Wednesday, February 4, 2009

President Barack Obama and Climate Change

Climate Change has been given lip sympathy during Bush administration. USA and Australia have not signed the Kyoto protocol (the climate change protocol). The strong positive correlation between energy use and human development is well recognized. Per-Capita Carbon-dioxide emissions (metric tons),USA 20.01, EU,9.4,Japan 9.87, China3.60,Russia 11.71,India 1.02, where as world average is 4.25 metric tonnes.
The Fourth Assessment report of the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCAR4) concluded from direct observations of changes in temperature, sea level, and snow cover in the northern hemisphere during 1850 to the present, that the warming of the earth’s climate system is unequivocal. The global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased from a pre-industrial value of about 280 ppm to 379 ppm in 2005. Multi modal averages show that the temperature increases during 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999 may range from 1.1 to 6.40c and sea level rise from 0.18 to 0.59 meters.
President Barack Obama said "We will make it clear to the world that America is ready to lead, from being held hostage" to hostile regimes and the threat of global warming.To protect our climate and our collective security, we must call together a truly global coalition. I've made it clear that we will act, but so too must the world. These urgent dangers to our national and economic security are compounded by the long-term threat of climate change, which if left unchecked could result in violent conflict, terrible storms, shrinking coastlines and irreversible catastrophe. But America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes, and a warming planet. To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years. We will modernize more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of 2 million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills. In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced – jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain”
Assuming that the US actually could double alternative energy production by 2012, how far would that go toward solving the climate crisis. According to the US Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Data Book , 9.4 percent of total US energy production – this includes both electricity and transportation – comes from renewable energy sources, mainly hydropower and biomass. (Another 11.7 percent comes from nuclear power, which is not mentioned in this plan.) According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, if the world’s wealthy countries were to cut their emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent below 1990 levels (US emissions are now about 15 percent higher than they were in 1990), carbon dioxide concentrations would stabilize at 450 parts per million, the figure that the UN panel believed was the safety threshold. Current atmospheric greenhouse concentrations are at about 387 parts per million and rising. So a 10 percent emissions reduction by USA is a modest start, and getting up to 25 percent renewable by 2025 would be another step, but if the world’s leading climate scientists are right, these by themselves won’t be enough to save us from catastrophic climate change Solar-energy developers already have projects under way to produce about 5,400 megawatts in three to five years, the Washington-based Solar Energy Industry Association trade group said. Solar power more than tripled in the past three years to 4,400 megawatts. Wind developers added 7,500 megawatts in 2008 to bring total generating capacity to 24,000 megawatts, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Projects in 2009 could fall by half without the right financial aid from Congress, said Denise Bode, the group’s chief executive. Renewable energy is very capital-intensive. The ability to mobilize that amount of megawatts is going to depend on how quickly financial institutions to support projects. American economy is in grip of recession and funding these projects needs huge investment from the industry for which the government support is necessary.
The move of President Obama is appreciable and welcome when compare with Bush administration but his success will depend on his leadership and the providing funds for the projects he undertakes. He should call for a summit on Climate change and tell the world that Americans are here to save PLANET EARTH from environmental problems.
What Obama has to do to reduce the climate change and global warming?
•Immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol of climate change, so that the world knows that world biggest polluter USA is taking action on climate change
•Reduce dependency on non renewable energy resources
•Increase dependence on renewable resources like Solar and Wind energies and more research should be done on reducing the per unit production of renewable energy.
•USA should give more funds to developing countries like India and China to reduce emissions
•There should be life style changes in the world to save the planet
•The principle tenants of sustainable development are the three “Rs”, reduce, reuse, recycle, which has to be followed by every citizen.

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