Enviro News Wrap: Solar Impulse Across America; Australia Sees Climate as Threat Multipier; Canadian Oil Fouls Arkansas Neighborhood, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- A solar powered plane called Solar Impulse will soon fly across the United States, showing off the abilities of renewable energy technology.
- A Stanford study shows Americans want better preparedness for for climate-induced extreme weather and rising seas.
- The Australian Defense Department now characterizes climate change as a threat multiplier (much as the US military has for some time). Climate change is here, and preparations for the instability it will create in human systems is essential, but (other than a few polls and surveys) humans are showing few signs of getting themselves out of this runaway problem. Technology could save us with some great inventions, but the law of increased efficiency is that whatever gains are made are erased by increased use.
- Exxon-Mobile pipeline leaks a "few thousand barrels" of Canadian heavy crude oil in Arkansas. A harbinger of more to come if the Keystone XL pipeline is built?
- Fossil fuels are dirty, from extraction to refinement to transportation to use, its all dirty. We are spilling oil on our own lands and waterways all the time and clean-up is only so effective, we are transforming our landscape and turning it ugly. When a product is too toxic and actively destructive the price needs to increase to account for the damages incurred. Instead oil executives argue for less regulation and less taxation and they never have a performance that backs up their rhetoric. The price of oil needs to increase so consumers adapt away from those products and we find less costly alternatives.
- One of the controversial parts of fracking for natural gas is the issue of earthquakes. Many areas around fracking sites that have never had earthquakes suddenly have started to have them. Examples like this really illustrate the massive effect that exploration for fossil fuels has on our planet.
- Community funded solar energy projects for non-profit organizations. Solar Mosaic, based out of Oakland, California is pioneering this effort in the US.
- Solar energy is one of the few bright spots in the climate change story. Solar reduces green house gas emissions, and it prepares us for the effects of climate change.