Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 5-22-07

  • We deservedly get heat (pardon the pun) in the US from the rest of the planet for our profligate ways, but this new National Academy of Sciences report notes that the rate of growth that's a big part of endangering the globe is from the underdeveloped world. Only a quarter growth in CO2 emissions in N. Amer. from 1980 to 2004, declines in Europe and Eurasia. But doubling in C. and S. Amer. and in Africa, tripling in the Middle East and Asia/Australia. Yes, we're still bigger and it's unfair to those who came last in development, but letting them catch up before we do anything is not going to work. And the major culprit? "Fueled by rapid growth in coal-reliant China . . . ."
  • China, of course, insists that it's the put-upon party and demands rich nations act before it will. Good plan. Britain really is trying to get its businesses and industries to buy into the reality that helping the Chinas do better will actually boost their own national competitiveness, despite the econ doomsayers, but it's a little hard to help a neighbor who insists on sending you tainted and dirty food, and not just for our pets. Especially when it's polluting itself into a sick bed in the name of economic development. If China were a person, you'd be reporting them to Human Services.
  • On the other side of the scale of forward thought and rational action, the Netherlands is already working out how to deal with rising oceans in a land below sea level. Without that kid with his thumb in the dike.
  • Joseph Romm at Climate Progress has more great stuff, taking down the Gore-bashers and other deniers and obstructionists, including a great demolishing of that giant-headed egotist, Michael Crichton. Really, Michael? Weathermen often mess up tomorrow's forecast so why listen to warnings of global warming? Really?
  • All the changes happening so fast. Who ever thought we'd one day be talking about how farmers, if they are going to lease their land for carbon sequestration, would need to set up a system that would demonstrate how much extra carbon they are really socking away?
  • Just when you thought we couldn't f--k up the earth and its water anymore, welcome the massive seafloor mining set to begin this decade.
  • Speaking of water, let's end with a couple of heaping spoonfuls of your life in the near future. Lawyers in the West are already arguing that we need to be paying more attention to water compacts among the states to get disputes settled before drought push becomes conflict shove. And the King of Jordan is warning the other Middle Eastern nations that water, not oil, land, or religion, could very likely be what the next major war there is fought over. Good times. Might work out okay on a planet with beings with brains.

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