Energy Efficiency Could Save U.S. $600 Billion |
July 30, 2009
The United States could save about $600 billion in energy costs by 2020 if it hiked annual efficiency spending about five-fold, business consultants McKinsey and Co said in a report on Wednesday. Governments, businesses and the general public would have to boost annual spending on existing energy-saving measures, like insulating walls and more efficient appliances, from about $10 billion annually to $50 billion per year. The upfront costs would pay off by saving $1.2 trillion by 2020, according to the report called "Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy."
The report, which did not look at energy used in transportation, said the savings would cut energy used for heating and to generate power about 23 percent.
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Report Gives Sobering View Of Warming's Impact on U.S.
June 30, 2009
This article summarizes the U.S. government's recently released report, "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States". The report covers impacts on the various regions of the U.S., and on various sectors: society, water resources, human health, ecosystems, agriculture, energy supply and use, and transportation. The grim conclusions illustrate that this problem is evolving so fast that the latest International Panel on Climate Change Report (2007) is already outdated.
Rising Acidity Threatens Oceans
30 January 2009
An international panel of marine scientists says oceanic acidity is accelerating so fast it threatens the survival of coral reefs, shellfish and the marine food web generally. New York Times
Feedback accelerating global warming's impact on Arctic ice
October 25, 2008
The ultimate ice storm.Warmer temperatures are not the only reason Arctic sea ice is shrinking: More frequent and intense storms, a predicted side effect and feedback of global warming, have hastened the breakup of the ice. Toronto Globe and Mail, Ontario.
Climate change may be sparking new and bigger dead zones
October 1, 2008
Scientists are discovering that climate change, and not just fertilizer from farm use, may be spurring the emergence of barren underwater landscapes in coastal waters. Coastal upwelling has traditionally enriched the productivity of coastal waters, when coastal winds blow the surface waters away from land, driving the circulation system that brings colder, nutrient-rich water to the surface to fertilize plankton production, the basis of the marine food chain.
Under global warming, warmer land temperatures increases the temperatures between land and sea, creating stronger winds. University of Miami scientist Andrew Bakun hypothesizes that this superdrives the upwelling system, bringing much more nutrients to the surface, which fuels an explosive production of plankton. The huge surplus of uneaten plankton eventually dies and bacteria use oxygen to decompose them. This surge of decomposition depletes oxygen levels in the water, asphyxiating the marine life. The results are hypoxic "dead zones". There are data to support this: longterm records for Chile and South Africa indicate coastal winds there have intensified over the past few decades. There are no such longterm records in Oregon, but scientists there have noticed that coastal "dead zones" appear following short periods of unusually strong winds. Scientific American
UK's Met Office warns of need for drastic cuts in greenhouse gases from 2010
October 1, 2008
The world will have to take drastic action within two years to reduce greenhouse gas pollution if it is to avoid the worst effects of climate change, warns a new study by the Hadley Centre of the respected Met Office, known for its cautious advice to the UN and governments worldwide. As little as a 3% decrease in global emissions a year could keep the temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Inaction could have dire consequences. London Guardian, United Kingdom.
Ozone pollution to worsen under climate change
October 13, 2008
Unlike the protective ozone layer that shields UV radiation in the upper atmosphere, surface-level ozone is a poisonous gas that claims tens of thousands of lives annually. It could get much worse thanks to the effects of climate change, according to new research. This is because the resulting longer, drier conditions increase the numbers of wildfires, a large, episodic source of ozone. Burning biomass is another source. Another factor is that warming conditions will stimulate plant growth in some parts of the world. Some plants emit a volatile organic chemicals called isoprene, which, in combination with nitrogen oxides, readily forms ozone. Discovery Channel
UN: rebuild global economy through green investment.
October 23, 2008
The United Nations today called for a Green New Deal that could revive the stumbling global economy, combat climate change, and cut poverty. London Guardian, United Kingdom.
The win-win solution failing the rainforests - logging moratorium is best
October 23, 2008
Market-based answers to deforestation in Latin America are backfiring, say conservation groups, for a variety of reasons, and are not stopping deforestation. The most impressive record of doing so lies with Paraguay, whose government issued a moratorium on deforestation and decreased illegal logging by 83% in one year. London Guardian, United Kingdom.
Innovative Electric Rapid Transit Systems Make It Green!
October 20, 2008
Jerry Schneider at the University of Washington notes that
"many next generation transport systems [are] now being developed around the world. More and more autos, however green, are only a part of the answer we need. For examples of what we do need, visit my ITT website at: http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans You will find descriptions of more than 100 systems that are sensible solutions" to a more efficient transport system that reduces our energy demands and has the potential to be run on clean renewable energy sources.
His site is a great source of information on the potential of new electric rapid transit systems to revolutionize and improve the way people get around. -- Mary Ellen Harte
US focus on climate could ease financial crisis.
October 10, 2008. Reuters.
If the United States focused on curbing climate change as soon as a new president took office -- or sooner -- it could help pull the world from the financial brink, environmental policy experts told Reuters.