We can do a lot as individuals to combat global warming.  But it is undeniable that governments can do more since they harness the power of the collective.  The Obama administration’s strategy is to control global warming emissions through regulation.  This week a huge victory was given to both the administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia.  The decision was unanimous in upholding the agency’s landmark rulings to control greenhouse gases.

The issue seems like a “no brainer” that the EPA should regulate greenhouse gases.  However, dozens of lawsuits from industry groups and 14 states challenged four rules that aim to limit greenhouse gases.  The biggest rule is the EPA’s 2009 “endangerment finding” and the foundation on which the other three rules rest.  The EPA contended, and was vindicated in this ruling, that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions constitute a danger to public health and therefore could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.  The three-judge panel acknowledged and gave credence to climate change as a real and legitimate threat to public health and safety.  So now climate change deniers have less of a leg to stand on; the EPA based its case on sound science and careful research which stood up to a rigorous judicial review and emerged victorious.

The ruling cleared the way for the EPA to proceed with clean car standards and restrictive permits on power plants and other major industrial polluters.  Perhaps now power plants will put increased effort into developing cost-effective and reliable methods to capture carbon emissions, or at least offset them.  If not, the future will certainly be in renewable energy sources now that there are stricter limitations on greenhouse gas emissions.

Published in carbonfree blog
Thursday, 24 May 2012 16:13

Killer Climate Change

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 that estimates 150,000 additional American deaths in the country’s top 40 cities by 2100 due to the excessive heat caused by climate change.

The top three deadliest cities outlined in the analysis of peer-reviewed data include Louisville, Detroit, and Cleveland.  Some other cities projected to have thousands of heat related deaths by the end of the century are Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

Why cities?  Because that is where two-thirds of the U.S. population lives, and many municipal services there are not prepared to help people effectively beat the heat.  Urban areas have high concentrations of poor with little to no access to air conditioning.  Although everyone is at risk, children, the elderly, the obese, and those on medication are the most vulnerable. 

We’re already seeing how global warming can kill with hundreds of heat related deaths annually.  Extreme heat causes heat exhaustion and heat stroke and worsens illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.  In 2006, a two-week long heat wave in California caused 655 deaths, 1,620 excess hospitalizations, and more than 16,000 additional emergency room visits, resulting in nearly $5.4 billion in costs.  However, Chicago had an even deadlier record-setting heat wave in 1995 when more than 700 people died due to the excessive heat.

Some cities are learning from their experiences or heeding the warnings, and strengthening their municipal services.  Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle have already put measures in place to lessen the risk from excessive heat days.  Measures include improving the city’s heat warning system, emergency services, and establishing cooling centers.

There is hope; we can save lives by reducing emissions and improving emergency services.  Some examples of climate change mitigation are supporting reforestation projects and using more renewable energy such as wind energy.

Read the report and get more information at http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/killer-heat/.

Published in carbonfree blog

LEI Electronics and EcoAlkalines™ are ecstatic to be able to announce that EcoAlkalines™ Batteries, the World’s first Landfill safe, Certified Carbon Neutral Alkaline Batteries have been certified meet LEED standards.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® Green Building Program is a voluntary, consensus-based global rating system for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.  LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with the intent on providing building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions. LEED is based on a credit system and points are allocated based on the potential environmental impacts and human benefits of each credit. Under the current LEED credit system, EcoAlkalines™ batteries can help earn one prerequisite and one point under the LEED category of Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) rating system.

For more information on LEED standards visit www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19 

Eco Alkalines™ have been reviewed by a LEED AP third party – Above Green, LLC. Above Green has provided us with a LEED certified technical statement which explains exactly which prerequisites and points Eco Alkalines™ batteries can be used to count towards.

As per Above Green, LLC:

EcoAlkalines are the world's first certified carbon neutral batteries. Manufactured with 0% Mercury, 0% Lead, 0% Cadmium – EcoAlkalines™ set the standard for responsible disposable alkaline batteries. Because of these qualities, EcoAlkalines are considered an environmentally preferable product. If you own and operate a LEED Certified building, include EcoAlkalines™ as part of your purchasing policy, and earn points toward certification and recertification of your facility.” 

Applicable   Credit Category and Credit Name

Number   of Points

MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy

          Prerequisite

MRc1: Sustainable Purchasing - Ongoing Consumables

1

  • Materials and Resources Prerequisite 1 ("MRp1"): Sustainable Purchasing Policy requires facilities managers to develop a comprehensive purchasing plan, which sets goals for the purchasing of environmental friendly products.
  • Materials and Resources Credit 1 ("MRc1"): Sustainable Purchasing - Ongoing Consumables focuses on the implementation of MRp1, specifically in the procurement of environmentally friendly ongoing consumables, including batteries.

Carbonfund.org is pleased see one of our Carbon Neutral Certified Products recognized by the USGBC as meeting LEEDs Green Building Program Standards and congratulates LEI Electronics on this achievement. For more information about EcoAlkalines™ please visit: http://www.leiproducts.com/eco-alkalines and to learn more about Carbon Neutral Certification through Carbonfund.org please visit: http://carbonfund.org/offset/product-certification.

Published in carbonfree blog

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on Wednesday last week, warning that there is evidence from observations gathered since 1950 of change in some weather and climate extremes, including heat waves and record high temperatures. 

“Evidence of climate change is expressing itself to people in different parts of the world in lots of different ways.  There are some places in the world where there has been an increase in droughts, especially in Southern Europe and Africa.  In other parts of the world there have been increases in heavy rainfall events.  We’ve seen that especially in North America,” said the Co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group II, Chris Field, a climate expert with the Carnegie Institution for Science in a video overview of the report.

The 592-page Special Report is named, “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)” and is the first to focus on extreme weather changes whereas past IPCC reports highlighted the gradual rise of temperatures and oceans.

SREX is the world’s most current assessment of climate change risks.  The report is aimed at policymakers and its main thrust is that enough is known about climate change for the world’s leaders to start making decisions about how to handle the risks.

The report does not address reducing greenhouse gas emissions which have been blamed in large part for increasing global warming.  Instead, it offers a range of strategies for adapting to a warmer world.  Although mitigation of climate change is not the focus of this report, adaptation and mitigation can complement each other and together can significantly reduce the risks of climate change.

“It’s beginning to dawn on people that something is going on; that something bigger is afoot.  The frontline of climate change is in the backyard,” said Susanne Moser of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting.  Nations need to act now, because increasingly extreme weather is already a trend.

For more information or to read the full report from the IPCC, click this link.  http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/

 

Published in carbonfree blog
Page 6 of 6