Category Archives: Environment

Stuff about the environment and our relationship with it

New Packaging Results In 37 Million Pound Reduction In Greenhouse Gas Emissions

hp inkthis is the old packaging, its made of indestructible PVC, and also comes with several plastic inserts, a cardboard holder, and a foil bag inside, trying to open is very very hard. Plus look how big it is compared to what you get out of it?! At least it comes with the recycling envelope inside...
Anyone who like myself has had to use a jackhammer to get the printer toner open will welcome this news. HP has announced that its redesigned print cartridge packaging for North America will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 37 million pounds in 2007 – the equivalent of taking 3,600 cars off the road for one year.(1)

How will they do this you might ask? The emissions savings are the result of smaller, lighter packages that both reduce the total carbon footprint of each cartridge and the truck and freighter transportation traffic required to ship them. Newer packaging also contains more recyclable and recycled content.

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Is It Too Late To Save The Ice Sheets?

glacier falling into waterIt may be too late to save the ice sheets. This sobering news is contained within the second of the four part report by the IPCC.

A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world’s scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a United Nations expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss “may no longer be avoided” because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Such melting would raise sea levels by four to six metres, the scientists say. It would cause “major changes in coastline and inundation of low-lying areas” and require “costly and challenging” efforts to move millions of people and infrastructure from vulnerable areas. The previous official line, issued in 2001, was that the chance of such an event was “not well known, but probably very low”.

The melting process could take centuries, but increased warming caused by a failure to cut emissions would accelerate the ice sheets’ demise, and give nations less time to adapt to the consequences. Areas such as the Maldives would be swamped and low-lying countries such as The Netherlands and Bangladesh, as well as coastal cities including London, New York and Tokyo, would face critical flooding.(via)

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The Hidden Cost Of The Global Meat Trade

meat

(Editors Note: Guest Post)San Francisco-The growth of factory farms, their proximity to congested cities in the developing world, and the globalized poultry trade are all culprits behind the spread of avian flu, while livestock wastes damage the climate at a rate that surpasses emissions from cars and SUVs. These preliminary findings on avian flu and meat production, from the upcoming Worldwatch Institute report Vital Signs 2007-2008, were released today by research associate Danielle Nierenberg at the annual conference of the American Association for the advancement of Science (AAAS) in SanFrancisco.

At least 15 nations have restricted or banned free-range and backyard production of birds in an attempt to deal with avian flu on the ground, move that may ultimately do more harm than good, according to Nierenberg. “Many of the world’s estimated 800 million urban farmers, who raise crops and animals for food, transportation, and income in back yards and on rooftops, have been targeted unfairly by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization,” she told participants at the AAAS event. “The socioeconomic importance of livestock to the world’s poor cannot be overstated.”

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American Exceptionalism And Global Warming (Part 1)

American Flag

(Editors note: Read part two and three and four) Consistency is the bugbear of small minds, and the Bush administration’s policies in many areas, the “War on Terror”, the environment, energy, entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, taxation, deregulation and a host of others are all perfectly consistent and fall within a narrowly defined ideology. Everyone of its proposals and actions can be understood as a move to further enhance the wealth and consolidate the power of the large corporations and the super-rich.

At times, the program is effected by the wholesale direct transfer of government revenues to these corporate giants, such as the non-competitive war contracts, and Medicare Part D – both practically outright gifts to the defense industry and the big pharma, respectively; and, then, the scandalous reduction of taxation on those with very large incomes, and efforts to eliminate taxes on estates of over two million dollars (the first $2 million has been tax free for years) ought to give ordinary citizens pause.

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January Hottest On Record

selected extreme events jan 2007

It was unusually warm here this January, seems this was not the only place that experienced record heat this winter.

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest for any January on record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The most unusually warm conditions were in the mid- and high-latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere. In the contiguous United States, the monthly mean temperature was near average in January.

Global Temperatures
The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.53°F (0.85°C) warmer than the 20th century average of 53.6°F (12.0°C) for January based on preliminary data, surpassing the previous record set in 2002 at 1.28°F (0.71°C) above the average. Last month’s record was greatly influenced by a record high land-surface temperature, which was 3.40°F (1.89°C) warmer than average. Separately, the global ocean-surface temperature was fourth warmest in the 128-year series, approximately 0.1°F (0.05°C) cooler than the record established during the very strong El Niño episode in 1998.

During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.11°F (0.06°C) per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976, or 0.32°F (0.18°C) per decade, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
(via)

Seems we are starting this year off right, come on everyone lets go for the record! We’re number one! We’re number one! We’re number one! We’re number…ohh wait.