Tag Archives: Climate Change

Scientist: Climate change 'the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced'

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Thursday, November 12, 2009:

Michael Schlesinger delivered a grim message at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Wednesday: Dealing with the problem of global climate change is going to be rough.

Schlesinger spoke before a packed room of about 80 people as part of UAF’s Climate Change Series and repeatedly stressed the daunting challenges ahead. He’s one of the most prominent scientists studying the subject and was a member of the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change that shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with former Vice President Al Gore.

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Permafrost’s future in Alaska looks poor, but the forecast isn’t all bad

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, November 6, 2009:

Alaska will probably see most of its surface permafrost vanish by the end of this century, but researchers believe vast areas of frozen soil will remain deeper underground even as air temperatures increase.

The future of Alaska’s permafrost is being closely watched by scientists because of the implications it may have on the climate as a whole. Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, discussed evolving permafrost research this week during a teleconference through the Alaska Center of Climate Assessment and Policy.

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Religion’s Role in the Climate Challenge

From The New York Times, Tuesday, November 3, 2009:

A remarkable conclave of leading figures from nine of the world’s major religions is under way at Windsor Castle in Britain, under the auspices of Prince Philip and  the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. Called “Many Heavens, One Earth,” the meeting is intended to generate commitments for actions by religious organizations, congregants and countries that could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases or otherwise limit the human impact on the environment.

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Simple lifestyle tweaks key in climate change fight

From Agence France-Presse, Monday, October 26, 2009:

The United States could cut greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of France’s total annual emissions by getting Americans to make simple lifestyle changes, like regularly maintaining their cars or insulating their attics, a study showed Monday.

If U.S. households took 17 easy-to-implement actions—like switching to a fuel-efficient vehicle, drying laundry on a clothesline instead of in a dryer, or turning down the thermostat—carbon emissions could be cut by 123 metric tons a year by the 10th year, the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found [PDF].

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Elders Group Tries Bridging the Climatic Generation Gap

From The New York Times, October 30, 2009:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 3-year-old granddaughter, Onalenna, was puzzled.

Her older cousin, Mungi, had just deflated a large, blow-up globe to demonstrate the imminent danger of climate change.

“Are we going to go the moon then?” Onalenna asked her grandfather.

“I don’t know, I will not be here,” Archbishop Tutu, 78, whispered in his granddaughter’s ear.

The rapid march of climate change up the global agenda has prompted a new, and often poignant, conversation between the generations, and, in public, among a self-appointed elite.

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Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming

From the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Thursday, October 22, 2009:

There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.

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The fundamental problem — too many people or too much stuff?

From Yale’s environment360 website:

It’s the great taboo, I hear many environmentalists say. Population growth is the driving force behind our wrecking of the planet, but we are afraid to discuss it.

It sounds like a no-brainer. More people must inevitably be bad for the environment, taking more resources and causing more pollution, driving the planet ever farther beyond its carrying capacity. But hold on. This is a terribly convenient argument — “over-consumers” in rich countries can blame “over-breeders” in distant lands for the state of the planet. But what are the facts?

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CowPots provides innovative use for manure

From the New York Times on Friday, February 26, 2009:

. . . ‘Cow poop is cow poop,’ admits Ms. Slupecki, who was feeling some frustration at the paucity of workable suggestions by the time they reached dessert and coffee. Half in jest, she blurted, ‘Can’t you guys do something with this stuff — make a flowerpot or something?’

Those were fateful words for brothers Ben and Matthew Freund, second-generation dairy farmers who at the time maintained a herd of 225 Holsteins in East Canaan. Each cow produces 120 pounds of manure daily. Why not grow flowers and tomatoes from cow flops? It took eight years’ development, a $72,000 federal grant secured through Connecticut’s Agricultural Businesses Cluster, and countless grim experiments. Now their manure-based CowPots — biodegradable seed-starting containers — are being made on the farm and sold to commercial and backyard growers who prefer their advantages over plastic pots.

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Interactive Google Earth map of US CO2 emissions

From the Los Angeles Times on Friday, February 20, 2009:

Scientists have developed an interactive map on Google Earth that shows fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions across the United States.

Users can view pollution levels from factories, power plants and residential and commercial areas in their state or county. They can also compare emission levels in their county with those of other counties in the U.S. The mapping system, called the Vulcan project, is based on 2002 data.

You may find it interesting to contrast the “absolute” and “per capita” views. There is a marked difference between the two in how cities appear.

**WARNING: the interactive map requires that you download a plugin, and this map will not work without DSL or a faster Internet connection.**

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