Utah Div. of Oil, Gas & Mining’s Earth Day Poster Contest Theme: Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?

Clean energy rally in UtahStealing a page from the Westboro Baptist Church’s handbook on being dickish, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining is now promoting a poster contest for elementary school age kids with a “Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?” theme and the winners will be announced at (drum roll)… an Earth Day Awards luncheon on April 26. The timing is no accident and the contest sponsor list is a veritable who’s who of the fossil fuel industry operating in Utah (Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Arch Coal Sufco Mine etc.). Here are more details about the contest from Climate Progress:

“Any child in Utah between Kindergarten and sixth grade is eligible. The contest’s primary objective is ‘to improve students’ and the public’s awareness of the important role that oil, gas, and mining play in our everyday lives. Last year’s contest winners made posters that detailed how dependent we have become on fossil fuels. To their credit, the grand prize winner detailed both ways we use products created by fossil fuels and ways we can reduce our consumption.

The children were not asked to make posters about the climate impacts caused by those same fossil fuels: drought, wildfires, and warmer winters.”

Fair enough. The contest by itself is not too extreme – especially when Utah’s economy depends so heavily on the fossil fuel industry. But what is unfortunate is that they’re making it a state-sponsored Earth Day Poster Contest that is about everything Earth Day isn’t – the benefits of oil, gas & mining. It’s like they’re attempting to hijack Earth Day. Why do it? Maybe they’re just dicks.

In related news: Monty Burns wants to promote the positives of nuclear power with a poster contest for the schoolchildren of Springfield. Finalist will be announced on August 6 and the winners will be announced on August 9. [Climate Progress]


CEMEX Cement Plant In Kentucky Reduced Emissions By Switching Power Source From Coal To Scrap Tires.

CEMEX-Kosmos Cement KilnThis is news to me – burning scrap tires to make cement is better for the environment than using coal. According to an article in the Courier-Journal, emissions of nitrogen oxides (a component of smog) have dropped by 37% ever since the CEMEX cement plant in Kosmos KY switched their fuel source from coal to scrap tires in December 2010.

From the Courier-Journal, here’s how the tire-powered cement kiln works:

“Two rollers grab a scrapped rubber tire before pitching it at 85 mph as far as 110 feet into the bowels of the kiln — where it vaporizes in an instant in 3,000-degree temperatures.”

We need our cement so we have to choose “what’s less worse”: coal (30 tons/hour) or recycled tires (3-6 tons/hour)?

After reading the article in C-J and watching the video, I couldn’t help feeling that CEMEX’s switch from coal to scrap tires isn’t going to end well. It’s kind of like the 1940’s advertisements with doctors recommending one cigarette brand over another. Consume less. [Courier-Journal]


Wind Turbine Syndrome And Solar Panel Syndrome Receive Treatment From The Colbert Report.

“Have you had any of these symptoms: nausea, lack of nausea, forgetting where you put your keys or problems breathing underwater. Well, sounds like you have a bad case of solar panel syndrome.”
Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report

Good stuff. [The Colbert Report via Gizmodo]


British Columbia’s 2008 Carbon Tax Is Reducing Emissions And Not Slowing Economic Growth.

Emeral Lake British ColumbiaGreat article on Sightline about the effects of British Columbia’s carbon tax on emissions and economic growth for the Canadian province. According to studies from the University of Ottawa and the BC Ministry of Environment, British Columbia’s adoption of a carbon tax system in 2008 has reduced emissions and has allowed their economy to grow without relying on the usual increased consumption of fossil fuels. Basically, BC has become more efficient and the upshot of their carbon tax will hopefully show the rest of the North America that economic growth and reducing emissions don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Check out the article for the details. [Sightline]


Climate Change Skeptics Heard Antarctica Sea Ice Is Expanding. Can’t Wait To Melt It.

It was reported in the NY Times Green Blog, “Running the Numbers on Antarctic Sea Ice,” that Antarctic sea ice coverage has actually increased over the last five years from 13.8% to 14.6%. Climate skeptics rejoice at this kind of news. What’s Jubbling’s reaction? We see this as an opportunity.

Maybe if climate change skeptics accept data indicating a moderate increase in Antarctic sea ice as an affirmation of their views, they’ll also acknowledge and value similar mathematical indicators of the significant shrinking Arctic sea ice coverage (from 51% in 1979 to 24% in 2012). Hopefully skeptics will cuddle the changing sea ice coverage numbers on both poles and finally admit that climate change is real. (Not holding my breath.)

Check out the article for a more in depth explanation. [NYT Green Blog]


Disturbing Interactive Graphic Of The Day: The Growth Of CO2 Emissions From Energy Consumption

CO2 Emissions from Energy ConsumptionThe CO2 Emissions from the Consumption of Energy interactive chart displays data, by country, from 1980 – 2010. The growth of China’s emissions from 2000-2010 is pretty staggering but not unexpected. They’re joining the emissions game later than the rest of the world and they’re running away with it.

To view and tweak the chart, click here. [Guardian. Chart created by Craig Bloodworth, The Information Lab]