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Study Concludes Colorado River Reservoirs Could Bottom Out from Warming, Water Management Business-as-Usual
Monday, July 20 2009
Nation
A study out of University of Colorado, Boulder, indicates that there could be about a 50% chance of depleting the Colorado River reservoirs in any given year by the 2050s. These reservoirs have the potential to hold 4 times the annual flow of the river, providing a major backup in case of drought or increasing demand that rises above what the river can provide. However, as a result of climate change and increasing demand, if water management practices are not changed, every year could see a 50-50 chance of depleting these reservoirs and being forced to rely on the river flow alone. This would be dangerous because the natural flow of the river is variable and also may soon be inadequate to meet water demand.
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Researchers Outline Consensus Position on “Beneficial Biofuels”
Sunday, July 19 2009
Global
Eleven researchers outlines what they believe to be the consensus position on what the biofuel industry needs to focus on to become more sustainable. They point out that biofuels are a great opportunity to lower GHG emissions, but that they must be done in a sustainable way. They point out that biofuels should only be supported if they positively impact energy security, greenhouse-gas emissions, biodiversity, and the sustainability of the food supply. They suggest that the biofuels industry focus on perennial plants grown on degraded agricultural lands, crop residues, sustainably harvested wood and forest residues, double crops and mixed cropping systems, and municipal and industrial wastes.
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Plastic Bag Revolt Halves Nationwide Use to 450m
Friday, July 17 2009
Nation
The UK has cut in half it's plastic bag usage in three years, meeting a voluntary goal provided by the government.
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New PNNL Geothermal Heat Extraction Process Optimizes Low-Temperature Resources
Thursday, July 16 2009
Global
A new method has been found by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists to capture geothermal energy from lower temperature energy sources. In related geothermal news, a new study by NYU Stern Professor Melissa Schilling found that geothermal is producing the greatest efficiency returns per R&D dollar invested, with wind in second. Solar energy is quite a ways behind, and fossil fuel efficiencies are stagnant, if not dropping, despite getting a huge amount of the R&D budget.
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US Secretary of Transportation Says Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled Necessary for Substantive CO2 Reduction from Transportation
Thursday, July 16 2009
Nation
The US Secretary of Transportation mentioned in testimony before Congress that even with low carbon fuels and more efficient vehicles, the US needs to work to reduce it's vehicle miles traveled (VMT). He states that even assuming 55mpg vehicles in 2030, the US transportation sector will only see modest CO2 decreases without a corresponding decrease in VMT. He advocates for more mixed use development, more public transportation opportunities, more walkable and bikeable cities, and more housing development near public transit.
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UC Berkeley Study Concludes Battery Switching Model Would Accelerate Mass-Market Adoption of Electric Cars
Tuesday, July 14 2009
Global
A UC Berkeley study reports that their research predicts an at least 64% market share of electric vehicles if a battery swapping system is used. These systems rely on a subscription-based pay-per-mile sort of scheme where the car owner doesn't have to own the battery, lowering the cost of the vehicles. Read more about these sorts of systems in our <a href = "/Transportation/Charging-Stations/">Charging Stations section</a>.
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Vancouver Requires Charging Stations in New Condominium and Apartment Buildings, and Some Parking Lots
Saturday, July 11 2009
City
Vancouver, BC will begin requiring that developers of new condominiums and apartment complexes outfit 20% of available parking spaces with electric vehicle charging stations. The new regulations will take effect in 18 months and will also involve installing charging stations public parking lots.
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Declaration of the leaders of the major economies forum on energy and climate
Thursday, July 09 2009
Global
The Major Economies Forum released it's statement on energy and climate change, announcing a belief that global temperatures should not rise above 2 degrees Celsius about pre-industrial levels. The statement mentions that climate change must be addressed in a way that does not compromise economic or social development. In the statement, a global emissions reduction of 50% by 2050 is proposed, including an 80% reduction by industrialized nations. The statement also calls for roadmaps of plans from now to 2020 be presented by November 15, 2009.
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