RESOURCES -- CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED ISSUES
- Adapting to Climate Change: A Call for Federal Leadership, from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, outlines a framework for a National Adaptation Program to provide a coordinated federal response to the impacts of unavoidable climate change.
- In A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, Mark Z. Jacobson (Stanford) and Mark A. Delucchi (UC Davis) contend that a combination of wind, water, and sunlight could provide 100 percent of the world's energy, for all purposes, as early as 2030. Their complete life-cycle analysis shows that the cost of generating and transmitting power (on a per-kilowatt-hour basis) will be less for these renewable energy sources than for nuclear or fossil fuels. (A special rich-media presentation of this 2009 Scientific American article is also available.)
- A study released by the nonpartisan Environmental Law Institute, Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008, shows that substantially larger subsidies went to fossil fuels than to renewables. During the seven-year study period, federal subsidies for fossil fuels totaled more than $72 billion while renewable energy sources received $29 billion. And more than half of the subsidies for renewables went to corn-based ethanol. A related chart illustrates these findings.
- DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Maps and tables allow a comparison of incentives across states.
- The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (2006) is a 700-page report discussing the effect of global warming on the world economy. It examines the evidence of the economic impacts of climate change itself and explores the economics of stabilizing GHGs in the atmosphere. The report estimated the annual cost of mitigating climate change to be about 1 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) but that inaction could reduce global GDP as much as 20 percent per year.
- Alex Bowen, senior economist on the team that produced the 2006 Stern Review, reported in a 2009 Stern Review Update that estimated costs of stabilizing GHG concentrations in the atmosphere had grown to 2-3 percent of global GDP and that the cost of unrestrained climate change would be greater than 20 percent of global GDP.
- Climate Change and the Economy: Expected Impacts and Their Implications, a project of the Bipartisan Policy Center, is a compilation of seven research studies by major state universities around the country examining projected economic impacts of climate change on agriculture, real estate, public infrastructure, and tourism. (National Commission on Energy Policy, 2009)
- The Climate Change Special Initiative of McKinsey & Company has produced a number of reports on the costs of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy (2009) examines the technical and economic feasibility of achieving different targets for reducing GHG emissions, the opportunities available, and the costs of various options for meeting the targets. The report finds that the potential exists to reduce GHG emissions enough to stay on track until 2030 to keep global warming below 2°C. Doing so will, however, be a major challenge, requiring change on a massive scale. Delays in action of even 10 years would mean missing the 2°C target.
- Economics for Equity & Environment is a national network of economists whose applied research supports fair and effective solutions to environmental problems. E3 Network economists have authored a number of white papers and policy briefs.
- Seasons' End: Global Warming's Threat to Hunting and Fishing (2008), edited by the Wildlife Management Institute in cooperation with a number of sportsmen's and conservation organizations, discusses the projected impacts of global warming on animals and their habitats and the implications of the changing climate for hunters and anglers. A related website posts ongoing studies of climate change, publishes current observations from the field, and provides access to research papers of the various sponsoring organizations.
- A companion book, Beyond Seasons' End: A Path Forward for Fish and Wildlife in the Era of Climate Change (2009), presents ideas of fish and wildlife professionals about actions that can be taken to protect and preserve fish, wildlife, and their habitats. There is a companion blog for fish and wildlife professionals at Beyond Seasons' End.
- The State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change, a collaboration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and experts from leading conservation organizations, discusses the increasingly disruptive effects that climate change is expected to have on bird species in all habitats, with oceanic and Hawaiian birds at greatest risk.
- The Renewable Energy entry in Wikipedia has a lot of useful information on renewable energy sources: wind, hydro, solar, bio, and geothermal. The discussion includes the economics, commercialization, constraints, and opportunities for these renewable sources, including their competition with nuclear power.
- What You Need to Know About Energy is a clearly written 32-page report, available online. Topics covered include energy sources and uses, supply and demand, improving energy efficiency, and emerging technologies. (The National Academies, 2008)
- The National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency is a private-public initiative begun in fall 2005 to create a sustainable, aggressive national commitment to energy efficiency through the collaborative efforts of gas and electric utilities, utility regulators, and other partner organizations. A key product is the Vision for 2025 detailing the steps necessary to implement the Action Plan. The work is facilitated by EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE).
- State of the States 2009: Renewable Energy Development and the Role of Policy is a 213-page report by the DOE, summarizing the development of renewable energy sources in the various states and analyzing the role of government policies in fostering this development.
- The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America, from The Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzes the growth in jobs and businesses in the clean energy economy and discusses the public policies that can help promote the "double bottom line" of economic growth and environmental sustainability.
- The Big Energy Gamble is an hour-long NOVA program that explores the pros and cons of California's bold approach to addressing climate change. It includes interviews with Governor Schwarzenegger, policy critic Marlo Lewis, journalist Vijay Vaitheeswaran, and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
- A PBS video, Legacy of waste: The high cost of nuclear power, examines the problem of the lack of a permanent plan for the storage of nuclear waste from nuclear power plants.
- The Regeneration Project is dedicated to fostering the connection between ecology and faith. Its Interfaith Power & Light campaign is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations of all faiths through the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation.
- RENEWAL is a feature-length documentary that captures the vitality and diversity of America's religious-environmental movement. Made up of eight individual stories, this 90-minute film documents the efforts of men, women, and children who, from within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim traditions, are finding ways to become caretakers of the Earth.
- The People and Place (P&P) website explores a number of ethical issues related to climate change. Articles featured on the site include The Ethics of Climate Change by Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy at NYU, 'One Person, One Share' of the Atmosphere, by Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and Seeking Climate Reconciliation, by Howard Silverman, P&P editor.
- Krista Tippett and 350.org founder Bill McKibben explore the question of human responsibility in a change world in an interview titled The Moral Math of Climate Change. (Speaking of Faith, American Public Media, August 5, 2010)
- Climate Change and Human Health, by Dr. Paul Epstein of Harvard Medical School, summarizes the many impacts of climate change on human health. (The New England Journal of Medicine, October 6, 2005)
- Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change is a 2009 report resulting from a collaboration between The Lancet and University College, London (UCL). It outlines both the direct and indirect threats to human health from climate change and discusses the practical measures needed to control its effects. Also available is a sobering 7-minute video with experts from the Lancet/UCL collaboration, summarizing key messages and a call to action.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Climate Change and Public Health website discusses the health issues associated with climate change and what CDC is doing to anticipate, prevent, and respond to the health effects of climate change.
- Coal's Assault on Human Health is a 44-page report from Physicians for Social Responsibility on the impacts of pollutants from burning coal on human health -- on the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. It also considers the contribution of coal to global warming and the health implications of global warming.
- Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies, by Princeton professors Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow (Science, 2004), discusses a portfolio of currently available technologies capable of meeting the world's energy needs over the next 50 years while holding carbon emissions constant for that time period. The authors introduced the idea of "stabilization wedges," each of which would reduce carbon emissions by at least 1 billion tons per year by 2054. The Carbon Mitigation Initiative website provides a range of accessible and engaging tools for understanding the wedges concept, including a game (with teacher's guide), videos, and PowerPoint slides.
- Climate Solutions Consensus: What We Know and What To Do About It, by David Blockstein and Leo Wiegman, presents 35 practical, results-oriented approaches to minimizing climate change and its impacts. The authors spell out options for technological, societal, and policy actions and address such controversial topics as nuclear energy, ocean fertilization, and atmospheric geo-engineering. (Island Press, Washington, D.C., 2009)
- The Climate TechBook, from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, examines a wide range of technologies that can facilitate reductions in GHG emissions from five key economic sectors: electricity, transportation, industrial, residential & commercial, and agriculture. For each sector, summaries of the relevant technologies are provided, detailing how each technology works, how it can help reduce emissions, and what policy options exist to help promote it.
- Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, by Lester Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute, details an alternative to 'Plan A,' or business-as-usual. His Plan B has four components: cutting net carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2020; stabilizing population at 8 billion or lower; eradicating poverty; and restoring the earth's natural systems. Brown describes the multidimensional nature of the crisis we face and suggests practical ways to address it. The book can be ordered or downloaded from Earth Policy Institute. (W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 2008)
- Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States Using Existing Federal Authorities and State Action, from World Resources Institute, analyzes projected U.S. emissions under different scenarios. Even if federal agencies and states pursue an aggressive "go-getter" strategy using all existing regulatory tools and action plans, the U.S. will fall short of President Obama's Copenhagen pledge to reduce emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. A 20-page summary for policymakers is available as well as the full 60-page report. (July 2010)
- National Security and the Threat of Climate Change is a report by CNA, a nonprofit research organization, which brought together eleven retired three-star and four-star admirals and generals to provide advice, expertise, and perspective on the impact of climate change on national security. They found that climate change poses a serious threat to U.S. national security and that energy dependence, climate change, and national security are a related set of global challenges. The website includes a set of short video clips of statements by the military advisors.
- The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) acknowledges that the effects of climate change are likely to add complexity to the security environment. The report notes that "[c]limate change will affect DoD in two broad ways. First, climate change will shape the operating environment, roles, and missions we undertake. . . . While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world. . . . Second, DoD will need to adjust to the impacts of climate change on our facilities and military capabilities."
- War-Gaming Climate Change, an August 2009 broadcast of OnPoint Radio with Tom Ashbrook, is a 46-minute panel discussion about the Pentagon's growing recognition of the serious challenges presented by climate change -- from concerns about the impact of global warming on its operations to questions about future demands on its forces caused by famine, mass migrations, and failed states.
- Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States summarizes the science of climate change and explores its impacts on various aspects of society and the economy and in the different regions of the country. The report considers seven sectors: water resources, energy supply and use, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, human health, and society and looks at eight regions: Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, Great Plains, Southwest, Northwest, Alaska, Islands, and Coasts. (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2009)
- The Union of Concerned Scientists has analyzed climate change impacts (current and projected) for a number of regions of the country, including the Great Lakes Region (with individual reports on eight states in the region), the Northeast (with fact sheets on nine states), the Midwest (with individual reports on eight states), the Gulf Coast, and California.
- Regional Impacts of Climate Change: Four Case Studies in the United States takes an in-depth look at climate vulnerabilities in the Midwest, West, Gulf Coast, and Chesapeake Bay regions. (Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2007)
- Water World, a 30-minute program from PBS, takes viewers to Bangladesh to see the impact that sea level rise is already having on a poor country that might lose 20 percent of its land area by 2030, displacing some 35 million people. (October 23, 2009)
- Bhutan: Tsunami from the Sky is a 14-minute YouTube video showing how the tiny Asian nation of Bhutan is threatened by tsunami-like flooding from unstable lakes newly formed by the melting of Himalayan glaciers.
- The Carbon Footprint of Water examines the amount of energy used, and GHG emissions generated, in supplying, treating, and using water in the United States. A conservative estimate indicates that water-related energy use is at least 521 million MWh/year -- equivalent to 13 percent of the nation's electricity consumption. The 47-page report suggests that the associated carbon footprint is at least 290 million metric tons/year. (River Network, May 2009)