Climate

For Climate Change Mitigation, Don’t Forget the Peatlands
December 26, 2007 11:18 AM - Alana Herro , Worldwatch Institute

Protecting peatland areas can be a cost-effective way to reduce as much as 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report launched December 11 in Bali, Indonesia. “Just like a global phaseout of old, energy-guzzling light bulbs or a switch to hybrid cars, protecting and restoring peatlands is perhaps another key ”ślow hanging fruit’...for climate change mitigation,”Ł said Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary General and the executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Climatic Chain Reaction Caused Runaway Greenhouse Effect 55 Million Years Ago
December 26, 2007 10:55 AM - Utrecht University

Analogous to the Earth's current situation, greenhouse warming 55 million years ago was caused by a relatively rapid increase of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This phase, known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), was studied using sediments that accumulated 55 million years ago on the ocean floor in what is now New Jersey. The new study shows that a large proportion of the greenhouse gases was released as a result of a chain-reaction of events. Probably due to intense volcanic activity, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere became higher and the ensuing greenhouse effect warmed the Earth.

China says is no threat to world energy security
December 25, 2007 09:23 PM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said it is not a threat to world energy security and energy issues should not be politicized, urging that conflicts in producing nations be resolved through dialogue and not military force. China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, also is too reliant on international crude markets for last minute oil supplies and needs to arrange more long-term deals, Beijing said in a policy paper released on Wednesday. "China did not, does not and will not pose any threat to the world's energy security," according to the paper, titled China's Energy Conditions and Policies. "China will, step by step, change the current situation of relying too heavily on spot trading of crude oil, encourage the signing of long-term supply contracts with foreign companies and promote the diversification of trading channels," the paper added.

Toyota to cement top spot in 2008
December 25, 2007 02:54 AM - Chang-Ran Kim, Asia auto correspondent, Reuters

NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will charge further into emerging car markets to achieve another year of record sales in 2008, likely cementing its title as the world's biggest automaker ahead of General Motors Corp. With a product line-up including the Camry and Prius hybrid cars, Toyota has attracted more customers in emerging and mature markets alike, all the while increasing profits through cost cuts and economies of scale.

Used Cooking Oil Helps Heat Juneau, Alaska's Westmark Baranof Hotel
December 24, 2007 08:18 PM - Glen Hasak, Green Lodging News

Juneau, Alaska — After eating an evening meal of fish and chips, tourists in Juneau who retire for the night at the Westmark Baranof Hotel may find themselves warming their toes in a room partially heated by the oil used to cook their food. The Baranof collects the town’s used vegetable oil to help heat the hotel.

Report: Safety and Security Risks Undercut Nuclear Power's Role in Minimizing Global Warming
December 24, 2007 08:11 PM - , Environmental Health News

WASHINGTON — An expansion of nuclear power capacity in the United States could help reduce global warming pollution, but could also increase threats to public safety and national security, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Survey: Coal-Fired Power Plant Freeze Favored
December 22, 2007 06:34 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

DES MOINES, Iowa - Sending a clear message to state officials and presidential candidates, nearly four out of five Iowans (79 percent) -- including 69 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Independents -- think that "Iowa should focus on increased (energy) conservation steps and more fuel efficiency to reduce demand for electricity before it constructs new coal-fired power plants," according to a major new Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) survey commissioned by Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, Iowa Farmers Union and Plains Justice.

Economists: extreme cold weather costly, deadly
December 20, 2007 06:44 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY -- Fatalities in the continental United States tend to climb for several weeks after severe cold spells, ultimately numbering 360 per chilly day and 14,380 per year, according to a new study co-authored by a University of California, Berkeley, economist. Deaths linked to extreme cold account for 0.8 percent of the nation's annual death rate and outnumber those attributed to leukemia, murder and chronic liver disease combined, the study reports. Cold-related deaths also reduce the average life expectancy of Americans by at least a decade, it says.

California to sue U.S. for denying emissions waiver
December 20, 2007 04:39 PM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday that he would sue the U.S. government for not granting a waiver that would allow his state to enforce new standards on motor vehicle emissions. California needs the waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement a state law requiring automakers to cut tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent on 2009 model cars. Sixteen other states either have adopted or are considering rules similar to California's standard. "I am extremely disappointed by EPA's decision to block the will of millions of people in California and 16 other states who want us to take tough action against global warming," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

USDA's Conner: Crop supplies "dicey" in 2008
December 20, 2007 02:38 PM - Charles Abbott, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will win the race to grow enough corn, wheat and soybeans to satisfy food, feed and biofuel needs although 2008 will be "very dicey," said acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner on Thursday. "I would never bet against our farmers on this issue," Conner said in looking ahead to 2008 crops. For the second year in a row, zooming demand for U.S. crops will require a huge harvest to avoid shortfalls. "We have said it is going to be very dicey."

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