From deforestation doom to reforestation rejoice - 2010 could be the year of cleaner air. There was a great little story in Newsweek last week about Brazil stepping up their efforts to stop deforestation and signs that deforestation can actually be reversed. Deforestation represents about 15 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions--more than all the world's cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships combined. And for as non-committal as the Copenhagen climate talks were, they did mark the first time countries made halting deforestation central to the fight against climate change. Read more about this story HERE.
Will climate change concerns bring businesses home? We've heard for nearly a decade now about businesses outsourcing to other countries, mainly in Asia, because of cheaper labor and material costs, and the effect that has had on our economy and job market. Though a recent study says that we may have seen the limit of globalization, and suggests that if states start putting a limit on carbon emissions, the cost of shipping would force companies back home. Read more about this HERE.
Consensus on global temperature rise... and it's not good. There's been plenty of ink spilled about the Copenhagen climate conference, and how it fell short of assuring any sort of chance at curbing global temperature rise, and now comes a few figures. According to Newsweek, "after the conference, the United Nations
Environment Program found that the world had locked in less than half
of the greenhouse-gas reductions needed to provide a 50-50 chance of
preventing the temperature increase by 2050. A second study by MIT,
Ventana Systems, and the U.S.-based Sustainability Institute calculated
that Copenhagen's proposals will likely leave the world 3.9 degrees
warmer by 2100. A third report from Germany's Potsdam Institute found
that even if every Copenhagen proposal is fully funded, average global
temperatures will be 3.2 degrees higher by century's end." That's three independent groups looking at it from different angles, reaching the same or nearly the same conclusions. Read more HERE.
Quick news pieces from around the world
For more news you might have missed the last few months, check out the Sierra Club's "Up to Speed: Two Months, One Page".
- Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, and to prepare for construction of venues, they are logging large areas of Sochi National Park.
- Saudi Arabia asks for financial assistance should global demand for oil decrease.
- Australians John and Helen Taylor set a new hypermiling record, getting an average of 67.9 mpg while driving their Volkswagen Jetta TDI 9,505 miles to visit the 48 contiguous states.
- The World Bank says that developing nations will need $100 billion a year for the next 40 years to deal with the effects of global warming.
- The president of the low-lying Maldives islands holds a cabinet meeting underwater.