March 21 News: NAS Report Says Silver Buckshot Needed To Adequately Reduce GhG Emissions

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences showing how the U.S. can cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 80 percent by 2050. Unsurprisingly, this will take more than just one single policy or technology. [Washington Post]

Case in point: In the past few years, the Obama administration has enacted a series of ambitious corporate average fuel economy standards that will require new cars to get around 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. (That will translate into about 35.4 miles per gallon on the road.) That sounds impressive, but the NAS study concludes that current standards aren’t enough to hit even that 2030 goal for oil use.

In fact, the report argues, it’s tough to find any single technology that can cut oil use in half by 2030 on its own. Making conventional cars more efficient won’t do it. A major push on electric vehicles won’t do it. The only things likely to work are a massive switch over to natural-gas vehicles (which would, in turn, make it much harder to hit the greenhouse-gas goals) or a combination of efficiency, electric vehicles, and advanced biofuels.

The Water Resources Development Act will come to the Senate floor as soon as April, which could contain strengthened coastal infrastructure to to minimize damages from extreme weather events. [The Hill]

The Alaska Senate decided to cut taxes for oil companies, sending the bill to the state House. [Alaska Dispatch]

Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz continues to draw attention for his industry ties. [ProPublica]

New research reveals that nearly all books about climate denial are funded by conservative think tanks. [DeSmogBlog]

Receding Arctic sea ice is leaving polar bears less time to eat. [Christian Science Monitor]

Would a “tiny carbon tax” shift behavior, reduce emissions, or raise revenue? Probably not. [Bloomberg]

The U.S. Midwest and Great Plains will need above-average rainfall to recover from last year’s drought. [Businessweek]


In case you missed it: LED bulbs are cheaper, last longer, can be any color, are dimmable, can turn on instantly, and use much less electricity to light your home. [New York Times]

Elementary school students in a North Carolina classroom blew past their Kickstarter goal to make their classroom 100 percent solar powered. [Cleantechnica]

Harrison Ford makes the case that conservation is important because “nature doesn’t need people — people need nature.” [BBC]