Thursday, October 02, 2008

Action Plan

We need to act now!

It has been known for decades that global warming is a problem. Over time, it has become increasingly clear that greenhouse gases must be reduced to avoid catastrophe.

Global Warming - Red Alert!
February 15, 2009
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has in many respects underestimated the severity of global warming and the speed at which it strikes. "From 2000 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions . . . more

Dangers of Global Warming - Update
April 16, 2008
After publication of Ten Dangers of Global Warming , now more than a year ago, some said that the article was 'alarmist' and had 'dramatized' the impact of global warming. After the Intergovernmental . . . more

Black carbon underestimated in global warming, study says
April 10, 2008

Black carbon has a warming effect in the atmosphere three to four times greater than prevailing estimates, according to a review study in the journal Nature Geoscience. According to the study, . . . more

Cut carbon to 350 ppm, says James Hansen
April 08, 2008
Global warming has plunged the planet into a crisis and the fossil fuel industries are trying to hide the extent of the problem from the public, NASA's top climate scientist says. "The problem . . . more

Antarctic ice shelf collapse
March 27, 2008
A huge ice shelf, measuring 5,282 square miles (13,680 square kilometers), has begun to collapse because of rapid climate change on Antarctica. The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a broad plate of permanent floating . . . more

Venus' runaway greenhouse effect a warning for Earth
November 28, 2007
Venus was transformed from a haven for water to a fiery hell by an runaway greenhouse effect, concludes the European Space Agency (ESA), after studying data from the Venus . . . more

Ten Dangers of Global Warming
March 07, 2007
Let's have a look at the many concerns and dangers associated with global warming and the resulting changes in climate around the world. I've tentatively grouped them into ten points. . . . more

Blueprint of a Sustainable Economy

There's no need to wait for new technologies to emerge. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. Ways to reduce greenhouse gas emission have been around for decades. What's needed is a global commitment to reduce emissions, backed up by a post-Kyoto international agreement articulating the threat of trade sanctions (such as tariffs) to ensure that all countries make the effort to meet reduction targets. Local areas can each decide how to meet their targets. Emissions can be most effectively reduced by implementing feebates tailored to discourage specific activities, while encouraging better alternatives. Apart from reducing emissions, government should also look at ways to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as pictured on the image below:

Four Cycles of a Sustainable Economy
January 13, 2009
We're all familiar with the idea that we're running out of scarce resources. We just cannot continue to keep drilling and mining for more fossil fuel, metals and other resources. . . .more

California's Climate Change Proposals
November 25, 2008
As California recovers from wildfires , a study by researchers at University of California-Berkeley finds that global warming will have a broad and devastating impact on California's economy over . . .more

Removing carbon from air - Discovery Channel
October 23, 2008
Professor David Keith of the University of Calgary is working on a device that removes carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from ambient air. Keith has built a tower, 4 feet wide and 20 feet tall, with a fan at the bottom that sucks air in. Keith expects the air coming out at the top to have about 50% less CO2 than the air coming in. . .more

Global warming action - discussing alternatives
June 09, 2008
The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act was defeated in the Senate last Friday. As CNN reports, President Bush said he would have vetoed the Senate bill anyway . . . more

The Hydrogen Economy - effective policies needed
May 31, 2008
On June 25, 2003, the United States and the European Union agreed to collaborate on the acceleration of the development of the Hydrogen Economy. Billions of dollars were . . . more

A national bottle recycling bill
May 05, 2008
We may soon have a national surcharge on drink containers. The idea is that this will encourage people to recycle drink bottles and cans. When the bottles and cans are brought to recycling centers, the . . . more

An 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020
March 18, 2008
Virtually all countries have ratified the Kyoto protocol. Yet, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are rising even faster than the worst-case estimates by the IPCC . . . more

A Framework of Greenhouse Gas FeeBates
March 06, 2008
The best way to deal with global warming is a FeeBate policy. This works fast and effectively, is ideology- and budget-neutral and has the least risk of feeding a wasteful bureaucracy. In essence, a . . . more

Reinventing the Wheel
February 22, 2008
The image on the left shows the Anderson Mill, in Travis County, Texas, which was built in the 1850s as a corn mill. Since ancient times, waterwheels and wind mills have . . . more

Tariffs on imports from polluting countries?
February 16, 2008
Last month, the European Union (EU) threatened to impose tariffs on products from countries such as the US and China, if those countries didn't comply with European plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. . . more

Ten Recommendations to deal with global warming
April 08, 2007
There are many things we can all do to reduce our contributions to global warming. Here are ten things politicians can do now to make a difference: 1. Tax energy supply that adds . . . more

Energy and Security

The most effective way to achieve the necessary change is by imposing fees on fossil fuel, while using the proceeds to fund rebates on local facilities that provide clean and safe energy. Nuclear power is not clean and not safe. Nuclear power plants also stand in the way of a more distributed grid and hold back the clean and safe alternatives that are needed instead, such as solar and wind power. Nuclear technology is not an option in military respects either.

Algae Bags
April 30, 2009
NASA scientists are proposing algae bags as a way to produce renewable energy that does not compete with agriculture for land or fresh water. It uses algae to produce biofuel from sewage . . . more

CETO Wave Power combined with Desalination
January 28, 2009
CETO - wave power using air-filled buoys that float in the sea. As waves go up and down, buoys pull pistons up and down inside underwater pipes, pushing seawater onshore . . . more

Solar Power News - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
December 03, 2008
To capture more sunlight, solar panels are typically positioned to face the sun as best as possible. More expensive solar arrays are mechanized to slowly move . . . more

November 19, 2008
Extract: As we shift away from fossil fuel and as the number of wind turbines increases, more and more people are calling for a Supergrid - high capacity links carrying electricity between the major . . .more

 Hawaii Electric cars - perfect fit for Hawaii
October 6, 2008
Last month, Hawaii received $1.7 million in grants to modernize its electric grids to accommodate an influx of renewable energy, with an eye toward electric cars. Why Hawaii? The geothermal power plant . . . more

Off-shore drilling - a failed political stunt!
August 13, 2008
Off-shore drilling is a stunt! The perceived need for off-shore drilling is a stunt designed to make it look as if McCain was making efforts to lower oil prices. Oil companies have until now rarely even . . . more

Breakthroughs open door to Hydrogen Economy
August 01, 2008
Two studies published in the July 31 issue of Science help open the door to the hydrogen economy by eliminating the need for platinum in electrolyzers and fuel cells . . .

V2G - Vehicle to Grid
May 22, 2008
Rising Sun for Electric Cars Originally published 04/22/08 (Earth Day) by Roy Morrison in Policy Innovations Earth Day 2008 is a time to ask: Is my sustainability work consonant . . . more

Topaz Solar Farm - 550-megawatt
May 04, 2008
OptiSolar is developing a 550-megawatt photovoltaic solar farm on the northwestern corner of Carrisa Plains, some 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The project will produce enough electricity to power . . .

Solar panels on roofs of commercial buildings
April 01, 2008
Southern California Edison (SCE) on March 27, 2008, asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval to install photovoltaic solar panels . . . more

Global treaty banning nuclear weapons
March 21, 2008
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that France will reduce its number of airborne nuclear weapons by one third, leaving France with fewer than 300 warheads, mostly on submarines.. . more

Power plant emissions unlawful
February 09, 2008
On Friday, a US federal appeals court in Washington ruled that a policy by the Bush administration that exempted coal- and oil-fired power plants from regulations on emissions of mercury and other hazardous . . . more

The Distributed Grid
January 15, 2008

Electric vehicles can cut greenhouse gas emissions in two ways. They are clean and efficient. By acting as storage capacity, they can also make the electric grid more efficient. Electric cars are . . . more

 EV FAQs Let electric vehicles power homes!
December 24, 2007
Can electric vehicles supply power to homes? The short answer is yes! Electric vehicles can be connected to the electric grid, not only to draw electricity from the grid (in order to recharge their . . . more

Hydrogen Fuel Cell chosen to power Lighthouse
November 06, 2007
For several months now, a hydrogen fuel cell has been quietly powering the light at the historic South Gare lighthouse, which can be seen from 25 miles out to sea. The lighthouse . . .

A Global Treaty Banning All Nuclear Weapons
October 30, 2007

Russia and the United States just issued a joint declaration urging other countries to join their Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). It is now almost 20 years ago that . . . more

More Wind Power!
October 01, 2007
Globally, wind power generation more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006. But while wind power is making steady progress in Europe, the U.S. gets less than 1% of its electricity from wind power, Spain . . . more

The Nuclear Delusion
September 29, 2007
Last Friday, President George W. Bush urged delegates of the world's 16 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases to agree on an approach to deal with global warming. "By next summer, we will . . . more

Split up Iraq now!
September 15, 2007
It's time to think about an exit strategy for Iraq. In my view, it would be best to split up Iraq into three separate nations, one for the Sunnis, one for the Shiites and one for the Kurds. This should . . . more


Vehicles, ships and planes should be powered by electricity, instead of by fossil fuel. Surplus electricity from solar facilities and wind turbines can be stored in batteries or in the form of hydrogen. Such stored electricity can in turn be fed into the grid to help out at times of peak demand. This shift can be most effectively achieved by imposing tailored feebates, such as fees on the sales of gasoline cars, with the proceeds used to fund rebates on sales of electric cars or on conversions to electric cars.

 Feebates Beijing's policy to combat pollution from vehicles
January 4, 2009
In Beijing, measures have been introduced to phase out vehicles that cause heavy pollution, combined with financial incentives to facilitate the shift to cleaner vehicles. . . more

$1 billion for Electric Cars in San Francisco Bay
November 21, 2008
A $1 billion plan proposed by Better Place for the San Francisco Bay Area has been endorsed by the Bay Area's big-city mayors, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, . . . more

China's BYD to launch green cars
October 12, 2008
Investor Warren Buffett recently invested $230 million to take a 10% stake in BYD. Reason enough to take a closer look at BYD. Shenzhen-based BYD (build your dreams) is China's largest battery . . . more

 Electric Helicopter The Electric HelicopterOctober 09, 2008
The electric helicopter pictured below is an invention of Sean Herbert, who started testing the concept two years ago. With Sydney-based Wieland Helicopter Technologies, Sean has now developed an range . . . more

 Toyota Toyota to launch electric car
September 01, 2008
All-electric cars Toyota has announced plans to launch an electric car. It will be an all-electric car (rather than a hybrid) and it will be a small car, limited to commuting or city driving, powered . . .

 Vélib' Electric Vehicles for hire in Paris
June 22, 2008
Since July 2007, a program called Vélib' has dotted Paris with 10,000 electric hire-bicycles, stationed in 750 bike ranks. To drive them, you'll need a one-year membership, which can . . . more

Japan Post gets electric cars
June 03, 2008
Starting this fiscal year, Japan Post Service Co. will gradually introduce electric cars to replace and eventually phase out its current fleet of automobiles over the next eight years. The company . . . more

The Mitsubishi i MiEV Electric Minivan
April 20, 2008
Last month, at the New York International Automobile Show, Mitsubishi displayed the i MiEV (i indicates it's a minivan, while MIEV stands for M itsubishi i nnovative E lectric V ehicle). Mitsubishi . . . more

Boeing successfully flies hydrogen-powered plane
April 04, 2008
Boeing announced that it has successfully conducted test flights of a manned airplane powered by hydrogen fuel cells. A two-seater Dimona plane with . . . more

Cheap electric cars - part 2
April 03, 2008
In November 2007, I wrote an article about Project Better Place , which was planning to deliver subsidized electric vehicles, while recovering costs through a network of recharging points and battery . . . more

Shipping emissions grossly underestimated
February 14, 2008
Shipping emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) are underestimated by as much as three times, according to the British daily Guardian, which quotes a new study that shows that annual emissions from the . . . more

 Electric Lightning Electric Lightning!
December 25, 2007
The Lightning car company has released new electric cars in the UK. The electric Lightning GT and Sports versions are now available to pre-order. Reservations for the first cars (2008 delivery) . . . more

Heavyweight Electric Vehicles
December 17, 2007
Electric vehicles have many advantages, such as little maintenance, gear changes, noise and fumes, and - of course - no emissions, if powered with electricity from clean sources. Batteries can be expensive . . . more

 Tesla Roadster Tesla Roadster
December 09, 2007
The Tesla Roadster is an all-electric car with some very impressive specs: - Acceleration 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds - Top Speed of over 125 mph - Range of 245 miles on one . . . more

Iceland - The world's first hydrogen society
November 10, 2007
The commitment of Iceland towards creating the world's first hydrogen society has reached new heights with project SMART-H2 (Sustainable Marine and Road Transport - Hydrogen). Fuel cell . . . more

Cheap electric cars
November 07, 2007
Would you like to get a cheap electric car? Project Better Place has raised more than $200 million in funding to source electric cars and batteries for a network of charging spots and battery exchange . . . more

Wild Green Yonder
November 02, 2007
Boeing recently announced that it will have a hydrogen plane in the air later this year. The Boeing Fuel Cell Demonstrator Airplane is scheduled to fly at an altitude of about 2,000 feet (610 meters). . . . more

Hydrogen can power airplanes without greenhouse gas emissions
October 21, 2007
Aviation, both civil and military, together with the space industry generates an enormous amount of greenhouse gases, due to the fossil fuels burned by the planes, . . . more

Hydrogen cars
September 28, 2007
Kia has been testing hydrogen fuel-cell cars and buses for some time, both in Korea and in the US, in California and Michigan. Kia has developed its 4×4 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) platform . . . more

Land and Food

Growing food, cooking food and handling organic waste should get more attention. Agricultural soils can become carbon sinks, organic waste can improve soil fertility and water retention.

Soil as carbon sink
June 02, 2008
The Earth's soil can act as a huge carbon sink. One way to store more carbon is by inserting AgriChar into the soil, i.e. carbon produced from biowaste. Another way is to store carbon in the soil . . . more

May 18, 2008
Some people claim that say that world population is "exploding" and that "overpopulation should be tackled", supposedly to deal with both food shortages and global warming. OK, the . . . more

Save the Rainforest
May 17, 2008
World biodiversity has declined by almost one third in the past 35 years due mainly to habitat loss and the wildlife trade, according to a Reuters report on the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and . . . more

Introducing Solar Cooking to the World
February 18, 2008
As we all know, we should end the practices of burning forests and clearing land for farming, for urban expansion and for road construction. Big companies are often blamed for this . . . more

October 06, 2007
Most households only use one or at most two different rubbish bins, one for recyclables (paper & packaging) and one for general waste. It makes a lot of sense to add a third type of rubbish bin, . . . more

Tax the sale of meat!
September 21, 2007
There are many ethical objections one can have against slaughtering animals and eating them. Vegetarian lifestyles have been around for ages, just like animal rights activists have long and very publicly . . . more

Industry and Building

Industrial activities can shift to using electricity, instead of fossil fuel. Building can become carbon negative. Buildings, roads and pavement can become carbon sinks. More opportunities should be given to alternative lifestyles, such as communities without roads.

 Feebates Green Building Feebate
December 26, 2008
In Oregon, the Portland City Council has developed a feebate policy to improve the environmental performance of buildings. The proposed policy seeks to cut carbon emissions from buildings . . . more

Green Refrigerators and Air ConditionersGreen Refrigerators and Air Conditioners
December 20, 2008
When it's hot, should you turn on the car's air-conditioner? As many will have experienced, driving with the air-conditioner on can increase fuel consumption by 10% or more. Yet, especially . . . more

Who goes first, the chicken or the egg?
April 24, 2008
In discussions about global warming, many are reluctant to make 'the first move'. The coal industry points at figures by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), showing that coal accounted . . . more

Carbon-negative building
April 14, 2008
To reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), it makes a lot of sense to look at buildings and pavement. In the United States, buildings account for 38% of total CO2 emissions. This is partly due to . . . more

 When will we see the light? When will we see the light?
February 29, 2008
Lights consume about 2 trillion kilowatt-hours annually, or one-eighth of all electric power. Globally, lighting is equal in emission contribution to about 70% of the world's passenger vehicles. . . more

Communities without Roads
September 26, 2007
Communities without roads is an exciting concept that allows people to live within walking distances of colleages, customers, friends, medical and educational facilities, shops, restaurants, etc. The sedentary . . .more

Small houses - perfect for communities without roads
November 13, 2007
In the United States, the average house size is 2,500 square feet, but Jay Shafer prefers to live in a 96-square-foot house, in Sebastopol, California (watch video). Jay built the house in 1997 . . . more

Finance, Tax and Trade

Should politicians be paid? Should failing financial institutions be bailed out by government? What is the best taxation system?

 Feebates Global warming calls for global commitment and local action
September 19, 2008
Emission trading will not work! We should recognize that a global emission trading scheme will only sabotage real efforts to reduce emissions. It's a scheme designed . . .

August 09, 2008
In August 2008, the documentary I.O.U.S.A. will start screening in movie theatres across the nation. As I.O.U.S.A. director Patrick Creadon says: "America's federal debt is $8.6 trillion . . .

How about taxing financial transactions?
January 02, 2008
How about taxing financial transactions, instead of taxing income, products, inheritances, capital gains or whatever else is being taxed noways? Let's face it, income tax from companies and individuals . . . more

 Ditch the Dollar! Ditch the Dollar!
December 01, 2007
Government controls the dollar through the Federal Reserve System, which distributes and accepts the greenback in the form of printed paper and coins. It also sets the interest rates at which it . . .

Should politicians be paid?
November 26, 2007
Should politicians get a salary for participating in the political system? Should politicians get paid for their travel and their hotel cost? I say NO! Do not pay politicians! Politics is about ideas. . . . more

Why both capitalism and socialism are dead!
August 13, 2007
Many politicians claim to act in the interest of the public, yet they act in the interest of a narrow group. The nature of the electoral system (one election every three or four years) makes that politicians . . . more

Comments, please!

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How to act on global warming

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