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Silicon Valley shuts down; hello global warming

(courtesty Dai Sugano)
Just a day after energy experts said we'd be fine and energy meltdowns this season would be unlikely because of all the work that had been done to ensure energy supplies since the last disaster, the heat keeps grinding away, and shuts us down anyway.

Here we are in one of the most wealthy areas of the world, and 600 pieces of electricity company PG&E have failed, leaving 35,000 customers without power, and sweltering. We are close to tying a record for consecutive hot days, and fires are raging in what environmentalists say is another worrying sign of global warming. Picture here is of a fire in Silicon Valley's Milpitas, which is one of the more mellow fires to hit.

We'll resist another rant today, but we'll say this: Silicon Valley's clean-tech push is overdue. We are going to talk with Samir Kaul tomorrow, over at Khosla Ventures, to see what else they are doing to invest in alternative energy.

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Tracked: July 31, 2006 9:12 PM


C'mon Matt, just because it's unusually hot doesn't mean global warming is afoot. By that token should we say global cooling is going on when it's unseasonably cold?

Invoking global warming when normal weather variations occur is a modern-day equivalent of cave-men invoking the sun gods, the rain gods or the fire gods to sooth their weather-driven fears.

Chris Zaharias on July 24, 2006 7:21 AM
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To respond, to Chris Zaharias, global warming fears are actually driven by the well documented & sustained climb in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the beginning of the industrial age, not by a couple of hot summers. What you've provided is a classic strawman argument - deliberately mischaracterizing the other side's argument as something clearly flimsy, so that you can knock it down with a rhetorical flourish. This tactic significantly decreases the value of any reasoned debate. Instead of presenting the caveman trope, let's review the relevant data in these discussions.

Eric Emmons on July 25, 2006 7:03 AM
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I woke up this morning to a radio announcer talking about power outages and mandatory rolling blackouts. We're getting more like Brazil or any other Third World country with decaying infrastructure.

Tim Fong on July 25, 2006 9:59 AM
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Chris, i don't get it. You're saying normal fluctuations. But we're shattering records here. We just had the longest streak of 90+ degree days ever. That's not normal fluctuation. To repeat, it's a record. Also the National Weather Service says lows in San Jose were the warmest ever, at 74 degrees on Saturday and 77 degrees on Sunday.

Matt Marshall on July 25, 2006 3:19 PM
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My kids look every morning at the weather map on the back of the local section. Seeing last week a solid orange and red map of the united states, is something I dont ever recall seeing. I have lived in the San Jose area since 1972 and the last 2 summers have been hotter with increasingly longer periods of sustained heat. Who the heck knows if this is global warming, but if it motivates people to conserve power and drive less then thats all good.
I chose to change my impact on foreign oil imports and CO2 emission after Katrina. I bought a 1985 Mercedes and drive on B99 biodiesel. I got involved in the Biodiesel movement here in CA and now volunteer for the Biodiesel Council of California. The BCC strives to impact the emerging biodiesel industry to a local, sustainable business model. One that stimulates California's local economy and potentially will reduce our fuel dependence and save farmland from being paved over, and get us to being an exporter again. We educate all stakeholders in the biodiesel supply chain and attend and participate in the legislative process in Sacramento. We are new and are in a membership and donation drive right now. If you are interested in how biofuels can be used and improve so many issues in California now, come check out our website.
Kari Lemons
Outreach Director
Biodiesel Council of California

Kari Lemons on July 26, 2006 11:03 AM
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