Monthly Archives: September 2008

Time-Lapse Video of Alaska’s Eroding Coastline

Sheryl CanterLast week, the New York Times Dot Earth blog posted a sobering video of coastline erosion in Alaska. This is no simulation – it’s a time-lapse video made from pictures taken two hours apart from late June to late July of this year.

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Posted in Arctic & Antarctic / Read 1 Response

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Up 3 Percent in 2007

James Wang's profile2007 EmissionsLast Thursday, the Global Carbon Project released its annual report on the state of the carbon cycle, Carbon Budget 2007 [PDF]. It emphasizes (as we reported earlier this year) that CO2 levels are continuing upward, and the rate of increase is accelerating.

One reason for the acceleration in CO2 concentrations is higher fossil fuel emissions. Despite rising fuel prices, global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels rose 3 percent in 2007. That’s just slightly below the average increase of 3.5 percent per year since 2000.

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Posted in News / Read 24 Responses

Green Jobs Guidebook Gives Soup-to-Nuts Advice

Tim O'Connor's profileGreen Jobs GuideToday we’re launching a resource for people who want to enter the green job market. Our new Green Jobs Guidebook is a first of its kind, addressing everything from where to get training, to where to find good-paying jobs that help the environment. The guide focuses on California, but much of the information is applicable anywhere in the country.

I co-authored the guide with California Green Jobs Associate Amy Pasciucco. Together we painstakingly researched green employment opportunities and expected salaries, compiled growth projections, and identified the experience and education levels required by employers.

And we didn’t stop there.

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Posted in Economics / Read 1 Response

First Auction Today for RGGI Cap-and-Trade

Sheryl CanterThe Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is an agreement among 10 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce global warming pollution from power plants by means of a cap-and-trade system. In cap-and-trade, global warming pollution is limited to an agreed-upon cap that declines over time. The governing authority issues "permits" – also called "allowances" – corresponding to the cap, with one allowance equal to a ton of CO2 or its equivalent in greenhouse gases. Companies must have allowances for any global warming pollution they emit.

The RGGI auction of allowances is today, and was opened by New York Governor David Paterson. The Washington Post said in an editorial, “We hope that it serves as a reminder to Washington of what can be accomplished when vision and leadership are exercised.” We agree! From EDF president Fred Krupp:

The launch of America’s first carbon market is proof positive that the U.S. can and will take bold steps to combat climate change.

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

Posted in News / Read 4 Responses

Enter Our Visual Design Competition – $10,000 to Winner

Sheryl CanterA cap on greenhouse gases could solve our addiction to oil, but it’s hard to explain this succinctly. Can you convey this concept in a vivid and memorable way through a video or still image? If so, you could win a $10,000 professional fee. We’re also offering cash prizes for the second and third place entries.

Details on what we’re looking for and the rules of the competition are on our Web site.

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

Posted in News / Read 3 Responses

Could Green Investment Have Prevented the Economic Meltdown?

Sheryl CanterFormer President Bill Clinton gave an interesting analysis last night on the Late Show with David Letterman of how we got into our current economic mess. It all started at the beginning of the decade with lots of money to invest and no place to invest it. (For more on this, listen to the excellent report from This American Life on "The Giant Pool of Money".) Since most of the economic activity at this time was in real estate, investment bankers invented something called "mortgage-backed securities". This worked well and they wanted more, so lenders started giving mortgages to people with no ability to repay them – leading to the current mess.

We could have avoided this problem, Clinton said, if government had provided incentives for investment in the next big thing – clean energy.

EDF’s position is that the green economy is our best hope for the future. The incentive we need to make this happen is a cap on global warming pollution.

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

Posted in Economics / Read 2 Responses