Climate Change News - September 21, 2008Sunday, September 21, 2008
(Kitchen Table Climate Study Group)
- 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.