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Energy and Global Warming News for May 12: Australian region loses 95% of rice harvest to drought, floods

By Climate Guest Contributor  

"Energy and Global Warming News for May 12: Australian region loses 95% of rice harvest to drought, floods"

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Drought and floods cut rice harvest back 95%!

Australia continues to suffer under the effects of climate change as a food shortages are added to its ever increasing list of woes (see also “Australia today offers horrific glimpse of U.S. Southwest, much of planet, post-2040, if we don’t slash emissions soon” and “Australia faces collapse as climate change kicks in”).

The rice harvest has been ravaged by both drought and flooding, with the NSW Riverina expected to deliver just 5 per cent of its normal output.

About 65,000 tonnes are expected to be harvested this year in the nation’s rice growing heartland – down from 1.2 million tonnes in a typical year – while trial crops in northeast NSW have been destroyed by heavy rainfall. Mike Hedditch, from the ricegrower-owned company SunRice, said so far 56,000 tonnes of paddy had come in.

‘We expect harvest to wrap up with receives of around 65,000 tonnes,’ he said.

Early forecasts for a 75,000-tonne crop in the Riverina were not realized, after a heat wave in February damaged flowering.

In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars

(follow-up: Creating a ‘Car-Free’ Community)

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” “” except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park “” large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.

Waxman to huddle with House Dems today in preparation for markup

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is expected to outline details of a major global warming and energy bill later today during a closed-door meeting with his fellow Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Waxman, the panel chairman, wants to get members up to speed ahead of votes next week on a comprehensive bill that includes a cap-and-trade program to curb greenhouse gases and a nationwide renewable electricity standard. But sources on and off Capitol Hill yesterday said they do not expect Waxman to release legislative text until later this week, leaving lawmakers on both sides with only a narrow window to review the proposal before voting on amendments.

Green Investment Funds Look to Asia

At a Sustainable Industries breakfast meeting in San Francisco last week, Anup Jacob, a founding partner of the Virgin Green Fund, a renewable energy investment fund launched in tandem with Richard Brandson’s Virgin Group, noted that many renewable energy and cleantech start-ups are limping along with subsidies from the government stimulus package, which will run out in 2010.

The outlook on green investing in China, however, looks markedly different. Environmental protection and energy savings are still fairly new ideas in emerging Asian markets, so these sectors have a huge development potential. And unlike in the West, the fact that the Chinese government is supporting the growth of its green economy appears to be boosting the confidence of foreign investors.

China mulls 3 trillion yuan spending for renewable energy

China is considering investing a more than 3 trillion yuan ($440 billion) in the renewable energy sector by 2020, an official with the National Energy Administration said on Tuesday.

The administration is drafting a stimulus plan for the industry that will noticeably raise the development targets for wind and solar power, Liang Zhipeng, an official with the New Energy and Renewable Energy Department under the administration, told an industry conference.

The Razing of Appalachia: Mountaintop Removal Revisited

Over the past two decades, mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia has obliterated or severely damaged more than a million acres of forest and buried more than 1,000 miles of streams. Now, the Obama administration is showing signs it plans to crack down on this destructive practice.

Concentration Solar Power Module Integrates Into Side And Roof Of Buildings

A concentration solar power module that produces heat, cold and electricity and that can be integrated to fa§ades or building roofs constitutes the new patent obtained by the University of Lleida.

This thermal-photovoltaic modular system has a solar concentration of 10 suns, that is, it only needs a tenth part of a standard system’s active surface to produce the same energy, be it electricity, heat, or both simultaneously. Besides the reduction in the surface of used solar cells and the cost reduction this implies, this new technology can generate cold by connecting a heat pump to the system.

Compiled by Max Luken and Carlin Rosengarten

‹ Climate Pollution Cash Shaping Fate Of Waxman-Markey Clean Energy Legislation

Another long-debunked denier talking point is debunked again: Changes in the Sun are not causing global warming ›

2 Responses to Energy and Global Warming News for May 12: Australian region loses 95% of rice harvest to drought, floods

  1. ecostew says:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    EPA Offers Tips to Save Energy and Fight Climate Change this Summer

    Contact: Enesta Jones, 202-564-4355 / 7873 / jones.enesta@epa.gov

    (Washington, D.C. – May 12, 2009) With summer and the high costs of cooling right around the corner, EPA is offering advice to help Americans reduce both energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions by one third through Energy Star. The energy used in an average home costs more than $2,200 a year and contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than a typical car.

    “A few simple changes will help create real reductions in high summer electric bills and provide a hefty cut in greenhouse gas emissions in the bargain,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “It’s important that we all do our part to confront climate change, especially when it can help save money during these challenging economic times.”

    Here are some tips to save energy and help protect the environment at home and at work:

    · Set your programmable thermostat to save while you are away or asleep. Using it properly can save up to $180 per year in energy costs.

    · Run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to create a wind-chill effect that will make you “feel” cooler. Remember that ceiling fans cool people, not rooms — so turn them off when you leave the room.

    · Inspect your duct system for obvious signs of leaks and disconnections (most houses leak 20 percent or more). Seal any leaks with foil tape or a special sealant called “duct mastic.” Also consider insulating ducts in unconditioned areas (like the attic, basement or crawlspace).

    · Seal air leaks around your home to keep the heat out and the cool air in. The biggest air leaks are usually found in the attic or basement, but also come in around doors, windows, vents, pipes and electrical outlets. Use caulk, spray foam or weather stripping to seal the leaks. And add more insulation to keep your home cooler this summer.

    · Maintain your cooling system. Check your system’s air filter every month at a minimum and change the filter every 3 months. Remove leaves, dirt and other debris from around the outdoor components to improve air flow and efficiency. Have a qualified professional tune-up your system with a pre-season maintenance checkup and, if it’s time to replace your old system, look for models that have earned EPA’s Energy Star.

    · Turn off office lights and equipment when not in use so they don’t generate unnecessary heat.

    · Replace incandescent light bulbs in your desk lamp with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs which use two-thirds less energy and generate less heat than conventional bulbs.

    More tips on to how to save energy at home: http://www.energystar.gov
    More tips on how to save energy at work: http://www.energystar.gov/bizcooling
    More hot tips for a cool summer: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/hi-summer.htm

    R125

  2. Thanks for the information on Australia’s harvest. I forwarded it to my
    congressman.
    How Global Warming could lead to the EXTINCTION of Homo Sapiens by the year 2030:

    Reference books: “The Long Summer” and “The Great Warming” by Brian Fagan
    “Collapse” by Jared Diamond
    “Six Degrees” by Mark Lynas
    http://environmentaldefenseblogs.org/climate411/2008/01/14/global_winds/
    by James Wang, Ph.D., a climate scientist at Environmental Defense

    Fagan and Diamond are anthropologists who discuss the collapse of a few dozen
    previous civilizations in their books. Collapse is usually caused by a
    drought that causes a collapse of agriculture. In some cases some other
    feature of climate causes a loss of food. In our case, the southern US and
    a band all the way around the earth at that latitude, both north and south,
    is experiencing drought. Northern states are experiencing more floods than
    usual. Climate change moves the rain. In previous civilization collapses,
    there were always people living beyond the range of the civilization that
    collapsed. That is why no previous collapse of civilization has ever been
    an extinction event for humans. When a civilization collapsed in the past,
    the people there wandered off looking for food. On the average, something
    like one person out of 10,000 found food elsewhere. The remaining 99.99%
    died of starvation or violence. There were always people living far away
    to start a new civilization

    Now our civilization is global and we have the means of transportation to wander
    absolutely everywhere on the planet. That means that the people who wander off
    looking for food (everybody, all 6.7 Billion of us) will find and eat all of the
    food available to even the remotest, most isolated and most primitive people on
    the planet. Given the example of Haiti and other places where food is scarce,
    everything that is even close to edible will be hunted or gathered to extinction.
    For example, we will hunt the penguins of Antarctica to extinction. With the
    total extinction
    of the food, the humans will also go extinct. You don’t want to live through
    the end. It will be gruesome.

    Conclusion: Homo Sapiens could go extinct by the year 2030 if extreme action
    on global warming is not taken immediately. A population crash caused by a
    human population of 9 Billion could also lead to extinction in the same way
    UNLESS we have self-sustaining colonies on other planets, out of reach of
    those left on earth.

    I recommend and demand that ALL coal fired power plants WORLDWIDE be shut down
    by the end of 2015. If there is a coal fired power plant still operating on
    1 January 2016, bomb it. The situation is a lot worse than a world war. We
    have FACTORY MADE nuclear power plants to replace coal fired power plants with.
    See: http://www.hyperionpowergeneration.com/why.html
    A Government Owned Government Operated [GOGO] nuclear fuel recycling plant is
    required and indicated because nuclear fuel is recyclable and no longer
    wasteable. Yucca Mountain has been shut down.