Enviro News Wrap: Summer Heatwave; The U.S. of Koch; Renewable Rollor Coaster, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- The severe weather across the nation causes more Americans believe in climate change. The problem is that when you feel the heat, its too late to completely avoid the consequences. With climate change not on the priority list for American politics things are going to have to get really bad before it becomes a top priority.
- Solar modules are becoming cheaper to make, but installation is still expensive. Advances in making solar installations less expensive are on the way.
- The global renewable energy industry is a roller coaster, but it's still moving forward and doing well considering a global recession.
- The Koch brothers are single-handedly funding the bulk of Pro-Romney Super Pacs. If Romney gets elected he will owe them a lot, and here's a few things they'll want in return: the full development of the XL Pipeline project to bring oil from the Canadian Tar Sands, in which the Koch brothers are thoroughly invested, no national carbon emissions tax, reducing the budget of the EPA so they can not fund their new rules on mercury emissions and full support for their companies to pollute as much as they want. Romney is more anti-environment than either of the Bush Presidents.
- The Europeans are pretty progressive, so it's understandable to assume they are just as progressive with climate change. But European Union is not making the environmental policy changes that the threat of climate change demands, mainly around their agricultural policy, according to many environmental groups.
- Capturing carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants is supposed to make coal "clean," but the technology needs to come to market in the near future and at less cost of switching to renewable energy. The coal industry has extended the political life of coal with their Clean Coal campaign but the longer they talk about it without carbon capture coming to market the closer coal comes to being an energy source of the past, like whale oil. And, even if we do capture carbon emissions from coal and store it in the ground, it may not stay there.
- The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is tasked with protecting the whales of planet Earth after countries like England and the US have devastated every species of large whales (blue, humpback, gray, etc). But, countries like Japan and Norway want to keep killing our ocean-dwelling friends. So the IWC doesn't end up doing much protecting.
- The Navy traditionally floats through life comfortably with lots of Republican support.But the Navy understands they can't continue with their heavy reliance on oil, so they are trying out other fuel sources now the GOP want to "sink" the Navy's "Great Green Fleet."