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2009

Materials
  1. News Feeds (BBC News)
      "If you run your own website, you can use RSS feeds to display the latest headlines from other websites on your site." 09-08

Multimedia
  1. -09-07-08 Long-Term Green Strategy for the Economy (MSNBC News)
      Tom Friedman discusses his book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, about a green technology revolution to handle global warming and boost the economy. 09-08

  2. -09-10-09 From Landfills to Landscapes (Time.com)
      Describes a model program to reclaim a landfill for a park. 09-09

  3. -09-10-09 Saving Bees: What We Know (New York Times)
      "The first alarms about the sudden widespread disappearance of honeybees came in late 2006, and the phenomenon soon had a name: colony collapse disorder. In the two years that followed, about one-third of bee colonies vanished, while researchers toiled to figure out what was causing the collapse."

      "Honeybees are just one of the many species we depend on that are struggling mightily to withstand a steady stream of novel parasites and pathogens they have never encountered before, and have no tools to defend against." 09-09

  4. Antarctic Ice Shelf Breaking Up (UK.Reuters.com)
      "An Antarctic ice shelf is on the brink of collapse with just a sliver of ice holding it in place, the latest victim of global warming that is altering maps of the frozen continent." 01-09

News
  1. -01-11-09 Stimulus Debate on "Clean Coal" (U.S. News)
      "Steven Chu, President-elect Barack Obama's pick for energy secretary, met this week with several Illinois lawmakers to hear their pitch for a stimulus-related project: the revival of a $1.9 billion advanced coal plant in Mattoon, Ill. The project had its funding revoked last year by the Bush administration, which at the time cited "restructuring" as the cause. Chu, according to one congressional aide, listened intently during the meeting but made no promises about restoring the project, which is arguably the world's most ambitious 'clean coal' effort, at least in conception." 01-09

  2. -01-14-09 TVA Ordered to Clean Up Coal-Fired Plants (CNN News)
      "A federal judge has ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to clean up four coal-fired plants that he said were engulfing parts of North Carolina with air pollution -- emissions that fouled the region's health, economy and natural resources." 01-09

  3. -01-26-09 Obama to Let States Set Higher MPG and Auto Emission Standards (CNN News)
      "President Obama signed a memorandum Monday requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider an application by California to set more stringent auto emissions and fuel efficiency standards than required by federal law."

      "If the EPA grants a waiver allowing California to set its own emissions standards, the nation's largest state will be allowed to require automakers to produce trucks and cars that get better mileage than what is required under the current national standard."

      "Thirteen other states could take similar action." 01-09

  4. -01-26-09 Raising the Bar on Fighting Climate Change (Time.com)
      "The Bush White House was so profoundly hostile to action on global warming that during its eight-year tenure, one could have qualified as a 'green progressive' simply by asserting that climate change was real. In 2007, under these circumstances — perhaps because of them — was born an unlikely alliance between Duke Energy, a North Carolina-based utility that depends heavily on coal, and the Environmental Defense Fund, which together with 30 other green groups and major corporations, formed the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP)." 01-09

  5. -02-20-09 Water May Be Cut Off From California Farms (MSNBC News)
      "Federal water managers said they may have to cut off all water to some of California’s largest farms as a result of the deepening drought affecting the state."

      "U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said Friday that parched reservoirs and patchy snow and rainfall this year would likely force them to cut surface water deliveries completely. It would be the first time in more than 15 years such a move was taken." 02-09

  6. -02-23-09 NASA To Launch Its First Carbon-Testing Satellite (PBS News)
      "The mission's purpose is to map global CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, which scientists can use to pinpoint sources of CO2 emissions and areas where CO2 is being removed from the air through absorption, called 'sinks.' "

      "In the earth's natural carbon cycle, trees, land plants and oceans can act as carbon sinks. Scientists know that humans emit approximately 8 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year, mostly through burning fossil fuels. But of those 8 billion tons of carbon, less than 4 billion tons remain in the atmosphere. Scientists know that the oceans absorb about 2 billion tons but that leaves more than 2 billion tons of carbon being absorbed somewhere on land. And scientists working on land haven't been able to find evidence that trees and plants absorb that much CO2."

      "According to Crisp, there's another intriguing layer to the mystery of the missing sink. 'The bigger puzzle is that the amount of CO2 that stays in the atmosphere from one year to the next changes dramatically,' he said. 'Some years the earth absorbs almost all of the CO2 that humans emit, and other years it absorbs almost none. We don't know why.' "

      "While NASA's satellite will measure CO2 sinks, Ibuki will concentrate on CO2 sources. Crisp says the teams are looking forward to sharing data and results, both with each other and the global scientific community."

      Editor's Note: The rocket launch failed and the satellite was destroyed. 02-09

  7. -03-12-09 Chairman of House Energy Committee Pushes for Action (U.S. News)
      "If America doesn't act, Waxman warns, the country will pay a hefty price in terms of health, the environment, national security, and global instability. 'We're more and more suffering the consequences of global warming and climate change, which scientists tell us could be irreversible if we don't take very serious action now,' he says." 03-09

  8. -03-18-09 Is Obama's Environmental Agenda Losing Out? (Time.com)
      "Already, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman has told environmental groups that while he aims to have the greenhouse gas legislation they have pushed hard for ready by Memorial Day, he'll be competing with House and Senate working groups aiming to have a health care reform bill done at about the same time." 03-09

  9. -03-20-09 Robotic Fish to Monitor Water Pollution (CBS News)
      "A school of mechanical, battery-powered robots in the shape of fish will be released into a Spanish port to help monitor pollution there, scientists said Friday." 03-09

  10. -03-25-09 United Nations Climate Change Conference (CBS News)
      The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Copenhagen on December 7 - 18, 2009. 03-09

  11. -03-26-09 Six Scientists on the Cutting Edge of Environmental Research (U.S. News)
      Provides an update on the work of six scientists. 03-09

  12. -03-29-08 Earth Hour '08: Will It Matter? (Time.com)
      "Starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand, citizens from around the world will shut off their lights for an hour, to draw attention to the connection between energy use and climate change. From New Zealand, the event will move westward with the sun to Australia, Manila, Dubai, Dublin, New York, Chicago and finally end in San Francisco, where both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge will go dark for an hour. Earth Hour is being sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and its head Carter Roberts says the global event 'will make a statement about our commitment to solve the climate change problem and symbolize the commitment that people will make throughout the rest of the year.' (Hear Roberts talk about Earth Hour on this week's Greencast.)" 03-08

  13. -03-30-09 World's Most Polluted Cities (Time.com)
      "This soot-blackened city [Linfen] in China's inland Shanxi province makes Dickensian London look as pristine as a nature park. Shanxi is the heart of China's coal belt, and the hills around Linfen are dotted with mines, legal and illegal, and the air is filled with burning coal. Don't bother hanging your laundry — it'll turn black before it dries. China's State Environmental Protection Agency says that Linfen has the worst air in the country, which is saying something, considering that the World Bank has reported that 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are Chinese." 03-09

  14. -04-03-09 Scientists Admit Global Warming Is a Hoax...Not (Christian Science Monitor)
      "In an unprecedented move Wednesday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee rescinded the Peace Prize it awarded in 2007 to former US vice president Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, amid overwhelming evidence that global warming is an elaborate hoax cooked up by Mr. Gore."

      "After revoking the 2007 prize from Gore and the IPCC, the Nobel committee retroactively awarded it to the more than 31,000 people who signed the Oregon Petition – an appeal challenging the notion that there exists a scientific consensus regarding global warming – 'for their efforts to pursue pure, objective science that is free from the influence of any special interest group.' "

      "The prize of about $1.53 million will be divided equally among the petition’s signatories, whose expertise ranges from astrology to Intelligent Design."

      Editor's Note: This article is an April's Fools Day joke, if it was not sufficiently obvious. 04-09

  15. -04-26-09 California Regulators Push for Low Carbon Intensity Fuels (SciTech.com)
      "The California Air Resources Board (CARB) late Thursday approved the controversial Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which would force fuel producers to lower their 'carbon intensity' of their products by 10 percent by 2020."

      "Makers of ethanol said the rating system unfairly ties their U.S.-made corn-based fuel to mass deforestation – not in the United States – but in developing nations. Ethanol critics say the entire biofuel industry should bear global responsibility for clearing of trees to make farmland to grow crops that will be used to make the fuel." 04-09

  16. -04-26-09 Future Internet Trends (SciTech.com)
      "Here are a few fun/interesting tech trends of the day." 04-09

  17. -05-08-09 Editorial: The Climate Debate (New York Times)
      "Earlier this week, and not a moment too soon, President Obama put the weight of his office behind a bill that aims to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, tackle the rise in greenhouse gases and create millions of clean-energy jobs." 05-09

  18. -05-17-09 Most Voters Support the Fight Against Global Warming (U.S. News)
      "The poll, conducted by the Mellman Group, a Democratic firm, and released by the Pew Environmental Group, finds that 77 percent of voters favor action 'to reduce global warming emissions' and that only 22 percent of voters say they would view members of Congress less favorably 'if they support a comprehensive plan to create clean energy jobs and fight global warming.' " 05-09

  19. -06-26-09 Controversial Provisions in the Proposed Climate Bill (MSNBC News)
      "Concessions to farmers and lawmakers from rural areas erased a major obstacle facing a massive climate bill before the House but divided environmentalists, some of whom now oppose the legislation." 06-09

  20. -06-26-09 House Passes Comprehensive Climate Bill (CBS News)
      "In a triumph for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed sweeping legislation Friday that calls for the nation's first limits on pollution linked to global warming and aims to usher in a new era of cleaner, yet more costly energy." 06-09

  21. -06-27-09 What the Climate Bill Means for CO2 Emissions (Time.com)
      "To keep conservative Democrats on board — especially those in the coal-heavy Midwest and Southeast — Waxman and Markey allowed the bill to be watered down considerably, loosening the overall carbon cap and scaling back the renewable-energy standard. When the powerful farm lobby balked at the bill, it was changed to allow farmers to sell offsets from agriculture, such as no-till farming, which leaves carbon in the soil. Worse, oversight of the agricultural offsets was taken away from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and given to the Department of Agriculture, which isn't exactly a neutral party."

      "As a result, the bill will achieve most of its stated carbon cuts through offsets and through improving energy efficiency, rather than encouraging the growth of low-carbon renewable electricity."

      "Instead of investment flowing to new solar and wind companies, to electric cars and public transit, that money is likely to go to foreign offsets and farmers." 06-09

  22. -07-07-09 Pickens Gives Up on Largest Wind Farm (Time.com)
      "Plans for the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped, energy baron T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday, and he's looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines." 07-09

  23. -07-09-09 G8 Summit to Tackle Food Supplies (BBC News)
      "Leaders of developed G8 nations are to unveil new efforts to boost food supplies to the hungry, during the final day of their summit in Italy."

      "They are expected to commit as much as $15bn (£9.2bn) to efforts to help poor nations develop their own agriculture."

      "On Thursday, the second day of talks, the summit focused on climate change."

      "Leaders from both developed and developing nations agreed that global temperatures should not rise more than 2C above 1900 levels."

      "That is the level above which, the UN says, the Earth's climate system would become dangerously unstable." 07-09

  24. -07-22-09 Texas Drought Takes Toll on Farmers (CBS News)
      " It's been a tough summer in the Lone Star State. In Austin, nearly every day this month has seen triple-digit temperatures."

      "But the damage is really being done outside the cities, with a drought that could mean near-record losses for people who make their living off the land, as CBS News correspondent Don Teague reports." 07-09

  25. -08-05-09 Helping Trash Pickers Hurt Badly by the Global Recession (New York Times))
      "Informal junk shops should have to apply for licenses, and governments should create or expand doorstep waste collection programs to employ trash pickers. Instead of sorting through haphazard trash heaps and landfills, the pickers would have access to the cleaner scrap that comes straight from households and often brings a higher price. Employing the trash pickers at this step would ensure that recyclables wouldn’t have to be lugged to landfills in the first place."

      "Experienced trash pickers, once incorporated into the formal economy, would recycle as efficiently as they always have, but they’d gain access to information on global scrap prices and would be better able to bargain for fair compensation. Governments should charge households a service fee, which would also supplement the trash pickers’ income, and provide them with an extra measure of insurance against future crises." 08-09

  26. -08-22-09 Can the Energy Secretary Get Americans to Care? (Time.com)
      " 'In the U.S., rock stars and sports stars are the glamour people. In China, it's scholars,' Chu told me during his trip to Beijing. 'Here, Nobel laureates are the equivalent of Britney Spears."

      "That's one reason Chu's message doesn't resonate all that well with Americans. They ranked global warming last in a national survey of 20 top priorities; in a global poll, only 44% of them wanted action to be taken on the issue, vs. 94% of Chinese." 08-09

  27. -09-22-09 Leaders Meet on Climate Change (CNN New)
      "World leaders converge Tuesday in New York to focus on climate change, with the clock ticking down toward a summit this year in Denmark, where a global climate change pact is to be signed."

      "Chinese President Hu Jintao, U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Rwandan President Paul Kagame are among the world leaders expected to speak Tuesday."

      "Roundtables are also planned, all with the overarching and generally accepted goal of limiting the rise of Earth's temperature to within 2 degrees Fahrenheit above its temperature before the industrial revolution." 09-09

  28. -09-23-09 China, Not U.S., Stars at Climate Summit (MSNBC News)
      "Although some 100 world leaders met Tuesday for a U.N. climate summit, most of the attention was on just two — President Barack Obama and China's Hu Jintao. Both vowed to take the threat of rising seas, drought and deforestation seriously, but only one had some momentum behind him and it wasn't Obama."

      " 'China and India have announced very ambitious national climate change plans,' Yvo de Boer said. 'In the case of China, so ambitious that it could well become the front-runner in the fight to address climate change,' de Boer said. 'The big question mark is the U.S.' " 09-09

  29. -09-24-09 Is China the "Good Guy" on Climate Change? (Time.com)
      "Now the world's fastest growing big economy is ready to move into one of the world's fastest growing financial markets: carbon-trading. The China-Beijing Environmental Exchange (CBEEX) and the French emissions exchange BlueNext announced on Sept. 23 that they were putting together a carbon market standard for China." 09-09

  30. -09-28-09 Exxon Invests in Algae-Based Fuel (MSNBC News)
      "Exxon Mobil Corp. said Tuesday it will make its first major investment in greenhouse-gas reducing biofuels in a $600 million partnership with biotech company Synthetic Genomics Inc. to develop transportation fuels from algae." 09-09

  31. -10-14-09 Solar House Contest (U.S. News)
      "What might look like a quirky 20-home subdivision that has sprung up on the National Mall between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument is actually the Solar Decathlon, a college competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy every two years." 10-09

  32. -10-16-09 Small Clean-Energy Producers Get a Boost (Green Inc.)
      "One bill requires utilities to buy power from a larger pool of small solar generators for above-market prices. The idea, modeled after similar programs in Germany, is to increase market access for small-scale producers of solar power — to 3 megawatts from 1.5 megawatts."

      "The other bill would require utilities to pay homeowners for excess energy they generate from their wind turbines or solar panels over the course of a year. Homeowners previously were not compensated for extra energy they sent back to the grid." 10-09

  33. -10-22-09 Poll: Fewer Now Believe in Global Warming (CBS News)
      "Andrew Weaver, a professor of climate analysis at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, said politics could be drowning out scientific awareness."

      " 'It's a combination of poor communication by scientists, a lousy summer in the Eastern United States, people mixing up weather and climate and a full-court press by public relations firms and lobby groups trying to instill a sense of uncertainty and confusion in the public,' he said."

      "Despite misgivings about the science, half the respondents still say they support limits on greenhouse gases, even if they could lead to higher energy prices, and a majority - 56 percent - feel the United States should join other countries in setting standards to address global climate change." 10-09

  34. -10-28-09 Energy Secretary Pushes Legislation (ABC News)
      "At the Senate hearing, Chu stressed that the United States should capitalize on the global need to cut emissions by taking the lead in renewable energy technology." 10-09

  35. -11-07-09 California's Water Plan (Time.com)
      "For 50 years, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has funneled the Sierra Nevada snow runoff from the Sacramento Valley in the north to the giant farms in California's central valley and the now nearly 20 million people who live in Southern California. Both the economy and population of California are growing, but the amount of available water remains the same, or declines, as is currently the case with the state's worst drought in two decades. The legislation creates a new seven-member council to oversee and restore the fragile Delta, imposes a 20% conservation mandate for cities by 2020 and requires the monitoring of groundwater levels throughout the state. It also places a $11.1 billion bond on next November's ballot to pay for overhauling the water system. The bond measure is larded with water projects statewide in an attempt to encourage passage." 11-09

  36. -11-27-09 China Proposes to Reduce Rate of Emissions (ABC News)
      "The Chinese propose, by 2020, to reduce so-called carbon intensity — or the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output — by 40 to 45 percent compared with 2005 levels. By that measure, emissions would still increase, though the rate would slow."

      "In a sense, the Chinese offer is less ambitious than the American proposal because China is already well on the way to its target with existing energy efficiency initiatives, while the American offer would require changes in many government policies. American efforts, though, have been mired in Congressional infighting."

      "Yet the offers by the United States and China both amount to politically safe opening bids in what is likely to be a long, tough process of negotiations on concrete steps that the two countries should take to address climate change."

      Editor's Note: Neither the U.S. nor China are planning reductions in emissions in relationship to the actual dangers of emissions for the climate; rather, both are using political goals that have no relationship to the dangers. 11-09

  37. -12-07-09 The Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (Time.com)
      Provides the agenda and more for COP15. 12-09

  38. -12-11-08 Obama Picks His Environment and Energy Team (New York Times)
      "President-elect Barack Obama has selected his top energy and environmental advisers, including a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, presidential transition officials said Wednesday." 12-08

  39. EPA: Greenhouse Gases Pose a Threat to Health (Time.com)
      "In detail, Thursday's decision means that any new air pollution permits for coal plants will require that Best Available Control Technology (BACT) be used to reduce CO2 emissions, the same criteria currently used for other pollutants, like sulfur dioxide or soot. BACT requires companies involved in power plants to use the best available technology to control pollutants — it's a tool to keep pollution controls up to date as both safety technology and our understanding of pollution impoves. In the past, CO2 wasn't affected by BACT because the EPA didn't recognize it as a pollutant. This decision changes that." 04-09

  40. Obama Announces Climate Deal (New York Times)
      "President Obama announced here [Copenhagen] on Friday night that five major nations, including the United States, had together forged a climate deal. He called it 'an unprecedented breakthrough' but acknowledged that it still fell short of what was required to combat global warming."

      "The accord provides a system for monitoring and reporting progress toward those national pollution-reduction goals, a compromise on an issue over which China bargained hard. It calls for hundreds of billions of dollars to flow from wealthy nations to those countries most vulnerable to a changing climate. And it sets a goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2050, implying deep cuts in climate-altering emissions over the next four decades."

      "Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, a Sudanese diplomat who has been representing the Group of 77 developing countries, denounced the accord."

      " 'The developed countries have decided that damage to developing countries is acceptable,' he told reporters, saying that the 2-degree target would 'result in massive devastation to Africa and small island states.' He and many other representatives of the most vulnerable countries wanted a target of 1.5 degrees."

      Editor's Note: The likely and irreversible climate changes that a 2 degree increase may bring are gigantic: Loss of Arctic ice in summers (triggering more warming via the oceans), loss of a large portion of Asia's freshwater from glaciers, melting of permafrost in Russia and elsewhere (releasing enormous amounts of CO2 and methane), slowing or stopping of global ocean currents (increasing temperature extremes), and cascading consequences from each of these individual events taken together.

      We can no longer reverse the overall amount of CO2 in the air by just using solar and wind energy or improving energy efficiency; with such methods alone, the climate will continue to warm because 8 times more CO2 enters the air from decaying biomass than from human activity. It is the combination of decaying biomass plus human activity that has increased the CO2 by 3 percent per year. We can, however, reverse the total CO2 in the air by pyrolyzing organic waste (biomass). 12-09

Papers
  1. Study: Global Warming Can Be Reduced (MSNBC News)
      "So what would the world's temperatures, and the planet, look like in 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continued as is? And if they were cut by 70 percent?"

      Editor's Note: The assumptions in this study are more conservative, suggest substantially less damage, than other large scale studies cited in the Awesome Library. Other studies suggest that CO2 must be reduced in the atmosphere, not just added to the atmosphere more slowly, to avert a catastrophe. 04-09

  2. World Leaders Agree to Delay Agreement on Climate Change (New York Times)
      "President Obama and other world leaders have decided to put off the difficult task of reaching a climate change agreement at a global climate conference scheduled for next month, agreeing instead to make it the mission of the Copenhagen conference to reach a less specific 'politically binding' agreement that would punt the most difficult issues into the future." 11-09

   
   


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