Τρίτη, Ιανουαρίου 31, 2006

Βιβλικές καταστροφές απειλούν την Γη

Τον κώδωνα του κινδύνου για τις δραματικές αλλαγές στο κλίμα του πλανήτη κρούει ο Τόνι Μπλερ. Ο Βρετανός πρωθυπουργός τονίζει ότι «οι αλλαγές στο κλίμα είναι πιο σοβαρές από όσο νομίζαμε» και περιγράφει μια ζοφερή κατάσταση εξαιτίας της ανόδου της θερμοκρασίας στο μέλλον. «Οι πάγοι στην Ανταρκτική και στη Γροιλανδία λιώνουν με ταχύτερους ρυθμούς. Θα σημειωθούν βιβλικές πλημμύρες αν η θερμοκρασία της Γης αυξηθεί κατά΄3βαθμούς τα επόμενα 3 χρόνια» προειδοποιεί.

Σύνδεσμος στο άρθρο του Βήματος

Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 30, 2006

Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change

Washington Post
January 29, 2006

Some Experts on Global Warming Foresee 'Tipping Point' When It Is Too Late to Act

by Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer

Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to whether climate change is progressing so rapidly that, within decades, humans may be helpless to slow or reverse the trend.

Link to the Article

Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 29, 2006

Good climate-change journalism: Eilperin edition

Good climate-change journalism: Eilperin edition: "
Next up is Juliet Eilperin, documenting the increasing worry among experts about global-warming "tipping point" scenarios. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon …
"

Good climate-change journalism: Kay edition

Good climate-change journalism: Kay edition: "
While I'm noting journalists worth their salt, how about a shout out for the San Francisco Chronicle's Jane Kay? A couple weeks ago she wrote a superb series on global warming, under the rubric "A Warming World: The Difference a Degree Makes." I should …
"

Fortune: Are You Ready for $262/bbl Oil?

Fortune: Are You Ready for $262/bbl Oil?: "
"Be afraid. Be very afraid." That's the message from two of the world's most successful investors on the topic of high oil prices. One of them, Hermitage Capital's Bill Browder, has outlined six scenarios that could take oil up to a downright terrifying $262 a barrel. The other, billionaire investor George Soros, wouldn't make any specific predictions about prices. But as a legendary commodities player, it's worth paying heed to the words of the man who once took on the Bank of England -- and won. "I'm very worried about the supply-demand balance, which is very tight," Soros says.(link)…
"

H ενέργεια ανατρέπει τις γεωπολιτικές ισορροπίες

Άρθρο στο Βήμα H τιμή του πετρελαίου πλησιάζει τα 71 δολάρια το βαρέλι - διεξάγεται ένας ανελέητος παγκόσμιος πόλεμος και η Ευρώπη απλώς παρατηρεί

ΝΤΑΒΟΣ, ΙΑΝΟΥΑΡΙΟΣ.
H ενέργεια είναι το θέμα που κυριάρχησε στις συζητήσεις του Παγκόσμιου Οικονομικού Φόρουμ στο Νταβός της Ελβετίας. H διαμάχη μεταξύ της Μόσχας και των πρώην δορυφόρων της για το φυσικό αέριο, η απειλή της διεθνούς κοινότητας για την επιβολή εμπάργκο προς το Ιράν, η θεαματική επίσκεψη του βασιλιά της Σαουδικής Αραβίας στην Κίνα με αντικείμενο το πετρέλαιο και φυσικά η ανάδυση της Κίνας ως του μεγαλύτερου καταναλωτή μαύρου χρυσού στον κόσμο - μετά τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες - είναι τα νέα στοιχεία που διαμορφώνουν το ενεργειακό παιχνίδι στον πλανήτη μας. H ενεργειακή αυτάρκεια και η διασφάλιση των προμηθειών σε πετρέλαιο είναι οι μεγαλύτεροι πονοκέφαλοι των μεγάλων δυνάμεων αυτή την εποχή. Ας μη γελιόμαστε. Πρόκειται για έναν παγκόσμιο πόλεμο, που εκτείνεται από τη Νιγηρία ως τη Μέση Ανατολή και από τη Βενεζουέλα ως την Ινδονησία, την ίδια στιγμή που η τιμή του πετρελαίου πλησιάζει το ιστορικό ρεκόρ των 71 δολαρίων το βαρέλι. Αυτός ο ενεργειακός πόλεμος διεξάγεται ενώ η Ευρώπη επιδεικνύει μια στάση αδιαφορίας. Και αυτό είναι περίεργο, καθώς είναι γνωστός ο υψηλός βαθμός της ενεργειακής εξάρτησής της από το πετρέλαιο και το φυσικό αέριο. Μια εξήγηση γι' αυτή την αδιαφορία είναι ίσως το γεγονός ότι ο ρυθμός ανάπτυξης της παγκόσμιας οικονομίας το 2005 (4,2%) δεν επηρεάστηκε καθόλου από την άνοδο της τιμής του πετρελαίου. Αυτό ίσως αλλάξει όμως το 2006 για δύο λόγους. Ο πρώτος είναι η Κίνα. Ως πριν από δέκα χρόνια η Κίνα ήταν αυτάρκης σε πετρέλαιο. Σήμερα είναι ο δεύτερος μεγαλύτερος εισαγωγέας στον κόσμο. H χώρα αυτή προκαλεί τις μεγαλύτερες εντάσεις στην αγορά του μαύρου χρυσού και θα συνεχίσει έτσι ώσπου να καλύψει τις ενεργειακές ανάγκες της. Ο δεύτερος λόγος είναι η κατάσταση στην οποία βρίσκεται η βιομηχανία του πετρελαίου. Οι ανεπαρκείς επενδύσεις για τη βελτίωση των υποδομών, οι εργασίες συντήρησης που καθυστέρησαν λόγω των κυκλώνων Κατρίνα και Ρίτα και η εφαρμογή νέων περιβαλλοντικών κανόνων στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες είναι οι τρεις παράγοντες που περιορίζουν την παραγωγή ραφιναρισμένων προϊόντων πετρελαίου, τη στιγμή που η παγκόσμια ζήτηση γι' αυτά μεγαλώνει....

The Economic Impacts of Climate Change

AEI-Brookings Joint Center

"The Economic Impacts of Climate Change: Evidence from Agricultural Output and Random Fluctuations in Weather"
by Olivier Deschenes, Michael Greenstone

Jan 2006

View PDF

A wrong-way agency

Los Angeles Times
January 28, 2006

Editorial

FOR TOO LONG, THE EPA HAS BEEN AWOL. Once a proud protector of public well-being, the Environmental Protection Agency has become an agency that too often ignores science and must be dragged into taking even the smallest steps. Even worse, it prevents other public agencies from moving forward with plans to protect the environment.

Link to the article

Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 28, 2006

Wal-Mart Dons the Environmental Red Cape and Uses its Monopsony Powers to Promote Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Wal-Mart Dons the Environmental Red Cape and Uses its Monopsony Powers to Promote Truth, Justice, and the American Way: "
Wal-Mart fishes for eco-friendly profile, by Jonathan Birchall and Fiona Harvey, Financial Times: Wal-Mart has committed itself to taking most of the fish it sells in North America from environmentally sound sources, in its latest initiative to improve its much criticised record on environmental and social issues. The world’s largest retailer has pledged that all of its US fresh and frozen fish, excluding farmed fish, will eventually come from fisheries certified as being “sustainable” by the Marine Stewardship Council... Wal-Mart, which operates 900 fish counters, joins a small group of US retailers, including Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats, which source salmon, pollock, lobster and hoki fish from MSC-certified fisheries. ...
Wal-Mart has also established “sustainability networks” that bring its suppliers and its buyers together with concerned non-profit groups, covering products including agricultural products, seafood, and gold and jewellery. Rupert Howes, head of the Marine Stewardship Council, said: “It is hugely significant that Wal-Mart is doing this, and setting a real example to the rest of the industry.”
However, only a small number of fisheries have been certified as sustainable. This means it will take between three and five years for Wal-Mart to achieve its goal. The company has also been showing new interest in improving conditions in garment and footwear factories – another area highlighted by Mr Scott.
But it is still struggling to persuade many of its critics that it is serious about its conversion to the cause of corporate social responsibility. ... However, David Schilling, of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibiity, which has co-ordinated numerous shareholder resolutions critical of Wal-Mart, said critics would watch for genuine changes that went beyond its current propaganda war. ...
Wal-Mart faces considerable challenges if it is to adapt its operations to the range of standards now embraced by some of its rivals. Unlike Nike or Gap, both of which have been active in developing supply chain monitoring, it sells a vast range of merchandise ranging from bananas to diamonds; its supply chain uses 60,000 factories worldwide for its own brand products alone, compared to around 700 at Nike.
"

Exxon Valdez Judgement Back in Court

Exxon Valdez Judgement Back in Court: "
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060127/ap_on_re_us/exxon_valdez_1 It's been nearly 17 years since the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil along the Alaska coast in one of the country's worst environmental disasters, and a jury's $5 billion …
"

Property Rights and Second-Hand Smoke

Property Rights and Second-Hand Smoke: "
Most debates over the regulation of pollution revolve around the definition of property rights: Do polluters have the right to pollute or do non-polluters have the right to clean air? In my view, the smoking debate has always been the same type of debate: Do smokers have the right to smoke or do non-smokers have the right to smoke-free air? California has now made it possible to combine the pollution and smoking debate: Do smokers have the right to pollute or do non-smokers have the right to pollution-free air?
California became the first state to declare secondhand smoke a toxic air pollutant Thursday, citing its link to breast cancer. Experts said the decision may have more impact worldwide than it does in the largely smoke-free state.
The decision by the California Air Resources Board puts environmental tobacco smoke in the same category as diesel exhaust, arsenic and benzene.
Smoking can now be regulated under California pollution laws. I'll be watching to see how this impacts other states. For example, the American Cancer Society, Ohio Division is try to get a Smoke-Free Ohio initiative on the ballot this year. It will be interesting to see if they can use the California pollution argument in their favor.
"

Sweden Raises The Renewable Energy Bar

Sweden Raises The Renewable Energy Bar "
Sweden has the reputation among the world's most regulated industries as being annoying. The Swedish government has for decades argued for international policies that discourage the use of toxic and bioaccumulative materials, which fed into EU-wide interest in the "precautionary principle". And, as the picture symbolizes, the Nobel prize has been given for "green chemistry". Even Sweden's well known industries, Volvo for instance, seem to share the forward-looking culture. Years ago Volvo produced internal "grey lists" of substances that should not be used during manufacture and eventually shared the same expectation with their suppliers. Now this is a worldwide trend. By the early 1990's it had become obvious that you could see a major environmental managment trend coming by watching what happens after Sweden. As soon as a US broadcaster says "In Sweden today..." you know it's coming to California,... and so on. So, it was with great interest that we read this recent headline: "Sweden Plans on Being the First Country in the World to Be Free From Oil in 2020". Need we say more? Of course.
"Minister for Sustainable Development Mona Sahlin has declared that Sweden is going to become the first country in the world to break the dependence on fossil energy. Sweden will stop using oil by 2020 and eventually the energy supply of the country will be based on renewable energy only. The goal is to gradually rid the country of gasoline-run cars and oil-heated homes"
Characteristically, they have actually thought this out and have some mechanisms in mind. Here's the list so far proposed or partially implemented.
*Large-scale investments in renewable energy and in research.
*Expansion of district heating initiatives (co-gen and use of waste industrial and utility heat for domestic needs) as was done famously in Denmark, and emulated in the US in a few rare instances.
*Not subjecting fuel that is free of carbon dioxide to the energy tax or the carbon dioxide emission tax.
*Exempting efficient vehicles from the congestion tax that will be introduced in Stockholm in January.
*Taxes on energy and on carbon dioxide emissions were raised, while other taxes, such as those on payroll were decreased by an equivalent amount.
*Municipalities receive grants to conduct long-term climate research and make investments in environment-friendly technology.
*There are interim objectives for each target, regional and local objectives to match, and an Environmental Objectives Council to monitor progress towards the goals.
*Progress is charted through 70 national indicators, which track results and verify whether the country is heading in the right direction.
"

Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 26, 2006

WHO releases "Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Health Synthesis"


"Over the past 50 years, humans have changed natural ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period in human history," said Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization. "This transformation of the planet has contributed to substantial net gains in health, well-being and economic development. But not all regions and groups of people have benefited equally from this process." Approximately 60% of the benefits that the global ecosystem provides to support life on Earth (such as fresh water, clean air and a relatively stable climate) are being degraded or used unsustainably. In the report, scientists warn that harmful consequences of this degradation to human health are already being felt and could grow significantly worse over the next 50 years.


To both the summary and the full document

An Alternative to the Gas Tax?

An Alternative to the Gas Tax?: "
The Brit down the hall--he loves when I call him that, he claims to be English--pointed me towards this story in The Guardian:In a few years from now you will have another plastic card in your wallet - your carbon...
"

The Energizer - Discover Magazine - science news articles online technology magazine articles The Energizer

The Energizer - Discover Magazine - science news articles online technology magazine articles The Energizer

AMORY LOVINS is a physicist, economist, inventor, automobile designer, consultant to 18 heads of state, author of 29 books, and cofounder of Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank. most of all, he's a man who takes pride in saving energy. The electricity bill at his 4,000-square-foot home in Old Snowmass, Colorado, is five dollars a month, and he's convinced he can do the same for all of us. his book winning the oil endgame shows how the united states can save as much oil as it gets from the persian gulf by 2015 and how all oil imports can be eliminated by 2040. And that's just for starters.

Atlantic circulation change summary

Atlantic circulation change summary: "
Nature this week has an excellent summary of the state of the science with regards to possible changes in the ocean thermohaline (or meridional) circulation in the Atlantic and it's impact on climate. Even though it quotes a couple of us, it's still …
"

Daily Kos interview

Daily Kos interview: "
A brief welcome to anyone coming over from Daily Kos today. Three of us (Mike, Gavin and Stefan) are interviewed by DarkSyde on climate change, this site and walking the line between science and politics. To find something specific, check out the …
"

Bourse! Bourse! Bourse! Bourse!

Bourse! Bourse! Bourse! Bourse!: "
The corrupted phrase from the ever popular Swedish Chef from the Muppets of long ago (geesh, I sure am old) aside, the proposed Iranian Oil Bourse is a hot topic in the blogosphere. First, we have our colleague James Hamilton over at Econbrowser …
"

Michael Crichton's "Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management…"

Michael Crichton's "Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management…": "
Mickael Crichton delivered a talk recently titled Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century (November 6, 2005). Crichton summed up with a quote from Mark Twain, “I’ve seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of...
"

Extrapolating World Production

Extrapolating World Production: "
This piece takes on how to model and extrapolate the world production curve. It is long and a bit complex. However, I think it's worth the effort, because there's some absolutely fascinating stuff going on in the world production curve. We will try …
"

Privatization of Roads

Privatization of Roads: "
Should the allocation of transportation services - driving on roads - be allocated by the price system? If we continue on the road to privatization, will we be satisfied that it is equitable for the haves to be able to...
"

EEA - Reports - EEA report 1/2006 - Using the market for cost-effective environmental policy - English

EEA - Reports - EEA report 1/2006 - Using the market for cost-effective environmental policy - English
This report presents an assessment of the main and most recent developments in the use of market-based instruments in European environmental policy. The report covers a range of instruments which are used as tools to achieve environmental objectives. These instruments include: environmental taxes, charges and deposit-refund systems, environmental tax reform, emissions trading schemes, subsidies, and liability and compensation requirements. The report finds a steadily growing application of market-based instruments across Europe. It also identifies the need for cost-effective policy measures in order to make authorities more aware of the advantages of implementing MBIs. The report "Market based instruments for environmental policy in Europe" is a longer version of this report.

Oceans in Peril

Washington Post
Editorial
January 23, 2006

The Bush administration remains in denial about climate change and sometimes treats environmental protection as an inconvenience. Yet there was reason to hope, when the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy issued its report more than a year ago, that President Bush would seize the issue of the dire threat to this country's coastal waters. The commission was the second major task force in recent years to detail the rapidly deteriorating ecology of America's oceans. All serious looks at the issue have reached similar conclusions: that current human use of oceans is unsustainable and that without dramatic changes in the ways the waters are exploited and enjoyed, the seas will die out. The magnitude of the crisis offers an opportunity for the president to lead on a preeminent environmental issue.

Link to the Article

Oceans in Peril

Washington Post
Editorial
January 23, 2006

The Bush administration remains in denial about climate change and sometimes treats environmental protection as an inconvenience. Yet there was reason to hope, when the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy issued its report more than a year ago, that President Bush would seize the issue of the dire threat to this country's coastal waters. The commission was the second major task force in recent years to detail the rapidly deteriorating ecology of America's oceans. All serious looks at the issue have reached similar conclusions: that current human use of oceans is unsustainable and that without dramatic changes in the ways the waters are exploited and enjoyed, the seas will die out. The magnitude of the crisis offers an opportunity for the president to lead on a preeminent environmental issue.

Link to the Article

United States Ranks 28th on Environment, a New Study Says

New York Times
January 23, 2006

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 - A pilot nation-by-nation study of environmental performance shows that just six nations - led by New Zealand, followed by five from Northern Europe - have achieved 85 percent or better success in meeting a set of critical environmental goals ranging from clean drinking water and low ozone levels to sustainable fisheries and low greenhouse gas emissions.

The study, jointly produced by Yale and Columbia Universities, ranked the United States 28th over all, behind most of Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Chile, but ahead of Russia and South Korea.

Link to the article

Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 25, 2006

Rationing

Rationing: "
I'm reading a fascinating and thorough account of the disastrous petroleum price controls of the 1970s that deserves a wide readership. Anyone looking for a careful study of the flaws in price controls and import quotas should read: William C....
"

UK launches energy review in face of global warming

UK launches energy review in face of global warming: "
The British government launched an urgent public consultation on future energy policy on Monday but was accused of using it as a smokescreen to cover a decision already taken in secret to build new nuclear power plants.
"

Car Sharing

Car Sharing: "
I've long been intrigued by the car sharing clubs that have sprung up in Germany and elsewhere in the EU. An article in the Wall St. Journal last week (subscription required) described how the clever use of wireless technology and the text-messaging feature …
"

Measuring Environmental Sustainability

Measuring Environmental Sustainability: "
Yale's ESI index is a useful tool for starting a discussion about how we measure environmental sustainability (http://www.yale.edu/esi/). Are environmental problems getting better or worse? Environmentalists fear policy complacency and in addition they …
"
Yale's ESI index is a useful tool for starting a discussion about how we measure environmental sustainability (http://www.yale.edu/esi/). Are environmental problems getting better or worse? Environmentalists fear policy complacency and in addition they have genuine concerns about the impacts of climate change, deforestation, and the rise of the automobile around the world. Will environmentalists be pleased that across countries, the Yale ESI index indicates that richer nations are more "sustainable"?

I thought that the Yale team has posted a nuanced response to their critics (see
http://www.yale.edu/esi/h_critiques.pdf).

These researchers admit that there is a fundamental index numbers issue. To give a concrete example. Suppose that every university can be rated on the quality of its football team and the quality of its economics faculty. If U.S News and World Report gives equal weight to each of these factors, then Harvard will be ranked close to the middle of the pack. If you place a weight of .9 on faculty quality, Harvard will look a lot better. So, subjective weighting decisions play a key role in index determination. The ESI team weights all of their categories equally. Let's take a look at their categories.

Variable Description Component
Urban population weighted NO2 concentration SYSTEM
Urban population weighted SO2 concentration SYSTEM
Urban population weighted TSP concentration SYSTEM
Indoor air pollution from solid fuel use SYSTEM
Percentage of country's territory in threatened ecoregions SYSTEM
Threatened bird species as percentage of known breeding bird species in each country SYSTEM
Threatened mammal species as percentage of known mammal species in each country SYSTEM
Threatened amphibian species as percentage of known amphibian species in each country SYSTEM
National Biodiversity Index SYSTEM
Percentage of total land area (including inland waters) having very low anthropogenic impact SYSTEM
Percentage of total land area (including inland waters) having very high anthropogenic impact SYSTEM
Dissolved oxygen concentration SYSTEM
Electrical conductivity SYSTEM
Phosphorus concentration SYSTEM
Suspended solids SYSTEM
Freshwater availability per capita SYSTEM
Internal groundwater availability per capita SYSTEM
Anthropogenic NOx emissions per populated land area STRESS
Anthropogenic SO2 emissions per populated land area STRESS
Anthropogenic VOC emissions per populated land area STRESS
Coal consumption per populated land area STRESS
Vehicles in use per populated land area STRESS
Annual average forest cover change rate from 1990 to 2000 STRESS
Acidification exceedance from anthropogenic sulfur deposition STRESS
Percentage change in projected population 2004-2050 STRESS
Total Fertility Rate STRESS
Ecological Footprint per capita STRESS
Waste recycling rates STRESS
Generation of hazardous waste STRESS
Industrial organic water pollutant (BOD) emissions per available freshwater STRESS
Fertilizer consumption per hectare of arable land STRESS
Pesticide consumption per hectare of arable land STRESS
Percentage of country under severe water stress STRESS
Productivity overfishing STRESS
Salinized area due to irrigation as percentage of total arable land STRESS
Percentage of total forest area that is certified for sustainable management STRESS
World Economic Forum Survey on subsidies STRESS
Agricultural subsidies STRESS
Death rate from intestinal infectious diseases VULNER
Child death rate from respiratory diseases VULNER
Children under five mortality rate per 1,000 live births VULNER
Percentage of undernourished in total population VULNER
Percentage of population with access to improved drinking water source VULNER
Average number of deaths per million inhabitants from floods, tropical cyclones, and droughts VULNER
Environmental Hazard Exposure Index VULNER
Percentage of total land area under protected status CAP
Ratio of gasoline price to world average CAP
Percentage of variables missing from the CGSDI "Rio to Joburg Dashboard" CAP
Knowledge creation in environmental science, technology, and policy CAP
IUCN member organizations per million population CAP
Local Agenda 21 initiatives per million people CAP
Corruption measure CAP
Rule of law CAP
Civil and Political Liberties CAP
World Economic Forum Survey on environmental governance CAP
Government effectiveness CAP
Democracy measure CAP
Energy efficiency CAP
Hydropower and renewable energy production as a percentage of total energy consumption CAP
Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index (DJSGI) CAP
Average Innovest EcoValue rating of firms headquarted in a country CAP
Number of ISO 14001 certified companies per billion dollars GDP (PPP) CAP
World Economic Forum Survey on private sector environmental innovation CAP
Participation in the Responsible Care Program of the Chemical Manufacturer's Association CAP
Innovation Index CAP
Digital Access Index CAP
Female primary education completion rate CAP
Gross tertiary enrollment rate CAP
Number of researchers per million inhabitants CAP
Number of memberships in environmental intergovernmental organizations GLOBAL
Contribution to international and bilateral funding of environmental projects and development aid GLOBAL
Participation in international environmental agreements GLOBAL
Carbon emissions per million US dollars GDP GLOBAL
Carbon emissions per capita GLOBAL
SO2 Exports GLOBAL
Import of polluting goods and raw materials as percentage of total imports of goods and services GLOBAL

It's Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's Hot, Hot, Hot!: "
2005 was the warmest year on record. It seems there is a disproportionate effect in the North Carolina mountains as evidenced by Appalachian State's new recruiting video (Warning: Video with sound--but trust me it's well worth it). Apparently, NOTHING …
"

Τρίτη, Ιανουαρίου 24, 2006

Δείκτη Περιβαλλοντικής Αποτελεσματικότητας

Executive Summary

By identifying specific targets for environmental performance and measuring how close each country comes to these established goals, the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) provides benchmarks for current national pollution control and natural resource management results. The issue-by-issue and aggregate rankings facilitate cross-country comparisons both globally and within relevant peer groups. The EPI thus provides a powerful tool for improving policymaking and shifting environmental decisionmaking onto firmer analytic foundations.

The EPI centers on two broad environmental protection objectives: 1) reducing environmental stresses on human health and 2) protecting ecosystem vitality. Derived from a careful review of the environmental literature, these twin goals mirror the priorities expressed by policymakers, most notably the environmental dimension of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. Environmental health and ecosystem vitality are gauged using sixteen indicators tracked in six established policy categories: Environmental Health, Air Quality, Water Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, Productive Natural Resources, and Sustainable Energy.

Περισσότερα για τον δείκτη εδώ…

What is the Coase Theorem, really?

What is the Coase Theorem, really?: "
Each year I teach a Master's/Ph.D. level class in Environmental Economics. One topic I always struggle with presenting is the Coase Theorem. Not because it is overly complicated. There are just so many versions of it that I don't know...
"

How is the U.S. really doing on the 2006 Environmental Performance Index?

How is the U.S. really doing on the 2006 Environmental Performance Index?: "
The U.S. ranks 28th in the world in achieving certain environmental goals according to the Environmental Performance Index produced by Yale and Columbia. Yesterday Mark Thoma linked to a NYTimes article which could be interpreted as implying that the …
"

Η ενδυνάμωση της Παγκόσμιας Περιβαλλοντικής Διακυβέρνησης: Παγκόσμιος Οργανισμός Περιβάλλοντος ή σταδιακές μεταρρυθμίσεις;

Eισήγησή της Βίκυ Καραγεώργου σε Διεθνές Συνέδριο στους Δελφούς

I. Εισαγωγή

Η παγκοσμιοποίηση, που εκλαμβάνεται ως η αυξανόμενη αλληλεξάρτηση και ολοκλήρωση – καταρχήν – ανάμεσα στις οικονομίες, κυρίως εξαιτίας της ραγδαίας μετακίνησης κεφαλαίων και αγαθών (που συντελείται με τη βοήθεια των νέων τεχνολογιών), έχει δημιουργήσει δραστικά νέα δεδομένα στον παγκόσμιο χάρτη αλλά και στις πολιτικές πρακτικές σε διεθνές, περιφερειακό και εθνικό επίπεδο1. Ανεξάρτητα από την αμφισημία - και τον πολυδιάστατο χαρακτήρα - του φαινομένου της παγκοσμιοποίησης αποτελεί κοινή παραδοχή ότι οι συνέπειες και οι προεκτάσεις της είναι ορατές τόσο στη λειτουργία του διεθνούς οικονομικού συστήματος, όσο και στον τρόπο άσκησης των κρατικών λειτουργιών και συνακόλουθα και στην καθημερινή ζωή των πολιτών .

Οι πολυδιάστατες επιπτώσεις του φαινομένου της παγκοσμιοποίησης έχουν οδηγήσει στην ανάπτυξη ενός ζωηρού νομικοπολιτικού διαλόγου αναφορικά με τον τρόπο και το είδος ρυθμιστικής παρέμβασης στις διάφορες πτυχές της. Αξίζει μάλιστα να σημειωθεί ότι οι απόψεις που υποστηρίζονται στο πλαίσιο αυτής της προβληματικής θα μπορούσαν να ενταχθούν σε δύο γενικότερες θεωρητικές τάσεις2. Στην πρώτη τάση εντάσσονται εκείνες οι απόψεις και θεωρητικές προσεγγίσεις, που προκρίνουν ως αναγκαία την εξεύρεση τρόπων και τη θέσπιση των κατάλληλων ρυθμιστικών μηχανισμών, τόσο για το μετριασμό των δυσμενών επιπτώσεων αλλά και των ανισοτήτων που δημιουργούνται από τη λειτουργία του διεθνοποιημένου οικονομικού συστήματος, όσο και για την αξιοποίηση των πλεονεκτημάτων της από όσο το δυνατόν περισσότερους κατοίκους του πλανήτη3. Πρόκειται δηλαδή για την τάση της αποκαλούμενης «ρυθμιζόμενης παγκοσμιοποίησης» (regulated globalization). Στη δεύτερη τάση εντάσσονται οι απόψεις και οι θεωρητικές προσεγγίσεις που υποστηρίζουν ότι οι κανόνες για τη λειτουργία των διαφόρων πτυχών της παγκοσμιοποίησης θα προκύψουν «αυθόρμητα» μέσα από τη διάδοση της γνώσης, την εκτεταμένη χρήση των νέων τεχνολογιών και του διαδικτύου, την τεχνολογική και καινοτομία και την οικονομική ολοκλήρωση, χωρίς να χρειάζεται απαραίτητα να αποτελούν «προϊόν» πολιτικών διαπραγματεύσεων και συμφωνιών, που θα αποτυπώνονται σε διεθνείς συμφωνίες ή συνθήκες. Πρόκειται για την τάση της αποκαλούμενης «αυθόρμητης», δηλαδή της όχι εκ των άνω ρύθμισης της παγκοσμιοποίησης (spontaneous globalization4).

Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε όλο το άρθρο εδώ...

Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in California is good for the economy

BERKELEY – A team of two dozen prominent experts led by professors from the University of California, Berkeley, released a new report today (Monday, Jan. 23) on the economic implications of meeting global warming emissions reduction targets established by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005.

The governor's goals include reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 2000 levels by the year 2010, and to 1990 levels by 2020.

"Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in California," the first report in a series of economic and technology assessments, finds that just eight policy strategies can take California halfway to the governor's 2020 targets, while increasing the Gross State Product by approximately $60 billion and creating more than 20,000 new jobs.

"Our study demonstrates that taking action to reduce global warming emissions in California is good for the California economy," said Michael Hanemann, UC Berkeley professor of agricultural and resource economics and co-author of the report. "Our research indicates that not only does climate action pay, but early climate action pays more."

"Our model is designed to capture the economy-wide implications of policies," said David Roland-Holst, UC Berkeley adjunct professor of agricultural and resource economics and report co-author. "The climate action strategies benefit California economically because innovation and efficiency save money for California consumers, who re-direct their spending in ways that stimulate in-state job growth."

The report also analyzed the economic impacts of taking the lead in adopting policies to reduce GHG emissions. It concludes that "just as Silicon Valley gained economically from being the leader in the Internet revolution, so, too, will California gain an economic advantage from being the leader in the new technologies and the new industries that will come into existence worldwide around the common goal of reducing GHG emissions."

"Our analysis reveals the power and promise of taking early initiative," concluded Alex Farrell, assistant professor at UC Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group and co-author of the report. "By acting sooner, California benefits more quickly from faster economic growth and improves its competitive position in a global market increasingly focused on climate action."

Full report available here...

Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 23, 2006

Strange ideas about the Iranian oil bourse

Strange ideas about the Iranian oil bourse: "
The internet can be a good source of information about issues that aren't adequately covered by the mainstream media. It can also be a font of considerable kookiness.
"

Διημερίδα: Η κοινωνία πολιτών και η εφαρμογή του περιβαλλοντικού δικαίου

Πέμπτη 2 & Παρασκευή 3 Φεβρουαρίου 2006
Αμφιθέατρο, Ινστιτούτο Γκαίτε, Ομήρου 10-14 Αθήνα


Πρόγραμμα διημερίδας
Η κοινωνία πολιτών
και η εφαρμογή του περιβαλλοντικού δικαίου
Πέμπτη 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2006
16:00 Εισαγωγή. Στόχος της διημερίδας
Δημήτρης Καραβέλλας, Διευθυντής WWF Ελλάς,
Γιώργος Παπαδημητρίου, Νόμος+Φύση
16:30 Μια πρώτη αποτίμηση της εφαρμογής της περιβαλλοντικής νομοθεσίας
στην Ελλάδα με βάση την σχετική έκθεση του WWF Ελλάς
Θεοδότα Νάντσου, WWF Ελλάς
ΕΝΟΤΗΤΑ Α΄: Ελεγκτικοί μηχανισμοί στην Ελλάδα
για την εφαρμογή της περιβαλλοντικής νομοθεσίας
Πρόεδρος συνεδρίας: Σωτήρης Ρίζος, Αντιπρόεδρος ΣτΕ
17:00 Οι διοικητικοί μηχανισμοί ελέγχου
Απόστολος Παπακωνσταντίνου, Δρ. Ν. –Δικηγόρος, Νόμος+Φύση
17:20 O Συνήγορος του Πολίτη
Χρύσα Χατζή, Βοηθός Συνήγορος του Πολίτη
17:40 Τα δικαστήρια
Κωνσταντίνος Μενουδάκος, Αντιπρόεδρος ΣτΕ
18:00 Συζήτηση
18:30 Διάλειμμα για καφέ
ΕΝΟΤΗΤΑ Β΄: Από τη θεωρία στην πράξη: Μελέτες περίπτωσης
Πρόεδρος συνεδρίας: Γιώργος Παπαδημητρίου, Καθηγητής Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών, Επιστημονικός Σύμβουλος, Νόμος+Φύση
19:00 Χώροι ανεξέλεγκτης διάθεσης απορριμμάτων
–μια ανοικτή πληγή για το ελληνικό φυσικό περιβάλλον:
H περίπτωση της Πάτμου
Μάρα Νάσο Γρύλλη, κάτοικος Πάτμου
19.20 Η περίπτωση του Αχελώου
Ξενοφών Κάππας, Διευθυντής Ελληνικής Ορνιθολογικής Εταιρείας
19:40 Οι πολίτες ως υπέρμαχοι στην προστασία των υγροτόπων:
Η υπόθεση της λιμνοθάλασσας του Ωρωπού
Νίκος Τσιμπουκάκης, Δικηγόρος-Εθελοντής Νομικής Ομάδας Υποστήριξης Πολιτών WWF Ελλάς
20:00 Καθεστώς αδειοδότησης των ατμοηλεκτρικών σταθμών (ΑΗΣ) της ΔΕΗ στην Καρδιά, στον Άγιο Δημήτριο και στην Πτολεμαΐδα του Νομού Κοζάνης
Αγγελική Σαλαμαλίκη-Αικατερίνη Φλιάτουρα, Ειδικοί Επιστήμονες, Συνήγορος του Πολίτη
20:20 Παρεμβάσεις
21:00 Συζήτηση
Παρασκευή 3 Φεβρουαρίου 2006
ΕΝΟΤΗΤΑ Γ΄: Ελεγκτικοί μηχανισμοί στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση
για την εφαρμογή της περιβαλλοντικής νομοθεσίας
Πρόεδρος συνεδρίας: Βρασίδας Ζάβρας, Μέλος ΔΣ WWF Ελλάς
16:00 Η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή
Γιώργος Κρεμλής, Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή,
Γενική Διεύθυνση Περιβάλλοντος
16:20 Το Ευρωκοινοβούλιο
Δημήτρης Παπαδημούλης, Ευρωβουλευτής
16.40 Συζήτηση
ΕΝΟΤΗΤΑ Δ΄: Άλλοι τρόποι δράσης
17:10 Κινητοποίηση πολιτών και ο ρόλος των ΜΚΟ
Αχιλλέας Πληθάρας, WWF Eλλάς.
17.40 Αξιοποίηση των ΜΜΕ
Μαρίτα Παντέρη, WWF Eλλάς.
18.10 Συζήτηση
18:30 Διάλειμμα για καφέ
ΕΝΟΤΗΤΑ Ε΄: Θεματικά εργαστήρια
19:00-20:30 Ομάδες εργασίας
Τα εργαστήρια αυτά θα γίνονται παράλληλα. Οι συμμετέχοντες επιλέγουν ένα από τα παρακάτω εργαστήρια. Στόχος των εργαστηρίων είναι η εις βάθος ανάλυση των υφιστάμενων μηχανισμών και η καθοδήγηση των συμμετεχόντων στην καλύτερη δυνατή αξιοποίηση τους. Οι συμμετέχοντες θα έχουν την ευκαιρία να ασκηθούν στα παραπάνω μέσω μιας υποθετικής μελέτης περίπτωσης.
WWF Ελλάς
Φιλελλήνων 26
105 58 Αθήνα
Τηλ.: 210-3314893
fax: 210-3247578
ΝΟΜΟΣ+ΦΥΣΗ
Σκουφά 50
106 72 Αθήνα
Τηλ.: 210-3620737
Ευχαριστούμε θερμά:
Το Ινστιτούτο Γκαίτε για την παραχώρηση της αίθουσας.
Tα Starbucks καφέ για την ευγενική χορηγία των ροφημάτων της διημερίδας.
Εργαστήριο 1: Αξιοποίηση των υφιστάμενων μηχανισμών στην Ελλάδα
Συντονιστής: Γιώργος Παπαδημητρίου, Καθηγητής Παν/μίου Αθηνών,
Επιστημονικός Σύμβουλος, Νόμος+Φύση
Εργαστήριο 2: Αξιοποίηση των υφιστάμενων μηχανισμών
στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση
Συντονίστρια: Παναγιώτα Μαραγκού, WWF Ελλάς
Εργαστήριο 3: Αξιοποίηση των επικοινωνιακών μέσων
και των μηχανισμών κινητοποίησης πολιτών
Συντονίστρια: Μαρίτα Παντέρη, WWF Ελλάς
20:30 Παρουσιάσεις στην ολομέλεια
21:00 Κλείσιμο διημερίδας
Δημήτρης Καραβέλλας, Διευθυντής WWF Ελλάς

Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 21, 2006

Stephen King or Global Warming?


Add freakishly large jellyfish interfering with Japanese fishing to the list of possible global warming side effects.

From Environmental Economics: Holy smokes. And yes, there is a real economic issue here (from Reuters via ENN.com):

"It's a terrible problem. They're like aliens," Noriyuki Kani of the fisheries federation in Toyama, northwest of Tokyo, told Reuters ahead of the conference.

There are no official figures on the size of the problem, but Kani says the financial losses are obvious.

"If your nets are full of jellyfish, of course there is no space for fish," he said.

Cutting up and disposing of the giants can turn a three-hour fishing trip into a 10-hour marathon, while valuable fish are poisoned or crushed under the weight of the unwanted catch.

More from Reuters:

A slimy jellyfish weighing as much as a sumo wrestler has Japan's fishing industry in the grip of its poisonous tentacles.

Vast numbers of Echizen kurage, or Nomura's jellyfish, have appeared around Japan's coast since July, clogging and ripping fishing nets and forcing fishermen to spend hours hacking them apart before bringing home their reduced catches.

Representatives of fishing communities around the country gathered in Tokyo on Thursday, hoping to thrash out solutions to a pest that has spread from the Japan Sea to the Pacific coast.

[...]

Scientists have suggested global warming might be a factor.

Some fishermen have had some success in combating the intruders by introducing guide nets with larger than usual holes.

Jellyfish are simply swept through the holes by water currents, while other fish tend to notice the nets and swim alongside them, eventually being trapped in the fishing nets.

"By altering the way we fish, we have probably secured 80 to 90 percent of our normal catch," said fisherman Masatoshi Kuruma, who said he has in the past found up to two or three thousand jellyfish in his nets off Nyuzenmachi in Toyama prefecture.

Officials at Thursday's conference are also set to propose a forecasting system that would allow fishermen to prepare for the next onslaught of the jumbo jellyfish.

Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 20, 2006

U.S. indicts 11 suspected of ecoterrorism

CNN
January 20, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Eleven people were indicted in a series of arsons, claimed by the radical groups Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, in five Western states, the Justice Department said Friday.

Link to the article

Το μυστήριο της νήσου του Πάσχα


Οι ...εξωγήινοι, η Ατλαντίδα και άλλα πολλά φανταστικά και περίεργα έχουν κατά καιρούς επιστρατευτεί για να εξηγήσουν το μυστήριο των τεράστιων μεγαλιθικών μνημείων στο νησί του Πάσχα, βαθειά μέσα στον Ειρηνικό Ωκεανό.

Η πραγματικότητα όμως, όπως συμβαίνει συχνά, ξεπερνά τη φαντασία: Οι αρχαιολογικές έρευνες των τελευταίων δεκαετιών δείχνουν ότι έχουμε να κάνουμε με τυπικό παράδειγμα οικολογικής αυτοκαταστροφής!

Μέσα σε λίγους μόλις αιώνες, οι κάτοικοι του νησιού κατέστρεψαν τα δάση, εξαφάνισαν τα ζώα και τα φυτά, ώσπου τελικά είδαν την πολύπλοκη κοινωνία τους να οδηγείται στο χάος και στον κανιβαλισμό!

Όλο το άρθρο στην Οικολογική Επιθεώρηση...

Weighing the True Costs and Benefits in a Matter of Life and Death

DO the poor deserve life support?" asks the economist Steven E. Landsburg in an article published under that title in Slate this month (www.slate.com/id/2133518/?nav=fo). The subtitle says: "A woman who couldn't pay her bills is unplugged from her ventilator and dies. Is this wrong?" Mr. Landsburg invokes "economic considerations" to suggest that the answer is "no."

Many commentators have attacked his argument as morally preposterous. Well, yes. But it is also economically preposterous. The two judgments are related. But before an attempt at explaining why, here are some details of the case, from the Slate article and the Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA:

The patient was Tirhas Habtegiris, a 27-year-old legal immigrant being kept alive by a ventilator as she lay dying of cancer last month in the Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, Tex. Physicians offered no prospect for her recovery. She was hoping, however, to hang on until her East African mother could reach her bedside.

Ms. Habtegiris had little money and no health insurance. On Dec. 1, hospital authorities notified her brother that unless another hospital could be found to treat his sister, Baylor would be forced to discontinue care after 10 days. But even with Baylor's assistance, the family was unable to find a willing hospital. True to its word, Baylor disconnected her ventilator on Dec. 12, invoking a law signed in 1999 by George W. Bush, then governor of Texas. The law relieved doctors of an obligation to provide life-sustaining treatment 10 days after having provided formal notice that such treatment was found to be medically "inappropriate."

Άρθρο του Robert Frank στο NYTimes...η συνέχεια...

Oil market jitters

Oil market jitters: "
The February oil futures price on NYMEX has jumped $8 a barrel in the last three weeks. It's useful to try to put this into a broader view of what's going on in the world oil market.
"

Environment in crisis: 'We are past the point of no return'

The Independent
16 January 2006

by Michael McCarthy
Environment Editor

Thirty years ago, the scientist James Lovelock worked out that the Earth possessed a planetary-scale control system which kept the environment fit for life. He called it Gaia, and the theory has become widely accepted. Now, he believes mankind's abuse of the environment is making that mechanism work against us. His astonishing conclusion - that climate change is already insoluble, and life on Earth will never be the same again.

The world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive, according to James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia - the Earth which keeps itself fit for life.

In a profoundly pessimistic new assessment, published in today's Independent, Professor Lovelock suggests that efforts to counter global warming cannot succeed, and that, in effect, it is already too late.

Link to the article

Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 19, 2006

Global Warming or Global Whining?

Cato Institute

"Six former administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, including five Republicans, said yesterday that the Bush administration should impose mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions to curb global warming," according to The Washington Post. "The group, which came together in Washington for a roundtable discussion to celebrate the agency's 35th anniversary, said the White House is not moving fast enough to address the global threat that human-generated climate change poses."

In "Warming to Efficiency," Patrick Michaels, a Cato senior fellow in environmental studies, writes: "Readers of recent news reports may think it's news that U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the main global-warming gas, are at an all-time high. The real news would be if they dropped steeply, which could only occur with a very warm winter (less space heating), a very cold summer (less air conditioning) or a huge recession, because it takes energy to make things.

"Carbon dioxide has been called breath of our civilization, and as we are technologically constituted, it most certainly is. We burn fossil fuels (which combust mainly to carbon dioxide and water) for manufacturing, to go places, and to produce electrical power. While we could certainly substitute in more nuclear fuels for power production, the same forces that are so exercised about global warming being caused by carbon dioxide, in general, won't permit the nuclear option. (That being the definition of environmental insincerity.)"

Agriculture and environment in EU-15 - the IRENA indicator report


Γεωργία και Περιβάλλον
EEA Report No 6/2005This report provides an assessment of the progress made in the development and interpretation of the agri-environmental indicators identified in COM (2000) 20 during the IRENA operation. The report builds on more than 35 detailed indicator fact sheets that can be found on the IRENA website.

Grouper buyback and limited entry referendum

Grouper buyback and limited entry referendum: "
Awhile back we talked about the spat between recreational and commercial grouper-ers in the Gulf of Mexico. I think it boils down to the rec guys think that NMFS is overcounting fish caught for fun and the commercial guys think...
"

The Economics of Climate Change

The Economics of Climate Change: "
From the NBER: The Economics of Climate Change, by Lawrence H. Goulder, William A. Pizer, NBER WP 11923, January 2006: Abstract Global climate change poses a threat to the well-being of humans and other living things through impacts on ecosystem...
"

In Qatar, an alternative to oil is fueling investment

In Qatar, an alternative to oil is fueling investment: "
In this tiny emirate, the world's largest oil companies are betting billions of dollars on an obscure method for making diesel fuel that stems from apartheid South Africa's aggressive efforts to wean its economy off imported oil.
"

Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 15, 2006

Green universities

Green universities: "
The NYTimes has a Sunday article on greenie colleges (The greening of America's campuses). One line from the article says:With energy prices at record highs, and many economists predicting the end of the oil age within a generation's time, the...
"

ΕΙΚΟΝΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ 2005

ΕΙΚΟΝΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ 2005: "
ΣΕΝΕΓΑΛΗ Πολλά κλιματικά ρεκόρ έσπασαν φέτος σε όλο τον κόσμο. Η οικογένεια του Μόντου Ντίουφ στο Ντακάρ περιμένει καρτερικά βοήθεια στο πλημμυρισμένο σπίτι της, όταν τον Αύγουστο η χώρα έζησε τις χειρότερες βροχοπτώσεις τ... ...
"

ΑΠΟΛΟΓΙΣΜΟΣ 2005

ΑΠΟΛΟΓΙΣΜΟΣ 2005: "
Μια χρονιά, που στιγματίστηκε από τα περισσότερα ακραία καιρικά φαινόμενα των τελευταίων 150 ετών και κόστισε σε ανθρώπινες ζωές και ανυπολόγιστες οικονομικές ζημιές, φαίνεται πως τελειώνει αισιόδοξα με την ενίσχυση του Κιότο, χωρίς όμως τη
"

ΛΙΜΝΗ ΒΟΛΒΗ

ΛΙΜΝΗ ΒΟΛΒΗ: "
Μπροστά στην «σιαμαία αδελφή»» της, Κορώνεια, η Βόλβη μοιάζει σαν? παράδεισος, προς το παρόν τουλάχιστον, αφού είναι κοινή πεποίθηση κατοίκων και ειδικών ότι βρίσκεται σε μια οριακή περίοδο από την οποία θα καθοριστεί η οικονομία της
"

ΒΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ ΚΤΗΝΟΤΡΟΦΙΑ

ΒΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ ΚΤΗΝΟΤΡΟΦΙΑ: "
Aυτός ήταν ο λόγος για τον οποίο ξεκίνησε τη βιολογική κτηνοτροφία ο Tάσος Ψωμάς, πριν από πολλά χρόνια, για να φθάσει σήμερα να διατηρεί ένα πρότυπο καθετοποιημένο αγρόκτημα στην Aιτωλοακαρνανία, παράγοντας από τα πιο επιτυχημένα
"

ΤΕΛΕΥΤΑΙΑ ΣΕΛΙΔΑ

ΤΕΛΕΥΤΑΙΑ ΣΕΛΙΔΑ: "
Η Κομισιόν προσφεύγει, ξανά, στο Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο κατά της Ελλάδας για παραβίαση του κοινοτικού (και? ελληνικού) περιβαλλοντικού δικαίου σχετικά με τη χωματερή του Κουρουπητού στα Χανιά. Η προηγούμενη προσφυγή είχε οδηγήσει σε
"

Πατέντα Monsanto στη Φύση

Πατέντα Monsanto στη Φύση: "
Το γουρούνι δεν είναι εφεύρεση -τουλάχιστον όχι ανθρώπινη- όσο και αν κάποιοι διατείνονται το αντίθετο. Λίγο πριν από το τέλος του 2005, η εταιρεία αγρο-βιοτεχνολογίας και όχι μόνο, Μonsanto, υπέβαλε στο ευρωπαϊκό γραφείο που είναι υπεύθυνο για την …
"

Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 14, 2006

Warming Tied To Extinction Of Frog Species

Washington Post
January 12, 2006

by Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer

Rising temperatures are responsible for pushing dozens of frog species over the brink of extinction in the past three decades, according to findings being reported today by a team of Latin American and U.S. scientists.

Link to the article

In Search of Energy Security

Rand Review
Fall 2005

Will New Sources and Technologies Reduce Our Vulnerability to Major Disruptions?

by James T. Bartis, Mark A. Bernstein, Tom LaTourrette, and Debra Knopman

Only a larger, balanced package of energy investments can reduce America's energy insecurity in the long run.

Link to the article

Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 13, 2006

Ε.Ε.: Τελειώσαμε με το καλαμπόκι

Ε.Ε.: Τελειώσαμε με το καλαμπόκι: "
Υποχρεωμένη είναι, σύμφωνα με την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, η Ελλάδα να επιτρέψει την εισαγωγή και χρήση του γενετικά τροποποιημένου καλαμποκιού ΜΟΝ810 και 17 ποικιλιών του, καθώς, όπως επισημαίνεται στις Βρυξέλλες, δεν έχει
"

Διαμαρτυρία Greenpeace για το καλαμπόκι

Διαμαρτυρία Greenpeace για το καλαμπόκι: "
Nα προσφύγει στο Eυρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο, προκειμένου να διεκδικήσει το δικαίωμα να παραμείνει η χώρα μας ελεύθερη από μεταλλαγμένα, καλεί την ελληνική κυβέρνηση η Greenpeace. Σύμφωνα με την οργάνωση, η ακύρωση από την Eυρωπαϊκή Eπιτροπή
"

Λύση «μπάλωμα» για τη λυματολάσπη της Ψυττάλειας

Λύση «μπάλωμα» για τη λυματολάσπη της Ψυττάλειας: "
Την προσωρινή «ανακούφιση» της Ψυττάλειας με τη μεταφορά της μισής αποθηκευμένης λυματολάσπης -περίπου 60.000 τόνοι- σε «κάποια» ευρωπαϊκή χώρα αποφάσισε χθες το ΥΠΕΧΩΔΕ. Ταυτόχρονα δεν αποκλείει την
"

Σωτήρια χρηματοδότηση από Ε.Ε. για την Κορώνεια

Σωτήρια χρηματοδότηση από Ε.Ε. για την Κορώνεια: "
ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗ. Ανοίγει ο δρόμος για τη σωτηρία της λίμνης Κορώνεια, μετά την έγκριση χρηματοδότησης από την αρμόδια επιτροπή της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης του ολοκληρωμένου σχεδίου που είχε υποβληθεί από τη Nομαρχία
"

Το ΤΕΕ μάς προτείνει ηλεκτροκίνηση

Το ΤΕΕ μάς προτείνει ηλεκτροκίνηση: "
H μεγάλη καθυστέρηση της ηλεκτροκίνησης των Mέσων Mαζικής Mεταφοράς σταθερής τροχιάς -κυρίως τρένα- αλλά και η ελάχιστη χρήση ηλεκτροκίνητων αυτοκινήτων στη χώρα μας, αποτέλεσαν το αντικείμενο ημερίδας που διοργάνωσε
"

Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 12, 2006

Nordhaus wins "AERE Nobel"

Nordhaus wins "AERE Nobel": "
Every year the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) presents the Publication of Enduring Quality Award at the annual AERE luncheon and business meeting during the ASSA meetings. The 2005 award went to William D. Nordhaus for …
"

Green China?

Green China?: "
This commentary from the Financial Times looks at how China can achieve its goal of greener growth: A prescription to advance China’s green ambitions, by Chandran Nair, Commentary, Financial Times: China’s struggle to cope with the environmental …
"

Book Review

Book Review: "
New Approaches on Energy and the Environment: Policy Advice for the President, Richard D. Morgenstern and Paul R. Portney, Editors, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC, 2004 I am a fan of materials provided by Resources for the Future,...
"

California Solar Plan Expected to Pass

Utne Web Watch
by Leif Utne, Utne.com

The Golden State is about to tap its largest potential energy resource in a big way. The "Million Solar Roofs" initiative, a proposal to spur construction of residential solar power through $3 billion in utility rebates, is expected to unanimously pass the California Public Utilities Commission on January 12. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger brought the plan to the commission in December after it stalled last year in the state legislature over a partisan dispute over whether to require union labor. "With rising energy prices and continued air pollution, this is exactly the kind of landmark initiative California needs,'' Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate for Environment California, told the Associated Press. "From this, we're going to see cleaner air, affordable solar energy, and California regaining its world leadership in solar power.'' The program will make California the largest producer of solar power in the nation, and second in the world only to Germany.

Link1
Link2

Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 11, 2006

«Τα μονά - ζυγά έκλεισαν τον κύκλο τους»

«Τα μονά - ζυγά έκλεισαν τον κύκλο τους»: "
Η αντιμετώπιση της παράνομης στάθμευσης, η αναδιοργάνωση των Μέσων Μαζικής Μεταφοράς, η δημιουργία σταθμών μετεπιβίβασης και η επιβολή διοδίων σύγχρονης τεχνολογίας (σε μεταγενέστερο χρόνο και υπό προϋποθέσεις)
"

Η Ε.Ε. μάς εγκαλεί για τη διαχείριση υδάτων

Η Ε.Ε. μάς εγκαλεί για τη διαχείριση υδάτων: "
Την κακή εφαρμογή στην ελληνική νομοθεσία της κοινοτικής οδηγίας για τα νερά διαπιστώνει η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή. Μάλιστα, ο Ελληνας επίτροπος Περιβάλλοντος, Σταύρος Δήμας, διαπιστώνει ότι η χώρα μας έχει αγνοήσει
"

Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 09, 2006

Οι τεχνολογίες περιβάλλοντος στο προσκήνιο

Στο μέτρο λοιπόν που η ανθρωπότητα θα αναγνωρίσει συνολικά, ότι πρέπει να ληφθούν μέτρα για περιορισμό των εκπομπών διοξειδίου του άνθρακος, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση θα βρεθεί στην πρώτη γραμμή της νέας τεχνολογία, που ήδη αναπτύσσεται στην Ε.Ε., είτε από νέες εξειδικευμένες επιχειρήσεις, είτε από τις παραδοσιακές βιομηχανίες, που προσαρμόζονται τις νέες απαιτήσεις.

Σύνδεση στο άρθρο (Ναυτεμπορική Δευτέρα, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2006)

EPA's Environmental Economics Research Strategy - now available

The EPA Environmental Economics Research Strategy identifies and prioritizes environmental economics and decision science research that will be conducted over the next several years to improve the scientific foundation for EPA's decision-making and policy initiatives. The Environmental Economics Research Strategy was developed to guide future environmental economics research directions at the Agency. The authors interviewed EPA staff and managers to identify research priorities.
These priorities were compared with existing research to establish strategic objectives whereby allocation of EPA resources could help the Agency and its clients to achieve their missions. The environmental economics research described in this strategy will become a cornerstone of the economic analyses that EPA needs to develop environmental policy.

The strategic research objectives include: (1) human health valuation;
(2) ecological valuation; (3) environmental behavior and decision-making; (4) market mechanisms and incentives; and (5) benefits of environmental information disclosure. These strategic objectives frequently require an interdisciplinary approach to develop sound research. EPA will devote internal and extramural resources to filling the most important research gaps in these areas and will develop and encourage interdisciplinary teams when needed.

This research strategy is intended for EPA Program Offices, other federal agencies, academics, states, local governments, and other researchers to consult to understand what EPA (in particular, the National Center for Environmental Economics and the National Center for Environmental Research) has planned and the results the Agency expects.
These parties can use the strategy to plan their own research or analyses to make the best use of EPA’s efforts. The strategy will guide research for several years or until circumstances change, at which time it will be revised.

The Environmental Economics Research Strategy is divided into two parts; the first is the strategy itself, and the second is a compilation of appendices which, among other things, provides more detail on the needs assessment survey process and results, and the external peer review comments of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee of EPA's Science Advisory Board. This final strategy reflects the comments of both internal and external peer review.

The EPA Environmental Economics Research Strategy can be accessed and downloaded from EPA's Office of Research and Development here, and here.

Το σύστημα μεταφοράς

Το σύστημα μεταφοράς: "
Το ελληνικό σύστημα μεταφοράς φυσικού αερίου αποτελείται από τα εξής βασικά τμήματα: -Κεντρικός αγωγός μεταφοράς αερίου υψηλής πίεσης (70 bar), από τα ελληνοβουλγαρικά σύνορα μέχρι την Αττική, συνολικού μήκους 512 χλμ. -Κλάδοι μεταφοράς
"

Οταν οι επιχειρήσεις συναντούν τη γεωπολιτική

Οταν οι επιχειρήσεις συναντούν τη γεωπολιτική: "
Τα εγκαίνια του πετρελαιαγωγού Μπακού - Τσεϊχάν στις 25 Μαΐου 2005, που κόστισε τέσσερα δισ. δολάρια στον όμιλο της βρετανικής ΒΡ, αποτελούν την κορωνίδα προσπαθειών αιώνων. Από τον τσάρο Νικόλαο Ι έως και τον Αδόλφο
"

Καλύπτει το 8% των αναγκών μας

Καλύπτει το 8% των αναγκών μας: "
H ρωσο-ουκρανική διένεξη για την τιμή του φυσικού αερίου δεν επηρέασε τη χώρα μας. H Δημόσια Eπιχείρηση Aερίου (ΔEΠA) ωστόσο, από την πρώτη στιγμή της κρίσης σε συνεργασία με τη ΔEH και το υπουργείο Aνάπτυξης, έθεσε σε ετοιμότητα σχέδιο
"

Ο ρωσοουκρανικός «ενεργειακός πόλεμος»

Ο ρωσοουκρανικός «ενεργειακός πόλεμος»: "
Eληξε ταχύτατα, όπως ήταν εξαρχής βέβαιο, η διένεξη της Pωσίας με την Oυκρανία αναφορικά με την τιμή που θα αγοράζει το Kίεβο το φυσικό αέριο της Mόσχας. Aπό τη στιγμή που η άνοδος στην εξουσία του Bίκτορ Γιούσενκο
"

Το φυσικό αέριο στη σκακιέρα της γεωπολιτικής

Το φυσικό αέριο στη σκακιέρα της γεωπολιτικής: "
Την ενεργειακή επάρκεια της Δύσης απείλησε η κρίση μεταξύ Ρωσίας και Ουκρανίας, που είχε ως αφορμή την τιμολόγηση του φυσικού αερίου, ενώ η μεγάλη εξάρτηση των ευρωπαϊκών αγορών από το εισαγόμενο ρωσικό αέριο
"

ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΙ ΧΩΡΟΙ

ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΙ ΧΩΡΟΙ: "
Οι ελεύθεροι χώροι που θα θέλαμε να έχουμε βρίσκονται μερικές εκατοντάδες ή και χιλιάδες χιλιόμετρα μακριά από εμάς. Όσο εμείς, το «υπόλοιπο» Ευρώπης, βουλιάζουμε στο τσιμέντο, περιορισμένοι στα 2,6 τετραγωνικά μέτρα πράσινου που μας
"

Το όπλο του νέου Ψυχρού Πολέμου. Τι κρύβει η διένεξη Ρωσίας - Ουκρανίας και γιατί σήμανε συναγερμό στην Ευρώπη

Ο «πόλεμος του φυσικού αερίου» ξέσπασε ανήμερα την Πρωτοχρονιά, όταν η Μόσχα έκοψε την παροχή φυσικού αερίου προς τη γειτονική Ουκρανία. H Ρωσία έκλεισε τις στρόφιγγες επειδή η Ουκρανία αρνήθηκε να πληρώσει την αύξηση που απαιτούσε η Μόσχα - από τα 50 στα 230 δολάρια ανά 1.000 κυβικά μέτρα φυσικού αερίου. Καθώς οι αγωγοί που μεταφέρουν στην Ευρώπη το ρωσικό φυσικό αέριο της Gazprom περνούν από την Ουκρανία, οι διαταραχές στην τροφοδοσία έπληξαν εκατομμύρια ευρωπαίους καταναλωτές. H Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση αντέδρασε έντονα και η Ρωσία αναγκάστηκε να αυξήσει την παροχή αερίου. H κατάσταση ομαλοποιήθηκε σταδιακά. Οι δύο χώρες έκλεισαν συμβιβαστική «προσωρινή» συμφωνία για τις νέες τιμές, αλλά η κρίση έδειξε την νέα κυριαρχία της Ρωσίας στον τομέα της ενέργειας και την επικίνδυνη εξάρτηση της Ευρώπης από το ρωσικό φυσικό αέριο.

Διαβάστε την συνέχεια στο άρθρο της Ειρήνη Μητροπούλου στο Βήμα της Κυριακής...

727 κιλά διοξείδιο του άνθρακα εκπέμπω με το αυτοκίνητό μου ετησίως


Υπολογίστε την συμβολή του αυτοκινήτου σας στο Φαινόμενο Θερμοκηπίου και δείτε έναν τρόπο να “εξουδετερώσετε” την επίδραση σας.

Να τι γράφει η Susan Dominus στο New York times για αυτό το ευέλικτο αγοραίο εργαλείο που προτείνει ένας καθηγητής του Wharton School:

In the 90's, environmentalists could celebrate at least one success story: the "cap and trade" system, a market-inspired strategy for reducing harmful factory emissions. The way it works is simple. Companies that want to produce emissions beyond the legal limit are allowed to buy the right to release additional emissions from companies that have managed to keep their own emissions below the limit. Recently, Karl Ulrich, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, introduced a microversion of the same policy - only applied to individual automobiles as opposed to factories. It allows a socially conscious driver to cancel out the environmental damage caused by his car….
Για την συνέχεια του άρθρου...

Environment and Health


Public concerns, evidence from research and increasing scientific knowledge are all driving widespread discussions on environment and health problems. The issue of environment and health is characterised by multi-causality with different strengths of association. This means that the links between exposures and their health consequences depend on the environmental pollutants and diseases being considered, but are also influenced by factors such as genetic constitution, age, nutrition and lifestyle, and socioeconomic factors such as poverty and level of education.

EEA Report No 10/2005

Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 05, 2006

Household consumption and the environment

A renewed policy focus on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) can be observed, both at the global level and in Europe. With an aim to provide input for European policy-making, this report analyses the environmental effects of household consumption in Europe. We have identified four consumption categories that form a major part of our total consumption expenditure and for which the environmental effects are either large or increasing rapidly. These are consumption of food and drink; housing; personal travel and mobility; and tourism. The negative environmental effects of our consumption do not only occur in Europe, but also in other regions of the world, mainly as a result of resource extraction, production, processing and transportation of the goods we consume in Europe, and as a result of our personal travel and tourist activities.Attaining more sustainable consumption and production patterns is a common challenge that involves all actors, including public authorities at all levels, business and consumers.

EEA Report No 11/2005

Sustainable use and management of natural resources

This report focuses on our ability to continue to provide for our needs by drawing on the natural world. Given the broad coverage of the term 'natural resources', a decision was made at the outset to focus the analysis on a selection of natural resources: fisheries, forestry, water, fossil fuels, metals and construction minerals, and land use. The factors behind this choice included ensuring a mix of renewable and non-renewable resources, the policy relevance and political importance of the resources, and the ability to illustrate the various policy approaches.

EEA Report No 9/2005

Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 04, 2006

Νέφος: Ευρωπρωτιά και στη Θεσσαλονίκη

Η Θεσσαλονίκη ανήκει πλέον στις τρεις πρώτες πιο ρυπασμένες πόλεις της Ευρώπης όσον αφορά τα αιωρούμενα σωματίδια.

Ερωτική πόλη και για τα εισπνεύσιμα αιωρούμενα σωματίδια η Θεσσαλονίκη. Λόγω κλιματολογικών συνθηκών, αλλά και λόγω έλλειψης έργων, αυξάνονται, πληθύνονται και έχουν ξεπεράσει κατά το διπλάσιο τα όρια της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης. Πρόσφατα, η Θεσσαλονίκη κατέκτησε μια πανευρωπαϊκή πρωτιά. Ανήκει πλέον στις τρεις πρώτες πιο ρυπασμένες πόλεις στην Ευρώπη από αιωρούμενα σωματίδια. Τις μισές μέρες του χρόνου παραβιάζονται στη Θεσσαλονίκη τα όρια συγκέντρωσης αιωρούμενων σωματιδίων που έχει θέσει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση. Αν και η Θεσσαλονίκη είναι τέσσερις φορές μικρότερη από την Αθήνα, οι συγκεντρώσεις αιωρούμενων σωματιδίων είναι κατά 20%-30% υψηλότερες στην, κατά τα άλλα, «νύμφη του Θερμαϊκού».

Ελευθεροτυπία 4/01/2006

Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 02, 2006

The Coming Meltdown

NYRB
Volume 53, Number 1 · January 12, 2006

The Coming Meltdown
by Bill McKibben

The year 2005 has been the hottest year on record for the planet, hotter than 1998, 2002, 2004, and 2003. More importantly, perhaps, this has been the autumn when the planet has shown more clearly than before just what that extra heat means. Consider just a few of the findings published in the major scientific journals during the last three months....

Link to the article

Ruling affirms phosphorus ban

The Capital Time
December 28, 2005

Ruling affirms phosphorus ban
Called a win for city's lakes

Local officials are hailing a decision by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reject an appeal by fertilizer manufacturers suing both Dane County and Madison over a phosphorus ban enacted in 2004.

Judge Richard Posner wrote the decision for the Court of Appeals, which essentially rejected the argument put forward by the industry that local governments couldn't regulate the "weed and feed" products since state law controls the use of pesticides and local law can't supersede state law.

Link to the article

Contaminated Population, Meet Contaminated Science

Utne.com
December 29, 2005

Contaminated Population, Meet Contaminated Science

As a First Nation in Canada struggles amid exposure to endocrine disruptors, researchers battle a lack of information and powerful industrial interests

Link to the article