Thursday, June 05, 2008

Literary Warrant [31]

    Cold Glass of Beer"It's hot, real hot. The summer has broken all heat records and those chunks of Antarctica that have broken away have pushed water levels so high that you're surrounded by water. But no chunks of ice. At first you like the heat; it's like having your own hot tub. But soon you become uncomfortable. You need to cool down. You need a beer. A beer will help you through this crisis. But which beer goes best with global catastrophe and hot weather? Great Lakes Brewing News is proud to present the 2008 Global Warming Open, a contest pitting refreshing summer beers against one another to determine the most refreshing beer in America."

  • David Abramson et al., Prevalence and Predictors of Mental Health Distress Post-Katrina: Findings From the Gulf Coast Child and Family Health Study, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, v.2, no.2, pp.77-86 (2008)
    "Mental health distress and disability are pervasive issues among the US Gulf Coast adults and children who experienced long-term displacement or other serious effects as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As time progresses postdisaster, social and psychological factors may play greater roles in accelerating or impeding recovery among affected populations. Efforts to expand disaster recovery and preparedness policies to include long-term social re-engagement efforts postdisaster should be considered as a means of reducing mental health sequelae."—Abstract.

  • Marilyn A. Brown, Frank Southworth & Andrea Sarzynski, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Metropolitan America (May 2008)

    "America's carbon footprint is expanding. With a growing population and an expanding economy, America's settlement area is widening, and as it does, Americans are driving more, building more, consuming more energy, and emitting more carbon. Rising energy prices, growing dependence on imported fuels, and accelerating global climate change make the nation's growth patterns unsustainable. Metropolitan America is poised to play a leadership role in addressing these energy and environmental challenges. However, federal policy actions are needed to achieve the full potential of metropolitan energy and climate solutions."
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  • Stacy C. Davis & Susan W. Diegel, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (DOE), Transportation Energy Data Book, 26th ed. (ORNL-6978) (2007)

    "In January 1976, the Transportation Energy Conservation (TEC) Division of the Energy Research and Development Administration contracted with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to prepare a Transportation Energy Conservation Data Book to be used by TEC staff in their evaluation of current and proposed conservation strategies. The major purposes of the data book were to draw together, under one cover, transportation data from diverse sources, to resolve data conflicts and inconsistencies, and to produce a comprehensive document. The first edition of the TEC Data Book was published in October 1976. With the passage of the Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act, the work being conducted by the former Transportation Energy Conservation Division fell under the purview of the DOE's Office of Transportation Programs, then to the Office of Transportation Technologies. DOE, through the Office of Transportation Technologies, has supported the compilation of Editions 3 through 21. In the most recent DOE organization, Editions 22 through 26 fall under the purview of the Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy."—About the Transportation Energy Data Book.

  • Pat Dawson, An Epidemic of Abandoned Horses, Time Magazine (May 28, 2008)

    "The global food and fuel crisis is resulting in more than just people going hungry. Rising grain and gas prices, as well as the closure of American slaughterhouses, have contributed to a virtual stampede of horses being abandoned — some starving — and turned loose into the deserts and plains of the West to die cruel and lonesome deaths. Horse rescue projects, which are mostly small, volunteer operations with limited land and resources, are feeling the consequences of this convergence of events. In the meantime, many now unaffordable horses are being sold to abbatoirs south of the border where inhumane methods of slaughter are practiced."

  • Dave Dempsey, Jane Elder & Donald Scavia, Healing Our Waters®-Great Lakes Coalition, Great Lakes Restoration & the Threat of Global Warming (May 2008)

    "The Earth's climate is warming, and the impacts are already being observed in the Great Lakes—the source of nearly a fifth of the world's surface freshwater. This report synthesizes current climate change science and presents the likely impacts warming temperatures will have on the Great Lakes, people and wildlife. It also provides recommendations for curbing global warming while at the same time preserving the resilience and adaptive capacity of the Great Lakes ecosystem."—Introduction.

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Myths & Facts About FEMA Housing Following Katrina (Release Number: FNF-08-046) (May 26, 2008)

    Official responses to four myths ascribed to FEMA:
    • FEMA travel trailers have high levels of formaldehyde because of inadequate specifications.
    • FEMA is not protecting disaster applicants.
    • FEMA is not aggressively moving applicants out of units.
    • FEMA purchased unused mobile homes following Katrina that were not used because of government restrictions preventing them from being placed in floodplains.

  • Hiranya Fernando et al., World Resources Institute (WRI), Capturing King Coal: Deploying Carbon Capture and Storage Systems in the U.S. at Scale (2008)

    "One way to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power is to capture and store it permanently underground, a process called carbon capture and storage (CCS), also called carbon sequestration. CCS has captured the attention of policymakers, power generators, and environmentalists because of its potential as a bridging technology that will permit the continued use of coal as a fuel source while not contributing to a further destabilization of the climate. A great deal of work is underway to develop and improve the technologies, legal frameworks, and policies required for wide-scale deployment of CCS systems. . . .

    "There is in fact considerable complexity involved in deploying a national CCS system at the scale necessary to achieve significant emissions reductions. Indeed, it amounts to no less fundamental a transformation of the country’s energy infrastructure than would a huge-scale adoption of wind energy, for instance. The objective of this paper is to examine the challenges of this transformation under the four broad categories of technology, policy, legal and regulatory framework, and investment, and their implications for CCS as part of the solution to mitigate adverse climate change impacts.—Executive Summary.

  • Patty Glick, Senior Global Warming Specialist, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) & Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, Preparing for a Sea Change in Florida: A Strategy to Cope with the Impacts of Global Warming on the State's Coastal and Marine Systems (2008)

    "Unfortunately, Florida's coastal and marine systems already have experienced serious degradation as a result of a variety of factors, including pollution, poorly sited coastal development, altered freshwater flows, and harmful fishing practices. Numerous restoration and protection efforts have been undertaken to tackle these problems, but the future of Florida's coastal and ocean resources also depends on addressing the very real threat of global warming. With Florida's human population expected to grow considerably in the coming decades, proactively confronting these challenges today is of paramount importance."—Executive Summary.

  • Robert Hartwig, Insurance Information Institute (III), et al., 2008 Liability Trends—Emergent Liabilities: Catastrophe Hidden in the Everyday Risk (April 2008)

    "It is no surprise that the world is a dangerous place and that businesses are routinely faced with various dangers and perils. It is surprising, however, how frequently wholly unanticipated liability risks continue to crop up, despite the scientific and technological sophistication of our modern world.

    "This paper explores three areas where risk has unexpectedly snowballed, creating substantial liabilities where once there were none. These examples underscore the significant financial exposure that can erupt in unforeseen places, putting consumers and the public at risk and wreaking financial havoc on businesses and industries around the globe. It also spotlights the growing complexity of liability exposures. Today, it is not uncommon for risks to involve political and social considerations as well as an international cast of potentially responsible parties."—Introduction.

  • Chris S. Israel, Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), Don't Kill the Green Goose: The Importance of Stimulating and Rewarding Clean Energy Breakthroughs, IPI Ideas, no.48 (May 2008)

    "A balance must be struck between stimulating and rewarding investments in clean energy development and the demands that will be placed upon its deployment. A proliferation of national strategies to promote the clean energy industry that will include tax policies, subsidies, technology incubators, R&D increases, etc. will develop. However, there must also be a global approach that prioritizes real world impact, but also respects intellectual property and the innovation process."—A Careful Balance.

  • Gordon Laxer & John Dillon, Parkland Institute & Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Over a Barrel: Exiting from NAFTA's Proportionality Clause (May 2008)

    "Both conventional oil and gas have peaked in Canada. The nation is running out of natural gas. Yet Canada cannot stretch out dwindling stocks for Canadian needs by cutting exports. Instead, more than half of its gas has to be made available to the U.S. Canada could also be prevented from providing its own oil to its own citizens in an international oil shortage. The reason: the proportionality clause in NAFTA.

    "Proportionality is an obscure sounding clause which requires Canada to maintain its current share of energy exports to the United States, even if Canadians experience shortages. It effectively guarantees the U.S. access to Canada's energy resources in perpetuity, or until NAFTA and the FTA are renegotiated or ended, or the resources run out.

    "This clause is unique in all of the world's treaties. Even Canada's fellow NAFTA partner and major oil exporter, Mexico, is exempt."—Executive Summary.

  • National Science Technology Council (NSTC), Committee on Environment and Natural Resources & United States Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States (2008)

    "The assessment summarizes and integrates recent findings from several Synthesis and Assessment Products of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program as well as from assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Analyzing current and future trends in climate for the United States, the report assesses the present understanding of the impacts of climate change on key sectors of the Nation, such as water resources, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health."—Press release (May 29, 2008)

  • Natural Gas Council, Summary of Natural Gas Council's Analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Regulation Bill (S. 3036) (June 2, 2008)

    "Using 2005 as a baseline, S. 3036 would seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by approximately 20 percent by 2020 and over 60 percent by 2050. Our analysis demonstrates the goals of the legislation can be met through 2030 if the technology and offsets are available, but there will be significant costs."—Summary of the Natural Gas Council’s Analysis of S. 3036

  • Dilys Roe, World Wildlife Fund International (WWF) & TRAFFIC International, Trading Nature: A Report, with Case Studies, on the Contribution of Wildlife Trade Management to Sustainable Livelihoods and the Millennium Development Goals (2008)

    "There is growing awareness of the social significance of wild resources, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) making a clear link between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. There remains, however, much ignorance concerning the role that trade in wild products plays in supporting the livelihoods of poor people and the potential of this trade to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite growing acceptance of the importance of biodiversity goods and services to human well-being, there is still little recognition of the direct contribution of products derived from wild sources to human livelihoods—particularly the livelihoods of the rural poor.

    "This report looks at the importance of effective management of trade in wild species in order to maximize its potential to deliver on the MDGs. It also presents the findings of three case studies: the wild meat trade in East and Southern Africa; the skin and wool trade in Latin America; and, the highvalue fisheries trade in South Asia. A review of the wider literature on trade in wild resources further contributed to exploration of the current and potential contribution of sustainable wildlife trade to achieving the MDGs."—Executive Summary.

  • C. Ford Runge & Benjamin Senauer, How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor, Foreign Affairs (May/June 2007)

    "Thanks to high oil prices and hefty subsidies, corn-based ethanol is now all the rage in the United States. But it takes so much supply to keep ethanol production going that the price of corn—and those of other food staples—is shooting up around the world. To stop this trend, and prevent even more people from going hungry, Washington must conserve more and diversify ethanol's production inputs."—Summary.

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Kick the Habit: A UN Guide to Climate Neutrality (2008)

    "The UN Guide suggests there are many small 'no regrets' choices that together could reduce daily emissions by someone in Australasia, Europe and North America—the major contributors to global warming historically—from say 38 Kg to 14 Kg. The suggestions, requiring little or no change in comfort, may also be relevant in part to some developing country countries, cities, sectors and people whose carbon footprint is sharply on the rise."—Press release (June 5, 2008)

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Environment Day (June 5, 2008)

    "Today, 5 June is World Environment Day. The theme, 'Kick the habit! Towards a low-carbon economy,' provides an opportunity for everyone to think about small changes they could make towards adopting a low-carbon lifestyle. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has put together a A UN Guide to Climate Neutrality to help individuals take simple measures to reduce their carbon footprints."

  • United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), CFTC Announces Multiple Energy Market Initiatives (Press release) (May 29, 2008)

    "The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) today announced a number of initiatives to increase transparency of the energy futures markets. The measures will expand the amount and quality of information received from energy traders to further the integrity and oversight of our nation’s futures markets. The recent dramatic increases in the price of crude oil traded on futures exchanges make these efforts paramount. The implementation of today’s measures will improve oversight of the energy futures markets to ensure they reflect fundamental economic forces of supply and demand, free of manipulation and fraud."

  • The Wilderness Society, Analysis of BLM's Oil and Gas Development 2001-2007: Explosion of Drilling and Leasing Hits Rocky Mountain States Hardest (May 29, 2008)

    "More than 44 million acres of public lands are leased for oil and gas development, according to a new Wilderness Society analysis of Interior Department data. The analysis points to an explosion of drilling on federal lands, with 7,124 drilling permits (APDs) issued in 2007, a new record for the Bush Administration. Nationwide, the leasing is outstripping the oil and gas industry’s capacity to drill, as industry is drilling on only a quarter of the leases they hold."—News release.

  • Ryan Wiser & Mark Bolinger, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (DOE), Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends: 2007 (May 2008)

    "For the third consecutive year the U.S. was home to the fastest-growing wind power market in the world, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Specifically, U.S. wind power capacity increased by 46 percent in 2007, representing a $9 billion investment in new wind projects. At this pace, wind is on a path to becoming a significant contributor to the U.S. power mix: wind projects accounted for 35 percent of all new electricity-generating capacity added in the U.S. in 2007, and more than 200 GW (gigawatts, or billion watts) of wind power are in various stages of development throughout the country."—News release (June 2, 2008)

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