Noam Chomsky I am not interested in persuading people…we must help people persuade themselves
Noam Chomsky Facts matter , even if we do not like them
Philip Slater, sociologist " The first cure for illusion is despair "
Karl Popper "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us”
http://www.cavehill.uwi.edu/bnccde/PH19C/tutorial10.html Mar 2007 Aristotle's comments on Plato's Republic Tragedy of the Commons: " That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it "
Al Gore, in a speech at the New York University School of Law "We are moving closer to several 'tipping points' that could -- within as little as 10 years -- make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet's habitability for human civilization." http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/46318/ Jan 2007
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21131732-30417,00.html Jan 2007 Richard Betts, leader of a research team at the British Met Office's Hadley Centre for climate prediction in Devon THE world has just 10 years to reverse surging greenhouse gas emissions or risk runaway climate change that could make many parts of the planet uninhabitable . "The next 10 years are crucial …in that decade we have to achieve serious reductions in carbon emissions . After that time the task becomes very much harder ."
http://www.dailyplanetmedia.com/index.php Apr 2 007 Prominent US scientist James Baker … there is a better scientific consensus on man-made climate change than on any issue… " except maybe Newton's second law of dynamics "
The McKinsey Global Survey of Business Executives : Business and Society Executives are hard-nosed about why companies are engaging in sociopolitical agendas Only 8 % think that large corporations champion social or environmental causes out of "genuine concern" Almost 9 in 10 agree that they are motivated by public relations or profitability http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/article_abstract.aspx?ar=1741&L2=21 Jan 2006
Make this your guiding principle in all debates Pascal's Paradox Logical principle that may be better known as the " what if we're wrong? " argument... If we act to stop global warming and we're wrong , well, we could waste some money… If we don't act, and we're wrong ... you get the picture. http://www.thestreet.com/funds/fundmorning/10336832.html Feb 2007
By the time you finish browsing these slides (30 mins?) there will be 2,000 more cars on the world’s roads Status March 2007
When you burn a gallon (3.8 l) of gas in your car, you emit about 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of carbon into the atmosphere. If it were solid carbon , it would be extremely noticeable … it would be like throwing a 5-pound bag of sugar out the window of your car for every gallon of gas burned . (But because the 5 pounds of carbon comes out as an invisible gas , carbon dioxide, most of us are oblivious to it). http://auto.howstuffworks.com/hydrogen-economy.htm Mar 2007
Carnegie Fellow David Rothkopf “ we’re not ‘ post-Cold War ’ anymore — we’re pre-something totally new …I’d say we’re in the “ pre-climate war era .” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/magazine/15green.t.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th Apr 2007
How big a threat does climate change pose? "If it is as bad as it's suggested, in the worst case 80 % of the world population will die ." http://www.radionetherlands.nl/features/amsterdamforum/af070121 Apr 2007 Environmental scientist, James Lovelock
“ We can't tell the environment to wait while we attend to the economy . The monolithic indifference of the environment to our little dilemmas is total . No, it is we who must change our economy until it is in harmony with Natural laws . And that means we must do everything we do sustainably, never losing sight of the fact that our economy is , as is often pointed out, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nature , and that Nature can and will shut down our economy whenever it likes .” http://www.pbs.org/odyssey/voice/20040217_vfts_transcript.html Feb 2004 Roger Payne
Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980
Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions, each smoothed on a decadal scale. The unsmoothed, annual value for 2004 is also plotted for reference.
Carbon dioxide during the last 400,000 years and the rapid rise since the Industrial Revolution ; changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun, known as Milankovitch cycles , are believed to be the pacemaker of the 100,000 year ice age cycle.
Recent increases in atmospheric CO2. The monthly CO2 measurements display small seasonal oscillations in an overall yearly uptrend; each year's maximum is reached during the northern hemisphere's late spring, and declines during the northern hemisphere growing season as plants remove some CO2 from the atmosphere.
Anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases broken down by sector for the year 2000.
Global glacial mass balance in the last 50 years, reported to the WGMS and the NSIDC . The increased downward trend in the late 1980s is symptomatic of the increased rate and number of retreating glaciers.
Percentage of advancing glaciers in the Alps in the last 80 years
Calculations of global warming from a range of climate models under the SRES A2 emissions scenario, which assumes no action is taken to reduce emissions.
The geographic distribution of surface warming during the 21st century calculated by the HadCM3 climate model if a business as usual scenario is assumed for economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. In this figure, the globally averaged warming corresponds to 3.0 °C (5.4 °F)
Curves of reconstructed temperature at two locations in Antarctica and a global record of variations in glacial ice volume. Today's date is on the left side of the graph
A schematic of modern thermohaline circulation
Carbon dioxide variations during the last 500 million years
Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400,000 years
Schematic representation of the energy exchange between the Earth's surface, the Earth's atmosphere , and outer space . Note that the energy entering each level is equal to the energy leaving that level, as is indicative of a balanced radiation budget.
The Carbon Dioxide Picture http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-scotus3apr03,0,5685976,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines Apr 2007
Changes in climate "forcings" or factors that have contributed to climate change since 1750. http:// data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce /
Effective global climate forcings employed in our current global climate simulations, relative to their values in 1880. http:// data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce /
Effective global climate forcings employed in our current global climate simulations, relative to their values in 1880. http:// data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce /
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C-u6kdHuXE Sep 2006 YouTube Watch the Video – The Miniature Earth
Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Key Findings
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/10/climate.report.ap/index.html Mar 2007 Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Europe's small glaciers will disappear with many of the continent's large glaciers shrinking dramatically by 2050 . Half of Europe's plant species could be vulnerable, endangered or extinct by 2100
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070315161102.htm Mar 2007 Mark Serreze, senior research scientist at Colorado University’s National Snow and Ice Data Center Arctic sea ice that has been dwindling for several decades may have reached a tipping point that could trigger a cascade of climate change reaching into Earth's temperate regions
The Arctic is heating faster than anywhere else on Earth …oceans will rise by 7 meters if the icecap melts entirely, as now seems likely. Greenland is the world's largest island covered by an icecap of 2.6 million km 3 , which accounts for a 10th of all the fresh water in the world . Over the past 30 years its melt zone has expanded by 30% and is currently losing 100 to 150 cubic kilometers of ice every year . http://www.dailyplanetmedia.com/index.php June 2007 climate expert Robert Corell
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/10/climate.report.ap/index.html Mar 2007 Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Death rates for the world's poor from global warming-related illnesses, such as malnutrition and diarrhea , will rise by 2030 . Malaria and dengue fever , as well as illnesses from eating contaminated shellfish, are likely to grow
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/10/climate.report.ap/index.html Mar 2007 Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change By 2080 , between 200 million and 600 million people could be hungry because of global warming's effects
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/10/climate.report.ap/index.html Mar 2007 Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change About 100 million people each year could be flooded by 2080 by rising seas
" Europeans are just beginning to wake up to the fact that the area of their seas is bigger than the land and that it is already seriously degraded . In every sea , we found serious damage related to the accelerated pace of coastal development, the way we transport our goods and the way we produce our food on land as well as the sea. Without a concerted effort, to integrate protection of the sea into Europe's development plans, its biodiversity and resources will be lost ." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070607112854.htm June 2007 Professor Laurence Mee, Director of the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/10/climate.report.ap/index.html Mar 2007 Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Smog in U.S. cities will worsen and " ozone-related deaths from climate (will) increase by approximately 4.5 percent for the mid-2050s , compared with 1990s levels," … turning a small health risk into a substantial one
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/10/climate.report.ap/index.html Mar 2007 Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change At first , more food will be grown. For example, soybean and rice yields in Latin America will increase starting in a couple of years . Areas outside the tropics, especially the northern latitudes, will see longer growing seasons and healthier forests
Estimated sectoral economic potential for global mitigation for different regions as a function of carbon price in 2030 from bottom-up studies, compared to the respective baselines assumed in the sector assessments. A full explanation of the derivation of this figure is found in 11.3. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III May 2007
Emissions pathways of mitigation scenarios for alternative categories of stabilization levels (Category I to VI as defined in the box in each panel). The pathways are for CO2 emissions only. Pink shaded (dark) areas give the CO2 emissions for the post-TAR emissions scenarios. Green shaded (light) areas depict the range of more than 80 TAR stabilization scenarios. Base year emissions may differ between models due to differences in sector and industry coverage. To reach the lower stabilization levels some scenarios deploy removal of CO2 from the atmosphere (negative emissions) using technologies such as biomass energy production utilizing carbon capture and storage. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III May 2007
Stabilization scenario categories (coloured bands) and their relationship to equilibrium global mean temperature change above pre-industrial, using (i) “best estimate” climate sensitivity of 3°C (black line in middle of shaded area), (ii) upper bound of likely range of climate sensitivity of 4.5°C (red line at top of shaded area) (iii) lower bound of likely range of climate sensitivity of 2°C (blue line at bottom of shaded area). Coloured shading shows the concentration bands for stabilization of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere corresponding to the stabilization scenario categories I to VI. The data are drawn from AR4 WGI, Chapter 10.8. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III May 2007
Eastern U.S. summer daily high temperatures that currently average in the low-to-mid-80s (degrees Fahrenheit) will most likely soar into the low-to-mid-90s during typical summers by the 2080s . In extreme seasons -- when precipitation falls infrequently -- July and August daily high temperatures could average between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit in cities such as Chicago, Washington, and Atlanta . http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20070509/ Apr 2007 NASA/GISS
<ul><li>What is the greenhouse effect? </li></ul><ul><li>The Sun's warmth heats the surface of the Earth, which in </li></ul><ul><li>turn radiates energy back to space. Some of this radiation, </li></ul><ul><li>which is nearly all in the infrared spectrum, is trapped in </li></ul><ul><li>the atmosphere by greenhouse gases. For instance, water </li></ul><ul><li>vapour strongly absorbs radiation with wavelengths </li></ul><ul><li>between 4 and 7 micrometres, and carbon dioxide (CO2) </li></ul><ul><li>absorbs radiation with wavelengths between 13 and 19 </li></ul><ul><li>micrometres. </li></ul><ul><li>The trapped radiation warms the lower atmosphere, or </li></ul><ul><li>troposphere. Some heat then finds its way back down to </li></ul><ul><li>the Earth's surface, making it hotter than it would </li></ul><ul><li>otherwise be. This is the greenhouse effect. </li></ul>
2. Are water vapour and carbon dioxide all we have to worry about? No. Other gases can absorb infrared radiation and contribute to greenhouse warming. These include methane, ozone, CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and nitrous oxide (released by fertilisers). Methane is the most important of these. Its atmospheric concentration has more than doubled since pre-industrial times. Methane sources include bacteria in paddy fields, cattle guts and natural gas from landfills and rotting vegetation. Molecule for molecule, other substances are even more potent greenhouse gases. A single molecule of either of the two most common CFCs has the same greenhouse warming effect as 10,000 CO2 molecules.
3. Is the greenhouse effect a thoroughly bad thing? Not quite. Without it, the planet would not be warm enough to support life as we know it. The problem is that pre-industrial greenhouse gas levels are being boosted by burning fossil fuels. If nothing is done to curb emissions, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will probably be more than double pre-industrial levels by the end of this century.
4. How do we know what pre-industrial greenhouse gas levels were? The most informative measurements have come from air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice. These show that, for at least 400,000 years, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have closely followed the global temperatures as recorded in ice cores, tree rings and elsewhere.
5. If measuring greenhouse gas levels is so precise, why is there so much confusion and uncertainty over global warming? There is no easy formula for predicting what CO2 increases will do to global temperatures. While we can calculate that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will force roughly 1°C of warming, the planet is more complex than that. It could magnify the effect, but it could also conceivably dampen down warming. Global processes such as the formation of ice and clouds, the circulation of the oceans and biological activity all interact to provide feedback effects .
6. What effects are global warming feedbacks likely to have? One of the easiest to estimate is the "ice-albedo" feedback. As the world warms, ice caps will melt, to be replaced by water or land. Ice is very efficient at reflecting solar radiation, whereas water and land are less so. Therefore, the Earth's surface will trap more heat, increasing warming - a positive feedback. Less clear-cut is the impact of the extra water vapour likely to enter the atmosphere because of higher evaporation rates. This added water vapour itself contributes to the greenhouse effect, another positive feedback. But it may also increase cloud cover, shrouding and cooling the Earth - a negative feedback. Disputes about how water vapour and clouds will influence global warming are at the heart of disputes between mainstream scientists and the handful of greenhouse sceptics. Most believe that positive feedbacks could amplify the warming effect by between 2 and 5 times. But some sceptics believe the feedback effect could be neutral or negative.
7. Are there scientists out there who do not believe in the greenhouse effect or global warming? No, this is a myth. All scientists believe in the greenhouse effect. Without it the planet would be frozen. And all scientists accept that if humans put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere then it will warm the planet. The only disagreement is over precisely how much the warming will be amplified by planetary feedbacks . However, there is a growing consensus that the average global warming of 0.6°C seen in the twentieth century - and particularly the pronounced warming of the past three decades - is due to the greenhouse effect.
8. Are there other greenhouse gas complications? Yes. A whole series of other feedbacks will influence the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Not all the CO2 that we put into the atmosphere stays there. Some is absorbed by vegetation and a lot is taken up by the oceans. If CO2 absorption rate changes, then the rate of build-up in the atmosphere will also change, potentially speeding up, or slowing down, global warming. One way to increase the build-up of CO2 would be to chop down all the tropical forests. Another could be the impact of warming on ocean currents, particularly the global "conveyor belt" that begins in the North Atlantic. This water carries dissolved CO2 with it on a centuries-long journey across the ocean floor. Most oceanographers believe that as warming takes hold, and ice formation is reduced, these currents - which lock CO2 up in the depths - could slow down or carry less water, meaning that less CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.
9. Is there any evidence of a speed-up in the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere? Yes. Since the start of the 21st century, the rate of accumulation has accelerated. It is now at twice the 1990s level. Nobody is sure why. It is not because emissions have accelerated. It could be temporary natural variability. Or it could be that the forests and oceans are losing the ability to absorb our pollution. If so, then global warming could shortly gather pace.
10. This is all very pessimistic. Is it not true that a warmer planet will absorb more carbon dioxide? That is correct. Warmer temperatures and the fertilising effect of CO2 in the air will stimulate faster plant growth, which in turn will soak up some of the CO2. But plants need other things too. They need water, which could be in short supply as greater evaporation will dry out soils, and space, which urbanisation is taking up.
11. How do organisms in the oceans affect global warming? Once dissolved in surface waters, a great amount of CO2 is absorbed by plankton and other marine organisms and turned into organic compounds. Most of this eventually falls to the ocean floor. The strength of this sink for carbon depends on how much life the ocean is producing. It is not clear to what extent global warming will affect the oceans' biological productivity - it could rise or fall.
12. Is there anything else that could shield us from global warming? Yes, volcanoes. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, it threw masses of sulphate particles and dust into the stratosphere that partially shielded the Earth from solar energy. Computer models successfully predicted that the debris would temporarily cool the Earth's atmosphere. The models also predicted that as the volcanic debris cleared in 1992 and 1993, average temperatures would swiftly return first to the level of the 1980s, and then, by the mid- 1990s, to the higher levels expected with the ongoing build-up of greenhouse gases.
13. Volcanoes produce cooling sulphate particles, but do we make them, too? Yes we do. Ironically, burning fossil fuels produces sulphate particles. These particles - which make acid rain - help to shield industrialised countries from global warming's full impact. In some places, such as central Europe and parts of China, they may have even produce a net cooling effect. Dust from soil erosion and desertification can also curb local warming effects. But even if you are comfortable with the idea of using one form of pollution to protect us from another, there is a problem. Whereas the average CO2 molecule in the atmosphere lasts for about a century, sulphates and their like persist for only a few days. If you turned down the power stations, the world would get much hotter within a few days. So sulphates are not a solution.
14. How are temperatures predicted to rise over the next few centuries? This depends on whether we halt the growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Some warming is inevitable - there are time lags in the natural systems which store up warming for future decades. CO2 concentrations are currently about 35% above pre-industrial levels, storing up perhaps another degree of warming. If we can stabilise atmospheric CO2 concentration by the end of this century, below twice pre-industrial levels, we can probably limit warming to under 5 degrees. But because the gas stays in the atmosphere for a century or more, stabilisation requires cutting emissions by 70% to 80%. A tall order. However, some models predict temperature rises of 8 to 10 degrees within 200 years if we do not kick the carbon habit.
15. What are some of the most significant effects global warming will have on the human race? Unusual droughts are causing serious problems for farming in many regions. Whole countries could get swallowed up by this process, triggering poverty and mass migrations. Super- hurricanes could make other places uninhabitable. As rainfall patterns alter, rivers will dry up in some regions, while others will flood. Rising sea levels will wipe out many islands and flood low-lying areas, from Bangladesh to the US. As ever, the poor will be most vulnerable. At least in the early decades, rich nations may cope, but ultimately even they could be undermined. Human civilisations have developed over the past 10,000 years - since the end of the last ice age - in an era of generally stable climate. We just do not know how well we will cope with a radical change to the climatic status quo.
16. Will there be global warming everywhere? Maybe not. Climate modellers admit to uncertainties over how it will affect particular regions. This is because much of our weather depends on circulation patterns, which could alter unexpectedly. Crude estimates suggest that coastal regions may become wetter, while continental interiors become drier, causing deserts to expand. Warming will probably be greatest in polar regions, mirroring climate changes already seen this century in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Local climate could also be altered by changes in ocean circulation. Western Europe is particularly vulnerable. At present, it is kept exceptionally warm in winter by the Gulf Stream, which is part of the ocean conveyor belt mentioned above. Take that away and British weather would be more like Canada's frigid Hudson Bay, found at the same latitude. Ice cores reveal growing evidence of sudden shifts in climate over the past 10,000 years that have occurred within a few decades as a result of "flips" in ocean circulation. But most models suggest that the Gulf Stream will not turn off for at least another century.
17. Since the oceans are taking up about 1/3 of the anthropogenic carbon emissions, what is the opinion now of the scientific community about when the ocean surface layers will get saturated and this carbon sink (on relatively short timescales) will start to diminish? The ratio of dissolved CO2 to CO3 2- is about 1:10 preanthropogenic in tropical surface waters. The two will remain about inversely proportionate as CO2 rises. So double CO2, and you halve CO3 2- . It appears that the ratio of the two would reach 1:1 when CO2 reached about 3x preanthropogenic, at which point the buffer is getting pretty weak . We should note that there are huge uncertainties with regard to changes in the circulation and biology of the ocean
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070309092330.htm Feb 2007 ScienceDaily.com Any substance introduced into the atmosphere has the potential to circle the Earth
Using data from the SCIAMACHY instrument aboard ESA’s environmental satellite Envisat, scientists have determined that the carbon monoxide hovering over Australia during the wildfire season largely originated from South American wildfires some 13 000 kms away . http://www.sflorg.com/earthnews/en050807_01.html Apr 2007
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CO2_pump_hg.png Apr 2007 Air-sea exchange of CO2
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/magazine/15green.t.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th Apr 2007 Thomas Friedman On some days, says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, almost 25 percent of the polluting matter in the air above Los Angeles comes from China’s coal-fired power plants and factories , as well as fumes from China’s cars and dust kicked up by droughts and deforestation around Asia .
Indonesia could lose about 2,000 (mostly uninhabited small islets) islands by 2030 due to climate change "We are still in a better position. Island countries like Saint Lucia, Fiji and the Bahamas would likely disappear " http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/40059/story.htm Jan 2007 Rachmat Witoelar, Indonesian Environment Minister
"The natural ecosystems of the Earth are not just there for us to take as farmland; they are there to sustain the climate and the chemistry of the planet " http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3766831.stm 2004 Prof. James Lovelock
"We have coastal erosion, droughts and in the last decade we have experienced an unusually high level of tropical storms . Salt water intrusion [into soils] has affected our traditional food crops, and now we are seeing flooding of low-lying areas ." Paani Laupepa, ministry of natural resources, low-lying island Tuvalu in the South Pacific, October 2001
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2355962.ece Mar 2007 The world currently loses approximately 32 million acres of forest cover a year "Deforestation continues at an unacceptable rate" Wulf Killmann, forestry expert at the FAO
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2355962.ece Mar 2007 <ul><li>Disappearing forest cover </li></ul><ul><li>Global forest cover amounts to just under 4 billion ha (ca. 30% of the world's land area ) </li></ul><ul><li>1990 to 2005 world lost 3% of its total forest area </li></ul><ul><li>2000 to 2005, 57 countries reported a rise in forest area, and 83 reported a drop. Net loss at 7.3 million ha p.a. </li></ul><ul><li>10 countries account for 80% of the world's primary forests , of which Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea and Brazil saw the highest losses in primary forest in the five years to 2005 . </li></ul>
http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2006/12/29/499883-researchers-warming-may-change-amazon FJan 2007 Jose Antonio Marengo, a meteorologist with Brazil's National Space Research Institute <ul><li>"We are working with two scenarios [changes to the Amazon ]: a worst case and a second, more optimistic one” </li></ul><ul><li>"The worst case scenario sees temperatures rise by 5 to 8 degrees C until 2100 , while rainfall will decrease between 15 and 20 percent . This setting will transform the Amazon rain forest into a savanna-like landscape . </li></ul><ul><li>The optimistic scenario still has temperatures rising in the Amazon region by 3 to 5 degrees C and rainfall dropping by 5 to 15 percent …. Within this scenario, the rain forest will not come to the point of total collapse ." </li></ul>
http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2006/12/29/499883-researchers-warming-may-change-amazon FJan 2007 Jose Antonio Marengo, a meteorologist with Brazil's National Space Research Institute <ul><li>the Amazon covers nearly 60 % (1.6 million square miles) of Brazil… it contains 1/5 of the world's fresh water and about 30 % of the world's plant and animal species — many still undiscovered . </li></ul><ul><li>Destroying trees through burning contributes to global warming , releasing about 370 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year — about 5 % of the world total . </li></ul><ul><li>About 20 % of the rain forest has already been cut down and while the rate of destruction has slowed in recent years, environmentalists say it remains alarmingly high ! </li></ul>
<ul><li>About half the 23.6 billion tonnes of CO 2 generated by human activities each year are absorbed by forests and oceans . </li></ul><ul><li>However, as CO 2 levels rise and rising temperatures dry out soils, this process could be reversed , with forests pumping out gases instead of retaining them. </li></ul><ul><li>Sea water's power to absorb CO2 also declines sharply as it warms (threshold for such disastrous changes will come when CO 2 levels reach 550 ppm , roughly double their natural levels. This is predicted to happen around 2040-50 at current emission rates.) </li></ul><ul><li>"At the moment, the real impact of our emissions is being buffered because CO2 is absorbed by natural systems. </li></ul><ul><li>"However, if we reach this threshold they could be magnified instead… It means we must start the action needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next few years ."… </li></ul>http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21131732-30417,00.html Jan 2007 Richard Betts, leader of a research team at the British Met Office's Hadley Centre for climate prediction in Devon
Soybean cultivation in the Amazon has expanded rapidly in recent years due to improved infrastructure in the region and rising demand for biofuels (soy can be used for biodiesel). Since 1990 the area of land planted with soybeans in Amazonian states has expanded at the rate of 14.1 % p.a. (16.8 % 2000) and now covers more than 8 M ha . Soy is fast becoming a major driver of deforestation in the region http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0418-amazon.html Apr 2007
Clearing for soybeans increases the reflectivity or albedo of land, reducing rainfall by as much as four times relative to clearing for pasture land. "This [effect] is related to the surface radiation balance… Near the equator, rainfall is mainly produced by convective activity, that is, the hotter the surface the more rainfall you get. The soybean cropland, by having a higher albedo (reflectivity of the solar radiation) with respect to the original rainforest land cover, absorbs less energy, causing less convection and reduced rainfall ." http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0418-amazon.html Apr 2007 Marcos Costa from the Federal University of Vi�osa in Brazil
http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/dn7964 Sep 2005 Soils are a vitally important sink for carbon dioxide – 2x as much carbon is wrapped up in soils as in Earth's vegetation or atmosphere. It is estimated that they store 300x the amount of carbon dioxide now released annually by burning fossil fuels. … soil sinks are predicted to release their carbon at an even faster rate as temperatures increase , giving rise to a feedback loop "These losses… completely offset the past technological achievements in reducing CO2 emissions , putting the UK's success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a different light,"
http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/ethicalliving/story/0,,2034246,00.html Mar 2007 James Lovelock carbon dioxide emissions warm the planet and in so doing destroy some of the regulatory systems -such as the reflective powers of the poles' icy wastes - that have kept the earth cool despite the increasing heat of the sun
http:// www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID =2119610&SectionID=55 Mar 2007 National Soil Resources Institute, UK Up to 13m tonnes of carbon are being released from soil across the UK every year – equal to almost a 1/10 of the current total emissions from the nation's industry . Studies have also shown that there is more carbon stored in the UK's peat than in all the forests of Britain and France combined .
http:// www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID =2119610&SectionID=55 Mar 2007 Dr Andreas Heinemeyer, a research associate at Stockholm Environment Institute "The heather moorlands [in Yorkshire, UK] are a potential timebomb as far as carbon emissions are concerned. Global warming appears to be speeding up the release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere, which is hugely concerning. The amount of carbon which is in the peat soil means that this could have a catastrophic effect on global warming . It could lead to a vicious circle with global warming causing more carbon emissions , which in turn cause increasing climate change ."
http:// www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID =2119610&SectionID=55 Mar 2007 Ruth Chambers, the acting chief executive of the Council for National Parks All of the peatlands in England and Wales would absorb around 41,000 tonnes of carbon p.a. if kept in a pristine condition, but could emit up to 381,000 tonnes of carbon p.a. if damaged by practices such as excessive burning, drainage and over-grazing .
Desertification is not only one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges; it is also a major impediment to meeting basic human needs in drylands . It puts at risk the health and well-being of 1.2 billion people in more than 100 countries . http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/sgsm11030.doc.htm / Jun 2007 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/04/05/mauritania.sand.ap/index.html Apr 2007 • Saharan dunes shifting at about 2 to 3 miles p.a. • Entire cities in Mauritania have been buried under sand • Less rain, cutting of desert vegetation cited as causes While hurricanes and tornadoes plague America and snowstorms periodically bury Europe, encroaching sand is the natural disaster shared by the band of nations lying across the Sahara , not just Mauritania, but Mali, Niger and the southern edges of Libya, Algeria and Egypt. Although the people of the desert have long battled the dunes, global climate change has made the sand more unpredictable .
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/04/05/mauritania.sand.ap/index.html Apr 2007 Mounkaila Goumandakoye, the acting director of the U.N. Development Program's Drylands Development Center " What's happening in Mauritania is dramatic … Politicians are used to doing things to improve their country's GDP. They haven't yet understood the link between the advance of the dunes and their economic health . "
Climate change may have a graver effect on Africa than any other continent, if the predictions of the most recent report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change hold true. It predicts a minimum increase in temperature of 2.5ºC by 2030 , and dry areas will expand. Around 600,000 square kilometres of cultivable land may be ruined . Rising sea levels would threaten coastal infrastructure in Egypt, Senegal and the Gulf of Guinea, an important oil- producing region . Another study by the University of Pretoria estimates that $25 billion may be lost in crop failure because of rising temperatures. http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9141893 May 2007 Economist
Research by Cao and Atul Jain of the University of Illinois, along with Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution in Stanford, Calif. Oceans acidify from CO2 buildup Reductions of ocean pH by 0.31 units by the end of this century are likely if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations continue on a trajectory that ultimately stabilizes at 1,000 ppm http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20070322-10333700-bc-us-oceans.xml Mar 2007
"... surface ocean pH is estimated to have dropped from near 8.25 to near 8.14 between 1751 and 2004 ..." Note: A pH LESS THAN 7 is acid. 8.14 is more acidic than 8.25 . Also, it is a logarithmic scale . A small change in the numbers is actually quite large in the chemistry. pH 7 is 10 times more acidic than 8. pH 8.14 is about 30% more acidic than pH 8.25 (because 10^8.25/10^8.14 = 1.3). Jacobson, Mark Z., "Studying ocean acidification with conservative, stable numerical schemes for nonequilibrium air-ocean exchange and ocean equilibrium chemistry." J. Geophys. Res. Atm., 110, D07302, April 2, 2005 http:// www.realclimate.org/index.php?p =169
The acidification of the ocean is a much longer-term issue than acid rain , which goes away about two weeks after you reduce sulfur and nitrogen emissions from smokestacks. http:// www.realclimate.org/index.php?p =169
James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies We know a lot about the history of the Earth . If we want to keep the planet looking close to what it looks like now, then we had better not accept an increase by more than 1 degree C . Because if temperature goes up another 2 or 3 degrees C , it will be the temperature of the middle Pliocene about 3 million years ago . That was a very different planet . There was no sea ice in the Arctic in the warm seasons, and the sea level was about 25 meters higher . We will be headed towards this situation if we continue with business-as-usual . http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,476275,00.html Apr 2007
James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies This [IPCC] panel involves more than 100 nations including Saudi Arabia and others . Those countries have to be dragged kicking and screaming to this sort of conclusion [ that it is now 90 % certain that global warming is real] . The panel, by the way, is very reluctant to say anything about sea level change , although the evidence that has accumulated in the last two or three years is impressive . http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,476275,00.html Apr 2007
James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies We've gotten fantastic measurements from a gravity satellite . They explain exactly how Greenland and West Antarctica are changing in mass and how much mass they're losing to the ocean . We have other observations of ice quakes on Greenland and ice streams speeding up , and we see processes occurring which make me very concerned about the stability of ice sheets . http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,476275,00.html Apr 2007
James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies The disintegration of ice sheets will be a non-linear process , and that means it can change very rapidly … We know pretty well from the history of the earth that when ice sheets have disintegrated in the past, they have disintegrated very rapidly . During the last melting period , the sea level went up 20 meters in 400 years, which is one meter every 20 years http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,476275,00.html Apr 2007
James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Some US politicians are making the argument that China is soon going to be the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, and that's true. Within a few years, they will pass the US. But climate change depends upon the cumulative emissions over time because much of the CO2 we emitted in 1850 is still here and it's still damaging. So it's not only about the present emissions. Therefore, the US is responsible for more than three times the amount of emissions than any other country , with China and Russia being next, and Germany and Great Britain after that. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,476275,00.html Apr 2007
James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies The most important thing that people can do is influence the government . The most critical policy element has to be a slowly growing price on carbon emissions . It has to be fast enough to have an impact and affect industries and their investments and innovations . But it has to be slow enough so there is time for these new technologies to develop , so consumers can choose and buy new, more efficient technologies. We should have started on that a long time ago . http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,476275,00.html Apr 2007
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060907102808.htm Sept 2006 Positive feedback to global warming! As the permafrost melts in North Siberia due to climate change, carbon sequestered and buried there since the Pleistocene era is bubbling up to the surface of Siberian thaw lakes and into the atmosphere as methane , a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide … and in turn…is accelerating global warming by heating the Earth even more --- exacerbating the entire cycle
Measurements show that about 40% of the carbon dioxide emitted through fossil fuels and deforestation remains in the atmosphere , while an estimated 30% is absorbed by trees and other plants and another 30% by the oceans http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2007/carbonsink.shtml Jun 2007 National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
intact tropical forests sequester unexpectedly high proportions of CO2 , as compared to northern forests http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2007/carbonsink.shtml Jun 2007 Britton Stephens, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17632043/ Mar 2007 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The combined land and ocean temperatures for December through February were 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit above average for the period since record keeping began in 1880 . During the past century, global temperatures have increased at about 0.11 degrees per decade . But that increase has been 3x larger since 1976
NASA Study An important counter-balance to warming — sunlight blocked by volcanic gases, dust, pollution and other aerosol particles — appears to have weakened “… large, short-lived spikes in global aerosols caused by major volcanic eruptions in 1982 and 1991, but a gradual decline since about 1990 . By 2005, global aerosols had dropped as much as 20 % from the relatively stable level between 1986 and 1991 ." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17632043/ Mar 2007
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070218140443.htm Mar 2007 Jim Coakley, Professor of atmospheric sciences at Oregon State University potential for drought in…the southwestern U.S. "We're already seeing snow packs dwindle and spring runoffs coming earlier and earlier … The dry summers that we've experienced recently may pale in comparison to what could happen in the near future. There is a kind of domino effect as temperatures warm . Precipitation that would have fallen as snow will come as rain and run off more quickly. Spring runoffs begin earlier. Summers lengthen and evaporation increases ."
Rising temperatures are tightly correlated with coral bleaching events, the expulsion of symbiotic algae, often followed by death of the coral . There is a terrifying time-series of temperature and coral bleaching from Tahiti [in Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999]. When you look at the temperatures that killed the coral, and project future temperatures, it looks to be all over for corals . Coral communities are also impacted by water turbidity, resulting from fertilizer runoff, and by overfishing. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/magazine/15green.t.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=169
Acidifying the ocean is particularly detrimental to organisms that secrete shell material made of CaCO3 , such as coral reefs and a type of phytoplankton called coccolithophorids http:// www.realclimate.org/index.php?p =169
The ocean pH change will persist for thousands of years . Because the fossil fuel CO2 rise is faster than natural CO2 increases in the past , the ocean will be acidified to a much greater extent than has occurred naturally in at least the past 800,000 years http:// www.realclimate.org/index.php?p =169
As atmospheric CO2 levels increase so does the concentration of CO2 in the surface oceans . However it is unlikely that the past atmospheric concentrations would have led to a significantly lower pH in the oceans , as the rate at which atmospheric CO2 changed in the past was much slower compared with the modern day. The fastest natural changes that we are sure about are those occurring at the ends of the recent ice ages, when CO2 rose about 80 ppm in the space of 6000 years (IPCC 2001). This rate is about 1/100 that of the changes currently occurring . Royal Society report
According to the IPCC by the time sea levels have risen by 1 meter Bangladesh will have lost around 1/5 of its land area http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,477669,00.html Apr 2007
The countries most affected by Sea Level Rise (SLR) are forecast to be Viet Nam , Egypt, and The Bahamas . For them, “ the consequences of SLR are potentially catastrophic ”. June 2007 “ The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper (WPS4136), February 2007
Even a 1 metre SLR would affect 11% of its population . A SLR of 3 metres would affect 1/4 of its population as well as 12% of its area and 17% of its agriculture , mostly in the Mekong and Red River deltas. It would threaten a 1/4 of its GDP June 2007 “ The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper (WPS4136), February 2007
In Ninh Thuan Province increasing human demands for land, fuel, and water cause deforestation and the over-exploitation of aquifers . The amount of available water per person declined from about: 17,000 m 3 in 2002 to 4,600 m3 in 2005 . June 2007 “ The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper (WPS4136), February 2007
Africa accounts for < 3 % of the global emissions of carbon dioxide from fuel burning since 1900 , yet its 840 million people face some of the biggest risks from drought and disrupted water supplies http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/science/earth/01climate.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin Apr 2007
“ Studies indicate that the shells and skeletons possessed by everything from reef-building corals to mollusks and plankton begin to dissolve within 48 hrs of exposure to the acidity expected in the ocean by 2050 .” http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/ May 2007 Georg Monbiot, Journalist
The Gulf of Mexico has the highest mercury levels ever recorded , with an average of 10 tons of mercury coming down the Mississippi River every year , and another ton added by offshore drilling . http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/ May 2007
A sizable portion of the Gulf of Mexico has become a dead zone —the largest such area in the U.S. and the second largest on the planet , measuring nearly 8,000 km 2 in 2001 http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/ May 2007
" Europeans are just beginning to wake up to the fact that the area of their seas is bigger than the land and that it is already seriously degraded … In every sea , we found serious damage related to the accelerated pace of coastal development, the way we transport our goods and the way we produce our food on land as well as the sea. Without a concerted effort , to integrate protection of the sea into Europe's development plans, its biodiversity and resources will be lost ." http:// www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070607112854.htm June 2007 Professor Laurence Mee, Director of the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth
" The hottest temperatures we are used to experiencing will become the normal temperatures of the summer, and the hot periods will be magnified . Take Paris : If we look at the temperatures that occurred there during the heat wave in 2003, when 15,000 people died , those temperatures are exceeded a couple dozen times every year in the future projection . That means that severe heat waves , such as those rare events that have occurred in the past couple of years, are likely to become far more common ." http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/530871/ Jun 2007 Noah Diffenbaugh, Purdue University assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences on effects of global warming on Meditteranean
This image represents intensification of dangerous heat stress in the 21st century. The color contours show the expected intensification of dangerous heat index days given accelerating increases in greenhouse gas concentrations . http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/530871/ Jun 2007 Purdue University
This image illustrates heat stress in the 21st century for two greenhouse gas emissions scenarios . The top panel shows the expected intensification of the severity of extreme hot days given accelerating increases in GHG concentrations. The bottom panel shows the expected decrease in intensification associated with decelerated increases in GHG concentrations. http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/530871/ Jun 2007 Purdue University
Since 1950, industrialized fishing has reduced the total mass of large fish in the world's oceans by 90 % http://www.alternet.org/story/47963/ Feb 2007
President Herbert Hoover promised " a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage " With warnings about global warming reaching feverish levels , many are having second thoughts about all those cars. It seems they should also be worrying about the chickens . Last month, the United Nations published a report on livestock and the environment with a stunning conclusion : "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top 2 or 3 most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems , at every scale from local to global " It turns out that raising animals for food is a primary cause of land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution, loss of biodiversity , and not least of all, global warming . http://alternet.org/envirohealth/47668/ Feb 2007
We are in an era of unprecedented threats to biodiversity . The loss of species is estimated to be running 50 to 500 times higher than background rates found in the fossil record. 15 out of 24 important ecosystem services are assessed to be in decline . http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm#sum 2006 FAO - Livestock's long shadow
Livestock now account for about 20 % of the total terrestrial animal biomass , and the 30 % of the earth’s land surface that they now pre-empt was once habitat for wildlife http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm#sum Feb 2007 FAO - Livestock's long shadow
<ul><li>livestock sector may well be the leading player in the reduction of biodiversity , since it is the </li></ul><ul><li>major driver of deforestation , </li></ul><ul><li>leading drivers of land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing, sedimentation of coastal areas and facilitation of invasions by alien species </li></ul>http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm#sum Feb 2007 FAO - Livestock's long shadow
306 of the 825 terrestrial ecoregions identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) – ranged across all biomes and all biogeographical realms, reported livestock as one of the current threats http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm#sum Feb 2007 FAO - Livestock's long shadow
Conservation International has identified 35 global hotspots for biodiversity , characterized by exceptional levels of plant endemism and serious levels of habitat loss. Of these, 23 are reported to be affected by livestock production . http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm#sum Feb 2007 FAO - Livestock's long shadow
Fresh water is perhaps the most serious issue for human societies. The world's great mountain ranges , such as the Himalayas, Rockies, Andes and Alps, act as natural reservoirs , trapping winter rain and snowfall as ice, and releasing it gradually in the summer. Evidence suggests that glaciers are shrinking in all of these ranges . One recent study predicted that 75% of Alpine glaciers would have vanished by the end of this century . As the ice disappears, spring and autumn floods become more likely, with an increased risk of drought in summer. The IPCC is expected to say there is "very high confidence" that these trends are already occurring . http:// news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6524251.stm Apr 2007
IPCC is set to conclude that " adaptation alone is not expected to cope with all the projected effects of climate change , and especially not over the long run as most impacts increase in magnitude ". http:// news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6524251.stm Apr 2007
feeding animals for meat, dairy, and egg production requires growing some 10 times as much crops as we'd need if we just ate pasta primavera, faux chicken nuggets, and other plant foods http://alternet.org/envirohealth/47668/Feb 2007
http:// www.pej.org/html/modules.php?op = modload&name = News&file = article&sid =6667&mode= thread&order =0&thold=0 Feb 2007 <ul><li>Although fossil fuels are commonly used in the production of food , the amounts used vary substantially : </li></ul><ul><li>1 calorie of soybean protein requires 2 calories (of fossil fuel) </li></ul><ul><li>1 calorie of cornor wheat protein requires 3 calories </li></ul><ul><li>1 calorie of beef protein requires 54 calories </li></ul>
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070320201948.htm Mar 2007 WWF Global Freshwater Programme Director Jamie Pittock World's Top Rivers at Risk “ All the rivers in the report symbolize the current freshwater crisis , which we have been signalling for years... … Poor planning and inadequate protection of natural areas mean we can no longer assume that water will flow forever . Like the climate change crisis, which now has the attention of business and government, we want leaders to take notice of the emergency facing freshwater now not later .”
Many of the world's rivers, including the Colorado in America, China's Yellow river and the Tagus, which flows through Spain and Portugal, are suffering a similar plight [as the Murray-Darling river basin in Australia]. As the world warms up, 100s of millions of people will face the same ecological crisis as the residents of the Murray-Darling basin. As water levels dwindle, rows about how supplies should be used are turning farmers against city-dwellers and pitching environmentalists against politicians. Australia has a strong economy, a well-funded bureaucracy and robust political institutions. If it is struggling to respond to this crisis, imagine how drought will tear apart other, less prepared parts of the world . http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9071007 Apr 2007
After 7 years of drought , and many more years of over-exploitation and pollution , he [Australian PM, John Howard] argued that the only hope of restoring the river to health lies in a complete overhaul of how it is managed … the river is degenerating further. Every month hydrologists announce that its flow has fallen to a new record low... A region that accounts for 40% of Australia's agriculture, and 85% of its irrigation, is on the verge of ruin . http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9071007 Apr 2007
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070320201948.htm Mar 2007 WWF Global Freshwater Programme Director Jamie Pittock “ The freshwater crisis is bigger than the 10 rivers listed in this report but it mirrors the extent to which unabated development is jeopardizing nature’s ability to meet our growing demands… … We must change our mindset now or pay the price in the not so distant future .”
http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,472470,00.html Mar 2007 According to UN estimates over 1,2 billion people have no or limited access to drinking water . That’s 20 % of the world’s total population – a proportion that accroding to the UN will increase to 1/3 by 2025 .
http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,472470,00.html Mar 2007 It takes 2,6 l of water to produce 1 l of Coca-Cola . Coca-Cola uses 278 billion liters of water annually… “ That’s enough to satisfy the entire world’s potable water needs for 10 days “
http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,472470,00.html Mar 2007 In the Indian state of Kerala a large Coca-Cola bottling facility has been shut down since 2004 . “ Poor villages are prevented access to potable water , while the Coca-Cola facility in Plachimada wastes ground water , to produce drinks for people with higher purchasing power elsewhere ."
http:// www.pej.org/html/modules.php?op = modload&name = News&file = article&sid =6667&mode= thread&order =0&thold=0 Feb 2007 Ecology Department , Cornell University <ul><li>“ it takes… </li></ul><ul><li>500 l of water to produce 1kg of potatoes </li></ul><ul><li>900 l per kg of wheat </li></ul><ul><li>3,500 l per kg of digestible chicken </li></ul><ul><li>100,000 l per kg of beef " </li></ul>
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/10/climate.report.ap/index.html Mar 2007 Draft document by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change <ul><li>100s of millions of Africans and 10s of millions of Latin Americans who now have water will be short of it in less than 20 years . </li></ul><ul><li>By 2050 , more than 1 billion people in Asia could face water shortages . </li></ul><ul><li>By 2080 , water shortages could threaten 1.1 to 3.2 billion people </li></ul>
http://www.alternet.org/story/47963/ Feb 2007 Alternet.org Between 1977 and 1996, the weight of the average American cheeseburger grew over 25 % , and the volume of the average soft drink grew more than 50 % …. About 40 % of the world's population now lacks sufficient water for basic sanitation and hygiene , and nearly 1/5 of the world does not have enough to drink .
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070218140443.htm Mar 2007 Katharine L. Jacobs, executive director of the Arizona Water Institute Science has the ability to help inform potential policy , yet there is reluctance by many water managers to integrate new climate information into decision processes … Barriers to using new scientific information may come form a combination of technical, cognitive, financial, institutional and cultural factors … "Many water managers have a fixed view of the environmental record …they use historic data for managing surface water reservoirs, designing infrastructure and assessing groundwater availability, instead of incorporating new data on climate change, probabilistic climate forecasts and ensemble stream flow predictions.
Everywhere in the West, along the Colorado and other rivers, as officials search for water to fill current and future needs, tempers are flaring among competing water users , old rivalries are hardening and some states are waging legal fights . http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/04/us/04drought.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin Apr 2007
Arnold Schwarzenegger <ul><li>“ Scientists say that global warming will eliminate 25 percent of our snowpack by the half of this century , which will mean… </li></ul><ul><li>less snow stored in the mountains, </li></ul><ul><li>more flooding in the winter and </li></ul><ul><li>less drinking water in the summer.” </li></ul>http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/04/us/04drought.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin Apr 2007
Wheat Region Shifts North http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6200114.stm Dec 2006 New research projects a northward shift of wheat-growing in North America. (Map is simplified because existing boundaries are highly complex.)
While a warmer climate in the Northeastern U.S. will trigger a longer growing season and the opportunity to experiment with new crops, "it will also open the door to invasion by new and aggressive crop pests, damaging summer heat stress and serious challenges with water management …Adapting to change will add economic stress to family farms already stretched to the limit.“ The Northeast can also expect more frequent summer heat waves that could compromise the health of crops, livestock and humans. What will happen in the future depends "on whether we as a society follow the business as usual [higher] emissions scenario or begin taking action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070711134342.htm Jul 2007 David Wolfe, Cornell professor of horticulture
The World Bank has estimated that in 2001, 2.7 bln people in the world were living on the equivalent of less than $2 a day ; to them, even marginal increases in the cost of staple grains could be devastating . Filling the 25-gallon tank of an SUV with pure ethanol requires over 450 pounds of corn -- which contains enough calories to feed one person for a year Apr 2007
3 pounds of wild fish are caught to feed every pound of farmed salmon http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/ May 2007
Global consumption of bottled water reached 154 billion liters (41 billion gallons) in 2004 , up 57 percent from the 98 billion liters consumed five years earlier . http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/fashion/12water.html?ex=1344484800&en=2726f5e68bc8e579&ei=5124&partner=newsvine&exprod=newsvine Aug 2007 Emily Arnold and Janet Larsen
If everyone in China drank 100 8-ounce glasses of bottled water a year (slightly more than 1/4 the amount consumed by the average American in 2004 ), China would go through some 31 billion liters of bottled water, quickly becoming the world’s leading consumer . http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/fashion/12water.html?ex=1344484800&en=2726f5e68bc8e579&ei=5124&partner=newsvine&exprod=newsvine Aug 2007 Emily Arnold and Janet Larsen
The growth in international air travel has consequences for the climate, but also has consequences in terms of the safe and environmentally sound disposal of the thousands (an estimated 35,000 by 2035 ) of planes that, over the coming decades, will be scrapped . http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=495&ArticleID=5433&l=en Nov 2006 Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Every year some 63 pounds of plastic are manufactured for every man, woman, and child in the United States . Much of that ends up in landfills and is dumped in the ocean . http://www.ecologycenter.org/iptf/toxicity/PlasticInvadesOcean.html Nov 2002 KGO TV
“ there is a swirling pool of plastic in the pacific roughly the size of Africa , about 10 M square miles” http://www.ecologycenter.org/iptf/toxicity/PlasticInvadesOcean.html Nov 2002 Charles Moore
The confluence of the many thousands of man-made synthetic chemicals along with other environmental factors such as rising ocean temperatures is drastically reducing the fertility and populations of many ocean species, as well as overall biodiversity . http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Ocean/Sea-Plastic-LN-PG5oct05.htm Oct 2005 Paul Goettlich
if 10 bln people used minerals at present rich world per capita rates , potentially recoverable resoures of 1/3 of the basic 36 items would have been completely exhausted in about 35 years . http://socialwork.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/06b-Limits-Long.html May 2007 Jay Forrester
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/164832 Dec 2006 Environmental author Jeremy Rifkin Our species now consumes nearly 40 % of the net primary production on Earth (the amount of solar energy converted to plant organic matter through photosynthesis) … even though we make up only one half of 1 % of the animal biomass of the planet.
http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/ethicalliving/story/0,,2034246,00.html Mar 2007 James Lovelock "If we were hunter-gatherers and this was a bigger planet we would be all right …. But we're not: We're farmers and that's what's screwed us up. There are just too many of us living the way we do. Our wrongdoing has been to take energy 100s of times faster than it is made naturally available ."
Global energy consumption will rise by 71 % between 2003 and 2030 , with demand from developing countries , notably China and India, surpassing that from members of the OECD by 2015 http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=9097 Apr 2007 U.S. Energy Information Administration
“ We have a message here to tell these countries [developed nations], that you are causing aggression to us by causing global warming ,… Alaska will probably become good for agriculture, Siberia will probably become good for agriculture, but where does that leave Africa? ” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/science/earth/01climate.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin Apr 2007 President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February 2007
With an est. 2 bln hooks set each year, as much as 88 bln pounds of life a year is thrown back to the ocean either dead or dying . Additionally, trawlers drag nets across every square inch of the continental shelves every two years . Fishing the sea floor like a bulldozer, they level an area 150 times larger than all forest clearcuts each year and destroy seafloor ecosystems . http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/ May 2007
in the wake of decades of such onslaught only 10 % of all large fish (tuna, swordfish) and ground fish (cod, hake, flounder) are left anywhere in the ocean http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/ May 2007 2003 study out of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia concluded, based on data dating from the 1950s
China wastes a lot… Take energy consumption http:// www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id =8406955&top_story=1 Jan 2007 <ul><li>in 2005 China required 4.3 times as much energy as America to produce one unit of GDP (up from 3.4 times in 2002). </li></ul><ul><li>China consumed 15% more energy per unit of GDP in 2005 than it did in 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>(India, also a rapidly expanding economy, consumes only 61% as much energy as China per unit of GDP) </li></ul>Economist
the US economy generates nearly one million pounds of waste per person per year . Natural Capitalism”, See http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1997/03/hawken.html?welcome=true June 2007 Amory Lovins
“ Historians will show, perhaps, how politics, the media, economics, and commerce created an industrial regime that wasted our social and natural environment and called it growth .” Natural Capitalism”, See http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1997/03/hawken.html?welcome=true June 2007 Paul Hawkens
Transporting bottled water long distances involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels. Nearly ¼ of all bottled water crosses national borders to reach consumers… In 2004, for example, Nord Water of Finland bottled and shipped 1.4 million bottles of…tap water 4,300 kilometers (2,700 miles) from its bottling plant in Helsinki to Saudi Arabia . http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/fashion/12water.html?ex=1344484800&en=2726f5e68bc8e579&ei=5124&partner=newsvine&exprod=newsvine Aug 2007 Emily Arnold and Janet Larsen
Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 10 million barrels of oil annually , enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year. Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/fashion/12water.html?ex=1344484800&en=2726f5e68bc8e579&ei=5124&partner=newsvine&exprod=newsvine Aug 2007 Emily Arnold and Janet Larsen
The UN Millennium Development Goal for environmental sustainability calls for halving the proportion of people lacking sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015 . Meeting this goal would require doubling the $15 billion p.a. … currently spent on water supply and sanitation globally. While this amount may seem large, it pales in comparison to the estimated $100 billion spent p.a. on bottled water . http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/fashion/12water.html?ex=1344484800&en=2726f5e68bc8e579&ei=5124&partner=newsvine&exprod=newsvine Aug 2007 Emily Arnold and Janet Larsen
The world currently has around 163 M forcibly displaced people . This figure includes: • 25 M people displaced by conflict and extreme human rights abuses who remain within their own countries. • 25 M people displaced by disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, who remain within their own countries. • 105 M people displaced by ‘development’ projects such as dams, mines, roads, factories, plantations and wildlife reserves. The vast majority remain within their own countries. • 8.5 M people who are refugees . This means that they have fled persecution in their own countries and gone to other countries that have accepted their claims for asylum. http://www.christian-aid.org.uk/indepth/705caweekreport/human_tide.pdf May 2007 Human tide: the real migration crisis. A Christian Aid Report. May 2007
Scientists are predicting eventual worldwide sea-level increases of more than 7 metres . The government of Tuvalu is so alarmed by this that they have negotiated an arrangement with New Zealand to evacuate some of their population as their country disappears under the waves. http://www.straight.com/node/52268 2004 Nov 2006
Do scientists think that dealing with global warming is urgent? “ Incredibly urgent ,… On a scale of 1 to 10, how about 10 ? …I worry about the global instability that will result from it. An example I give is, ‘ What are we going to do about 100 million people that are displaced from Bangladesh this century? ’ ” http://www.straight.com/article-67107/trust-us-were-the-media Feb 2007 Andrew Weaver , Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis, University of Victoria
2006 alone 300 million human beings (about one in 20 ) had to leave their homes for a week, a month or forever as the result of some "natural" disaster . This is by far the highest number on record . http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1518 May 2007 Bill McKibben
The Nile could lose 80% of its flow into Egypt, a country which would also be threatened by rising sea levels in the Nile delta, its agricultural heartland, where flooding could displace 2M people , threatening internal stability . http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,2077346,00.html June 2007 British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett
At least one billion people will be forced from their homes between now and 2050 as the effects of climate change deepen an already burgeoning global migration crisis http://www.christian-aid.org.uk/indepth/705caweekreport/human_tide.pdf May 2007 Human tide: the real migration crisis. A Christian Aid Report. May 2007
http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/ethicalliving/story/0,,2034246,00.html Mar 2007 James Lovelock If you think Britain is intolerably crowded today , you might well want to brace yourself before reading the next sentence . Because Britain is going to become much, much more densely populated over the course of this century as millions of people flee the uninhabitable desert that mainland Europe is doomed to turn into
http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/ethicalliving/story/0,,2034246,00.html Mar 2007 James Lovelock Most life will move up to the Arctic basin because only it and a few islands will remain habitable
http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/ethicalliving/story/0,,2034246,00.html Mar 2007 James Lovelock " Climate change will affect China and the US “ Indeed, Lovelock envisages that the Chinese people will press to live in a newly lush Siberia before the century is out. "No wonder Putin is arming like mad . In fact, Putin is one of the more far-sighted of global leaders ."
http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/ethicalliving/story/0,,2034246,00.html Mar 2007 James Lovelock Professors, including Nobel prize winners , were coming up to me asking where in Canada they should buy real estate because they believed me when I said much of the US will be uninhabitable
" Climate refugees is a term we are going to hear much more of in the future” Many Bangladeshi families escaping floods and droughts have already slipped over the Indian border to swell the shanty towns of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta . "The problem is hidden at the moment but it will inevitably come to the fore as climate change forces more and more people out of their homes .” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5344002.stm Mar 2007 Saleem-ul Huq, a fellow at the London-based International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417092232.htm Apr 2007 Retired General. Gordon R. Sullivan “ National Security and the Threat of Climate Change” Study SecurityAndClimate.cna.org “ We found that climate instability will lead to instability in geopolitics and impact American military operations around the world… People are saying they want to be perfectly convinced about climate science projections… But speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty . If you wait until you have 100% certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield .”
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417092232.htm Apr 2007 “ National Security and the Threat of Climate Change” Study SecurityAndClimate.cna.org “ Tensions may rise as immigration from Africa and the Middle East—exacerbated by climate change—places additional social and economic pressures on countries. Some of America's strongest allies may be distracted as they struggle to protect their own borders . Such an inward focus may make it more difficult to build international coalitions, or engage in exercises to ensure readiness… Europe will be focused on its own borders… There is potential for fracturing some very strong alliances based on migrations and the lack of control over borders .”
Underlying the Darfur crisis was a " struggle between nomadic and pastoral communities for resources made more scarce through a changing climate " http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,2077346,00.html June 2007 British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett
An average wind turbine generates about 1 W/m 2 of electricity, which can be converted to mechanical work with 85–95% efficiency . A photovoltaic cell generates 10-20 W/m 2 of electricity. Thus, wind turbines and solar cells are 20 and 100 times more efficient in delivering mechanical work than corn ethanol . http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/08/NPC_briefing_Patzek.pdf Aug 2005 Professor Tad W.Patzek, Berkely
It is not hard to visualize yuppies feeling so smug about their EE apartment in New York that they buy an EE home in Phoenix, an EE condo in Chicago, a hybrid car for each city, and a helicopter modified to run on biofuels for shuttling between cities. Energy efficiency is not efficient when some individual items are more efficient, but the overall quantity of items increases so much that the total mass of energy used goes up instead of down . Like it or not, that is the irredeemable compulsion of market economics. http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=56&ItemID=12636 Apr 2007
http://www.alternet.org/shttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/17/opinion/17sat1.html?th&emc=th Mar 2007 MIT Report Coal produces more than 30 % of America’s carbon dioxide emissions . It is also a huge problem in China , where the equivalent of one large coal-fired power plant is being built each week , using antiquated methods . Unless coal can be tamed, the game is essentially lost .
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/01/mit_analysis_co.html?foo Jan 2007 MIT Study … the energy balance of corn ethanol is actually so close that several factors can easily change whether ethanol derived from that process ends up a net energy winner or loser … making ethanol from cellulosic sources such as switchgrass has far greater potential to reduce fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emissions Growing switchgrass … requires minimal fertilizer, its life cycle is about 10 years (need not be replanted each year), and it can be grown almost anywhere ( transport costs can be minimized)
“ Production is not a concern. More than a billion tons of biomass is estimated to be created each year in the timber and agricultural industries, as well as a variety of grasses and potential energy crops… Unfortunately, you can’t just take a tree trunk, stick it into an enzymatic reactor, and ferment the sugar produced into ethanol with any kind of efficiency. The process of turning certain lignocellulosic materials into ethanol is very difficult and costly … That process, typically involves several pretreatment steps that break up lignocellulosic material into easily converted polymers.” http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=109619&org=NSF&from=news June 2007 Blake Simmons, a chemical engineer and project lead at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif.
even if the entire corn crop in the U.S. were used to make ethanol , that fuel would replace only 12 % of current U.S. gasoline use http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=9097 Apr 2007
In 2003 , the U.S. used 105 times more energy than required to feed us . Over 90% came from fossil fuels and uranium, and 2% from biomass co- generation . http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/08/NPC_briefing_Patzek.pdf Aug 2005 Professor Tad W.Patzek, Berkely
http://www.prognog.com/driving/ethanol/switchgrass:__native_american_powerhouse.html Mar 2007 Switchgrass has the potential to produce the biomass required for production of up to 100 gallons (380 liters) of ethanol per metric ton… … giving it the potential to produce 1,500 gallons of ethanol per acre , compared to 665 gallons for sugarcane and 400 gallons for corn
http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8738865 Mar 2007 Norbert Reithofer, CEO BMW “ The hydrogen car is 20 to 25 years away ” Even that may be optimistic !
http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/14/news/companies/auto_execs/?postversion=2007031419 Mar 2007 Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors "The CAFE program has failed dramatically … although fuel efficiency for passenger cars has doubled since 1975 , the number of miles driven per vehicle has also doubled , as has the number of cars . The result is the [US] uses 60 % more gasoline now than it did back then… It's time to move away from solutions that don't solve the problem."
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,472673,00.html Mar 2007 At a similar cost level one can save 3-4 x the CO2 emissions in the automotive sector as compared to the civil aviation sector IPCC report (Part 3)
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,472673,00.html Mar 2007 Between 1950 und 1997 the # of automobiles worldwide increased from ca. 50 to 580 million … “ 5 x faster than overall population growth ". In 2004, automobiles were responsible for 44,5 % of CO2 emissions caused in the transport sector. That’s almost as much as the combined emissions of trucks (25 %), aircraft (11,6 %) and Ships (9,5 %). IPCC report (Part 3)
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,472673,00.html Mar 2007 IPCC report (Part 3) By 2050 the total # of vehicles worldwide will almost triple in comparison to 1997 to 2 BILLION In China alone the # of vehicles will increase by 20% p.a. (driven largely by increases in automobile sales) Today, global emissions of CO2 caused by the transport sector are 30% above those of 1990
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,472673,00.html Mar 2007 EPA US The US would consume 25 % less gas today if automobiles had the same average performance and weight characteristics as they did in 1987
Air traffic in the UK will double by 2030 , at which time it will have more effect on global warming than automobiles . http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=56&ItemID=12636 Apr 2007
Fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel <ul><li>A hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy </li></ul><ul><li>The large amount of energy required to : </li></ul><ul><li>isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), </li></ul><ul><li>package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, </li></ul><ul><li>transfer the energy carrier to the user, </li></ul><ul><li>plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells… </li></ul><ul><li>leaves around 25% for practical use — an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future . </li></ul>http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html Dec 2006
Fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel <ul><li>“ The 2 key issues of a secure and sustainable energy future are: </li></ul><ul><li>harvesting energy from renewable sources and </li></ul><ul><li>finding the highest energy efficiency from source to service … </li></ul><ul><li>Electricity from renewable sources will play the dominant role .” </li></ul>http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html Dec 2006
TXU's (Dallas-based utility company) projected output of 78 million tons of CO2 a year is more than entire countries, such as Sweden, Denmark, and Portugal http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/47615/ Feb 2007 AlterNet <ul><li>… also the equivalent of: </li></ul><ul><li>putting 10 million Cadillac Escalades on the road or </li></ul><ul><li>cutting and burning all the trees in a section of the Amazon the size of over 9 million football fields -- larger than the state of California </li></ul>
China's "coal capital" Datong , one of the filthiest towns in China, is situated in the middle of the nation's coal belt in Shaanxi province where more coal is mined every year than in Britain, Russia and Germany combined Cancer rates are soaring and it's estimated that China's rush to produce more dirty energy results in 400,000 premature deaths nationwide every year because of pollution But any protests are likely to go unnoticed as reported by the China Youth Daily 90% of mayors and local cadres opposed any moves to protect the environment that might slow the economy . http://www.dailyplanetmedia.com/sustaining_earth/cms.php?id_view=0004 Mar 2007
… if you’re a Chinese mayor and have to choose between growing jobs and cutting pollution , you will invariably choose jobs : coughing workers are much less politically dangerous than unemployed workers. That’s a key reason why China’s 10th five-year plan, which began in 2000, called for a 10% reduction in sulfur dioxide in China’s air — and when that plan concluded in 2005, sulfur dioxide pollution in China had increased by 27%. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/magazine/15green.t.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th Apr 2007
Coal is the largest contributor to global CO2 emissions from energy use (41%), and its share is projected to increase http://web.mit.edu/coal/The_Future_of_Coal_Summary_Report.pdf 2006
<ul><li>Today fossil sources account for 80% of energy demand : </li></ul><ul><li>petroleum (34%), </li></ul><ul><li>coal (25%), </li></ul><ul><li>natural gas (21%), </li></ul><ul><li>biomass and waste (11%), </li></ul><ul><li>nuclear (6.5%), </li></ul><ul><li>hydro (2.2%), </li></ul><ul><li>only 0.4% of global energy demand is met by geothermal, solar and wind. </li></ul>http://web.mit.edu/coal/The_Future_of_Coal_Summary_Report.pdf 2006 IEA Key World Energy Statistics (2006)
50% of the electricity generated in the US is from coal . There are the equivalent of more than 500, 500Mw, coal-fired power plants in the US with an average age of 35 years . http://web.mit.edu/coal/The_Future_of_Coal_Summary_Report.pdf 2006 EIA 2005 annual statistics (www.eia.doe.gov)
Jeffrey Immelt , the chairman of General Electric, has worked for G.E. for 25 years . In that time, he told me, he has seen 7 generations of innovation in G.E.’s medical equipment business — in devices like M.R.I.s or CT scans — because health care market incentives drove the innovation . In power, it’s just the opposite. “Today, on the power side,” he said, “ we’re still selling the same basic coal-fired power plants we had when I arrived . They’re a little cleaner and more efficient now, but basically the same.” http://web.mit.edu/coal/The_Future_of_Coal_Summary_Report.pdf 2006
China is currently constructing the equivalent of two, 500 megawatt, coal-fired power plants per week and a capacity comparable to the entire UK power grid each year One 500 megawatt coal-fired power plant produces approximately 3 million tons/year of CO 2 http://web.mit.edu/coal/The_Future_of_Coal_Summary_Report.pdf 2006 EIA 2005 annual statistics (www.eia.doe.gov)
The US produces about 1.5 billion tons p.a. of CO2 from coal-burning power plants. If all of this CO2 is transported for sequestration, the quantity is equivalent to 3x the weight and, under typical operating conditions, 1/3 of the annual volume of natural gas transported by the U.S. gas pipeline system. If 60% of the CO2 produced from U.S. coal-based power generation were to be captured and compressed to a liquid for geologic sequestration, its volume would about equal the total U.S. oil consumption of 20 million barrels per day . At present the largest sequestration project is injecting one million tons/year of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Sleipner gas field into a saline aquifer under the North Sea. http://web.mit.edu/coal/The_Future_of_Coal_Summary_Report.pdf 2006 Derived from the MIT Coal Study
"We don't have a good way of forecasting these risks [financial risks of underperformance of generation assets] yet, but looking at the historical data can be one way to understand the possibilities and scenarios for the future“ No new nuclear power plants have been built in the United States in 29 years , in part because they've proved to be poor investments , producing far more expensive electricity than originally promised. In 2005, about 19% of U.S. electricity generation was produced by 104 nuclear reactors . http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070403181045.htm Apr 2007 Nathan Hultman, assistant professor of science, technology and international affairs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C
http://unfccc.int/essential_background/kyoto_protocol/items/1678.php <ul><li>Participation in the Kyoto Protocol , where: </li></ul><ul><li>dark green indicates countries that have signed and ratified the treaty and </li></ul><ul><li>yellow indicates states that have signed and hope to ratify the treaty </li></ul><ul><li>Australia and the United States have signed the treaty but refuse to ratify it . </li></ul>
“ By some conservative estimates , the building sector world-wide could deliver emission reductions of 1.8 billion tonnes of C02 . A more aggressive energy efficiency policy might deliver over 2 billion tonnes or close to 3x the amount scheduled to be reduced under the Kyoto Protocol” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070407150947.htm Apr 2007 Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director
“ The International Energy Agency estimates that a total global switch to compact fluorescent bulbs would, in 2010 deliver C02 savings of 470 million tonnes or slightly over 1/2 of the Kyoto reductions . We have to ask what the hurdles are - if any - to achieving such positive low cost change and set about decisively and swiftly to overcome them , if they exist at all” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070407150947.htm Apr 2007 Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director
<ul><li>"To achieve improved energy efficiency in buildings you often do not need to use advanced and expensive high-tech solutions , but simple solutions such as… </li></ul><ul><li>smart design , </li></ul><ul><li>flexible energy solutions and </li></ul><ul><li>provision of appropriate information to the building users" </li></ul>http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070407150947.htm Apr 2007 Olivier Luneau, SBCI [United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Sustainable Construction and Building Initiative (SBCI)] Chairman and Director for sustainability at Lafarge
Christopher Crane, president of Exelon Nuclear if Exelon wanted to start a nuclear plant today, the licensing, design, planning and building requirements are so extensive it would not open until 2015 at the earliest. But even if Exelon got all the approvals , it could not start building “because the cost of capital for a nuclear plant today is prohibitive .” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/magazine/15green.t.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th Apr 2007
James Hansen, NASA's chief climate scientist and director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies NASA has called for a halt to all new coal-fired power plants until technology allows for the capture of emissions from burning coal . "There should be a moratorium … Until we have that clean coal power plant we should not be building them“ http://www.dailyplanetmedia.com/index.php Apr 2007
Over the next 10 or 20 years , fossil fuels most likely will continue to be the main feedstock for the hydrogen economy . And there's the rub: Using dirty energy to make clean energy doesn't solve the pollution problem-it just moves it around . “ As a CO2 reducer, hydrogen stinks" http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4199381.html Nov 2006 Joseph Romm, executive director of the Center for Energy & Climate Solutions
Hydrogen produced by steam reformation or by electrolysis loses energy when it is converted into electricity . The resulting efficiency is roughly equal to that of today's power plants — which pay a lot less for raw materials. Direct generation of electricity through wind and solar power will also be more efficient for most stationary applications . That leaves transportation as the most promising use for hydrogen . http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4199381.html Nov 2006
Alexander Asseyev, director of the Semiconductor Physics Institute at the Siberian department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, estimated the Russia's total solar-energy potential as equivalent to over two trillion tons of fuel . By placing solar batteries with an average efficiency of 12% over 4,000 square kilometers , it would be possible to completely meet the national electric power demand . http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070409/63363007.html Apr 2007
Russia can also harness…wind energy from along its 12,000 km Arctic coast. Windmills are considered cost-effective when average annual wind speeds exceed 4-5 m/sec . Arctic winds blowing at over 5-7 meters per second can generate 45 billion kWh . http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070409/63363007.html Apr 2007
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/164832 Dec 2006 Elias Canetti, cultural historian ‘ each of us is a king in a field of corpses’
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/164832 Dec 2006 Environmental author Jeremy Rifkin "our burgeoning population and urban way of life have been purchased at the expense of vast ecosystems and habitats . ... It's no accident that as we celebrate the urbanization of the world, we are quickly approaching another historic watershed: the disappearance of the wild ."
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/164832 Dec 2006 Environmental author Jeremy Rifkin By 2100 , 2/3 of the Earth's remaining species are likely to be extinct . Where does this leave us ? Try to imagine 1,000 cities of a million or more just 35 years from now. It boggles the mind and is unsustainable for Earth.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070416193304.htm Apr 2007 Jose Lobo, and Arizona State University economist in the School of Sustainability "The one thing that we know about organisms whether it be elephants or sharks or frogs, is that as they get large, they slow down … They use less energy, they don't move as fast. That is a very important point for biological scaling… In the case of cities , it is actually the opposite, as cities get larger they create more wealth and they are more innovative at a faster rate . There is no counterpart to that in biology … In fact…the larger the city the greater return on investment”
Large parts of reefs in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia are becoming void of marine life as a result of overfishing and the use of cyanide to catch fish alive. Though illegal, many fishermen use cyanide, an exceptionally damaging and wasteful way to catch the fish, which hide amongst the coral. The divers squirt the toxin in the reef to stun the fish. But that kills most other marine life, including coral . Only about a 1/4 survive to make it to restaurants http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/03/25/asia.fish.reut/index.html Mar 2007
Hong Kong fish merchant Considered a delicacy, demand for coral fish has exploded in line with China's booming economy and… some species such as the humphead wrasse are already endangered . "You may not be able to eat it in 4 to 5 years, whatever money you pay . This is the favorite among people from mainland China" http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/03/25/asia.fish.reut/index.html Mar 2007
<ul><li>Politicians ...could influence the development of new cars by means of prescriptions and prohibitions, taxes and subsidies . </li></ul><ul><li>But for now, they're heading in the wrong direction . </li></ul><ul><li>In Germany ,… </li></ul><ul><li>A tax write-off for car-owning commuters rewards heavy drivers . </li></ul><ul><li>The annual car registration fee is based on cylinder capacity rather than CO2 emissions . </li></ul><ul><li>And the state indirectly subsidizes purchases of high-horsepower vehicles by making company cars tax- exempt . </li></ul>http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,476278,00.html Apr 2007
… massive, worldwide decline of amphibians can best be understood by their inability to keep pace with the current rate of global change http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501075044.htm May 2007
… estimated that the rate of plant and animal extinction is greater now than any known in the last 100,000 years http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501075044.htm May 2007
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/164832 Dec 2006 Environmental author Jeremy Rifkin We have become " Homo Urbanus " 200 years ago , the average person on Earth might meet 200 to 300 people in a lifetime . Today a resident of New York City can live