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Archive for Friday, November 9, 2012

Letter: Climate impact

November 9, 2012

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To the editor:

Kansas’ continued severe drought and 27 days of temperatures of 100 or higher degrees this summer could be a taste of what is coming. Climate change models forecast prolonged droughts and higher nighttime temperatures in western Kansas. Average temperatures are projected to increase statewide by 3 degrees in summer and 4 degrees in fall and winter. Extreme weather — droughts, super-storms, wild swings in temperatures — will become more common.

That is why it is critical to reduce carbon dioxide emissions now. The Save our Climate Act (H.R. 3242) would efficiently place a fee on carbon-based fuels starting at $10/ton of CO2 and increasing annually by an additional $10/ton. This would move investment toward clean energy and energy efficiency and reduce U.S. emissions by an estimated 25 percent by 2020. By returning 80 percent of revenues to consumers, households would be shielded from the economic impact of rising energy costs.

The City Commission can join 40 cities such as Kansas City, Mo., in passing the Clean Air Cities model ordinance, which urges the Environmental Protection Agency to use the Clean Air Act to reduce atmospheric carbon to 350 parts per million — the level needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. Finally, the commission can also adopt a climate change action plan to reduce carbon emissions in the city by 25 percent. There is still a chance to reduce the impact of global warming if we act now.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

Excellent letter. The powers that be in Lawrence will never actively participate. But give it a shot.

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gr 1 year, 11 months ago

"Climate change models forecast prolonged droughts and higher nighttime temperatures in western Kansas. Average temperatures are projected to increase statewide by 3 degrees in summer and 4 degrees in fall and winter. Extreme weather — droughts, super-storms, wild swings in temperatures — will become more common."

So Clark, that is predicted. The future will determine whether that's true. What would it take happen in the future for you to believe it's not true? Anything? Or would you spin it some other way?

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't know about Clark, but I have found Hansen, Sato and Ruedy's article "Perception of Climate Change," published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science to be quite useful in sorting out the increasingly clear trend of climate change--here's the link: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/37/E2415.full.pdf+html?sid=49a62009-036c-4f0b-bd6f-6d286e1ff83e

One thing they focus in on is the emergence of extremely hot (more than 3 standard deviations from the 1951-1980 base) spells, which beforehand were no more than 1% of the global surface but has expanded to 10% of the planet. It is worth noting that this study was released in March, before this summer's drought, which puts our area in that 10% of the globe. This paper does a good job of showing that there is a shifting in the norms, not only toward the warm end of things, but a flatter "bell curve" that has a higher percentage of its area in the outliers. With this data analysis, it becomes increasingly difficult to wave off extreme weather events with the usual "well, it's not the first time this has happened, so what was going on last time?"

So given the reality of shifting norms, do you still denying it? Do you spin it some other way, using what rationales? Or are you coming around to accepting that it's real, and we're a major player in the changes that are occurring?

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gr 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, there does seem like a distraction in the news attempting to focus on the trivial or non-existence. We have sports, and traffic, and changing to mercury lightbulbs, patting ourselves on the back all the while Fukushima reactors are continuing to spew radiation into the environment, "Thyroid abnormalities found in Fukushima kids declared ‘ok’ by gov’t — Officials ordered doctors to stop examining patients", Louisiana is about to blow from the methane coming from a mile deep sinkhole most likely caused by Texas Brine, "Methane “much closer” to community than previously detected near giant sinkhole — Pressure now just below surface — Officials want to test every structure built on ground" http://enenews.com/

Now folks, just make sure you change your lightbulbs to the mercury kind and pat yourself on the back that you are helping remove mercury from the environment (and into your homes) and everything will be ok. Don't worry about the mutant butterflies and the deformed vegetables in Japan, the beef being imported from Japan, or that they have no idea where the core of the radioactive fuel is, how to contain it, or what to do about cleaning it up. Burning the contaminated materials is one thing they are doing. Pass more taxes to reduce our economy even more and then so what if Louisiana blows up or becomes one giant sinkhole with its stored radiation dump leaking to the surface.

Yep. Something is being distracted.

Just might not be what you think.

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Trumbull 1 year, 11 months ago

What is "distributed energy from dispatchable low-value and low-carbon resources"?

I happen to like solar. The mojave solar plant uses 1980's technology and is equivalent to a mid-sized coal powered plant.

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somedude20 1 year, 11 months ago

No worries...just pray to god and have it fix the problem

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gr 1 year, 11 months ago

"Cracks at South Korean nuclear plant raise fresh safety concerns

That deprives the national power grid of another source after operations were halted this month at two other reactors at the same complex to replace thousands of parts that were supplied with forged quality certificates.

Authorities warned at the time that halting those two reactors, Units 5 and 6, may result in "an unprecedented level" of strain on the nation's power supply. They account for about 5% of South Korea's total supply, according to the government. ... The cracks themselves are not a serious issue and have been found at reactors in such other countries as the United States and Japan, said Jae Moo-sung, a professor in the nuclear engineering department of Hanyang University." http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/09/world/asia/south-korea-nuclear-reactor/index.html

"Asia's fourth-largest economy generates 30 percent of its electricity from 23 nuclear reactors at state-owned plants, and the government has warned of the potential for unprecedented power shortages due to the shutdowns as demand peaks in winter." http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/09/us-korea-nuclear-idUSBRE8A80D420121109

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

oletimer: "If all your (and his) big ideas on alternative energy are so good, why aren't they being used and expanded? Tell you why. Because none of them work good enough. If they did you can bet there would be investors out there jumping on the bandwagon."

Well, oletimer, here's just a small sampling of the reality: folks are expanding their use and more and more investing are jumping on the bandwagon:

https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2012/Oct/NR-12-10-08.html

http://thesolarfoundation.org/sites/thesolarfoundation.org/files/2012%20Census%20Press%20Release%20FINAL.pdf

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Sunnovations-Solar-Hot-Water-is-Where-the-Money-Is-/

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