Monthly Archives: March 2015

UNEP: Green Investment Up 17%, 103 GW Added In 2014 | Divest-Invest

March 31st, 2015 by Sandy Dechert

This morning the United Nations Environment Program released its 9th annual report on Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment. The news is very good: 2014 was the best year ever for newly installed renewable capacity. The Frankfurt School–UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance prepared the report.

In spite of the 50+% collapse in oil prices toward the end of last year, global investments in renewable energy scored big, with a 17% increase from 2013. (Largely due to lower cleantech prices resulting from economies of scale, the numbers had previously declined for two years.) Global 2014 investments reached $270 billion, 17% up from the 2013 total of $232 billion and only 3% below the 2011 all-time record ($279 billion).

Unprecedented solar expansion in China (mostly utility-scale projects over 1 MW) and Japan (smaller-scale projects) — comprising around half the world total — and strongest-ever investments in European offshore wind propelled the surge. In fact, solar and wind accounted for over 90% of all investment.

  • Solar rose by a whopping 25% to $149.6 billion, its second-highest year ever, adding a record 46 GW of capacity.
  • Wind rose by 11% to a record $99.5 billion, adding 49 GW, another record.
  • Geothermal investments also rose, having a 27% increase to $2.7 billion. Biofuels, biomass, waste-to-energy, and small hydro all dropped somewhat.

Measured in terms of more conventional power, the record 103 GW of added renewable capacity equals approximately the same output capacity as all 158 nuclear power plant reactors in the United States. The figure compares to 86 GW in 2013, 89 GW in 2012, and 81 GW in 2011.

…(read more).

Harvard Extension School
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Most coastal Connecticut residents underestimate storm threat

By Kevin Dennehy March 26, 2015

Most residents living along the Connecticut coast underestimate the physical and economic threats posed by major coastal storms, sometimes despite advanced notice and exceptionally accurate weather forecasts, according to a new report by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC).

In a survey of more than 1,100 residents living within two miles of the Connecticut shore, only 21% said they would leave their homes in the event of a Category 2 hurricane — a major storm in which wind speeds exceed 96 miles per hour — if they did not receive any official notification. Just 6 in 10 (58%) said they would leave even if an official advised them to do so.

About one-third of residents believe it would be safer to stay at home than to evacuate in the event of such a strong hurricane. Seventy percent said they were unsure or unaware whether they were even located in an evacuation zone.

Researchers hope these insights into public knowledge, risk perceptions, experiences, and behaviors will help emergency planners and responders improve their communications with coastal communities during future weather emergencies.

Many of the respondents live in communities that were battered by Hurricane Irene in 2011, and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. During both events, many people stayed in their homes despite being warned of potentially dangerous weather conditions.

…(read more).

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Air Quality: A Tale of Three Cities

NASA Goddard

Published on Mar 31, 2015

Dr. Bryan N. Duncan is a deputy project scientist for the Aura Mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

He recently presented the story of air quality in three cities: Beijing, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Instruments on NASA satellites monitor pollution around the world. One of these, The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the Aura satellite, has observed large amounts of sulfur dioxide, which is released when coal is burned, over Beijing.

Similarly, in the 1950s Los Angeles experienced high levels of another air pollutant—ozone. When in the higher atmosphere, ozone protects Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. But closer to the ground ozone functions as a pollutant. Half a century ago in Los Angeles, levels were sometimes recorded at more than 500 ppbv. (The current National Ambient Air Quality Standard is 75 ppbv.) With the advent of catalytic converters in vehicles and other environmental policy efforts, these levels declined. But what worked to reduce ozone in Los Angeles didn’t work to reduce high ozone levels in another city: Atlanta.

In this video, Duncan talks about the dynamic nature of air quality, what causes ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, and why reducing volatile organic carbon pollution worked to reduce ozone in Los Angeles, but not in Atlanta.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11812

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NASA Discover Five Planet Like Earth Ever – New Documentary 2015


Sai Documentary

Published on Oct 13, 2014

You Also Watch this Awesome documentary:-
(HD) Future Invention of Fully Loaded Drones Weapons – New Documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxZkI…

Global Climate Change
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Rare phenomenon: Wave clouds ripple over Georgia


euronews (in English)
Published on Mar 31, 2015
Stormy weather in the southeast of America made for swirling cloud formations on Monday March 30.

The official name for the ‘wave cloud’ formation is Undulatus Asperatus, which was captured on multiple handheld devices in the states of South Carolina and Georgia.

The wavy-looking phenomenon is not currently recognised as an official cloud category by the World Meteorological Organization

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World Religions Face the Climate Crisis — Active Learning Weekend April 17-19, 2015

http://ecoethics.net/World-Religions-Climate/

In this interactive weekend course, students, faculty, and local religious leaders engage in a real-time simulation of the Parliament of World Religions. The task is to draft international protocols that address the climate crisis. Racing a deadline of Earth Day, April 22, 2015, the delegates must uphold the beliefs and practices of designated faith traditions—Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Confucian/Daoist—while crafting policy guidelines for governments and their assigned denominations. Delegates will work in small groups and larger plenary sessions to negotiate issues of technology, theology, culture, politics, economics and ethics.

Queen-Syllabus-QRhttp://www.climate-talks.net/2015-ENVRE130/PDF/20150417-RELI-E1525-Syllabus-1.pdf

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How Idealism, Expressed in Concrete Steps, Can Fight Climate Change

MARCH 27, 2015, Economic View By ROBERT J. SHILLER

Half of the working inhabitants of Copenhagen now commute by bicycle. A new theory suggests that persuading people to make such changes may be crucial to fighting climate change. Credit Johan Spanner for The New York Times

Idealism combined with an intriguing application of economic theory may accomplish what international conferences have not: solving the seemingly intractable problem of global warming.

Despite periodic flurries of optimism, diplomacy has been largely disappointing. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, for example, in which many nations agreed to impose strict taxes on carbon emissions, hasn’t accomplished much. And subsequent climate conferences haven’t come up with an effective solution. Secretary of State John Kerry summed up the diplomatic landscape in December at the United Nations climate change conference in Lima, Peru: “We’re still on a course leading to tragedy.”

From an economic standpoint, international efforts until now have foundered on a fundamental “free rider problem.” In a nutshell, individuals and nations that bear the immediate costs of measures to protect the atmosphere will experience only a small fraction of the benefits, which are shared by all the people and nations on the planet. Why not just take a “free ride” and let others do the hard work?

In traditional economic theory, the benefits of reducing emissions take the form of an “externality,” meaning they are external to the local environment because they are spread over the whole world. Our own contributions are often too small to see or feel.

When the problem is an externality, it is, for the most part, futile to ask people to volunteer to fix it — by taking actions like car-pooling or riding a bike to work to cut back on emissions or, in the case of governments, by enacting laws and regulations.

Yes, some individuals with a strong moral compass will take action, and some nations will do so occasionally, but most people and countries will not do so consistently. That’s what the theory says, anyway.

But in a new book, “Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet” (Princeton 2015), Gernot Wagner of the Environmental Defense Fund and Martin L. Weitzman, a Harvard economist, question that assumption. In a proposal that they call the Copenhagen Theory of Change, they say that we should be asking people to volunteer to save our climate by taking many small, individual actions.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
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