible for consuming coal, and emitting carbon dioxide from electricity generation. And so the government would know when to turn off that last coal fired power plant.

All services, from fast foods to web hosting, would have to label prominently how much carbon they expended, as a function of kilowatt hours and as reported on their electric bill, the preceding month.

Electric vehicles aren't carbon free.

The point, is that electric-only cars, and plug in hybrids, still cause carbon to be consumed. Just not directly, as fossil fuels. That electricity used to charge up that car *might* have come from Hoover Dam. But that kilowatt hour is *usage*, and is no more carbon neutral than that last kilowatt hour needed to justify keeping that last coal-fired power plant on line.

And new cars, of whatever fuel, should have a sticker that lists how much carbon, in direct fossil fuels and electric-equivalents, was consumed to mine and process the metals and other components of that car, of transporting materials from origin, processing, to assembly, then transported to the point of sale.

And no fair only including carbon expended within the US, for materials and goods imported from other countries. If you can't audit the carbon trail, you can't sell it in America. Ha! We could all be California boys and girls!

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