Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 4-3-07

  • Wanna know the basics of what the IPCC will report Friday? "Even if dramatic measures are taken to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that drive warming, temperatures will continue to climb for decades to come, the experts are set to conclude." And, "In February, the IPCC issued a first volume of its latest review with an assessment of the scientific evidence for global warming. It predicted temperatures would probably rise between 1.8 to 4.0 C (3.2-7.2 F) by century's end. But a rise of as much as 6.4 C (11.5 F) could not be ruled out if carbon emissions and low-efficiency energy use rise unabated and the world's population continues to surge, it said." At least the last report in the series, in May, offers mitigation options. But for some reason I can't stop thinking about what they told us in nuke war drills when I was a kid, "Sit, put your head between your legs, kiss your a-- goodbye."
  • Who's to blame? Well, the Europeans are looking at those who dumped on the Kyoto Treaty. Uh, that means Australia and US, pretending Kyoto doesn't set the right standards, which "Kyoto's supporters have long suspected that this approach aims at weakening support for the treaty, whose renegotiation is coming up." What, Australia's idiot PM and our beyond idiot Pres? Really?
  • Or maybe it's the beyond idiot people who let them get in. Check out this international poll. "More than two-thirds (68 percent) of the world is concerned about climate change with the South Africans (82 percent) and Brazilians (87 percent) most concerned," a statement of main findings said. At the low end of anxiety were Americans on 57 percent and Indians with 59 percent. . . . And the poll, by the Synovate research group, said two-thirds of all respondents reckoned the United States was more to blame than any other country for the problem."Almost four in five Americans, however, think that no one country is to blame," it said. The United States is the top world emitter of greenhouse gases with almost a quarter of the total, ahead of China, Russia and India." Can anyone tell me the last time pure unadulterated ignorance solved a major problem?
  • Think the heat will be the only problem? Try "Malaria, cholera, malnutrition, heatstroke and pollen allergies . . . ." Your nation's future legacy. Aren't you proud?
  • Let's rub it in, with this Grist post on what we are telling the world and those poorer nations that will get hammered worse than anyone.
  • At least the Great Lakes states do seem to get that we have to deal with the rest of the world, as this story on Canadian efforts to prevent stupid use of the lakes. And here's why: "Environment Canada forecasts a 3- to 4 1/2-foot drop in water levels for some of the Great Lakes over the next 50 years due to climate change."
  • Finally, some optimism. (Wha? Here?) Actually, from Grist's David Roberts, with a nice rundown of the progress we're making with solar power, at least in the states. That "beyond idiot" thing has at least two more years to run. In the meantime, "federal tax credits for solar will expire in nine months unless they're renewed by Congress. Here's a press release from SolarHomes.org about it. Write your legislator."