Finally, A Small But Significant Victory, Courtesy of the Senate

Yes – and it was about bloody time – the Senate finally held up at least a small part of its bargain with the American people: to protect the public health and the environment.

First, a little context: What you see on the left is the flaring of natural gas from oil rigs, in this case in Iraq.  It is a problem all over the world though. Flaring is but one part of the problem of how “fugitive” natural gas greatly exacerbates the climate crisis.   There is an awful lot of anthropogenically produced methane in the world that escapes into the atmosphere every year: about 7.13 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2013 according to the excellent Climate Access Indicators Tool (CAIT) of the World Resources Institute.  That was about 15% of the total of all the greenhouse gases produced that year, including those from land use changes like deforestation. Continue reading

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India Gets On Board


This is a chart of the total GHGs in the world, by country, as of 2011.  This, including greenhouse gases from land-use change, amounts to about 46 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.  (The brilliant folks at the World Resources Institute have made this very valuable “climate data explorer,” CAIT 2.0 available to everyone.)   As you no doubt know – and can see clearly from the chart – China and the US account for 36% of the world’s annual output of GHGs.  India, although much less of a contributor, is still responsible for more than 5% of the problem. Continue reading

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What We Know

what we knowI think it’s, to be honest, more-than-a-little absurd that scientists and policy makers feel the need, at this late date, to further underscore the immediacy, the clarity and the solid basis of the climate science that has been showing us, for decades, that we are in a crisis – and that catastrophe is looming. Continue reading

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CAIT 2.0

wri logoThe venerable World Resources Institute, a source for excellent policy insight and highly relevant and useful data and graphics, for over 30 years, has updated its invaluable Climate Analysis Indicators Tool to CAIT 2.0.  Jennifer Morgan, the director of WRI’s Climate and Energy Program, noted that the original version “…was frequently cited in news articles, policy briefs, and government documents, and was regularly used to inform policy discussions within the UNFCCC and other forums.”  I used it all the time and I missed it being offline.  In fact, it came back on Wednesday and I had it going in my class on Thursday morning. Continue reading

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