Clean Air = More Global Warming?

A recent article from the Christian Science Monitor states that a group of British and American scientists have published a report that reveals startling news about global warming. The report claims that the presence of certain aerosols, which includes many pollutants, actually have a cooling effect on the planet. The article goes on to talk about how inacting legislation against fossil fuels may actually increase global warming, as less pollutants in the form of aerosols means a decrease in this cooling effect. With less pollutants, we can expect to see an acceleration of the global warming process.

Aerosols are found in dust, sea salt that is circulated in the air when winds evaporate ocean waters, and gases and other products from volcanic eruptions. The burning of fossil fuels also greatly contributes to the presence of aerosols in the atmosphere. Geeze, we just can?t win, can we? We’re hot if we do, and hot if we don’t.

The article states that the study needs further review and continued analysis to really provide a clear picture of the effects of aerosols and global warming, so we’ll see what comes next.

Read the full article from the CS Monitor here.

Reading (About) the Kyoto Protocol

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Etienne Vermeersch is an emeritus professor in ethics from the University of Ghent in Belgium. This year, he helped pen Reading the Kyoto Protocol: Ethical Aspects of the Convention on Climatic Change, which is a critical and very thorough analysis of the Kyoto Protocol for those looking to wade through the hype and find out what this important international law is all about.

In addition to Etienne’s thoughts on the matter, you can read the insights of philosophers, top-notch international researchers, and environmentalists. Available from Powell?s Books.

New California Solar Energy Plan

California State energy regulators are pushing forward an impressive solar energy plan that includes generous consumer rebates for those interested in investing in solar technology. Their hope is that this initiative will stimulate more interest in solar energy and create new jobs in the alternative energy sector. Over the next decade, the goal is to install enough solar panels on private homes, businesses and public buildings to generate over 3,000 megawatts of solar energy.

Given the fact that California is one of the sunniest states in the U.S., this plan makes a lot of sense. In fact, this plan may place California back on the list of the world leaders in solar energy development, as they were back in the 70s.

These days, Germany and Japan have been getting more attention as the leading innovators and users of solar energy. Let’s hope Californians can do us proud and somewhat reverse the bad reputation the Bush administration has given the U.S. with respect to energy consumption and greenhouse gas production.
See here for more information.

Good News about Global Warming: Healthier Salmon!



Salmon: A Delicious More-Than-Likely Non-Toxic Fish

Norwegians, especially Norwegian salmon, may actually benefit from the effects of global warming.

How? In a weird twist of “mankind as evil contaminator,” more rains in Norway due to global warming may help dilute pollutants that blow into Norwegian rivers from other European countries.

Before, these rivers relied mostly on winter snow runoff to wash out contaminates. These days, Norway is getting an increasing amount of rain rather than snow, so this translates to a more prolonged cleansing of their rivers. The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is responsible for the study.

Mmmmm….salmon!

Unfortunately for these poor fish, this might just mean that we’ll gobble them up quicker. No complaining, though.

Depleted ozone leads to cleaner rivers. Weird stuff! Well, that’s what we’re here for, looking for that eternal silver lining! See this article from ENN for more info.