Chairman Henry A. Waxman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward J. Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee today released a draft of clean energy legislation that will create jobs, help end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and combat global warming. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) is a comprehensive approach to America’s energy policy that charts a new course towards a clean energy economy. [editor’s strikethrough – coal isn’t clean or new]
● Calls for 6% renewable energy by 2012 and 25% by 2025.
● Clean fuels and vehicles. Includes biofuels.
● Smart Electricity Grid.
● This ‘clean energy’ bill draft includes support for developing carbon capture and sequestration as a means to “ensure a continuing place for coal in our nation’s energy future”. Perhaps it’s better just to leave the coal in ground in the first place and avoid a whole host of problems.
“Carbon Capture and Sequestration. The draft promotes development of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies to ensure a continuing place for coal in our nation’s energy future. CCS is a method of reducing global warming pollution by capturing and injecting underground the carbon dioxide emitted from electricity generation plants that use fossil fuels.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Further energy efficiency project funds from the U.S. government’s stimulus package were released this week by the Obama administration in the form of $3.2 billion in block grants for cities, counties, states, territories and Native American tribes.
Repeatedly sounded was the ‘what we have here is a failure to communicate‘ theme. John Ashton addressed this concern at a press conference at the Climate Congress:
“Words mean different things. The word ‘uncertainty’ to a politician often means, come back and tell me when you know whether this a problem or not and that’s when I’ll look into it. Uncertainty to a scientist often mean there’s a signal, but there’s an error, an uncertainty in the amplitude of that signal. We don’t know quite how big that is, it may be four and it may be six, and there are plenty of people in the political world, who are quite happy to abuse the rigor that scientists bring to the ways in which they communicate, to serve political purposes which are not necessarily those which the communicators were intending to serve. Politics is a shark infested sea in that sense. My conclusion is, the more effort that people put into understanding not just what they are trying to say, but how it will be heard, how it might be manipulated and made mischief out of, the better the communication will be. Because in the end, we need a much better sense in our society of the urgency of this problem – we haven’t begun to close the gap between what the climate tells us we need to do and what we feel we’re capable of doing.”
Other speakers also contributed to the ‘failure to communicate theme’, including: Professor Lord Nicolas Stern, March 12, “One of the reasons they [the economists] got it wrong is because you [the scientists] didn’t tell them loudly and clearly enough”
‘The maker of Stone-Buhr flour, a popular brand in the western United States, is encouraging its customers to reconnect with their lost agrarian past, from the comfort of their computer screens. Its Find the Farmer Web site and special labels on the packages let buyers learn about and even contact the farmers who produced the wheat that went into their bag of flour.
The underlying idea, broadly called traceability, is in fashion in many food circles these days. Makers of bananas, chocolates and other foods are also using the Internet to create relationships between consumers and farmers, mimicking the once-close ties that were broken long ago by industrialized food manufacturing.’
‘At least since a 2006 United Nations report asserted that livestock is responsible for a full 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions — a higher percentage than that caused by transportation — a debate over meat consumption and climate change has been cooking.
The latest round involves a recent editorial in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Barry M. Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina. In it, Mr. Popkin revisits several studies linking meat not just with heart disease and other health issues, but also with worldwide consumption of energy and water resources — and global warming.
Water use, Mr. Popkin writes, is two to five times greater worldwide for animal-source food than for basic crops such as legumes and grains. He further argues that livestock production accounts for 55 percent of the erosion process in the United States and is also responsible for one-third of the total discharge of nitrogen and phosphorous to surface water.’
‘Information gleaned from a Greenland ice core by an international science team shows that two huge Northern Hemisphere temperature spikes prior to the close of the last ice age some 11,500 years ago were tied to fundamental shifts in atmospheric circulation.’
‘Australia has issued a health warning about air pollution for travelers to Hong Kong. Australians with pre-existing breathing conditions or heart problems should be careful visiting the city. Much of the bad air in Hong Kong blows in from Guangdong, China’s most important manufacturing province. But there is plenty of evidence many factories are closing and many workers have left because the international economic crisis has cut demand for Guangdong’s industrial goods. That should mean less air pollution.
…Trade associations had been pressuring the local government to ease up on enforcing environmental regulations on struggling factories. But Wu Hong Jie, who heads the Pollution Control Division in Guangdong’s Environmental Protection Department, says no one’s backing down on enforcement. He says, “Whatever happens, we should stick to the environmental standards. We can find other ways to help companies survive. We shouldn’t just let them pollute.” But economic growth has long come first in this region.’