Monday, November 28, 2011

Future Sustainability

    In my blog I sought to in some way enlighten any readers I could on issues pertaining to sustainability. This mostly included areas such as renewable energy sources, plans for the reduction in greenhouse gasses, and other general topics concerning sustainability. However, I cannot pretend that my goals of informing others did not have some residual benefits for my own education. In fact, I learned much in my journey through various articles, periodicals, and sustainable endeavors. 
    I sincerely hope that this blog has served a beneficial role in educating and displaying the usefulness of sustainability. There are countless resources available to those interested in such matters, and many are available (free) online. My main source for articles and information was The Guardian, specifically the Environment Section.

Monday, November 21, 2011

“the most anti-environmental Congress in history.”

   There was a time, not even too long ago, when there at least existed bipartisan efforts to maintain regulations on the Clean Air and Water Acts, in effect since 1970. However, recent years have seen, along with the complete annihilation of congressional productivity, an absense of any bipartisanship in efforts to save the environment.
   In a haze of "antiregulatory fervor, allegiance to industry and a refusal to accept the fact of climate change," Republicans in congress have done more in the past few years do unto what little progress has been made toward creating a more sustainable earth. Even disregarding the looming, figurative, American, economic apocalypse, it is simply appalling that such abhorrent goals permeate such a major sector of our legislative branch.

Climate Storm

   It seems soon enough the link between climate change and extreme weather will be officially recognized by the IPCC in their coming report. This link, while presumed by most within the study of climate change, and indicated by much data, has yet to be fully, explicitly defined and recognized by the IPCC, the main body in the study of climate change. 
   While most involved in the study of climate change know that this link is implied by much data, its full admission will present a valuable tool in convincing the general public of the necessity for action. Broad, long-term potential effects, while potentially disastrous, are vague; explicit links which can be made between actual weather occurrences and man-caused GHG's will illustrate a much more tangible need.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Puttering About

   Apparently, it's only okay to quit if you're in the economic upper crust. The developed, "rich" nations have given up on making gains on attaining real advances in the fight against climate change. Why? It seems the perils of bureaucracy are too much for our world's foremost leaders.
   It now seems up to the individual citizens of the world to accomplish what nations seem incapable of doing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CIA "Secrets"

   The CIA has existed with a great aura of mystique within American culture. It is seen by many as the realm of covert spies and the storehouse for confidential state secrets. Though, perhaps this should not be the case for the CIA's investigation of matters such as climate change. The Defense Science Board, a U.S.  government agency, issued a report which suggested precisely this. The CIA should begin "sharing the intelligence it has been gathering on climate change," the report says. This raises a few interesting questions. First, could this information be helpful in displaying the severity of the situation of the planet? If so, assuming the information would not compromise information vitally important to maintaining the safety of American citizens, why has it not been released already?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nuclear Power

   Nuclear energy is, while a relatively cheap and carbon light source of energy, an incredibly disputed form of energy. The issues of nuclear sources of energy are namely those related to human health. Normally, nuclear power plants are not particularly dangerous, however, when accidents occur, the radiation released from such power plants can be incredibly dangerous to human health. Also, the waste from power plants is highly dangerous, and must be isolated from humans for very long periods of time. For nuclear energy to be widely accepted the public must be assured that it presents a completely safe option.
   However, this confidence is torn down entirely when catastrophes such as that which occurred in Fukushima, Japan eight months ago. The tsunami-induced event cost the lives of 20,000 people. The reactor will take up to thirty years to be completely shut down. It is events like these which shed light on the serious dangers of nuclear power and the stringent precautions necessary to ensure the safety of those near the reactors. And, even when those protections are enacted, events can still transpire which serve to endanger thousands of lives.

Tar Sands Pipeline Delayed

   Tar sands is an extremely controversial topic which lights up very strong opinions on both sides of the political isle. It is often viewed as a "choice between the environment and the economy." Tar sands projects can be potentially dangerous to the environment, and many take issue with the implementation of this process as a means of creating energy on these grounds. The process has a much higher impact on the environment than conventional oil. As such, many environmental groups lobbied against the process because it would serve to lock the US into fossil fuels instead of incentivizing cleaner sources of energy. However, others sing the praises of the means of energy creation as it would allow the US to become more energy independent, lessening our reliance upon foreign sources of oil and lowering energy costs.
   It appears today, however, that neither side has appeared a winner when the Keyston XL pipeline is considered, as President Obama's decision served only to delay the decision on the pipeline. This was very likely a political move to avoid being forced to alienate potential voters on either side of the issue by making a decision. However, the project will likely fall by the wayside, as the likelihood of the plans being continued through to 2013 are unlikely.