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Climate - June 15

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


It's All About Carbon, episodes 1 and 2
(Video)
Robert Krulwich, National Public Radio (NPR)
Animation that explains carbon and fossil fuels, as a prelude to a understanding global warming. Lively cartoon style should appeal to a young audience, but I suspect that a large swath of the public would profit from this basic explanation of the science.
(June 2007)


Nobel Laureate Calls for Post-Kyoto Treaty

Diego Cevallos, Inter Press Service
MEXICO CITY - Large developing nations like China, India and Mexico should sign a new international treaty to curb climate change which must include economic penalties to clamp down on emissions of greenhouse gases, Nobel chemistry laureate Mario Molina said Wednesday.

The necessary changes can only be brought about through an agreement that "puts a cost on emissions" and includes large emerging countries like China, whose emissions will soon match those of the United States, said the Mexican scientist.

Molina gave his talk at the opening of the "Climate Change and the Media" seminar organised in Mexico by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency, as part of an agreement for disseminating information on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were adopted by the international community in 2000.

"Developing countries have the right to expand their economic growth, but not the way the industrialised world did things, by damaging the environment," said Molina. "If they do that, we will need another planet."
(14 June 2007)
Common Dreams.


Gov. Schwarzenegger Tells U.S. EPA of Inevitable Lawsuit on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Waiver

Lou Ann Hammond, carlist.com
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that California will file a lawsuit against the federal government six months and one day after the required notice was originally sent on April 26, 2007. (see letter below)

Last Friday, U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson indicated to the U.S. House of Representatives Special Committee on Global Warming that he will wait until late next year to decide on whether to issue regulations controlling emissions from vehicles.

By announcing the EPA's intention to not act on California 's waiver until late next year, the U.S. EPA is preventing California and other states from taking action to reduce greenhouse gases. Eleven other states have adopted the California standards as their own and six more are now in the process. The group of states makes up about one-third of all US auto sales.
(13 June 2007)


Icy Island Warms to Climate Change

Doug Struck, Washington Post
Greenlanders Exploit 'Gifts From Nature' While Facing New Hardships
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QAQORTOQ, Greenland -- The biggest island in the world is a wind-raked place, gripped by ice over four-fifths of its land, prowled by polar bears, its coastlines choked by drifting icebergs and sea ice. Many of its 56,000 people, who live on the fringes of its giant ice cap, see the effects of global warming -- and cheer it on.

"It's good for me," said Ernst Lund, a lanky young man who is one of 51 farmers raising sheep on the southern tip of Greenland. His animals scramble over the cold granite hills of a dramatic fiord, his farm isolated from the nearest town by a long boat ride threading past drifting mounds of ice, followed by a jolting truck trip along seven miles of gravel road.

"I can keep the sheep out two weeks longer to feed in hills in the autumn. And I can grow more hay. The sheep get fatter," he said.

In few parts of the world is climate change more real -- and personal -- than here. The Arctic is feeling the globe's fastest warming. At a science station in the ice-covered interior of Greenland, average winter temperatures rose nearly 11 degrees Fahrenheit from 1991 to 2003. Winters are shorter, ice is melting, and fish and animals are on the move.

A rapid meltdown and fast-sliding glaciers in Greenland could raise sea levels around the world and flood coastal cities and farmland.

... [Alfred Jakobsen, Greenland's minister of the environment] sees an upside: Global warming could be an opportunity to develop other resources. Four oil companies have applied to explore off shore, mining companies are sniffing out uranium and gold, and two aluminum companies want to build smelting plants and use the gushing glacial meltwater for hydroelectric power.

"Of course there will be negative impacts on the environment," Jakobsen acknowledged. "But we have to have an income. We cannot just be a living zoo. It would be hard for Greenland not to utilize these gifts from nature."
(17 June 2007)

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