Time to take action on Climate Change – we have the solutions

 

Just read a great article by Ellen Moyer, Ph.D. In it she presents a clear cut analysis of the issues we face with climate change and existing solutions we can take to address these problems.

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Senate fails to take on climate change legislation

Party lines seem more important to US Senators than climate change

In what can only be seen as a major failure on the part of our country’s top politicians to put the welfare of their constituents ahead of their own interests, the U.S. Senate has allowed a majority of its members to block that august body from taking up a comprehensive  clean energy and climate change bill.

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Cape Wind project approved!

Cape Wind projectAfter a 9-year battle between the “haves” of Cape Cod on one side (with Robert Kennedy Jr. leading the pack) and environmentalists on the other, the Cape Wind project has just been approved by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

“”This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic coast,” Salazar said at a joint State House news conference with Governor Deval Patrick.

Salazar said the United States was leading “a clean energy revolution that is reshaping our future. … Cape Wind is the opening of a new chapter in that future and we are all a part of that history.”

For more details on this controversial and historic decision, see http://3.ly/rENY.

Will Costa Rica be the world’s first carbon neutral country?

Will Costa Rica be the world's first carbon neutral country?While in Costa Rica last Fall, I wrote a number of posts about that country’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. In one of them I mentioned Costa Rica’s goal to become the world’s first carbon neutral country.

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New Bill would create $250 million in Waste to Energy Grants

One of my earliest posts focused on innovative ways of creating energy http://tinyurl.com/ltg2b5.

One of the most energy efficient processes is Waste-to-Energy.  WTE plants convert municipal trash into steam and electricity, providing one of the most environmentally beneficial renewable energy options in the world, generating clean, renewable energy for local communities.

Now U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is proposing new legislation to create a $250 million grant program that would provide up to $5 million to individual projects.

The “Rubbish to Renewables Act of 2009” would have this new program be overseen by the US Department of Energy.

Speaking at an existing landfill gas project at the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio on May 28, Brown said “One man´s trash can be another man´s source of clean energy.”

“With the right investments” Brown said, “we can develop new clean energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new jobs and economic activity.”

The new bill, which Brown announced today, would create jobs and increase demand for clean energy technology.

 It would provide grants of up to $5 million to fund WTE projects. Grants would be awarded to projects based on their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs and economic activity.

 

Desert Solar Could Bring Power to all Europe

Projected Solar Array in the Sahara Desert

Projected Solar Array in the Sahara Desert

The use of solar power has seen tremendous growth around the world – for homes, commercial and even government use.

Now a researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria says solar could end up bringing power to all of Europe.

Dr. Anthony Patt, addressing scientists at this week’s climate change conference in Copenhagen, said a large solar array in the Sahara Desert could supply all of Europe’s energy demands.

Commenting on the incredible strength of the sun in the African Sahara, Patt estimated that solar panels would need to be installed in a portion of the Sahara the size of a small country to transmit power to all of Europe. Mirrors would focus the sun on thin pipes containing either salt or water, converting the sun’s energy into thermal solar power.

As exciting as this possibility is, however, Patt cautioned that opposition would likely be a hurdle to such a project. Also the projected cost of around $70 billion could deter government backing.

Still, the idea of bringing clean energy to numerous countries currently addicted to coal and nuclear power is appealing. Whether or not governments can see past the funding and regional concerns should be interesting to see.