Articles filed under Pollution
The European Commission has set out a comprehensive package of measures to establish a new Energy Policy for Europe to combat climate change and boost energy security. A ten-point action plan sets out a series of ambitious targets on greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy, along with proposals to create a more competitive energy market across the economic bloc, and includes a report on the implementation by the Member States of the internal market for gas and electricity as well as the results of an enquiry of the state of competition; a plan of for priority interconnections to create a European grid; proposals to promote sustainable power generation from fossil fuels; a roadmap and other initiatives to promote renewables, and; an analysis of the situation of nuclear energy in Europe. Based on the three central pillars of: a true internal energy market; accelerating the shift to low carbon energy; and energy efficiency, the mainstay of the new policy is a core objective for Europe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 with the aim to increase this target to a 30% reduction by 2020 and 60-80% by 2050.
Your view: Is carbon offsetting a con? Holidaymakers are being misled by companies who guarantee to repair the damage flights do to the atmosphere, according to the first independent study of a fast-growing market. The report claims it is not possible to state categorically that buying any "carbon offset" — as Tony Blair did grudgingly last week to counter the global warming potential of his family's New Year break in Miami Beach — will neutralise the damage that flying causes to the atmosphere.
The European Union should cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels as part of a new energy policy to fight climate change, the EU’s executive Commission said on Wednesday. The Commission called on developed nations around the world to cut emissions of gases blamed for global warming by 30 percent by 2020, saying the EU would go beyond its unilateral target if others followed suit.
In theory, the idea is simple. The consumer pays a third party to remove a quantity of carbon (in the form of a greenhouse gas) equal to what he or she emits. But how voluntary carbon offsets actually work is unclear at best, and potentially fraudulent at worst, say experts. The problem: No current certification or monitoring system has any teeth, and there is no easy way to confirm that offsetting companies are doing what they promise. Now, various organizations are scrambling to provide standards for what experts call a fragmented market with a product of drastically varying quality.
Government's own figure for saving of the UK's CO2 emission by renewable power generation, mainly wind, is just 9.2 million tonnes per year by 2010. This is less than the emission from a medium sized coal fired power station and more to the point is less than four ten-thousandths (0.0004) of global total CO2 emission and stands no chance of altering atmospheric CO2 concentration, still less deflecting climate change.
Cow flatulence last night became the latest battleground in the fight for the green vote with farmers fearing they could be hit by a new levy.Politicians hit out at the levels of bovine emissions - which now account for about one million tonnes of methane a year in the UK. Whitehall officials are now preparing to get bids to analyse the financial benefits of a scheme which would see farms buying and selling "credits" for the amount of gas their herds produce.
County officials estimated that, in addition to spending $5 million in the next five years to improve energy efficiency in its public buildings, Arlington will spend more than $400,000 in the coming months to plant 1,200 trees, buy more wind-generated power, hand out more than 2,000 fluorescent light bulbs at fairs and other events and provide free energy audits of more than a dozen homes. County officials want to give residents who buy hybrid cars a break on their personal property tax — an unusual perk for a Virginia community. Cost estimates on the tax break are not available. The tax break would require approval from the Arlington County Board, but other elements of the plan, such as distributing light bulbs, can go forward without board permission.
If we emphasize intermittent, unreliable wind and solar, will brownouts and outages become routine for offices, factories, schools and operating rooms? If utilities have to sequester CO2 at $40-50 a ton, will they follow Britain's lead, and tell parents who can no longer afford to heat their homes adequately they can just send their children to bed with hats, mittens, sox -- and bags of rice warmed in microwaves? What will bureaucrats tell families of elderly folks who die in summer heat waves, because they can't afford air conditioning -- or AC has been banned as "polluting and unnecessary"? ...........We do not face a looming climate chaos. We have time to respond rationally and responsibly, evaluate competing claims, demand real science and evidence, devise sensible laws and policies, and develop new energy generation technologies that will meet growing U.S. and global demand for abundant, reliable, affordable electricity -- while gradually improving efficiency, reducing pollution, and protecting the health and economic vitality of families, companies and communities.
It is important to note that the so-called “Skeptics” include Dr. Daniel Schrag of Harvard; Claude Allegre, one of the most decorated French geophysicists; Dr. Richard Lindzen, professor of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT; Dr. Patrick Michaels, University of Virginia: Dr. Fred Singer; Professor Bob Carter, geologist at James Cook University, Australia; 85 scientists and climate experts who signed the 1995 Leipzeg Declaration which called drastic climate controls “ill-advised, lacking credible support from the underlying science; 17,000 scientists and leaders involved in climate study who signed a petition issued by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine saying there is no evidence green house gasses cause global warming; and the 4,000 scientists and leaders from around the world, including 70 Nobel Prize winners, who signed the Heidelberg Appeal calling greenhouse global warming theories “highly uncertainly scientific theories.” These are but a few of the highly qualified “skeptics” derided by Jay Rockefeller, Olympia Snowe and Al Gore whom, they say, should not be given a voice on the issue. There are lots of lies surrounding the Global Warming mantra. The biggest one claims there is “consensus” among scientists that human-caused global warming is a fact. There is no such consensus. Human survival demands that we listen to the “Skeptics” before they are burned at the stake by Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe.
Chicago-based independent power producer Midwest Generation announced today that it has reached agreement with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on a comprehensive, long-range plan that will begin reducing mercury emissions from its power plants 18 months ahead of federal regulations, followed by multi-year programs to further cut other emissions at each of the company’s six plants in Illinois.
The importance of finding reliable, clean, and economic solutions to our energy questions is paramount to our economy, our welfare, and our way of life. There are good ideas that are being discussed and others that will likely not see the light of day. Before you become a tool to advance the political agenda of the Carbon Coalition, make sure you know what their agenda is and what the footprint of that agenda might be in your town and our region five and 10 years out. You might find the Coalition has not thoroughly vetted its plan. It is best to know that now, before our political leaders feel pressed and grasp at anything to look like they're "just doing something".
LONDON (AFX) - British Airways PLC, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet PLC have pulled out of the UK government's carbon emission reduction scheme after Chancellor Gordon Brown doubled air passenger duty, The Independent on Sunday newspaper reported. The rise in the duty -- from 5 stg to 10 stg for standard class passengers on European flights, from 10 stg to 20 stg for business or premium classes in Europe, and from 40 stg to 80 stg for passengers flying to other destinations -- was announced by Brown in his pre-budget report last week.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s position that it is not required to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, seen as an element of the toxic brew advancing global warming, was contested at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. Among the groups filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of such regulation was the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
There is no one simple solution to our energy problems. Whether we're talking about transportation or generation of electricity, it's many things -- it's alternative fuels, it's conservation, it's nuclear, it's a whole wide array of things. And in automobiles, we're going to have to explore things like hybrids. We're going to have to go to diesels. I'm trying to push us going to diesels because we get a 20- to 25-percent fuel benefit.
Green ideology is an understandable response to adverse change but it is wrong to make science and technology the scapegoats for its anger. Not surprisingly any alternative energy scheme that seems natural and not based on science or technology is embraced by environmentalists. Some of these alternatives, such as biofuels are positively dangerous and if exploited on a large scale would hasten disaster. Others such as wind energy are inefficient and expensive. In the now rapidly changing world the green concepts of sustainable development and renewable energy that inspired the Kyoto meeting are far too late to have any value. What we need now is a well planned and sustainable retreat from the polluted and degraded world of today. The only way, I think, to do this is to welcome science and technology and make maximum use of environmentally friendly nuclear fission energy. We are an urban civilization and to survive the severe climate change soon due we need secure supplies of food water and electricity. We cannot expect to go on burning fossil fuel nor establish a non polluting way to do it in time. Therefore, except where electricity is powered by abundant water flow or geophysical heat, there is no safe alternative to nuclear energy.
The price of bringing on “higher cost energy” could reach $83 million a year, NSP says. The power corporation also argues that gearing down coal-fired plants to make room for renewable energy will make them less efficient, and even increase greenhouse gas pollution. “Under these conditions,” NSP says, “the plants emit more emissions per unit of electricity … an increase in intensity of greenhouse gas emissions.” Power corporation CEO Ralph Tedesco says the pollution comes from burning fossil fuels needed when wind power hits lulls. “The reason for that is people expect the lights to be on,” Tedesco said Tuesday, at an event unveiling three wind turbines for the Wentworth valley.
It must be a harrowing time for those who once thought the cool breeze could save us all from the coming ecocide. The expectations of wind advocates have already had to be minimized as they realize there is nothing inherently virtuous about their pet piece of tech. Alas, like recycling fanatics, they are likely to end up praising wind power as a moral enterprise that "instills good habits" and signals "green consciousness," even if the honest cost-benefit analysis goes against them in the long run.
TXU on Friday revealed the first details of how it plans to cut emissions by 20 percent while building 11 new coal-burning power units. The Dallas-based company filed a permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to add pollution-control equipment to its existing Martin Lake coal plant in Rusk County. That plant has three coal-burning units now and would add a fourth under TXU's plans. The Martin Lake retrofit is the first of three that TXU has promised as part of its new coal strategy. Similar announcements are expected by the year's end for the three-unit Monticello plant in Titus County and the two-unit Big Brown plant in Freestone County. Each of those plants is to add one unit.
The fate of Wyoming’s energy mix in the next few decades depends a lot on what kind of signals the energy industry receives from either the market and policy-makers. Two experts assembled for the final presentation of the University of Wyoming/Casper College Energy Futures lecture series said how we deal with carbon emissions will have a great deal to do with Wyoming’s energy future.
Like most really thoughtful environmentally concerned scientists, I'd rather a tiny amount (in metric tonnes or cubic metres, after decades of use) of stored radioactive waste than the unmitigated disaster of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. And renewables are not realistically and politically going to fill the gap any time soon.