Friday, May 11, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 5-11-07

  • "This discussion is behind us. It's over," she told reporters. "The diagnosis is clear, the science is unequivocal -- it's completely immoral, even, to question now, on the basis of what we know, the reports that are out, to question the issue and to question whether we need to move forward at a much stronger pace as humankind to address the issues." So says the former prime minister of Norway and chief of the UN World Health Organization. It's time to just put the deniers and obstructionists off on their island and get on with our work.
  • Cutting deforestation in half in tropical climates can prevent 500b. tons of CO2, if we can come up with ways to help and convince the folks who live in them.
  • Some nations are already doing their part. Japan is hosting a climate change conference next year and has extended measures to control vehicle emissions.
  • Silicon Valley is also getting greener, turning to more clean energy like solar, fuel cell, and biofuel and getting into things like better building materials. If they can do for better energy what they did for dot coms . . . wait.
  • Here are some folks who are doing serious things, radically redesigning engines to reduce pollution and oil consumption. If we could hook them up with those brainiacs in Silicon Valley, might be worth investing in. Like Honda, with its hydrogen fuel-cell sedan and new hybrid that it's bringing to market over the next two years.
  • In France, an effort to customize weather risk for businesses affected substantially by major changes in temp and rainfall, like soft drink and ice cream folks. Guess beer sales are pretty much the same whatever.
  • An apologia for rising gas prices from the Christian Science Monitor. For a while I thought this paper was actually going to do good work on our topics but they've been letting me down big time lately.
  • Finally, what leadership looks like on weather, water, energy, and what it doesn't. Here, we find out that NY has actually shut down a coal-fired plant that failed to get its emissions limited as told. Here, Obama says he won't support liquefying coal into fuel unless sequestration of emissions is guaranteed . . . while co-sponsoring a bill to subsidize coal companies without sequestration. (Well, Oprah, who helped Schwarzenegger pull off his CA coup, supports Obama, so that's all we need to know, right?)