Thursday, August 23, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 8-23-07

Stupidity just can’t be stopped once it gets rolling. More states getting into ethanol. . . . Elsewhere, serious stuff being done. Leaders of 6 Western states and 2 Canadian provinces finalize their regional agreement to attack greenhouse gases. Under the Western Climate Initiative, the leaders agreed to slash emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-warming pollutants to 15% below 2005 levels in their states and provinces in the next 13 years. That is about the same percentage as California's commitment under last year's landmark global warming law. Overall, the region would cut emissions by 350-million metric tons over that time period. To achieve their goal, the partners, including Democratic and Republican governors, committed to designing a carbon-trading system within a year. That approach, now in use in Europe, allows industries to trade pollution credits among themselves. Seven Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states are also designing a so-called cap-and-trade system, but that initiative will be limited to power plants. And, yes, Nero in DC is fiddling. . . . As Greenpeace reports that a shift to renewable energies could save East Asian nations $2 trillion (yes, that’s “trillion”) in the next 23 years, those nations make plans to go nuke. And you think there’s hope for sense. . . . Meanwhile, as the world dithers, China is looking at a 10% cut in its harvests by 2030 due to global warming. . . . Moose and wolves around Lake Superior under global warming pressure and threat, but groundwater storage with warming will likely vary depending on the type of substructure. Water managers in CO told to hold onto their hats as snow melt diminishes in the future. . . . Is natural gas really a better alternative to coal in greenhouse gas emissions? Not if it’s imported, with all the steps in that process. Could be 35% more gas overall. . . . Maybe all this is why Grist has a philosophical piece up that concludes with this question: But how much harder is it going to be to deal with our behaviors when they are the cause of the existential threat to our existence? And here’s the quote to take away: Thus, the paradox: knowledge is no longer power. Instead, the better informed you are, the more likely you are to feel existential despair. Gee, I hope that doesn't happen to me.
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