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Tag Archive | "carbon emission"

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The Breathing Earth Simulation

If you are the kind of person who always loves visuals,, created by David Bleja, is perfect for those who are also obsessed about climate change and C02 emissions.

The site features a real time simulation display of births, deaths how many tons of CO2 have been emitted over the course of your viewing time while counting clock of the world’s current population continues to rotate. One of the most interesting things about this is to watch the higher rate of births to deaths in any given area. You can also scroll over your countries of choice to find specific data relating to that country.

Is this site accurate? Well, nothing is ever 100% and the data is about a year old with the latest stats available as of December 2008 with the sources being used are the CIA World Factbook and the UN Statistics division. So at least we can say they are considered reliable.

One thing that would be interesting to see in the future of this site is how the data from 2008 compared to the new stats coming out at the end of this year. Will our efforts in climate change education and activism show to have some sort of impact or do we still have a lot more work to do in getting the message across?

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California to Institute Low-Carbon Fuel Regulations

California regulators are making strides in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by being the first state to require low-carbon fuels.

The new measures could serve as a template for future national policy.

The California Air Resources Board announced today that they will institute a proposal that calls for reducing the carbon content of fuels sold in California by 10 percent by 2020. They plan to do this by counting the emissions required to deliver gasoline and diesel to California consumers, as transportation accounts for almost 40 percent of greenhouse gasses in California.

“The emissions from this sector have traditionally grown in California at a rate that exceeds even our growth in population,” board chairwoman Mary Nichols said at the hearing. “It has led to a host of environmental problems.”

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Republican John Boehner on Climate Change

Republican Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio possibly explained why it has taken so long for people to realize climate change is a problem on Sunday the 19th with his interview on This Week with George Stephanopolis. There was a segment where Boehner was asked about where the republicans stand on climate change and carbon emissions. After stepping around the topic and saying the usual response that we need to worry about other countries emissions first, Boehner then goes on to make this statement, and I quote: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.”

After all the research that has been done I truly find it hard to believe that the Republican Party could be so uninformed and out of touch with climate change. I have provided a link for you to watch the entire interview on YouTube.

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There’s Still Time to Avoid Worst of Global Warming

Good news, world: A new scientific study has found that the worst case scenarios of global warming can still be avoided if the entire world cuts emission of greenhouse gases. If we follow the guidelines President Barack Obama and Europe have laid out, it’s not too late to avoid the dire predictions about global warming.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, looked at what would happen by the end of the century if greenhouse gas levels were cut by 70 percent via computer simulation.

Their findings, which will be published next week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, showed that although the world would still be a warmer, the damage would be by 2 degrees rather than 4 degrees, meaning the Arctic sea ice would still shrink, but not disappear. Moreover, sea levels would rise less than had previously been predicted, while droughts and floods can be avoided and heat waves would be 55 percent less intense.

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The Staying Power of Sustainability

From a worldwide concert, to a motion picture, it seems that everywhere you look Al Gore is urging people to decrease their carbon footprint. With the latest elections it seems that Al Gore isn’t the only one who is discussing this topic, but does it have the staying power to actually have an impact on our everyday lives?

From the hippies of the 60’s, to the liberal colleges of the 90’s, to the youth of today, there is a growing concern about the stresses that our fossil fuel use is having on the environment. With the rise in the price of gasoline, the market for hybrid cars has taken the country by surprise. What was once thought of as a gimmick is slowly being accepted as normal.

The fact that people are starting to drive hybrids does not necessarily mean that people are putting the environment first. Being “Green” is an expensive and sometimes inconvenient title to have. So what is the solution to making sustainability more than just a hot button topic to those that don’t really care? Some people are finding that the solution is to affect them in areas where they do care – their wallet.

While the rise in gasoline has made the change to hybrid cars an appealing one, it still is in the hands of the consumer to decide whether or not they want to make the change. One solution to the growing concern with the abundance of plastic bags is to ban them in certain cities. This will force consumers to buy reusable bags or shop at a different store. While some people might find this to be a bit dramatic, Ireland has gone even further. In 2003 they introduced a fee of approximately 29 cents for each plastic bag that a shopper uses. Shoppers who do not want to fork out the extra money stop using the bags. This one act reduced Ireland’s bag consumption by 90 percent. This may be the type of action that is needed for the United States to put their best green foot forward.

While all the buzz surrounding sustainability is likely to only grow, there is no magic bullet that will suddenly make our emissions problems go away. The only way that there will be a paradigm shift is if these green issues affect people on a personal and financial level.  Now that the election has drawn to a close, we will see if maybe real environmental change will come to Washington not seen since Solar Panels graced the White House during Jimmy Carter’s term.

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Disney Going Green

Disney is going green! The empire that produces serious amounts of waste is now saying that it plans to cut carbon emissions by half by 2012, and ultimately achieve net zero direct greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste. This is a tall order for Disney, who have theme parks, cruise lines and retail stores.

Beth Stevens, senior vice president of environmental affairs, said Disney has “not put a definite time horizon” on taking emissions to zero.

“We set those [goals] because they were very aspirational,” Stevens said. “We thought it was important – to communicate a sense of commitment.”

The goal is that by 2013, Disney will cut solid waste to landfills by half of what it produced in 2006, which Ecorazzi reports, was a staggering 300,000 tons of garbage.

Do you think they can do it? These are lofty plans but we’re hoping Disney will turn a new environmental leaf.

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EPA Wants Companies to Audit Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency is working with the federal government to require companies to start disclosing the amount of greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere.

On Tuesday, the EPA proposed mandatory reporting of the gases blamed for global warming from approximately 13,000 companies that are large emitters of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, such as oil refiners and automobile manufacturers, in the U.S. Under the new regulations, companies would be required to begin auditing their own greenhouse gas emissions as of 2010.

“We do not expect to have a significant impact on small businesses,” said Dina Kruger, the director of the agency’s climate change division.

Currently, the EPA only requires reporting of greenhouse gases only from power plants. It also releases an annual inventory that merely estimates the CO2 released from other large corporations such as those in transportation and electricity production.

“Our efforts to confront climate change must be guided by the best possible information,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement announcing the proposed regulation.

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Study Warns of Global Shipping Pollution

For those of us who take the time to track our carbon footprints concern over how far a product has been shipped is nothing new. But a recent study shows that the total environmental impact from commercial shipping is greater than had been previously thought.

The American Geophysical Union recently found that cargo ships, tankers and cruise ships produce as much particle pollution as half of the world’s automobiles.

The research examined the exhaust of over 200 ships in the Gulf of Mexico in the summer of 2006 with a specific focus on the amount of sulfates emitted in the exhaust.

The results were an estimate that cargo ships emit approximately 2.2 million pounds of particulate pollution each year.

This was the first such study of its kind and the results are pretty staggering.

Since over 70 percent of all shipping happens near coastlines (within 250 miles), it’s the coastal areas that are most affected. One of the researchers of this study had done previous research that linked levels of particle pollution with premature death in coastal areas.

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