On whether Obama’s re-election and the aftermath of Sandy represent a moment for climate change action
I think it definitely is a time when more and more people are focused on the extreme weather that has disrupted so many lives. People who have not really devoted a lot of time to thinking about the climate (more…)
Posted in Climate Change & Carbon Emissions, North America |No Comments »
Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., more commonly known as Al Gore, was the 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 under former President William “Bill” Clinton. While many know Al Gore for the 24 years he spent as an elected official, today he is more known for his work as an environmental activist. Al Gore has founded a number of non-governmental (more…)
Here’s a list of environmental stories which had high impact during the last decade.
This is is in no particular order admittedly subjective and seen from an American perspective.
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The environmental movement goes mainstream. This was the decade in which global warming became a household word and environmentalists were no longer viewed as tree-hugging-tofu-eaters. Major corporations now have “going green” programs in place, while terms like “greenwashing” and “carbon footprint” are commonly used.
Prius Rising. The first commercially viable hybrid became part of the landscape, figuratively and literally.
Al Gore becomes the face of a movement. This was arguably the most stunning resurrection of a 20th/21st century politician’s career. After winning the popular vote in the presidential election which launched the decade, only to lose the contest in a manner which will forever be hotly debated, Gore appeared to be destined for history’s asterisk bin. Then came “An Inconvenient Truth” and a Nobel Prize.
If you feel like having a laugh, check out the latest Juice Media clip. In the lead-up to COP15 they have orchestrated a ‘rap battle’ between Al Gore and Lord Monckton, which makes for humorous watching…
Al Gore hasn’t been resting on his laurels since An Inconvenient Truth. His substantial new book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisishas grown out of the more than 30 lengthy and intensive “Solution Summits” he has organised to enable leading experts from round the world to share their knowledge and experience in subjects relevant to solving the crisis, as well as the one-on-one sessions he has had with others.
The expertise shows. The discussions of energy sources are focused and packed with useful information and judgments. Electricity from the sun is the first. Concentrated solar thermal (CST) power and photovoltaic power are both explained and evaluated. Each has a future, photovoltaics perhaps more so than currently recognised as it develops new chemical processes and fabrication technologies. Indeed some conclude that photovoltaics are near a threshold where they will have a cost advantage over CST and soon even over fossil fuel generation.
Al Gore, who barely lost (or won) the US Presidential election in November 2000, and vowed never to return to US political life, appears to have come out a winner for not doing so. The former Vice President for 8 years under the Clinton Administration decided to devote his time afterwards to teaching as well as making the world aware of the dangers of global warming, a warning that has been noted several times on Green Prophet, including a more recent article tying global warming and climate change with what is happening in the Middle East.
“One way or another the reductions in emissions are about to accelerate,” said Gore at the conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Madison, Wis. “What is important, directly or indirectly, is that we put a price on carbon.”
He expressed hope that the U.S. Senate will pass a bill similar to that of the House, even in advance of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. “There is much more bipartisan dialogue behind the scenes than is publicly visible,” he added.
Water technology, solar innovation, Israel’s electric cars: I’d originally written this story for ISRAEL21c a few months ago when we were planning on launching its new Environment channel. The new channel was finally up this week. Consider it a good starting point if you’d like to know more about Israeli technology and investment opportunities and what the future may hold:
Update: James Hansen just got arrested while protesting against coal mining – read latest news here
The New Yorker has a lengthy profile of NASA climatologist James Hansen in this week’s issue, in which he pulls no punches on Waxman-Markey, taking the leading national environmental advocacy groups to task for supporting the legislation (even as amended), and calls the whole process “stupidity.”
As readers of CleanTechies know, I have been dismissive of Waxman-Markey in recent weeks, a piece of well-intentioned legislation that has been so watered down by compromise and competing political pressure as to be rendered meaningless as anything other than a symbol of our intention as a nation to someday act on climate change, grid conversion, and carbon control.
After getting an email from Repower America a couple nights ago, inviting me to join a conference call with Al Gore to help push the bill through, I began to feel a little like a lone voice in the wilderness on this. But, I can’t ask for much better company than Hansen. (more…)
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