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Tagged : greenhouse-gases

Thom Hartmann documentary ‘Last Hours’ looks at climate change threat

October 22nd, 2013

Nearly all life on Earth could go extinct due to man-made climate change. That’s the main thrust of a new Internet documentary Last Hours, directed by Leila Conners, who also co-wrote the short film with Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks.

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EPA announces new rules for power plant carbon emissions

September 20th, 2013

The US EPA today released its proposal to restrict carbon emissions from new power plants, a major step toward curbing the greenhouse gases forcing climate change.

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DOE Secretary Moniz explains the “all of the above” energy plan and defends natural gas fracking

August 29th, 2013

In his first major policy address since taking over at the Department of Energy, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz sought to explain the administration’s “all of the above” energy plan and answered critics who accuse Obama supporting natural gas development despite concerns that fracking contaminates air and water.

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Rising temperatures, shrinking snowpack fuels Western wildfires

July 12th, 2013

Wildfire trends in the West are clear: there are more large fires burning now than at any time in the past 40 years and the total area burned each year has also increased.

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Let’s start treating climate change like the enemy

May 13th, 2013

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is hovering at a landmark 400 parts per million, a level never before experienced by human beings. Scientists say we’re playing with fire, risking the planet’s future if we don’t start to lower the greenhouse gas levels forcing climate change. How should we react to this news? First, we need to envision climate change more accurately, as a deadly threat.

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Why the ‘China excuse’ to bail out on climate action doesn’t work

March 20th, 2013

For anyone who doesn’t want to reduce carbon emissions, China seems like a great scapegoat. The defenders of the status quo argue that U.S. companies will be at a disadvantage if we tax carbon or invest in clean energy because “China’s not doing anything.” Problem is: It’s not true.

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Carbon emissions declined 23 percent under Northeast U.S. cap-and-trade

June 5th, 2012

Power plants subject to a regional cap-and-trade program in the northeastern U.S. known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 23 percent during the first three years of the program, the…

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2011 was officially the 9th warmest year on record

January 25th, 2012

Warmer than average global surface temperatures in 2011 added up to make the year the 9th warmest on record, or since 1880, when modern record-keeping began, according to NASA.

The finding, according to NASA scientists at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), confirms that the Earth’s temperatures are warming overall, with 9 of the 10 warmest years occurring since 2000. The only 20th Century year in the top ten was 1998. (2005 and 2010 tied for the hottest year(s) on record.)

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European Union may rate Canadian tar sands oil as more polluting

October 28th, 2011

The European Commission may rate oil from Canadian tar sands as more polluting based on studies that show it has a higher carbon footprint than standard crude oil, according to reports from Reuters.
EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told a gathering in Brussels that it is a matter of scientific fact that “oil sands are more CO2-polluting than other kinds of fuel.”
“And therefore we say it should have a specific value. It’s nothing targeted against this particular fuel. We are doing that with all our different biofuels. It’s the same methodology that we are applying for different things in the same directive,” she said.

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Cornell scientists say methane leaks from ‘fracking’ could be worse than emissions from coal and oil

April 12th, 2011

A Cornell review of natural gas extraction methods reveals that ‘fracking’ gas from the Marcellus Shale region of New York and Pennsylvania could release dangerous amounts of methane gas, causing more damage to the atmosphere per pound than even carbon dioxide.

Natural gas, which burns cleaner (producing less carbon dioxide) than gasoline, diesel fuel and coal has been touted as a greener “bridge fuel” that could power cars and replace coal in power plants. Tailpipe emissions from natural gas-powered vehicles emit few greenhouse gases.

But Cornell ecologist Robert Howarth warns that the natural gas extraction or drilling process releases dangerous amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. The methane leakage is the worse when the gas is accessed by the hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ methods that have become popular with the industry. Fracking is a way of teasing out deeply embedded gas deposits using high pressure water injections in wells that run both vertically and horizontally through shale deposits.

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EPA’s Jackson asks Congress: Should ‘politicians overrule scientists on a scientific question’?

February 9th, 2011

The battle over climate change bubbled anew in Washington today as Congressional climate change skeptics, who want to restrict or remove the EPA’s authority to control carbon air pollution, presided over hearings on the issue.

The skeptics, led by Fred Upton, have said that the EPA does not have this authority, unless and until Congress directs and defines such regulation. Only then, should the EPA regulate the climate-changing carbon emissions from coal plants, oil refineries and auto and truck tailpipes.

Defenders of the EPA, though, point out that a core function of the agency is to assure that Americans have clean air and water, and that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA is responsible for setting standards around carbon pollution.

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Climate change more urgent than ever, as Congress cools on taking action

January 17th, 2011

Sadly, as the threat of climate change worsens, U.S. lawmakers move further away from practical solutions.

Last week, NASA reported that 2010 was the second hottest year on record, capping the warmest decade in modern times. Climate change continues, despite our currently frozen fingers as we clear the windshield of ice and snow (these big snowstorms in fact could be part of the pattern of climate change’s more erratic and severe storm systems).

This news of temperatures continue their upward march is no surprise to climate scientists who’ve measured the atmospheric carbon dioxide that’s a key creator of the greenhouse effect here on Earth. Atmospheric CO2 once measured around 250 parts per million before the industrial revolution. Now, after 160 years of burning fossil fuels on an industrial scale, we’re at 390 ppm, well above the comfort zone of 350 ppm and on our way to levels that could be terribly unhealthy for humans. Scientists have set an upper limit of 450 ppm of CO2, above which is a vast unknown and before which, are a series of tipping points that could render the whole discussion moot.

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