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Old 04-20-2006, 12:05 AM   #1
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Countdown to Earth Day

This is a thread dedicated to bringing forth issues of great importance regarding the health of our environment and the future of our planet.

22 April is the 36th observance of Earth Day.

Let us restore our commitment to the healthy survival of our planet!



Here is a very disturbing article about the health of the air that we breathe:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...icle358583.ece



Scientists condemn US as emissions of greenhouse gases hit record level

By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 19 April 2006



The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change.


The figures, which were quietly released on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide.


This is the biggest annual increase since 2000 and means that in 2004 - the latest year that full data is available - the US released the equivalent of nearly 6,300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


Scientists in Britain condemned the increase, saying that it showed how the US was failing to take a lead in the international attempt to curb greenhouse gas emissions despite being the worst offender.


Professor David Read, the vice-president of the Royal Society, said that the US and Britain needed to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas levels in order to honour their commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


"The figures published this week show not only that the US emissions are not decreasing, but that they are actually increasing on an annual basis," Professor Read said. "And while the UK appears to be doing slightly better, its carbon dioxide emissions have been rising annually for the past three years," he said. "The US and the UK are the two leading scientific nations in the world and are home to some of the best climate researchers.


"But in terms of fulfilling the commitment made by their signature to the UN convention to stabilise greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, neither country is demonstrating leadership by reducing their emissions to the levels required," Professor Read said.


The US accounts for about a quarter of the total global emissions of man-made carbon dioxide or the other gases such as methane that can exacerbate the earth's greenhouse effect, which traps sunlight and heat.


Under the UN climate change convention, America is required to publish its net contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, which takes into account pollution sources, such as cars and industry, and "sinks", such as forests.


The figures show that the total US emissions have risen by 15.8 per cent from 1990 to 2004, mainly due to increased consumption of electricity generated by burning fossil fuel, a rise in energy demands caused by increased industrial production and a rise in petrol consumption due to increased travel. Fossil fuel combustion alone accounted for 94 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the US during 2004, the figures show.


Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are now a third higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, and probably higher than they have been for at least 10 million years.


Scientists have suggested that if the international community is to try to stabilise carbon dioxide levels at twice pre-industrial levels then countries such as the US and Britain need to reduce emissions by about 60 per cent by the middle of this century.


Professor Read said there was mounting evidence to suggest that rising temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions were beginning to cause serious climate effects, such as a drop in annual rainfall in east Africa because of rising water temperatures in the Indian Ocean.


"If emissions continue to rise, we can expect even more impacts across the world," Professor Read said. "The developing world will find it difficult to adapt to climate change and the industrialised countries, which are primarily responsible for the rise in greenhouse gas levels, should realise that they would also struggle to adapt to a world in which, for instance, sea levels are several metres higher," he said.


"The science justifies action now by all countries to both adapt to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."


The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change.


The figures, which were quietly released on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide.


This is the biggest annual increase since 2000 and means that in 2004 - the latest year that full data is available - the US released the equivalent of nearly 6,300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


Scientists in Britain condemned the increase, saying that it showed how the US was failing to take a lead in the international attempt to curb greenhouse gas emissions despite being the worst offender.


Professor David Read, the vice-president of the Royal Society, said that the US and Britain needed to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas levels in order to honour their commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


"The figures published this week show not only that the US emissions are not decreasing, but that they are actually increasing on an annual basis," Professor Read said. "And while the UK appears to be doing slightly better, its carbon dioxide emissions have been rising annually for the past three years," he said. "The US and the UK are the two leading scientific nations in the world and are home to some of the best climate researchers.


"But in terms of fulfilling the commitment made by their signature to the UN convention to stabilise greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, neither country is demonstrating leadership by reducing their emissions to the levels required," Professor Read said.


The US accounts for about a quarter of the total global emissions of man-made carbon dioxide or the other gases such as methane that can exacerbate the earth's greenhouse effect, which traps sunlight and heat.



Under the UN climate change convention, America is required to publish its net contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, which takes into account pollution sources, such as cars and industry, and "sinks", such as forests.


The figures show that the total US emissions have risen by 15.8 per cent from 1990 to 2004, mainly due to increased consumption of electricity generated by burning fossil fuel, a rise in energy demands caused by increased industrial production and a rise in petrol consumption due to increased travel. Fossil fuel combustion alone accounted for 94 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the US during 2004, the figures show.


Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are now a third higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, and probably higher than they have been for at least 10 million years.


Scientists have suggested that if the international community is to try to stabilise carbon dioxide levels at twice pre-industrial levels then countries such as the US and Britain need to reduce emissions by about 60 per cent by the middle of this century.


Professor Read said there was mounting evidence to suggest that rising temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions were beginning to cause serious climate effects, such as a drop in annual rainfall in east Africa because of rising water temperatures in the Indian Ocean.


"If emissions continue to rise, we can expect even more impacts across the world," Professor Read said. "The developing world will find it difficult to adapt to climate change and the industrialised countries, which are primarily responsible for the rise in greenhouse gas levels, should realise that they would also struggle to adapt to a world in which, for instance, sea levels are several metres higher," he said.


"The science justifies action now by all countries to both adapt to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please do whatever you can to make our world a safer and healthier place to live!


http://www.greenpeace.org

http://www.environmentaldefense.org
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:23 AM   #2
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you copy and pasted twice there, Jamila.

I believe that the UK and US are polluting as much as they say, but more than countries like China and Russia? seriously?
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by D-503
you copy and pasted twice there, Jamila.

I believe that the UK and US are polluting as much as they say, but more than countries like China and Russia? seriously?


As for the double posting - that glitch happens alot at this site.

And who am I (or anyone else) to argue with scientific fact?




The USA has seriously been the biggest historic contributor to harmful global air emissions and the biggest opposer amongst world nations to efforts to slow down global rates of harmful air emissions.

Very sad for the future health of our planet and all its inhabitants - including the children of those at the oil companies who will be breathing the same harmful air and suffer the same longterm detrimental effects of global warming as the rest of us.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:34 AM   #4
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A selfish, triumphalist and cold-hearted opinion of Earth Day
Quote:
The individuals singled out for attack by environmental terrorists -- namely, scientists, inventors and businessmen -- are the creators of industrial civilization. As heirs of Newton, scientists discover truths about the workings of nature. As heirs of Edison, inventors use these truths to create new products which improve human life. As heirs of Ford, businessmen figure out ways to perfect and mass manufacture these products profitably.

These three categories of individuals represent the exploiters of nature, those who transform wilderness to support man's life. They find plains and forests, dangerous jungles and insect-infested swamps, in which man's life is precarious, and they build a human environment by creating houses, electric heaters and chemical pesticides. They teach man his method of survival: using his mind to reshape nature to his needs.

As monstrous as it sounds, it is precisely because these heroes are the sustainers of human life that they are targeted by those who are willing to take up arms for their cause, environmentalism.
link

There are a terrible ammount of uncertainties, ones that demand proper answers before certain actions should be taken - of course the price of hydrocarbons will be a factor in forcing change, and a much better one than Kyoto.

What about this dang environment? Back in Texas, we got rid of it, and made everyone a lot happier. - Tex
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:42 AM   #5
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Ask Dr. Bill

Global Warming is Confusing. Dr. Bill Answers Your Questions.


Dr. Bill Chameides is chief scientist at Environmental Defense.

Dr. Bill, our chief scientist, answers common global warming questions.

Question: I get it that global warming is happening, but doesn't that mean it's too late to do anything about it? Is there any hope?

Answer: Some global warming is inevitable, but what we are most concerned about is the climate system passing a tipping point where melting ice leads to irreversible sea level rise. We may be as few as thirty years away from passing that threshold. However, the good news is that such a situation is preventable.

It is critical that we begin working together NOW to reduce global warming pollution.

Question: I am confused. Is there or is there not a scientific question about global warming. I hear some scientists say it's a fact that global warming is already happening, but others say it's just a theory. Who's right?

Answer: The science on global warming was settled a long time ago. The only debate remaining today is how much time we have to stop it.

Athough a small number of skeptics continue to voice their doubts, the National Academy of Sciences, chartered by President Abraham Lincoln to advise the nation on scientific matters says "the science [on global warming] is certain enough for all nations to take action." If that's not scientific consensus, I don’t know what is.

Question: People tell me to buy a Prius, and to fly less, and to change out my lightbulbs. Is that really going to make any difference?

Answer: Absolutely! Each and every one of us can take simple steps in our everyday lives to fight global warming.

For example, if every household in American exchanged three standard lightbulbs with three energy efficient compact florescent lightbulbs (CFL), it would be the equivalent of taking 3.5 million cars off the road.

When you are ready to buy a new car, choose one that gets five more miles to the gallon than your current car. Over time, buyers choosing more fuel efficient cars have the power to cut our nation’s global warming pollution by up to 10 percent.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.environmentaldefense.org/...contentid=5215



Bill Chameides

Chief Scientist, New York City Office

Programs: Climate and Air
Topics: Global Warming



Chameides received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1974. After spending 30 years in academia, most recently as Regents Professor and Smithgall Chair at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chameides joined Environmental Defense in 2005. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, a recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane Award, and, “in recognition of extraordinary service,” was named a National Associate of the National Academies.


Chameides has authored or co-authored more than 130 scientific publications, and 5 books. He is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on global biogeochemical cycles, global change, and urban and regional-scale air pollution. Through the development and application of numerical algorithms and models (as well as the design and implementation of multidisciplinary research programs and field studies), he has endeavored to elucidate the coupled chemical, physical and biological processes that shape our environment. His work in this area has helped identify pathways toward a sustainable future.

Chameides has served as editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research and chief scientist for the Southern Oxidants Study, a research program focused on understanding the causes and remedies for ground-level ozone pollution in the southern United States. He was also study director of CHINA-MAP, an international research program looking at the effects of environmental change on agriculture in China. As chair of the National Research Council's Committee of Air Quality Management in the United States, he led a team of experts tasked by Congress to scientifically and technically evaluate the effectiveness of the Clean Air Act's major air quality provisions and their implementation by federal, state and local government agencies, and to develop recommendations for strengthening the nation's air quality management system.

Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences; named a National Associate of the National Academies; Fellow, American Geophysical Union. He received the American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Award. Author or co-author of more than 120 scientific publications and five books.



Ph.D., Yale University. 1974.



Seems like a more learned guy than most of us at this site.

Kudos for Dr. Bill!
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:15 PM   #6
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Here are some excellent pictures of Mother Earth - whom thousands around the world are gathering for today on this 36th anniversary of Earth Day:

http://todayspictures.slate.com/20060421/


And remember: every day is Earth Day!

Every day is another opportunity for us to protect Mother Earth.
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:18 PM   #7
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Happy Birthday Lenin!
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