Tag Archives: global warming

G8 Summit To Emphasize Nuclear Energy

The upcoming summit meeting of G8 powers is expected to sharpen the focus on peaceful development of nuclear energy by supporting a dramatic expansion in the number of nuclear plants in order to respond to recent developments in the rise of oil. There is also a growing belief nuclear energy is a viable tool in confronting issues of global warming. As part of the new strategy, it is expected the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) will assume a more aggressive role in monitoring nuclear development all over the world.

The IAEA currently is struggling to persuade Iran to cooperate and allow it to monitor nuclear development activities within that nation. But, nuclear energy can only be one aspect of any global fight to deal with global warming. China and India are rapidly assuming a negative role in global emissions and must be persuaded to halt some of their habits of not controlling emissions. There is need for a comprehensive plan of action which includes both existing and potentially new developments which can break dependency on oil and make the world safer regarding global warming.

US To Global Warming Conference-It’s Your Fault!

American representatives to a 162 nation conference dealing with global warming issues made clear the Bush administration did not forsee massive amounts of government money going into dealing with the issue of climate change. America’s chief negotiator made clear his government expected the private sector to play a central role in dealing with global warming. “There’s a lot of money out there and most of the action is going to be in the private sector.” He insisted the key element was directing the flow of money by offering incentives to financial bodies to invest in global warming. “It depends on what the customer wants and how to set up incentives” so the customer will seek to place his money in the climate change sector.

American negotiators placed blame for many global warming issues as stemming from failure of governments to do their job. They cited excessive bureaucracy, government corruption, instability, and poor legal and economic structures as major factors in hurting the ability of nations to develop plans dealing with climate chang.

It is always fascinating listening to the Bush mantra the world must trust the private sector to save it and problems are more due to government corruption in underdeveloped nations than emissions and pollution. It is never America’s fault, it is always someone else.

Is Japan Serious About Global Warming?

The chief climate change official in the United Nations challenged the Japanese government to clarify its commitment to pursuing a program that deals with global warming. Yvo de Boer wanted clarification about recent statements that Japan would focus on “industrial sectoral” approaches rather than focusing on a national program of dealing with environmental issues. “Recent statements in the Japanese media have made it less clear what Japan’s intentions are vis a vis sectoral approaches. There have been statements that sectoral approaooches are far superior to national goals and these create the impression that one is intended to replace the other.”

Japan increasingly has been talking about halving global greenhouse emissions by 2050 but that far away goal does nothing to alleviate conditions in the coming two decades. De Boer sharply criticized the United States, Canada and Japan for being negligent about global warming and wanted to know “what are the rich countries willing to put on the table to make” reduction of emissions a reality?

Judge To Bush–Save Polar Bears!

George Bush has many enemies throughout the world, but he got an additional one when a federal judge ordered him to stop stalling on whether to designate the polar bear as a species endangered by global warming. If they are so designated, it would impact Bush policies on global warming since the federal government would have to avoid doing anything that would “jeopardize the continued existence” of polar bears. Judge Claludia Wilken told him to cease the stalling tactics that have been going on for months about this issue and make a decision by next week.

Polar bears depend on sea ice for hunting, mating and moving aroound, but the ice is rapidly melting. The Bush administration sold off prime areas where polar bears live to ol companies for about $2.6 billion.

It seems these days, George Bush is getting attacked from all sides and from all areas of the world. He couldn’t even spend a pleasant weekend marrying off his daughter without some judge coming down hard on his incompetence. One can assume he looks forward fondly to being an ex-president so his turmoil can come to an end.

British Voters Green With Anger Over Green Ideas

The typical voter in Great Britain apparently does not believe there is any such thing as a possble planetary catatrophe on the horizon regarding the impact of global warming. They are more pronse to buy into theories of being oppressed by the government with taxes than feel threatened by decline in size of glaciers or threats to their everyday lives from pollution. A recent poll conducted by Opinium reveals seven out of ten voters will not pay higher taxes to fund projects dealilng with reducing climate change. Most believe so called “green taxes’ are merely a device by government to raise money for normal expenses and have nothing to do with global warming. Great Britain is committed to reduce carbon emissions by 60% in the coming decades, but such a goal is not of particular interest to the average voter.

Three out of ten do not even believe green efforts will have an discernble impact on the planet. They are cynical, doubtful, and distrustful of government when it comes to issues of pollution and global warming. Mike Childs of Friends of Earth suggests: “The government could put a windfall tax on the big oil companies and use the money to insulate homes or introduce a feed-in-tariff to pay people to produce renewable energy.”

We inhabit a planet in which highly advanced economic societies apparently do not wish to assume responsibility for the survival of the world. A rather sad commentary on human life.

Finland’s Warmest Winter Ever!

It is now official, in most parts of Finland, the ongoing winter has een the warmest ever measured since the beginning of regularly recorded readings. According to the Finnish Meterological Institute, the mean temperature from December through February was approximately 1 degree C higher than in the previous recod mild winter of 1924-1925. When comparing the present winter with the average period from 1971-2000, the temperatures were as much as 4 to 6.5 degrees higher. The Meterological Institute believes the record mild winter is a consequence of climate change, and the consistent westerly and southwesterly air flows that Finland has been experiencing. The air flows have, in turn, been affected by the higher than average surface water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean.

There is no doubt Bush “scientists” will have an explanation for the mild Finnish winter that fits with their view of the non-existance of global warming. Undoubtedly, they will blame hot air emanating from Democractic Party candidates as being responsible for the rise in temperatures.

UN Chief Says Global Warming Reduction Is Expensive

Global warming could cost the world up to $20 trillion over the coming decades in the effort to develop cleaner energy sources according to a new report issues by UN Secretary General, Ban ki-moon. The report will be a major topic of discussion at the upcoming two day climate meeting in Febrary which is intended to help shape the direction of UN policy on climate control. A new climate control treaty is expected by 2009 that will replace the existing Kyoto Agreement. The Kyoto pact requires the 37 industrial nations to reuce greenhouse gases by a relatively modest 5% on average.

Much of the focus on climate control debate revolves around the United States which simply has refused to cooperate with nations of the world and the emerging industrial giants of China and India which are and increasingly will become major sources of pollution. The 52 page report by Ban argues that a global investment of betwen $15 to $20 trillion will be required “to place the world on a markedly different and sustainable energy trajectory.”

A great unknown is the attitude of the new American president who will assume office in January of 2009. Will she/he be an activist in the struggle to control the effects of global warming or will she/he ignore it as has been the policy of George Bush? Only the future knows the answer to that question.

“China Part Of Solution, Not The Problem”

Great ritain’s environmnet minister, Phil Woods sharply attacked the behavior of India regarding dealing with climate change while pointing out China has taken vigorous steps to confront issues of global warmng. “The Chinese government is part of the solution, not the problem” he said because it understands the problem and is willing to work toward solving it. On the other hand, Woods noted, the government of India continually insists global warming is a creature of Western industrial societies and therefore its solution lies in the hands of its creator. Woods indicated Great Britain is working with the Chinese government to develop an eco-friendly city near Shanghai that would feature a low-carbon fossil fuel power station.

It is understandable why nations like India which only until recently have entered the world’s economic boom are upset that western nations showed total disregard for global warming and now want newly developed nations to bear the burden of its development. Morally, the government of India has a point, but we are all on this plaent together and must confront its issues regardless of who was responsible for creation of problems.

It’s Not We Humans– It’s Nature’s Fault!

A group of American scientists published an article in the International Journal of Climatology that claims global warming is not the result of human actions, but arises from normal conditions operating in nature. According to David Douglas, a climate expert from the University of Rochester, “the inescapable conclusion is that human contribution is not significant and that observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make only a negligible contribution to climate warming.” The journal authors “have good reason therefore, to believe that current climate models greatly overestimate the effects of greenhouse gases.”

Since President Bush assume office, he has frequently relied on the ideas of such climate experts. It partially explains his unwillingness to go along with other nations of the world in confronting issues of global warming. Of course, there is always the possibility 95% of climate experts are wrong about global warming, the real question is whether or not humanity wants to rely upon the views of the discordant minority that nothing must be done, just allow nature to take its normal course. Those voices will always find a home in the Bush administration, after all, scientific reports have been edited to remove incorrect conclusions about global warming. I believe the president will pay close attention to this latest scientific discovery. It will now allow him to cite “scientific evidence” as the reason to back off from supporting the Bali conference conclusions.

Confronting Global Warming Without Living In Log Cabins

I have been accused of being one of those liberal touchy-feely characters because I support government action to confront global warming. Critics charge if anything is done to deal with the energy crisis it means we will be forced to live in log cabins and use candle power. So, here are a few suggestions to avoid living in log cabins.

1. A massive Marshall Plan(in 1948, the American Marshall Plan helped devastated European nations recover) to dramatically improve mass transportation systems in large cities. For example, in the New York City area have suburban train systems, like the Long Island Railroad, run trains every ten minutes. Subsidize train fares. After all, we subsidize farmers.

2. A high speed train system crisscrossing the nation. Subsidized fares.

3. Require all cars to have at least 40 mpg. Allow five years for those with cars not matching that standard to get rid of their car.

4. Since trucks get lower mpg, fund a research program to improve truck fuel efficiency. I refuse to believe a nation that set men on the moon is incapable of solving this problem.

5. Wind farms all across the nation. Sorry, environmentalists who complain about the scenery, but this takes precedence over what looks nice.

6. Use of sea power.

7. Solar panels where feasible.

8. Improve efficiency of windows in homes to be more energy effective.

9. Ban single passenger cars from entering major cities during rush hours.

10. Improve efficiency of light bulbs.

11. Rethink use of nuclear energy.

12. Add bus lanes to interstate highways.

13. Establish a $10 billion fund to reward new ideas in energy efficiency.

Here is my baker’s dozen to begin the dialogue. I suspect there are at least fifty other ideas that could be done. Will this ideas, reduce “freedom?” Probably, if one defines “freedom” as the right to destroy the earth. Just remember, until invention of automobile there were no speeding laws in America. The introduction of such laws undoubtedly took away the “freedom” of some people.
Will my ideas cost money? Absolutely. In World War II, the paramount issue was winning the war. Tax rates were as high as 50% on many incomes. We had food and gas rationing because Americans regarded victory as more important than selfishness.