29 January 2012

Climate in the media to 29 January 2012

PICKS OF THE WEEK---------------

Shale Gas a Bridge to More Global Warming
Stephen Leahy, IPS, 24 January 2012
Hundreds of thousands of shale gas wells are being "fracked" in the United States and Canada, allowing large amounts of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, to escape into the atmosphere, new studies have shown.
Abbott backs coal seam gas over coal mining
George Roberts, ABC PM, January 25, 2012
The Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has cautiously backed the controversial coal seam gas or CSG industry.

Energy firms set sights on 'super fracking'
David Wethe, Bloomberg, January 28, 2012
As regulators and environmentalists study whether hydraulic fracturing can damage the environment, industry scientists are studying ways to create longer, deeper cracks in the earth to release more oil and natural gas.

Solar PV to reach parity in half of the world’s countries by 2015
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 26 January 2012
Zhengrong Shi has delivered the most bullish forecast to date for the China solar PV market, predicting that 4 gigawatts – or even more – of solar PV could be deployed in the country in 2012.

Sen. Bernie Sanders Pledges to Introduce Legislation Repealing 'Absurd' Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Ashley Portero, IBT, January 24, 2012
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vt.)  pledged Tuesday to introduce legislation to repeal federal tax breaks and subsidies to the profitable fossil fuel industry, declaring at a Capitol Hill rally that "the most profitable corporations in the world do not need subsidies from the American people."

Green energy investment soars to $260bn
Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 12 January 2012
New data shows worldwide funding of green energy projects rose by 5% last year
Here comes the sun

As emissions rise, we may be heading for an ice-free planet
Andrew Glikson, CCR, 24 January 2012
At last December’s meeting of the American Geophysical Union, James Hansen attracted the most attention when he stated: "If you doubled CO₂, which practically all governments assume we’re going to do, that would eventually get us to the ice-free state". 


With new efficiency record, thin film solar expected to compete with coal by 2015 without subsidies
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 21 January 2012
First Solar’s new solar PV efficiency record went largely un-noticed in the local media last week, but it represents a major step forward for the march towards price parity for solar technology.

Science on wind turbine illness dubious, say experts
Ben Cubby, SMH, January 24, 2012
Fears that wind turbines make people sick are ''not scientifically valid'', and the arguments mounted by anti-wind farm campaigners are unconvincing, according to confidential briefings given to the state government by NSW Health.

The hot CleanTech projects of 2012
Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy, 25 January 2012
As the experts pointed out in the 2012 cleantech predictions story we published on RenewEconomy on Tuesday, this year shapes up as a critical one for many emerging technologies in Australia.

The shocking truth about wind power
Fiona Armstrong, Cliumate Spectator, 25 January 2012
A new paper investigating the health impacts of wind farms has found no evidence of associated increases in illness, reiterating the fact that the shock of the new should not be confused with a new kind of shock.
Science on wind turbine illness dubious, say experts

FirstEnergy to retire 6 power plants, incur charges
Reuters, January 26, 2012
FirstEnergy will retire six coal-fired power plants by September as the U.S. environmental regulator tightens regulations, and the diversified energy company said it will take a related charge.

Green Cement
Living on Earth, 27 January 2012
Concrete is one of the most widely used materials in the world. It also accounts for five percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. But researchers at Drexel University are trying to change that with a cool new cement that doesn’t need heating, just mixing.

Better Understanding and Improving Climate Communications
Bud Ward, Yale forum, January 25, 2012
Some 100 social scientists, communications experts, and climate scientists convene at University of Michigan’s Erb Institute/Union of Concerned Scientists session to better understand, improve climate communication dialogue.

Evolutionary Psychology of Climate Change
Brian Kateman, Columbia blogs, 9 January 2012 | 1.9.2012 at 2:15pm | 8 Comments
Why haven’t we rallied our collective power to mitigate climate change? Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” argues that the human brain is poorly equipped to respond to global warming. 


How to write a charity email

Bid to out the money behind the voice against climate change
Graham Readferan, SMH, 27 January 2012
A climate change sceptic think-tank with close ties to Australia could have one of its key financial backers unmasked after a court challenge later today.

Minister used his own numbers on carbon cost
Josh Gordon, The Age, January 25, 2012
Energy Minister Michael O'Brien ignored his own department's economic modelling on the impact of the federal carbon tax, instead relying on his own calculations to claim Victoria would be hit ''first and hardest''.

Slacking off on climate is just not cricket
Ian Lowe, ABC Environment, 23 Jan 2012
It was five weeks ago - on 12 December, to be precise - that Australian cricket was in terminal decline, having lost to New Zealand on home soil for the first time in 25 years.

Obama makes strong call for clean energy — oh, and drilling and fracking too
Lisa Hymas, Grist, 25 Jan 2012 12:53 AM
Clean energy rocks. Nice, deserving people get jobs at wind-turbine plants. Solyndra-style investments are critical. Oil-industry subsidies suck. Energy efficiency is an economic engine. We need to drill, baby, drill. And we need to frack, baby, frack.

U.K. Lawmakers Threaten to Ground Non-Carbon Compliant Planes
Mathew Carr, Bloomberg,  Jan 26, 2012
Airlines using U.K. airspace should be grounded if they refuse to comply with the European Union’s greenhouse-gas emissions-trading system, according to a panel of lawmakers. 


'Concretized beaches hasten erosion'
Paul Fernandez, TNN, 23 January 2012
Quicker heating up of the coastal belt due to the capacity of concretized stretches to soak up heat contributes to enhanced beach erosion as the winds and waves batter the coast harder, a scientist has stated.

Sunshade Geoengineering More Likely to Improve Global Food Security, Research Suggests
ScienceDaily. Jan. 22, 2012
Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing Earth to get hotter and hotter.

Injecting Sulfate Particles Into Stratosphere Won't Fully Offset Climate Change
ScienceDaily, Jan. 25, 2012
As the reality and the impact of climate warming have become clearer in the last decade, researchers have looked for possible engineering solutions -- such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or directing the sun's heat away from Earth -- to help offset rising temperatures.

Insight: rise in Arctic shrubs likely to increase vulnerability of permafrost
ERW, 23 January 2012
Over the last few decades, the number of Arctic shrubs has increased, apparently driven by a warming climate. Continued strong warming is projected and it is possible that the Arctic is on the cusp of a major vegetation transition from grassy tundra to shrubland.

Arctic Temperatures Continue Rapid Rise as 2011 Breaks Record Set in 2010
Nick Sundt, WWF, 20 January 2012
NASA yesterday (19 January 2012) released data showing that last year temperatures in the Arctic rose beyond the record established in 2010 -- setting a new record for 2011. News of the record Arctic temperatures follows a series of alarming developments related to the Arctic in recent months.

First report on UK climate impact
David Shukman, BBC News, 26 January 2012
Climate change this century poses both risks and opportunities, according to the first comprehensive government assessment of its type.

Animals can't keep up with climate change
Paul Bignell, The Independent, 22 January 2012
Study of 11,000 bird and butterfly species shows many are at risk