Global environmental challenges
Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. ThomsonReuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
Often when seeing anti-environmental commentary about global warming in the media, I feel like the first question I would like to ask these commentators is: “Why do you deny that carbon dioxide (CO2), which is increasing in an unprecedented way in the atmosphere, is a greenhouse gas?”
If they were to start their answer: “I don’t deny it …” I would think “Good, we’ve made some progress.” However, as I think would often be the case, if they start their answer: “Because …” we should be ready to pounce on the ensuing nonsense.
Here’s a key example of such nonsense from a former weatherman:
“Now allow me to talk a little about the science behind the global warming frenzy. I have dug through thousands of pages of research papers, including the voluminous documents published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I have worked my way through complicated math and complex theories. Here’s the bottom line: the entire global warming scientific case is based on the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels. They don’t have any other issue. Carbon Dioxide, that’s it.
Sitting on a restaurant terrace overlooking the Baltic Sea on a warm June evening in Sweden, what better drink than a green summer cocktail?
Perhaps followed by a delicious-looking Baltic farmer’s soup?
And you don’t even have to pay — you can scoop up such liquids for free from the most polluted parts of the Baltic Sea – also bordered by countries including Finland, Latvia, Russia, and Germany.
The Olympics Bird’s Nest National Stadium disappeared into the pollution that enveloped Beijing earlier this week, before emerging as the air cleared on Friday. Each day’s photo was taken from my balcony at 8 a.m.
Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s environment minister, said it would be a ”Herculean task” to safeguard animal and plant life. Try my colleague Madeline Chambers’ fine story about the opening.
A recent trip to bicyle-peppered cities Copenhagen and Amsterdam got me thinking about the pedal possibilities in U.S. cities. Alas, New York, the country’s biggest city, has long way to go make biking easier, and that seems true in many other cities in the world’s largest motor fuel consumer.
Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and is a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. ThomsonReuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
On April 16 President Bush gave a speech laying out a new United States climate policy goal – stabilizing US emissions by the year 2025.
There are plenty of ways to get around New York City, not all of them savory — subway, bus, car, taxi, bike, shoe-leather — but few offer the environmental cachet of the plug-in electric motorbike. Sleek, slim and silent, the Vectrix two-seater owned by filmmaker Michael Bergmann is definitely preferable to rocketing around town under almost any other kind of power. The ride from the East Side to the West Side one recent evening was an absolute pleasure, with less ambient noise than a golf cart as we zoomed across Central Park.
“I’ve always felt that enjoying life in New York to the fullest requires a way to get around New York,” Bergmann said later in an e-mail. “A way that’s quiet and up on the surface so you can enjoy the varied life and changing neighborhoods as you travel. That requires a vehicle that’s street legal (so I don’t worry about being stopped or having it confiscated), always available, that isn’t hard to park, that doesn’t contribute to congestion or pollution (air or noise), that can carry the amount of stuff one ordinarily carries, and carry a passenger as well. So as soon as I found out about the Vectrix I wanted one.”
Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and will be a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. Reuters is not responsible for the content — the views expressed are the author’s alone.
The root cause of all environmental problems-from beer cans floating on a lake to global warming-can be explained using the following two contrasting scenes: