Stephen Leahy, International Environmental Journalist

Discovering Global Environmental Interconnections

Posts Tagged ‘climate change facts

Fossil Fuel Industry Kings of Corporate Welfare

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This graphic from GOOD magazine shows who gets the bulk of the enormous US energy subsidies. Many subsidies are hidden and difficult to estimate and this attempt looks to be low according to the experts I’ve interviewed for various articles (cited below). The graphic also doesn’t include subsidies for nuclear which are equally enormous.  — Stephen

The enormous fossil fuel subsidies are rarely acknowledged when complaints are raised about costs of renewable energy. This report shown below says subsidies for fossil fuel are 12X that for green energy but this is a gross underestimate based on the experts I’ve interviewed in June for this article Free Ride for Oil and Coal Industry May Be Over.

Subsidies experts in Switzerland told me that “two-billion-dollars-a-day public subsidy for carbon-based fuels is a very conservative estimate..”

In reality big oil and coal get more like 20X the money green energy. So let’s do some real pricing: electricity from coal 5 cents kWh X 20 for subsidies (not to mention free use of the atmosphere /environment for its CO2, mercury etc waste products.) Corporate welfare at its best.

A few of the many articles I’ve written on the subject of energy subsidies:

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are 12X (more like 20X) Support for Renewables, Study Shows

Every Day Governments Give an Estimated $2 billion to Oil, Coal & Gas Industry

Oil Companies and Special Interests Spend Half a Billion Dollars to Defeat US Clean Energy – Study

Nuclear Power Costs Skyrocket, Cost of Renewables Plummet

Is Rio Earth Summit 2.0 Doomed to Fail?

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By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Mar 7, 2011 (IPS)

Timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the Rio 2012 Summit hopes to recapture the optimism of that earlier era.

At the June 2012 Rio Summit it is hoped countries will agree on policies to move toward a green economy from the present “brown” economic system driven by fossil fuel energy and the serial depletion and degradation of natural resources and ecosystems. A green economy promises to bring good jobs, clean energy and water while ensuring a more sustainable and fairer use of resources.

“If we continue on our current path, we will bequeath material and environmental poverty, not prosperity, to our children and grandchildren,” said Rio 2012 Secretary-General Sha Zukang.

“Rio 2012 will be one of the most important events in the coming decades,” Zukang said

Read the rest of this entry »

April Heat Wave and Drought Breaks European Records

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From the coldest December ever recorded to the warmest, driest April  Britain is just one of the countries being whipsawed by extreme weather. Normally wet Scotland is experiencing rare wildfires outbreaks this week. Europe’s wheat crop is at high risk due to very hot and dry temps.

My recent science articles explaining why weather extremes are becoming more common:

Why Our Weather is Weird ‘n Wild and Why It Is Getting Worse

The Yin and Yang of Climate Extremes We Will See More of

Will Year of Climate Extremes End Without Progress on Tackling Climate Change?

10 Years in the Amazon: The Forest Vanishes Before Your Eyes

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Amazon Forest 2000 - The state of Rondônia in western Brazil

The state of Rondônia in western Brazil — once home to 208,000 square kilometers of forest (about 51.4 million acres), an area slightly smaller than the state of Kansas — has become one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon. In the past three decades, clearing and degradation of the state’s forests have been rapid: 4,200 square kilometers cleared by 1978; 30,000 by 1988; and 53,300 by 1998. By 2003, an estimated 67,764 square kilometers of rainforest—an area larger than the state of West Virginia—had been cleared. Source: Amazon Deforestation – NASA

See also: Amazon Drought Accelerating Climate Change   The REAL Amazon-gate: On the Brink of Collapse Reveals Million $ Study

Amazon Forest 2010 - The state of Rondônia in western Brazil

Written by Stephen

04/05/2011 at 8:12 am

Tips for Climate-Safe Living on Earth Day

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Take time to be outside today and think about everything that nature provides:  air, water, plants and animals that sustain us. Such gifts should not be taken lightly because with our numbers and powerful technologies we are ‘the bull in nature’s china shop’.

We need to take great care and practice Climate-safe Living.

1. Reduce.

Reduce fossil fuel consumption everywhere.

2. Eliminate.

Eliminate all non-essential activities and products that involve burning fossil fuels.

3. Demand.

Demand that business and government provide transport, activities and products that use minimize fossil fuel use.

Reduce. Eliminate. Demand. R.E.D.

May you always cherish this Earth and share in her joys.

Stephen

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