Monday, February 28, 2005

Biofuel replacing oil in Asia

A number of Asian countries are turning to biofuels derived from local crops to counter the costs of importing foreign oil. Ethanol and biodiesel typically cost more than oil, but these fuels help support agricultural prices and add to the self sufficiency of countries, as described in this article, Asia Pushes Ahead on Biofuel.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Study predicts city flood threat due to warming

Part of my childhood was spent in the tiny town of Magnolia, located on Cape Ann, an energetic half-day bicycle ride from the city of Boston. The mental picture framed by this article in the Boston Globe, Study predicts city flood threat due to warming, gives me that unsettled end-of-the-world kind feeling that I remember from the Cuban missile crisis. We have no divine right to inhabit this planet, and the consequences of our indifference to global climate change may be making this and similar pictures all too real.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Billions Must Change Habits

News has been arriving from every direction lately on the global warming front, much of it bad. Credible scientists are no longer arguing about whether humans are causing global warming; they are discussing the potential impact and the timetables for when that impact will become evident.

Dr. Hermann Ott, the director of the Berline office of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, puts it in these terms: "What we face is an unprecedented challenge: Compared to what we're up against now, the nuclear threat was tiny. What we're faced with now is as destructive as a nuclear war, but unlike the Cold War. There is no individual here with his hand on a launch button. Billions of people have to take individual decisions about what they're going to do - and it's running up against vested interests. It has massive implications for the way we think about our economies and it runs up against the limits of a capitalist society. Our choices now are simple: hope for a technological miracle or try to steer the tanker a little bit from its current path and hope that that's sufficient. Mankind is, for the first time, in the position to actually do this, to consciously steer a different course. We've never had or even been able to do that before - but now we can and it's our biggest challenge. Nature does not forgive."

For more of the interview with Dr. Ott, visit: It's Too Late to Stop Climate Change.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Tilting at Windmills

Is it an either/or situation? Either we stop putting barriers up against the construction of wind energy installations in remote places or we can kiss all of the pristine wilderness goodbye... Bill McKibben answers the question in this New York Times story, Tilting at Windmills.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Power from the Waves

Marine power doesn't get much attention, but the source of this power--the ocean--offers abundant possibilities, as detailed in this article, U.S. Cities Eye Ocean Waves for Power Supplies.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Thousands of Jobs from the Climate Stewardship Act

The Climate Stewardship Act, a bi-partisan effort to spur technological innovation in renewable energy and create jobs, tackles two problems at once. As explained in this article, Global Warming Bill Means Thousands of New Jobs, this legislation could generate 800,000 new jobs by 2025.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Windmills and the Dutch

New innovations in wind energy are coming out of the Netherlands as the Dutch turn a traditional energy source into a modern technology being embraced across Europe. For details, visit: Wind Energy Gains Momentum in Europe.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Apocalypse Now

How Mankind is Sleepwalking to the End of the Earth is the subtitle of
this article, published in The Independent. As another slant on an increasingly inescapable message--we're rapidly making the planet uninhabitable--this piece summarizes the concerns from the Met Office in Exeter, where 200 of the world's leading climate scientists hashed out the issues in what ought to be (but, sadly, isn't) the primary concern of every citizen and every government on the planet. With people collectively hitting the snooze button on the latest round of wake-up alarms, the prospects look very grim.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Actions to Halt Global Warming

A group of UK economists, scientists, and politicians gathered last week in Exeter to discuss possible actions for averting global warming. Their conclusion, as detailed in this article, UK climate meeting calls for action, was that major investments are needed immediately to reverse global warming trends and help people adapt to climate change dangers. The consensus was that we don't need more research; we need to take action now to avert the dangerous risks.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Flower Power

Green Week in Berlin showcased a variety of potential energy sources based on agricultural waste. German manufacturers generated some 1.1-million pounds of farm-based fuel, known as "flower power" locally, which includes biodiesel sold in about 1,800 petrol stations. For details, visit: German Farmers Championing 'Flower Power' for Cleaner Energy.