[GWSG] Trucks included; washing carbon; Boykoff's figure; bad words; Mt. Everest harder; Brit plan; Southern energy

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Thu May 27 10:25:00 EDT 2010

1.  President Obama is including medium and heavy trucks in fuel efficiency regulations for the first time.  He has ordered the EPA to develop emissions standards, and is offering further support to the development of fuel-efficient vehicles.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/business/energy-environment/22fuel.html?adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1274540401-Yn42pkKL58LHMA6SrxnWrw

2.  Klaus Lackner’s daughter devised a winning 8th grade science project using a fish tank pump and a strong base, sodium hydroxide, to pull carbon out of the air.  She pulled down 50% of the ambient carbon.  Lackner, who directs the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at the Earth Institute, was so impressed that he has devoted much of his research for 10 years to economical and scalable ways of cleansing the atmosphere of carbon.  In “Washing Carbon Out of the Air” (Scientific American, June 2010, 66-71), he projects that a system of carbon carousels could draw down significant amounts of carbon—enough, in one design, to reduce the atmospheric content by 5 ppm per year, more than we are now adding.  The article is available only by subscription, but here’s Columbia’s description of his research.  http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2523

3.  Maxwell Boykoff of the U of CO at Boulder presented a figure to the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting this February which has stuck in my mind.  I went back to retrieve it from Climate Progress.  It represents the range of professional opinions on climate change and the sources of public information, making it clear that the level of information on climate change available to the general public is not sufficient to enable them to conceive of the problem’s scope.  http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/25/max-boykoff-media-balance-deniers-contrarian-climate-change/

4.  Following up on the lesson from the figure in the previous item, here is a collection of discouraging words.  The British are drowsing to the strains of the anti-IPCC and hacked emails propaganda campaigns.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/science/earth/25climate.html  A new report shows the UK on track to be well short of its emissions targets.   http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2263543/uk-miss-renewables-emissions  Contrarians rallied in Chicago.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8694544.stm  Colorado teabaggers are trying to ensure that their children are not taught about climate change.  http://www.denverpost.com/technology/ci_15161879  A squad of US senators is attempting to prevent the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act by regulating greenhouse gasses.  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37775.html  Meanwhile things keep heating up.  http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0520-hance_april.html

5.  Climate change is making Mt. Everest harder to climb.  It’s a nice metaphor for the increasing difficulty of mitigating climate change.  The longer we wait the harder it will be.  If we wait long enough, past the proper tipping points, it will become impossible  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/7763595/Global-warming-is-making-Mount-Everest-more-dangerous-to-climb.html

6.  A group of British academics has offered a fresh approach to mitigating warming.  They suggest a more equal access to cheap energy, a carbon tax to support the development of renewable energy, and an acceptance of the principles of sustainability and resilience.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8673828.stm

7.  The American South, particularly, can benefit greatly from the sorts of energy efficiency measures already in effect elsewhere.  http://www.truthout.org/saving-energy-means-getting-south-board59800  The revisions to building codes already underway in Florida (and surely elsewhere) will be a big step in that direction.  http://www.builderonline.com/codes-and-standards/florida-sets-tough-new-energy-targets.aspx

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