April 26, 2006
The Nuclear Energy Industry Gains PR Team
Source: The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), April 23, 2006
With help from the PR firm Hill & Knowlton, the industry group Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) launched the "Clean and Safe Energy Coalition." NEI is fully funding the group and paying its spokespeople, former Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Todd Whitman (who now heads the lobbying firm Whitman Strategy Group) and Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore (who now heads the PR firm Greenspirit Strategies). NEI's Steve Kerekes said the new group will allow NEI to provide "a unifying platform that supporters of nuclear energy can add their voices to." The group was launched two days before the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Like NEI, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition says that "nuclear power is clean, emitting none of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming," and "new nuclear plants could provide the 50 percent boost in energy supplies the government projects are needed by 2025 without cramping lifestyles."
See how effective this can be! Wash Post nuclear energy article
Greening the American Lawn: Engine Manufacturer Blocks Catalytic Converters for Lawnmower Engines
Despite EPA's study documenting that lawnmower emissions can be safely regulated Non Road Engine Safety Study and the National Research Council study documenting the wisdom of California's regulation of mobile sources including its plan to regulate lawnmower emissions NRC Study, the engine manufacturer resists installing catalytic converters on its engines. The manufacturer has already succeeded in having federal legislation delaying the California standards for these studies and eliminating the ability of other states to adopt those standards. The news coverage given this issue by the NYTimes may help those of us who prefer not to inhale air pollution and create smog as they mow their lawns. NYTimes article
Latest Global Climate Forecast: 1.5 - 6.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century
Two new statistical studies that combine data sets cast doubt on soaring upper limits for projected climate change (of 9-11 degrees) during this century while eliminating any remaining doubt that there will be substantial warming. Climate modeler Gabriele Hegerl reports in this week's issue of Nature a 5% probability that climate change will be is less than 1.5 C and a 95% chance that it is less than 6.2 C. A similar study published by Annan and Hargreaves in Geophysical Research Letters found the same lower limit of 1.5 C and a 95% upper limit of 4.5 C. This matches the long-standing estimate of 1.5-4.5 C.
These studies should not be misinterpreted. They match the long-standing IPCC estimates of projected increase in mean global temperature. The studies also do not address another issue -- recent studies suggest that global ecosystems are reacting more abruptly to a given amount of climate change than we had anticipated.
US Lags World Public Opinion in Recognizing Global Warming as Problem
Link: World Public Opinion.
On average 92% of the people in 30 countries believe climate change or global warming is a serious problem and 65% believe it is a very serious problem. Only three countries have less than 80% who consider it serious (the US 76%, South Africa 72%, and Kenya 65%).
In no country, other than the US, do more than one in five say that climate change is not a serious problem.
In 23 countries a majority says that global warming is a “very serious” problem. On average, 65 percent say that it is a very serious problem. The only countries where this is not a majority position are six developing countries (China 39%, Indonesia 44%, Kenya 44%, South Africa 44%, Philippines 46%, Nigeria 47%,) and the US (49%).
Of 16 countries polled in 2003 as well as 2005, the percentage saying the problem is very serious increased from 49% to 61%. In four countries it was relatively unchanged: China (with 39% very serious), India (65%), Mexico (67%), and Brazil (78%). China and India, interestingly, are two countries where the government has opposed committing to take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions.