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Glyphosate Studies Revealed by EPA Show Toxicity

Farm Wars - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 23:49
It's not sound science to see these as showing safety by any scope of the imagination.
Categories: Ecological News

Global Energy and Carbon Intensity Continue to Decline

World Watch - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 23:13

New Worldwatch Institute analysis examines trends in energy and carbon emissions globally

For Immediate Release | December 17, 2014 | CONTACT GAELLE GOURMELON

Notes to Editors:     

Journalists may obtain a complimentary copy of "Global Energy and Carbon Intensity Continue to Decline" by contacting Gaelle Gourmelon at ggourmelon@worldwatch.org

About the Worldwatch Institute:

Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. The Institute’s State of the World report is published annually in more than a dozen languages. For more information, visit www.worldwatch.org.

About Vital Signs Online:

Vital Signs Online provides business leaders, policymakers, and engaged citizens with the latest data and analysis they need to understand critical global trends. It is an interactive, subscription-based tool that provides hard data and research-based insights on the sustainability trends that are shaping our future. All of the trends include clear analysis and are placed in historical perspective, allowing you to see where the trend has come from and where it might be headed. New trends cover emerging hot topics-from global carbon emissions to green jobs-while trend updates provide the latest data and analysis for the fastest changing and most important trends today. Every trend includes full datasets and complete referencing.

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Washington, D.C.—Global energy intensity, defined as worldwide total energy consumption divided by gross world product, decreased 0.19 percent in 2013. Although this may not seem impressive, considering that energy intensity increased steeply between 2008 and 2010, this small decline continues a much-needed trend toward lower energy intensity, writes Haibing Ma, China Program Manager at the Worldwatch Institute (www.worldwatch.org).

Although a growing economy generally correlates with growing absolute energy use, energy intensity may well decline. In the 1990s, industrial economies started to turn to a new growth paradigm that relied heavily on service sectors. This “knowledge-based economy” is much less energy-intensive than the economic model that most nations adopted during industrialization. As a result, global energy intensity decreased 13.72 percent during the 1990s—the largest drop in the past 50 years.

The situation has been vastly different in the new millennium, however. While the first decade saw great volatility, with two upward surges during 2002–04 and 2008–10, the period between 2004 and 2008, saw a decrease in intensity of 3.50 percent. In the early years of the decade, large emerging economies like China started investing heavily in energy-intensive sectors, and after the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, many countries implemented massive stimulus packages focused on energy-intensive sectors like manufacturing, construction, and infrastructure. But as the world economy began to recover after 2010, the previous pattern of global energy intensity reductions resumed.

Carbon intensity—defined as total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) divided by gross world product—is another important environmental indicator. Global carbon intensity has followed the same general pattern of energy intensity, dropping 36.62 percent overall between 1990 and 2013, but rising between 2002 and 2004. After 2008, probably because of the impact of the economic recession, the decline in global carbon intensity generally slowed, although 2013 brought a slightly more rapid pace than in previous years. Advanced economies show a steadier decline in carbon intensity than newly industrialized and transitional countries do.  

In 2006, China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest CO2 emitter. Realizing the risk, the Chinese government has been taking aggressive efforts to slow its CO2 emissions. In its climate action annual report released in November 2014, China claims that its carbon intensity decreased 4.3 percent between 2012 and 2013 and dropped 28.56 percent from the 2005 level. World Bank data show lower drops of 3.61 percent and 24.97 percent, respectively.

At a meeting in Beijing in November 2014, President Obama and President Xi issued a joint announcement in which China proposed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030. The critical question is at what number this peak will be achieved. Further reducing the economy’s carbon intensity will help to achieve a lower peak than otherwise possible.

Global energy intensity and carbon intensity are essentially measuring the efficiency with which human economic activities interact with nature. To ensure a sustainable development path globally, these two indicators need to be watched closely.

—END—

The full data and analysis are available for purchase through our Vital Signs Online website.

Notes to Editors: Journalists may obtain a complimentary copy of "Global Energy and Carbon Intensity Continue to Decline" by contacting Gaelle Gourmelon at ggourmelon@worldwatch.org.

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Categories: Ecological News

Antarctica: warming ocean trebles glacial melt

The Ecologist Magazine - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 22:34
As temperatures rise in the Southern Ocean, warmer currents are eroding the Antarctic ice sheet from below, writes Tim Radford - causing the melting rate to treble in two decades to 83 cubic billion tonnes a year.
Categories: Ecological News

Crowdsourcing to uncover toxic chemicals.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
Because industrial chemical use is minimally regulated, a lab at Duke University is offering free analyses of furniture for potentially hazardous compounds.
Categories: Ecological News

Hanford tanks still deteriorating.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
Underground nuclear waste storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington continue to deteriorate, raising questions about how their contents will be managed in the future, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.
Categories: Ecological News

Families flee out-of-control natural-gas leak at eastern Ohio fracking well.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
About 25 families in eastern Ohio have been unable to live in their houses for the past three days because of a natural-gas leak at a fracking well that crews cannot stop.
Categories: Ecological News

Koch-owned firm unveils plan to cover dusty petcoke piles in Chicago.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
Despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel's vow to rid Chicago of dusty piles of petroleum coke, a company is moving forward with plans to enclose towering mounds of the refinery byproduct on the Southeast Side.
Categories: Ecological News

Plastic waste taints the ocean floors.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
Billions of tiny plastic fragments are littering each square kilometre of the deep sea, an analysis of sea-floor sediments suggests. Although the study sampled a small number of sites, the locations ranged from the subpolar Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.
Categories: Ecological News

NSW Government should buy and demolish 5,300 homes with Mr Fluffy insulation: Report.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
More than 5,300 New South Wales homes may be riddled with deadly Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation and the state government should demolish and buy affected properties, a parliamentary report has found.
Categories: Ecological News

A legal maneuver could absolve Duke Energy of its responsibility for coal ash dumps.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
In the television commercial, Paul Newton, North Carolina president of Duke Energy, strolls through a garden on a warm, spring day. A bee lands on a flower. Crickets chirp. A tree bathes in the sun.
Categories: Ecological News

Eilers on Superfund list.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
It's official. The Eilers neighborhood, a mixed-use area near the Arkansas River and Pueblo’s central business district, has officially been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List of Superfund sites.
Categories: Ecological News

Why the Bay Area fell apart during the storm.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
The big storm was another reminder that the Bay Area’s infrastructure is fragile, easily compromised and often out-of-date. Upgrades are happening, but far too slowly to match either the region’s growth or expectations.
Categories: Ecological News

People power central to solving Latin America's air pollution crisis.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
It is clear that if we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to engage and empower subnational governments and cities. Ultimately, it is at the local level where climate change will be felt the most and where policies will be implemented.
Categories: Ecological News

If you must eat meat, save it for Christmas.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
From chickens pumped with antibiotics to the environmental devastation caused by production, we need to realise we are not fed with happy farm animals.
Categories: Ecological News

Jeb Bush may be 'the smart brother' - but he's as much of a climate denier as any conservative.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
Jeb doesn’t just want to keep burning fossil fuels while the planet burns. He’s an out-and-out flat-earther - just like the other Republicans seen as leading contenders in the 2016 presidential race - and he’s been on the record denying climate science for years.
Categories: Ecological News

Obama declares Alaska's Bristol Bay off-limits to oil and gas.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
President Obama on Tuesday declared Bristol Bay "a beautiful natural wonder" and designated its salmon-rich waters indefinitely off limits for oil and gas leasing.
Categories: Ecological News

Obama blocks Bristol Bay oil, gas development.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
President Barack Obama moved to permanently bar oil and gas drilling in a sensitive area off the Alaskan coast on Tuesday, the latest action in an environmental push that appears to be gaining steam as he enters his last two years in office.
Categories: Ecological News

Drug-resistant malaria: World's next big health crisis?

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
Experts say the recent case of Ka Lar Nar could be an indication of drug resistance to malaria, which has been spreading in Myanmar and other countries in the Mekong River basin in what threatens to become the next big global health emergency if it marches on to India and Africa.
Categories: Ecological News

Toxics abound off old Port Angeles pulp mill site, state says.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
Mercury, arsenic, dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are among the ingredients of the toxic brew in the eastern side of Port Angeles Harbor near the site of the former Rayonier mill in Washington state.
Categories: Ecological News

Chesapeake Bay pollution trading in limbo in Maryland while expanding in Virginia.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:30
While the Obama administration is touting Virginia's pollution trading program as an "innovative market-based approach" to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland's trading effort remains stuck in limbo after years of study and debate.
Categories: Ecological News
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