Quick summary of several large energy projects. Though emission free is a bit of an overstatement for a variety of reasons.
The Chinese government has announced that it plans to build as many as 20 hydro electric projects on the Yangtze river by the year 2020. The projects would be aimed at quenching China’s increasing power demand and helping in flood control. However, many domestic and international experts warn about the ecological sensitivity of the area might not be strong enough to cope with such massive infrastructure projects.
UC Berkeley Professor Dan Kammen, coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and an advisor to Obama during the 2008 campaign, describes recent changes in Climate Change policy since Obama has been in office. In particular Kammen focuses on policy reversals announced by EPA’s Lisa P. Jackson which allow California to set higher air quality standards than national, and the pivotal decision to consider CO2 as a harmful greenhouse gas.
Dan Kammen speaking at UC Berkeley on Obama’s climate change approach
‘The Earth’s temperature may stay roughly the same for a decade, as natural climate cycles enter a cooling phase, scientists have predicted.
…The key to the new prediction is the natural cycle of ocean temperatures called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which is closely related to the warm currents that bring heat from the tropics to the shores of Europe.’
“DUANJIALING, China — Less than a year ago, officials were pressing mines and factories along this limestone belt of northern China to shut down or move away to clear the air of dust and smog for the Beijing Olympics.
Now, amid the global economic downturn, priorities have shifted.
Cumbersome environmental reviews have been accelerated, state bank loans are flowing freely again and workers are welding the grinding mills of Sanhe Yongsheng Cement, one of the new cement plants under construction not far from China’s capital.”
The article goes on to mention rapid approval of projects:
“In the rush to invest $585 billion in stimulus spending and revive flagging industrial production, China has at least temporarily backpedaled on some environmental restraints imposed, though with limited impact, during the country’s long boom.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection, citing the urgency of fighting the downturn, adopted a new “green passage” policy that speeds approval of industrial projects. In one three-day stretch late last year, it gave the green light to 93 new investment plans valued at $38 billion.”
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that for the first time in the United States will regulate the gases blamed for global warming.
“Offshore wind power is one promising source of energy that is commercially viable today. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate that the wind off America’s coast could generate nearly 1,000 gigawatts — a little more than the current U.S. electrical capacity.
Ocean power, while not as developed, is every bit as promising. California has more than 745 miles of coastline, and every mile has daily energy transfers in the form of waves, tides and current. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than a quarter of California’s energy demand could be met by technology that harnesses these forms of ocean energy. Economic projections indicate that ocean energy could become cost-competitive over the long term if governmental leadership exists to encourage investment in these technologies.”
Newsom’s further comments (video) on long term issues for S.F. “…Even Obama is softening on cap and trade – and no one has the guts to do a carbon tax”
The link between the environment and militarism is too often left unexamined. Accidental or intentional the use of nuclear weapons would have devastating environmental effects.
Ted Turner, founder of CNN:
“We have designed, built, deployed and armed our own suicidal destruction – now is that smart? No, so why don’t we get rid of them while we still can before the get rid of us”
See the Video on FORAtv.com
An attempt to revive a coral reef by transplanting coral discs in Japan:
‘The project has drawn national attention, coming after alarming reports in the last decade that up to 90 percent of the coral that surrounds many of Okinawa’s islands has died off.
…The result has been what marine biologists call one of the largest coral restoration projects in the world, begun four years ago. The goal, say biologists, is to perfect methods that could be used around the world to rescue reefs endangered by overfishing, pollution and global warming.’
WASHINGTON — A new scientific study finds that the absolute worst of global warming can still be avoided if the entire world cuts emission of greenhouse gases the way President Barack Obama and Europe want.