Want a surefire solution to curbing carbon emissions? Tax them. That’s exactly what the savvy air quality regulators in the San Francisco Bay Area are attempting to implement. In what is believed to be a first for the nation — a government body will charge businesses for contributing to climate change.
The agency in question is the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which plans to bypass inaction in Sacramento and Washington by (according to the New York Times) charging industries “4.4 cents per ton of carbon dioxide emitted.” The agency, which already has independent authority to charge industries for other pollution, such as particulates, says this new fee “would be stretching its mandate to include carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases.”
Picture a world map. Now picture it without Bangladesh. Less than 100 years from now, this may become our new world order. A new scientific study has confirmed that sea levels are rising faster than expected and could go as high as 1.5 meters by 2100. This figure is far greater than the one forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose conservative estimate was for an average rise of 28-45 centimeters.
This new data comes from a British/Finnish team who used a computer model to look at the relationship between sea levels and temperature. “For the past 2,000 years, the [global average] sea level was very stable, it only varied by about 20cm,” said Svetlana Jevrejeva from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), as quoted by the BBC. “But by the end of the century, we predict it will rise by between 0.8m and 1.5m. The rapid rise in the coming years is associated with the rapid melting of ice sheets.”
In my opinion, most movie sequels emerge half-cocked from a sea of greed. Just because a movie makes a ton of money or has a huge impact on people’s lives doesn’t mean the story warrants revisiting. Take, for example, the “Rocky” franchise. Or the “Rambo” movies. Enough is enough. Move on before it gets pathetic, before we’re subjected to “Rambo: The Colostomy Bag Years”.
Of course, it’s a different story if we’re talking about an Academy Award-winning documentary that raises worldwide awareness and inspires people to make healthy changes in the way they live. I’m talking about “The Inconvenient Truth”, which Al Gore now says we may be able to revisit as a part two.
Escapology is the art of freeing something from restraint. From Harry Houdini to Criss Angel, many performers have made a name for themselves using their amazing abilities to make things (including themselves) disappear.
When executed just right, ad campaigns can have enormous influence. And I’m not talking about soft drink commercials. (Watching Beyoncé prance around in a skimpy outfit doesn’t make me want to reach for a Pepsi.) But who can forget the crying Indian (yes, that’s what they were called back then) urging us not to litter or Smokey the Bear saying the prevention of forest fires was up to us? And then there was the ubiquitous “brain on drugs” frying pan from the ‘80s. These ads invaded our consciousness and had a tremendous impact. (So, apparently, did the cigarette ads of the 1950s and 1960s that featured doctors touting the health benefits of one brand over another. But we’ll let that one pass.)
While monitoring the effects of global warming via the movement of ice shelves in the Antarctic seems a little like an overprotective mother assuming that every child’s sneeze is a direct path to pneumonia, it’s hard to ignore the fact that something is changing in the world’s seas.
Scientists recently noticed stages of disintegration in yet another enormous floating ice shelf off the Antarctic Peninsula. This time, the piece in question is the Wilkins ice shelf, a frozen formation that Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Here’s breaking news from the Southwest… but whether or not it’s good depends on your perspective. Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego just finished a study showing that Lake Mead, the primary water source for Las Vegas, has a 50-50 chance of drying up by 2021. Worse than that, there’s a 10% chance Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
If you’re one of those who thinks climate change is for the birds, you’re wrong. At least in the metaphoric sense. As for real birds, researchers from Auburn University have discovered a curious behavior pattern that might turn out to be the result of global warming.
As part of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (begun in 1966) that studied the ranges of common birds from Mexico to Canada, Alan Hitch and Paul Leberg observed the breeding patterns of eastern arboreal and semi-arboreal birds (the kind you find in backyards – 56 species in all). Some names with which you might be familiar are the Common Ground-dove, Bachman’s Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Bewick’s Wren and the Golden-winged Warbler.
Eerily close to the touted “triumphs” in Bali and in the Energy Bill, comes a new edict from the Bush administration: the EPA will handle CO2 policy, not individual states. On the heels of the EPA denying California’s bid to limit vehicle CO2 emissions, EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced late Wednesday that “the Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules.”
Are we ready for artificial trees and volcanoes, stimulating massive plankton growth, and putting a giant mirror in space above Greenland? It’s sad, but true that we’re going ahead and planning artificial techniques as our plan “B” to cool the earth.
Does knowing that there’s a backup plan like geoengineering encourage people to do less on their part? On the contrary, it should be a red flag and only encourage people to pump up action taken locally and globally.
Early in November, a conference was held at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to discuss geoengineering remedies for global warming. The participants in the conference noted that global emissions of greenhouse gases were moving above the limits predicted by climate models.
What Happened To Us? is a textual pun –- “us” referring both to ourselves and to the United States of America. It is also of a title of a large scale drawing installation by Romanian artist, Dan Perjovski, who exhibited at MOMA in New York earlier this year.
The artist was commissioned by the gallery to draw directly onto the walls of the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium. The drawings took two weeks to complete, during which time the gallery was open to the public to allow them to bear witness to the creative process. Perjovski’s work is inspired by political issues, both local and global, like the conflict in the Middle East or the extension of the European Union. Through witty text and incisive political images, Perjovski makes his unique voice heard and seen.
More news from the Global Warming front: Don’t just switch from gas to hybrid, eat less meat. What some people have known for years is now becoming a new focus for environmentalists. Meat production is perhaps (actually, it’s scientifically proven) a greater factor in global warming than even the biggest SUVs. And animal-rights folks are miffed at Al Gore for not focusing attention on the issue in An Inconvenient Truth.
The New York Times reported in August that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization confirmed “the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined” — a rather shocking revelation given that automakers have taken the brunt of the greenhouse gas complaints.
If you’ve ever driven across southern Kansas like I have, you might start to see the picture more clearly – mountains of manure and thousands of acres of cows penned in so tight that they have barely any room to move. Of course, this revelation is nothing new. Frances Moore Lappe wrote about the dangers of overproducing beef in her seminal 1971 book, Diet For a Small Planet, and earlier this year the Christian Science Monitor released some statistics about the amount of CO2 emissions from beef production.