We depend on the forests for a number of resources, which is why it is so important that we do all we can to conserve the trees and plants that we still have. Forest conservation has become a worldwide concern, and if you want to know more about how you can do your part, here is some information that may help.
Britain’s prestigious scientific society, the Royal Society, has published a new study detailing five final-resort schemes to prevent global warming from destroyingthe planet.
THe Royal Society is proposing ‘geoengineering’ solutions to the problem.
“It is an unpalatable truth that unless we can succeed in greatly reducing (greenhouse gas) emissions, we are headed for a very uncomfortable and challenging climate future,” said study leader Professor John Shepherd, an earth scientist at the
University of Southampton.
The Royal Society is recommending serious consideration be given to five ideas toreduce global warming:
My ‘Top Gear’ magazine dropped through the mailbox yesterday. Trouble is, I’ve realized that I’m not interested in the feature article on the cover. It’s about a test of supercars, including the Bugatti Veyron, in one of the Gulf states.
And why am I not interested? Because I’ve just been watching the eco-movie HOME. It’s beautifully filmed in High Definition and it has an important message.
For millions of years, the Earth has been storing up the carbon that threatens the planet’s survival. Over the last fifty years in particular, human beings have been extremely efficient at releasing it to power their lifestyles. And now the planet can’t cope any more.
The polar opposite to NASCAR and Formula 1 is hypermiling. The term was coined by Wayne Gerdes in 2004. It is used to describe to maximizing gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and driving techniques. Hypermilers aim to exceed the manufacturers’ stated economy figures.
Whilst most hypermiling is practised during everyday driving, it has now turned into a sport. World records were set for economy at the 2008 Maximum Fuel Economy contest held in Elkhart, Indiana. A Honda Insight, Toyota Prius and Ford escape Hybrid achieved record round trip fuel consumptions of 213 mpg, 136 mpg and 76 mpg respectively.
Last Tuesday at the Fourth Middle Class Task Force Meeting in Denver, Vice President Biden announced a $500 million green jobs training program designed to connect people to opportunities in the clean energy economy.
Vice President Biden at a meeting of the Middle Class Task Force said for many, small investments in training in new technology can pay off. Tom Fittus was at the Task Force meeting. A licensed electrician, Tom was looking for a new job after his old employer’s business slowed down. He enrolled in a two week solar-specific job training course and was hired by Namaste Solar, a small business in Colorado that builds and designs solar electric systems. Tom’s boss Blake Jones said Tom’s course made him “stick out” when he was considering hiring Tom, and considers specialized green job training as a substantial competitive advantage for both job seekers and businesses. Blake has even increased Namaste’s workforce by 20% this year and plans on increasing it by 40% by 2010- with help from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Roby Roberts of Vestas America, a wind turbine manufacturer, also shared the story of his company. Vestas is investing $1.5 billion in manufacturing facilities in Colorado that will employ 2,500 people when in operation. After it is built, Vestas’s Pueblo plant will be using more than two Golden Gate Bridges of steel to build wind turbine towers every year. A barrier to expanding its operations in the United States is finding skilled workers. That’s why Vestas is training the workforce it will need in Pueblo through a partnership with the local community college.
Garett Reppenhagen, a veteran who served as a sniper in Iraq and in Kosovo, was also at the Task Force meeting. Garett is a member of Veterans Green Jobs, an organization representing veterans of every branch of military who have enrolled in the Veterans Green Jobs Academy, a training and deployment program in energy efficiency and conservation. When these veterans graduate from their green jobs training on June 2nd, they will be leaders in green building, energy and renewable energies. As our troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, green jobs offer high paying opportunities for veterans that cannot be outsourced.
These are just three examples of why the $500 million green jobs training program is critical – whether to help someone update their skills so they can work on new technology like solar panels or to support the development of a skilled clean energy workforce to attract investment by renewable energy companies – investing in training is the first step toward expanding opportunities for the middle class in our clean energy economy.
Gardeners aren’t usually the first people you’d think would be contributing to global warming. But if they use peat-based compost then that’s the case. According to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, around 2.5 million cubic metres of peat are sold to commercial and amateur gardeners in the UK annually for compost.
So why is peat so important for the environment? Peat consists of decomposing plant material. As the plants were growing, they absorbed carbon dioxide. The CO2 was then ‘locked’ into the plant’s cell structure and stores as the plant turns to peat.
The Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research published some interesting research last week. The Centre predicts that half the carbon emissions savings made from greater fuel efficiencies will be wasted by a corresponding rise in fossil fuel use.
Terry Barker, the Centre’s Director, says that the politicians have not considered what he called ‘the rebound effect’. “The rebound effect is not very welcome to politicians because they have been thinking that energy-efficiency programmes are the answer to climate change”. He continues:” it’s not nearly as good an answer as they thought. Efficiency programmes will have to be ramped up to achieve the same targets”.
Motorcycle racing isn’t usually associated with the fight against global warming. But on 12th June 2009, the world-famous Isle of Man TT races will include the TTXGP – the first ever zero-emissions grand prix races. All the bikes taking part will be electric.
Whilst they might be good for the environment, these bikes aren’t slow. They’re capable of up to 150 mph around the 37.733-mile TT mountain course. They have no gears, just different power settings. If the torque of Tesla electric cars are anything to go by, the acceleration should be phenomenal.