Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Once-hidden EU report reveals damage from biodiesel | World | Reuters

Once-hidden EU report reveals damage from biodiesel | World | Reuters: "BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Biofuels such as biodiesel from soy beans can create up to four times more climate-warming emissions than standard diesel or petrol, according to an EU document released under freedom of information laws.

The European Union has set itself a goal of obtaining 10 percent of its road fuels from renewable sources, mostly biofuels, by the end of this decade, but it is now worrying about the unintended environmental impacts.

Four major studies are under way."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Antioch Abouna: Global Warning! (mine them, don't fear them)

Antioch Abouna: Global Warning! (mine them, don't fear them): "There is a danger facing us on this planet perhaps even more severe in its implications for humanity than the global warming. It concerns the global depletion of resources and the impact this will have other seemingly ever increasing population.

Sustainable development has been an issue for decades and yet we do not seem to have made much progress in dealing with it. When I was a teen report was published by the Club of Rome called ' The Limits to Growth ' (1972). This has been updated at least twice since other writing is still on the wall. We cannot keep on living as we have without endangering the ecosystem upon which we depend, but if we must as a species continue to grow numerically and economically, then we cannot look to the earth as an infinite resource for us to plunder indefinitely."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Notes from underground: Going Green: installing a solar-powered geyser

Notes from underground: Going Green: installing a solar-powered geyser:
This morning workmen came to install a solar-powered geyser in our house. It's a cold and rainy day and winter is approaching, so I'm not sure if we'll see the benefit immediately, but it will be interesting to see if the electricity bills are reduced after a few months.

Eskom, the national electricity supplier, offers subsidies for the installation of solar-powered geysers.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Climategate - MPs report clears scientists

Remember the "Climategate" scandal of a few months ago -- the discovery of e-mails that showed that climate change was a huge hoax, and that the conspiracy to propagate the hoax had at last been unmasked?

Well, it turns out that it wasn't a hoax, and that the conspiracy didn't exist, and that the whole thing was a storm in a tea cup. But you can bet that that won't get as much media coverage as the original rumours.

The Church Mouse Blog: Climategate - MPs report clears scientists:
The climategate scandal was the biggest challenge to the broadening consensus in Britain about the urgent need to limit carbon emissions to control the effects of climate change. The story broke that emails had been leaked between scientists at the heart of climate change research, in which they apparently stated that they were using a 'trick' to make the trends fit their theories. The conspiracy theories went wider, however, and claims were made that the emails showed that there was a conspiracy to subvert the whole scientific process on this issue.

It was a major international story. So presumably it is an equally big story that the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has now investigated the affair and concluded that there is no cover-up and no conspiracy. Well, no. But it should be.

Now perhaps someone should investigate the conspirators who decided to "unmask" the hoax that wasn't.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Eskom: clean energy, not coal! - Avaaz

In just days, the World Bank will vote on a proposed R29 billion loan to Eskom to build the fourth-largest coal plant in the world -- a climate disaster. At the same time, Eskom plans to effectively double electricity rates over the next three years. Big polluters are getting cut-rate electricity while ratepayers would be left to pay back this disastrous loan.

But the loan is not a done deal. Some creditors are having second thoughts, with the US expected to abstain and several European delegates reportedly on the fence. And we can tip the balance -- we just need one "no" vote to table the proposal since the Bank rarely proceeds with divisive votes!

While Eskom trumpets the plan, we can tell World Bank directors how we feel about coal. Let the Word Bank know that we don't want its dirty loan - click below to sign the petition today:

The Bank is right to recognize South Africa's energy needs, but this loan would be putting money in the wrong place. Instead of dirty coal, South Africa needs energy efficiency and clean, renewable sources of power that people who most need it can actually afford. If this loan is approved, South Africans will pay for it several-fold -- in meteoric electricity rates, missed clean energy investments, polluted air, destroyed land, and the warming earth on which we live.

Dozens of South African environmental, community, church, labour, academic and women's organizations, representing a diverse, unified voice have mobilized to stop the loan. But every voice counts in these last days before the World Bank vote. Act now -- sign the petition opposing the loan:

With hope,

Ben, Paul, Graziela, David, Alice, Ricken, and the whole Avaaz team

More information --

NGO Response to the World Bank panel report and Fact Sheet

Original World Bank Fact Sheet

Eskom Tariff Hikes Slammed

World Bank to Consider $4 Billion Loan Application From Eskom

SAfrica grants Eskom 24.8 pct price rise for 2010/11
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