It is sometimes inspiring to see what people can do with limited tools - I've seen some nice video work that uses nothing more than a Flip camera and iMovie. This piece was entirely shot and edited on an iPhone 4. Click on the link for the HD version...
Achieving swift reductions is important, but you have to be careful to keep improving .. natural gas wins over coal (if you are careful), but you certainly want to transition when you can -- certainly no more than 20 or 30 years from now.
Burning methane in a power plant rather than coal is generally a good idea as natural gas produces less CO2 than coal - about 40% as much for equivalent amounts of delivered energy. The problem is that methane (which is what natural gas mostly is) is a very potent green house gas and relatively small leaks can erase the benefits of using natural gas.
This is also an issue in natural gas fueled vehicles and, since gasoline and diesel lie between natural gas and coal in carbon output, one must be even more careful about leakage.
A start, and perhaps the major path taken, but real solution is to stay away from fossil fuels entirely.
In the end, we have a project that is incredibly expensive. There has been little scientific review. It is questionable if the proposed berm will prevent oil from entering the wetlands it is designed to protect. The structure will be very short-lived. And there are many potential negative impacts of this structure on the coastal environment that have not been evaluated. Coastal dredging and filling can cause significant damage to marine organisms and local ecosystems as massive amounts of sand are dug up in one location and then deposited on the sea floor in another spot. In addition, building a 45-mile sand berm could alter tidal currents and lead to the erosion of natural barrier islands that protect the Louisiana coast from hurricanes.
Yes, we need to do something, but we need a better process for deciding what that best something is. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear that this permitted berm is not a viable solution.
And the Louisiana berm is not the only example of rushed emergency permitting of a major project. With the oil steadily approaching the Alabama coastline, the Mobile, Ala. district of the Corps of Engineers released an Emergency Public Notice, also on May 27, for a permit application by BP to build a mile-and-a-half-long seawall on Dauphin Island, Alabama to block the oil from reaching the island. The goal of the project is to close off a breach in the barrier island opened by Hurricane Katrina. Now this may be a good idea, but the process gives us no insight into whether it is or isn’t. Again, agencies were given a few hours to comment. The design for the structure was presented hand-drawn on notebook paper and appears to have been pulled together by a local pile-driving company. The plans are not signed or stamped by a licensed engineer. Will it work? Who knows?
I have mine .. a three hour wait in line (the reserved line), but Apple waits are reasonably fun with many interesting conversations in the line. Someone came out of the Verizon store about 8am and was walking the line with a clipboard asking people what carrier they would use if they had a choice of AT&T and Verizon.
My old iPhone was three years old and showing its age, but it was still holding a charge reasonably well ... now I have an iPhone and one that was demoted to a Touch, albeit a heavy Touch.
To get an operational phone I synched to my laptop, typed in a password, selected two buttons, and about five minutes later everything had been automatically transferred. When the phone was up and running I had to enter our wifi password, but that was the extent of the pain of switching.