Another Week of Climate Disruption News
Sipping from the internet firehose…
This weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H.E.Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup
December 21, 2008
- Top Stories:Poznan, AGU, Abrupt Climate Change, Methane
- Melting Arctic, Geopolitics, Antarctica, Recession, Year End, Cosmic Rays, Earth Hour, 350 ppm, Grumbine, Free Science
- Food Crisis, Food vs. Biofuel, Food Production
- Hurricanes, GHGs, Temperature Record, Paleoclimate, Glaciers, Sea Levels, Satellites
- Impacts, Forests, Corals, Wacky Weather, Floods & Droughts
- Mitigation, Transportation, Buildings, Sequestration, Geoengineering, Adaptation
- Journals, Misc. Science
- Carbon Trade, Carbon Tax, Optimal Carbon Reduction Strategy
- Politics:International, America, Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Canada
- Ecological Economics, IPAT, Media, Books, Video, The Bet
- Energy, Wind, Solar, Coal, Biofuel, Nukes, Peak Oil, Efficiency, Cars, Greenwashing, Insurance
- Carbon Lobby, Miscellaneous Climate, Useful Links
- Shameless Self Promotion, .sig
- 2008/12/21: NASA: Analemma Over the Porch of Maidens
Here’s a wee chuckle for ye:
- 2008/12/21: uComics: (cartoon – Wiley) A Christmas Announcement
- 2008/12/20: TI:CF: (cartoon – Roberts) Baubles
- 2008/12/19: TI:CF: (cartoon – Roberts) A jury of one peer
- 2008/12/17: TI:CF: (cartoon – Roberts) Wet Wet Wet
- 2008/12/16: TI:CF: (cartoon – Roberts) Easter Bunny Island Revisited
- 2008/12/16: SeattlePI: (cartoon – Horsey) Everything must go!
- 2008/12/15: TI:CF: (cartoon – Roberts) Reckoning
- 2008/12/14: TI:CF: (cartoon – Roberts) Fame and Fortune
Late comment on Poznan:
- 2008/12/13: DeSmogBlog: Poznan: “Such a catastrophe”
- 2008/12/20: ENN: Fiddling with words as the world melts
- 2008/12/19: Guardian(UK): A different world than Kyoto — The argument that developing countries are taking no action to address climate change is wrong…
- 2008/12/17: SFBG: Greenpeace looks ahead to change after “profound disappointment”
- 2008/12/18: Guardian(UK): [Letters] Chilling signals on global warming
- 2008/12/17: Asahi: Curbing climate change
- 2008/12/14: WaPo: Next Climate Summit May Turn on Rich Nations’ Approach to Poor Ones
- 2008/12/16: NatureN: Climate talks defer major challenges — Minor progress in Poland on adaptation and deforestation sets the stage for Copenhagen in 2009
- 2008/12/16: BizStd: Climate change meet fails to record major achievements
- 2008/12/15: WorldChanging: Poznan’, Days 8, 9 & 10: The Grand Finale
- 2008/12/16: ENN: No progress in Poznan’ on new emission cuts
- 2008/12/15: EurActiv: Poznan’ climate talks leave ‘heavy lifting’ for 2009
- 2008/12/15: KSJT: Lots of Ink: Where now with global warming post Poznan, pre-Obama, mid-economic collapse?
- 2008/12/14: DotEarth: Rich-Poor Rift Persists Over Climate
- 2008/12/15: NewScientist: World leaders ‘failing to get’ climate message
The politicians just don’t seem to get the seriousness of the global warming crisis. Scientists attending the recent UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland, complained that the gap between political rhetoric and scientific reality on climate change is growing.
- 2008/12/13: TerraDaily: Satisfaction, anger at outcome of Poznan talks
- 2008/12/14: Yahoo: After dangerous lull, war on climate change faces crunch year
- 2008/12/14: GristMill: Poznan: Survival is not negotiable — IYD: Next global climate agreement must safeguard survival of all countries, all peoples
- 2008/12/13: BBerg: Near-Paralysis at UN Climate Talks Ends With Vow for New Treaty
The annual AGU conference went down in San Francisco:
- 2008/12/19: NatureCF: AGU 2008: Evidence that Antarctica has warmed significantly over past 50 years
- 2008/12/19: NatureCF: AGU 2008: And the winner is … Wind!
- 2008/12/19: NatureCF: AGU 2008: Uncertainty and overshooting 2°C
- 2008/12/18: Nature:AGUB: AGU: Did the first farmers stave off an ice age?
- 2008/12/18: Nature:AGUB: AGU: ‘Is the planet really just doomed?’
- 2008/12/18: Nature:AGUB: AGU: Record of extreme weather events globally
- 2008/12/17: Nature:AGUB: AGU: A new way to cool the earth
- 2008/12/18: NatureCF: AGU 2008: Uncertainty and overshooting 2°C
- 2008/12/18: ClimateP: Thursday morning AGU dispatch: “The first sign of a scientific renaissance in America”
- 2008/12/17: NatureCF: AGU 2008: Peak fuel reserves
- 2008/12/17: KSJT: AGU Pressroom, real and virtual: Hole in the magnetosphere, climate still going berserk, and drill baby dri…yikes!
- 2008/12/17: ClimateP: Report from AGU meeting: One meter sea level rise by 2100 “very likely” even if warming stops?
Abrupt climate change came up:
- 2008/12/20: ERabett: Perhaps something worth talking about [abrupt climate change]
- 2008/12/19: Stoat: The problem of definitions
- 2008/12/19: EI: Abrupt Climate Shifts May Come Sooner, Not Later — Rising Seas, Severe Drought, Could Come in Decades, Says U.S. Report
- 2008/12/16: USGS: Abrupt Climate Change: Will It Happen this Century?
The Damoclean sword is front and centre:
- 2008/12/15: MoJo: Methane Leaking Into Arctic Ocean
- 2008/12/19: DerSpiegel: A Dangerous Treasure in Lake Kivu [CH3]
- 2008/12/18: ClimateP: Arctic Research Center: The underwater permafrost is thawing and releasing methane
- 2008/12/19: GristMill: Methane time bomb ticking louder — Semiletov tells AGU that, if released, 1 percent of ESAS methane could cause runaway warming
At a press conference Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, a Russian scientist who has spent the last 15 years tracking the release of methane from Siberia was asked if a huge surge he and his team detected this summer constituted “a global emergency.” Igor Semiletov did not say no, but did not challenge the premise of the question.
- 2008/12/18: SciDaily: Scientists Find Increased Methane Levels In Arctic Ocean
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Methane levels increasing worldwide: study
Methane levels in the atmosphere have started to rise after almost eight years of near-zero growth, an international study says.
- 2008/12/20: QuarkSoup: Serreze on Arctic Ice
- 2008/12/19: QuarkSoup: Arctic Sea Ice
- 2008/12/19: NewScientist: Arctic melt 20 years ahead of climate models
- 2008/12/16: CNN: Ice melting across globe at accelerating rate, NASA says
About 2 trillion tons of ice have melted in Greenland, Antarctica, Alaska since 2003 – Lost amount of water could fill up Chesapeake Bay 21 times, NASA scientist says – Most came from Greenland, where losses raised global sea levels .5 mm annually – Scientist says sea levels rising 50 percent faster than 15 years ago
- 2008/12/17: MongaBay: Arctic sea ice fell to the lowest volume on record in 2008
- 2008/12/18: ClimateP: Two trillion tons of land ice lost since 2003, rate of Greenland summer ice loss triples 2007 record
- 2008/12/18: AfterGutenberg: Arctic Melt Tipping Point Arriving Ahead of Schedule
- 2008/12/18: CCurrents: Has The Arctic Melt Passed The Point Of No Return?
- 2008/12/17: ClimateP: WMO confirms “Overall [Arctic] ice volume was less than that in any other year”
- 2008/12/17: ClimateP: NASA: Another brutally hot year for the Siberian tundra
- 2008/12/17: DeSmogBlog: Has Arctic sea ice loss become irreversible?
- 2008/12/17: BBC: Changes ‘amplify Arctic warming’ — Scientists say they now have unambiguous evidence that the warming in the Arctic is accelerating
- 2008/12/15: ClimateP: NSIDC: Arctic melt passes the point of no return, “We hate to say we told you so, but we did”
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): NASA says it has satellite data that shows more than 2 trillion tonnes of land ice in Greenland, the Arctic, Antarctica and Alaska has melted in the past five years
- 2008/12/16: Yahoo: Over 2 trillion tons of ice melted in arctic since ’03
- 2008/12/16: Independent(UK): Has the Arctic melt passed the point of no return?
- 2008/12/16: OilChange: Arctic “passes point of no return”
- 2008/12/16: CTV: 2 trillion tonnes of Arctic ice melted since 2003: NASA
NASA scientists say their analysis of new satellite data shows that the Earth lost more than two trillion tons of land ice since 2003. Measurements of ice collected by NASA’s GRACE satellite suggests that most of the land ice lost over the past five years has been in Greenland, with significant losses also occurring in Alaska and the Antarctic. Scientists say the Greenland melt shows no signs of slowing down and, instead, it appears to be accelerating.
- 2008/12/14: OSU: Greenland’s glaciers losing ice faster this year than last year, which was record-setting itself
- 2008/12/13: CDreams:IPS: Climate Change: ‘Things Happen Much Faster in the Arctic’
In just a few summers from now, the Arctic Ocean will lose its protective cover of ice for the first time in a million years, according to some experts attending the International Arctic Change conference here. ‘Things are happening much faster in the Arctic. I think it will be summer ice-free by 2015,’ said David Barber, an Arctic climatologist at the University of Manitoba. Such a ‘dramatic and serious loss of sea ice will affect everyone on the planet,’ Barber told IPS.
- 2008/12/16: OttawaCitizen: Tories vow to get shipshape in the Arctic — MacKay looking to get $10B plan ‘back on track’
While in Antarctica:
- 2008/12/14: OSU: As ice melts, Antarctic bedrock is on the move
The global recession looms over all climate discussion:
- 2008/12/18: EnvFin: [Hedge fund giant] Man Group closes “eco” business
More year end stories are popping up:
- 2008/12/17: UN: World has ‘responsibility to deliver’ in year of crises, Ban declares
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today that the coming year promises to be no less difficult than 2008, which he called the “the year of multiple crises.”
- 2008/12/17: Guardian(UK): Change, but at what price?
After 2008 started with panic over food prices, the world seemed to be waking up to global warming. But then the recession hit
- 2008/12/18: SlashDot: Study Says Cosmic Rays Do Not Explain Global Warming
- 2008/12/17: SciDaily: Cosmic Rays Do Not Explain Global Warming, Study Finds
- 2008/12/14: RealClimate: Ozone holes and cosmic rays
Earth Hour promos have begun [28 March]:
- 2008/12/15: GristMill: One anti-candle in a sea of hot lights — Earth Hour hopes to reach a billion people in 2009 [28 March]
The 350 ppm crowd is agitating:
- 2008/12/18: CCurrents: The Most Important Number On Earth [350 ppm]
- 2008/12/14: GristMill: It’s time to aim low — After Poland talks, a new reality starts to set in, says McKibben; 350 ppm must be the goal
Rob Grumbine’s education project rolls on:
- 2008/12/16: MGS: Science and consensus
- 2008/12/15: MGS: How to decide climate trends
On the Free Sciencefront:
- 2008/12/19: GWatts: English Language Summaries
This is pretty neat. The RNA Biology journal is now requiring a Wikipedia article along with every submitted paper.
- 2008/12/18: QuarkSoup: Food Stamps in Oregon
- 2008/12/16: UN: UN agency urges nations to fund ‘human rescue’ package needed to feed millions
Without a “human rescue” package, costing a mere fraction of the financial bailout and economic stimulus initiatives tabled in Western Europe and the United States, millions of people around the world will go hungry early next year, warned the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today. WFP, which aims to feed nearly 100 million of the world’s hungriest people in 2009, announced that it will start the New Year needing $5.2 billion to urgently support its programmes combating global hunger.
- 2008/12/16: BBerg: Eating Isn’t Option When Minnesota Corn Burns in Houston Cars
And how are we going to feed 9 billion?
- 2008/12/17: WpgFP: Harper hoping WTO kills wheat board for him
- 2008/12/16: Purdue: Purdue study suggests warmer temperatures could lead to a boom in corn pests
- 2008/12/15: RPTT: Feeding the world at lower costs
- 2008/12/15: UN: UN chief to lead meeting with Spanish Premier next month to deal with hunger crisis
- 2008/12/15: UN: Massive hydro scheme for Africa’s food, energy security focus of UN forum
- 2008/12/14: PhysOrg: More food at lower cost: Important step forward towards increasing crop yields
- 2008/12/14: Yahoo: Seeds of hope: Freezing vaults guard Earth’s flora
In the hurricane wars, Billy and Cinda blew around the Indian Ocean; Dolphin died in the West Pacific:
- 2008/12/20: BBerg: Tropical Cyclone Billy Rampages on Australian Coast
The dark underbelly of Katrina:
- 2008/12/19: DemNow: Katrina’s Hidden Race War: In Aftermath of Storm, White Vigilante Groups Shot 11 African Americans in New Orleans
- 2008/12/17: Nation: Katrina’s Hidden Race War
- 2008/12/20: ThinkP: Report: White vigilante groups blockaded small town in post-Katrina New Orleans and murdered blacks
While elsewhere in the hurricane wars:
- 2008/12/19: KSJT: AP, AFP: NASA study finds severe tropical storms on uptick as oceans warm up
- 2008/12/19: PhysOrg: NASA Study Links Severe Storm Increases, Global Warming
- 2008/12/18: Eureka: Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model
- 2008/12/17: ClimateP: NOAA: The planet has a fever, and the U.S. had another record hurricane and tornado season
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Cuba turns to co-ops to weather hurricane aftermath
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba planted thousands of urban cooperative gardens to offset reduced rations of imported food. Now, in the wake of three hurricanes that wiped out 30 per cent of Cuba’s farm crops, the communist country is again turning to its urban gardens to keep its people properly fed.
- 2008/12/16: Wunderground: Is the Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?
- 2008/12/15: UN: Needs are still great for Myanmar’s cyclone [Nargis] victims, says UN-backed group
- 2008/12/14: EarthTimes: US to construct 24 multipurpose cyclone shelters in Bangladesh
As for GHGs:
- 2008/12/17: TerraDaily: Greenhouse gas emissions study released
And the temperature record:
- 2008/12/16: RealClimate: 2008 temperature summaries and spin
- 2008/12/17: Tamino: 2008 temperature summaries and spin
- 2008/12/17: UN: 2008 among 10 warmest years on record, UN reports
- 2008/12/18: TreeHugger: 1 in 10,000 Chance Human Induced Global Warming Not the Cause of Recent Hot Years
- 2008/12/17: NatureCF: 2008 cooling, but the heat is on
- 2008/12/17: NewScientist: Glut of hot years a coincidence? Fat chance
Thirteen of the hottest years since records of global temperatures began in 1880 have clustered in the last 17 years. It is tempting — and it sure makes good headlines — to blame it on climate change. But does science support such a claim? According to new statistical research, it does. The recent glut of unusually hot years is incredibly unlikely to happen in a stable climate.
- 2008/12/16: Guardian(UK): Coolest year since 2000 but trend still shows global warming — The last 12 months have been cooler, but 2008 is still the tenth hottest year on record
- 2008/12/16: NOAANews: Global Temperature for November Fourth Warmest on Record
- 2008/12/16: KSJT: NYTimes, Telegraph, BBC: 2008 the coolest year for Earth in — well, just eight years
- 2008/12/16: ClimateP: Sorry deniers, Hadley Center and WMO say 2000s are easily the hottest decade in recorded history
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): WMO names 2008 in top 10 warmest years
- 2008/12/16: DotEarth: A Cooler Year on a Warming Planet
- 2008/12/16: WMO: 2008 Among the ten warmest years; marked by weather extremes and second-lowest level of Arctic ice cover
- 2008/12/16: BBC: This year is coolest since 2000 — Global average temperatures in 2008 fell to levels not seen since 2000, though it was still one of the 10 warmest years on record
- 2008/12/16: EarthTimes: Planet still getting hotter, more extreme says [WMO] UN’s weather agency
- 2008/12/15: QuarkSoup: Hadley November Anomaly
While in the paleoclimate:
- 2008/12/17: FuturePundit: Humans Prevented Ice Age Thousands Of Years Ago?
- 2008/12/18: FuturePundit: Post-Pandemic Reforestation Triggered Little Ice Age?
- 2008/12/18: MongaBay: European conquest of the Americas may have driven [LIA] global cooling
- 2008/12/18: SciDaily: Did Early Global Warming Divert A New Glacial Age?
- 2008/12/18: Stanford: Post-pandemic reforestation in New World helped trigger Little Ice Age, Stanford researchers say
- 2008/12/17: PhysOrg: Study: Did early climate impact divert a new glacial age?
The common wisdom is that the invention of the steam engine and the advent of the coal-fueled industrial age marked the beginning of human influence on global climate. But gathering physical evidence, backed by powerful simulations on the world’s most advanced computer climate models, is reshaping that view and lending strong support to the radical idea that human-induced climate change began not 200 years ago, but thousands of years ago with the onset of large-scale agriculture in Asia and extensive deforestation in Europe. What’s more, according to the same computer simulations, the cumulative effect of thousands of years of human influence on climate is preventing the world from entering a new glacial age, altering a clockwork rhythm of periodic cooling of the planet that extends back more than a million years.
- 2008/12/20: ABC(Au): New research on Switzerland’s glaciers has found that they are melting at an accelerating rate and that many will disappear completely by the end of the century
- 2008/12/19: TreeHugger: Mexican Volcanic Glaciers Disappearing Due to Climate Change
- 2008/12/19: BBC: Swiss glaciers ‘in full retreat’ — Swiss glaciers are melting away at an accelerating rate and many will vanish this century if climate projections are correct, two new studies suggest
- 2008/12/15: GreenGrok: A Visit to Ground Zero in the Climate Change Sweepstakes
- 2008/12/15: PhysOrg: Greenland’s glaciers losing ice faster this year than last year, which was record-setting itself
Sea levels are rising:
- 2008/12/17: MongaBay: Observed sea level rise, ice melt far outpaces projections
- 2008/12/18: OilChange: Sea-Level Rise to “Substantially Exceed” Projections
- 2008/12/16: ClimateP: US Geological Survey stunner: Sea-level rise in 2100 will likely “substantially exceed” IPCC projections, SW faces “permanent drying” by 2050
- 2008/12/16: Guardian(UK): Sea level could rise by 150cm [by 2100], US scientists warn
- 2008/12/15: ENN: Climate change no fairy tale, says [Solomon Islands minister, Rence] Sore
Meanwhile in near earth orbit:
- 2008/12/18: BBC: Nasa set to launch ‘CO2 hunter’ [OCO]
The US space agency is set to launch a satellite that can map in detail where carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. Nasa’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) will pinpoint the key locations on the Earth’s surface where CO2 is being emitted and absorbed.
- 2008/12/17: OSU: Researchers use satellites to measure inland floods
- 2008/12/16: NOAANews: Jason-2 Satellite Data Now Available to Scientists
More GW impacts are being seen:
- 2008/12/18: ENS: Environment Ohio Warns State Economy Vulnerable to Climate Change
- 2008/12/18: ProMedMail: Emerging diseases, budget cuts dual threat?
- 2008/12/18: TerraDaily: Disasters killed more than 238,000 people in 2008: Swiss Re
- 2008/12/19: Eureka: Stronger coastal winds due to climate change may have far-reaching effects
- 2008/12/18: SciDaily: Global Warming Impacts On U.S. Coming Sooner Than Expected, Report Predicts
- 2008/12/17: NewScientist: Chocolate in peril
- 2008/12/17: PhysOrg: Some climate impacts happening faster than anticipated
- 2008/12/17: SciDaily: Climate Change: A Dark Future For Migratory Fish
- 2008/12/17: Eureka: Ocean acidification could have broad effects on marine ecosystems
- 2008/12/16: Reuters: ‘Death map’ shows heat a big hazard to Americans
- 2008/12/16: NewScientist: Squids in acid: What future oceans hold in store
- 2008/12/16: SciDaily: Boundary Between Earth’s Upper Atmosphere And Space Has Moved To Extraordinarily Low Altitudes, NASA Instruments Document
- 2008/12/16: Eureka: Study links ecosystem changes in temperate lakes to climate warming
- 2008/12/16: Eureka: Oregon’s Rogue River Basin to face climate-change hurdles
- 2008/12/15: Eureka: Ocean acidification from CO2 emissions will cause physiological impairment to jumbo [Humboldt] squid
- 2008/12/15: Eureka: Breathing cycles [thermosphere expansion & contraction] in Earth’s upper atmosphere tied to solar wind disturbances
- 2008/12/16: BBC: Rise in CO2 ‘affects jumbo squid’ — Jumbo squid, common to the eastern tropical Pacific, may become rarer if current climate change continues
- 2008/12/16: SMH: Scientists predict a hot and bleak future
- 2008/12/16: Guardian(UK): Climate change may make Humboldt squid easy prey
- 2008/12/15: PhysOrg: Goose eggs may help polar bears weather climate change
- 2008/12/15: SciDaily: Time Running Out On Coral Reefs As Climate Change Becomes Increasing Threat
- 2008/12/15: Eureka: Does global warming lead to a change in upper atmospheric transport? Long-term measurements provide opportunity to validate model predictions
- 2008/12/15: Eureka: Warming climate signals big changes for ski areas, says University of Colorado study
- 2008/12/13: DiscoverMag: Plant Migration Tied to Climate Change — Vegetation retreats up mountains to find favorable settings
And then there are the world’s forests:
- 2008/12/17: AllAfrica:DailyMonitor: Afforestation is No-Brainer, So Why Have We Botched It?
Corals are dying:
- 2008/12/19: ABC(Au): Scientists are predicting the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland will undergo one of the worst coral bleaching episodes in a decade this summer
Yes we have no wacky weather, except:
- 2008/12/20: BBC: Braving a New England ice storm — Discovering the reality of an ice storm in the US
- 2008/12/20: CBC: Winter kicks off with another wallop across Canada
- 2008/12/20: Tamino: Heavy snow (job)
- 2008/12/20: EarthTimes: Report: Severe storms increasing with global warming
- 2008/12/19: AP: Powerful winter storm cuts power, disrupts travel
- 2008/12/19: Guardian(UK): Weather or not, we’re getting warmer
- 2008/12/18: DeSmogBlog: Weather And Climate – Refresher 101
- 2008/12/18: SMH: Weather watch: a record year of extreme events
Australian temperatures remained hotter than average this year, the World Meteorological Organisation reports, summing up the year as one marked by extreme weather events. They included floods, severe and persistent droughts, snowstorms, heatwaves, cold waves and the shrinking of the Arctic sea ice to its second-lowest level on record.
- 2008/12/16: CBC: The big chill: Western Canada remains in deep freeze — Feels like 10 to 20 degrees below normal, with wind chill factored in
As for hydrological cycle disruptions [floods & droughts]:
- 2008/12/19: EarthTimes: UN: Thousands in need of humanitarian aid after PNG [tidal] flooding
- 2008/12/18: PhysOrg: Water supplies could be strongly affected by climate change
- 2008/12/18: TreeHugger: Global Warming’s Effect on Precipitation Patterns Could Mean Even Bigger Change in Groundwater
- 2008/12/17: Eureka: MIT finds climate change could dramatically affect water supplies
Elsewhere on the mitigation front:
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): A new report by the Desert Knowledge Co-operative Research Centre says pastoralists and Aboriginal people have a key role to play in helping reduce the effects of climate change
- 2008/12/17: PhysOrg: ‘Buy local’ not the answer to smaller carbon footprint, professor argues
- 2008/12/17: PhysOrg: Ancient soil replenishment technique [biochar] helps in battle against global warming
Consider transportation & GHG production:
- 2008/12/14: FuturePundit: US Driving Decline Continued In October 2008
- 2008/12/18: EnvLeader: UK Shipping Industry May Implement C02 Tax
- 2008/12/19: CBC: Solar-propelled cargo ship launches from Japan
- 2008/12/15: WaPo: Study: Leaner nations bike, walk, use mass transit
- 2008/12/13: inel: FT on Air passenger numbers drop 8.9%
While in the endless quest for sustainable building codes:
- 2008/12/18: CBC: Old Toronto house with energy retrofit sells power to grid
- 2008/12/18: ABC(Au): Positive link identified between home energy rating and sale price — New research released by the Federal and ACT governments shows home energy efficiency pays off
As for carbon sequestration:
- 2008/12/14: IR^2: Carbon Sequestration in Practice
- 2008/12/20: ABC(Au): Britain, S Korea, Norway join Australia’s Global Institute
Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says Britain, South Korea and Norway have signed up to Australia’s Global Institute to develop carbon capture and storage technology.
- 2008/12/16: CommonTragedies: Coal bed methane and CCS
Large scale geo-engineering keeps popping up:
- 2008/12/19: Wunderground: Geoengineering: a bad idea whose time may come
- 2008/12/19: PhysOrg: Inventor’s ‘refrigeration system’ for planet shows promise, but scientists are skeptical
Ron Ace says that his breakthrough moments have come at unexpected times – while he lay in bed, eased his aging Cadillac across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or steered a tractor around his rustic, five-acre property. In the seclusion of his Maryland home, Ace has spent three years glued to the Internet, studying the Earth’s climate cycles and careening from one epiphany to another – a 69-year-old loner with the moxie to try to solve one of the greatest threats to mankind. Now, backed by a computer model, the little-known inventor is making public a U.S. patent petition for what he calls the most “practical, nontoxic, affordable, rapidly achievable” and beneficial way to curb global warming and a resulting catastrophic ocean rise. Spray gigatons of seawater into the air, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, and let Mother Nature do the rest, he says.
- 2008/12/19: ClimateP: How desperate are climate scientists? Desperate enough to contemplate geo-engineering.
- 2008/12/17: GEB: Combat Global Warming with Evaporative Cooling
- 2008/12/17: NatureN: Sucking carbon out of the air — Are plans to take carbon dioxide out of the air just a pipe dream, or a cure for global warming?
- 2008/12/17: Eureka: No quick or easy technological fix for climate change, researchers say — UCLA scientist sees many geoengineering plans as ‘preposterous’
- 2008/12/16: PhysOrg: New satellite data reveal impact of Olympic pollution controls
- 2008/12/15: TreeHugger: Think Ocean Geo-Engineering is a Good Idea? Think Again, Australian Scientists Urge
- 2008/12/15: Reuters: Scientists urge caution in ocean-CO2 capture schemes
As for adaptation:
- 2008/12/18: TerraDaily: Netherlands to strengthen flood fortifications
Meanwhile in the journals:
- 2006/03/: BCSIA: “The Energy Innovation Imperative: Addressing Oil Dependence, Climate Change, and Other 21st Century Energy Challenges” by John P. Holdren
- 2008/12/15: CP: Winter temperatures in the second half of the sixteenth century in the central area of the Iberian Peninsula by T. Bullón
- 2008/12/16: TC: Testing hypotheses of the cause of peripheral thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet: is land-terminating ice thinning at anomalously high rates? by A. Sole et al.
- 2008/12/17: TCD: Comparison of the meteorology and surface energy balance at Storbreen and Midtdalsbreen, two glaciers in southern Norway by R. H. Giesen et al.
- 2008/12/18: ACP: Sources of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde in North America determined from high-resolution atmospheric data by S. M. Miller et al.
- 2008/12/18: ACP: Improvements of synergetic aerosol retrieval for ENVISAT by T. Holzer-Popp et al.
- 2008/12/18: ACP: Mass concentrations of black carbon measured by four instruments in the middle of Central East China in June 2006 by Y. Kanaya et al.
- 2008/12/17: ACP: Large-scale planetary disturbances in stratospheric temperature at high-latitudes in the southern summer hemisphere by M. G. Shepherd & T. Tsuda
- 2008/12/17: ACP: Significant impact of the East Asia monsoon on ozone seasonal behavior in the boundary layer of Eastern China and the west Pacific region by Y. J. He et al.
- 2008/12/17: ACP: Carbonyl sulfide in air extracted from a South Pole ice core: a 2000 year record by M. Aydin et al.
- 2008/12/16: ACP: Seasonal variation of nocturnal temperatures between 1 and 105 km altitude at 54° N observed by lidar by M. Gerding et al.
- 2008/12/17: ACPD: Ice supersaturations and cirrus cloud crystal numbers by M. Krämer et al.
- 2008/12/16: ACPD: Injection in the lower stratosphere of biomass fire emissions followed by long-range transport: a MOZAIC case study by J.-P. Cammas et al.
- 2008/12/16: PNAS: [Letter] Reply to Anderson et al., Jones, Kennett and West, Culleton, and Kennett et al.: Further evidence against the extraterrestrial impact hypothesis by Mark Collard et al.
- 2008/12/16: PNAS: [Letter] Crude demographic proxy reveals nothing about Paleoindian population by Brendan J. Culleton
- 2008/12/16: PNAS: [Letter] Biostratigraphic evidence supports Paleoindian population disruption at ~12.9 ka by James P. Kennett & Allen West
- 2008/12/16: PNAS: [Letter] California archaeological record consistent with Younger Dryas disruptive event by Terry L. Jones
- 2008/12/16: PNAS: [Letter] Southeastern data inconsistent with Paleoindian demographic reconstruction by David G. Anderson et al.
- 2008/12/16: PNAS: [Letter] Standards of evidence and Paleoindian demographics by Douglas J. Kennett et al.
Before we get into politics, there was some science done:
- 2008/12/18: PhysOrg: Under a Frozen Lake in Siberia, Geoscientist Drills For Secrets of Earth’s Ancient Climate
- 2008/12/19: SciDaily: Weather Forecasting: Mathematical Model Illuminates Polar Lows
- 2008/12/15: Eureka: Tiny MIT ecosystem may shed light on climate change
And on the carbon trading front:
- 2008/12/20: GristMill: Low off the mark — RGGI auction: CO2 trading at $3 per ton
The idea of a carbon tax is still bouncing around:
- 2008/12/16: WorldChanging: Hansen to Obama: Support a Carbon Tax
- 2008/12/16: TreeHugger: Obama Should Implement Carbon Tax, Eminent Climatologist Scientist Says
The debate over the optimal strategy [carbon trading, carbon offsets, auction vs. allocation, and/or a carbon tax] to use in dealing with GHGs continues:
- 2008/12/19: GristMill: Cap-and-dividend question No. 1 — Where will the money for public investment come from?
- 2008/12/19: TreeHugger: Without Carbon Pricing Any Green Energy Plan Is Fundamentally Incomplete
- 2008/12/18: GristMill: Wonk agonistes — Attempting to un-vex the vexing subject of cap-and-dividend
- 2008/12/17: PhysOrg: Cap and trade policies limiting CO2 can increase value of some electricity generating firms
Meanwhile on the international political front:
- 2008/12/16: Google:AP: Germany seeking US global warming cooperation
And on the American political front:
- 2008/12/20: CSW: Broken Government assessment of Bush administration failures includes climate change communication
- 2008/12/19: KSJT: News: Global tree poachers face a new US obstacle
- 2008/12/: RFF: Climate Change Legislation in the 110th Congress
- 2008/12/18: CommonTragedies: Climate change legislation in the last Congress
- 2008/12/17: EconView: Are Green Jobs Bogus?
- 2008/12/16: ClimateP: White House: “The President [Bush] supports climate change, is leading the way to slow an international agreement, takes advantage of more Americans, and dramatically increased emissions”
- 2008/12/16: GristMill: Pedal faster — Why the much-ballyhooed utility decoupling is inadequate
- 2008/12/15: EnergyBulletin: A green scorecard for stimulating the economy
Evangelicals are still in conflict:
- 2008/12/17: GristMill: Thou shalt not waver on the homos — Climate crusader Richard Cizik forced out of evangelical association over gay marriage
Kansas legislators are going to take another run at Governor Sibelius:
- 2008/12/15: CJOnline: [Kansas] Coal saga burns into 2009
Bushite chutzpah par excellence:
- 2008/12/14: ClimateP: Guess which country the Bush team blames for lack of a climate deal
- 2008/12/17: AFTIC: How’s this for jaw dropping…
The Bush administration’s midnight regulation changes continue to gather opprobrium:
- 2008/12/20: WarmingLaw: Bush’s EPA Administrator Sparks Yet Another “Bonanza” of A Controversy
- 2008/12/19: DeSmogBlog: EPA to Planet: “Drop Dead! (You, too, Supreme Court!)
- 2008/12/19: NatureN: US Environmental Protection Agency faces eleventh-hour shake-up — Scientists voice concerns as small-scale projects fall from favour.
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD), home to most of the agency’s scientists, may be facing a significant reorganization just one month before President-elect Barack Obama takes office. According to an employee of the ORD — who asked to remain anonymous to avoid reprisals — a department-wide staff meeting on 18 December reiterated plans mooted in recent months, including abandoning many small projects led by a single principal investigator (PI) in favour of broad, multi-agency, multi-disciplinary projects. It is not yet clear when these changes will take place. The move is seen by many scientists not as sensible streamlining, but rather as an attempt to push through Bush administration objectives before the keys to the White House are passed to Obama.
- 2008/12/19: PhysOrg: New ban imposed on regulating global warming gases
The Bush administration is trying to make sure in its final days that federal air pollution regulations will not be used to control the gases blamed for global warming.
- 2008/12/19: SLTrib: EPA memo reverses climate change ruling — Clean-air law doesn’t apply to greenhouse gases
- 2008/12/19: WaPo: EPA Eases Emissions Regulations for New Power Plants
- 2008/12/19: NYT: E.P.A. Ruling Could Speed Up Approval of Coal Plants
Officials weighing federal applications by utilities to build new coal-fired power plants cannot consider their greenhouse gas output, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ruled late Thursday. Some environmentalists fear the decision will clear the way for the approval of several such plants in the last days of the Bush administration. The ruling, by Stephen L. Johnson, the administrator, responds to a decision made last month by the Environmental Appeals Board, a panel within the E.P.A., that had blocked the construction of a small new plant on the site of an existing power plant, Bonanza, on Ute tribal land in eastern Utah. The Supreme Court ruled last year that the agency could regulate carbon dioxide, the most prevalent global warming gas, under existing law. The agency already requires some power plants to track how much carbon dioxide they emit. But a memorandum issued by Mr. Johnson late Thursday puts the agency on record saying that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant to be regulated when approving power plants. He cited “sound policy considerations.”
- 2008/12/17: TP:WonkRoom: EPA Press Secretary On Increase In Global Warming Pollution: ‘I Haven’t Seen That’
- 2008/12/17: Guardian(UK): Report: Politics corroded Bush decisions on endangered species
- 2008/12/15: OregonLive: Bush-appointed official twisted species data, report says
- 2008/12/16: NYT: Report Finds Meddling in Interior Dept. Actions
The inspector general of the Interior Department has found that agency officials often interfered with scientific work in order to limit protections for species at risk of becoming extinct, reviving attention to years of disputes over the Bush administration’s science policies. In a report delivered to Congress on Monday, the inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found serious flaws in the process that led to 15 decisions related to policies on endangered species.
- 2008/12/15: FAS:SN: DoE Seeks to Limit “Public Interest” FOIA Disclosures
The Obama chatter is nonstop:
- 2008/12/20: MTobis: Obama on Science
- 2008/12/20: ClimateP: Obama declares end to Dark Ages: “It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda”
- 2008/12/20: DotEarth: Obama Pledges Allegiance to Science
- 2008/12/19: Guardian(UK): Obama buys the biofuel hype — Ethanol production won’t solve America’s energy problems – a fact Obama and his agriculture secretary don’t seem to grasp
- 2008/12/19: EurActiv: [Interview with former US ambassador to the EU, Stuart Eizenstat] Global climate deal a ‘tall order’ for Obama
- 2008/12/18: Yale360: A Green Agenda for Obama’s First 100 Days
- 2008/12/18: EnergyBulletin: The peak oil crisis: parsing Obama’s remarks
- 2008/12/18: ClimateP: Yale Environment 360: A Green Agenda for Obama’s First 100 Days
- 2008/12/17: ClimateP: Hansen (at AGU) to Obama: “We could solve this problem if we would just tell the truth”
- 2008/12/18: DeSmogBlog: Where Is Barack Obama’s Global Warming Adaptation Plan?
- 2008/12/17: NEN: Obama & solar execs say it — don’t look back to oil, look ahead to new energy
- 2008/12/15: GristMill: Saying all the right things — Obama touts new green energy economy while introducing green team
- 2008/12/15: DotEarth: Warming: Pollution or Technology Problem? Can Mr. Obama mediate between those putting regulation or innovation first?
- 2008/12/16: EarthTimes: Analysis: Obama signals new directions on climate, energy
- 2008/12/15: SeattlePI: Obama ready to address climate change
- 2008/12/15: NEN: Obama’s energy plan – what wind wants, what the nation needs
- 2008/12/15: WSJ:EnvCap: Bonjour, Barack: French Ambassador Urges U.S. Climate Crackdown
- 2008/12/14: CSW: First step for Obama in building integrity at EPA on climate change: Out with Administrator Johnson
- 2008/12/14: AP: Obama left with little time to curb global warming
And there has been a lot of talk about Obama’s appointments:
- 2008/12/21: ABC(Au): US president-elect Barack Obama has nominated [John Holdren] a Harvard university physicist to lead his science and technology team in the White House
- 2008/12/20: GristMill: More sunlight on USDA — NYT weighs in on Vilsack pick
- 2008/12/20: TreeHugger: Four Ways To Give The U.S. A ‘Clean Slate’ [US pol]
- 2008/12/20: DeSmogBlog: Obama’s science advisor no fan of Bjorn Lomborg
- 2008/12/20: BBC: Climate experts get key US posts
US President-elect Barack Obama has nominated two leading global warming specialists for key science posts in his administration. Harvard physicist John Holdren will be Mr Obama’s scientific adviser while marine biologist Jane Lubchenco will head the US oceanic research body. Both have advocated greater government action on climate change.
- 2008/12/20: SlashDot: Obama Transition Team Examining Space Solar Power
- 2008/12/19: Maribo: What a change [Holdren video]
- 2008/12/20: Intersection:CCM: Obama Announces Science Team; Restores Cabinet-Level Science Advice
- 2008/12/19: DeSmogBlog: Nightmare On Coal Street: The Video [Chu]
- 2008/12/17: IR^2: Thoughts on the New Energy Team
- 2008/12/19: GreenGrok: Two Stellar Appointments by Obama
- 2008/12/19: NatureCF: Obama’s key science appointments
- 2008/12/19: KSJT: Wash. Post, lots more: Obama to make Harvard’s John Holdren science adviser
- 2008/12/19: ClimateP: For NOAA head, Obama appoints yet another scientist who gets climate
- 2008/12/19: DotEarth: Questions for Obama’s Science Team
- 2008/12/19: DotEarth: Sea Champion Picked for Ocean, Air Agency
- 2008/12/19: NewScientist: Energy policy expert [Holdren] to be tapped for US science adviser
- 2008/12/19: GristMill: Vilsack in perspective — An Iowa sustainable-ag legend [Denise O’Brien] speaks on her experience with the former governor
- 2006/03/: BCSIA: “The Energy Innovation Imperative: Addressing Oil Dependence, Climate Change, and Other 21st Century Energy Challenges” by John P. Holdren
- 2008/12/19: CSW: Under next director CDC must participate in climate science program with health impacts research
- 2008/12/19: MTobis: Grownups in Town [obama appts]
- 2008/12/18: QuarkSoup: Holdren for Science Advisor
- 2008/12/19: ENN: Obama’s ‘Green Dream Team’ to Make Energy, Environment a Priority
- 2008/12/19: WaPo: Advocates for Action on Global Warming Chosen as Obama’s Top Science Advisers [Physicist John Holdren & marine biologist Jane Lubchenco]
- 2008/12/18: OPB: Obama To Nominate OSU Scientist [Dr, Jane Lubchenco] To Head NOAA
- 2008/12/19: BBC: Obama unveils final cabinet picks
US President-elect Barack Obama has revealed who will fill the final seats in his cabinet. California Congresswoman Hilda Solis will be labour secretary, and former congressman Ray LaHood – a Republican – will become transportation secretary. He has also announced that former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk will act as his trade representative. No more cabinet secretary positions remain to be filled, although Mr Obama has yet to name his intelligence chief.
- 2008/12/18: ClimateP: Obama’s strongest message on climate yet: John Holdren to be named Science Adviser
- 2008/12/18: DotEarth: [John Holdren] A Strong Voice on CO2 as Science Adviser
- 2008/12/18: GristMill: The USDA’s time in the sun — Michael Pollan, Nicholas Kristoff, and others weigh in on USDA pick [Vilsack]
- 2008/12/18: GristMill: Vilsack on organic ag and ethanol
- 2008/12/17: CommonTragedies: All Hail King Vilsack, Lord of Biofuels
- 2008/12/18: CSW: Jane Lubchenco for NOAA Administrator
- 2008/12/18: CSW: Obama to appoint John Holdren as President’s Science Adviser? This would be a great choice.
- 2008/12/18: NEN: Obama’s energy team — the work before them
- 2008/12/17: CasaubonsBook: Vilsack and Obama: Farmer in Chief my Ass!
- 2008/12/17: ClimateP: Is Obama’s new Ag Sec, Tom Vilsack, green?
- 2008/12/17: GristMill: Chu-ing the fat of the land? New energy chief’s enthusiasm for cellulosic ethanol makes me uncomfortable
- 2008/12/17: GristMill: More on Vilsack — Thoughts on Obama’s USDA pick
[…] People in the sustainable-ag world — including me — are having a tough time time accepting that Obama has picked an a ethanol-loving, GMO enthusiast as his USDA chief. But then again, Obama himself is a strong supporter of both GMOs and ethanol, so maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised.
- 2008/12/17: GristMill: Transition talk: Two if by land — Obama officially announces Vilsack for USDA and Salazar for Interior
- 2008/12/17: HillHeat: Obama Selects Vilsack for Agriculture, Salazar for Interior
- 2008/12/17: CSW: Ken Salazar for Interior Sec.: Weak on scientific integrity, endangered species, global warming?
- 2008/12/17: SMH: Obama picks dream green team
- 2008/12/16: GreenGrok: Steve Chu – Token Scientist or the Real Deal?
- 2008/12/16: ClimateP: Stuff for Chu to chew over
- 2008/12/16: GristMill: Transition talk: Any which way you Ken — Where does Interior pick Salazar stand on key environmental issues?
- 2008/12/16: GristMill: Progressivism is pragmatism — Steven Chu is a progressive environmentalist because he’s a good scientist
- 2008/12/16: GristMill: Transition talk: Come together, right now, over green — A united environmental community gets attention from the Obama team
- 2008/12/15: GristMill: Transition talk: Oh say, Ken you see — Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar picked to head Interior Department
- 2008/12/15: GristMill: Transition talk: The gang of four — Obama officially announces his green team
- 2008/12/16: G&M: Obama’s green revolution takes charge
Declaring it “a leading priority of my presidency and a defining test of our time,” Barack Obama yesterday committed the United States to revolutionary reform in energy self-sufficiency and fighting global warming. The question, to be answered over the next four years, is whether he can succeed where so many of his predecessors failed.
- 2008/12/16: HillHeat: Obama Announces Climate Team
- 2008/12/15: Intersection:CCM: Precisely How Will the Obama Team Solve Global Warming?
- 2008/12/15: QuarkSoup: Steven Chu quote
- 2008/12/16: TP:WonkRoom: Obama’s Green Team
- 2008/12/15: CBC: Obama names 4 leading experts to energy and environment team
- 2008/12/16: BBC: Barack Obama has named physics Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu as his energy secretary and tasked him with finding alternatives to fossil fuels
- 2008/12/16: Guardian(UK): Barack Obama’s environmental team — Profiles of the key players in the president-elect’s environmental team
- 2008/12/16: Guardian(UK): Obama breaks with Bush oil bosses and puts environment at top of agenda
Nobel scientist designated US energy secretary – New ‘climate tsarina’ will coordinate agencies
- 2008/12/15: CNN: Obama names energy team, vows new tack
- 2008/12/15: ClimateP: Top 5 reasons Chu is a great energy pick – #1: “It’s not guaranteed we have a solution for coal”
The Gore-apalooza is still bopping along:
- 2008/12/13: TP:WonkRoom: Dispatch From Poznan: Gore’s Great Shout Out
While in the UK:
- 2008/12/18: Guardian(UK): Legal move to crack down on climate protesters
- 2008/12/15: Guardian(UK): The police crossed a line at Kingsnorth — The climate camp debacle shows that policing of environmental protests, where once merely bad, is now ridiculous
- 2008/12/16: Guardian(UK): Third runway would ‘drive coach and horses’ through mayor’s green plans
- 2008/12/15: Yahoo: In breezy Britain, wind farm cooperatives take off
With annual returns of 10 percent coupled with low risk, wind farm cooperatives are drawing growing numbers of investors in Britain — good news for Europe’s hopes to lead the world in renewable energy. Along with being a safe investment during turbulent economic times, the cooperatives are drawing interest from those concerned not just with global warming and climate change, but also with energy security.
- 2008/12/15: Guardian(UK): [Environment Secretary, Hilary] Benn warns against breaching EU air pollution limits at Heathrow
- 2008/12/15: Guardian(UK): Those Kingsnorth police injuries in full: six insect bites and a toothache — Kent force admits no officers hurt by protests – £5.9m police operation ‘colossal waste of money’
- 2008/12/14: PhysOrg: Britain’s environment minister concerned by Heathrow plan
- 2008/12/13: inel: FT on Air passenger numbers drop 8.9%
- 2008/12/14: inel: Times on Cabinet split over proposed Heathrow third runway
And in Europe:
- 2008/12/19: CarbonFinance: European Parliament adopts energy and climate package
- 2008/12/18: EurActiv: Mixed reactions as Parliament approves EU climate deal
- 2008/12/18: EurActiv: Car industry asks for more money to meet CO2 targets
- 2008/12/18: ENN: EU parliament approves climate change package
- 2008/12/18: AutoBG: EU parliament passes 130 g/km CO2 limit, industry asks for help
- 2008/12/16: IHT: EU court backs carbon-trading system
Luxembourg: ArcelorMittal and other steel makers are not discriminated against under European Union air-pollution rules that exempt industries with similar greenhouse-gas emissions, the European Union’s highest court said Tuesday. ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel maker, asserts that EU lawmakers unfairly excluded the aluminum and chemical industries from 2003 legislation that capped emissions of carbon dioxide in line with the Kyoto Protocol, the international global-warming treaty. That exclusion put ArcelorMittal and other steel makers, which are included in the system, at a “complete disadvantage,” lawyers for the company had told the European Court of Justice.
- 2008/12/15: BWeek: EU Climate Deal Slammed as ‘Mirage’
Critics charge concessions will undercut the EU’s plan to cut emissions 20% by 2012, and say the big winners are European industry and Eastern Europe’s power-generating sector
- 2008/12/17: EarthTimes: European Parliament approves climate change package
- 2008/12/17: BBC: The European Parliament has backed [20/20/20 by 20202] a package of measures to combat global warming – seen as a key EU initiative
- 2008/12/16: EurActiv: Industry ‘encouraged’ by EU climate deal
Last week’s EU climate change accord was “a step in the right direction,” according to the chemical industry, whose reaction starkly contrasts the huge disappointment expressed by environmental groups.
- 2008/12/16: EurActiv: Survey: EU consumers reluctant to ‘buy green’
- 2008/12/16: WorldChanging: European Leaders Agree on Package of Laws to Cut Emissions
- 2008/12/16: EarthTimes: Sarkozy defends climate change deal ahead of parliamentary vote
- 2008/12/16: Guardian(UK): [Letters] Green realism — The EU’s programme of incentives is more likely to succeed than hectoring by the Greens
- 2008/12/15: EurActiv: [European] Parliament to sign off on climate compromise
- 2008/12/15: NatureN: Europe agrees emissions deal — Heavy industry wins key concessions in last-minute negotiations
- 2008/12/15: EUO: Parliament negotiators sign off on climate deal
European Parliament negotiators have signed off on the climate package deal backed by European Union premiers and presidents last week, setting up the bills that make up the package to be approved when the full sitting of the house gathers to consider them on Wednesday (17 December)
- 2008/12/15: Guardian(UK): [Letters] Climate deal is far too little too late
Meanwhile in Australia:
- 2008/12/18: ABC(Au): A group representing employers of heavy industry in Tasmania is conducting a study to determine the impact of an emissions trading scheme
- 2008/12/18: Deltoid: As long as we beat New Zealand…
- 2008/12/18: SMH: Sun king Garrett cuts solar subsidy
Sydney residents who want to install rooftop solar panels will have their subsidy cut almost in half from next July, under a landmark shake-up of the nation’s solar industry. The existing solar panel rebate of up to $8000 for small solar panels is likely to be just over $4000 for Sydney households under the Federal Government’s “solar credits” scheme, but the unpopular means test that has held back the growth of the industry will be scrapped.
- 2008/12/18: ABC(Au): The ACT Government has welcomed the Federal Government’s move to drop the means test on solar panels
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): Conservation group urges Govt to retain solar panel rebate — The Queensland Conservation Council says the Federal Government is reducing the incentive for people to install solar panels
- 2008/12/15: ABC(Au): Govt must put value on stored carbon: WWF
- 2008/12/15: SMH: Sun could power remote communities
Solar energy is powering a small outback town in south-western Queensland. The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, yesterday witnessed the emissions-free energy production at Australia’s newest solar farm at Windorah – a Queensland first. The $4.5 million farm’s five solar dishes can create enough energy to power about 60 homes and businesses.
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): Rudd under fire for keeping solar rebate cap
In hindsight, it’s clear the reason Rudd delayed announcing the CO2 target levels was that he didn’t want to get laughed out of Poznan:
- 2008/12/15: ClimateChange(Au): Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme: Australia’s Low Pollution Future White Paper
- 2008/12/15: BBC: Australia sets new climate target
Australia has said it will start a carbon trading scheme by the middle of 2010, despite appeals from the business community for a delay. The plan will cover 75% of the country’s emissions. It has also announced that it will cut greenhouse gas emissions by between 5% and 15% by 2020, from the 2000 levels. Australia has the highest per capita levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the developed world, due to its heavy use of coal for generating electricity.
- 2008/12/20: ABC(Au): Garnaut’s assessment of climate plan ‘offensive’
Unions [national secretary of the Australian Worker’s Union, Paul Howes] have described economist Professor Ross Garnaut’s criticisms of the Federal Government’s carbon policy as “offensive”.
- 2008/12/20: ABC(Au): Garnaut criticism shows Rudd is a ‘climate change fraud’
The Federal Opposition says criticism of the Government’s climate policy by Professor Ross Garnaut shows that Kevin Rudd has significantly watered down his original aims.
- 2008/12/20: SMH: Carbon plan fuels meltdown
The national climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, has damned the Rudd Government’s carbon policy as a threat to the environment, the national budget and global prosperity. Professor Garnaut has called on the Government to make urgent changes to the policy that the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, announced this week. Writing in today’s Herald, Professor Garnaut urges the Government to keep open the option of a more ambitious cut to carbon emissions to keep alive the prospect of averting dangerous climate change.
- 2008/12/20: SMH: Oiling the squeaks
This week’s white paper on greenhouse emissions suggests excessive compensation for polluters, writes Ross Garnaut, the Rudd Government’s chief climate-change adviser.
- 2008/12/20: SMH: Rio Tinto likely to reap biggest carbon windfall
The mining multinational Rio Tinto will be the biggest recipient of public support under the Federal Government’s carbon trading scheme, with $462 million in free carbon permits expected to flow to the company in 2010.
- 2008/12/19: ABC(Au): Indulgent Greens miss point of White Paper [says AWU]
- 2008/12/20: ABC(Au): Govt’s emissions reduction target not high enough: Garnaut
- 2008/12/19: ABC(Au): 5pc emissions cut unrealistic: CSIRO
The 5 per cent carbon pollution reduction target set by the Federal Government this week would only help avert catastrophic global warming if it was adopted by all countries, says CSIRO climate scientist Dr Michael Raupach.
- 2008/12/18: ABC(Au): Wishful thinking on carbon targets?
- 2008/12/18: SMH: Greenies go ga-ga over emissions
Apoplectic apocalyptic greenies threw shoes at an effigy of Kevin Rudd, broke into a woodchip mill in Tasmania and threatened to move to Europe as part of an orchestrated dummy spit against the Prime Minister’s emissions scheme announced this week. The tantrums from Australia’s screeching environmental banshees have barely abated since the Government revealed its plan to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions from between 5 and 15 per cent by 2020, an amount deemed too small by green groups.
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): Cement industry to get emissions scheme help: [Climate Change Minister Penny] Wong
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): A New South Wales far south coast anti-logging group is accusing the Federal Government of misleading Australians by classifying electricity generation from timber as carbon neutral
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): The independent Member for Gippsland East, Craig Ingram, is accusing the Federal Government of going soft on climate change targets
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): Smelter owner [Nyrstar] pleased with carbon scheme
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): The chief executive of a renewable energy generator says while the Federal Government deserves congratulations for its white paper on emissions, it must take further action to arrest pollution
- 2008/12/17: ABC(Au): The Federal Opposition says a cement company could scrap a billion-dollar expansion in central Queensland because of extra costs imposed by an emissions trading scheme
- 2008/12/16: TerraDaily: Protests heat up over Australia’s climate plan
- 2008/12/17: SMH: Protests increase over polluters’ discount
The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, says the Government’s decision to grant extra free carbon trading permits to major polluters is a good thing, despite groups of protesters around the country continuing their campaign against greenhouse gas targets.
- 2008/12/17: SMH: Households need pricing buffer: Wong
The Federal Government has defended its decision to give some households more help than they need to meet rising costs incurred by the emissions trading scheme.
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Fierce debate is continuing on the Federal Government’s plan for a carbon pollution reduction scheme with a 5 per cent target
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Hobart protesters rally against emissions target
Speakers at a protest rally in Hobart have labelled the Federal Government’s plans to cut carbon emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 as weak.
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): SAFF [South Australian Farmers Federation] fears carbon reduction scheme impact
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Emissions scheme ‘acknowledges’ forestry’s climate change role
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Carbon targets create power worker worries
The Gippsland Trades and Labour Council says the carbon reduction targets set by the Federal Government yesterday are only a starting point.
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Emission reduction targets ‘laughable’
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Carbon scheme a waste of time: [Independent federal MP for New England, Tony] Windsor
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Emissions plan puts Riverina in worse position: Greens
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): The Coalition and the Greens look set to forge an unlikely alliance to force a Senate inquiry into the Government’s 2020 emissions reduction target
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): The Reef and Rainforest Research Centre says the Federal Government’s carbon pollution reduction plan will not be enough to save the Great Barrier Reef
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Low emissions target adds to farmers’ woes: green group
The Central West Environment Council says the problems facing farmers in the western New South Wales region will worsen because of the Federal Government’s low target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Illawarra Greens reject ‘timid’ emission targets
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): North Queensland environmental groups say the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme will do nothing to reduce the impact of climate change
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) says it does not know what impact a carbon pollution reduction scheme will have on the sector
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Carbon scheme will affect farming viability: NFF
The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is warning that the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme could cripple Australia’s food production.
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Green protesters throw shoes at Rudd lookalike
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Australian Industry Group welcomes emissions target
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Some are more equal than others
[…] It is clear that Kevin Rudd does not have the vision to see Australia as a prosperous, green energy hub. Instead of a White Paper, he raised the white flag of surrender.
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): The United Nations climate chief says the Government’s emissions trading scheme is very encouraging and Australia should be applauded for entering the carbon market
- 2008/12/16: Reuters: Greens protest over Australian carbon targets
- 2008/12/16: Yahoo: Protests heat up over Australia’s climate plan
- 2008/12/16: BBC: Australians condemn climate plan
Environmental activists have staged protests in several Australian cities against a plan to combat climate change announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Some campaigners held up white flags to signify Australia’s “surrender” to climate change, while others reportedly threw shoes at a puppet of Mr Rudd. Under the plan greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by at least 5% by 2020 and a carbon trading scheme will be set up. But critics say it is inadequate, with some calling it a “joke”.
- 2008/12/16: SMH: Greenpeace, WWF damn paper on climate change
The Federal Government’s white paper on climate change received only muted praise from industry but outright hostility from the environment movement. Environment and community groups reacted angrily. Sixty of them joined to condemn the Government’s target range. The range of between 5 and 15 per cent was “a total failure of climate policy and shows that the Rudd Government has caved in to pressure from the big polluters”, the groups, including Greenpeace and WWF, said.
- 2008/12/16: SMH: Renewable energy boom set to go up in smoke
Until yesterday the so-called “green revolution” was ready to roll, but the renewable energy industry doubts the Government’s white paper will allow it to get out of first gear.
- 2008/12/16: SMH: PM baulks at crossroads of history
“Our generation stands at the crossroads of history,” the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, declared yesterday at his climate change launch, asking emotively: “Do we wait, knowing our grandchildren may never see the grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef’?” Well, maybe, is the answer woven through the carbon pollution reduction plan, released to the muted applause of industry and the condemnation of the environment movement.
- 2008/12/15: ABC(Au): Adelaide University climate change researcher Barry Brook says the Federal Government’s carbon reduction target needs to be multiplied eight times if it is to make a difference
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): ACT aims to be climate leader
The ACT Climate Change Minister Simon Corbell says Canberrans will have to decide for themselves whether the Federal Government has let them down by setting a five percent carbon reduction target.
- 2008/12/15: ABC(Au): Sixty green groups have combined to condemn the Government for deciding to cut greenhouse gases by 5 per cent by 2020
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Two Australian scientists on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have welcomed the Federal Government’s move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but say it does not go far enough
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): [Nationals Senate leader, Barnaby] Joyce, [Greens climate change spokeswoman Christine] Milne lash out at emissions target [for different reasons]
- 2008/12/15: ABC(Au): Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the Federal Government’s emissions target is credible
- 2008/12/15: ABC(Au): 5pc target a global embarrassment: Greens
- 2008/12/15: NewScientist: Australia makes a stand on climate… sort of
- 2008/12/15: JQuiggin: White Flag — The long-awaited White Paper version of the government’s emissions trading scheme is out
- 2008/12/15: Deltoid: Shortcut on White Paper
- 2008/12/15: TreeHugger: No One Else Is Reducing Emissions That Much So We Won’t Either: Australia’s Prime Minister
- 2008/12/15: EarthTimes: Australia plans 5- to 15-per-cent carbon emission cuts by 2020
- 2008/12/15: CBC: Australia to cut pollution 5 to 15 per cent by 2020
- 2008/12/15: SMH: Fund to ease carbon cost
Small businesses and community organisations will have access to a $1.4 billion fund to help them cut their energy use and avoid the brunt of price increases to be caused by Australia’s emissions trading scheme. The Climate Change Action Fund, available for five years, will be among the details of the emissions trading scheme to be launched in Canberra today.
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): Rudd locks in 5pc emissions cut
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Australia will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 5 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020, but could make a cut of up to 15 per cent if other countries also sign up to stronger reductions
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): Environmentalists in Ballarat are expecting to be disappointed with today’s announcement about reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): The mining industry is warning that Australia cannot afford to introduce European-style cuts in greenhouse gas emissions
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says small businesses and community groups will get $1.4 billion over five years to help them adjust to the introduction of an emissions trading scheme
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): Indigenous communities warned over ‘carbon-baggers’
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will today announce details of the Federal Government’s carbon reduction scheme to start in the middle of 2010
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): PM fast-tracks renewable energy investment
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has laid the ground work for tomorrow’s carbon pollution reduction scheme announcement by fast-tracking investment in solar and renewable energy
- 2008/12/14: ABC(Au): The Federal Opposition has refused to reveal its target for greenhouse gas emission reductions
While in New Zealand:
- 2008/12/18: IHT: NZ repeals ban on carbon-fueled power plants
- 2008/12/17: EarthTimes: New Zealand repeals law that mandated use of biofuels
And in India:
- 2008/12/15: IndiaTimes: Climate plan wants drastic curbs on private cars
While in China:
- 2008/12/19: Reuters: Now China is growing slower, can it grow clean
- 2008/12/19: People’s Daily: China’s electricity consumption increases 6.67% year-on-year
- 2008/12/18: CommonTragedies: China energy policy fact(s) of the day
- 2008/12/16: ClimateP: Can China go green?
- 2008/12/16: People’s Daily: [China’s] Largest coal-electricity project cluster starts construction
- 2008/12/15: BBerg: China Industrial-Output Growth Is Weakest Since 1999
[…] China’s electricity output fell by 9.6 percent in November from a year earlier…
- 2008/12/18: NatureN: Canada’s scientists face an uncertain future — Political turmoil leaves key positions in doubt
- 2008/12/17: WpgFP: Harper hoping WTO kills wheat board for him
The provinces are wrestling with energy concerns:
- 2008/12/18: CleanBreak: [German legislator, Hermann] Scheer: Ontario could go 100 per cent renewable
- 2008/12/18: Tyee: Who’s Behind ‘BC Citizens For Green Energy’? Group with BC Liberal ties slams gov’t critics, pushes private power, nuclear.
The tricky & difficult question of the tar sands looms:
- 2008/12/14: FuturePundit: Alberta Oil Sands Production To Fall Short Of Goal
- 2008/12/: HIR: A Crude Reality — Canada’s Oil Sands and Pollution
- 2008/12/18: BBC: Canada boomtown [Fort McMurray, Alberta] under pressure
- 2008/09/18: VueWeekly: Dead forest standing — Greenwashing a tar sands sacrifice zone
- 2008/12/15: BBC: In the shadow of Canada’s oil boom — the small northern community of Fort Chipewyan
The movement toward a long term ecologically viable economics is glacial:
- 2008/12/18: GristMill: A massive market failure — The ‘invisible hand’ is blind to climate externalities and the value of natural resources [Lester Brown]
- 2008/12/13: TruthOut: The Crisis: An Opportunity to Save the Planet [Nicholas Stern interview]
- 2008/12/16: ABC(Au): Market for recycled goods dwindles
- 2008/12/14: MTobis: Inflection
Anything that can not be sustained eventually stops. Given that our whole way of living is unsustainable, the next question is “when?” The exponential growth of human impact on the planet will eventually cease, and the curve will take some other shape. When will the growth curve break?
- 2008/12/18: SMH: Many in denial over rising population
As for how the media handles the science of climatology:
- 2008/12/19: Intersection:CCM: CNN: Cutting Science, and Kicking It On the Way Out the Door
- 2008/12/15: CJR: Weird Science (Reporting) — CNN covers unfounded claims about new energy technology [media]
- 2008/12/16: CJR: Q&A: Andrew Revkin — NYT reporter discusses climate, sustainability, and long-haul reporting
- 2008/12/18: YaleCMF: Duck and Cover: Climate News Reporting Routinely Draws Big, Loud Pushback
- 2008/12/16: GristMill: Washington Post editors blow it — WaPo editorial reflects lazy resort to gas tax as answer to carbon troubles
- 2008/12/15: QuarkSoup: Cooling = Warming? Can anyone make heads or tails out of this paragraph from the Associated Press…?
- 2008/12/14: ClimateP: Oliphant and Washington Post ignorantly smear GM and plug-in hybrids
Here is something for your library:
- 2008/12/18: Deltoid: [Book Plug] David Archer’s “The Long Thaw”
- 2008/12/14: NYT: _Ectopia_ The Novel That Predicted Portland
And for your film & video enjoyment:
- 2008/12/17: DeSmogBlog: DeSmog’s extensive (and growing) global warming video resource
The betting meme rolls on:
- 2008/12/17: ERabett: The Rabett was wrong and you were right, Stoat?
Wrestling over a new energy infrastructure continues unabated:
- 2008/12/20: TreeHugger: UN Supported African Enterprise to Set Up Major Geothermal Facility in East Africa’s Rift Valley
- 2008/12/19: CommonTragedies: What is up with oil?
- 2008/12/19: AfterGutenberg: Energy Craft Your New Home with a Water Furnace
- 2008/12/17: REA: Wind, Water and Sun Beat Biofuels, Nuclear and Coal for Energy Generation, Study Says — Wind power is the most promising alternative source of energy, according to Mark Jacobson
- 2008/12/19: CalcRisk: Crude Oil below $33 per Barrel
- 2008/12/19: TreeHugger: SeaGen Tidal Turbine Begins Full Operation in Northern Ireland
- 2008/12/18: BBerg: Crude Oil Tumbles Below $36 as Demand Drop Swells Inventories
- 2008/12/18: GristMill: Of ice and biomass
- 2008/12/18: SciDaily: Wave Energy: New System [OWC: Oscillating Water Column] Captures Significantly More Wave Energy Than Existing Systems
- 2008/12/18: TimesUnion: An energy crisis fades
- 2008/12/18: NEN: Making new energy work in this economy
- 2008/12/17: IdahoStatesman: Geothermal energy keeps plants toasty at Ward’s Greenhouses — Hot water gives the Garden Valley business, now in its 5th decade, a competitive edge
- 2008/12/18: BBC: Tidal energy system on full power — A tidal turbine near the mouth of Strangford Lough has begun producing electricity at full capacity for the first time
- 2008/12/17: EnergyBulletin: Methane Hydrates: What are they thinking?
- 2008/12/17: NakedCapitalism: More Signs of Consumer Stress: 20% of Households Late Last Winter on Utilities
- 2008/12/16: CommonTragedies: Wise(r) words on renewables and transmission
- 2008/12/15: USAToday: Despite economy, 3 companies stay on alternative-energy path
- 2008/12/16: OilDrum: Oil Prices Below $40 per Barrel
- 2008/12/16: NEN: Sun and wind and energy efficiency and Corning chemistry
- 2008/12/15: CalcRisk: The Impact of Falling Oil Prices on Energy Investment
- 2008/12/15: AFTIC: Monbiot interviews Fatih Birol
- 2008/12/15: EnergyBulletin: Energy and Ponzi schemes
- 2008/12/15: Guardian(UK): Energy — Beyond laissez-faire — In just 10 years’ time more than half of Britain’s power will have to come from global markets
- 2008/12/14: ClimateP: Stanford study, Part 1: Wind, solar baseload easily beat nuclear and they all crush “clean coal”
- 2008/12/14: TreeHugger: Stockholm Leaps Into the Electric Infrastructure Fray
The answer my friend…:
- 2008/12/21: Telegraph(UK): Promoters overstated the environmental benefit of wind farms
The wind farm industry [British Wind Energy Association (BWEA)] has been forced to admit that the environmental benefit of wind power in reducing carbon emissions is only half as big as it had previously claimed.
- 2008/12/15: UIUC: Answers to huge wind-farm problems are blowin’ in the wind
Meanwhile among the solar aficionados:
- 2008/12/20: IR^2: Arizona Solar Power Project, Calculations
- 2008/12/18: DerSpiegel: Clouds on the Horizon for Solar Power Industry
As oil prices have plunged, solar has become less cost-competitive. At the same time, the credit squeeze has made it harder to finance solar projects.
- 2008/12/16: EurActiv: European solar industry going strong, EU research shows
Half of the world’s photovoltaic electricity is currently produced in the EU, but the European solar industry must continue its “impressive growth” to maintain its market position in the years to come, argues a study released by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) last week. The annual Photovoltaics Status Report demonstrates that solar power production grew at a rapid rate, averaging 40% over five years since 2003 and peaking at 60% in 2007. This means that the European photovoltaic industry is now worth 14 billion Euros a year.
- 2008/12/16: TreeHugger: Building Integrated Solar Power Tiles Now Available With SunRun Solar-As-Service Program
- 2008/12/16: NEN: Stirling in the sun?
The arithmetic of coal carbon is striking home:
- 2008/12/19: FuturePundit: David Rutledge Sees Far Less Coal Remaining
- 2008/12/17: WiredSci: World Coal Reserves Could Be a Fraction of Previous Estimates
- 2008/12/18: TreeHugger: Increased Coal-to-Liquids Fuels Usage Will Accelerate Climate Breaking Point
- 2008/12/18: TreeHugger: World Coal Reserves Could Be Much Smaller than Previously Thought
- 2008/12/18: BBC: Climate outcome ‘hangs on coal’ [AGU]
If growth in carbon dioxide emissions is to be constrained and even reversed then the world cannot afford a coal renaissance, scientists have said.
- 2008/12/14: NYT: Up on the Roof, New Jobs in Solar Power
Biofuel bickering abounds:
- 2008/12/19: CommonTragedies: A biofuels conundrum
- 2008/12/20: SciDaily: Biofuel Development Shifting From Soil To Sea, Specifically To Marine Algae
- 2008/12/19: IR^2: Cellulosic Ethanol Targets Slipping
- 2008/12/17: BioEnergyBiz: Investors put $38m into [US company] GreenShift’s maize oil-to-biodiesel technology
- 2008/12/19: GristMill: Where is this bridge leading, exactly? Cellulosic ethanol’s bumpy ride
- 2008/12/18: TStar: Lucrative palm oil crop putting [Sumatran orangutan] red apes in danger
- 2008/12/18: Eureka: Researchers push nature beyond its limits to create higher-density biofuels — Genetic modification of bacterium results in alcohols with greater energy
- 2008/12/17: Blorge: Are biofuels still economically feasible?
- 2008/12/17: Eureka: Engineering algae to make fuel instead of sugar
- 2008/12/16: NewScientist: Switch to biofuels boosts insect pest
- 2008/12/16: Purdue: Purdue study suggests warmer temperatures could lead to a boom in corn pests
- 2008/12/15: SSBM: Turning over a new leaf for future energy supplies — German scientists suggest energy based on biomass is a realistic scenario
- 2008/12/14: GristMill: Thoughts from a cellulosic skeptic — Cellulosic ethanol ranks dead last
The nuclear energy controversy continues:
- 2008/12/20: PnP: Canadian uranium search will kill off the last Bushmen of Africa
- 2008/12/20: TreeHugger: Turkish Government Says ‘Evet’ (Yes) to Nuclear Bid
- 2008/12/18: EarthTimes: French firm Areva to deliver uranium to Indian power stations
- 2008/12/16: BBC: Inventions aid nuclear clean-up
And we have peaks coming out the ying-yang:
- 2008/12/19: MongaBay: Will ‘peak oil’ spur expanded coal use? And what does it mean for climate?
- 2008/12/19: MongaBay: Peak coal to follow peak oil?
- 2008/12/19: GristMill: Resolutions for 2009 — Kunstler’s tips to prepare for a post-oil society
This post by James Kunstler, “10 Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society,” is a little old, but still timely, as the economy is in the midst of its first major convulsion caused by a radical swing in energy prices.
- 2008/12/19: NEN: Peak oil still coming
- 2008/12/18: CCurrents: Peak Oil: At Last, A Date
- 2008/12/17: GristMill: George Monbiot takes on Fatih Birol — Journalist interrogates head economist of International Energy Agency
- 2008/12/15: ClimateP: Normally staid IEA says oil will peak in 2020
- 2008/12/15: TreeHugger: Peak Oil: “Time is Not On Our Side”, IEA Chief Economist
- 2008/12/15: OilChange: It’s Official: Oil Will Peak by 2020
- 2008/12/15: Guardian(UK): When will the oil run out?
George Monbiot puts the question to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency – and is both astonished and alarmed by the answer […] Then I asked him a question for which I didn’t expect a straight answer: could he give me a precise date by which he expects conventional oil supplies to stop growing? “In terms of non-Opec [countries outside the big oil producers’ cartel],” he replied, “we are expecting that in three, four years’ time the production of conventional oil will come to a plateau, and start to decline. In terms of the global picture, assuming that Opec will invest in a timely manner, global conventional oil can still continue, but we still expect that it will come around 2020 to a plateau as well, which is, of course, not good news from a global-oil-supply point of view.” Around 2020. That casts the issue in quite a different light. Birol’s date, if correct, gives us about 11 years to prepare. If the Hirsch report is right, we have already missed the boat. Birol says we need a “global energy revolution” to avoid an oil crunch, including (disastrously for the environment) a massive global drive to exploit unconventional oils, such as the Canadian tar sands. But nothing on this scale has yet happened, and Hirsch suggests that even if it began today, the necessary investments and infrastructure changes could not be made in time. Birol told me: “I think time is not on our side here.”
- 2008/12/14: EnergyBulletin: Towns and cities should prepare for the peak oil energy crisis
- 2008/12/15: Guardian(UK): Global oil supply will peak in 2020, says [IEA, International] energy agency
And then there is the matter of efficiency & conservation:
- 2008/12/20: SciDaily: LEDs And Smart Lighting Could Save Trillions Of Dollars, Spark Global Innovation
- 2008/12/18: BBC: Free bulbs switch on Ethiopians — Ethiopians are rushing to get their hands on free energy-saving light bulbs which are being handed out by a utility to stop power cuts
- 2008/12/19: SlashDot: New York City Street Lights To Go LED
- 2008/12/18: ClimateP: U.S. forces find energy efficiency saves lives
- 2008/12/18: PhysOrg: Researchers lay out vision for [LED] lighting ‘revolution’
- 2008/12/15: TP:WonkRoom: Energy Efficiency Investment On A National Scale Would Achieve Five Powerful Goals At Once
Automakers & lawyers, engineers & activists argue over the future of the car:
- 2008/12/17: GreenGrok: China’s New Car: Plug In, Turn On, Drive Out
- 2008/12/19: AutoBG: ZAP execs say bailout money should go to electric startups
- 2008/12/17: PhysOrg: Timing is perfect, but money woes plague electric car maker Think
- 2008/12/17: PhysOrg: Honda sets up hybrid battery venture despite slump
- 2008/12/17: CBC: Small cars making strides in safety: U.S. insurance industry
- 2008/12/16: ClimateP: Chrysler to electrify entire product line!
- 2008/12/15: ClimateP: World’s first mass-market plug-in hybrid is from — China, for $22,000?
- 2008/12/16: NewScientist: Platinum-free fuel cell promises cheap, green power
- 2008/12/16: TreeHugger: Norwegian Electric Car Maker THINK in “urgent financial distress”
- 2008/12/16: DeSmogBlog: Chinese build electric car while US automakers beg for money
- 2008/12/16: BBC: EU car sales fall sharply — Biggest car sales fall since 1999
European new car sales dropped by 25.8% in November as the economic downturn continued to hit the industry.
- 2008/12/16: NEN: Obama brings new energy, China brings [BYD] EV to market
- 2008/12/15: TreeHugger: Ultracapacitors Getting Tested on South Korea’s Subways
- 2008/12/15: TreeHugger: GM is Weeping: BYD F3DM Plug-in Hybrid Goes On Sale in China, 3 Years Before Volt
- 2008/12/16: ChinaDaily: World’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid car [BYD F3DM] on sale
Meanwhile in the greenwashing chronicles:
- 2008/12/18: Guardian(UK): Greenwash: Carbon offset trees are not just for Christmas
- 2008/09/18: VueWeekly: Dead forest standing — Greenwashing a tar sands sacrifice zone
Insurance and re-insurance companies are feeling the heat:
- 2008/12/18: EnvFin: 2008 second-costliest for catastrophes
Natural and man-made catastrophes killed 238,000 people in 2008, as well as causing $225 billion of damage — $50 billion of which was insured. This was the second costliest year ever for insured losses, after 2005, according to a preliminary annual report by reinsurer Swiss Re.
- 2008/12/20: Deltoid: David Evans doesn’t even know what the hot spot is
- 2008/12/19: DeSmogBlog: Bjorn Lomborg is at it Again
- 2008/12/18: BSD: Marc Morano isn’t even a Reliable Source on climate nonsense
- 2008/12/16: BSD: Planet Gore laughs at a potential extinction it doesn’t understand
- 2008/12/18: Deltoid: The Australian’s War on Science XXVII
- 2008/12/18: BCLSB: Downturn Hard On Climate Change Deniers
- 2008/12/16: ERabett: Hard Times
- 2008/12/17: Deltoid: More on Inhofe’s alleged list of 650 scientists
- 2008/12/15: BSD: Crank magnetism in action
- 2008/12/16: Deltoid: How many on Inhofe’s list are IPCC authors?
- 2008/12/16: DeSmogBlog: Senator James Inhofe Rehashed Skeptic Screed Getting Old
- 2008/12/15: KSJT: ABC Radio: An interview with a brilliant skeptic on global warming, Freeman Dyson
- 2008/12/15: DeSmogBlog: The Policy Communications Inc. Astroturf Shell Game
- 2008/12/14: JFleck: The Intolerable Shortage of Pixie Dust
- 2008/12/14: Deltoid: The Australian’s War on Science XXVI
- 2008/12/13: Deltoid: Inhofe: less honest than the Discovery Institute
As for climate miscellanea:
- 2008/12/20: TreeHugger: Behold the Togetherizer — 1.37 Million Tons of CO2 Saved and Counting
- 2008/12/20: ClimateP: Adaptation – or climate crime? The Versace beach will be refrigerated
- 2008/12/19: GristMill: Spencer, the solar panel installer — Solar’s bright ideas for the green stimulus package
- 2008/12/19: GristMill: [Dessler] Link roundup — Climate uncertainty is a reason to take action and Fred Singer makes big bucks
- 2008/12/18: DotEarth: Climate Policy – View From the ‘Murky Middle’
- 2008/12/18: CCurrents: Four Truths About Climate Change We Can’t Ignore
- 2008/12/18: CCurrents: 20 Ways To Save Mother Earth And Prevent Environmental Disaster by Evo Morales
- 2008/12/18: ScottDiatribe: Scientists: “We hate to say we told you so, but we did”
- 2008/12/17: NatureCF: A done deal, finally
- 2008/12/17: WarmingLaw: The Green Brief, 12.17.08: Cow Flatulence, Kansas, & Other Things
- 2008/12/17: TreeHugger: MIT Students Greatly Underestimate Needed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions
- 2008/12/16: AFTIC: A question of time
- 2008/12/16: JQuiggin: Unbalanced
- 2008/12/15: ClimateP: What would you tell MIT’s Future of Solar Energy Study — and what would you want them to tell us?
- 2008/12/15: Stoat: Stuck in the middle with… who? [Tamino & Appell]
- 2008/12/13: Stoat: Don’t tell Hansen
- 2008/12/14: ERabett: A bit of housework … updates the blogroll
- 2008/12/14: TreeHugger: Geeks Are Cool: Scientists And Engineers Will Lead The Way To A Greener Future
And here are a couple of sites you may find interesting and/or useful:
- GEB: Geo-engineering Blog
- GWGE: Global Warming – Geo Engineering
- The Global Cooling Project
- Power Up Canada
- Wiki: Geoengineering
- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
- World Radiation Centre
- NGDC.NOAA: Solar Irradiance Data
- Exxpose Exxon
- SciAmP: SciAm Perspectives
- IPCC: National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme
- UNFCCC: Greenhouse Gas Inventory Database
- Cap and Share Carbon Equity Project Australia
- EESD: Environmental Economics & Sustainable Development
- NUEXCO Exchange Value (Monthly Uranium Spot) [1968 – 2007]
Happy Solstice! Top of the season to you:
The Arctic melt continues to get a lot of attention:
As for the geopolitics of the Arctic resources:
Cosmic rays disproven, again:
The food crisis is ongoing:
The conflict between biofuel and food persists:
Glaciers are melting:
In Canada, minority neocon PM Harper, continues his do-nothing policy:
IPAT [Impact = Population * Affluence * Technology] raised its head once again:
The carbon lobby are up to the usual:
Low Key Plug
My first novel Water was published in Canada May, 2007. The American release was in October. An Introductionto the novel is available, along with the Unpublished Forewordand the Launch Talk. An overview of my writing is available here.
“In the face of the unbearable human tragedy that we in developing countries see unfolding every day, we see callousness, strategizing and obfuscation. We can, all of us, now see clearly what lies ahead at Copenhagen.” -Prodipto Ghosh, Indian COP14 delegate