November 15, 2007

Will the Arctic Ocean be Ice Free by 2013?

The arctic ocean experienced an unprecedented level of ice melt this summer. A US Naval researcher has been forced to re-evaluate our previous projections for arctic ocean melt based on this new data. As a result he now predicts that the arctic ocean ice will melt completely by the summer of 2013. Press coverage of this report can be found here.

Previous models predicted an arctic ice melt by 2040. Clearly climate change is accelerating.

The time for action is now.

There are three main actions we as individuals can take to address climate change.

1) Reduce our energy consumption and increase the efficiency of the energy we do use.
2) Start using renewable energy sources
(Ask your electric company to switch you to renewable electricity)
3) Make sure your elected officials know climate change is your top priority.

One Climate. One Future. One Chance.

November 8, 2007

The End of Oil is Near

The International Energy Agency has just published the World Energy Outlook in which it makes it clear that only a massive and immediate investment in sustainable energy will prevent a global crisis. IEA Press Release

It's an unusually pessimistic view from an agency that has long said oil production could meet rising energy needs. But they now believe the explosive growth of China and India means we must move swiftly, boldly and decisively beyond fossil fuels if we are to avert a crisis.

The current projections are that oil will continue to dominate the picture as daily demand rises from 85 million barrels today to 116 million in 2030. But oil industry executives believe the industry is going to have a hard time producing even 100 million barrels a day.

The IEA concludes we can't rule out any of the options for moving the global energy system onto a more sustainable path.

Washington Dithers, California Leads

One year after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged to reduce auto greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020, the state legislature has passed a bill that includes $125 million a year to develop alternative transportation fuels and vehicles and another $80 million a year to improve air quality.

Success will depend on whether the EPA allows California to require automakers to sell new cars with higher emissions standards than are currently required by Washington. California has pledged to sue for this right.

Eleven other states — Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — plan to implement California's emissions standards if it gets the waiver. The governors of Arizona, Florida and New Mexico have said their states will adopt the standard.

Meanwhile the US automakers are fighting this initiative in Washington.

And just days ago, California, New York, New Zealand, Norway, provinces in Canada and several European countries formed the International Carbon Action Partnership to create a global cap-and-trade carbon market to build demand for low-carbon services and products. The details and a video from Arnold are here.

Go, Arnie, Go!!

November 6, 2007

Massachusetts Leading on Biofuel

The Boston Globe reports this morning "New Push for Renewable Energy" that Massachusetts is promoting the use of biofuels as a way of cut our dependence on oil.

Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to propose this type of incentive to support renewable fuels.

All heating oil and diesel fuel would be required to contain 2% biofuel by 2010 and 5% by 2013.

They are also proposing to cut state sales tax on all gasoline that contains ethanol produced by plants other than corn. This is supportive of a number of companies in the Massachusetts area who are selling technology for producing ethanol from wood chips, algae and switch grass.

One of the companies that would benefit from this initiative would be Mascoma Corp.

November 5, 2007

Climate Change Action

Here is an easy one... Eliminate unwanted catalogs!
Did you know?

*Over eight million tons of trees are consumed each year in the production of paper catalogs.

*Nearly half of the planet’s original forest cover is gone today. Forests have effectively disappeared in 25 countries, and another 29 have lost more than 90% of their forest cover.

*Deforestation contributes between 20% and 25% of all carbon pollution, causing global climate change.

*More than one billion people living in extreme poverty around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods.

*There are other significant environmental impacts from the catalog cycle. The production and disposal of direct mail alone consumes more energy than three million cars.

*The manufacturing, distribution, collection and disposal of catalogs generates global warming gases as well as air and water pollution.

*Reducing the number of unwanted catalogs that are mailed will help the environment.

What can you do about this? Clean Out Your Mailbox!

You can reduce the number of catalogs you receive by signing up with Catalog Choice. They will put you on a Do Not Send List for the catalogs you no longer want to receive.

Everybody wins!

November 4, 2007

1Sky - Let's Step it Up!

I attended a rally yesterday at the Old North Bridge in Concord, MA, the site of the turning point in the first battle of the American revolutionary war.

The event theme was an
American Energy Revolution and was sponsored by Step it Up and 1Sky.

1 Sky's message is: One Sky. One Climate. One Future. One Chance.

The event was part of a nation wide day of rallies organized by Step it Up, an organization dedicated to making a difference regarding climate change. They are working to ensure that we cut our carbon production 80% by 2050. That means we need to cap carbon production today and cut 2 to 3% a year each year for the next 43 years.

Among those speaking at the event were Sen. John Kerry and Massachusetts state representative
Jim Marzilli.

Jim Marzilli made the point that one factory in China has the capacity to build more solar panels than all the factories in the US, combined!

His take on this situation is that we used to be the leader in exporting green technology to the world, now we're now lagging and that this has an economic impact as well as a climate impact.

We can effect positive climate change and have a positive impact on our economic situation at the same time.