Energy and global warming news for February 23: A tougher greenhouse gas target could boost European economy and create up to 6 million new jobs; Bark beetles aided by climate change

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"Energy and global warming news for February 23: A tougher greenhouse gas target could boost European economy and create up to 6 million new jobs; Bark beetles aided by climate change"

EU climate target: Less CO2-emissions could trigger more economic growth,

Increasing the EU’s 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target from 20% to 30% could help boosting European investments from 18% to 22% of GDP, leading to a GDP increase of up to ‚¬620bn ($840bn) and the creation of up to 6 millions additional jobs. These are the key findings of a report launched today.

The report, A New Growth Path for Europe – Generating Growth and Jobs in the Low-Carbon Economy, was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and conducted by an international consortium of researchers led by Professor Carlo C. Jaeger from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Traditional models assume a ‘single stable equilibrium’, where investments are determined by an assumption of business-as-usual economic trends. The financial crisis however has exposed the fact that different expectations can lead to different investment behaviors, turning those expectations into self-fulfilling prophecies. The new model highlights the importance of policy in shaping investors’ expectations, leading to a virtuous circle of increased investments, faster ‘learning by doing’ in technology and manufacturing and enhanced expectations by investors in the market.

This study shows that the European economy could be shifted into a new ‘low-carbon equilibrium’ through a decisive move to a domestic 30% emissions reduction target and independently of an international post-2012 agreement, thereby setting expectations for growth of the European economy at a higher level. European industry can maintain and enhance its competitiveness by developing the low carbon materials and technologies that will shape the future.

Lead author of the report, Prof. Carlo C. Jaeger, from PIK, said:

“In traditional economic models, reducing greenhouse gas emissions incurs an extra cost in the short term which is justified by avoiding long term damages. However what we are showing here is that by credibly engaging on the transition to a low-carbon economy through the adoption of an ambitious target and adequate policies, Europe will find itself in a win-win situation of increasing economic growth while reducing greenhouse gases”.

“It is time for Europe to understand the opportunities and the challenges from the transition to a low-carbon economy. This study makes a compelling case for an increase of EU’s climate target to 30% that will strengthen the European economy.”

Report: Climate relief possible now

Reducing emissions of soot and methane can be done today with existing technologies and could significantly slow climate change, a U.N. report says.

Curbing emissions of black carbon, a component of soot, along with methane and tropospheric ozone, could cut projected climate warming by 0.5 degree Celsius, or about 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit, by 2070, the report says.

The report notes such cuts could be made with existing technology and would limit climate change, improve public health, increase agricultural productivity and “have immediate and multiple benefits for human well-being,” online publication Climatewire reported.

Possible strategies for such emission reduction could include capturing methane produced by landfills and fossil fuel extraction, introducing cleaner-burning cook stoves, installing particulate filters on diesel engines and banning the practice of burning fields of agricultural waste, a Scientific American article on the U.N. report said.

Forest bugs seen aided by creeping climate change

A spruce tree has smothered a few beetles by oozing resin from its trunk, repelling an attack by bugs that seem to be advancing northwards with climate change in a threat to forests and timber companies.  Other sickly spruce trees scarred by bark beetles have been less successful in the snow-covered forest near Oslo, where scientists are seeking ways to halt insects whose relatives have caused millions of dollars in damage in North America.

“The effects of climate change are likely only to be positive for spruce bark beetles,” said Paal Krokene, a researcher at the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute inspecting a Norway spruce forest in Aas.

“They don’t have that many predators, and they don’t face that much disease,” he said in a forest where scientists last year hung up small plastic bags on trees containing a scent emitted by male beetles to attract females to test the trees’ resilience to attacks.

The research is an effort to seek benefits from global warming, which is likely to help boreal, or northern, forests grow better and advance north, producing more timber to meet rising demand from China and other emerging economies.

But some pests may fare better in a warming climate than the trees — partly because they grow and can adapt faster. That is also a threat to earnings by forestry firms, which are backing research and trying to adapt forestry management….

In one of the worst northern insect attacks, more than 16 million hectares (39.54 million acres) of pine forest in British Columbia have been killed in a decade long-infestation by mountain pine beetles, which has now entered Alberta.

The U.S. states of Colorado and Wyoming also are badly hit.

Jim Bouldin, an ecologist at the University of California Davis, said there was strong evidence that the beetles had moved northwards and to higher elevations in Canada and the United States to forests that had been free of attacks for many hundreds of years.

The British Columbia government has stressed that climate change is a big factor in the beetle spread, mainly on old lodgepole pines, helping make the case for a comprehensive carbon tax — the only one in North America so far.

Renewable Energy and the Little Engine That Could

As American kids, we were raised on the culture-defining parable of The Little Engine that Could… an early industrial age tale of a little blue steam engine that through positive thinking (“I think I can”) and sheer determination overcame the greatest of obstacles.

I have often thought that the steep uphill climb faced by advocates of renewable energy was like the “little blue engine” of the post-industrial age. Is it possible to power that steam engine of economic growth with renewables like wind and solar instead of coal and oil?

I was first faced with this question as the director of Greenpeace’s international Atmosphere and Energy program in 1991, and at the time it seemed like a near impossible proposition. Climate change was emerging as a challenge unlike any we had faced before, and the solution was going to require a phase-out of fossil fuels. Many of our friends in the labor unions relied on the fossil-fuel industry for jobs, so would it ever be possible to gain sufficient public traction to steer our economy in the renewable direction?

I believed that campaigning against dirty energy would only take us half the distance… we needed to be in favor of something. As a result, Greenpeace embarked on a two-year process to develop a Global Energy Scenario in cooperation with the Stockholm Environment Institute. The study was published in 1993, and showed how the world could transition out of fossil fuels (and nuclear power) by 2100.

Indeed it has been a steep climb. Renewable energy as a cause had less charisma than a bleeding harp seal, and it faced a well-organized opposition with nearly unlimited funding courtesy of some of the world’s most powerful energy companies. But the little engine that could started gaining momentum.

City in a Deal for Removing School PCBs

City officials are quietly preparing to accede to federal officials’ demands that they replace aging light fixtures at public schools due to health concerns about leaking PCBs.

People familiar with the discussions say Mayor Michael Bloomberg has approved a plan to seek bids for contracts to do the work. The city plans to spend $708 million to implement the plan at 772 public-school buildings over a 10-year period. A Bloomberg official said the announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

The city has been in a months-long standoff over the issue with the Environmental Protection Agency, which has demanded quick replacement of the suspect lights. Environmental advocates have argued the work be completed much earlier, in two or five years

In addition to removing outdated, leaking light fixtures, the city plans to conduct energy audits at its schools and to replace outdated and inefficient boilers in the school system.

The Bloomberg administration official said the effort would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 200,000 metric tons per year.

One company, T.M. Bier & Associates, has written to City Council Member Vincent Ignizio, offering to do the work at no upfront cost in exchange for payments in subsequent years based on the amount the schools save on their energy bills with newer, more efficient lights.

The EPA has been pressing the city to create a plan to immediately begin removing all of the old fluorescent lighting fixtures blamed for leaking PCBs.

Renewable energy ‘on’ switch

California is blessed with renewable energy resources that it has barely begun to harvest, an enlightened electorate that understands the importance of doing so and a venture-capital community eager to make green investments. In fact, the state has everything it needs to lead the world in clean energy development, except for one thing: a functional government.

The Legislature isn’t just bad at passing budgets; it’s bad at moving major legislation even when it’s favored by a strong majority of lawmakers and the public. That’s why the state still doesn’t have a renewable energy standard even though a sensible bill to establish one has been taken up annually since 2007. The bill was actually passed by both houses in 2009 but was vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and last year it languished as lawmakers bickering about less important issues allowed time to expire on the 2010 session.

Now it’s back, and just as we have done every year for the last four years, we’re once again hoping the political establishment can overcome its legacy of failure and give California an early lead in the struggle to wean the nation off of fossil fuels, clean the state’s air, boost its fledgling green industries and set an example on responsible mitigation strategies for climate change. SBX1 2 from Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) is scheduled for a vote in the state Senate on Thursday. It would mandate that utilities derive 33% of their power from renewable sources, such as the sun, wind or underground heat, by 2020.

Is Natural Gas Good, or Just Less Bad?

Natural gas is billed by its supporters, including President Barack Obama, as a clean fuel that could play a big role in a low-carbon future. But others are questioning the environmental credentials of an energy source that, while easier on the atmosphere than coal and oil, is still a fossil fuel that causes sizable emissions of climate-warming gases.

Its backers say it emits only half as much carbon as coal when burned, and some environmentalists agree that it could bridge the gap until cleaner sources slowly come into use.

But opponents see the push for natural gas as a distraction from more pressing priorities, like improving efficiency and generating renewable power.

“We really have to be quite careful about the language we use to frame things,” said Kevin Anderson, a professor at the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester in England. “If we call things green, we start to feel positive about it.” Natural gas, he said, “is not a positive thing, it’s just less negative.”

In fact, he called it “a very bad fuel,” with “very high emissions indeed.”

Saudi Arabia, France Sign Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement

Saudi Arabia and France agreed to cooperate on developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as the world’s top oil producer seeks to meet growing demand for electricity.

The agreement allows the two countries to cooperate in the fields of production, use and transfer of knowledge of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, according to an e-mailed statement from the Saudi government.

“Saudi Arabia has decided to make use of alternative energy resources, such as atomic energy, solar energy, geothermal energy and wind energy,” according to the statement, which cited Hashim Bin Abdullah Yamani, president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, known as KA-CARE. Power demand is forecast to increase by 8 percent a year in the Arabian Peninsula’s most populous country.

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44 Responses to Energy and global warming news for February 23: A tougher greenhouse gas target could boost European economy and create up to 6 million new jobs; Bark beetles aided by climate change

  1. Colorado Bob says:

    Every month more evidence piles up, suggesting that online comment threads and forums are being hijacked by people who aren’t what they seem.

    The anonymity of the web gives companies and governments golden opportunities to run astroturf operations: fake grassroots campaigns that create the impression that large numbers of people are demanding or opposing particular policies. This deception is most likely to occur where the interests of companies or governments come into conflict with the interests of the public. For example, there’s a long history of tobacco companies creating astroturf groups to fight attempts to regulate them.

    After I wrote about online astroturfing in December, I was contacted by a whistleblower. He was part of a commercial team employed to infest internet forums and comment threads on behalf of corporate clients, promoting their causes and arguing with anyone who opposed them.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/feb/23/need-to-protect-internet-from-astroturfing

  2. Marie says:

    Colorado Bob, are you actually in Colorado? on the Front Range? If so, let’s connect up sometime. We love your posts and my husband and I would enjoy meeting you. – Marie 3/798-5333.

  3. Mike says:

    Why Are Americans So Ill-Informed on the Topic of Climate Change?

    Scientists and journalists debate why Americans still resist the consensus among research organizations that humans are warming the globe

    By Robin Lloyd | February 23, 2011 |

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-are-americans-so-ill

  4. Dano says:

    ‘Persona Management Software’. That explains the bot swarms.

    Best,

    D

  5. Michael Tucker says:

    Oil prices spike above $100 a barrel, some economists think pump prices could reach $5 a gallon by summer in US. Will the Middle East unrest mellow by summer? Hard to know but the Saudi government attempts to buy off discontent with a $37 billion deal to help lower and middle income citizens with “pay rises to offset inflation, unemployment benefits and affordable family housing.”

    Meanwhile, there is a call on Facebook to attend “a Saudi “day of rage” on 11 March to demand an elected ruler, greater freedom for women and the release of political prisoners.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/23/middle-east-unrest-concessions

    I wonder how the Kingdom will react?

    AND, with food prices still high the folks in India are getting upset:

    “TENS OF THOUSANDS (my caps) of people have gathered in India’s capital to protest surging food prices.

    Demonstrators marched through the center of New Delhi Wednesday, heading towards the Indian parliament building as they chanted slogans against high food costs. Protesters included members of several trade unions, including one linked to India’s ruling party.”

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/south/Thousands-Protest-High-Food-Prices-in-India-116740014.html

    If the Chinese government were not so good at stomping out demonstrations before they begin we would have seen protestors gather there as well.

  6. Colorado Bob says:

    Marie -
    Alas , I’m not in the mountains anymore. I take care of my father, in Texas. I got the nickname , when I ran off to the woods 41 years ago. Glad you like the posts, but there are many thought provoking items here at CP.
    ———–
    Next time one comes across a denier who hangs their argument on volcanism and CO2 :
    Learning From Volcanic Eruptions 200 Million Years Ago -

    ” “You see these big eruptions throughout Earth’s history,” says Schaller. “But it’s always been unclear what they can do to the atmosphere. It turns out, they may do a lot.”

    To a non-geologist, it might seem that any volcanic eruption might affect the atmosphere, but it’s important to understand even the largest eruptions of individual volcanoes seem puny beside the events Schaller studies – a million cubic kilometers of lava pouring out of fissures in the earth’s surface in less than 20,000 years.

    “Mt. St. Helens in 1980, Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 – those were big eruptions,” Kent says. “Lots of ash and aerosols, but hardly a ripple in atmospheric CO2.”

    Kent added that the famous Krakatoa eruption in 1883 occurred before regular measurements of atmospheric CO2, which began in 1958. But ice core data from that time show no detectable perturbation of atmospheric carbon dioxide. ”

    http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/2001220/learning_from_volcanic_eruptions_200_million_years_ago/

  7. Colorado Bob says:

    Why Are Americans So Ill-Informed on the Topic of Climate Change?

    Scientists and journalists debate why Americans still resist the consensus among research organizations that humans are warming the globe

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-are-americans-so-ill

  8. Michael Tucker says:

    Interesting SA article CB. Thanks for posting that.

    Obviously NPR’s Elizabeth Shogren considers herself to be one of the un-persuaded public. That makes her part of the problem…

  9. Dano says:

    A majority of Americans in every poll save Rasmussen think that AGW is real and happening. There is absolutely zero need to convince everyone, as that is impossible. There is enough of a majority to act. The only reason we are not is the money spent by the Carbon Lobby.

    Best,

    D

  10. Prokaryotes says:

    “AND, with food prices still high the folks in India are getting upset…”

    Can people start to imagine what it will be like in 3 years from now? Like 5 years from no, 8 years … 2020?

    Maybe people might think like that it does not concerns them if somewhere in a far far away land some crowd revolts or a nation collapses and goes down in anarchy.

    With each state which fails, the chances of action to combat climate change will be further lower. Further a state which is crippled, might create even more emissions for many reason. Today we see pipelines in egypt or libya go up in flames …. more primitive people (lower iq) tend to have more offspring and so on.

  11. Michael Tucker says:

    Turmoil and Oil

    It looks like that crazy man Gadhafi wants war so how will the oil supply hold up? I thought this was an interesting article from the ‘Economist’ but don’t believe that graph showing Saudi spare capacity. We all know they have been lying for years about the real size of their reserves but we always go to the Kingdom when ever a shortfall in supply occurs. The Saudi’s always promise more production and we will see if they can deliver.

    “If Libya’s oil stopped flowing importers would look to Saudi Arabia to make up the shortfall. The oil could probably flow to fill the gap in Europe, Libya’s main market, in a matter of weeks. OPEC claims that it has 6m b/d on tap but that looks wishful. Analysts think the true number is nearer 4m-5m b/d, with 3m-3.5m b/d in Saudi hands. That is ample to plug a Libyan gap but would hasten the day when growing world demand sucks up all spare production capacity and sends oil prices rocketing. Analysts at Nomura reckon that it would only take a halt of exports from Algeria as well to absorb all the slack and propel oil to a terrifying $220 a barrel.”

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2011/02/arab_worlds_unrest_and_oil_prices

  12. Prokaryotes says:

    The limits of doubt-mongering

    Since Congress re-convened, it seems especially fashionable among the new leadership to voice doubt about the scientific evidence that heat-trapping gases are dangerously warming the planet. And at least one congressman says he will hold hearings into climate science, giving a platform both to mainstream scientists who have spent their professional lives studying the issue, and the relative minority of Ph.D.s in a variety of disciplines who claim climate change is nothing to worry about.

    That seems reasonable enough at first blush. But rhetoric heard on the campaign trail in the fall and on Capitol Hill since then suggests that the aim might not be to have a serious conversation about the risks we face from unabated warming, or the opportunities for the U.S. to develop the technology necessary to solve the problem. Rather, the goal will be to continue a long-standing campaign to sow doubt about the science, and to tarnish the reputations of our nation’s leading climate scientists – in other words, to deny the problem rather than to solve it.

    Casting doubt about mainstream scientific findings that upset powerful financial interests – from the health risks of tobacco to the reality and risks of global warming – is a tactic that has been used time and again to delay or avoid regulation. But those getting ready to use it this time should remember that it can backfire.

    Congressional hearings can have a powerful impact on public perceptions of major scientific issues. In June 1988, for example, NASA climate scientist James Hansen brought the first evidence to the Senate that human activity was demonstrably warming the planet. His testimony galvanized public concern around global warming and, initially, motivated a constructive bipartisan response.

    ….

    Polls show that as late as 1997, Republicans and Democrats had virtually indistinguishable views on the science of global warming. But an aggressive campaign by the fossil fuel industry and conservative think tanks to cast doubt about the scientific evidence that human activity is warming the planet changed that. Today, public understanding of climate science reflects a deep division along partisan lines. Tea Party Republicans are particularly inclined to deny the reality of global warming, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-a-environment/145669-the-limits-of-doubt-mongering

  13. Prokaryotes says:

    Great to read this at the hill!

    “For three decades, their industry had invested heavily in a campaign to mislead the public about the health risks of cigarettes. Then, in the spotlight of national television, and in the face of persistent educational efforts by public health scientists, the executives testified that they believed nicotine was not addictive, and that smoking did not cause cancer.

    That claim was widely recognized as incredible. The tobacco industry executives had overreached. In sticking to their guns despite the robust scientific evidence, they laid the groundwork for public rebuke, rejection by long-standing congressional allies, federal prosecution under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statutes, and, finally, to long-awaited and meaningful regulation.

    The sister campaign by the fossil fuel industry and its political allies to sow doubt about climate science might be reaching a similar limit. The widespread evidence for human-caused climate change is becoming increasingly difficult to deny with a straight face. ”

    Great Article!

  14. Prokaryotes says:

    Walker is finished?

    Koch Whore
    Posted by Murphy On February – 23 – 2011
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker answers his master’s call

    “David Koch”: We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that—because we thought about that…
    http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=5045

  15. Prokaryotes says:

    Koch Whore: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBnSv3a6Nh4

    Career down the drain – where it belongs.

  16. Prokaryotes says:

    Scott Walker Anti-Union Stuff Funded by Koch Brothers & Republicans

    Wisconsin astroturf protesting exposed, plus Scott Walker’s funding, including from the Koch brothers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-EAVKAp4o0&feature=related

  17. Sou says:

    “The world’s coral reefs could be wiped out by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to stop threats posed to the “rainforests of the sea” by everything from overfishing to global warming, a report has warned.”

    Article here:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/24/3147422.htm?section=justin

    World Resources Institute report, ‘Reefs at Risk Revisited’, on which the article is based is here:
    http://www.wri.org/publication/reefs-at-risk-revisited

  18. Prokaryotes says:

    Russia’s chief whistleblower wants to jail the corrupt
    Website has raised £1.8m in internet donations, and volunteers examine state tenders for evidence

    Alexey Navalny leaps out of his chair and draws five black circles on a whiteboard. The circles represent players in Russia’s multibillion-dollar oil industry. With boundless energy and lightning speed, he draws lines and connects the dots, telling the story of what he calls classic Russian corruption.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/23/russia-whistleblower-corruption

    Russia needs to change to clean tech … how much wild fire and crop lose does it take?

  19. Prokaryotes says:

    E&E threatens a libel suit, We received this letter on Friday:

    We are not surprised to find that Bill Hughes (the publisher) is concerned about his journal’s evidently appalling reputation. However, perhaps the way to fix that is to start applying a higher level of quality control rather than by threatening libel suits against people who publicly point out the problems? Is being known as the journal who tries to sue critics of their editorial policies (or worse, tries to intimidate critics by threatening libel suits) really going to help?

    As a final note, if you think that threatening unjustifiable UK libel suits against valid criticism is an appalling abuse, feel free to let Bill Hughes know (but please be polite), and add your support to the Campaign for libel reform in the UK which looks to be making great headway. In the comments, feel free to list your examples of the worst papers ever published in E&E.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/ee-threatens-a-libel-suit/

    That reminds me of the awkward letters from the “Web-Sheriff” :)

  20. Prokaryotes says:

    No strong teacher unions, lower SAT/ACT scores. Any correlation?

    Only five states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal.

    Those states and their ACT/SAT rankings are as follows:

    South Carolina – 50th

    North Carolina – 49th

    Georgia – 48th

    Texas – 47th

    Virginia – 44th

    If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.
    http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/02/22/no-strong-teacher-unions-lower-satact-scores-any-correlation/

  21. Prokaryotes says:

    The prank call embarrassed Walker and is likely to fan criticism that the Republicans are acting at the behest of big business campaign donors. In the call, Walker told a man he believed to be conservative businessman David Koch that he had “thought about” planting agitators among the protesters gathered in Madison over the past two weeks.

    During the conversation, Walker said he was trying to lure the 14 Democratic senators, who fled the state last week to deny the Senate of a quorum for a vote, back into Wisconsin to get the stalled measure passed.

    He said he would tell them he was “willing to sit down and talk” but “only … if they came back to the Capitol with all 14 of them.”

    Walker said his legal advisers believed the presence of the 14 in the capitol would allow the Senate Republicans to declare a quorum in the chamber and pass the measure.

    Walker’s campaign received $43,000 last year from the Political Action Committee of Koch Industries, which is owned by David Koch and his family. Koch is known for contributions to conservative causes.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us-wisconsin-protests-idUSTRE71N07820110224

  22. Prokaryotes says:

    Target ‘black carbon’ to tackle climate change, recommends UN
    Report says soot is neglected in climate debate, and reducing particles polluting the air could cut global warming by 0.5˚C

    Cutting the amount of soot we pour into the atmosphere, and emissions of methane from agriculture, would be one of the most powerful ways to tackle climate change (pdf) , a new report from the United Nations environment programme (Unep) has concluded.

    Preventing “black carbon” – particles of soot from industry and cooking fires – from polluting the air would help to cut global warming by as much as 0.5C, and reduce warming in the Arctic by about two thirds by 2030. Scientists say a rise in temperature of about 2C is the limit of safety, beyond which climate change would become catastrophic and irreversible.

    Black carbon, methane and ozone are known as “short-lived climate forcers”, because they have a strong warming effect but do not persist in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, which has been the main focus of international emissions-cutting efforts until now.

    Soot is a particular problem because when it falls on snow and ice it darkens the surface, increasing the absorption of sunlight, in turn hastening the melting process. Black carbon has been shown to have a dramatic effect in the rapid melting of the Arctic, and affects the water cycle in regions such as the Himalayas.

    But a variety of measures could be put in place relatively easily that would dramatically reduce these short-lived emissions. For instance, fitting diesel vehicles with exhaust-pipe filters, using clean-burning stoves in place of open wood fires, capturing methane from coal mines and landfill sites, and banning the burning of agricultural waste in fields.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/feb/23/target-black-carbon-climate-change

    Duhh, that what mean to shut down coal mines … and that would actually create a more healthy environment … duhhhh … and the switch to clean tech alternatives would actually create jobs!

  23. Prokaryotes says:

    COMPARE

    “Walker told a man he believed to be conservative businessman David Koch that he had “thought about” planting agitators ”

    with this

    “An Indiana deputy attorney general “is no longer employed” by the state after Mother Jones magazine reported he tweeted that police should to use live ammunition against Wisconsin labor protesters, the attorney general’s office said Wednesday.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/23/AR2011022305979.html

  24. Prokaryotes says:

    KOCH owns 18 factories in wisconsin …

    Are Koch brothers behind Wisconsin mayhem? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX0Q_Dk3f1U&feature=related

  25. Prokaryotes says:

    Lasting effects from BP-Rosneft

    More Dead Dolphins in the Gulf Raises Questions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36MqUXm07jc&feature=player_embedded

  26. quokka says:

    Australian government has just announced the introduction of a “carbon price” by July 2012. Initial permit price and many other details yet to be determined. The scheme will be based on fixed price permits transitioning to a cap and trade scheme in a 3 to 5 year time frame.

    The scheme has the support (in principle) of the Green Party, so the government will most likely be able to get the legislation through the Senate.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/24/3147523.htm

  27. Prokaryotes says:

    Conditions for tornadoes ramping up across the South

    An outbreak of severe storms and tornadoes is likely across the South today, and torrential rain is forecast for other areas as the nasty weather heads east.

    The most dangerous storms will strike late afternoon into the evening as they move across Arkansas and spread into northern Mississippi and western Tennessee, according to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Okla.
    “Tornadoes, a few possibly strong, and particularly damaging winds will be possible,” the SPC says.
    The big cities most at risk are Dallas, Little Rock, Memphis and Nashville
    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/tornadoes/2011-02-24-severeweather24_ST_N.htm

    Nashlantis again?

  28. Michael T. says:

    James Hansen gives a lecture on human-made climate change in Milano Italy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMa0Trit6cM

  29. Prokaryotes says:

    A few month ago we read a lot about the challenging deluges in the china sector …

    Drought in China adds pressure to world food prices

    The soil lies cracked and broken in China’s Shangdong Province, thirsting for rains that will not come. China’s key wheat producing region, lying just south of Beijing, has received just 12 millimeters (1/2 inch) of rain since September, according to the Chinese news service Xinhua. If no rains come during the remainder of February, it could become the worst drought in 200 years.

    REPEAT

    it could become the worst drought in 200 years.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1753

    Russia no wehat, egypt no wheat, vietnam rice crops devastated price double now every few month …

    AGAIN we are at WAR and the weapons to counter this are clean tech, BECCS, reducing emissions. Everything working against these goals – is a threat to the very survival of the ENTIRE species!

  30. Colorado Bob says:

    Saw a CNN interview with a fellow in Alabama , doing the dolphin research .
    The story yesterday said 17 calves found dead, he said the number has now jumped to 24.

  31. Colorado Bob says:

    LIMA — A glacier on Peru’s Huaytapallana Moutain shed half its surface ice in just 23 years, officials said Wednesday, reinforcing concerns of climate change’s growing threat to fresh water resources.

    “Recent scientific studies indicate that between June 1983 and August 2006, the glacier has lost 50 percent of its surface ice,” Erasmo Meza, manager of natural resources and the environment in the central Andean region of Junin, told the official Andina news agency.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5htSvBVTDFBNBgjgNUEFs1z2pEPuw?docId=CNG.867dcb3d94702f9df32e0fdbe6185a98.1011

  32. Colorado Bob says:

    Farmers in the Darwin River region are struggling to recover crops after huge rainfalls in the past month, a fruit grower says.

    Kurt Ruzsicska, who grows paw-paws, bananas and pineapples, says more than 1,600 millimetres of rain fell in six weeks at his farm.

    He says people should expect limited produce and high prices at markets.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/24/3147999.htm

  33. Colorado Bob says:

    Sometime in the next 20 years, Arctic soil that has been frozen since the last ice age will begin thawing in response to rapidly warming polar temperatures and start releasing a vast reservoir of carbon into the atmosphere. A new study puts the first numbers and dates on these “irreversible” permafrost emissions, and it looks like enough to kick the global warming trend into another gear.

    The carbon is released by the decay of roots and other organic material exposed to the atmosphere after thousands of years of being locked away in the deep freeze of permanently frozen Arctic dirt.

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/unlocking-arctic-carbon-110223.html

  34. Colorado Bob says:

    (Reuters) – Ancient megadroughts that lasted thousands of years in what is now the American Southwest could offer a preview of a climate changed by modern greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Wednesday.

    The scientists found these persistent dry periods were different from even the most severe decades-long modern droughts, including the 1930s “Dust Bowl.” And they determined that these millennial droughts occurred at times when Earth’s mean annual temperature was similar to or slightly higher than what it is now.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/23/us-climate-megadroughts-idUSTRE71M50S20110223

  35. Colorado Bob says:

    MAJOR petroleum and mining projects in Western Australia’s Pilbara region were forced to suspend operations for the third time in a month yesterday as Tropical Cyclone Carlos battered the coast with 140km/h winds and heavy rain.

    Loading of ships for export was halted after authorities at Port Hedland, which is used by iron ore miners BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group, suspended operations due to the cyclone.

    Plants across the Pilbara have experienced heavy rains that closed rail lines and roads.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/pilbara-region-takes-cover-as-cyclone-hits-home/story-e6frg8zx-1226010355913

  36. Colorado Bob says:

    LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Oil prices hit 29-month highs on Thursday to near $120 a barrel on growing fears that the unrest in Libya could spread to other oil producing countries in the Middle East, threatening to derail global growth.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/markets-global-idUSLDE71N0J420110224

  37. Prokaryotes says:

    Traffic fumes ‘trigger 9,000 heart attacks a year in Britain’
    Traffic fumes trigger more than eight times as many heart attacks as taking cocaine, a study of relative risks has found.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8342863/Traffic-fumes-trigger-9000-heart-attacks-a-year-in-Britain.html

    DO NOT INHALE! WARN YOUR KIDS OF THE DEADLY POISONS – not so nice world we live in …

  38. Sou says:

    As expected, a mixed reaction to the proposed carbon price scheme announced by the Australian Government.

    Business pleased to at least have an announcement but are anxious for more detail. Social welfare groups want to exempt or protect those on low incomes from paying for it. Some business/political groups are opposing it on the grounds that Australia needs to wait to be last to implement a scheme – illogical posturing only.

    It has a lot of hurdles to pass through but the timing could be good in regard to public support, given the recent spate of weather disasters.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/24/3148316.htm

    And another take on it here:
    http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/two-cheers-gillards-carbon-call

  39. Sou says:

    This article by the inimitable Annabelle Crabb probably best encapsulates the situation in regard to Australia’s carbon pricing scheme:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/24/3147918.htm

  40. Prokaryotes says:

    Carbon tax countdown to July 2012 start date

    LABOR and the Greens will push to introduce a carbon tax next year, later evolving into emissions trading, under a compromise that avoids saying how rapidly Australia should cut greenhouse gas emissions. http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-tax-countdown-to-july-2012-start-date-20110224-1b73f.html

  41. Prokaryotes says:

    Bloomberg
    GM Reports $510 Million Profit as Sales Rise in North America

    Cruze, Volt

    GM had said fourth-quarter earnings would be “significantly lower” than earlier periods because of spending for new cars including the Chevrolet Volt plug-in and Cruze compact. Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said the results were at the “top end” of the company’s expectations.

    GM spent about $1 billion more in the fourth quarter on marketing and engineering than in the previous three months, Liddell told reporters today in Detroit.

    The inventory of trucks could be a concern if oil prices rise because of violence in Libya and other parts of the Middle East, said David Whiston, an equity analyst with Chicago-based Morningstar Inc. Whiston ….

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-02-24/gm-reports-510-million-profit-as-sales-rise-in-north-america.html

    Great for GM that they have Plug-in Hybriods as an counter measure for high oil prices – peak oil, and to combat climate disruption.

  42. paulm says:

    In Thawing Arctic, Fragile Food Web at Risk of Unraveling (Part I)
    http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=180134695364930&id=139434822741700

    The loss of a single species from climate change impacts could set off a reaction throughout the entire Arctic marine and coastal food web

  43. paulm says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/24/mayor-calvin-tillman-leav_n_827478.html

    Mayor Calvin Tillman Leaves Dish, Texas Fearing ‘Fracking’ Effects On Family’s Health