Showing posts with label Climate change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate change. Show all posts

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis stresses 'right to environment' in UN speech

Pope Francis has urged a large gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York to respect humanity's "right to the environment".
He also called on financial agencies not to subject countries to "oppressive lending systems" that worsen poverty.
In an allusion to the Church's teachings on sexual minorities, he called for respect for the "natural difference between man and woman".
He went on to visit the 11 September memorial for a multi-faith service.
After a silent prayer, the pontiff met relatives of some of the victims of the attack in 2001.
Pope Francis later visited a Catholic school in the heavily Hispanic New York neighbourhood of East Harlem.
The crowd in the gym of Our Lady Queen of Angels School included more than 100 immigrants, who greeted Francis with songs.
One eyewitness wrote on Twitter: "He's (Pope) having a blast in Harlem. Big smile. #PopeinNYC".

'Ideological colonisation'

In a wide-ranging speech at the UN, the Pope said the universe was "the fruit of a loving decision by the Creator" and that humanity "is not authorised to abuse it, much less to destroy it."
He said he hoped a forthcoming summit on climate change in Paris would produce a "fundamental and effective agreement".
He addressed topics including girls' education and drug trafficking. He welcomed the deal between Iran and world powers on its nuclear deal, calling it "proof of the potential of political goodwill".
He also condemned "ideological colonisation by the imposition of anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people's identity" in what was understood as a reference to Western support for gay and transgender rights in other countries.

At a memorial service at the September 11 Memorial Museum, he prayed for those killed in the attacks and for healing for their relatives.

Catholics in America:

  • 80 million baptised as Catholics
  • Six of the nine Supreme Court justices are Catholic
  • 31% of the US Congress (22% general population)
  • One Catholic president (JFK) and one vice-president (Joe Biden) in the history of the US
  • Six Catholic Republicans running for 2016 presidential nomination, the most ever
Source: New York Times

About 80,000 people are expected to watch the procession as he makes his way to Mass at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
Nearly 20,000 are set to attend the service at the major sporting and concert arena.
Thousands lined Fifth Avenue on Thursday evening as the Argentine pontiff made his way to St Patrick's Cathedral for evening prayers.
The Pope arrived in New York from Washington, where he delivered the first-ever papal address to the US Congress.
In the speech, he urged a humane response to migrants, an end to the death penalty and better treatment of the poor and disadvantaged.
Next he will go to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he will speak in front of Independence Hall and celebrate Mass at a Catholic families' rally.
content courtesy : BBC

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Canada ranks #2 for most LEED buildings

Though LEED is not the world’s only green building rating system, it is the most widely used and recognized. Thus it is no small thing that, for the second year in a row, Canada is #2 for LEED building in the World.
Most Certified Projects
Canada has the highest gross square meters (GSM) of LEED certified space internationally (ie outside of the United States) and the highest number of certified and registered projects (4,735).
European nations did poorly, with Germany placing #7 and Sweden #11, because the LEED program originates in the United States.
“(This) does not take into consideration other green building standards or rating systems. We cannot comment on which country leads the world in terms of overall emissions reductions,” explained Mark Hutchinson, Director of Green Building Programs for the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
Canada’s LEED Accomplishments
Canada has been a leader in the green building movement since 2005. Some of its LEED accomplishments include:
  •  Energy Savings of 4,230,206 eMWh which is enough to power 143,533 homes in Canada for a full year.
  • 822,731 CO2e tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which equates to taking 155,526 cars off the road for a year.
  • Water savings totalling over 8.7 billion litres, the equivalent of 3,505 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Recycling over 1.1 million tones of construction/demolition waste which represents 348,691 garbage truck loads.
  •  Installing 157,309 square metres of green roofs, or an area the size of 104 NHL hock rinks. This reducing the urban heat island effect and mitigates storm water flows in urban areas.
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia lead the nation in terms of LEED projects, with 962, 439 and 407 respectively.
Five of the more notable projects certified in Canada during 2014 are:
• Vancouver, British Columbia: Van Dusen Botanical Garden, LEED Platinum
• St. John, New Brunswick: The City of St. John Police Headquarters, LEED Gold
• Toronto, Ontario: WaterPark Place, LEED Platinum (first Canadian project to earn LEED Platinum through the CaGBC’s recertification program)
• Calgary, Alberta: Bow Valley Square, LEED Gold
• Quebec City, Quebec: Place TELUS / TELUS House, LEED Gold.”
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia lead the nation in terms of LEED projects, with 962, 439 and 407 respectively.

Continue reading at enn

content Courtesy : enn

Monday, July 13, 2015

Climate change threat must be taken as seriously as nuclear war – UK minister

The threat of climate change needs to be assessed in the same comprehensive way as nuclear weapons proliferation, according to a UK foreign minister.

Baroness Joyce Anelay, minister of state at the Commonwealth and Foreign Office, said the indirect impacts of global warming, such as deteriorating international security, could be far greater than the direct effects, such as flooding. She issued the warning in a foreword to a new report on the risks of climate change led by the UK’s climate change envoy, Prof Sir David King.

The report, commissioned by the Foreign Office, and written by experts from the UK, US, China and India, is stark in its assessment of the wide-ranging dangers posed by unchecked global warming, including:

  • very large risks to global food security, including a tripling of food prices
  • unprecedented migration overwhelming international assistance
  • increased risk of terrorism as states fail
  • lethal heat even for people resting in shade

The world’s nations are preparing for a crunch UN summit in Paris in December, at which they must agree a deal to combat climate change.

Monday’s report states that existing plans to curb carbon emissions would heighten the chances of the climate passing tipping points “beyond which the inconvenient may become intolerable”. In 2004, King, then the government’s chief scientific adviser, warned that climate change is a more serious threat to the world than terrorism.

“Assessing the risk around [nuclear weapon proliferation] depends on understanding inter-dependent elements, including: what the science tells us is possible; what our political analysis tells us a country may intend; and what the systemic factors are, such as regional power dynamics,” said Anelay. “The risk of climate change demands a similarly holistic assessment.”

The report sets out the direct risks of climate change. “Humans have limited tolerance for heat stress,” it states. “In the current climate, safe climatic conditions for work are already exceeded frequently for short periods in hot countries, and heatwaves already cause fatalities. In future, climatic conditions could exceed potentially lethal limits of heat stress even for individuals resting in the shade.”

It notes that “the number of people exposed to extreme water shortage is projected to double, globally, by mid century due to population growth alone. Climate change could increase the risk in some regions.”

In the worst case, what is today a once-in-30-year flood could happen every three years in the highly populated river basins of the Yellow, Ganges and Indus rivers, the report said. Without dramatic cuts to carbon emissions, extreme drought affecting farmland could double around the world, with impacts in southern Africa, the US and south Asia.

Areas affected by the knock-on or systemic risks of global warming include global security with extreme droughts and competition for farmland causing conflicts. “Migration from some regions may become more a necessity than a choice, and could take place on a historically unprecedented scale,” the report says. “It seems likely that the capacity of the international community for humanitarian assistance would be overwhelmed.”

“The risks of state failure could rise significantly, affecting many countries simultaneously, and even threatening those that are currently considered developed and stable,” says the report. “The expansion of ungoverned territories would in turn increase the risks of terrorism.”

The report also assesses the systemic risk to global food supply, saying that rising extreme weather events could mean shocks to global food prices previously expected once a century could come every 30 years. “A plausible worst-case scenario could produce unprecedented price spikes on the global market, with a trebling of the prices of the worst-affected grains,” the report concludes.

The greatest risks are tipping points, the report finds, where the climate shifts rapidly into a new, dangerous phase state. But the report also states that political leadership, technology and investment patterns can also change abruptly too.

The report concludes: “The risks of climate change may be greater than is commonly realised, but so is our capacity to confront them. An honest assessment of risk is no reason for fatalism.”

content courtesy : theguardian 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

How reusable bags change shopping decisions

Taking reusable bags to the supermarket can help identify the environmentally friendly shopper but a new study has now discovered the products they are more likely to buy.

New research in the Journal of Marketing reveals unsurprisingly that shoppers who take their own bags are more likely to purchase organic food – and more surprisingly, junk food as well.

The study describes: "Grocery store shoppers who bring their own bags are more likely to purchase healthy food. But those same shoppers often feel virtuous, because they are acting in an environmentally responsible way.

“That feeling easily persuades them that, because they are being good to the environment, they should treat themselves to cookies or potato chips or some other product with lots of fat, salt, or sugar."

The study by Uma R. Karmarkar of Harvard University and Bryan Bollinger of Duke University is one of the first to demonstrate that bringing reusable grocery bags causes significant changes in food purchasing behaviour.

The authors collected loyalty cardholder data from a single location of a major grocery chain in California between May 2005 and March 2007. They compared the same shoppers on trips for which they brought their own bags with trips for which they did not.

Participants were also recruited online from a national pool and were randomly assigned one of two situations: bringing their own bags or not bringing their own bags. Depending on the situation, participants were presented with a certain scenario and a floorplan of the grocery store and were asked to list the ten items they were most likely to purchase on the trip.

The researchers found that when shoppers brought their own bags, they were more likely to purchase organic foods. At the same time, bringing one's own bags also increased the likelihood that the shopper would purchase junk food. And both results were slightly less likely when the shopper had young children: parents have to balance their own purchasing preferences with competing motivations arising from their role as parents.

Content Courtecy :enn

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

World Water Development Report 2015: water in a sustainable world

Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource warns this latest edition of the UN World Water Development Report.

The 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable World, will be launched at the official celebration of the World Water Day, on March 20. 

The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, the report’s forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the 
modern world will affect – and can be affected by – water resources, services and related benefits. 

The report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend‐related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy‐makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.

Content Courtecy :indiaenvironmentportal

Monday, July 21, 2014

Safeguarding Our Future Water & Energy Systems-INFOGRAPHIC

As the Energy Department pursues our important mission areas of climate change, energy security and environmental responsibility, we must take into account dynamic interactions among our energy system, the population, the economy, other infrastructure systems and natural resources. One crucial interaction is that between our present-day energy and water systems, reports the DOE.

The interdependencies between our water and energy systems are clear — and becoming more prominent. Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation, and energy is required to extract, convey and deliver water, and to treat wastewaters prior to their return to the environment.

The Energy Department’s new report – The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities – examines this interaction, and lays out several technical and operational challenges at local, regional and national scales. The report notes that water scarcity, variability and uncertainty are becoming more prevalent, potentially leading to vulnerabilities within the U.S. energy system. Changes brought on by population growth, technological advances and policy developments are increasing the urgency for informed action.

When severe drought affected more than a third of the United States in 2012, limited water availability constrained the operation of some power plants and other energy production infrastructure. When Hurricane Sandy struck that same year, we saw firsthand the major problems that arise when vital water infrastructure and facilities lose power.

And the recent boom in domestic unconventional oil and gas development, brought on by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has added complexity to the national dialogue about the relationship between energy and water resources.

What’s more, the effects of climate change only amplify the need to manage our interdependent water and energy systems more mindfully. As the release of the third U.S. National Climate Assessment made clear last month, climate change is affecting every region of the United States and key sectors across our economy.

Even as the Energy Department is taking strong steps to cut carbon pollution and work with our international partners to build a more sustainable energy future, we must prepare for the effects of climate change we are already seeing.

The Energy Department’s longstanding leadership in modeling and technology research and development makes it uniquely suited to meet the national need for data-driven and empirical solutions to address these challenges. This report is just the beginning.

The Department of Energy looks forward to working with our partners, including other federal agencies, state and local governments, members of Congress, foreign governments, private industry, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and citizens, to develop and pursue a shared vision of more resilient coupled energy-water systems.

This integration and collaboration will enable more effective research, development and deployment of key technologies, harmonization of policies where warranted, shared datasets, informed decision-making, and robust public dialogue.

A key part of that dialogue is our ongoing meetings to gather public comment on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a four-year process to identify key threats, risks and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security.

 Last week in San Francisco, Dr. John Holdren — Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy — led a discussion with regional stakeholders about the water-energy nexus and lessons learned that could be applied broadly across this issue area. Future opportunities to provide input to the QER process remain.

Content Courtesy:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tips To Save Money & Save Energy in New Energy Saver Guide

Saving energy is a win for not only your wallet but also the environment. To help you make the most efficient choices in your home and on the road, the Energy Department recently updated its popular booklet Energy Saver: Tips on Saving Money and Energy at Home, reports Nicole Harrison for the DOE.

Updated Energy Saver Guide Helps You Save Energy and Money at Home

The latest version of the guide includes updated statistics and recommendations for 2014 — all designed to help you make smart decisions about improving your home’s comfort and lowering your energy use. Some of the tips are simple to do. Others require more effort and investment but promise big savings over the years.

The Energy Saver guide teaches you which systems and appliances in your home account for most of your energy bills and how you can reduce the costs to both you and the environment. There is also a section on transportation with driving tips to help you save money at the pump. Learn about the average energy usage and costs at home and on the road, then try out our tips to save energy and money.

There are a couple of ways to get your hands on the updated Energy Saver guide:

Download the updated PDF
Order hard copies in bulk or
Download the first-ever Energy Saver guide e-book.

Find out more about saving energy and money at home on the Energy Saver website. You can also check out these new do-it-yourself energy-saving projects:

Insulate Hot Water Pipes for Energy Savings
Lower Water Heating Temperature
Insulate Your Water Heater Tank
How to Seal Air Leaks with Caulk
How to Weatherstrip Double-Hung (or Sash) Windows
Install Exterior Storm Windows With Low-E Coating

Content Courtesy: 1sun4all

Monday, July 14, 2014

We can do this: 10 reasons there's hope for our climate

Feeling pessimistic about our ability to turn the corner toward climate stability before it is too late?

"We're in the race of our lives," Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said this week at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, explaining that he understands why some are losing hope. “The science is scary, the politicians are polarized and the impacts are increasing.”

But Fred delivered a profoundly optimistic message based on a range of compelling and tangible successes, trends, and truths that – taken together – stand as powerful evidence that, yes, we can overcome polarization and inertia. We can reduce emissions in time to avert the worst impacts of global climate change.

As leaders from around the world listened, Fred shared the Top 10 reasons why he has renewed hope that we can get national and international climate solutions back on track.

Following the model of the master, Late Show host David Letterman, he presented them starting with number 10:

10. Solar and wind prices are dropping – dramatically

We’re talking about a 75-percent drop in the price of panels since 2008, and the United States added more solar capacity in the past 18 months than in the previous 30 years combined. In some parts of the country, wind is already becoming cost competitive with coal and gas.

9. The American economy has moved in the right direction.

Between 2005 and 2012, the U.S. reduced its carbon dioxide emissions from energy by 12 percent. Our economic system is demonstrating its capacity to reduce emissions.

8. China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is on the move toward a cleaner future.

Recognizing the need to act, China has set up seven pilot cap-and-trade areas, covering nearly 250 million people. They recognize the need to act, and are reaching out to partners such as EDF and the State of California for advice.

7. The United States, the world’s second-biggest emitter, is also moving to limit carbon pollution from its largest source, the power sector.  

The Clean Power Plan, supported by two-thirds of Americans, will cut billions of tons of pollution and drive investment in clean energy.

6. President Obama has required big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from cars, doubling gas mileage by 2025.

Even so, car sales rose by more than a million vehicles per year between 2009 and 2013 as average fuel economy increased. Not for nothing, but electric cars are getting cool, too.

5. We are starting to bring that same technological leap into our homes.

A world in which people generate, store, and even sell their own electricity is already becoming reality. And imagine having an electric bill of just 3 dollars a month. That’s a clean energy revolution everybody can support.

4. Methane is 84 times more dangerous to our climate than carbon in the short term.

Why is this good? Here’s a major contributor to climate change that we can fix cheaply. Consider this: We can stop almost half of methane leakage and the cost of a thousand cubic feet of natural gas would go from just $4.50 to $4.51.

3. Politically, the future belongs to those who support climate action.

Seventeen out of 20 young voters support climate action, which means being on the right side of this issue is a matter of long-term political survival for both Democrats and Republicans.  

2. We have a plan.

Working with our allies, we’ve figured out how to cut 6 gigatonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions a year by 2020 – enough to begin turning the corner toward climate stability. We'll be posting the details of this plan very soon.

1. The two largest emitting countries haven’t yet adopted the most powerful tool we have: A price on carbon.

When it doesn’t cost to pollute, you get a lot of pollution. But when there’s a price to pay, industry will have an incentive to find low-cost carbon solutions. The first nine reasons for hope on climate are the reason we can get to this last one, as difficult as it may sound.

You’ll find more details about each of these reasons in the full video of Fred’s speech.

“[Oberlin College] Professor David Orr taught me the difference between optimism and hope,” Fred noted in a Q&A session on Facebook earlier this week, also part of the Aspen event.

“Optimism is a prediction everything will be ok, hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up. I actually am not only hopeful, but also optimistic that if people join the fight we can turn this around.”

Content Courtesy:

Global Renewable Energy Capacity Has Nearly Doubled to 1,560 Gigawatts Since 2004

Global Renewable Energy Capacity Has Nearly Doubled to 1,560 Gigawatts Since 2004 | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

In 2004 only 48 countries contained defined renewable energy policy targets, compared to 144 at the end of 2013. Additionally, new investment in renewables increased from US $39.5 billion in 2004 to $214.4 billion in 2013. Despite the fact that global investment in solar PV declined nearly 22 percent since 2012, new capacity installations increased by more than 27 percent. And solar hot water saw the biggest increase out of all renewables — leaping from 98 GWth to 326 GWth.

The report also shows that China is leading the world in wind power — with 16.1 GW of capacity added in 2013. The United States only added 1.1 GW of new wind capacity in 2013, but it’s still second to China in total capacity. Germany takes first place by a wide margin in solar PV capacity, despite only adding 3.3 GW in 2013 compared to China’s 11.8 GW. The U.S. is currently in fifth place behind Italy and Japan, with 4.8 GW added in 2013.

Hydropower is still the dominant renewable energy source, with global capacity reaching 1,000 GW. China is the top country for hydro with a 26 percent share, followed by Brazil at 8.6 percent and the U.S. at 7.8 percent. If you remove hydro from the mix, the statistics are even more impressive – other renewables rose from 85 GW in 2004 to 560 GW by the end of 2013

Content Courtesy: Treehugger

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Reducing Carbon Pollution Makes Us All Healthier-INFOGRAPHIC

A new proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called the Clean Power Plan, will set the first-ever national carbon emissions limits for our country’s existing power plants. Find out how reducing carbon pollution will make Americans healthier in the new infographic from WhiteHouse.Gov.

Limiting the Carbon Emissions from Power Plants Will Make Americans Healthier. Here’s How:
Infographic courtesy of WhiteHouse.Gov

Power plants currently churn out about 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the air we breathe, and contribute to hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and thousands of heart attacks.

And even though we limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, sulfur, and arsenic that power plants can put in our air and water, there are no national limits on the carbon pollution they can release.

As President Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday,

It’s not smart, it’s not safe, and it doesn’t make sense. –President Obama

That’s why today, at the President’s direction, the EPA is taking steps to change that with a proposal that will set the first-ever national carbon pollution limits for our country’s existing power plants.

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