Posted on October 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Contentious meeting ends with small step forward
A passenger jet flies above the mountains of Greenland. bberwyn photo.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The international aviation community last week took another small step toward capping greenhouse gas emissions by agreeing to develop a global market-based measure to cap international aviation’s carbon pollution at 2020 levels.
The International Civil Aviation Organization
agreed to finalize what will likely be a cap and trade
emissions program by 2016 in a meeting that was marked by uncertainty until the very end, according to Environmental Defense Fund
attorney Annie Petsonk, who has been watch-dogging the aviation industry.
According to the EDF, if aviation were a country, it would rank among the world’s top ten largest emitters, and it is one of the fastest growing sources of global warming pollution. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Travel | Tagged: airline emissions, climate, Emissions trading, Environmental Defense Fund, global warming, ICAO, International Civil Aviation Organization | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 5, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Penguins could be a species prone to an ecological tipping point. bberwyn photo.
Ecosystem collapses could also have serious economic and social consequences
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — One of the biggest concerns raised by the rapid rise in global temperatures the past few decades is that some ecosystems may reach an environmental tipping point, from beyond which there is no recovery.
It’s hard to predict where those tipping points are and when they might be reached, but a team of scientists with NOAA Fisheries, University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and Environmental Defense Fund wants to know if it’s at least possible to detect early warning signs in the world’s oceans.
The Ocean Tipping Points Project includes scientists and other experts from NOAA Fisheries, University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and Environmental Defense Fund. The Project is just getting off the ground with a recent $3.1 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, ecological tipping points, ecosystems, Environmental Defense Fund, global warming, Haida Gwaii, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Stanford University | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 28, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The debate about controlling airline emissions rages on.
Conservation groups pin hopes on global airline emissions deal
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Obama administration may be talking the talk on climate change, but it’s not clear if the president is ready to walk the walk — especially after signing into law a bill that was partly driven by Jim Inhofe, the U.S. Senate’s most infamous global warming denier.
The new law gives federal officials the ability to prevent U.S. airlines from complying with European Union airline emissions regulations — rules that have been suspended for a year while the International Civil Aviation Organization tries to develop a global mechanism for controlling airline emissions.
Obama’s signature of the measure drew a mixed response, with some groups panning the president for his actions, while others said they are hopeful that the U.S. will help lead the aviation community to a solution. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: airline emissions, Environment, Environmental Defense Fund, global warming, International Civil Aviation Organization, President Barack Obama | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 31, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast. Satellite image courtesy NOAA.
Record-breaking storm spurs more public awareness about the potential for more frequent extreme weather events
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With several all-time weather records shattered and early estimates that Hurricane Sandy may cost the U.S. economy some $20 to $25 billion, it’s clear that the storm lived up to its billing. Along with the cleanup, there’s also a raging debate about whether global warming was a factor in the storm’s development and path.
On the one side, environmental activists seeking to limit heat-trapping greenhouse gases have jumped on the so-called super storm as an opportunity to tout their cause. On the other side, global warming deniers and others have pulled out timeworn statistics about past hurricanes that supposedly were equally as strong.
The arguments at the extreme sides of the spectrum don’t ring true. Of course, there is no way to scientifically prove that increases in air and ocean temps directly contributed to this storm. There’s still so much natural variability in nature that you just can’t establish a causal link. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: Atlantic Ocean, climate change, Environmental Defense Fund, extreme weather, global weather, Hurricane Sandy, sea level rise, superstorm Sandy, Tropical cyclone | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Environmental groups want the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes.
Environmental groups want agency to set a timeline for action on airplane greenhouse gas emissions
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The EPA is dragging its feet on controlling greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes, the Environmental Defense Fund said this week, reinforcing arguments made in court by a coalition of groups seeking to establish a timeline for EPA action.
The hearing in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia is part of a 2010 lawsuit that charges the EPA with unreasonablly delaying action. The courts have already ruled that the EPA must act on airline emissions in response to a petition filed in 2007, but the agency doesn’t have a specific timeline it must follow, according EDF attorney Pamela Campos. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Environment, global warming | Tagged: airline greenhouse gas emissions, climate, Emission standard, Environmental Defense Fund, global warming, International Civil Aviation Organization, United States Environmental Protection Agency | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 2, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
The U.S. continues to oppose a European plan that would take meaningful steps to reduce emissions from commercial aviation.
International aviation group opposes EU plan to cut airline carbon footprint
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In the ongoing battle over reducing greenhouse gas emissions from commercial aviation, The U.S. last week sided with fossil fuel dinosaurs like Saudi Arabia.
American officials signed a statement suggesting opposition to an European Aviation Directive that would hold all airlines accountable for their emissions from flights using European airports starting in January 2012.
The statement suggests that the EU policy is inconsistent with existing international legal frameworks. It also calls for emissions from aviation to be addressed in the International Civil Aviation Organization. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, global warming | Tagged: airlines, climate change, Environment, Environmental Defense Fund, EU airline emissions plan, European Union, global warming, greenhouse gases, International Civil Aviation Organization, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 19, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
New European standard would cap greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes, but several U.S. airlines are sueing to block the regulations.
Major carriers sue to block European Union regs that would cap and reduce some airline greenhouse gas emissions
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Three of the largest U.S. airlines like to tout their green credentials, but out of the public eye they’re doing their best to gut meaningful environmental rules for the industry.
American Airlines and United both promoted their environmental initiatives in a campaign timed to coincide with Earth Day last month. American published an article, “AA Reduces Environmental Footprint”, in its in-flight magazine, and United promoted itself as an “environmentally friendly company” in its new, widely publicized “eco-skies” campaign.
But at the same time, both companies filed suit in a European court to block a European Union law that holds all airlines accountable for their global warming pollution from flights to, from and within Europe. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. American and United have also been lobbying the U.S. Congress to declare the EU law invalid. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, business, Environment, global warming | Tagged: airline industry, capping airline greenhouse gas emissions, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Defense Fund, European Union, global warming, greenhouse gases, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Natural Resources Defense Council, United Airlines, United States | 4 Comments »
Posted on December 19, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
CO2: Up, up and away ...
Grassroots activists help convince Senate to drop anti-environmental bills
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — An attempt by old-school politicians to block EPA greenhouse gas regulations failed in the U.S. Senate last week in part after a flood of e-mail from voters and constituents responding to an online appeal from the Environmental Defense Fund.
In a Dec. 17 press release, the group said at least 10,000 people contacted their elected representatives to demand that the Senate drop a bill that would have undercut the EPA. authority to control carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases. The agency ruled last year that greenhouse gases pose a threat to the welfare of Americans, and began developing regulations based on that endangerment finding. As soon as next month, power plants and other big polluters will have to get permits for emitting greenhouse gases.
While Congress can’t find the political will to act on global warming in a meaningful way, at least some federal lawmakers are unwilling to let the EPA do the job — and guess who is leading the charge? It’s not that hard — just follow the trail of oil and coal, and the money associated with those industries. Continue reading
Filed under: global warming, op-ed | Tagged: coal, Environmental Defense Fund, EPA greenhous gas regulations, global warming, Greenhouse gas, greenhouse gases, Jay Rockefeller, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Murkowski, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Senate, US senate cimate change | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 13, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
The way it works - greenhouse gases trap part of the sun's heat in the lower atmosphere.
Power plants, factories and refineries will have to get permits for emissions starting next month
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The EPA will continue to move ahead with plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions after a federal court in in the District of Columbia rejected an early industry challenge to the agency’s authority. Along with other groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit against the EPA in August 2010.
But last week (Dec. 10), The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected a motion to stay the rules, saying the legal challenge failed to meet the “stringent standards” needed to block the rules while the lawsuits proceed. Under the federal Administrative Procedures Act, federal agencies have a lot of leeway for their actions. Challenges often must show that an agency or official has acted arbitrarily or capriciously. Continue reading
Filed under: global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, EPA, EPA greenhouse gas regulations, global warming, greenhouse gases, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, United States, United States courts of appeals, United States Environmental Protection Agency | Leave a comment »