The U.S. carbon dioxide emission from the consumption of fossil fuels. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, resulting from petroleum and natural gas, represent 82 percent of total U.S. human-made greenhouse gas emissions.
GM Volt Boast of 230 MPG
Published Friday, August 14th, 2009
General Motors has kicked up its campaign for the new Chevy Volt, which is part of their strategy to address increasing fuel efficiency standards facing car makers and demand from buyers today. The Volt, which is expected to be available late next year, can be plugged into a normal household outlet and travel exclusively on electricity for 40 miles. After that, a small gasoline motor kicks in. The headline making the rounds is that the Volt will get 230 mpg for city driving only and assumes that the driver is operating mainly on electricity. A freeway number has not been released so far and GM states that it will be “fairly significantly lower…yet greater than 100 mpg.” The US Environmental Agency has yet to verify GM’s 230 mpg claim.
Plug-in electric cars may, at some point in the future, add significant demand to the grid. The time gap will allow for an improvements to the grid; today the net generation of electricity depends upon coal and natural gas generation. Without adding more renewable energy in electricity generation, plug-in electrics will simply shift carbon emissions from source to another, one that may or may not be more efficient, in particular when energy loss during transmission is taken into consideration.
EPA Calls Greenhouse Gases Hazard to the Public’s Health
Published Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded a scientific review ordered by the US Supreme Court in 2007. Findings stated that Greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution and thus threaten public health or welfare. Concentrations of six gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride) are at an all time high due to human activities. The second finding stated that combined emissions from motor vehicles contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of the six greenhouse gases. This would mean the most complex assertion of authority over the US economy and individuals’ lifestyles. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and President Barack Obama have previously said they prefer comprehensive legislation on climate change over federal regulation. Congress is now considering such bills.
Impacts of such climate change include increased drought, more heavy downpours and flooding, more intense wildfires and heat waves, greater sea level rise, more intense storms and harm to water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems. The findings also suggested that the climate change has a disproportionate impact on the life expectancy of the poor, the very young, the elderly, those already in poor health, the disabled, those living alone and indigenous populations. Currently, the US stands at 50th in the world at a life expectancy of 78.11 years in 2009, with White women surviving at all ages better than all other sexes and races.
World Temperatures and Population Growth
Published Friday, December 12th, 2008
As the United Nations climate conference in Poznan, Poland considers how to reduce greenhouse gases, the talk is about setting emissions standards and funding for renewable energy projects. What is not on the table is the consideration that population stabilization. The subject is a definite point of contention between the developed/developing world and differing religious beliefs. The developing world would see the introduction of population as an unfair punishment and the religious objection is the moral concern regarding abortion and birth control. However, “A lot of people say population pressure is a major driving force behind the increase in emissions, and that’s absolutely true,” the U.N.’s top climate official Yvo de Boer said.
The data suggest that the world surface temperature anomalies have been rising since the 1960’s with no negative anomalies since 1977. Proponents of the population stabilization plan point to the world population and anomaly data to illustrate a correlation, but this does not confirm a direct relation. The opponents, barring the religious debate, point to the fact that North America, Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East are the main contributers to the greenhouse gases, not just countries with high populations. Either way, it seems that slowing population growth will factor into climate policies for many countries, even if it does not for multilateral agreements.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Carbon Dioxide - http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/co2.html
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted in a number of ways. It is emitted naturally through the carbon cycle and through human activities like the burning of fossil fuels.
EPA: Where You Live - http://www.epa.gov/epahome/commsearch.htm
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