wind vs coal jobs

Wind, solar and other renewables offer considerably more employment potential than coal

Coal provides middle-class Americans with less than 100,000 jobs. Wind/ solar/ renewable energy provides these same Americans with well over 500,000 jobs. So, of course, Trump, the Trump administration, and republicans in Congress will focus on increasing incentives for, and eliminating regulations for…the coal industry.

It is exactly this kind of backwards thinking that has government eliminating regulations around the fossil fuel industry’s habit of polluting the environment, as well as dismantling laws forbidding the fossil fuel industry from developing in national parks and the arctic.

These harmful actions are a result of climate change denial, apathy concerning the environment, and the tremendous, ugly greed of Trump, and his goons in the White House, and republicans in Congress. But these governmental policies are also a reflection of the republican voter-at-large who put these people in government.

It is time for both our government and the people that vote these climate change denying, willfully ignorant people into government positions, to open their eyes, and see facts for what they are: facts. The future of employment in the energy sector is obviously renewable energy, not fossil fuels. This article in Mother Jones sums it up perfectly:

Wind [and solar] farms—and the new jobs that come with them—have swept across the Midwest, where coal and traditional manufacturing gigs have vanished. (Despite what President Donald Trump will tell you, coal jobs started to disappear back in the 1980s, when the steel industry began to sink and utilities stopped building new coal-fired power plants.)

In the “wind belt” between Texas and North Dakota, the price of wind energy is finally equal to and in some cases cheaper than that of fossil fuels. Thanks to investments in transmission lines, better computer controls, and more efficient turbines, the cost to US consumers fell two-thirds in just six years, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Still, not all windy states have a turbine-friendly climate. In Wyoming, for example, coal-loving legislators passed a tax on wind energy in 2010 and are also considering penalizing utilities for including renewables in their portfolios.

The next few years will see a showdown between “rural Republicans who really want to get the economic boost [wind & solar, other renewables] offers to their district, versus Republican ideologues who don’t like renewables because they like fossil fuels”—and whose campaign contributions depend on protecting them.

So farmers—and voters —will have to fight for wind [and other renewables] which, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency,  offer the greatest potential for growth in US renewable power generation. In his energy plan, Trump speaks of reviving the country’s “hurting” coal industry and argues that sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America.

We do—and those reserves could lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years, and very few carbon emissions. And if Trump weren’t so fixated on the sputtering coal industry, he might actually see them. (Article by Maddie Oatman)

Maddie Oatman is a story editor at Mother Jones. Read more of her stories here, or catch her on MoJo‘s food politics podcast Bite.

Oslo traffic

Climate Goals: Is Oslo Leading the Way?

Norway is deadly serious in its bid to become the most climate-friendly country in Europe and has aggressively set about managing its emissions levels.

In January 2017 Oslo issued a temporary ban on all diesel cars entering the capital from 6am to 10pm, a move indicative of the increasing worldwide hostile attitudes towards diesel cars. While some applauded the ban others were highly critical, especially as only 10 years ago Norwegians were being actively encouraged and even incentivised to buy “environmentally friendly” diesel cars.

A permanent ban?

There is already a congestion charge for entering Oslo city during the daytime. But in 2015 the city council announced its intention to make Oslo city centre a completely car-free zone by 2019 – that’s only two years away and six years in advance of a country-wide ban. If it does happen it will be the first permanent car-free zone in Europe and the largest of its kind.

The ‘carrot’ in this scenario is the planned boost to public transport and addition of 40 miles of bicycle lanes. The ‘stick’ however is the idea of new tax levies on heavy vehicles registered before 2014 and increased tax on passenger cars, though at the moment there is no indication of whether electric or hybrid cars would be exempt. The city is nonetheless putting its money where its mouth is: it has reportedly begun to remove parking spaces in preparation and is divesting fossil fuels from its pension funds.

Tackling pollution from cars head-on

Looking at the wider picture, the Norwegian government plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, and eventually only allow zero emission new cars to be registered. It already offers aggressive incentives for drivers to buy plug-in electric cars. In 2016 29% of new car sales in Norway were plug-in electric, and in January 2017 that number was 37.5%. Over the last few years Norway has been the only country in the world where all-electric vehicles have regularly topped the monthly rankings for new car sales.

The rest of Europe is watching

It’s easy to see the attractions of a car free zone. Apart from obvious improvements in air quality, newly emptied roads can be rededicated as sidewalks, cafes and public parks. After all a car is the most inefficient way to get around a city. Traffic in London today moves slower than the average cyclist and commuters in Los Angeles spend 90 hours per year in traffic.

Of course, the total car ban in Oslo has its critics. The council point out the proposed car-free zone is home to only about 1,000 residents but 90,000 workers. Commercial organizations, however, complain that area includes 11 of the city’s 57 shopping centres, so trade would be drastically affected. Not just from a possible drop in shopper numbers, but difficulties in getting deliveries if lorries have to meet stricter emissions levels.

Other European capitals are watching Oslo closely. If successful, then the car-free zone could provide the blueprint for others to follow suit, making city centres a better place for everyone.

For more information, please see: fortune.com/2016/06/04/norway-banning-gas-cars-2025/

Anaerobic digestion solution for waste & energy

Anaerobic digestion

Anaerobic digestion (AD) can be used for farms, businesses and municipalities as a productive solution to a growing waste problem throughout the world. In addition to AD, waste-to-energy is done in landfills using landfill refuse and landfill gases (such as methane). The use of AD in a biomass plant is a cost-effective way to produce renewable energy. AD also leads to less landfill waste and is a constructive way for farms, businesses and municipalities to dispose of waste. AD is the process of turning agricultural waste (such as livestock manure), wastewater, or municipal, commercial and industrial waste streams (such as food processing waste), into energy. AD uses micro-organisms to break down organic material and create biogas (biogas consists mostly of methane and CO2).

Instead of waste simply ending up in landfills, or being incinerated, waste can be turned into energy. Farms can be entirely powered by waste from their livestock, food waste and wastewater. Use of AD can make also make wastewater treatment facilities energy neutral or even energy positive, translating to huge cost savings for municipalities.

Organic waste finds a purpose in an AD biogas plant, as it is put in a digester, along with various types of micro-organisms (enzymes, bacteria etc…), to transform the waste into energy (methanation). The molecules of the organic material are broken down in the plant into a useful form like glucose. The “digested” raw material is then used to create biogas (and digestate which can be used as fertilizer).

The biogas can then be purified (and also optionally be upgraded with hydrogen) and turned into pipeline-quality synthetic natural gas for the grid. Biogas can also be turned into compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles. The anaerobic process also occurs naturally (as in landfills), in addition to the man-made construct in a biomass plant.

An anaerobic digester and biomass plant generate biogas (and/ or biomethane) which can be burned on-site to generate heat, power or both (so, combined heat and power – CHP). AD is mostly used by farms and wastewater treatment facilities for on-site electrical and heating generation, although it can also be used in a variety of other applications. Biogas can also be purposed as an energy source for the grid when purified, and turned into pipeline-quality synthetic natural gas (or turned into biomethane and used for heat or transportation as CNG). Also produced in the process is digestate, which is a source of nutrients that can be used as a fertilizer.

Biogas can also be upgraded with hydrogen, combining the outputs of a biogas plant and an electrolyzer, creating biomethane. Like conventional natural gas, biomethane can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG), or liquefied natural gas (LNG). When biogas is used for heat or transportation, as biomethane, CNG, (biomethane – CNG – can be used in place of diesel, given modifications to the vehicles in question), there are tremendous greenhouse gas reductions.

The entire bus fleet in Oslo, Norway, is run on CNG from sewage treatment and organic waste, and they see a dramatic (around 70%) reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to fossil fuel burning vehicles. Food waste and other waste processed through AD also brings the benefit of reducing GHG emissions substantially by reducing landfill waste. When AD is used for on-site electrical generation, energy generation for a municipality, farm or wastewater facility, GHG emissions overall are greatly reduced. Energy produced by AD has a very low overall carbon footprint.

Poplars AD plant

Poplars AD plant

The AD plant at Cannock, Staffordshire, England (called the Poplars AD plant) is an example of a successful, large-scale AD plant. The £24 million project treats commercial and industrial food and waste to create, through methanation, around 6MW of renewable energy, synthetic natural gas, for the national grid. The Poplar plant shows that a large-scale anaerobic digestion project is viable. AD has been successful in many commercial operations as well. For example in Orlando, Florida, food waste sourced primarily from the Walt Disney World Resort is fed through an anaerobic digester, producing enough electricity to meet the needs of over 16,000 homes.

Please see: renewable energy: biomass and biofuel

Gasification – syngas from fossil fuels and environmentally friendly versions

Algae : the future of biofuel

Cellulosic biofuel – one fuel option

The Block Island Wind Farm

The Block Island Wind Farm – America’s ONLY operational offshore wind farm

The Block Island Wind Farm, in Rhode Island, ACTUALLY is America’s ONLY operational offshore wind farm. This wind farm was built by Deepwater Wind for $300 million, and is 4 miles off the coast of Block Island, RI. – CLICK FOR MORE INFO. ON THE:  Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm

It is only 30 MW. In comparison, the London Array offshore wind farm is 630 megawatts and powers “half a million UK homes every year, which works out to two-thirds of the homes in Kent”.(source :http://www.greencitytimes.com/Sustainability-News/london-array-paving-the-way-for-efficient-wind-energy-farms.html)

blockisle

Scotland recently powered most of their country with wind energy, along with countries like Germany, Denmark, and Ireland (and much of that is offshore wind energy – 5-countries-leading-the-way-toward-100-renewable-energy)

Americans who discount offshore wind energy (or wind energy in general), in favor of an energy mix including dirty fossil fuels, might want to consider this energy source as a higher priority. What do you think?

solar pv

12 Surprising Ways You Can Help the Environment

It’s not hard to combat climate change and help the environment at the same time. By doing just a few things differently every day, you can be kind to the planet. Here are 12 things you can do to help the environment:

  1. Re-use the Same Glass/ Use Reusable Water Bottles & Mugs

Every time you run the dishwasher, you use valuable energy and water. Cutting down on the number of wash cycles you run is a great way to conserve those resources. Get in the habit of only using one or two glasses each day. If you’re refilling it with water over and over again, there’s no need to wash it out. The same goes for coffee and tea cups.

  1. Start a Compost Pile

We create an incredible amount of natural waste through peels, shells, other food/ garden waste and grounds. Instead of tossing all that in the trash, start a compost pile and recycle it in your yard.

  1. Use Energy Star Appliances

Appliances that require less than a specific amount of energy when compared to their traditional counterparts, receive an Energy Star mark, indicating to the consumer that the item in question will reduce energy consumption when compared to items not carrying the label. Certain products have additional stipulations that must be met in order to receive the Energy Star mark.

energy-star-logo

  1. Turn off faucets when not using water

Save water by running faucets only when you really use water.

  1. Stamp Out Energy Vampires

Unplug any appliances that you’re not using, including electronic devices like computers. Use smart electric power strips when you can, or power strips you can turn on/ off manually. Don’t keep chargers plugged in, either. These all suck up energy even when they’re not in use.

  1. Stay in For Dinner

From the gas your car uses to bring you to the restaurant to the trucks needed to deliver the food to the kitchen, dining out is a major cause of environmental distress.

  1. Buy Local

Go to a farmer’s market rather than the grocery store for your produce. It will taste fresher and you’ll be supporting local companies rather than gas-sucking national ones.

  1. Turn Out the Lights/ Use Eco-friendly Lights

Turn off the lights in rooms/ patios when you’re done using them. Use energy efficient CFL or LED lights when you can.

led4

  1. BYOB

Not bring your own beer, but rather bring your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store to reduce the number of plastic bags floating around.

  1. Recycle

Yes, you’ve probably been recycling your soda cans and milk jugs for decades, but did you know you can also recycle batteries? TVs and cell phones? Cardboard? Old sneakers?

clearview-domed-recyling-bins

  1. Grow a Garden

The planet likes it when you grow things. It helps filter out bad air and is a great sustainable practice. Plus, you can’t beat a home-grown tomato or herbs.

  1. Go Solar

If you’re not ready for solar panels on your roof, try solar garden/ patio lights to get your feet wet. Also, depending on your location, you might have community solar available in your neighborhood or clean energy/ renewable power options available from your utility.

This post is by:

James White Freelance Writer

Website: http://www.infobros.com

carbon reduction plan

The battle against climate change: national carbon reduction goals

As part of the ongoing battle against climate change, numerous countries in the developed world have set themselves carbon reduction goals. They’re fairly self-explanatory; by a certain year, a certain nation aims to have reduced its carbon emissions by a certain amount compared to a previous, certain year.

Essentially every major country has joined in, but are any of them doing enough? Analysis by the CAT Consortium’s ‘Climate Action Tracker‘ suggests that none of the world’s great powers are coming close to leading the way on carbon reduction as you might expect, and in fact it is smaller countries that are achieving the most impressive things in this area. This odd disparity needs to be investigated further.

First of all, let’s take a look at the promises made by various major states. In March 2015, President Obama confirmed that the United States aims to cut its emissions by 26-28% by 2025, in comparison to 2005 levels. The EU demands a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2030, and this is not merely an aim either; it’s legally binding.

The really good aspect of the EU’s current carbon reduction plan is that it should dramatically overachieve on its commitments made for the Kyoto Protocol, but less promising is that it doesn’t look likely to meet its more ambitious Copenhagen Pledge, which aimed to reduce emission levels by 30% from 1990 levels by 2020. Once one of these high profile pledges has been broken, you start to have less faith that others of them will be achieved.

Ahead of the Paris United Framework Climate Change Conference in 2015, China announced it would be cutting its carbon emissions by a sizeable 60-65% compared to its 2005 level. While this may be a lot more than the other states included in this article, China is of course comfortably the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas, and its attempts to meet its carbon intensity targets are so ineffective that they would be rated ‘inadequate’ by the Climate Action Tracker if taken in isolation.

India intends its carbon emissions to be between 33-35% lower in 2030 than they were in 2005. They also intend to generation additional forest and tree cover, but on this and indeed their overall emissions targets, India can be alarmingly vague on how it plans to achieve them. Elsewhere, Australia targets a 26-28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030, and Canada has set a 30% reduction target from 2005 by 2030.

This excel spreadsheet lists NDC* targets by country:

Nationally Determined Contribution

Table of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions from selected countries

Many of these figures sound fairly impressive. Considering how overwhelming swathes of the world are currently powered in not particularly environmentally friendly ways, numbers like 30-35% sound like ambitious targets from nations prepared to make sacrifices in order to safeguard the future for generations to come.

But all is not as it seems. Campaign group The CAT Consortium run the Climate Action Tracker, which grades each nation on how useful its promises actually are. The results are not good. None of the countries listed above are rated higher than a ‘medium’ on their scale, and Australia and Canada are deemed ‘inadequate.’ The five countries whose reduction targets have been deemed ‘sufficient’ by the Climate Action Tracker are Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Morocco and the Gambia.

Major countries like the United States are simply not pulling their weight. Their Nationally Determined Contribution towards limiting climate change to an increase below 2°c will not be enough unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort. The CAT is particularly scathing about Australia, whose environmental policies are entirely at odds with its commitments.

If it keeps going at its current rate, Australia’s carbon emissions in 2030 will, astonishingly, be 27% higher than 2005 levels. In 2014, the Australian government abolished its Clean Energy Future Plan, which was going some way to helping the country meet its targets. If most countries mistakenly followed Australia’s example, global warming would comfortably exceed 3-4°c.

Of course, there are pressures that come with being a massive global economy that nations like Bhutan and Morocco don’t face, but that’s no excuse for the broken promises, nor the lack of ambition. Costa Rica’s targets are at the most ambitious end of its fair contribution. The United States’s targets are at the least ambitious end.

Why are smaller nations putting in the most amount of effort? Perhaps the most developed nations in the world, having grown used to a comfortable lifestyle, find it hard to comprehend the sheer destruction that climate change could cause; that’s the most logical conclusion when you see the disparity in the figures.

Our day to day lives are fairly easy- we wake up in homes that are well heated or air conditioned depending on the weather, food stocks are plentiful when we go to stores, electricity is available on demand anywhere we go. All of these things could change if global warming takes full effect, but we take them for granted and perhaps don’t truly believe deep down that they will ever change. These comforts have been there for us since we were born, so surely they will still be there when we die? Well, unfortunately not.

For this reason, environmentally conscious people living in nations deemed ‘inadequate’ or merely ‘medium’ need to be hyper vigilant about holding their ruling class to promises made about carbon emissions reduction, and cajoling them to go further still. In the long run, this is the only way to maintain a standard of living similar to what we enjoy today. Climate change is the most pressing problem posed to the planet, and unless we take an enthusiastic role in stopping it, we will one day rue the consequences. Does our generation want to be remembered for the planet’s destruction?

*NDC= Nationally Determined Contribution

solar concentrating plant

The largest solar concentrating plant in the world

Jointly owned by NRG Energy, Google, and BrightSource Energy, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) sprawls across the California and Nevada border in the Mojave Desert. Ivanpah is a “hybrid solar plant”, relying on both solar power and power from natural gas. Ivanpah began operations in 2014 is still considered the largest concentrated solar plant (CSP) in the world, with facilities that stretch over 3,500 acres (development of CSP plants that will surpass the size of ISEGS are underway in Morocco and Dubai, but the entire Morocco plant won’t come online for a couple of years, and the Dubai plant not until well after that). The 377 to 400 megawatt ISEGS solar complex is revolutionizing the solar energy industry, proving that large scale renewable energy projects are not only possible, but can both thrive and surpass expectations.

With a complex including three CSP plants, ISEGS produces enough clean, renewable electricity to power 140,000 homes during peak hours, and almost double that amount during off peak hours. In fact, ISEGS produces double the amount of commercial solar thermal energy than any other plant in the United States.

ISEGS officially broke ground on October 27, 2010 and opened for business in February of 2014. Despite being one large complex, the project was actually broken down into three separate plants, each with their own 400-plus foot tower affixed with water filled receivers/ boilers. The specific technology used is known as Luz Power Tower 550, which was developed by BrightSource Energy with the goal of creating a unique take on traditional energy generation that harnessed and increased the power of the sun.

Ivanpah covers 3,500 acres, and each plant relies on solar receivers filled with water nestled atop the towers (as well as natural gas). By using 300,000 mirrors, known as heliostats, to increase the sun’s energy and reflect the light directly onto the solar receivers at strategic angles, the water in the receivers is heated to such high temperatures that it dissolves into steam. From here, the steam is then piped into a conventional turbine to generate electricity, which feeds into the power lines connected to the adjacent communities.

This large scale renewable energy project eliminates 450,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent to removing 70,000 cars from the road.  And because the complex uses dry cooling to condense the steam, it consumes significantly less water than similar steam-powered plants. However, when it’s cloudy, or the sunshine is otherwise not readily available, the plant is able to run on natural gas, as well as the stored thermal energy from the solar concentrating power system.

Awarded Plant of the Year by POWER Magazine in 2014, the Ivanpah complex is proof that large-scale renewable energy projects are not only possible, but efficient as well. This massive complex was constructed in just 4 years, added jobs and funds to a somewhat dwindling economy, and is already dramatically reducing the amount of carbon emissions pumped into the atmosphere.

Please see: http://www.greencitytimes.com/Sustainability-News/ivanpah-solar-electric-generating-system.html

donald trump's ireland golf course

Trump’s push for a seawall on his Irish golf course – due to CLIMATE CHANGE

Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, in County Clare, home of Doonbeg Golf Links course, a course Trump owns in Ireland. [ABOVE]

Donald Trump wants to build a seawall to protect one of his golf courses (in Ireland) due to, of all things, the rising sea levels that will undoubtedly result from climate change. He is a huge climate change denier, but global warming will cause rising sea levels and an increase in extreme weather events that will, in all certainty, threaten his ocean-front golf course in Ireland -(http://time.com/4345367/donald-trump-climate-change-golf-course/).

 Yet, global warming is a “hoax”? Hmmm, how does THAT work?

 Donald Trump and his campaign is entirely reactive and then pandering. Of course global warming is a hoax because many of his voters believe it’s a hoax. But his rhetoric is more like a bad tick. Many of his voters are xenophobic, or even outright bigots (sorry to those Donald Trump supporters who are sincerely what you would call good people) – (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/06/racial-anxiety-is-a-huge-driver-of-support-for-donald-trump-two-new-studies-find).

If he and his campaign feel that his supporters will like a speech that day around anti-immigration, or “closing off the borders”, that’s what they will do. If his completely ignorant views on climate change seem like good fodder for his supporters, that day, that will be included in the day’s speech. Facts notwithstanding.

 Facts are not apparently important to Trump or Trump’s campaign. Money is. Power is. The truth behind Trump’s motive to try and defund climate initiatives and play ignorant to climate science is that, that is what his voters want to hear. Science, facts and even common sense play no role in Trump’s rhetoric. He plays off people’s ignorance, gullibility and fear – entirely.

world-water-day-polluted-drinking-water-a-serious-threat-to-public-health

6 ways to aid the world water crisis

How important is clean drinking and potable water for household use? 1/3 of the world’s population doesn’t have access to clean drinking water. The water used for cooking, cleaning and bathing must also be clean, as many diseases (especially in developing countries) are water-borne diseases, from bacteria or other microorganisms in unclean water (see: http://globalhydration.com/resources/waterbone-disease). In fact, over 10% of the world’s population doesn’t even have access to clean potable water. Meanwhile, over 70% of the earth is covered in water.

water nano-water filter

1(a). The most immediate way to help the world water crisis is to provide filters to people who lack clean water, primarily to the 3rd world and low-income people of the world. This takes relief funds, both established by governments and private charities. There are many promising and emerging water purification technologies such as LifeStraw. “LifeStraw technology was originally introduced in 2005 as an emergency response tool to filter water…” (http://lifestraw.com)

(more clean water technologies are described here)- http://www.cleverism.com/water-purification-new-technologies-change-world/

Established, available filter technologies also range from: activated charcoal (or other carbon-based materials) to new nanotechnologies which use materials such as graphene, silver and titanium which are made into microscopic filtration membranes. There are a variety of very promising uses of graphene in newly designed and developed filters -(https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/07/can-graphene-make-the-worlds-water-clean/).

More media on nanotechnologies (including graphene materials used in combination with other nanomaterials):

Another great example of the use of graphene in water filters and water systems comes from the company G2O: http://g2o.co/

“G2O’s graphene filter technology addressing a $2Bn market and reducing energy costs by up to 97%. In addition to use in filter technologies, this company sees applications for its graphene technology in:

  • Environmental maritime applications in aquaculture and oil & gas production
  • Drain water and waste water management
  • Desalination of seawater”

1(b). Develop more water treatment (storm water, river/ stream/ lake water, industrial use water, sewage) plants (http://www.waterworld.com/waste-water/treatment.html)

clean_waterdrop_Fotolia2. Improve and create new rainwater collection systems such as the ones found here: http://www.rainharvest.com/

3. Water reclamation:

desalination

4. Develop more desalination plants…(please check the desalination article on our website: desalination-clean-water-for-a-thirsty-world and also http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/27/desalination-quest-quench-worlds-thirst-water

5. Improve water infrastructure (reservoirs, aqueducts, piping networks…) and 6. Utilities (especially in 3rd world countries) to further develop the use of micro-payments via mobile/ smart phones (also great for solar electricity, in addition to water)

world energy mix

Shortfall in International GHG Pledges

There is a shortfall between the pledges that the nearly 200 countries independently, and internationally as a whole, have made at the COP 21 in Paris last November, compared to the reality of what the planet has in its future. There is also a genuine effort to limit global temperature rise to 2 degree celsius average global temperature increase above the normal numbers (using historical numbers as a baseline for comparison) by the end of this century – the number that represents saving the planet from the worst effects of climate change.

In order to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change, the international community has pledged, in Paris, to increase the use of such sustainability technologies as renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, while decreasing fossil fuel use, in order to mitigate GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions…emissions which lead to global temperature rise. The idea is to keep global temperature rise to under 2 degrees celsius above normal (compared to historical values) by the end of this century.

scoreboard banner: result of international climate change action

The reality is that the average global temperature rise will be significantly greater than what was promised at Paris. A 5-8+ degrees fahrenheit rise in average temperature would result if the world simply maintains the status quo. The pledges in Paris, as well as actions by nations and private investors before and after COP21, demonstrate a genuine global effort in the research, development and effective use of sustainable technologies and measures. Of course, this is great, but global temperature rise still will be over the global temperature goals committed to in Paris.

In other words, at least 2+ degrees celsius change over the acceptable 2 degrees limit by the end of this century will result, even if all pledges by all countries are actually met. Even in this positive scenario (and the best-case scenario discribed below), as of now, there is still a shortfall – this NYTimes infographic clearly illustrates this problem — http://tinyurl.com/gct333

If all nearly 200 nations keep all of their promises from COP21, temperature rise will be limited to just 0.035°C (0.063°F) annually (best case). Even if every government on the planet that participated not only keeps every Paris promise, reduces all emissions as promised by 2030 (2030 was the year of note discussed in Paris), and shifts no emissions to other countries, but also keeps these emission reductions going throughout the rest of the century, temperature rise will be kept to just 3°C (5.4°F) by the year 2100.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan, his moratorium on drilling for oil in the Atlantic, the U.S.’s 3 year moratorium on building coal mines on federal land, China’s 3 year ban on building new coal mines, and their shutting down of thousands of older coal power plants are all very positive signs. Other promising signs include the U.S.’s increased development and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies (as well as in China, India and much of the developing world). Europe has been leading the way for many years, in many respects, in terms of sustainability technologies. However, optimism, in the face of the undeniable math of climate change which clearly tells us more needs to be done, should be weighed carefully against climate change realities.

Green City Times is a resource on sustainability, urban planning, renewable energy, sustainable mass transportation, energy efficiency and green building. Find facts on renewable energy including: hydroelectric (from dams, mills, waves, currents and tides), solar, wind, geothermal, biomass (and biofuel). Also get info. about everything from recycling to clean coal…

You will discover information on 7 of the world’s most sustainable cities. Green City Times also features articles on the latest sustainability technology. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GCityTimes
Twitter: https:[email protected]

http://www.greencitytimes.com

For more on Green City Times, please see: https://about.me/gctimes