Tag Archives: Environment

The only way to stop climate change now may be revolution


By Eric Holthaus – If global CO2 peaks in 2013—that is, sometime in the next week or so—followed by drastic reductions, we’re still locked in to climate change of 1°C or so until about 2100. If we delay this peak until 2030 (the green line in the chart on the right above), Hansen projects extensive climate-change impacts will continue for a further two centuries. If we delay until 2050 (the red line), dangerous climate change will be locked in until past the year 3000.

Basically, if we wait even a few years to implement anything less than a fossil-fuel starvation diet, momentum already built into the system nearly guarantees the climate is toast. more> http://tinyurl.com/k6oruqf

Team developing new monitoring tools for hydropower generation


Queens Museum of Art | The Relief Map of the N...

Queens Museum of Art | The Relief Map of the New York City Water Supply System
(Photo credit: Chris Devers)

R&D – Instead of creating large amounts of power in one place—from large dams or even small turbines in water treatment plants—there’s value now in making tiny amounts of electricity anywhere there is a water source, from streams to water faucets.

Carnegie Mellon Univ.’s Diana Marculescu is leading a multidisciplinary team of industry and academic researchers to develop novel monitoring tools for placement and control of hydrokinetic generators throughout river systems nationwide. more> http://tinyurl.com/oc53cry

BMW Has Seen the Future, and It’s Carbon


By Chris Reiter – The strategy was hatched six years ago, when executives at the luxury automaker concluded that increased environmental awareness would likely prompt tougher emissions regulations for autos. “Looking forward to 2020, we saw threats to our business model,” says Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner. BMW concluded it needed a viable electric vehicle to meet demand from the growing ranks of city dwellers—and to offset the emissions of its gasoline-powered large sedans.

To reduce the size—and cost—of the power pack and improve handling, the body of the car had to be slimmed down. The lightest and strongest material available for the job: carbon fiber. more> http://tinyurl.com/k8o79lb

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We Are All Climate Change Deniers


BOOK REVIEW

The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture, Author: Mary Pipher.

By Mary Pipher – Our denial is understandable. Our species is not equipped to respond to the threats posed by global warming. Humans are built to find food and shelter, reproduce, and enjoy each other. We are genetically programmed to react to threats by fleeing or fighting, and at first, our environmental crisis does not seem to allow us to do either.

We’re better at dealing with problems that are concrete, close-at-hand, familiar and require skills and tools that we already possess. Our global storm is invisible, unprecedented, drawn out, and caused by all of us. We have Paleolithic arousal systems, Neolithic brains, medieval institutions and 21st century technology—not a good mix for solving our climate problems. more> http://tinyurl.com/q38d4dd

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The darkness behind fracking’s silver lining


By Richard Schiffman – Climate change may have reached the point of no return last month.

CO2 levels in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million on May 19, for the first time since the Pleistocene era, over 2.5 million years ago.

Climate scientists have long regarded that 400 number as the symbolic threshold. One step beyond, and it would be virtually impossible to put the brake on human-generated climate change. The bad news escalated last week when the International Energy Agency reported that global emissions of carbon dioxide rose 1.4 percent in 2012, the largest annual increase on record. more> http://tinyurl.com/nwrh6my