quarta-feira, outubro 31, 2007

No easy fix for climate

Some scientists now consider that the effects of global dimming have masked the effect of global warming to some extent and that resolving global dimming may therefore lead to increases in predictions of future temperature rise. According to Beate Liepert, "We lived in a global warming plus a global dimming world and now we are taking out global dimming. So we end up with the global warming world, which will be much worse than we thought it will be, much hotter." The magnitude of this masking effect is one of the central problems in climate change with significant implications for future climate changes and policy responses to global warming.

But it's much more complicated than an either warming or dimming issue. Global warming and global dimming are not mutually exclusive or contradictory. In a paper published March 8, 2005 in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters, a research team led by Anastasia Romanou of Columbia University's Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics, New York, also showed that the apparently opposing forces of global warming and global dimming can occur at the same time. Global dimming interacts with global warming by blocking sunlight that would otherwise cause evaporation and the particulates bind to water droplets. Water vapor is one of the greenhouse gases. On the other hand, global dimming is affected by evaporation and rain. Rain has the effect of clearing out polluted skies.

Climatologists are stressing that the roots of both global dimming-causing pollutants and global warming-causing greenhouse gases have to be dealt with together and soon.

Rasool, Ichtiaque, S. and Schneider, Stephen H. (July 1971). "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate". Science 173 (3992): 138-141. doi:10.1126/science.173.3992.138

O Fim do Ambiente

Achim Steiner, the executive director of Unep, said that the objective of the latest report was not to present a "dark and gloomy scenario" but to make the case for an urgent call to action. However, the dire state of almost every aspect of the planet's wellbeing points to 20 years of missed opportunities.

Mr Steiner said yesterday at the launch of the report that it was illuminating how over the past 20 years the financial wealth of the planet has soared by around a third. "But at the same time it is sobering: much of the 'natural' capital upon which so much of human well-being and economic activity depends – water, land, the air and atmosphere, biodiversity and marine resources – continue their seemingly inexorable decline," he said.

Meanwhile, the political response to the growing emergency has been limited. "Without an accelerated effort to reform the way we collectively do business on planet Earth, we will shortly be in trouble if indeed we are not already," Mr Steiner said.

Global Environment Outlook

quinta-feira, outubro 25, 2007

Uma questão de saúde

"[...] Billy Karesh and his colleagues at the Wildlife Conservation Society label their program with the slogan "One World, One Health." The guiding principles come from ecology, of which human and veterinarian medicine are merely subdisciplines. "It's not about wildlife health or about human health or about livestock health," he told me. "There's really just one health"—the health and balance of ecosystems throughout the planet."

"[...] He comprehended emotionally what the scientists know from their data: That we—people and gorillas, horses and pigs and bats, monkeys and rats and mosquitoes and viruses—are all in this together."

terça-feira, outubro 23, 2007

Bad Lobbies

Thousands of corporate lobbyists roam the corridors of power in Brussels. Operating out of the spotlights, many of them do not hesitate to employ problematic methods, like pretending to be concerned environmentalists, buying science, secretly funding anarcho-capitalist think-tanks, or securing privileged access by EU bodies. As lobbying veteran Daniel Guéguen predicted a few years ago: “in the future [...] we will tend to adopt ever tougher lobbying strategies [...] that will probably involve practices such as manipulation, destabilisation or disinformation.”

Naming and shaming is one way to discourage such controversial lobbying practices, and this is the raison d’être for the ‘Worst EU Lobbying’ Awards. The awards also show the need for strong EU lobbying transparency and ethics rules. EU citizens have the right to know who is lobbying the EU institutions, who they represent, what budget they have at their disposal and which policies they try to influence.

Example: German Atomic Forum

Nominated for abusing the public’s concern about climate change in order to promote nuclear energy.

Behind the seemingly pathetic slogan, “Germany’s unloved climate protectionists”, lie the German Atomic Forum (representing Germany’s big energy corporations as well as manufacturers of nuclear equipment). This slogan, masquerading like an appeal for sympathy, launched their greenwash campaign in early 2007. The campaign targeted leading media outlets and included posters, a booklet distributed in several magazines and a website, with the shameless domain www.klimaschuetzer.de (climate protectionists).

This slogan masks a more sinister campaign to improve the public’s perception of nuclear energy. It aims to portray it as the clean energy source of the future and postpone the closure of the oldest nuclear power plants in Germany. The slogan is supported by wholesome images of the natural environment; unpolluted and unspoilt, with happy people or sheep, against the seemingly benign backdrop of an old nuclear power plant, creating the impression of glorious harmony. The campaign is an outstanding example of European wide efforts by the nuclear lobby to use climate change to improve the image of nuclear power plants.

If you want to shed a healthy dose of cynicism on this attempt to distort nuclear power’s real effects, show the German Atomic Forum just how ‘unloved’ they really are by voting for them now!

In fact the German Atomic Forum won the "Worst EU Greenwash Award 2007".

segunda-feira, outubro 15, 2007

Fly High Before Getting Down

"I am sure she will fly well and it is a magnificent achievement but I think it is a white elephant." Airbus delivers first superjumbo
"...aerospace emissions are expected to continue to rise at a rate of 3-4% per year - unless travellers themselves decide to change their behaviour and fly less. And that, we know, is not very likely to happen anytime soon." Planemakers confront green issues
Blog Action Day

segunda-feira, outubro 08, 2007

Entrámos em negativos no ano de 1987

sexta-feira, outubro 05, 2007

Como o dinheiro apaga a ciência

Este sítio mostra uma das técnicas das corporações para "equilibrar" previsões científicas: financiam-se instituições, supostamente neutras e com algum prestígio, para fornecerem aos orgãos de comunicação social opiniões contrárias à ciência.