Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Gloomy Environmental Assessment

You are encouraged to take a look at a relatively exaustive analysis of the Global Environmental Outlook by visiting the site of UNEP and then clicking on GEO 4.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sink, What Sink?

The original estimates about the expected level of Carbon dioxide concentration have been too high. Upon further investigations the anomaly was resolved. It turns out that the oceans and the forests do sequester about 50% of all the carbon dioxide that is emitted by human activity. That was the good news otherwise the anticipated rise in temperature would have been far greater that what it has been.
Now for the not so good news. Scientists at the University of Anglia have outfitted some ships with instruments that can measure the level of carbon dioxide that has been absorbed by the waters that they ply. The data supplied by these ships that have traveled the North Atlantic is totally unexpected. Actually if this preliminary finding proves to be accurate then it does not bode well for climate change.
The newly collected observations show that the North Atlantic is absorbing only half of the carbon dioxide that it used to absorb.That is a huge drop by any measure. If this proves to be accurate and if it turns out to be true for the other oceans then we have to revisit most of the projections that had assummed a carbon sink that is much larger than what the current data suggest that it is.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nobel Peace Prize ups pressure for climate action

It is not clear whether Al Gore would have been as influential in spreading the case for the need to take action to control Global Warming had he been elected as a President of the United States. Actually, it would be safe to assume that he would not have had the time to work on "Inconvenient Truth" neither would his message been regarded as an objective assessment . In an ironic twist, it sure was good for Environmentalism and for humanity that the Supreme Court stopped the recounting of votes in Florida. The wonderful unforseen consequence of that act by the supremes is the awawarding of the Nobel peace prize to Mr. Gore and the IPCC .

This award has in effect broadened the definition of peacekeeping operations and it is hoped that the resulting awarness that it brings to the effort to contain Global Warming will play a major role in shaping an effective global policy in a few months from now in Bali.

Not everyone is rejoicing though. As it is to be expected the dissenters, such as Vaclav Klaus, the Czech President, were skeptical of the relationship between global warming and world peace. Obviously the Nobel Committee does not agree with the skeptics . They emphasized that rising sea levels, more floods, droughts and desertification will only lead to " increased danger of violent conflicts and wars".

Sunday, October 07, 2007


The common mainstream environmental wisdom seems to connect poverty with environmental scarcity and degradation. As you might have noticed our text book never tires of making this point.
Does it really make sense to make such assertions in a world where we sell production cars for a $1,500,000.00 a copy, luxury cell phones fetch $17,000.00, swiss made watches go for over $25,000.00 a piece, a designer sofa retails for $30,000.00, an Atlantic City suit costs $10,000.00 a night and to top it all the NYC trend of buying an apartment for $6,000,000.00 only to turn around and spend a few millions on gutting it and redecorating it. Are such activities eco friendly ? Is this the world that we aspire to create? In my book, affluence is the problem and so it cannot be the solution. But hey, the remodeled apartment has triple glazed windows.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Why Climate Change Can't be Stoped?

A short article that appeared as a web exclusive by Foreign Policy argues that we have done too little and that we are too late to stop climate change. Food for thought.