Most Americans now agree that something needs to be done to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Hopefully most Americans now appreciate that this is not a small, but even more so, not a simple problem. I am a big believer that the playing field for our low carbon future should start level, and the market should be structured to allow our major power and energy companies a chance to lead the way, instead of simply dishing out punishment for our combined historical choices. Carrots and sticks work well together, but sticks alone are not going to solve our global carbon … Read more
Correction at 3:30 p.m. PST Thursday: Blame my Rust Belt ignorance. The Ohio river that burned is the Cuyahoga.
SAN FRANCISCO--I've been spending some time at the the American Geophysical Union conference here, and I've had a recurring thought: When it comes to apocalyptic predictions, geophysicists have the Book of Revelations beat, hands down.
Sometime in the last few years, the idea that global warming is a reality and that it's caused in large measure by people has finally started sinking in. But perhaps because of the remaining skepticism, and more likely because of the … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Warmth may not be an attribute you associate with a place where the sun doesn't shine in the winter and the sea freezes over, but all things are relative. And compared to earlier years, the Arctic was downright sweltering this year.
According to new research presented here at the the American Geophysical Union conference, the Arctic Ocean reached record high temperatures, arctic ice diminished to a record low, and ice melted on Greenland for a record number of days.
IBM has partnered with two other companies to build an application that they say can accurately measure corporate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The software, called GreenCert, is built on IBM's infrastructure software and tools from C-Lock Technology, which can accurately measure reductions in greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. The companies are expected to detail the application on Wednesday.
Many companies are undergoing initiatives to reduce their carbon emissions, as part of corporate social responsibility or environmental programs.
Having a method to measure and certify those reductions is significant because it will allow those companies to sell those … Read more
Tempted to obsess over how another personal habit helps or hurts the Earth? Keep surfing with cable or DSL and you might save carbons in the process, according to the American Consumer Institute.
The world would be spared 1 billion tons of greenhouse gases within a decade if broadband Internet access were pervasive, the group's report (PDF) concluded in October.
Broadband is available to 95 percent of U.S. households but active in only half of them, the study said, noting that near-universal adoption of high-speed Internet would cut the equivalent of 11 percent of oil imports to the … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Researchers have linked global climate change to a tripling in the frequency of large fires in major forests of Alaska and Canada.
Black spruce forests cover about 2.7 million square kilometers in Canada and Alaska--about a third of the area of the lower 48 states of the U.S., and fire records date back to the 1950s. Beginning around 1987, the rate that large wildfires struck the forest jumped from about once every 10 years to once every 3 years, said Eric Kasischke of the University of Maryland at College Park, speaking at the American Geophysical Union conference … Read more
Tuesday was a really bad day for my carbon footprint.
First I learned that my divorce is heating up the planet. A Michigan State University study concluded that divorced couples use up more space in their respective homes, resulting in 38 million more rooms around the globe to light, heat, and cool.
Then, later in the day, as I readied to go home and light candles for the first night of Hanukkah--the Jewish Festival of Lights--I learned of the environmental implications of the annual tradition. The Jerusalem Post told of a campaign--now the topic of much blog fodder--encouraging Jews to … Read more
Although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it's a royal pain to make.
Most industrial hydrogen producers currently make the gas by heating methane and water to 815 degrees Celsius and causing a reaction. Unfortunately, this process generates 9.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every kilo of hydrogen, so it's not environmentally friendly or cheap.
Other companies like Signa Chemistry have come out with chemical catalysts that can strip hydrogen from water.
Then there is electrolysis, which involves cracking water molecules with electricity. Electrolysis doesn't produce any greenhouse gases or chemical residues so … Read more
The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a high-profile collection of 33 corporations and environmental nonprofits, pledged Monday to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent by 2050, and demanded that no new coal power plants be built.
The only problem with that announcement was that it was a lie.
The story, picked up by the Dallas Morning News and other media outlets, originated from a phony press release issued by environmental activists Rising Tide North America. The trick was timed to coincide with the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia.
The exploit aimed to throw egg … Read more
As if the burden of divorce weren't bad enough, people with failed marriages can be blamed for global warming, according to a study by Michigan State University.
Divorced couples use up more space in their respective homes, which amounts to to 38 million more rooms worldwide to light, heat and cool, noted the report.
And people who divorced used 73 billion kilowatt-hours more of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water than they would otherwise in 2005.
Dissolving a marriage also means doubling possessions, from the lowly can opener to the SUV. The report, however, did not estimate how … Read more