Articles filed under Pollution
Just about everyone in the Northwest should be concerned about the potentially devastating effects of climate change. And just about everyone should realize that there is only one way to head off the environmental disaster looming ahead -- an aggressive combination of improvements in energy efficiency and a major increase in the use of energy sources that do not release global-warming gases. With no possibility of increases in our large-scale hydropower projects and now talk of removing some existing dams, that means an increasing use of the only other large-scale, emissions-free source: Nuclear power.
The world’s economies have no alternative to boosting energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions to tackle global warming, as clean energy lies decades away as a mainstream source, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said here on Tuesday..... According to the IAE’s forecast for 2030, oil will remain the no 1 energy source, followed by coal and then gas. These fossil fuels will still account for 85 per cent of needs.
On October 27, Senators John (Jay) Rockefeller IV and Olympia Snowe sent a letter to ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex W. Tillerson demanding that the company cease funding for two dozen or so organizations and individuals they call a "small cadre of global climate change skeptics." Although it is unclear which organizations Snowe and Rockefeller are seeking to defund, one thing is clear: This is an attempt to muzzle groups and individuals with whom the Senators disagree. It is an attempt to stifle free speech and, as such, should be condemned by Americans of all political persuasions - both left and right. The Senators' letter is fundamentally inconsistent with both the process of scientific method and rational public policy formulation. Scientific method isn't about winning popularity contests. It's also not about being with the majority opinion. It isn't supposed be determined by politics. It is about attempting to limit bias or prejudice in the results.
Indigenous peoples from the Amazon to Asia said on Wednesday that U.N.-backed clean energy projects meant to combat global warming were aggravating threats to their livelihoods. They said hydropower projects or plantations of fast-growing trees, prompted by a billion-dollar scheme under the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol for limiting the planet’s dependence on fossil fuels, were damaging nature. “We are not only victims of climate change, we are now victims of the carbon market,” Jocelyn Therese, a spokesman for indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin, told a news conference on the fringes of U.N. talks on global warming. “Efforts that are supposed to…retard climate change are having an equally disastrous effect,” said Ana Pinto, representing indigenous peoples in India.
A U.N. conference working to fix long-term rules to fight global warming beyond 2012 "as soon as possible" was split on Tuesday over whether that meant an accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or even 2010. Industrial investors, weighing options ranging from coal-fired power plants to wind energy, are frustrated at the possibility of years of uncertainty about rules for fossil fuel emissions upon which carbon markets depend.
Yet, despite the operation of New Jersey’s small wind project since January, there is uncertainty about whether wind farms, particularly gigantic turbines positioned off the region’s coastline, will be embraced here. On Long Island, a 40-turbine project being considered off the South Shore is facing stiff resistance from opponents who argue that the turbines will damage pristine ocean views, fail to deliver cost-effective electricity and create environmental problems. In New Jersey, powerful local politicians have lined up behind wind power, where up to 80 turbines — rising 380 feet or more above the water along the South Jersey coastline — have been proposed to take advantage of the near-constant breezes.
FINANCIAL TIMES: There has been some recent legislation on Co2 reduction. I wonder if you see that as one of the big developments of late, and what its significance is. JEFFREY IMMELT: Yes. I think if you look at what some of the states are doing, California for instance, or even what's happening around the world, what's talked about in the UK, I think that's going to change the way people look at technology and it's going to change the way people look at energy policy in the future. It tends to be the way change starts. I would say in many ways some of the things that have happened in Europe over time have tended to drive technology. For instance, when Europe said it was going to have 10 per cent renewables that's what really opened up the world of wind energy and solar and things like that, so I think it's very meaningful.
I have seen Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, read the book, and read the Stern report. As a scientist, I am appalled. Both authors present myriad dangers as truth – no doubts, a 100 per cent consensus. Yet a glance at the professional literature on glaciers, hurricanes etc. confirm that this consensus is a myth. Besides, consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science.
WASHINGTON - Thanks to the high prices of oil and natural gas, the electricity industry is turning back to coal, America's oldest and most abundant fossil fuel, to drive a new generation of power plants. The upshot is that even as politicians take the threat of global warming more seriously, the problem may get much worse. Utilities are proposing to build 154 coal-fired power plants in the next 25 years, according to "Coal's Resurgence in Electric Power Generation," a recent Department of Energy report. Most of those new plants would use conventional coal-burning technology, which would increase carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. coal plants by more than 50 percent by 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration, the analytic division of the Energy Department. A traditional coal plant produces three to four times more CO2 -- a potent "greenhouse gas" that traps the sun's heat and helps raise the Earth's temperature -- than comes from a modern plant that uses natural gas as its fuel.
power plant labelled one of the worst in the UK for pollution is to supply energy generated from wood shavings. The Didcot A station will now provide electricity for 100,000 homes created with the use of carbon-neutral fuels, as well as coal-fired power production. A new facility will use bio-mass fuels which absorb as much carbon dioxide when growing as they create when burnt.
If Professor Curran is correct, it is the utmost lunacy wilfully to rip up and expose the peat of the Lewis moorland, when it is one of the world’s largest expanses of blanket bog and acts as a sink that stores carbon. Disturb the peatlands substantially and you release all that stored carbon back into the atmosphere as CO2. If this is “greenness” and “saving the planet” and “tackling climate change” in the eyes of developers and politicians, Lord help us.
So why does his company not focus its efforts to those countries – as he is obviously driven solely by concern for the environment? Surely it is nothing to do with the outrageous public-money subsidies being thrown recklessly at this “industry” by our ever-squandering government – so neatly highlighted in the same letters page by Nick Dekker?
Scottish & Southern Energy Group has become the first energy company to be hauled over the coals by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to be able to back up claims that its green tariff offset its customers’ carbon emissions.....But while SSE was able to furnish the agency with figures showing the average CO2 emissions from waste and gas heating, it was unable to provide concrete evidence to show that the number of trees planted would meet or exceed this level. The ASA ruled that the advert breached guidelines on truthfulness and substantiation and told SSE not to use it again and not to make the claim in the future unless it was amended.
Business will welcome the Government's signals to follow trading partners on climate change policy and delay carbon emissions trading till after 2012. Energy Minister David Parker told a Climate Change Policy Symposium in Wellington yesterday that the Government believed economy-wide price-based measures for carbon emissions were likely to form the mix of post-2012 policies. Types of measures under consideration from 2012 were emissions trading and offset planting of forests. Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said emissions trading would put a price on carbon and the Government was signalling that would not happen till 2012.
NIEDERAUSSEM, Germany -- Last year, to help combat global warming, Europe started charging industry for the right to spew hot air. For the first time on such a scale, governments slapped limits on the carbon-dioxide emissions of power plants, steelworks and other factories. Companies exceeding the caps have to buy CO2 "allowances" that trade on a European market. Because CO2 emissions now carry a cost, Germany's largest utility, RWE AG, is spending to improve the efficiency of its aging coal-fired power plants, including its biggest power station here in the country's industrial heartland.
Yet, the only solid measure of the warming, the NASA satellite data, shows that over the 27 years that data has been available, warming has been at a negligible rate of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade. This level is engulfed by the statistical variation for reliability. Although there is an increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant nor does it pose health risks. Its effects, other things being equal, are to raise temperatures, but by how much is highly contentious.
A report prepared by Cape Wind consultants made public this week by the Minerals Management Service concluded that if a major spill did occur at the project's electrical service platform - which would hold up to 40,000 gallons of lubricating oil - there's a greater than 90 percent chance the oil would reach the shoreline. Based on oil flow and tide studies of Nantucket Sound, consultants from Applied Science Associates in Narragansett, R.I. found that the south shore of the Cape and eastern shore of Martha's Vineyard would likely face the biggest danger and that in extreme conditions, the oil could reach land in less than five hours.
Amid concern about global climate change, the state Legislature gave final approval Thursday to AB 32, a bill to combat global warming.
Kansas officials said Thursday they'd prefer to wait for the federal government to place new caps on carbon emissions rather than follow California's aggressive approach to curb global warming.
At this writing, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and other lawmakers are haggling over the final details of AB 32, a sweeping measure meant to establish California as the world leader in reducing the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Schwarzenegger wants not just hard caps on emissions but a market-based system in which incentives are created for businesses to reduce emissions through trading of pollution credits. Núñez is lukewarm on such a “cap and trade” system. Here's our recommendation to the governor: Quit negotiating and simply veto whatever measure comes your way.