Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
The good news about methane is that methane molecules tend to last for a much shorter time in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide molecules. The bad news about methane is that methane molecules trap much more heat than carbon dioxide molecules. If this positive feedback mechanism has really been triggered then that's very bad news.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
I guess you could say this is a bottom up approach to the global warming problem. Certainly the top down approach hasn't worked. For many years environmentalists have been trying to get the government to raise CAFE standards for motor vehicles without any meaningful success. Our motor vehicles are no more fuel efficient today than they were two decades ago. Perhaps most importantly, all efforts to get the U.S. to sign the Kyoto Protocol failed.
If a bottom up approach is to succeed it must ultimately reach the top, in this case the federal government. Only the federal government can take the steps needed to cap greenhouse gas emissions for the entire country and only the federal government can work with other countries to cap greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Based on what has transpired with regard to the global warming problem in this country over the past two decades, that is, failure of the federal government to take action despite numerous lobbying efforts by the environmental community, the bottom up approach may be our best hope.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
It is difficult to argue with the notion that we need to buy time. After all, climate experts say that to have atmospheric carbon dioxide level off at a concentration where the further increase in global temperature would only be about 1°F or 0.5°C the amount of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide would have to be reduced by about 70% from 1990 levels. Even that would cause considerable climate change. Moreover, NASA scientist James Hansen has said that to prevent additional increases in global temperature beyond 1°F we must begin to take major action within the next 10 years. Even the most optimistic among us would we hard pressed to be positive about success in these circumstances. The pessimism must be growing because during the interview it was revealed that some climate scientists now believe it is inevitable that some type of scheme to increase the reflection of sunlight worldwide will eventually be attempted. Proposed schemes to reflect sunlight globally, which seemed so farfetched only a short time ago, now appear to be gaining traction in the scientific community as the coming reality.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Antinuclear activist Helen Caldicott kicked off her book tour this past Sunday in White Plains, New York for her new book Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer. In this book she shows why people such as famous British scientist James Lovelock who says in his new book The Revenge of Gaia that nuclear power is an answer to global warming are wrong. Caldicott effectively counters the slogan by the nuclear power industry that nuclear power is “clean and green.” She shows why tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide are produced from burning fossil fuel when nuclear power is viewed from the mining of ore containing uranium all the way to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. The amount of carbon dioxide rapidly rises as higher grade ore becomes scarcer and lower grade ore is mined and in the building of new nuclear power plants. She also explains in detail the many potential situations of human exposure to radioactivity related to nuclear power. Those environmentalists who have been reported to be embracing nuclear power to fight global warming need to read Caldicott's book.