TAG: Climate change

Climate Scientist Hansen to Retire from NASA

James Hansen

James E. Hansen, perhaps the world’s most well known climate scientist, is retiring and stepping away from his position at NASA to pursue climate activism full time. Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the subject of climate change and global warming throughout his career, sometimes earning him censorship attempts, but ultimately giving credibility to climate activism because of his expertise. His warnings to the U.S. Congress in 1988 served as a wake-up call about the threat of the effects of climate change on the planet, and although most legislators… read more

Solar Industry On The Rise

Solar On The Up

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released data late last year which showed 684 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity was installed in the quarter ending October 2012, 44 percent more than in the third quarter of 2011. During the first three quarters of the year, the solar industry added 1,992 megawatts of solar power, compared with 885 megawatts for all of 2011. This increase brings installed photovoltaic capacity to 5.9 gigawatts, which could power slightly under one million average American homes, according to SEIA. The surge in solar installations, and thus capacity, is attributed to not only lower costs of… read more

EPA Could Save Arctic

EPA Could Save Arctic

As the threat of climate change becomes an actuality and the polar ice caps begin to melt, the search for a viable solution to curb and combat global warming has intensified. The biggest obstacle, and there are many, to discerning legitimate strategies has been the national government of the particular area that is under scrutiny. In the United States, the federal government, specifically Congress, has been a thorn in the side of environmental advocacy groups. As expected, the inaction on domestic efforts to combat climate change has continued toward foreign efforts, especially in the Arctic Circle, which has been the subject… read more

Climate Change is on the Agenda

Climate Change Discussions

Climate change issues are definitely on the agenda, both the personal and political. The U.S. Government Accountability Office who studies payments made by congress has even recently included in a report that climate change is a concrete risk. The report asserted that increasing extreme weather events carry high threats to our entire ecological infrastructure, affecting the environment as well as posing a financial hazard to the federal government. The United States Global Change Research Program detects that severe weather is on the increase and will have lasting effects, such as those from rising sea levels caused by climate change. Additionally,… read more

The President’s Challenge

President's Eco Challenge

In his inauguration speech, President Obama made a few comments on climate change. Environmentalists excitedly thought the time had finally arrived when climate change would be addressed in a meaningful way. President Obama has made comments about the climate and environment since his inauguration speech, but the result is the same. Three weeks after President Obama pledged to focus on the climate but offered no specific second-term plans, also noting political hurdles to legislation, Former Vice President Al Gore called on President Obama to make climate change a higher priority in his second term. An easy scapegoat for the Obama administration… read more

Clean Energy Future?

Are we slowing carbon emissions?

Studies presented late last year highlighted that the United States has been leading the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The notion that the country, and maybe even the world, was well and truly on the path toward a cleaner, efficient energy future, prompted rejoicing in some quarters. Regardless of whether the data presented in these studies is accurate, it is somewhat misleading in a variety of ways. First, even though CO2 emissions from the United States may be lower now than in the past, it is still high. The emission levels were high a few years ago, which is the comparison benchmark, and it… read more

Climate Changes All

emerald tree boa

If biodiversity – the proliferation of life on Earth, the totality of plants and animals and micro-organisms – is already being radically diminished through human activities, what impact will climate change have on ecosystems and species around the world? There is growing agreement amongst conservation biologists and ecologists of the intimate connection between concerns about biodiversity loss and concerns about climate change. To this point, habitat destruction, introduced species, over-population and consumption, pollution and over-exploitation have been the key culprits for loss of species world-wide. According to Robert May (cited in Planet Earth: The Future (what the experts say)), these… read more

Global Land Degradation

dry_land

Due to the diminishing conditions of soil from climate change and chemically dependent agriculture, many acres of land have become unusable for the growth of plant life and equally unable to function as a suitable habitat for wildlife. Because soil is needed for vegetation to grow and create energy, without soil, to put it simply, there is no life. Yet the world is facing global soil degradation that threatens our ability to provide  a stable food source for our growing population. The problem can be found in virtually every country, among both developed and developing communities. On a global scale, the… read more

Has Our Perk Peaked?

Threats to coffee production

As continually displayed with events like last year’s super-storm Sandy, environmental turmoil is getting personal, or at least more overtly so. Major disasters lay in the wake of climate change, but some are less obnoxious, instead tearing passively at the tethers of society and threatening what has become a staple to a majority of the population’s daily life. I am referring, of course, to coffee. Whether it is freshly dripped grounds from the tin in our kitchen, the incessant sipping from dainty cups outside the local cafes or a robust mug of Joe to compliment a late night in a… read more

Restorative Justice

Exploting the environment

It is no secret that the richest industrialized countries of the world owe a great deal of their wealth to exploitation of the environment and natural resources. For a long time, the effects of such exploitation on climate change were not given due consideration, now that the subject is of great importance it becomes necessary to ask the hard questions as to who shall bear the greater burden of climate change mitigation. Since the invention of the steam engine and industrialization, much of the west has realized tremendous economic growth and development. Great inventions in machinery and the industrial revolution… read more