Climate Change; Whales and Wind Energy
ICSUSA Article April 2017 - New England had about 795 ships of the 900 in the world dedicated to this slaughter. There were tens of thousands of people involved in this industry. With few whales remaining, and voyages lasting up to 2 years or more before returning to port with whale oil, the whole industry collapsed. American business, and the workers in this trade, went through a wrenching transition to a new economy. An industrial era was emerging based on petroleum, gas, and eventually electricity and required workers to learn new skills as opportunities developed elsewhere. Today the U.S. economy is going through major changes again. Robotics used in manufacturing has displaced many workers and now a major transition is happening in the area of energy supply. Automation and robotics used in the production of coal and oil has increased output significantly, at a lower unit cost, and requires far less workers.
Climate Change and An Earlier Energy Transformation
ICSUSA Article March 2017 - In 1900, New York City had approximately 120,000 horses hauling people and goods around the streets of the city as “The Big Apple”, as it is now known, went about its daily business. Based on simple biology the horses in NYC alone delivered over 2 million pounds of manure per day on the city streets; every day. This horse power required livery stables, hundreds of blacksmith shops, wagon sales and repair businesses, wheelwright shops and hundreds more stores dealing in saddles, harnesses, hay, grain and more. . . .When we consider this, it was an amazing transformation to our economy and way of doing business. The dislocations to people, businesses, employees and other aspects of commerce at that time were huge. It was definitely a “climate change” as odors, flies, many diseases and related issues went away. . .
Climate Change: Strawberry or Watermelon Ice?
ICSUSA Article February 2017 - In a peer review paper published in Nature Communications in December 2016, a team of geobiologists from Germany and Britain collected samples from 16 glaciers across the Arctic. They found that the algae was widespread and that the normally green algae turned red upon exposure to ultraviolet rays; a kind of natural sunscreen which also happens to absorb heat . . . This inter-connectness of increasing global temperatures, decreased ice extent in the Arctic, increased amount of open water, algae blooms that absorb solar energy, and more, all work together to change Earth’s climate. And it is changing.
Volcanos and Climate Change: It’s All in the Numbers
ICSUSA Article January 2017 - This science is well understood and accepted by the rest of the world. At the Climate Conference in Marrakesh in November, 2016, 195 nations including the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to reduce GHG emissions. See photo “We Will Move Ahead” taken at the conclusion of that meeting [courtesy COP22]. The goal is still to try to limit Earth’s temperature rise below 3.6°F [we are already plus 2°F higher than long term average]. So what can be done? There is a lot happening right now to reduce emissions. We are beginning to see a convergence of technologies, business opportunities, cost reductions, and policy leadership at the state and local level that all combine to begin the changeover from fossil fuels to renewables.