Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Alternatives To Hydroelectricity

"Boom in hydropower pits fish against climate
The renewable energy could ease global warming, but the dams and turbines could result in mass killings..
By Kim Murphy
July 27, 2009 http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hydro-power27-2009jul27,0,2321552.story
Reporting from Wenatchee, Wash. -- The Rocky Reach Dam has straddled the wide, slow Columbia River since the 1950s. It generates enough electricity to supply homes and industries across Washington and Oregon.
But the dam in recent years hasn't produced as much power as it might: Its massive turbines act as deadly blender blades to young salmon, and engineers often have had to let the river flow over the spillway to halt the slaughter, wasting the water's energy potential.
The ability of the nation's aging hydroelectric dams to produce energy free of the curse of greenhouse gas emissions and Middle Eastern politics has suddenly made them financially attractive -- thanks to the new economics of climate change. Armed with the possibility of powerful new cap-and-trade financial bonuses, the National Hydropower Assn. has set a goal of doubling the nation's hydropower capacity by 2025. . . ."

We can have all the electricity we need without emissions and without hurting wildlife. For more information, please see www.terrahumanafoundation.org.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Congress Approved Research For Natural Gas Vehicles

Research approval for natural gas vehicles is all very well, but there is a better way: totally clean, emissions-free energy. For more information, please see www.terrahumanafoundation.org.

Friday, July 10, 2009

“G8 pledges to boost food supplies
Leaders of the G8 developed nations have pledged $20bn (£12bn) for efforts to boost food supplies to the hungry, on the final day of a summit in Italy.
The investment, which is $5bn more than had been expected, will fund a three-year initiative to help poor nations develop their own agriculture.
US President Barack Obama said the issue of food security was of huge importance to all nations in the world.
Richer nations had a moral obligation to help poorer nations, he said.
Mr Obama added that the G8 nations had agreed to commit $15bn for the new initiative going into Friday's meeting, but had then promised an additional $5bn in "hard commitments" during the talks.
"We do not view this assistance as an end in itself," he said.
"We believe that the purpose of aid must be to create the conditions where it's no longer needed, to help people become self-sufficient, provide for their families and lift their standards of living."
Kanaya Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, told the BBC that he welcomed the announcement of more investment in agriculture in the developing world.
"It is time for us to switch because food security is not just food aid," he said.
"It is the ability of people to produce food locally and for them to be able to have access to local markets.""

With new technology it will be possible to help people get access to clean water and other things to help them farm successfully, feed themselves, and sell their product locally. For more information, please see www.terrahumanafoundation.org.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Thinking

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
Albert Einstein

For an example of new thinking on alternative energy, please see www.terrahumanafoundation.org.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Climate Policy Change

"'Time to ditch climate policies'
By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News
An international group of academics is urging world leaders to abandon their current policies on climate change.
The authors of How to Get Climate Policy Back on Course say the strategy based on overall emissions cuts has failed and will continue to fail.
They want G8 nations and emerging economies to focus on an approach based on improving energy efficiency and decarbonising energy supply.
Critics of the report's recommendations say they are a dangerous diversion.
The report is published by the London School of Economics' (LSE) Mackinder Programme and the University of Oxford's Institute for Science, Innovation & Society.
LSE Mackinder programme director Gwyn Prins said the current system of attempting to cap carbon emissions then allow trading in emissions permits had led to emissions continuing to rise.
He said world proposals to expand carbon trading schemes and channel billions of dollars into clean energy technologies would not work.
"The world has been recarbonising, not decarbonising," Professor Prins said.
"The evidence is that the Kyoto Protocol and its underlying approach have had and are having no meaningful effect whatsoever.
"Worthwhile policy builds upon what we know works and upon what is feasible rather than trying to deploy never-before implemented policies through complex institutions requiring a hitherto unprecedented and never achieved degree of global political alignment."
The report has drawn an angry response from some environmentalists, who acknowledge the problems it highlights but fear that the solutions it proposes will not work.
Tom Burke, from Imperial College London and a former government adviser, said: "The authors are right to be concerned about the lack of urgency in the political response to climate change.
"They are also right to identify significant weaknesses in the major policy instrument currently being negotiated.
"But nothing could be more harmful than to propose that the world stop what it is doing on climate change and start again working in a different way," Professor Burke contested.
"This is neither practical nor analytically defensible - and it seems to have been born more out of frustration than understanding of the nature of the political processes involved.
"This is a far more complex, and urgent, diplomatic task than the strategic arms control negotiations and will require an even more sophisticated and multi-channel approach to its solution. Stop-go is not sophisticated."
G8 leaders will discuss climate change on Wednesday before joining leaders of emerging economies on Thursday for a meeting chaired by President Obama.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/07/07 13:46:39 GMT

I've never liked the cap 'n trade rationale or practice. I agree with the people in the article who said that cap ' trade just makes things worse. There is another way, though, and for information, please see www.terrahumanafoundation.org.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Global Emissions Goals

"G8 leaders to set emissions goals
By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News
The G8 leaders are set this week to deliver their strongest statement so far on global warming.
They are likely to agree that the world ought to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 - with rich nations reducing them by 80%.
The group will probably also say that any human-induced temperature rise should be held to 2C - a level considered to be a danger threshold.
The US has previously objected to such a clause.
But it looks as though the G8 will fall short of agreeing the short-term targets scientists say are essential to ensure that the 2C threshold is not breached.
Environmental campaigners accuse the G8 of willing the ends on climate change but not willing the means.
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama chairs a meeting of the G8 members with the leaders of the emerging economies, including India and China, under a process known as the Major Economies Forum (MEF).
That meeting will produce a declaration separate from the G8. Opinions among the emerging economies vary widely. India opposes commitments on cutting emissions. It has millions living in poverty and considers that the problem should be solved by rich nations. India is suspicious of signing up to the 2C warming threshold because it implicitly puts a cap on Indian growth.
China is committed to achieving a low-carbon economy, but slowly so as to cause minimum social and economic upheaval.
"We have to persuade China that it is in China's interests to move quickly to a low-carbon economy - that will be be key," a western diplomatic source said.
Brazil is the most significant of the emerging nations to sign up to the 2C threshold. "This is extremely significant," said the source. "It is an acknowledgement from political leaders to their peoples that there are scientific limits to how far we can push the planet."
A group of 22 leading climate scientists has written to G8 and MEF leaders calling for policies that would see global emissions peak by 2020, and shrink by at least 50% by 2050.
"Unless the burden of poverty in developing nations is alleviated by significant financial support for mitigation, adaptation, and the reduction of deforestation, the ability of developing countries to pursue sustainable development is likely to diminish, to the economic and environmental detriment of all," the scientists said.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/07/06 01:18:02 GMT

We've got the technology, a technology that will create jobs, not emissions. We want everyone everywhere to benefit. For more information, please see www.terrahumanafoundation.org.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Global Warming and the Global Economy

Global Warming and the Global Economy Global Warming and the Global Economy
"Will The Global Warming Bill Cool The Global Economy?
Nouriel Roubini, 07.02.09, 12:01 AM ET
How the Bill Works
At the heart of the bill is a cap-and-trade system, a market-based system that caps emissions at a certain level and allows large emitters to buy permits for additional emissions from other companies that emit less than the upper limit. The legislation calls for the number of permits to be reduced over time to encourage lower emissions. In practice, establishing a market for these permits will increase the cost of using carbon-based energy (especially electricity from coal), which will in turn reduce demand.
The revenue earned through auctioning would be distributed among households to offset the negative effect on their purchasing power from the higher cost of energy. Initial plans called for all, or at least a majority, of the permits to be auctioned, but the vote-getting process increased the number allocated. The bill passed by the House calls for 85% to be allocated and 15% to be auctioned. Some of the allocated permits will go to utility companies, the idea being that they will either invest the proceeds in renewable fuels or temper price increases for consumers. This change reduces the potential revenue generation of the policy and runs the risk that low electricity costs could actually encourage greater usage.
Cost Estimates
Estimates of the total economic costs of the U.S. cap-and-trade program have varied widely. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the net annual economic cost of the program in 2020 would be $22 billion--or about $175 per household. Analysis of the CBO results suggests that the implicit tax is relatively progressive. While this estimate has been accused of being understated (and it is worth noting that the Environmental Protection Agency came to an even lower estimate), it presented a baseline for analysis.
Other estimates put the ultimate cost much higher. An analysis from the Heritage Foundation concludes that the cap-and-trade system described in the bill would cost the economy $161 billion by 2020--or about $1,870 per household. Such estimates do not necessarily account for changes in the price of energy that would occur naturally as a lack of investment limits production of fossil-fuel-based energy.
Furthermore, they may not fully include the technological and efficiency gains that the current legislation hopes to encourage. For example, some of the allocations to utilities are granted with the expectation that they will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be used to fund renewable energy development. It's worth noting, however, that there's no guarantee the utilities will do this in practice. ****Nouriel Roubini, a professor at the Stern Business School at New York University and chairman of Roubini Global Economics, is a weekly columnist for Forbes.
(Analysts at RGE Monitor assisted in the research and writing of this piece.)"

It's progress that the government is more interested and more willing to do something about global warming and climate change. But there's something that can render worries about cap 'n trade null: an emissions-free energy that's renewable and less expensive to run. For more information, please see www.terrahumanafoundation.org.