All posts by nancyhost

Global warming limit ‘close to being broken’

1.5 % Going Once Going,  Going Twice… Gone

August 7th, 2016

RTE News of Ireland is reporting that the upcoming meeting in Geneva of the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which plans to figure out how the world can meet the 1.5% C rise goal, as outlined in the Paris Agreement is now, only eight months later, will be very, very difficult to reach.

Stanford University Professor Chris Field, told the newspaper staying below 1.5C looked “impossible or at the very least, a very, very difficult task”.

Dr. Ben Sanderson, of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, suggested that it would take a global effort with such measures on an unprecedented scale to keep the target – a “tall order”.

“If the world puts all its resources into finding ways to generate power without burning fossil fuels, and if there were international agreements that action must happen instantly, and if carbon emissions were brought down to zero before 2050, then a rise of no more than 1.5C might just be achieved,” Dr. Sanderson said.

The panel will be looking at coordinated global efforts to move away from coal-fired power and the combustion engine as a way to still meet this 1.5% goal. Negative emission and carbon capture and storage will also be on the table.

This to me is like a real Independence Day movie, where a small group of people from different walks of life and skills gather under the direction of an exceptional “Can-Do” US President musters what it must do to destroy the asteroid heading toward Earth.

Except we don’t have the hero’s lined up yet.

 

 

 

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here

One of the driest countries on Earth now makes more freshwater than it needs

That is the headline of an article in the July 29th edition of Scientific American, written by  Rowan Jacobsen, Ensia.

Call it a Desali” a natural” ization breakthrough because researchers figured out how to eliminate the Achilles heel of desalination that requires costly and chemical intensive agents with a natural chemical-free process, and now Israel, has the largest reverse osmosis facility in the world and gets 55% of its water from desalination.  Here is an excerpt of the Scientific American article:

Bar-Zeev, who recently joined Israel’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research after completing his postdoc work at Yale University, is an expert on biofouling, which has always been an Achilles’ heel of desalination and one of the reasons it has been considered a last resort. Desal works by pushing saltwater into membranes containing microscopic pores. The water gets through, while the larger salt molecules are left behind. But microorganisms in seawater quickly colonize the membranes and block the pores, and controlling them requires periodic costly and chemical-intensive cleaning. But Bar-Zeev and colleagues developed a chemical-free system using porous lava stone to capture the microorganisms before they reach the membranes. It’s just one of many breakthroughs in membrane technology that have made desalination much more efficient. Israel now gets 55 percent of its domestic water from desalination, and that has helped to turn one of the world’s driest countries into the unlikeliest of water giants.

The article goes on to point out that Syria, facing the same drought of 2008, just kept drilling deeper and deeper until the wells and farmland collapsed, causing an exodus to cities and creating the current unrest and crisis.

So maybe, juts maybe, the solution isn’t to “bomb the hell out of ISIS” but to have the world build them as Israeli-invented Desalination plant, get refugees back to their farms and take away the desperation that drives so many to join ISIS in the first place.

Just saying…

Solar power has big limitations. This wonder material could change that

Imagine that, Progress!

One of the things that bothers me is that when you talk to people who deny climate change, or even say there is nothing we can do about it, they always sight the limitation of renewables to displace oil and gas.

But really what incentives have there been to invent a better mousetrap when the fix was in for Big Oil. With Paris, comes progress – faster than ever!

Move over, Standard Photovoltaic (PV) cells, there’s a new kid in town as the Eagles say, called Perovskites, which are “a wide-ranging class of materials in which organic molecules, made mostly of carbon and hydrogen, bind with a metal such as lead and a halogen such as chlorine in a three-dimensional crystal lattice—can be made much more cheaply and with fewer emissions”, according to Jeffrey Carbeck, a Specialist Leader in Advanced Materials and Manufacturing at DC Innovations, Deloitte.

According to Carbeck in a World Economic Forum article, Perovskites, solve all three major problems associated with Photovoltaics and is rapidly advancing their efficiencies – on track to outpace them as they are a new technology and PV’s are a mature one.

Innovation follows imagination. We have plenty of imaging to do as we are charged with rapidly transitioning an old dirty fossil fuel dependent infrastructure, to a cleaner brighter future!

These next-generation batteries could end energy poverty

So Stop Whining About Renewables Being Viable to Compete with Fossil Fuels

The World Economic Forum has ranked NextGen Batteries as #3 The top 10 Emerging Technologies for 2016.

The prices for wind and solar have dropped an astonishing 80% and the growth of renewables is in double digits now as the world developing nations are embracing a cleaner and cheaper infrastructure system. The naggy problem has been the batteries needed to store the energy from the wind and sun.

Now, a new generation of batteries have emerged. According to the World Economic Forum:

“Within the past few years, new kinds of batteries have been demonstrated that deliver high enough capacity to serve whole factories, towns, or even “mini-grids” connecting isolated rural communities. These batteries are based on sodium, aluminum or zinc. They avoid the heavy metals and caustic chemicals used in older lead-acid battery chemistries. And they are more affordable, more scalable, and safer than the lithium batteries currently used in advanced electronics and electric cars. The newer technology is much better suited to support transmissions systems that rely heavily on solar or wind power.”

The batteries like these and the grid-size utility batteries  Elon Musk are producing are changing the landscape – literally to a cleaner path to energy.

Trump Would ‘Cancel’ Historic Paris Agreement

That’s How the BBC Reported  it and the Whole World is Mad!

The BBC News was all over the pledge by Trump to “cancel” the Paris Agreement of 2015 (which is that plan to save the planet that the whole world signed onto).

It took over twenty years in the making for the world to come together, and especially after a terror attack in Paris, to finally agree on a plan to address the greatest threat to humanity. Donald Trump said “It was bad for US Business”, according the BBC.

He happens to be dead wrong.  More than 175 Businesses have signed the American Businesses Climate PledgeAccording to The Financial Times, CEO’s like “Alex Gorsky, chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, said having a large number of companies join the pledge would have a “very significant impact” on pushing for a deal. “We’re excited that it does seem to be picking up momentum,” Mr Gorsky told the FT.

“The more large companies work together … it will create significant momentum around the world.”

That is, if it isn’t President Trump. Bad for Businesses, Mr. Trump? These Companies don’t agree.

21ST CENTURY FOX

365 RETAIL MARKETS

ACER AMERICA

ADOBE

AGILE SOURCING PARTNERS

AIRBNB

AKAMAI

ALL STAR SERVICES

AMAZON

AMD

AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR COMPANY

AVERY DENNISON

BEN & JERRY’S

BHPBILLITON

BIO-AMBER

BMW NA

BNY MELLON

BURNS & MCDONNELL

CANTALOUPE SYSTEMS

CANTEEN & COMPASS GROUP

CH2M

CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.

CRAIG COMMUNICATIONS

DANFOSS

DUPONT

EDP RENEWABLES NORTH AMERICA

ENEL GREEN POWER NORTH AMERICA

EQUINIX

FRHAM

GAMESA

GENENTECH

GOURMET COFFEE SERVICE

GREENWOOD ENERGY

IHG

INTERFACE

INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES

JETBLUE

JM HUBER CORPORATION

KAISER PERMANENTE

KELLY SERVICES

KIMBALL ELECTRONICS

KOHL’S DEPARTMENT STORES

KPMG

LEGRAND NA

LENOVO

LINKEDIN

MESA ASSOCIATES

MGM RESORTS

MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL

NATIONAL GRID

NEWS CORP

NOVARTIS

NRG

ORMAT TECHNOLOGIES

PATHEON

PROLOGIS

RIO TINTO

RM2

ROYAL VENDING

SKYONIC

STAPLES

SWITCH COMMUNICATIONS

SYMANTEC

TESLA MOTORS

TRI-ALPHA ENERGY

UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION

UNITED TECHNOLOGIES

VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS

VF CORPORATION

VOLVO GROUP NORTH AMERICA

THE WITTERN GROUP

XYLEM

The following companies have previously joined the American Business Act on Climate pledge:

ABENGOA BIOENERGY US

AEMETIS

ALCOA

AMERICAN EXPRESS

APPLE

AT&T

AUTODESK

BANK OF AMERICA

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY ENERGY

BEST BUY

BIOGEN

BLOOMBERG

CA TECHNOLOGIES

CALPINE

CAMPOS BROTHERS FARMS

CARGILL

COCA-COLA

COX

DELL

DISNEY

DSM NORTH AMERICA

EMC CORPORATION

ENER-G RUDOX

ENERGY OPTIMIZERS

FACEBOOK

FULCRUM BIOENERGY

GE

GENERAL MILLS

GENERAL MOTORS

GOLDMAN SACHS

GOOGLE

HERSHEY’S

HP

IBERDROLA USA

IBM

IKEA USA

INGERSOLL RAND

INTEL

INTEX SOLUTIONS

INTREN

INVENERGY

JOHNSON & JOHNSON

JOHNSON CONTROLS

KELLOGGS

KEYSTONE ELECTRICAL MANUFACTURING

KINGSPAN INSULATED PANELS INC

LAKESHORE LEARNING

LAM RESEARCH

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.

L’OREAL USA

MARS

MCDONALDS

MICROSOFT

MONSANTO

NATIONAL LABEL

NESTLE USA

NIKE

NOVOZYMES

ONE3LED

PACIFIC ETHANOL

PEPSI

PG&E

POET

PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRIC

PROCTOR & GAMBLE

PWC US

QUALCOMM

RICOH USA

SALESFORCE.COM

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

SIEMENS USA

SONY USA

STARBUCKS

SYNGENTA/QCCP

TARGET

TRIGLOBAL ENERGY

UNILEVER

UPS

WAL-MART

XEROX

 

Is it Time for a Category 6 Hurricane?

The Weather Channel reports on a blog post by Dr. Jeff Masters in which he discusses catastrophic “black swan” hurricanes that killed 22,000 people in 1780 and found the likelihood of “grey swan” hurricanes increasing by 14% because of Climate Change.

Study: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Fueling More War

Study: 25% of Armed Conflict followed Extreme Weather Events

We often hear that ISIS and terrorism are far bigger threats to our security than Climate Change. A new study published by the National Academy of Sciences, a body created by President Lincoln to advise Congress on matters of science, accounting for a number of variables such as ethnic diversity, poverty, and more found that 25% of conflict followed a drought, flood or heat wave.

“We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalized countries stick out, compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality,” said Dr Jonathan Donges a Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research scientist and co-author of the new study.

“We think that ethnic divides may serve as a predetermined conflict line when additional stressors like natural disasters kick in, making multi-ethnic countries particularly vulnerable to the effect of such disasters,” he continued.

“It’s significant that you can make that statement—that nearly 25 percent of those conflicts coincided with some type of climate-related disaster.”

“What’s much more important is that this number is highly statistically significant and robust,” Donges said. “You cannot explain it by chance.”