Enviro News Wrap: Arctic CO2 Reaches 400 PPM; Koch Bros. Buying Democracy; Growing a New Energy Economy, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- Arctic monitoring stations have reported record CO2 levels of 400 parts per million this spring.
- The Koch Brothers said that they would spend $60 million this campaign year to beat Obama, now they are upping it to $100 million. In total conservative groups will spend $1 billion on Super Pacs to beat Obama. Is this democracy? The Koch Brothers are also using their dollars on smaller political offices. Why do we let just 2 people influence all of our lives so much?
- Another American solar panel manufacturer just went bankrupt. This is an interesting story because this solar company got a government loan from former Governor Mitt Romney. Romney stopped by Solyndra recently to campaign against Obama; of course his attack involves pointing at Obama as a guy who tries to "pick winners and losers" in the market place and messing up the whole attempt. Well, apparently Romney is guilty of trying to "pick winners and losers" too.
- A U.S. tariff on Chinese wind turbines now has preliminary approval. By increasing prices for renewable energy the installation industry will be stunted which will negatively impact the American economy mor.
- It's no surprise, but some companies that appear in public concerned about climate change privately lobby against any action on curbing climate change.
- Climate change is an injustice perpetrated on the poorest on Earth. It is our moral obligation to take real actions to mitigate climate change.
- Dirty power plants use water for various reasons and as climate change impacts water supplies these power plants will be negatively impacted.
- The U.S. Government has passed many environmental laws: RCRA, NEPA, CAA, CWA, CERCLA, etc. They have all benefited our society and environment in many ways. But, just because they are good laws does not mean that they are the best laws. We should be open to changing our environmental laws to be less burdensome on the regulated companies and more successful at fulfilling performance goals. This is a campaign that both liberals and conservatives can get behind.
- Despite slow movement in the UN climate talks individual countries are acting bravely to address climate change in the ways that they can.
- The internet has a carbon foot print, and data centers are central to that foot print. Every data center that we create should be highly efficient and powered by renewable energy as much as is economically intelligent. Three things that make renewable energy more viable for data centers are Leasing, government financial incentives (like every energy source has) and installing on roof tops (to avoid developing land for installation).
- For the renewable energy industry to thrive it needs a lot more innovation, too much of our research dollars have gone to the dirty energy industry. It was money from the Federal U.S. Government that brought us fracking, so they can bring us clean renewable energy too.
- A new study claims that climate skeptics understand science enough, they just don't care, I mean "they have different cultural values."
- The price of oil has dropped significantly in the last month, I still paid $4.35 for gas this weekend. Since the price has dropped so much so early in the year expect it to stabilize and then increase a lot in the fall and winter.