Climate Change News - September 21, 2008
Climate Change News - Sept. 24, 2008
- It looks like Congress will let the ban on off shore drilling expire.
- Some argue that "the environmental movement" must commit to "a path of justice and global equity," both of which are necessary for a transition to sustainability. Andy Revkin has a blog about this at DotEarth (Sept. 10) and a new report (warning: large file) and press release has been released. Is it just me or does anyone else find such pronouncements staggeringly ironic coming from a country whose per capita GHG emissions are the highest in the world? What was that admonition about physician heal thyself?
- Meanwhile the likely future cost per ton for CO2 emissions has recently been estimated at $10-30/ton by 2013 according to an informative article in The Post and Courier. Now if the planned Pee Dee coal-fired electric plant generates the 9 million tons per year of CO2 as projected, then its (i.e., our!) cost for this dangerous pollution will be 90-270 million dollars per year. Surely it's time for Santee Cooper to go back to the drawing board, especially after the "not guilty" verdict handed down by a jury in England for a band of activists who painted a power station's smoke stack. The jury reasoned that the threat of global warming gave the activists a "lawful excuse" for breaking the law.
- NASA has released a study showing how the arrival of 'peak oil' would impact global CO2 levels. It is not really news that emissions from coal must be phased out in the next few decades if there is to be any hope preventing "dangerous anthropogenic interference."
- If, perhaps, you had heard that the hockey stick graph of global temperature over the last thousand years or so was wrong, think again. A new study confirms the original finding that the temperature rise since around 1980 is unprecedented in the last 1,300-1,700 years.
- Here's an article from McClatchy Newspapers that provides good information on Sarah Palin's views on global warming.
- Ten northeast states are starting a regional cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions from power plants, according to a NYT article.
- Things are looking pretty grim for the US economy, and, as it worsens, less and less attention will be paid to and less and less money will be available for fixing climate change. Do you remember that Phil Gramm, the McCain campaign's sometimes economic advisor and the Chairman of his Presidential run in 2000, was one of the architects of the changes that allowed both the Enron and the current fiscal debacle? For more information on the ~$60 trillion, unregulated credit default swap market that Sen. Gramm's shenanigans allowed and the looming crisis it portends, click here and here.
- Dr. James Hansen suggests, according to an article in The Independent, that coal be completely phased out for generating electricity and that wood be used in conjunction with CO2 capture and sequestration. He says that current targets for emission reductions are "a recipe for global disaster."
- Two of the main contributors to the rapid warming of the arctic are a reduced albedo due to loss of summer sea ice and increased release of GHGs due to melting of tundra. This years summer sea ice loss was the second highest on record, not quite matching last year's remarkable decline. Click here to go to the National Snow and Ice Data Center report on arctic sea ice. Has one of Hansen's "tipping points" been reached?
- And, don't forget global warming's other likely effect, stronger hurricanes.
- Here, to close out this news report, are links to stories about the recent Anglican apology to Charles Darwin for failing to understand his notion of natural selection.
Climate Change News - September 10, 2008
- Here's a short article comparing Senator McCain's and Senator Obama's plans on energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
- For purposes of comparison, I here provide links to the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms. They are especially interesting as they relate to energy, the environment, and global warming.
- Certainly nuclear power will be part of our energy future, just as energy from solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass will be. The Boston Globe had an informative editorial on the cost and other implications of Senator McCain's suggestion to build 45 new nuclear plants by 2030. And, for background, here's a 2005 statement from over 300 environmental and other groups about nuclear power.
- According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the Bush administration is moving forward on plans to lease millions of acres of public land in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming for oil extraction from oil shale and tar sands. Click here and here and here for more information on oil shale and tar sands.
- Will tax credits for wind and solar energy projects be extended this year or will politics-as-usual (PAU) force their expiration? Environment 360 has an article about this issue. Meanwhile, Congress is back in session and there will be much posturing about off-shore oil drilling. Isn't it nice that one bill, according to the San Fransico Chronicle, provides for allowing drilling off the South Carolina coast. "Drill baby, drill."
- The latest UN-sponsored climate meeting (part of a series of meetings aimed at settling on a post-Kyoto agreement for reducing GHGs and which must develop a draft agreement by Spring), like the preceeding one, seems to have made little progress.
- The Post & Courier has published a good article about Dr. Pikley's recent talk on sea level rise, as well as a lead editorial about the need for Charleston to be looking closely at its future in the context of rising seas. Dr. Pilkey published a 'must-read' op-ed on the "City's Flooded Future." Meanwhile, Dr. Gavin Schmidt at RealClimatehas just posted a new commentary about what to expect in the way of sea level rise this century and Dr. James Hansen published an Op-Ed piece in The Post & Courier about the folly of building more coal-fired electric plants. Do you remember, by any chance, the admonition about having eyes to see and ears to hear?
- How about two million new jobs in two years if we invest in an energy program that moves America towards a clean energy future? For how this would effect South Carolina, go here. For the full report go here (warning: large file).