The Watering Hole, Tuesday September 22, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics.

A lot of times, we’re either ‘for it’ or ‘agin it’. In the case of environmental impacts by human land uses, there can be a ‘happy medium’. I saw it first hand when I was involved with farmers who agreed to fence out their dairy cows from streams, while crossings and alternative watering was implemented. The riparian buffers were allowed to flourish which was good for the wildlife, and the cattle got all their needs met. On a larger scale, the science seems to suggest that selective harvest of trees in the Amazon can work if managed properly. You just have to get people to agree.

Selective logging works.



35 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Tuesday September 22, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics.

  1. I have nearly 12 acres of these riparian buffers. I think it has contributed to the return of wild turkeys to my property.

  2. Getting people to agree does seem like the trick. Sustainable harvesting has got to have a slightly higher short-term price tag (obviously it has a much lower long-term cost.) Logging companies are not going to be eager to absorb those costs, and ranchers are only interested in clear-cutting swaths of land for cattle.

    • Indeed.

      It is, after all is said and done, SO much easier (and far less costly) to see only today and destroy than it is to ponder and work to sustain tomorrow. Besides, wasn’t it Dubsy Bush who said when asked how history would see him/us, “We don’t know, we’ll all be dead”? Something like that.

      It don’t make no never-rmind, i.o.w.

    • Odd that they don’t see that their shoving Christianity down our throats is the equivalent of creeping Sharia.
      After all, the U.S. is attempting to rule women. Can’t get too much more sharia than that.

  3. The reason there’s still a Black Forest in Bavaria, is ….selective logging. You’d think people would get it…Oh, yeah, corporations are people. Sure.

  4. I’m not a believer in man-made
    global warming.
    It could be warming, and it’s going to
    start to cool at some point.

    blathering fool Trump

    • Yes, DonnieDumbAss, after the planet has been uninhabitable for several millennia, then, yes, it will cool.

  5. The Night They Drove the Price of Electricity Down

    And then a very strange thing happened: The so-called spot price of electricity in Texas fell toward zero, hit zero, and then went negative for several hours. As the Lone Star State slumbered, power producers were paying the state’s electricity system to take electricity off their hands. At one point, the negative price was $8.52 per megawatt hour.


    First, Texas is an electricity island. The state often behaves as if it is its own sovereign nation, and indeed it was an independent republic for nearly 10 years. Alone among the 48 continental states, Texas runs an electricity grid that does not connect with those that serve other states. The grid is run by Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT. By contrast, most states are part of larger regional bodies like PJM (which covers 13 states in the Midwest and Middle Atlantic) or MISO, which oversees the grid in a big chunk of the middle of the country. Being an island has given Texas greater control over its electricity market: Texas won’t suffer blackouts if there are problems in Oklahoma or Louisiana. But it also means that electricity produced in the state has to be consumed in the state at the moment it is produced—it can’t be shipped elsewhere, where others might need it.


    Third, Texas has a unique market structure. It’s complicated, but ERCOT has set up the grid in such a way that it acquires a large amount of power through continuous auctions. Every five minutes, power generators in the state electronically bid into ERCOT’s real-time market, offering to provide chunks of energy at particular prices. ERCOT fills the open needs by selecting the bids that are cheapest and that make the most sense from a grid-management perspective—i.e., the power is being fed into the grid at points where the distribution and transmission systems can handle it. Every 15 minutes, the bids settle—at the highest price paid for electricity accepted in the round. So if 100 MW of electricity are needed, and some producers offer 60 MW at $50 per megawatt-hour, some offer 30 MW at $80 per megawatt-hour, and others offer 40 MW at $100 per megawatt-hour, all the bidders will receive the highest price of $100. (Note: The price ERCOT pays is the wholesale generation charge.)


    Well, there’s one more wrinkle. Typically, wind is bid at the lowest prices—because you don’t need fuel, it doesn’t really cost that much money to keep wind turbines moving once they’ve been built. But wind operators have another advantage over generators that use coal or natural gas: a federal production tax credit of 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour that applies to every kilowatt of power produced. And that means that even if wind operators give the power away or offer the system money to take it, they still receive a tax credit equal to $23 per megawatt-hour. Those tax credits have a monetary value—either to the wind-farm owner or to a third party that might want to buy them.

    This is impressive. When other producers operate at a loss, the wind operators can even go negative and make some money. I can see the Rs clamoring to end the tax credits for wind energy, since it can cost fossil fuel energy producers to be at a disadvantage.

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