Thursday, February 22, 2007
Don't be surprised by his flip-flopping ways. In the last two weeks, he has publicly defended the war and the decision to send more troops, and at the same time lambasted the vice president and Donald Rumsfeld for their poor preparation and even labeled Rumsfeld as "one of the worst defense secretaries in histroy." After kissing the administrations ass, yesterday, he criticized the Bush administration for not recognizing global warming as a threat sooner. Granted, McCain has always had strong environmental values, but he also supports phony science organizations like the Discovery Institute and believes that creation and theology have a place in the classroom under the guise of intelligent design. WHERE EXACTLY DO YOU STAND SENATOR? In 2000 you claimed to be a moderate, and recently you are siding with the conservatives and the Christian right on every issue. Which side is it? SCIENCE or RELIGION Mr Senator? And furthermore, what is your stance on anything? Whatever the receiving audience would like to hear? Grow some balls, stop kissing everyone's ass. Be you, be a leader!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Ban the bulb? Australia plans to switch to fluorescent light by 2010
The environment minister said the move could cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tonnes by 2012.
"It's a little thing but it's a massive change," Malcolm Turnbull said.
The decision will make Australia the first country to ban the light bulbs, although the idea has also been proposed in the US state of California.
Mr Turnbull said that he hoped the rest of the world would follow Australia's lead in banning the traditional bulbs.
"If the whole world switches to these bulbs today, we would reduce our consumption of electricity by an amount equal to five times Australia's annual consumption of electricity," he said.
The incandescent light bulb, which wastes energy in heat dispersed while the light is switched on, is based on a design invented in the 19th century by engineers including Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan.
The bulbs will be completely phased out by 2010 and replaced with the more fuel efficient compact fluorescent models which use around 20% of the electricity to produce the same amount of light.
"I'm now hoping that Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Howard make firm commitments to support these proposals, explore other energy saving technologies which are already available and enable their economies to reduce their carbon emissions, save money and benefit from rapid innovation," he said.
Green campaigners and the opposition party in Australia picked up the same theme, suggesting that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol would be a more powerful way for the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
"The major producers of emissions in this country are not individuals, they're governments and business," Peter Garrett, the opposition's environment spokesman, said.
Scottish ministers have announced funding for what has been described as the world's biggest wave energy farm.
The Pelamis device has been tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) on Orkney by Leith-based company Ocean Power Delivery.
Scottish Power wants to commission four more at the same site.
Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen announced a £13m funding package that will also allow a number of other marine energy devices to be tested.
Ocean Power Delivery has already exported the Pelamis for use in a commercial wave farm.
The large, tubular segments were taken to a site off the northern coast of Portugal last year for a project which aimed to generate enough power for 1,500 households.
At that stage the company warned that the industry could be forced to quit Scotland if there were no opportunities to use the technology closer to home.
Deputy first minister
Now Scottish Power is planning a venture which it believes could create enough power for 2,000 homes.
The biggest single handout of more than £4m will go to a Scottish Power subsidiary, CRE Energy, which will build the wave farm.
Mr Stephen said: "Today marks a vital milestone in Scotland's drive to be the world leader in the development of marine renewables."
Of the Pelamis scheme, he said: "This will be the world's biggest commercial wave project - significantly bigger than the major Portuguese scheme.
"Scotland has the potential to generate a quarter of Europe's marine energy and kick-starting the sector is vital if we are to create a significant industry based in Scotland and meet our long-term renewables targets."
Mr Stephen said the industry had the potential to create thousands of jobs and attract millions of pounds of investment.
Scottish Power's director of renewables, Keith Anderson, said: "This is a massive step forward.
"It will be a test of the actual devices that will be used commercially and, if successful, should help propel Scotland into the forefront of marine energy throughout the world."
Emec managing director Neil Kermode said: "We are delighted to see this level of support from the Scottish Executive.
"It sends a clear signal that the executive is determined to push forward the development of tidal and wave technologies - technologies that will unlock the enormous renewable energy potential of our coastal waters.
"The technology is moving forward, but we must never underestimate just how difficult - and expensive - an environment this is to work in."
Friends of the Earth Scotland's chief executive, Duncan McLaren, said: "Wave and tidal power could supply a fifth of UK's electricity needs and Scotland is ideally placed to generate significant amounts of this pollution-free energy.
"It is critical that we see full-scale devices in our waters soon, otherwise the world-leading expertise Scotland has built up will rapidly depart these shores."
Green speaker on energy, Shiona Baird MSP, said: "Any investment is to be welcomed - but it pales into insignificance with the Portuguese project.
"Despite the gusto with which this announcement is being made, ministers remain determined to build more roads and expand airports, so it's going to take a lot more than this to reduce climate pollution."
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wed Feb 14, 2:19 PM ET
PARIS (AFP) - European countries must start planning now to cope with climate change, as shifting rain- and snowfall patterns will inflict water stress whose effects will ripple across the social and economic spectrum, the European Environment Agency (EEA) warned.
"Changes in precipitation, combined with rising temperatures and reduced snow cover, will have impacts on water quality and quantity, requiring water managers to incorporate climate change in their planning and investment decisions," the EEA said.
"While uncertainties remain about the level and extent of changes in precipitation in specific locations, enough is known for action."
The new EEA report, Climate Change and Water Adaptation Issues, draws on the latest research on global warming, including the just-published first volume of a global assessment by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC said that by 2100 global average surface temperatures could rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 C (1.98 and 11.52 F) depending on how much carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas, is in the air.
Within this range, the "best estimate" is Earth's surface temperatures will rise between 1.8 and 4.0 C (3.2 and 7.2 F), the IPCC said. Sea levels would increase by 18 to 59 centimetres (7.1 to 23.2 inches) by 2100.
The EEA said that in Europe, the temperature would rise by between 2.0 (3.6 F) and 6.2 C (11.16 F), with a mean increase of 2.1-4.4 C (3.8-7.9 F). Larger increases could be expected in eastern and southern Europe.
This would affect every country, it said.
"We in Europe need to get our act together on adaptation (to climate change) in the same way that we are leading on mitigation," said EAA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade. Mitigation is the term for tackling the man-made greenhouse gases that drive global warming.
These are among the potential impacts, according to the EAA report:
-- Annual precipitation in northern Europe is likely to rise by as much as two percent per decade, although summers will be drier. But in southern Europe, there will be a fall in annual precipitation, especially in summer when rainfall will decrease by around five percent.
-- Flooding will become a more frequent risk over all of Europe. Northern Europe will run a higher risk of drought in the summer; southern Europe faces the risk of more droughts in all seasons.
-- Climate change will strongly affect natural habitat and biodiversity.
For example, loss of groundwater may badly affect dunes and wetlands in the Netherlands; streams and lakes in Austria that are fed by glacial meltwater could dry up; and new diseases, pests and species that thrive in an altered climate could threaten native species in Britain.
-- Water supplies for human consumption will also come under severe challenge, because at present, reservoirs and use of groundwater stocks are designed for a long recharge season.
If the recharge season is short, or it provides so much rain in one go that the ground surface saturates and the water cannot infiltrate, this will badly add to stress. Southern Spain, southern Italy, Greece and Turkey are singled out.
The report adds that the cost of these impacts could be very high.
Less rainfall will affect which crops can be grown and the availability of water for coastland tourist resorts and golf courses. It could also lead to worse quality of drinking water. And lower water levels in rivers and waterways will also affect electricity generation by hydropower and impede navigation.
Droughts alone have cost 85 billion euros (110 billion dollars) over the past 30 years in the
European Union (EU), led by 2003, a year that cost 7.5 billion euros (9.75 billion dollars) alone.
This is a big deal, and its an issue that will face humanity in the very near future. In the next 20 years, wars will no longer be fought for oil, or "for freedom and democracy around the world" as our conservative screwheads would have you think, they will be fought for drinking water. Already a large portion of the world's population lives without safe drinking water, and with privatization by big corporations like Pepsi, Coca Cola, and others, much of the water in third world countries like India, is "owned" and the people are unable to access it without paying an arm and a leg for it. Imagine if tap water in America cost the same as a bottle of Evian spring water? Bottled water already costs more than milk or gasoline, and in the future it will not get better. Check out this documentary called Thirst. It is scary.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Find an action near you and participate. Send letters to your state and federal representatives. Send photos. Let them know you are serious about fixing the problem.
Check out the website for more details.
PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 13, 2007 -- HP has announced that its redesigned print cartridge packaging for North America will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 37 million pounds in 2007 -- the equivalent of taking 3,600 cars off the road for one year.
The emissions savings are the result of smaller, lighter packages that both reduce the total carbon footprint of each cartridge and the truck and freighter transportation traffic required to ship them. Newer packaging also contains more recyclable and recycled content.
"What I see here is smart design," said Greg Norris, Ph.D., environmental life cycle assessment instructor at Harvard University and creator of the Earthster project, an open source software platform designed to make opportunities for sustainable production and purchasing globally accessible. "The changes all go in the right direction environmentally and all in ways that make economic sense to HP and its customers. More power to these designers."
For retailers, the new packaging is also expected to save significant transportation and storage costs while freeing up valuable display space.
Read the rest here.
This is big news, and I wish more corporations would follow suit. Have you seen all the useless packaging used? Have you bought a flash drive whose package was the size of a book? Thats oil used to make the plastic, space taken up so less can be moved, more packages lead to more shipping and more wasted oil... This is a big step...
Corzine's order puts New Jersey in forefront of global warming fight
As expected, Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday signed an executive order that sets aggressive new tar gets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey, saying he was taking action "to preserve our planet for our children and grandchildren."
The order commits the state to cutting emissions 20 percent from current levels by 2020 and 80 percent from current levels by 2050. Corzine characterized the goals as "pro-active and ambitious," noting that California is the only other state that has been as aggressive in curbing emissions.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this month cited emissions from cars, electric power plants and other sources as being "very likely" the major culprit in global warming. Scientists and environmental advocates have said an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 is a critical step in preventing the most devastating effects of global warming. The federal government has yet to take action on reducing emissions nationwide.
"In the absence of leadership on the federal level," Corzine said, "the burden has now fallen upon state executives and legislatures to lead the way on this issue and I'm proud that New Jersey is helping to blaze that trail."
The state is already a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative effort by Northeast and mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The Corzine administration is also working to establish a cap on carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants.
Corzine directed the Department of Environmental Protection to work with the Department of Transportation, Board of Public Utilities, the Department of Community Affairs and interest groups to develop a plan over the next six months to meet those goals for reducing emissions. The ideas will be incorporated as part of a state master plan on energy that is cur rently being developed and is due to be presented to Corzine in October.
While acknowledging the Legislature will need to enact into law some of those ideas, Corzine stopped short of endorsing any specific bills that have been introduced by legislators.
Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), chairman of the Assembly environment committee, will hold the first public hearings next week on a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D- Union) that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Corzine announced his order at an event in West Orange, in McKeon's district, to tout an energy conservation program target ing youth.
"Global warming is not a trend issue; this is a real threat to our future," McKeon said. "The governor has set a standard that should be codified into law. The Assembly environment committee is preparing to take this issue up in earnest so we can begin to reverse the suicidal course we are now following through the uncontrolled release of greenhouse gases."I am proud there is some common sense somewhere. The important thing to note, that through careful planning this is actually a goal that can be easily accomplished. Granted, people will have to make some sacrifices, like getting rid of SUVs and paying a little extra for LED lights, but it will benefit the country and the world. A report released by a group of scientists from the Sierra Club and energy experts from the American Solar Energy Society unveiled a report last week detailing how the U.S. could cut global warming emissions 60-80% by 2050 -- using only efficiency and renewables. The report provides a roadmap not only for where we want to be in terms of emission levels, but also how we can get there using solutions that are available today. This report lays out how we can build a new energy economy based on clean energy, and new, good-paying manufacturing jobs.
The big deal is energy efficiency is the bulk of the reductions. Check the report. Download the report here.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
McCain To Deliver Keynote Speech For Creationists
Today is Darwin Day, commemorating the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and of the publishing of On the Origin of Species. The National Academy of Sciences, “the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization,” declares evolution “one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.” President Bush’s science adviser John Marburger calls it “the cornerstone of modern biology.”
Yet, on February 23, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will be the keynote speaker for the most prominent creationism advocacy group in the country. The Discovery Institute, a religious right think-tank, is well-known for its strong opposition to evolutionary biology and its advocacy for “intelligent design.” The institute’s main financial backer, savings and loan heir Howard Ahmanson, spent 20 years on the board of the Chalcedon Foundation, “a theocratic outfit that advocates the replacement of American civil law with biblical law.”
McCain has an ambiguous record on whether he supports intelligent design in the science curriculum. In 2005, he said it should be taught:
Daily Star: Should intelligent design be taught in schools?
McCain: I think that there has to be all points of view presented. But they’ve got to be thoroughly presented. So to say that you can only teach one line of thinking I don’t think is - or one belief on how people and the world was created - I think there’s nothing wrong with teaching different schools of thought.
Daily Star: Does it belong in science?
McCain: There’s enough scientists that believe it does. I’m not a scientist. This is something that I think all points of view should be presented.
But last year, he said the intelligent design theory should not be taught in the science classroom:
“I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view,” he said. “I happen to believe in evolution…I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.“
As McCain continues his lurch to the right, where will he come down on intelligent design in the science classroom? We’ll be watching.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
The Underwater Channel.tv Launches First Broadband Site Dedicated to the Underwater Worldby Underwatertimes.com News Service
London, England (Jan 30, 2007 17:50 EST) January 29th, 2007 sees the launch of the world’s first broadband TV channel dedicated to the mysteries and marvels of the underwater world: www.theunderwaterchannel.tv.
The Underwater Channel.tv is fuelled by the passion of divers, oceanographers, surfers, snorkellers, scientists, students or the simply curious who cannot get enough of the underwater world. The Underwater Channel.tv will entertain, educate and interact with a global audience over the world-wide-web. The soft launch of the channel will be free to air.
Programs will showcase unique and unusual marine encounters alongside underwater expeditions, scientific developments, YouDive video blogs, scuba adventures and in-depth features on scuba destinations. “Viewers can now go underwater without leaving their desks by logging onto www.theunderwaterchannel.tv All aspects of this magical realm will be up for exploration” says Emmy award-winning founder and MD, Nicholas Claxton.
UWC Presenters include prominent diving figures from UK:
- Miranda Krestovnikoff (presenter of the BBC’s Coast and C4’s Wreck Detectives)
- Monty Halls (presenter & film-maker - Full Circle Expeditions)
- Tim Ecott (author of Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World)
- Anne-Marie Kitchen-Wheeler (UK free-diving team)
- Peter Scoones (revered underwater cameraman: BBC TV Blue Planet and Planet Earth)
- Amanda Ursell (author of Going Down, TV presenter and columnist for The Times)
- Andrew Pugsley (diver & adventurer)
Join them for exclusive footage of manta rays, world free-diving records, scientific expeditions to the abyss and in-depth profiles of underwater adventurers and photographers.
“I’m thrilled that the concept of www.underwaterchannel.tv has been met with such enthusiasm from so many key figures within the dive community, not just in the UK but in the USA and Asia-Pacific too" says Claxton. "The estimated 20 million divers worldwide are young and internet-savvy. This is the birth of a pioneering venture which will cater for their passion online.”
A pilot edition of the UWC’s output will run for ten weeks and will be free to air for everyone with access to broadband around the globe.
PARIS, Jan. 31 — President Jacques Chirac has demanded that the United States sign both the Kyoto climate protocol and a future agreement that will take effect when the Kyoto accord runs out in 2012.
He said that he welcomed last week’s State of the Union address in which President Bush described climate change as a “serious challenge” and acknowledged that a growing number of American politicians now favor emissions cuts.
But he warned that if the United States did not sign the agreements, a carbon tax across Europe on imports from nations that have not signed the Kyoto treaty could be imposed to try to force compliance. The European Union is the largest export market for American goods.
“A carbon tax is inevitable,” Mr. Chirac said. “If it is European, and I believe it will be European, then it will all the same have a certain influence because it means that all the countries that do not accept the minimum obligations will be obliged to pay.”
Trade lawyers have been divided over the legality of a carbon tax, with some saying it would run counter to international trade rules. But Mr. Chirac said other European countries would back it. “I believe we will have all of the European Union,” he said.
Mr. Chirac spoke as scientists from around the world gathered in Paris to discuss an authoritative international report on climate change, portions of which will be released on Friday.
Mr. Chirac’s critics say that despite his comments in support of environmental measures, his record as president is far from green. He angered environmentalists across the globe when he conducted nuclear tests in a Pacific atoll within months of coming into office in 1995. He has been a loyal ally of French farmers and their pollution-causing practices, blocking some proposed Europe-wide reforms.
Most recently, France’s national plan for allocating carbon emission credits to businesses had to be revised after the European Union rejected it as too generous.
Good, maybe this will get into our government's thick skulls... Dollars are the only things that seem to matter to the administration...