Friday, November 16, 2007

UN: Climate change threatens to irreversibly alter planet » International » Article
Nov 17, 2007
Negotiators from more than 140 countries wrangled for five days until dawn Friday before approving a 20-page summary of data and computer projections. Then they labored throughout the day to finalize a longer 70-page version. Both papers synthesize research compiled over the last six years by the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the IPCC when it releases the report Saturday.

"It's done. They have come up with a really strong report," said Hans Verholme, of the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The papers describe how climate systems are changing and why, the impacts it is having on mankind and ecosystems, and various scenarios of future impacts, depending on how quickly action is taken to slow the trend.

Another WWF climate scientist, Stephan Singer, called it a "groundbreaking document that will pave the way for deep emissions cuts by developing countries."

The report does not commit participating governments to any course of action but it is important because it is adopted by consensus, meaning those countries accept the underlying science and cannot disavow its conclusions. It provides a common scientific base line for the political talks.

"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the summary begins, in a statement meant to dispel any skepticism about the reality of climate change, said participants in the meeting.

In a startling and much-debated conclusion, the document warns that human activity risks causing "abrupt or irreversible changes" on Earth, including the widespread extinction of species and a dramatic rise in sea levels before the end of this century, they said on condition of anonymity because the details are supposed to remain confidential until Saturday.

"I think overall it is a good and balanced document," said Bert Metz, an eminent Dutch scientist and one of the 40 authors of the draft. "In the end, a lot of people had to compromise," he said.

Though it contains no previously unpublished material, the summary pulls together the central elements of three lengthy reports the IPCC released earlier this year. Boiling down the 3,000 pages into about 20 was "quite a challenge," said Metz.

"I think this will be the scientific imperative" propelling action, said Stephanie Tunmore of the Greenpeace environmental group, an observer at the talks.

The agreement was seen as a personal triumph for the IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri of India, who presided with no-nonsense efficiency and bulldozed through compromise language. Pachauri, who will accept the IPCC's Nobel Peace prize in Oslo on Dec. 10 along with former US Vice President Al Gore, is expected to stand for re-election as head of the IPCC next year, delegates said.

Delegates said the talks this week were difficult, and sometimes bogged down for hours over a brief phrase.

The outcome was "much better than I expected," said Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the chief scientist of the Belgian delegation. The report was not just "a cut-and-paste" job from earlier papers, but it highlighted more clearly than before the risks faced by the Earth's most vulnerable systems, he said.

The meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali starting Dec. 3 will discuss the next step in combating climate change after the measures adopted in the Kyoto Protocol expire in five years. Kyoto obliges 36 industrial countries to radically reduce their carbon emissions by 2012, but has no clear plan for what happens after that date.

Organizers say the new "road map" emerging from Bali should draw in the United States, which rejected the Kyoto accord and which has tried to enlist other countries in voluntary schemes to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and invest in technology research.

Video: Can Israel Revolutionize The Solar Power Industry?

Posted: 14 Nov 2007 01:13 AM CST


Unlike most of its Arabian neighbors, Israel lacks major energy resources of any kind (with the exception of Gaza that is).

While the governments of other nations are asking companies to come up with more innovative ways of using the expensive oil that they import, one Israeli researcher may have found an inexpensive way to harvest the energy from the sun.

(Israel Times) Because Israel is typically a sunny nation, its scientists have established the development of new solar panel that magnifies the sunlight passing through. The researchers claim that the new solar power development would significantly reduce the usual high cost associated with solar power generation.

The new panel has a simple reflector that is made up of several mirrors to intensify the sunlight collected. The light collected could intensify for over a thousand times. As a matter of fact, that intensified light could even burn up a person. It is that hot.
Only time will tell whether or not Israel adopts this technology nationally, although hopefully the government would consider this as a viable alternative to coal and nuclear power plants.

With the Israeli government already pursuing electric cars, solar power may prove to be the key towards Israel becoming the first western nation completely free from dependence upon foreign oil.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Action Alert: Congress to Strip Renewables from Energy Bill


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Here's the situation: In order to get enough bipartisan support for the 2007 Congressional Energy Bill, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are favoring a bill that would have NO SUPPORT FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY.

The two Democrats have decided not to include critical tax credits for solar and wind in the federal energy package. This will be disastrous for a country trying to wean itself off of foreign oil and fight climate change. It will have a chilling effect on citizens wanting to install solar energy systems, and for companies capable of performing this work.

It’s hard to believe that less than a month after Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work educating the world about the dangers of global warming, the US is considering passing energy legislation that does nothing for renewable electricity. But that’s exactly what our Congressional leaders are considering.

Can you make a call to your own legislators as soon as possible to get them to tell these leaders that they must support clean energy?

IF YOU REPRESENT A SOLAR BUSINESS, please encourage your employees and associates to do the same (use the 'Tell a Friend' link after you make the call).

IF YOU WANT CLEAN ENERGY FOR YOURSELF, please pass this Action along to all your friends (use the 'Tell a Friend' link).

Enter your ZIP code in the box to get your legislators' contact numbers.

And thanks for your help!

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25% US workers will work in renewable energy by 2030

November 8, 2007

ASES: 40 Million 'Green Collar' Jobs by 2030

Washington, D.C. []

As many as 1 out of 4 workers in the United States will be working in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries by 2030, according to a new jobs report from the American Solar Energy Society (ASES).

The renewable energy and energy efficiency industries today generate nearly $1 trillion in revenue in the U.S., contributing more than $150 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.

"The green collar job boom is here," said Neal Lurie, Director of Marketing of ASES.

By the year 2030, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries could generate up to $4.5 trillion in revenue in the U.S., but only with the appropriate public policy. This would include a renewable portfolio standard, renewable energy incentives, public education, and R&D.

The 40 million jobs that could be created in renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030 are not just engineering-related, but also include millions of new jobs in manufacturing, construction, accounting, and management. Currently, there are 8.5 million jobs that have spawned from the renewable energy industries.

According to ASES, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries today generate nearly $1 trillion in revenue in the U.S., contributing more than $150 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Teenager Builds A Solar Water Heater

solar water heater
You may have seen Garrett Yazzie and his family the other night on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Extreme Makeover built his family a new "green" home. But what is most interesting is the solar water heater he built from an old car radiator so he could heat his home. His younger sister has severe asthma and burning coal and wood in their wood burning stove was causing her problems.

That's why this young inventor and Navajo Indian, Garrett Yazzie, built the solar water heater - to heat his home for his family. Garrett has won numerous awards for this invention including a Discovery Channel Young Scientist Award. Not only did his solar water heater provide much needed heat for his family, but it got his family a new green home and a new Ford hybrid SUV. Not too bad for a 13 year old!

I think everyone should have one of these on their home. What I like about his solar water heater is he uses it to heat his home and his water. I believe he uses some kind of heat exchange system made out of a window fan. And, of course, the hot water can be utilized right out of the system - be careful though - it will be scalding hot. It looks like the water is heated in the radiator which is obviously under a sheet of glass or plexiglass. I'm not exactly sure what the soda cans are for. My best guess is there is a glass covering over the soda cans too and the soda cans are used as a crude air driven heat exchanger for heating the rooms. Of course, everything is pained black to absorb more of the suns rays. The rest is basic solar oven technology. The suns rays enter the glass and upon hitting the black surface, is converted to thermal energy which is trapped inside the glass by the greenhouse effect.

Start saving yourself some money today! If a 13 year old kid can do this, you certainly can do it. It costs very little money, it's easy to understand, so what are you waiting for? If you need more information, get my book "Electricity - Make it, Don't Buy it". There's a whole chapter in the book on solar heating and cooling. In addition to the other chapters, principles like thermosiphon, solar cooking, thermal walls, cryophorous, evaporative cooling, thermal mass, thermal chimney, parabolic and trough collectors, solar room, etc are discussed. Click the banner below for full details...

new peak oilRenewable Energy Solutions (eBook) - This family has been living off the grid for 14 years