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Good Reading/Watching

Here are some interesting articles I have found:

On Texas’ drought, from the PBS News Hour: 


On Texas’ drought, from Texas Tribune:


“The Arithmentic of Shale Gas,” from Forbes’ Christopher Helman:

In this article, Helman reviews a paper published by a group of Yale economis graduates seeking to quantify the economic benefit of the recent shale gas boom in the U.S. They estimate that the boom has saved consumers more than $100 billion a year in gas costs. They estimate the potential benefit of converting cars to natural gas: at a gas price of $5 per mcf, you would need $30 worth of gas to replace $100 worth of oil. Replacing 1 million barrels of oil per day of oil demand with natural gas would save $70 million a day, or nearly $26 billion in a year.


“How Deadly is Your Kilowatt?”

Another article from Forbes, this one by James Conca. Conca calculates a “mortality rate” attributable to production of various forms of energy. His conclusions:

Energy Source               Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)

Coal – global average         170,000                            (50% global electricity)

Coal – China                     280,000                            (75% China’s electricity)

Coal – U.S.                        15,000                             (44% U.S. electricity)

Oil                                     36,000                             (36% of energy, 8% of electricity)

Natural Gas                         4,000                             (20% global electricity)

Biofuel/Biomass                 24,000                             (21% global energy)

Solar (rooftop)                         440                             (< 1% global electricity)

Wind                                     150                              (~ 1% global electricity)

Hydro – global average         1,400                              (15% global electricity)

Nuclear – global average           90                         (17%  global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)

Coal is by far the deadliest, from carbon particulates that cause respiratory illnesses. Conca says that US deaths from coal are much less “strictly [as] a result of regulation and the Clean Air Act … one of the most life-saving pieces of legislation ever adopted by any country in history.” “Another way to describe this human health energy fee is that it costs about 2,000 lives per year to keep the lights on in Beijing but only about 200 lives to keep them on in New York.” Deaths from wind energy? – mostly from workers falling off wind turbines during maintenance.


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