UNEP Highlights Energy, Climate Change, and Arctic Ice Melt
Reuters reports on the UNEP Year Book 2013 which highlights the cyclical nature of Arctic ice melt and fossil fuel extraction there. “What we are seeing is that the melting of ice is prompting a rush for exactly the fossil fuel resources that fuelled the melt in the first place,” said Achim Steiner, U.N. Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, according to the article.
Climate Change Denial, TV Weathermen, and Backlash
Climate change isn’t often the subject of TV weather forecasts, with the exception of it’s denial; but NPR reports that some TV weathermen are now utilizing their platform to engage in climate change education, and are prepared for the “backlash” that often ensues. Despite the negative reaction from some, the effects of improved climate education via TV weather forecasting are positive, says researcher Ed Maibach of George Mason University: “All of this is the kind of information that will help people, and help communities, make better decisions about how to adapt to a changing climate,” Maibach says.
Little Energy Gains in Tar Sands Oil
Inside Climate News reports that tar sands oil has an energy return on investment (EROI) of 5:1 for surface mining and 2.9:1 for oil extracted by steam injection. This compares to the 25:1 EROI of conventional oil resources. For every one unit of energy input into these processes, tar sands oil resources have a very low return on investment, and are therefore very energy-intensive to produce. Other researchers’ data suggest that the EROI of steam injection methods for tar sands are closer to a 1:1 ratio.
Carbon Trust Develops Water Standard
The BBC reports that Carbon Trust, an organization from the UK, has developed an international standard system for evaluating business water use and reduction. The standard takes into account water supply methods and rates of use, as well as effluent management. The Carbon Trust has also established standards for energy use and carbon footprint.
is an editorial intern for Circle of Blue based out of Traverse City, Michigan. She holds a BA in International Relations from Michigan State University’s James Madison College. Her interests include water pricing, environmental economics and policy, and conflict mediation.