Architecture 2030 18

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:12:00 GMT

Architecture 2030 is an initiative started by architect Edward Mazria (The Passive Solar Energy Book) with two components: the 2030 Challenge, which calls for all new buildings and development to be carbon-neutral by 2030, starting at 50% of the regional energy consumption; and the 2010 Imperative, which calls on all design schools to be carbon neutral by 2010 and achieve complete ecological literacy in design education.

Architecture 2030 is also running ads with the message of no more coal, stating:

Without coal, all the positive efforts underway can make a difference.

Over an 11-year period (1973-1983), the US built approx. 30 billion square feet of new buildings, added approx. 35 million new vehicles and increased real GDP by one trillion dollars while decreasing its energy consumption and CO2 emissions. We don’t need coal, we have what we need: efficient design and proven technologies.

Today, buildings use 76% of all the energy produced at coal plants.

By implementing The 2030 Challenge to reduce building energy use by a minimum of 50%, we negate the need for new coal plants.

APEC

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 06 Sep 2007 12:02:00 GMT

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit is this weekend in Sydney, Australia, and President Bush will be there. APEC includes 21 countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean, including the US, Australia, China, Mexico, and Japan. A primary topic of discussion will be climate change, which the administration is highlighting.

On September 4, Bush and Prime Minister Howard released a joint announcement on climate change that “agreed today on the importance of confronting the interlinked challenges of climate change, energy security and clean development” and the goal of achieving an international agreement in Bali that “provides for effective action from all the major emitting nations toward the UNFCCC objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. The upcoming APEC statement on climate change and the outcome of the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change in Washington DC on Spetember 27-28 will indicate the US negotiating position for the UN conference.

What specifics are in the agreement?

On the White House website EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson will be taking questions on Friday, September 7 at 12:45 pm EDT.

AVAAZ has a international petition calling for action on global warming at the APEC summit with over 400,000 co-signers.

On Vacation

Posted by Brad Johnson Sun, 26 Aug 2007 16:26:00 GMT

Hill Heat will be on vaction until after the Labor Day weekend.

Restore the balance!

Sen. Reid Calls for Global Coal Plant Moratorium 25

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 20 Aug 2007 19:03:00 GMT

Sen. Reid, Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, detailed his position on America’s energy and global warming policy. He called for a moratorium on coal-fired plants and a restructuring of tax policy away from gas and oil and toward renewable energy.

At a community meeting he said:

Let us spend a few billion developing what we have a lot of. We have a lot of sun, we have a lot of wind and we are the Saudi Arabia of geothermal energy. The sooner we move toward the sun, the wind, geothermal, biomass, the better off we’ll be, and we will never do it until we have a tax policy that gives people an incentive to invest in these industries because the big oil companies have controlled America.

More at Grist, It’s Getting Hot in Here, and I Think Mining.

The enemy is conventional thinking 5

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 16 Aug 2007 18:02:00 GMT

Thomas Casten addresses the potential gains in carbon reduction by focusing on the energy distribution systems:

I’ve done a study of what would happen if the United States went all the way with power recycling. We could cut our electric fuel in half. We could drop CO2 by between 20 and 30 percent. And we could make money on the first 25 percent drop with today’s technology. In the process, the technology would improve and we would be able to go farther.
And the consequences of ignoring this sector:
In 1900, about 3.5 percent of the potential energy put into electric generation actually became delivered electricity, and about 1.5 percent of it ended up as useful work. The curve rises for the next 60 years, as these things get more efficient. By 1960, about 32.5 percent of the potential was arriving as electricity. In 2005, we’re at 33 percent. The electrical generation industry stopped improving its efficiency.

Natasha Chart addresses the question of agricultural practices and soil carbon content:

The Carbon Farmers of America assert that, “[i]f the American people were to restore the soil fertility of the Great Plains that we have destroyed in the last 150 years, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide would be reduced to near pre-industrial levels.”

Both approaches offer massive opportunity for everyone from corporations to families.

They conclude, respectively, “The enemy is conventional thinking,” and “Answers could be right under our feet.”

Larson Carbon Tax Bill: America's Energy Security Trust Fund Act (HR 3416) 15

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 16 Aug 2007 15:27:00 GMT

Just before the August recess, Congressman John B. Larson (D-Conn.) introduced HR 3416, a federal carbon tax proposal that follows the basic model of Al Gore’s carbon tax recommendation.

Elements:
  • Covers coal, petroleum, and natural gas
  • Only regulates carbon dioxide content, not other GHG emissions (the bill calls for a proposal to cover those emissions within 6 months of enactment)
  • Tax starts at $15 per ton and rises at 10% faster than the cost of living adjustment each year
  • Tax refunds or credits include feedstock and any offset project other than enhanced oil recovery, and all exports
  • Revenues raised go into “America’s Energy Security Trust Fund”. 1/6 up to $10 billion goes to clean energy technology R&D, 1/12 goes to industry relief (declining to zero by 2017), and the remainder goes to offset payroll taxes.

Shareholders Pressure Exxon on Global Warming

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 14 Aug 2007 17:32:00 GMT

In Resolved: Public Corporations Shall Take Us Seriously, the New York Times Magazine describes the rising tide of shareholder resolutions on climate change against ExxonMobil:
The ring tone on Sister Patricia Daly’s cellphone is the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah,” which makes every call sound as if it’s coming from God. On the particular May afternoon, however, David Henry, who handles investor relations for the ExxonMobil Corporation, was on the line. Henry wanted to know if Daly planned to attend the annual shareholder meeting later that month — a rhetorical question, really, since Daly had been at every one of them for the past 10 years. At each she posed roughly the same question: What is ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, planning to do about global warming?

The article makes reference to Citigroup’s influential climate change investment report from the beginning of the year, Climatic Consequences: Investment Implications of a Changing Climate, and the May 2007 Greenpeace report ExxonMobil’s Continued Funding of Global Warming Denial Industry.

John Dingell Announces Global Warming Proposal 3

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 13 Aug 2007 19:30:00 GMT

At his town hall meeting last week, House Energy and Commerce chairman John Dingell unveiled the outline of his global warming legislative plan, which he will introduce in committee on September 1:
  • cap-and-trade system with an 80% cap by 2050
  • $100 per ton CO2 emissions tax
  • 50-cent increase in federal gax tax
  • funding for research on renewable energy
  • ending the McMansion mortgage deduction (homes larger than 3,000 square feet)
Glenn Hurwitz at Grist pens a stinging assessment of the chairman: Dingell is dispensible.
So far, he’s fought hard against all steps forward, but it hasn’t made much difference in policy. That suggests that environmentalists and Democrats would be well served to reconsider conventional wisdom about Dingell. Partly because of his gratuitous and repeated swipes at leadership and the environmental movement, his sway with both leadership and rank-and-file Democrats is considerably less than it once was. As the RES vote and Hoyer’s prediction that Congress will pass aggressive fuel efficiency standards shows, his support is no longer essential to passing major environmental legislation. This doesn’t mean that Democrats or environmentalists can ignore all sometime-opponents of environmental progress within the caucus (some, like Gene Green and Charlie Gonzalez, have shown that they retain considerable pull), but it does mean we can stop obsessing about Dingell.
Earlier at Grist David Roberts criticized the Greenpeace activists protesting Dingell’s recent efforts to block an increase in CAFE standards: Dingell’s dimwitted detractors.
Argh. Silly, gimmicky, irrational crap. If this is what Dingell runs into, it’s no wonder he holds green activists in such contempt. Relative to what Dingell’s proposing, the difference between a 35mpg CAFE (which he supports) and a 45mpg or 50mpg CAFE (which greens support) is meaningless. Utterly and completely trivial. A distraction. If we could get in place a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system, the effects will dwarf minor changes in CAFE. Instead of hectoring Dingell about CAFE, activists should be using their energy to push other legislators to support these bills.

Around the Web: Green Collar Jobs, Water, Emissions Intensity 5

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 13 Aug 2007 17:37:00 GMT

Matt Stoller interviews Congresswoman Hilda Solis on Global Warming and Race at OpenLeft. Rep. Solis is hosting a global warming forum in Los Angeles this week.

Stoller writes:

By turning global warming into a jobs issue, Solis is working to reframe the often depressing and disempowering rhetoric of the environmental movement into language that different groups can get behind. There are interesting and unexpected allies here. A few weeks ago, I accompanied a Sierra Club lobbyist to a visit with freshman Tim Walz, and he’s using the same strategy in his rural Minnesota district – sustainable energy means jobs. Conservative rural residents are now proud of wind turbines, because it means economic growth. The political combination of rural and urban constituency groups is quite potent.

Good Magazine put out an excellent global water supply infographic poster.

Warming Law continues its unparalleled coverage of Massachusetts v. EPA.

Simon Donner takes a look at the question of emissions intensity.

What Is the Hottest Year on Record? 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 10 Aug 2007 17:23:00 GMT

A story on Daily Tech yesterday, with the headline “Years of bad data corrected; 1998 no longer the warmest year on record”, was immediately picked up by Rush Limbaugh:
I’ve got a story here from Reuters that is embargoed until 2 o’clock. I’m tempted to break the embargo, but I probably won’t because I play by the rules. But the basic story – and I’m going to give you the details of this as the program unfolds – one of the central tenets of the global warming hoaxers today is that 1998 was the hottest year in history on record. And that five of the top ten hottest years have been in the last ten years. Five of the hottest years have been in the last ten. It turns out that the statistics, the temperature data that NASA used to compile the temperatures in 1998 is wrong. 1998 was not the hottest year on record. 1934 was. In fact, five of the top ten, I believe, I’m going to have to check this, five of the top ten warmest years on record are in the 30s, during the Dust Bowl era and so forth.
and thence to dozens of conservative websites; Michelle Malkin has a helpful list of links to the dozens of websites repeating the story. Today New York Times’s Opinionator blog repeated the claim, calling the general scientific community “Cassandras”:
A blogger’s recalculation of NASA data puts 1934, not 1998, as the warmest year on record…. Among global warming Cassandras, the fact that 1998 was the “hottest year on record” has always been an article of faith.

These stories are grossly misleading. Steve McIntyre’s correction applied to the surface temperature record of the contiguous lower 48 United States, not the global mean surface temperature record. 19 of the hottest twenty years on record for the planet have come in the last 26 years. 2005 is the hottest year on record, not 1998 (number 2) or 1934 (number 64).

Correcting the US data record was genuine accomplishment by an individual blogger, but of no qualitative consequence.

Older posts: 1 ... 70 71 72 73 74 ... 76