yearsoflivingdangerously
It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here: The Carbon Budget (Infographic) via YearsOfLivingDangerously:

Here’s a look at the implications of exceeding the carbon budget via World Resources Institute
…
http://www.wri.org/ipcc-infographics

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here: The Carbon Budget (Infographic) 

via YearsOfLivingDangerously:

Here’s a look at the implications of exceeding the carbon budget via World Resources Institute

http://www.wri.org/ipcc-infographics

It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here: ‘China Starts Televising The Sunrise On Giant TV Screens Because Beijing Is So Clouded In Smog’
From The Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.

The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.
…

Serious air pollution plagues most major Chinese cities, where environmental protection has been long sacrificed for the sake of economic development. 

Coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution. In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.


Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:
China to boost renewable energy to curb air pollution, CCTV says (Bloomberg) 
How West’s throwaway culture destroys basic freedoms in China (The Guardian) 

It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here: ‘China Starts Televising The Sunrise On Giant TV Screens Because Beijing Is So Clouded In Smog’

From The Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.

The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.

Serious air pollution plagues most major Chinese cities, where environmental protection has been long sacrificed for the sake of economic development. 

Coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution. In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

From Xinhaunet:

China will proactively introduce a set of new taxation policies designed to preserve the environment, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, according to a senior official with the Ministry of Finance (MOF).


China is among the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gas and has set goals for cutting emissions. The government has vowed to reduce carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output, by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 in comparison to 2005 levels.


Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

• ‘China is getting serious about taming coal’ (Grist)


From Reuters:

The world’s urban areas will more than double in size by 2030, presenting an opportunity to build greener and healthier cities, a U.N. study showed on Monday. Simple planning measures such as more parks, trees or roof gardens could make cities less polluted and help protect plants and animals, especially in emerging nations led by China and India where city growth will be fastest, it said.

“Rich biodiversity can exist in cities and is extremely critical to people’s health and well-being,” wrote Thomas Elmqvist of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, scientific editor of the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook.

The world’s urban population is expected to surge from just over 3.5 billion now to 4.9 billion by 2030, according to the assessment by the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity. At the same time, the area to be covered by cities will expand by 150 percent, it said.

“Most of this growth is expected to happen in small and medium-sized cities, not in megacities,” according to the report, issued to coincide with a U.N. meeting on biodiversity in Hyderabad, India. More green spaces in cities can filter dust and pollution and soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Some studies have shown that the presence of trees can help reduce asthma and allergies for children living nearby, it said. And the study said that cities were also home to a wide range of animals and plants.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

(Photo: The High Line)

My plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And in this election, you can do something about it.

From The Globe & Mail:

This fall, Vancouver city workers will start planting some 3,000 trees, the first of the planned 150,000 called for in the city’s 2011 Greenest City Action Plan.

The cost for the first batch of trees – to be planted on both private and city-owned land – is $650,000 of the city’s budget of about $1-billion. The investment is geared to more than shade and eye appeal. Vancouver, like other cities around the world, is looking to its urban forest for benefits ranging from energy savings to pollution control.

While such benefits have long been acknowledged, technology is making it easier to measure them – in the process, helping to build a business case for greenery.

“It’s getting easier to quantify the environmental services provided by trees, because there are programs that we have been able to plug into that give us that information,” said Beth McEwen, manager of urban forest renewal with the City of Toronto, which in 2005 announced plans to boost its tree canopy from about 20 per cent to 40 per cent over the next 50 years.

Toronto used i-Tree – software developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service – for a 2010 report, Every Tree Counts, which mapped the city’s tree cover and calculated what role trees played in, for example, reducing air pollution. Vancouver will be testing the software this fall, but has not done a cost-benefit analysis of its tree-planting target. Still, the city considers it a solid investment.

“There are social and economic benefits – including cleaner air, habitat for wildlife, increased property values and neighbourhood pride, to name a few,” Ms. Blyth said.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo: Open File)

From Reuters:

China will plough $372 billion into energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years, part of a drive to cut energy consumption by 300 million tonnes of standard coal, the country’s cabinet said Tuesday.

The central government’s drive to reduce China’s insatiable appetite for fossil fuels is aimed at improving the country’s future energy security, and is a central plank of its policy to slow down growth in greenhouse gas emissions.

China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, plans to cut its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

Seven Chinese cities and provinces will launch CO2 emissions trading schemes over the next two years ahead of a national scheme later in the decade, as China seeks to move away from traditional command-and-control measures to combat spiraling carbon emissions.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

(Photo source: Reve)

From CBC:

The average gas mileage of new cars and trucks in the U.S. will have to nearly double by 2025 under regulations that were finalized Tuesday by the Obama administration.

The new rules will require the fleet of new cars and trucks to average 54.5 miles per U.S. gallon (4.3 litres/100 km) in 13 years, up from 28.6 mpg (8.22 l/100 km) at the end of last year.

The regulations will bring dramatic changes to the cars and trucks in U.S. showrooms and drive automakers to introduce new technology to make vehicles cleaner and more efficient.

The Obama administration says the changes will save families more than $1.7 trillion US in fuel costs and bring an average savings of $8,000 over the lifetime of a new vehicle sold in 2025. The standards also are the biggest step the U.S. government has ever taken toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said.

The 54.5 mpg standard came from the Obama administration’s quest to cut carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half by 2025. The gas mileage is what’s needed to make that cut.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Infographic source: NRDC)

My two bits: Building cities and towns where getting around by foot, bike, and transit is both easy and enjoyable is obviously a big piece of the puzzle. But, given that tens of millions of people currently depend on cars for transport this is a significant development. It’s also encouraging to see Obama putting forward an firm, demand-side solution to reduce both fossil fuel energy consumption and climate change pollution.