Posted on April 20, 2010 by spoutingoff
Are volcanoes the cure for global warming?
By now everyone has seen the devastating havoc wreaked by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland And I’m not just talking about the impacts on the careers of TV journalists trying to pronounce the Icelandic tongue-twister of a volcano. The eruption cloud has shut down air travel in Europe and has led to massive speculation on the climate impacts of the spewing ash and sulfur dioxide.
Most scientists say the eruption is having minimal climate change impacts. (With an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide per day, the volcano would rank about 50th in a list of nations by average emissions-per- day.) Others say that the beneficial impacts of ash and sulfate in the air will temper the impacts of climate change.
So volcanic eruptions may be just what the doctor ordered to adapt to the high CO2 levels from manmade impacts. Some scientists that favor geoengineering have suggested creating sulfate aerosol clouds in the stratosphere or maybe even trillions of small mirrors in space as a sunshield. Why go to all of that trouble when we can just trigger extensive volcanic eruptions across the planet?
Filed under: Climate Change | Tagged: Climate Change, Eyjafjallajokull, geoengineering, volcano | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 5, 2010 by spoutingoff
Melting glaciers speak for themselves. There's no need for so-called experts to embellish the truth in soundbites.
Overly zealous scientists, politicians and enviros embellish the truth in order to make a point all too frequently. The controversy over exaggerated or incorrect facts and dates on the global impacts of climate change is just the latest example. The truth twisting has to stop. It hurts the cause. It creates distractions and inertia in a time when degradation is the dominant direction of most ecosystems.
The environment is screwed up enough that there’s no need to stretch the truth. I first shared that thought with Heal the Bay’s founding president, Dorothy Green, following a press conference on sewage spills in the late 1980s. Dorothy overstated the impacts of sewage spills in Santa Monica Bay at the event. The Bay was a mess. Large sewage spills and beach closures were commonplace, even during the summer. Bottom-dwelling fish like white croaker and Dover sole had tumors and fin rot. A dead zone sat in the middle of the Bay. She didn’t have to exaggerate. The horrific facts were enough to inspire people to take action.
That advice I gave to Dorothy long ago still rings true.
Filed under: Climate Change, Heal the Bay, Media & the Environment | Tagged: Climate Change, environment, media | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 29, 2009 by spoutingoff
Current and previous UNEP Executive Directors (seated). Photo: Suzanne Biegel
Over the weekend, I went down to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline. I didn’t see Zappa, but I did witness environmental history. For the first time ever, all five people who have served as executive directors of the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) attended the same event.
Maurice Strong, the founder and father of the Stockholm Conference and the Rio Earth Summit, is in Montreux. He’s joined by current director Achim Steiner, and past directors Klaus Topfer, Mostafa Tolba and Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
They are joined by a who’s who of UN environmental dignitaries to discuss the future of global environmental governance. With the Copenhagen climate change summit just around the corner in December, there’s an urgency to coming up with real, tangible recommendations to fix the ineffective, fractionalized system we have in place right now.
Filed under: Climate Change, Environmental Governance, United Nations | Tagged: Climate Change, Environmental Governance, UNEP, United Nations | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 26, 2009 by spoutingoff
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Click image to view video of speech.
On Wednesday night, I found myself on top of a mountain in Aspen, listening to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson give the kickoff keynote at the Aspen Environmental Forum. Speaking in a deliberate style that reflects her Southern roots, Jackson made it clear to the 300 people assembled that the days of Environmental Destruction Agency in the Bush era are now officially over.
Jackson emphasized that the Obama administration’s top priorities are climate change and building a green economy led by sustainable energy policies. She pledged support for renewables that reduce our dependence on foreign oil from politically charged nations, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the creation of tens of thousands of new green jobs, and improved public health of communities suffering from the impacts of dirty fossil fuels.
Money talks, so it’s worth noting that the Obama administration has called for the largest EPA budget in the 39-year history of the agency.
Filed under: Climate Change, Environmental Leaders, Legislation | Tagged: Climate Change, EPA, Green Economy, Lisa Jackson | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 27, 2008 by spoutingoff
Last night’s speech was the best I have ever seen Senator Clinton give, and I’ve seen quite a few. On top of the passion and compassion that she expressed so eloquently, she provided more than lip service to the issue of the environment. I was thinking about posting on the Las Vegas over-under for mentions of the environment at the DNC. My bet would have been three, but Hillary blew that out of the water last night.
Filed under: Environmental Leaders, Legislation | Tagged: Climate Change, Clinton, Green Economy, Hillary | Leave a Comment »