Monday, March 31, 2008

Poor nations fear being left in cold on global warming

"We haven't been invited to either of those processes," said Espen Ronneberg, a Samoa-based climate change advisor to the Association of Small Island States, on the sidelines of the Bangkok talks.

March 31 2008 - BANGKOK (AFP) — Outraged poor nations bearing the brunt of global warming have become increasingly bold in UN-led climate talks, but some worry that recent trysts of large countries are leaving them out in the cold.

A grouping of 192 countries under the United Nations is leading the way in negotiating a groundbreaking climate change treaty, and most of its members are currently in Bangkok to try to hammer out a two-year work plan.

The meeting comes soon after the United States chaired a meeting of 16 nations most responsible for global warming, and ahead of a special climate summit on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit of rich nations.

"We haven't been invited to either of those processes," said Espen Ronneberg, a Samoa-based climate change advisor to the Association of Small Island States, on the sidelines of the Bangkok talks. More >>>

Sunday, March 30, 2008

With time running out, world governments start talks on halting greenhouse gases

March 30, 2008

BANGKOK, Thailand: Governments from 163 countries will launch discussions Monday on forging a global warming agreement, a process expected to be fraught with disagreements over which countries should take the lead to reduce greenhouse gases by as much as half by 2050.

The weeklong, United Nations climate meeting in Bangkok comes on the heels of a historic agreement reached in December to draft a new accord on global warming by 2009. Without a pact to rein in rising greenhouse gases in the next two decades, scientists say warming weather will lead to widespread drought, floods, higher sea levels and worsening storms.

"(There is a) very cooperative and constructive mood, a great enthusiasm to take this work forward," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is hosting the Thailand meeting. More >>>

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Farewell to Ice

March 18, 2008, The latest report on changes in the world’s glaciers, which we cover in the newspaper today, is Mass Balance Bulletin Number 9. The take-home message for many parts of the world — from Asia to the European Alps to the Andes — appeared to be, “Farewell to ice.” Essentially, the mountain storehouses of frozen water that have shaped their history and culture, or that have provided a secure year-round source of water through modern times, are no longer secure.

Writing about the report brought back memories from nearly 15 years ago, two years before I came to The New York Times.

At the time, I went to Switzerland for Conde Nast Traveler to get a better understanding of the findings in the second such bulletin. Rates of shrinking and melting were already nudging beyond patterns driven by known nonhuman influences. More >>>

EU says more momentum needed for UN climate change agreement

28 March 2008 BRUSSELS (Thomson Financial) - The European Commission said more momentum is needed in formal negotiations for a new United Nations (UN) climate change agreement. Negotiations are due to start on March 31 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The new agreement is intended to take effect once the Kyoto Protocol's targets for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries have expired in 2012.
The talks will involve all 192 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the US. They will also bring together the 178 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in order to draw up future emission targets for developed countries. More >>>

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Researchers Say Arctic Sea Ice Still at Risk Despite Cold Winter

March 18 2008 - Using the latest satellite observations, NASA researchers and others report that the Arctic is still on “thin ice” when it comes to the condition of sea ice cover in the region. A colder-than-average winter in some regions of the Arctic this year has yielded an increase in the area of new sea ice, while the older sea ice that lasts for several years has continued to decline.

This ice concentration map during indicates maximum ice extent in the Northern Hemisphere and the contour of the ice edge in 2006.This ice concentration map dated March 9, 2008, indicates maximum ice extent in the Northern Hemisphere. The contour of the ice edge in 2006 is shown in red, while that for the 28-year average is shown in gold. Click image to enlarge. Credit: NASA On March 18 the scientists said they believe that the increased area of sea ice this winter is due to recent weather conditions, while the decline in perennial ice reflects the longer-term warming climate trend and is a result of increased melting during summer and greater movement of the older ice out of the Arctic. More >>>

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Antarctic ice shelf 'hanging by a thread'

25 March 2008 A thin strip of ice, just 6 kilometres wide, is all that is holding back the collapse of a huge ice shelf in Antarctica, according to glaciologists.

The Wilkins ice shelf – previously some 16,000 square kilometres in area – has been disintegrating fast. On 28 February, an iceberg 41 km long and 2.5 km wide broke off the ice shelf. This triggered the runaway disintegration of a further 570 square kilometres of ice.

"I would be very surprised if it survives more than a couple more melt seasons," says Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado, US.

Other researchers, including David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey, believe it could be gone within weeks. "The ice shelf is hanging by a thread – we'll know in the next few days or weeks what its fate will be," he says. More >>>

Sunday, March 23, 2008

U.N. Security Council must act preemptively – on climate change

This global threat requires a war-room mentality.

March 24, २००८, Arlington, VA। - The United Nations tackled the task of troubleshooting climate change last month. Between holding special General Assembly meetings at headquarters in New York, bringing 100 environmental ministers to Monaco in the largest meeting of ministers since Bali, and launching a Climate Neutral Network to highlight best practices in tackling global warming, the UN appears to be doing what it can to ensure that climate change does not fall off the political radar. Yet, it still isn't enough. A concerted international strategy, on a par with the seriousness and scope of an UN Security Council resolution, is what's needed to counter this climate crisis. More >>>

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Climate Change Requires Herculean Effort

Just changing light bulbs is not going to help. We are faced with a Herculean effort, one that involves every person, every government, every brilliant innovative thinker, every entrepreneur

21 March, 2008 - Having just returned from an alternative energy/climate change symposium presented by the Wallace Stegner Center for Land Resources and the Environment at the University of Utah, I find myself reeling with the most current information concerning the precipitous decline of climate stability and the magnitude of effort required to prevent the planet from being knocked any further off kilter by human perturbation of the Earth's climate।
More >>>

Earth Hour Goes Global

One Hour of Darkness: Earth Hour Goes Global.

SYDNEY, Australia, March 21, 2008 (ENS) - On Saturday, March 29, from 8 to 9 in the evening local time, hundreds of thousands of lights around the world will go dark for Earth Hour. The one hour event is intended to send a powerful message around the world about how important it is to reduce global warming and how many people care enough to take action.

Earth Hour is all about the simple changes everyone can make. Run by WWF, the global conservation organization, Earth Hour was initiated in Australia on March 31, 2007. Earth Hour moved 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses in Sydney to turn off their lights for one hour.

This collective effort reduced the city's energy consumption by 10.2 percent for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for an hour.

With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice।

This year Earth Hour is going global. More >>>

Friday, March 21, 2008

Activists: Developing World Needs Assistance Fighting Global Warming

20/03/२००८ CHIBA, Japan (AP) - The world's wealthy countries need to pump more money into financing poorer nations' efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and cope with climate change, environmentalists said Friday ahead of a global warming conference.

Representatives of 20 countries - including the United States, European nations, Japan and China - were to hold a weekend meeting outside Tokyo to focus on developing clean technology and financing the race to stave off possible environmental disaster caused by rising world temperatures.

Environmentalists were taking aim at the U.S.-backed clean technology fund to which Washington announced a US$2 billion contribution in January.

The U.S. government says the fund, which is seeking donations from other countries, would speed up the development of cleaner, more efficient technologies, in developing nations, especially up-and-coming polluters like India and China.

Japan, meanwhile, has pledged US$10 billion over five years for a similar fund, and Britain last year announced its own fund.

To be effective, funds such as the U.S. one need more money. They hould be formed with full consultation with the countries receiving the funds and should continually generate additional money, said Jennifer Morgan, with the E3G environmentalist group.

"Unfortunately, none of these criteria have been met," she told reporters.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fish key to reef climate survival

Life on the Reef

A healthy fish population could be the key to ensuring coral reefs survive the impacts of climate change, pollution, overfishing and other threats.

Australian scientists found that some fish act as "lawnmowers", keeping coral free of kelp and unwanted algae.

At a briefing to parliamentarians in Canberra, they said protected areas were rebuilding fish populations in some parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

Warming seas are likely to affect the reef severely within a few decades.

Pollution is also a growing problem, particularly fertilisers that wash from agricultural land into water around the reef, stimulating the growth of plants that stifle the coral। More >>>

Melting Mountain Glaciers Will Shrink Grain Harvests in China and India

The world is now facing a climate-driven shrinkage of river-based irrigation water supplies. Mountain glaciers in the Himalayas and on the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau are melting and could soon deprive the major rivers of India and China of the ice melt needed to sustain them during the dry season. In the Ganges, the Yellow, and the Yangtze river basins, where irrigated agriculture depends heavily on rivers, this loss of dry-season flow will shrink harvests.

The world has never faced such a predictably massive threat to food production as that posed by the melting mountain glaciers of Asia. China and India are the world’s leading producers of both wheat and rice—humanity’s food staples. China’s wheat harvest is nearly double that of the United States, which ranks third after India. With rice, these two countries are far and away the leading producers, together accounting for over half of the world harvest.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that Himalayan glaciers are receding rapidly and that many could melt entirely by 2035। If the giant Gangotri Glacier that supplies 70 percent of the Ganges flow during the dry season disappears, the Ganges could become a seasonal river, flowing during the rainy season but not during the summer dry season when irrigation water needs are greatest. More >>>

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

U.S. Power Plant Carbon Emissions Zoom in 2007

WASHINGTON, DC, March 18, 2008 (ENS) - The biggest single year increase in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants in nine years occurred in 2007, finds a new analysis by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Environmental Integrity Project. The finding of a 2.9 percent rise in carbon dioxide emissions over 2006 is based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Now the largest factor in the U.S. contribution to climate change, the electric power industry's emissions of carbon dioxide, CO2, have risen 5.9 percent since 2002 and 11.7 percent since 1997, the analysis shows.
Texas tops the list of the 10 states with the biggest one-year increases in CO2 emissions, with Georgia, Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Virginia and North Carolina close behind.

The top three states - Texas, Georgia and Arizona - had the greatest increases in CO2 emissions on a one, five and 10 year basis. More >>>

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Combatting Global Warming

By building green--and retrofitting existing buildings--the countries of North America could cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25 percent

North American homes, offices and other buildings contribute an estimated 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year—more than one third of the continent's greenhouse gas pollution output. Simply constructing more energy-efficient buildings—and upgrading the insulation and windows in the existing ones—could save a whopping 1.7 billion tons annually, says a new report from the Montreal-based Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), an international organization established by Canada, Mexico and the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement to address continent-wide environmental issues.

"This is the cheapest, quickest, most significant way to make a dent in greenhouse gas emissions," says Jonathan Westeinde, chief executive of green developer Windmill Development Group in Ottawa, Ontario, and chair of the CEC report (who admits that green building regulations would be good for his business). But "buildings are not on the radar of any governments … despite being an industry that represents 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Increased hurricanes for Mexico and Caribbean?

White sand beaches, tropical rain forests and colorful coral reefs -- southern Mexico would appear to have it all.

But it seems that this area of outstanding natural beauty is also unusually susceptible to danger in the form of costly -- both human and financial -- natural disasters.
This year alone two maximum strength hurricanes passed over the Yucatan peninsula, while extreme floods in the Tabasco and Chiapas regions in October affected half of the region's 2.2 million inhabitants and drew comparisons with the havoc created in the U.S. by Hurricane Katrina.
Both hurricanes and the flood were natural phenomena but scientists and environmental campaigners argue that the force of these devastating disasters is exacerbated by human activity.
The north Atlantic has always been prone to hurricanes. Each season, meteorologists expect the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico to experience between 10 and 20 tropical storms between May and the end of November. But in recent years it has been the intensity of these storms that has surprised analysts. In 2005 there were 15 storms classified as hurricanes, seven of which were considered 'major', or category 3 or more according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Some scientists believe this escalation in intensity is down to global warming. "Both observation and theory suggest that hurricanes are becoming more intense as the earth warms," says Kevin Trenberth, Head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. More >>>

Sunday, March 16, 2008

UN warns climate change melting glaciers at alarming rate

ZURICH (AFP) — The world's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, the UN said Sunday, calling for immediate action to prevent further constraints on water resources for large populations.

"Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry and power generation during key parts of the year," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The culprit is climate change, according to data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), based at the University of Zurich and supported by UNEP.

The centre drew its findings from nearly 30 glaciers in nine mountain ranges revealing that in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting more than doubled. "The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight," said Wilfried Haeberli, director of WGMS.

According to UNEP, the speed at which the glaciers are melting has accelerated in recent few years, with what had been a record loss for two decades -- 0.7 metres (2.3 feet) in 1998 -- having been exceeded in three of the past six years.
Steiner said that "it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice," adding that the forecast is not entirely gloomy given the growth of the so-called green economy.
However, Steiner said the 2009 climate convention in Copenhagen will provide the true litmus test of governments' commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the carbon pollution from fossil fuels damaging Earth's climate system.

"Otherwise, and like the glaciers, our room for manoeuvre and the opportunity to act may simply melt away." More >>>

Jail politicians who ignore science: Suzuki

LinkEnvironmentalist denounces economists’ obsession with GDP

David Suzuki delivered a scathing and powerful speech to a packed house at McGill Thursday night, calling on young people and business leaders to reverse the demise of ecology at the hand of shortsighted economic theory.

Suzuki, an award-winning Canadian scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster, kicked off the McGill Business Conference on Sustainability by addressing the conference’s theme of “looking backward and moving forward.”

“The only guide for our future is our past, and we don’t look back,” he said. More >>>

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Green Passport Introduced at Berlin Tourism Fair

Sustainable Travel Anyone?

BERLIN, Germany, March 10, 2008 (ENS) - A Green Passport campaign launched at the Berlin Tourism Fair aims to shrink the environmental footprint of vacation travellers, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP.

The goal of the Internet-based campaign is to raise tourists' awareness of their ability to contribute to sustainable development by making responsible holiday choices, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said at the fair Friday.

"Packing a Green Passport along with airline tickets, the swimming costume and the sun lotion means tourists no longer need to leave their green credentials at home but can make them part of the holiday of a lifetime,” he said.

Among many tips on the Green Passport website, the campaign encourages tourists to choose responsible service providers, reduce the consumption of energy in transit or in hotels, and buy locally made, environmentally-friendly souvenirs. More >>>

Is there still time?

How much time do we have left before the world our children will inherit is forever damaged?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ozone Rules Weakened at Bush's Behest

EPA Scrambles To Justify Action Friday, March 14, 2008

The Environmental Protection Agency weakened one part of its new limits on smog-forming ozone after an unusual last-minute intervention by President Bush, according to documents released by the EPA. EPA officials initially tried to set a lower seasonal limit on ozone to protect wildlife, parks and farmland, as required under the law. While their proposal was less restrictive than what the EPA's scientific advisers had proposed, Bush overruled EPA officials and on Tuesday ordered the agency to increase the limit, according to the documents.

"It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference for the president personally to override a decision that the Clean Air Act leaves exclusively to EPA's expert scientific judgment," said John Walke, clean-air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. More >>>

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Climate set to dominate EU summit

Climate change, energy security and reform are set to dominate the European Union's summit in Brussels. The momentum cannot be allowed to slip.

Brussels 13 March 2008. The EU seeks to lead global efforts to cut the production of greenhouse gases and has pledged serious reductions. On hand to stiffen the 27 leaders' resolve will be a report from the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
The report maps out the impact of rising temperatures and predicts mass migration from Africa and the Middle East to Europe from the year 2020. The two-day summit will try to work out how to implement a 20% reduction in CO2 by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. That target was set last year, and now many EU leaders warn that time is of the essence if the bloc wants to take a lead in international negotiations.

"The momentum cannot be allowed to slip. The timing of an agreement is critical to its success," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on the eve of the summit. More >>>

The Global Warming Gorilla: Getting the Developing World Aboard

European politicians at a carbon conference today in Copenhagen had an 800-pound gorilla on stage with them.

Copenhagen, March 12, 2008, Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Denmark’s Minister for Climate and Energy Connia Hedegaard both hail from Scandinavian countries that have taken aggressive measures to fight climate change. They both made passionate pleas for the world to join together to cut emissions. But the gorilla remains—how to get developing countries and major emitters like India and China to join in?

The U.S. has long argued that China, now arguably the world’s biggest emitter, has to play ball in any global climate-change accord. Even the OECD says developing countries have to cut emissions to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. The trick is how they can pay for it and still manage economic growth, which countries like China and India say is key to alleviating poverty. For Denmark’s Ms. Hedegaard, the question is pressing: Her country will host the next round of negotiations in 2009 on a new international system to cut greenhouse gas emissions, following last year’s conference in Bali. “I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist,” she said before an audience of some 1,700 at the conference. “I’m a realist. It should not be impossible to get an agreement in Copenhagen.” More>>>

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Australians want more climate change action

Most 'want more climate-change action'

March 11, 2008 = AUSTRALIANS overwhelmingly support the ratification of Kyoto - due to formally take effect today - and most want the Government to show international leadership on reducing greenhouse emissions.

Climate Institute research to be released today has found that Australians support the introduction of stronger policies to reduce greenhouse pollution. Polling commissioned by the institute found that only 7 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over oppose the ratification of Kyoto, with 64 per cent in support. Seventy-three per cent of those polled said that Australia should lead the world by introducing stronger policies to help reduce greenhouse pollution here.

Ninety per cent said the Government should "make homes more energy-efficient", 88 per cent said the Government should "ensure that new electricity generation comes from clean or renewable energy" and 87 per cent support government measures to reduce "emissions from cars". More >>>

[One would imagine that most rational people around the world would want 'more climate change action' as a preventative measure if there is even a small chance of climate change. We banned the use of CFC's and sulfur dioxide emissions and if we want to have a habitable planet for our children we must lower carbon output to zero. Sustainability is a matter of survival. Editor]

Monday, March 10, 2008

Carbon Output Must Near Zero To Avert Danger, New Studies Say

Greenhouse gas emissions must fall to zero

Monday, March 10, 2008;

The task of cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures may be far more difficult than previous research suggested, say scientists who have just published studies indicating that it would require the world to cease carbon emissions altogether within a matter of decades.

Their findings, published in separate journals over the past few weeks, suggest that both industrialized and developing nations must wean themselves off fossil fuels by as early as mid-century in order to prevent warming that could change precipitation patterns and dry up sources of water worldwide. More>>>

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Teach climate change

It's a controversial subject, but that's no reason to keep it out of the classroom.

March 9, 2008 Is the science of global warming too controversial to be included in California's science textbooks?
A state Senate bill, which passed the chamber in January, would mandate that climate change be a science topic taught in the state's public schools. But the legislation, now in the Assembly, has drawn fire from some lawmakers, who say the science is too controversial for inclusion in the curriculum. They want guarantees that the views of skeptics will be included.

But those objections are just silly. The reality is that there is no disagreement any longer among scientists on the major principles, causes and effects of global warming. The world's largest and most reputable scientific societies, such as the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, all concur that the burning of fossil fuels is putting so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that the Earth has been pushed off its natural cycle and is warming. As a result, sea levels will rise as ice sheets melt. Low-lying coastal regions will flood. And droughts and storms may become more frequent and severe. More>>>

India's climate change policy a hot topic

Carbon footprints trifling, but energy demand is immense

PDT Gurgaon , India -- It is Friday night in the center of new Indian ambition. The air is thick with the construction dust of new glass-fronted high-rise buildings. The traffic moves so slowly that commuters can gape all they want at the Burberry advertisement that lights up the facade of a shopping mall. In the din of car horns and cranes, Sucharita Rastogi, 27, a business school graduate, waits wearily for her office van to pull up and take her home; it will be at least a 90-minute crawl. "Mind-wise," she says, "we are exhausted, sitting, waiting."

A beacon of India's red-hot economy, this new suburb on the edge of the capital, New Delhi, is also a symbol of India's fast-growing hunger for energy. By the government's own estimates, energy consumption in this country of 1.1 billion is expected to quadruple over the next 25 years, inevitably expanding India's emissions of greenhouse gases. More>>>

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Climate change: the burning issues

Thoughtful use of solid science must underpin environmental protection

Climate change is one of the unfolding calamities of our times. It is our moral responsibility as a country, and as individuals, to address the global threat that may engulf our children. We are compelled to make difficult choices and change our lifestyles. It is essential that we make changes based on reason, but not group-think. There is a danger that the green herd, in pursuit of a good cause, stumbles into misguided campaigns.

Analysis without facts is guesswork. Sloppy analysis of bad science is worse. Poor interpretation of good science wastes time and impedes the fight against obnoxious behaviour. There is no place for bad science, or weak analysis, in the search for credible answers to difficult questions.

Friday, March 7, 2008

EU Report Cites Climate Change Threats

7 March 2008

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Climate change will worsen tensions and instability between nations competing for arable land, water and other resources, according to a European Union report.
The report prepared for a meeting of the 27 EU leaders said member nations must lose no time in preparing for the impact of climate change on the security of Western Europe. The report to the EU leaders — a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press — says climate change will trigger humanitarian crises, political and economic instability, border disputes, ethnic tensions and "environmentally induced" migration of millions of people from Africa and the Middle East to Europe. It urges the EU to put climate change high on the international agenda. More>>>

High food and oil prices swelling ranks of hungry: WFP

March 6, 2008

BRUSSELS — High prices of food and oil have been swelling the ranks of the hungry since last summer, and the crisis may not end for several years, the head of the world's largest humanitarian agency said Thursday.

Josette Sheeran, executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program, said a 40 per cent rise in the cost of fuel and commodities such as grain since mid-2007 have raised the cost of food and transport, causing a $500 million shortfall in her U.N. agency's 2008 budget.

Ms. Sheeran said the budget had been put at $2.9 billion last year, but due to skyrocketing food and fuel costs the agency needs an extra $375 million for food and $125 million to transport it.

After briefing the European Parliament on her agency's financial situation, Mr. Sheeran told a news conference she saw no quick fix to high fuel and food costs. “The assessment is that we are facing high food prices at least for the next couple of years,” she said. More>>>

Prince Charles: Climate change is alarming

"The facts are plain"

7 March 2008

Prince Charles has criticised climate change sceptics who say that the global temperature rise has been invented as "sheer madness." The Prince has also raised the possibility of setting up a network of environmental campaigners from the business world so ideas and expertise could be shared.

He said the facts were "plain" that drastic action needed to be taken in the face of "urgent wake up calls". Speaking at a reception in Trinidad and Tobago which included the country's president and prime minister, he said that a global effort was needed to tackle the problems. More >>>

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Climate Change's Most Deadly Threat: Drought

A new book reveals that the Earth's distant past can predict the crises that may lie in our future. March 6, 2008.

Spring is on its way back to northern latitudes. In many locales, it will arrive earlier than "normal," yielding, ostensibly, a longer growing season, a hotter summer, balmier autumn, and future winters will lack their ferocious post-Pleistocene bites.
While vineyards are being planned for northern England, millions of residents around desiccated Atlanta are praying for enough rain to flow through their taps.
Brian Fagan believes climate is not merely a backdrop to the ongoing drama of human civilization, but an important stage upon which world events turn. More >>>

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

OECD: World must act on climate change

"A window of opportunity to act is now open,''
5 Mar, 2008

OSLO: The world can respond to the environmental challenges of climate change at a low cost now - or pay a much higher price later for indecision and inaction, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Wednesday.

``A window of opportunity to act is now open,'' the organization said in its Environmental Outlook to 2030. ``We need forward-looking policies today to avoid high costs of inaction or delayed action over the longer term.''

``Today, climate change is mankind's most important challenge,'' said OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria in presenting the report in Oslo. ``We know the enemy: It is named carbon.''

He said by 2030, unchecked environmental damage could leave 4 billion people _ half the planet's population _ with inadequate drinking water.

The latest outlook, part of series of reports compiled every five years, concentrates on ``red light issues'' in such areas as climate change, water shortages, energy needs, biodiversity loss, transportation, agriculture and fisheries. More >>>

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Heating up the Global Warming Debate, If There Still Is One

Everyone from Al Gore to Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations climate program, has said that the debate over global warming is over. The folks at the Heartland Institute didn’t get the message.

With the slogan, “Global Warming Is Not a Crisis,” the think tank (which between 1999 and 2005 was funded by ExxonMobil) kicked off a two-day conference this morning in New York to debunk what it calls a “fake consensus” on the human causes of global warming.

The conference program, featuring a slate of scientists and politicians, is a familiar litany of arguments against climate change orthodoxy, and includes panels exploring everything from the Medieval Warm Period to the failures of the Kyoto Protocol to the impact urban heat islands have on temperature change. Today, the conference released its rebuttal of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, arguing that global warming isn’t as bad as commonly made out, isn’t caused by humans anyway, and doesn’t merit expensive schemes to combat it.

But the real heat comes from the conference taking place at all. Many in the blogosphere consider global-warming skeptics like those on parade in midtown Manhattan to be at best flat-earthers and, at worst, paid shills for the oil industry. More >>>

Gulf Nations to Discuss Global Warming

GCC to discuss global warming threat

4 March 2008

DUBAI - The “GCC Global Warming and Climate Change Conference” will discuss the impact of global warming when it is held on November 23 this year.
Regional conference organisers Datamatix Group made the announcement.

The event, which will be held at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, will bring together regional and global experts to tackle issues related to global warming and climate change and discuss ways to mitigate the effects of these potentially disastrous global trends.
The conference aims to promote environmental protection strategies that will address the environmental and economic concerns of the region and lead to environmentally sound, sustainable development.

Ali Al Kamali, Managing Director of Datamatix Group said, “Global warming and climate change are among the biggest challenges facing the mankind. More >>>

Monday, March 3, 2008

Businesses feel the heat from global warming

British Columbia, Canada enacts greenhouse gas reduction act.

March 07 2008

Vancouver, BC, Canada.There may be no end in sight to the debate over global warming, but that doesn’t prevent it from casting a long legal shadow over Canadian businesses.

The implementation of the Kyoto Protocol has been inconsistent around the world, often caught in political headwinds. For example, the U.S. signed the protocol in 1997 but the Bush administration refused to ratify it four years later. However, despite a lack of serious federal initiatives in Canada and the U.S., various provinces, states and corporations have been taking steps to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, recently enacted in B.C., requires the B.C. government to become carbon neutral by 2010, among other things. The news release announcing the Act stated that the Act is the first in a series of legislative initiatives that will be brought forward this year. More >>>

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dutch Architects Plan for a Floating Future

Architects in Holland are showing the rest of the world a way of turning adversity into opportunity.
January 28, 2008 ·

The inevitable rise in sea level that comes with climate change is going to make it increasingly difficult to control flooding in low-lying Holland. But instead of cursing their fate, architects are designing a new Holland that will float on water, and the Dutch government seems willing to try out the scheme. Holland has made other countries begin to question, too. Who says you have to live on dry land? More >>>

Rainfall Shortages Threaten Costa Rican Power

February 11, 2008 · Costa Rica ranks among the greenest countries on earth. It promotes eco-tourism, operates vast national parks, and is working to become the first carbon-neutral country. Perhaps most impressive, the nation produces more than 80 percent of its electricity in hydroelectric plants, which emit no greenhouse gases.
But Costa Rica's efforts to minimize its own contributions to global warming have made it especially vulnerable to climate changes caused by other countries.

The reason is rain. Even a tiny shift in rainfall patterns could leave the country without enough water to meet its growing demand for electricity. And scientists say climate change is likely to have a significant effect on rainfall. More >>>

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Famed geneticist creating life form that turns CO2 to fuel

Geneticist Craig Venter disclosed his potentially world-changing "fourth-generation fuel"

MONTEREY (AFP) - A scientist who mapped his genome and the genetic diversity of the oceans said Thursday he is creating a life form that feeds on climate-ruining carbon dioxide to produce fuel.
Geneticist Craig Venter disclosed his potentially world-changing "fourth-generation fuel" project at an elite Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in Monterey, California.
"We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry and becoming a major source of energy," Venter told an audience that included global warming fighter Al Gore and Google co-founder Larry Page.
"We think we will have fourth-generation fuels in about 18 months, with CO2 as the fuel stock." Simple organisms can be genetically re-engineered to produce vaccines or octane-based fuels as waste, according to Venter. Biofuel alternatives to oil are third-generation. The next step is life forms that feed on CO2 and give off fuel such as methane gas as waste, according to Venter.
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