Κυριακή, Απριλίου 30, 2006

CO2 Market on Brink as Price Continues to Slide

European carbon prices continued a collapse on Thursday that has wiped up to 50 percent off the value of carbon credits over the past week, hitting power prices and rattling utilities' share prices. Traders said the carbon slide could spell the end for the first phase of the European Union's pioneering carbon trading market from 2005 to 2007.
Carbon credits for December 2006 delivery fell as low as 14 euros in early Thursday trading on the European Climate Exchange -- down more than 50 percent from a high of 31 euros last week. Prices had recovered to some 17 euros at 1000 GMT, in a highly volatile market.

Climate Ark
Climate Change and Global Warming Portal

Google mapping academic podcasts...worldwide!

Google mapping academic podcasts...worldwide!: "Feeling overwhelmed with locating university and academic podcasts? Well, here is a solution: Another application of the now famous Google maps. We owe it to a nice app called Wayfaring. Wayfaring is a typical Web 2.0 app which allows you to create your own value added maps, share them and, of course, commect to other people.

Here is a Wayfaring map dedicated to academic podcasts worldwide. At the time of writing, only two podcasts lilks were reported for France. This academic mapping comes from Spain.

To stay tune with the Best of Wayfaring just subscribe to its RSS feed.

Services like Wayfaring are smart in the sense that they aggregate communities of people who by the simple fact they create their personalized maps tell a bit more on who they are, what they like. In the course of doing so, they attract people of the same kind. Some cheap way of building databases that are today the real name of the business game!

I have started building the map of our community, namely that of the business schools that uthat use Cyberlibris. It's fun and simple and I hope it will prove useful to our users. Indeed, my idea is to provide as much information as Wayfarer permits (such as blogs, professors' digital bookshelves etc...) to our users."

Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 17, 2006

The Emerging Environmental Majority

Washington Monthly
May 2006

There is a thaw in relations between greens and hunters. It could heat up big-time over global warming.

by Christina Larson

Link to the article

Κυριακή, Απριλίου 16, 2006

Global Warming and Nuclear Power

Global Warming and Nuclear Power: "Lots of research says that I will overestimate the risk of events such as a core meltdown in a nuclear power plant. And I'm sure I do. But knowing and allowing for that, or trying, I still can't find a way to endorse a strong movement toward nuclear power. That position is not very green according to many environmentalists. Are we positive we can't find any other solutions? Should simply resign ourselves to the nuclear power age?:

Going Nuclear A Green Makes the Case, by Patrick Moore, Commentary, Washington Post: In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. ... Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from ... catastrophic climate change.

Look at it this way: More than 600 coal-fired electric plants in the United States produce 36 percent of U.S. emissions -- or nearly 10 percent of global emissions -- of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Nuclear energy is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce these emissions while continuing to satisfy a growing demand for power. And these days it can do so safely.

I say that guardedly, of course, just days after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that his country had enriched uranium. ... And although I don't want to underestimate the very real dangers of nuclear technology in the hands of rogue states, we cannot simply ban every technology that is dangerous. ... In 1979, Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon produced a frisson of fear with their starring roles in "The China Syndrome," a fictional evocation of nuclear disaster in which a reactor meltdown threatens a city's survival. Less than two weeks after the blockbuster film opened, a reactor core meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant sent shivers of very real anguish throughout the country.

What nobody noticed at the time, though, was that Three Mile Island was in fact a success story: The concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do -- prevent radiation from escaping ... And although the reactor itself was crippled, there was no injury or death... Three Mile Island was the only serious accident in the history of nuclear energy generation in the United States, but it was enough to scare us away from further developing the technology: There hasn't been a nuclear plant ordered up since then.

Today, there are 103 nuclear reactors quietly delivering just 20 percent of America's electricity. ... And I am not alone among seasoned environmental activists in changing my mind on this subject. British atmospheric scientist James Lovelock, father of the Gaia theory, believes that nuclear energy is the only way to avoid catastrophic climate change. Stewart Brand, founder of the "Whole Earth Catalog," says the environmental movement must embrace nuclear energy... On occasion, such opinions have been met with excommunication from the anti-nuclear priesthood...

There are signs of a new willingness to listen, though, even among the staunchest anti-nuclear campaigners. ... Here's why: Wind and solar power have their place, but because they are intermittent and unpredictable they simply can't replace big baseload plants such as coal, nuclear and hydroelectric. Natural gas, a fossil fuel, is too expensive already, and its price is too volatile to risk building big baseload plants. Given that hydroelectric resources are built pretty much to capacity, nuclear is, by elimination, the only viable substitute for coal. It's that simple.

That's not to say that there aren't real problems -- as well as various myths -- associated with nuclear energy. Each concern deserves careful consideration:

  • Nuclear energy is expensive. It is in fact one of the least expensive energy sources. ... Advances in technology will bring the cost down further in the future.
  • Nuclear plants are not safe. Although Three Mile Island was a success story, the accident at Chernobyl, 20 years ago this month, was not. But Chernobyl ... had no containment vessel, was an inherently bad design and its operators literally blew it up. ... 56 deaths could be directly attributed to the accident... Tragic as those deaths were, they pale in comparison to the more than 5,000 coal-mining deaths that occur worldwide every year. ...
  • Nuclear waste will be dangerous for thousands of years. Within 40 years, used fuel has less than one-thousandth of the radioactivity it had when it was removed from the reactor. And it is incorrect to call it waste, because 95 percent of the potential energy is still contained in the used fuel after the first cycle. Now that the United States has removed the ban on recycling used fuel, it will be possible to use that energy and to greatly reduce the amount of waste...
  • Nuclear reactors are vulnerable to terrorist attack. The six-feet-thick reinforced concrete containment vessel protects the contents from the outside as well as the inside. And even if a jumbo jet did crash into a reactor and breach the containment, the reactor would not explode. There are many types of facilities that are far more vulnerable, including liquid natural gas plants, chemical plants and numerous political targets.
  • Nuclear fuel can be diverted to make nuclear weapons. This is the most serious issue associated with nuclear energy and the most difficult to address, as the example of Iran shows. But just because nuclear technology can be put to evil purposes is not an argument to ban its use.

Over the past 20 years, one of the simplest tools -- the machete -- has been used to kill more than a million people in Africa, far more than were killed in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings combined. What are car bombs made of? Diesel oil, fertilizer and cars. If we banned everything that can be used to kill people, we would never have harnessed fire. ...

The 600-plus coal-fired plants emit nearly 2 billion tons of CO2annually -- the equivalent of the exhaust from about 300 million automobiles. ... coal plants are responsible for 64 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions, 26 percent of nitrous oxides and 33 percent of mercury emissions. These pollutants are eroding the health of our environment, producing acid rain, smog, respiratory illness and mercury contamination.

Meanwhile, the 103 nuclear plants operating in the United States effectively avoid the release of 700 million tons of CO2emissions annually -- the equivalent of the exhaust from more than 100 million automobiles. Imagine if the ratio of coal to nuclear were reversed so that only 20 percent of our electricity was generated from coal and 60 percent from nuclear. This would go a long way toward cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Every responsible environmentalist should support a move in that direction.

Σάββατο, Απριλίου 08, 2006

International Institute for Environment and Development

Since its founding in 1971, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has committed itself to “working for more sustainable and equitable global development”. Through a number of partnerships, the IIED continues to work in a cooperative fashion with national governments, regional non-governmental organizations, and other agencies. In terms of their thematic focuses, their work lies primarily in five areas, including climate change, human settlements, natural resources, and governance. New visitors to the site will want to explore these five areas through a series of clickable tabs featured prominently on the homepage. Within each area, visitors will find news updates on each topic, along with working papers and conference reports. For those looking for specific publications, a search engine offered here allows users to search by keyword, author, title, series, or region.

Source: The Scout Report -- April 7, 2006

Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 05, 2006

EEA - Reports - Application of the emissions trading directive by EU Member States - English

EEA - Reports - Application of the emissions trading directive by EU Member States - English

This report presents information on the introduction of the European Emissions Trading System as reported by the Member States (in accordance with Article 21 of the Emissions Trading Directive). It covers the period until 30 April 2005. Since the reports from Member States only cover the first four months of the first trading year the information is limited, especially concerning the real emissions and the verification procedures. However, they contain information on competent authorities, legislation and experience gained in the allocation process. Information covering the whole first year of trading ? 2005 ? will be reported by the Member States by 30 June 2006 and a compilation of this information will be presented by EEA by the end of 2006.