Articles tagged with "global warming"
Biodiesel, Biochar & Biodiversity in Costa Rica -- An Example of Small-Scale, Locally-Appropriate Action
This is a guest post by Ryan King. Ryan is a biologist, independent journalist, and community “eco-preneur” in Costa Rica. Below, he provides a brief introduction to decentralized biodiesel and biochar production in Costa Rica. His story will interest readers for at least two reasons: (1) he outlines specific and repeatable measures to address peak oil and climate change through the synergy of local energy production and carbon sequestration; and (2) he provides a working example of the benefits of increasing localized self-sufficiency. Ryan is expanding biodiesel, biochar, environmental projects through eco-hotels and sustainability projects, as well as looking for funding and experienced and non-experienced participants to contribute. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or for further information visit www.ranchodiandrew.com, and www.flutterbyhouse.com .
As global change related to resource depletion and climate change becomes increasingly severe, the ineffectiveness of world governments as well as mainstream environmental organizations and movements is obvious. It appears that there are few immediate alternatives to relying on large, centralized initiatives in the realms of environment and energy. Instead of relying on these approaches, it seems the safest and most secure adaptive route is the introduction of decentralized, local alternative energy and environmental solutions. Below the fold, I discuss one such set of projects currently underway in Costa Rica. While some aspects of these solutions in Costa Rica may not be directly applicable to non-tropical climates, I think this example of locally-appropriate, small-scale but scalable action can be of value everywhere.
Posted by Big Gav on July 30, 2010 - 8:28am in The Oil Drum: Australia/New Zealand
Tags: australia, australian politics, global warming, renewable energy, solar power [list all tags]
Neither of the major parties are running an election campaign with climate change (let alone peak oil) as a major issue, with Labor handpassing the issue to a future "citizens assembly" (so much for the "greatest challenge of our generation" - now its "no carbon price until at least 2013 – if we have international consensus by then") and the Liberals hoping they can convince people that soil carbon and some other forms of government subsidy would be an acceptable form of action.
This regrettable state of affairs has lead observers like John Quiggin to note that the Greens are the only party advocating any sort of meaningful climate change policy (and thus being worth voting for).
One of the few positive announcements during the election campaign has been Labor's promise to spend $1 billion over 10 years to make it easier to connect renewable energy to the electricity grid (as well as making emissions standards for new coal fried power stations more stringent). The proposal was welcomed by SA Premier Mike Rann, noting it would help the development of wind, solar, geothermal and wave power projects in his state.
Posted by Big Gav on March 7, 2010 - 9:39am in The Oil Drum: Australia/New Zealand
Tags: global warming, new world order, peak oil, populism, ron paul, tea party, tinfoil, us politics [list all tags]
Time Magazine recently had an article (Why the Tea Party Movement Matters) that looked at the latest manifestation of populism in the United States, with widespread discontent at the state of the US economy and the US political system, particularly the lack of transparency evident in many government initiatives ranging from the bail-out of the financial system to proposed changes to healthcare, along with discontent about costly wars in the middle east that seem to be never-ending.
The "tea partiers" remain a somewhat disorganised grass-roots movement (albeit one with concerted efforts by the conservative establishment to pull their strings) and they are showing some signs of adopting the tactics of the hippie counterculture of past decades and simply dropping out of mainstream society (see this piece on the "Rippies" for some background), but they do have the potential to grow as a result of a number of problematic trends affecting the western world in general and the United States in particular.
The graph below shows a possible scenario for average per capita oil consumption in the United States over the next 40 years, which could possibly drop by 90%. In this post I'll have a look at the boost this is likely to give to populist politics and some of the possibilities for addressing this.
Posted by Robert Rapier on December 26, 2009 - 10:35am
Tags: biodiesel, china, climate change, ethanol, exxonmobil, geothermal, global warming, media coverage, natural gas, oil consumption, oil demand, oil prices, oil refineries, t. boone pickens, valero [list all tags]
1. Volatility in the oil markets
My top choice for this year is the same as my top choice from last year. While not as dramatic as last year's action when oil prices ran from $100 to $147 and then collapsed back to $30, oil prices still more than doubled from where they began 2009. That happened without the benefit of an economic recovery, so I continue to wonder how long it will take to come out of recession when oil prices are at recession-inducing levels. Further, coming out of recession will spur demand, which will keep upward pressure on oil prices. That's why I say we may be in The Long Recession.
Here's a guest post from kiashu, in the form of a "Letter to the Editor" (or in this case, a journalist at The Age) about a review of Ian Plimer's pseudo-academic novel, "Heaven and Earth".
Gidday James Kirby,
You write in today's Age,
"Heaven and Earth is absurdly long - 500 pages, 2000 footnotes - with enough factual inconsistencies and ill-advised references to some ''loopy'' thinkers to give his critics plenty of ammunition." [http://www.theage.com.au/business/going-against-the-current-climate-20091024-he2t.html]
You then express surprise that he found it difficult to get his book published. As I understand it, you are primarily a financial journalist. Let's imagine then that someone who was not qualified in economics wrote a book critiquing modern economics, and it was full of "factual inconsistencies and ill-advised references to some "loop" thinkers", do you think that person would have difficulty in getting the book published?
Would that difficulty truly be a result of the author's "radical" views, or a result of their poor writing and research?
From your article, it does not appear that you've actually read his latest book. In your Age article, you are careful to note that you are not a scientist. However, you are a journalist, and a good journalist checks facts and references. That is after all the purpose of footnotes in any work with at least pretensions to academic worth: it lets you check for yourself.
I spend a lot of time playing "What if?" It is an important aspect of my line of work, but we all do this to some extent. I do it when I am driving - "What if that car at the next intersection pulls out in front of me?" - when I am working "What if that high pressure line ruptures?" - and at home - "What if I wake up and find the house is on fire?" I also spend a lot of time pondering the question "What if there are energy shortages in the near future?"
When we do this, we are generally trying to understand the potential consequences of various responses to a given situation. This sort of exercise is a form of risk assessment, and it is a very important tool for making decisions about events that could impact the future. Sometimes the consequences are minor. If I choose not to take an umbrella to work and it rains, there is probably a small consequence. If I choose to pass a car on a blind hill, the consequence may be severe, and may extend to other people.
In this essay I will explore the implications of the question: "What if I am wrong on peak oil or global warming?"
Posted by Ugo Bardi on March 9, 2009 - 9:59am in The Oil Drum: Europe
Tags: climate change, environment, global warming, original, peak coal, peak gas, peak oil [list all tags]
Carbon dioxide emission scenarios according to IPCC (from http://www.globalwarmingart.com). "Peaking" of the major fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal, could radically change these projections.
Posted by Ugo Bardi on February 12, 2009 - 11:55pm in The Oil Drum: Europe
Tags: climate change, global warming, hubbert peak, resource depletion, world models [list all tags]
The seminar "Mission Earth - Modeling and Simulation for a Sustainable Future" (http://www.inf.ethz.ch/personal/fcellier/AGS/AGSME_2009.html) was held in Zurich on Jan 26 2009, organized by Francois Cellier and Andreas Fischlin. It was a rare occasion of a truly interdisciplinary meeting where people from different fields of modeling were given a chance to present their work and exchange views. Climate modelers and resource modelers haven't interacted very much, so far; however, resource depletion will surely have a strong effect on the future of earth's climate. While we are still far from integrated world models that take into account all factors, economic as well as environmental, this seminar was a first attempt at understanding what issues are involved.
The “Mission Earth” meeting was about three kinds of models: climate models, world models, and resource exploitation models.
In case you are just venturing out of your cave for the first time in a week, you are probably aware that President-elect Obama has announced his new energy team:
The team includes Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy, former EPA head Carol Browner to fill the newly-created job of Energy Czar, and Lisa Jackson to head the EPA. The focus of this essay will be on Dr. Chu, but I will comment briefly on the others.
Lisa Jackson is trained as a chemical engineer (as was the outgoing Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman). It should go without saying that I like to see technical people in roles like this, where understanding science and data are both critical. Carol Browner, while not trained as a technical person, has a lot of administrative experience within the EPA. Incidentally, I once met Mrs. Browner, as she was the person who presented my research group with the 1996 Green Chemistry Challenge Award at the National Academy of Sciences for our work on biomass conversion to fuels.