Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Climate Change

Fiscal Policy to Address Energy’s Environmental Impacts – IMF

IMF Survey Magazine:Fiscal policies should be center stage in getting energy prices to reflect the harmful and environmental side effects associated with energy use, according to a new report released by the IMF. Energy prices in many countries are wrong because they are set at levels that do not reflect environmental damage, notably climate change, air pollution, and various side effects of motor vehicle use, such as traffic accidents and congestion. Whether on energy or any other product, prices should provide consumers with an accurate assessment of the actual costs associated with the product. A number of countries rely too much on general income, payroll, and consumption taxes for their fiscal objectives, and too little from taxes on energy use, according to the IMF report.  The case for a tax shift:  The report stresses that energy tax reform need not be about raising new revenues. Rather, reform could focus on restructuring the tax system away from taxes that are likely to be most harmful for efficiency and growth, such as income taxes, and towards carefully designed taxes on energy—smarter taxes rather than higher taxes. According to the report, getting energy prices right involves extending motor fuel taxes, which are already well established and easily administered in many countries, to other fossil fuel products, such as coal and natural gas, or their emissions, and aligning the rates of these taxes with environmental damage.”

Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

“On August 6, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center released updated information on 2013 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters and several new tools to assist users in analyzing the data. These new features allow users to better explore the type, frequency and cost of U.S. billion-dollar events by state and year, from 1980 to 2013.  Based on updatedContinue Reading

Making Farm Animal Rights A Fundamental Green Issue

“Conservation organizations have long sought to protect pandas, polar bears and pelicans, but the welfare of farm animals has largely been left to activist animal-welfare groups like the Humane Society of the United States, which calls itself “the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization.” For the past 10 years, the organization has been headedContinue Reading

Groundwater Depletion During Drought Threatens Future Water Security of the Colorado River Basin

NOAA Earth Observatory: ” Long-term drought and aggressive seasonal wildfires have consumed property, lives, and farmland in the American West. The dry weather and blazes are battering regional economies and putting residents and agricultural businesses in several states on a path toward water restrictions. At least part of this story of water woes lies underground. The map above combines dataContinue Reading

Earth – an animated map of global wind and weather

a visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours ocean surface current estimates updated every five days ocean surface temperatures and anomaly from daily average (1981-2011) updated daily Author | Cameron Beccario@cambecc Free Version of Source | github.com/cambecc/earth

Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK

“The production of animal-based foods is associated with higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than plant-based foods. The objective of this study was to estimate the difference in dietary GHG emissions between self-selected meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK. Subjects were participants in the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. The diets of 2,041 vegans, 15,751 vegetarians,Continue Reading

NOAA – Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 reflect trends of a warming planet

NOAA news release: “In 2013, the vast majority of worldwide climate indicators—greenhouse gases, sea levels, global temperatures, etc.—continued to reflect trends of a warmer planet, according to the indicators assessed in the State of the Climate in 2013 report, released online today by the American Meteorological Society. Scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., served asContinue Reading

Deep Decarbonization Pathways – Report

“The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) co-founded and lead the DDPP. Currently, the DDPP comprises 15 Country Research Teams composed of leading researchers and research institutions from countries representing 70% of global GHG emissions and different stages of development: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia,Continue Reading

New NASA Images Highlight U.S. Air Quality Improvement

News release includes charts/graphics: “Anyone living in a major U.S. city for the past decade may have noticed a change in the air. The change is apparent in new NASA satellite images unveiled this week that demonstrate the reduction of air pollution across the country. After ten years in orbit, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite hasContinue Reading

The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection

The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection. Science 30 May 2014: 344 (6187), 1246752 [DOI:10.1126/science.1246752] “A principal function of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to “perform regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity.” In December 2013, its second plenary session approved a program to begin a global assessment inContinue Reading

Good Country website and the Good Country Index – a new way of looking at the world

Simon Anholt: “The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple: to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away. Using a wide range of data from the U.N. and other international organisations, we’ve given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whetherContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Climate Change Adaption, Nuclear Security, Prescription Drugs, Border Security

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: DOD Can Improve Infrastructure Planning and Processes to Better Account for Potential Impacts, GAO-14-446: Published: May 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2014. NUCLEAR SECURITY: NNSA Should Establish a Clear Vision and Path Forward for Its Security Program, GAO-14-208: Published: May 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2014. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Comparison of DOD, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D RetailContinue Reading