Monthly Archives: August 2008

Update from Ghana: Creative Ways to Engage Developing Countries

Gernot Wagner's profile
Even if every industrialized country were to reduce its emissions to zero by 2050, atmospheric carbon levels would still be above what scientists tell us is dangerous.

That’s a pretty powerful statement, and it leads to the question: How do we convince developing countries to set limits on their emissions? A possible answer to that challenge brought me to Ghana this week.

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The Climate Change Talks in Ghana Begin

Gustavo Silva-ChávezThis post is by Gustavo Silva-Chávez, an international policy analyst in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund.

Early this week, the team from Environmental Defense Fund started boarding planes for Accra, Ghana to attend the international Climate Change Talks. The official first day was Thursday, but Wednesday was busy with pre-meeting workshops.

Ghana Convention Hall

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Bad Science in Public School Classrooms

Lisa MooreThis post is by Lisa Moore, Ph.D., a scientist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund.

Just when we’re finally having the kind of national conversation we need about global warming, those who are ignoring scientific evidence are making a last-gasp effort to divert our attention: They’re sneaking myths and deceptions into America’s science classrooms.

In Louisiana’s recent “Science Education Act”, they joined forces with advocates of teaching creationism under the guise of promoting “critical thinking” on select scientific topics, including climate change. Signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal, the law actually provides cover for teachers who want to promote perspectives not founded in science.

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Save Our Satellites: We Need Their Climate Data

Lisa MooreThis post is by Lisa Moore, Ph.D., a scientist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund.

"Blue Marble" image of the EarthHave you ever spent time scrolling through NASA’s image gallery? Some of the pictures are mesmerizing. I particularly like the "Blue Marble" image of the Earth (at right), which was stitched together using satellite data.

Satellites provide more than pretty pictures. Our ability to understand and predict climate change depends on continuous high-quality satellite data.

Unfortunately, this critical data stream is threatened by budget cuts and lack of political support. In 2005, the National Academies assessed the situation and deemed it "alarming". Three years later, the outlook has not improved.

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Quick and Easy Way to Lower Gasoline Costs

Sheryl CanterThis post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

People are proposing all kinds of extreme measures to lower gasoline costs, including offshore drilling in areas that would destroy ecosystems despite no additional gas (or savings) for at least a decade.

But there are simple things you can do to immediately lower your gasoline costs by an average of 15 percent. The steps are outlined in a useful new Web site on EcoDriving sponsored by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The site is user-friendly, and offers a variety of educational tools, including an informative video and extensive tips on fuel-efficient driving and maintenance practices.

Posted in Cars and Pollution / Read 2 Responses

Helping Plants and Animals Survive Climate Change

Lisa MooreThis post is by Lisa Moore, Ph.D., a scientist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund.

What does wildlife conservation mean to you? Setting aside land? Restoring habitat? Reducing local stresses to species or ecosystems? These are the conventional methods. But because of rapid climate change, scientists in a recent paper say this may not be enough:

[T]he future for many species and ecosystems is so bleak that assisted colonization might be their best chance.

Assisted colonization – moving species to sites where they aren’t native – is a high-risk suggestion. There are many cases, for example, where introduced species have become invasive and wreaked havoc on native ecosystems. So why would some of the world’s leading biologists make such a suggestion?

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