Both Mr. Obama and leaders in Beijing have said a top priority is using energy more efficiently and advancing non-polluting technologies. China also released several recent reports laying out financial and technical means for allowing industrialized countries to help cut the climate impact from its energy use.
Shenhua Group, the country’s biggest coal producer, said on Jan 5 that its first direct coal-to-liquids (CTL) project, the first of its kind in China, had already started operation.
Despite the recent dive in China’s electricity generation in the recession, it’s clear the country’s drive to urbanize and industrialize is going to require ever more energy, and coal remains the fuel of first and last resort.
The extraordinary growth in power generation in China in recent years, which quickly vaulted the emerging industrial powerhouse to the top of the global list of carbon dioxide emitters, has collapsed under the weight of the global economic implosion — at least for now.
On Thursday, President-elect Barack Obama called for doubling production of alternative energy in the United States over the next three years as part of his “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” In a speech officially rolling out the plan, he also set a goal of retrofitting more than 75 percent of federal buildings and 2 million homes to make them more energy-efficient.
Defence Minister Nelson Jobim said the government will increase the number of troops in the Amazon from 17,000 to 30,000 and build 28 new forts on Indian land and conservation areas of the world’s largest rain forest.
Pretty basic, but might be entertaining or informative for school children.
“Simply put, raising beef, pigs, sheep, chicken, and eggs is very, very energy intensive. More than half of all the grains grown in America actually go to feed animals, not people, says the World Resources Institute. That means a huge fraction of the petroleum-based herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers applied to grains, plus staggering percentages of all agricultural land and water use, are put in the service of livestock. Stop eating animals and you use dramatically less fossil fuels, as much as 250 gallons less oil per year for vegans, says Cornell University’s David Pimentel, and 160 gallons less for egg-and-cheese-eating vegetarians.”
via Audubon Magazine.
Cement, a vast source of planet-warming carbon dioxide, could be transformed into a means of stripping the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, thanks to an innovation from British engineers.