McSorley's Old Ale House
- Marilyn A. Brown, Frank Southworth & Andrea Sarzynski, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution, Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Metropolitan America (May 2008)
"The nation’s carbon footprint has a distinct geography not well understood or often discussed. This report quantifies transportation and residential carbon emissions for the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, finding that metro area residents have smaller carbon footprints than the average American, although metro footprints vary widely. Residential density and the availability of public transit are important to understanding carbon footprints, as are the carbon intensity of electricity generation, electricity prices, and weather."—Executive Summary.
- Oli Brown & Alec Crawford, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions: Climate Change and the Risk of Violent Conflict in the Middle East (2009)
"In a region already considered the world’s most water scarce and where, in many places, demand for water already outstrips supply, climate models are predicting a hotter, drier and less predictable climate. Higher temperatures and less rainfall will reduce the flow of rivers and streams, slow the rate at which aquifers recharge, progressively raise sea levels and make the entire region more arid.
"These changes will have a series of effects, particularly for agriculture and water management. Under moderate temperature increases, for example, some analysts anticipate that the Euphrates River could shrink by 30 per cent and the Jordan River by 80 per cent by the end of the century.
"This report, prepared by an independent Canadian environment and development research institute, seeks to present a neutral analysis of the security threat of climate change in the region over the next 40 years (to 2050), drawn from consultations and extensive interviews with experts from across the region’s political and ethnic divides."—Summary.
- Jean-Marc Burniaux et al., Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation: How to Build the Necessary Global Action in a Cost-Effective Manner (Economics Department Working Papers no. 701) (ECO/WKP(2009)42) (June 5, 2009)
"This paper examines the cost of a range of national, regional and global mitigation policies and the corresponding incentives for countries to participate in ambitious international mitigation actions. The paper illustrates the scope for available instruments to strengthen these incentives and discusses ways to overcome barriers to the development of an international carbon price, based on the quantitative assessment from two global and sectorially-disaggregated CGE models. Key step towards the emergence of a single international carbon price will most likely involve the phasing out of subsidies of fossil fuel consumption and various forms of linking between regional carbon markets, ranging from direct linking of existing emission trading systems to more indirect forms through the use of crediting mechanisms. The paper discusses regulatory issues raised by the expansion of emission trading and crediting schemes as well as the complementary contribution of R&D policies. Finally, the paper emphasises the importance of incorporating deforestation into a global agreement as well as the key role of international transfers, not least to overcome the relatively strong economic incentives in some countries to free ride on other regions mitigation actions."—Abstract.
- Mikhail V. Chester & Arpad Horvath, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Assessment of Passenger Transportation Should Include Infrastructure and Supply Chains, Environmental Research Letters, v.4 (doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/2/024008) (2009)
"To appropriately mitigate environmental impacts from transportation, it is necessary for decision makers to consider the life-cycle energy use and emissions. Most current decision-making relies on analysis at the tailpipe, ignoring vehicle production, infrastructure provision, and fuel production required for support. We present results of a comprehensive life-cycle energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and selected criteria air pollutant emissions inventory for automobiles, buses, trains, and airplanes in the US, including vehicles, infrastructure, fuel production, and supply chains. We find that total life-cycle energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions contribute an additional 63% for onroad, 155% for rail, and 31% for air systems over vehicle tailpipe operation. Inventorying criteria air pollutants shows that vehicle non-operational components often dominate total emissions. Life-cycle criteria air pollutant emissions are between 1.1 and 800 times larger than vehicle operation. Ranges in passenger occupancy can easily change the relative performance of modes."—Abstract.
- Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), Taking Stock: 2005 North American Pollutant Releases and Transfers (June 10, 2009)
"Taking Stock 2005 presents an overview of the releases and transfers of chemical contaminants from North American industrial sectors in 2005. The report is based primarily on publicly available data reported to the three national pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs) in North America:
- National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) in Canada;
- Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes (RETC) in Mexico; and
- Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) in the United States."—Introduction.
- Liisa Ecola & Thomas Light, RAND Transportation, Space, and Technology, Equity and Congestion Pricing: A Review of the Evidence (Technical Report) (2009)
"This report examines the equity issues associated with congestion pricing. We used published work, supplemented in a few cases with communication with practitioners, as the basis for the analysis. The evidence we reviewed came from two types of sources: evaluations of existing congestion pricing implementations and models of proposed or hypothetical congestion pricing systems. We found work on equity with regard to congestion pricing in two strands of literature: economic and planning. The former is most often concerned with the distribution of costs and benefits that accrue to society, while the latter is generally concerned with social justice aspects of congestion pricing and the potential negative consequences for low-income and other disadvantaged individuals."—Summary.
- Energy Information Administration (EIA), The 2009 Outlook for Hurricane Production Outages in the Gulf of Mexico (Short-Term Energy Outlook Supplement) (June 2009)
"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted in its Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook released on May 21, 2009 that the Atlantic basin will most likely experience near‐normal activity during the upcoming hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). NOAA projects 9 to 14 named storms will form within the Atlantic Basin over the next 6 months, including 4 to 7 hurricanes, of which 1 to 3 will be intense."—Highlights.
- Florida Division of Emergency Management, Hurricane Awareness Poll: Results from 2008 Post Season and 2009 Preseason Hurricane Preparedness Surveys (May 2009)
"Key findings include:
- The majority of Florida’s residents have never actually evacuated.
- The majority of respondents both before and after Hurricane Season would opt to remain in their home communities and await rebuilding if their homes were destroyed.
- Many of Florida’s residents do not know the location of the shelter nearest to them.
- The best way to communicate with residents when their electricity goes out is by radio."—Executive Summary.
- Nigel Purvis, Climate Advisers, The Case for Climate Protection Authority, Opinio Juris (June 12, 2009)
This is the first in a series of blog posts at Opinio Juris discussing climate change regulation in national and international contexts. See the end of Purvis' first post for a list of related posts.
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), From Conflict to Peace Building: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment (February 2009)
"Environmental factors are rarely, if ever, the sole cause of violent conflict. Ethnicity, adverse economic conditions, low levels of international trade and conflict in neighbouring countries are all significant drivers of violence. However, the exploitation of natural resources and related environmental stresses can be implicated in all phases of the conflict cycle, from contributing to the outbreak and perpetuation of violence to undermining prospects for peace. In addition, the environment can itself fall victim to conflict, as direct and indirect environmental damage, coupled with the collapse of institutions, can lead to environmental risks that threaten people’s health, livelihoods and security."—Executive Summary.
- United States Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), 2008 NETL Accomplishments (2009)
"The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released its annual accomplishments report, highlighting breakthroughs in research and technology development to address the nation’s energy, economic, and environmental challenges."—Press release (June 2, 2009)
- United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hazard Mitigation Assistance Unified Guidance: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program, Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, Repetitive Flood Claims Program, Severe Repetitive Loss Program (June 1, 2009)
"The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) may provide funds to States, Territories, Indian Tribal governments, local governments, and eligible private non-profits following a Presidential major disaster declaration. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA), Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC), and Severe Repetitive Loss Pilot (SRL) programs may provide funds annually to States, Territories, Indian Tribal governments, and local governments. While the statutory origins of the programs differ, all share the common goal of reducing the risk of loss of life and property due to natural hazards."
- United States Department of the Interior (DOI), Framework for Geological Carbon Sequestration on Public Land: In Compliance with Section 714 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140, H.R.6) (Report to Congress) (June 3, 2009)
"A critical issue for evaluating storage capacity is the integrity and effectiveness of geologic formations for sealing carbon dioxide underground, preventing its release into underground sources of drinking water, mineral resources or the atmosphere. The report recommends that candidate sites must have sufficient capacity to accept the volume of carbon dioxide expected for the life of the sequestration project and the geologic structure to ensure long-term containment of the carbon dioxide."—Press release.
- United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Aviation and Climate Change: Aircraft Emissions Expected to Grow, but Technological and Operational Improvements and Government Policies Can Help Control Emissions (Report to Congressional Committees, GAO-09-554) (June 2009)
"A number of policy options to address aircraft emissions are available to governments and can be part of broader policies to address emissions from many sources including aircraft. Market-based measures can establish a price for emissions and provide incentives to airlines and consumers to reduce emissions. These measures can be preferable to other options because they would generally be more economically efficient. Such measures include a cap-and-trade program, in which government places a limit on emissions from regulated sources, provides them with allowances for emissions, and establishes a market for them to trade emissions allowances with one another, and a tax on emissions. Governments can establish emissions standards for aircraft or engines. In addition, government could increase government research and development to encourage development of low-emissions improvements."—What GAO Found.