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Unintended Emissions of Methane – Dangerous Secret Lurks in Natural Gas Use

There are huge risks from unintended emissions of methane. Read on to find out about the dangerous global warming secret which lurks in our natural gas use, everywhere.

There has been a lot said about the climate change and polluting effects of coal and oil. It’s true that in comparison natural gas has many advantages in terms of it’s clean burning characteristics, and lower carbon dioxide output per unit of heat. But, unfortunately as natural gas use has increased the risk of accidental emissions has increased, there is no room for complacency. It certainly, isn’t a climate-change fighting cure-all to simply use fossil fuel generated natural gas.

We are talking about, leaks in natural gas pipes everywhere which come about from everything from:

  • large distribution gas pipeline bursts,
  • to you at your gas-hob when you are slow to light the flame.


Methane leakage in the context of global warming has only recently caught public attention. In addition to greater awareness in business and policy circles, significant efforts are required to identify economically viable leak detection and repair programs.

Currently, the industry standard to detect methane leaks include high-sensitivity but high-cost sensors, or low-cost but low-sensitivity infrared cameras.

There is an immediate need to develop techniques that can be used to cost-effectively detect leaks over large areas (e.g. thousands of squared miles). From a regulatory perspective, EPA has released proposed regulations to limit methane leaks from the oil and gas industry.

Currently, methane leaks occur at all stages of the natural gas infrastructure – from production and processing, transmission to distribution lines in major cities.

While the global warming effects of higher methane concentrations are fairly well understood, there is currently little consensus on the magnitude of emissions from the natural gas infrastructure.

Facing Up to Unintended Natural Gas Emissions

Addressing these unreported emissions is critical to responsibly planning the transition to a clean energy future.

Scientists estimate that if methane leakage from natural gas well sites exceeds 3.2 percent, gas becomes a worse contributor to global warming than coal.

Given that studies are now estimating leakage rates of 2.3 percent to 17 percent in some areas of the US, there is most likely a real problem with these emissions.  via

For example, a recent study found that the average methane loss in all distribution pipelines around Boston was about 2.7%, significantly higher than the 1.1% reported in inventory estimates to the EPA. Another study that was published in the academic journal, Science, showed that various independent measurements of methane leakage rate across the US infrastructure varied from about 1% to over 6%.

Climate Benefits of Switching from Coal to Natural Gas Fired Power Plants

Climate benefits of switching from coal to natural gas fired power plants critically depend on this leakage rate.

A literature review of simulated non-FF emissions, observational data description, additional box-model and 3D-model results, and comparison of GHG emissions impacts from NG and coal power generation using global warming potentials is available. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

This article seeks to contribute to the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) by considering the role that tax policy can play in helping to meet commitments under the Kyoto accord.

The author first provides a general justification for environmental taxes and tax incentives to address environmental challenges, examining different rationales for these tax measures and their implications for the design of environmental taxes and tax incentives.

He then reviews existing and potential tax measures in Canada and other developed countries that are directed at the problem of global warming, considering their likely effectiveness to reduce GHG emissions or enhance carbon sinks that remove GHGs from the earth’s atmosphere.

Tax Measures Which can Assist to Reduce Climate Change

Returning to the CCAP, the author suggests ways in which tax measures can contribute to each of the areas for which action is proposed under the plan:

(1) transportation;

(2) housing and commercial/institutional buildings;

(3) large industrial emitters (including renewable energy and cleaner fossil fuels);

(4) small and medium-sized enterprises and fugitive emissions; (5) agriculture, forestry, and landfills; and (6) international emission reductions.

Finally, he offers general conclusions on the role of tax policy in reducing global warming.

The proposed Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act sets out a tariff of fuel levies for the period from 2018 to 2022 which covers a range of liquid fuels (e.g. gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, methanol, petroleum coke), gaseous fuels (e.g. natural gas, propane, butane, ethane, gas liquids) and solid fuels (e.g. coal, coke, combustible waste).

Rates are set based on global warming potential factors and emission factors, such that they are equivalent to $10/tCO2e in 2018, increasing by $10 annually to $50/tCO2e by 2022.

Why we Should be Concerned About Fugitive Emissions of Natural Gas

A maximum Global Warming of 1.5C was considered the most which would be tolerable by society

A preparatory summit for the next COP 24 in Korea between representatives of the 195 signatory states of the Paris Agreement and the IPCC. In one of the secondary documents that were published at the end of COP 23, the IPCC was asked to evaluate the global impact of climate change, if global temperatures had increased by 1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial period and to delineate the possible emission scenarios to reach the goal.

The IPCC has fulfilled the mandate received and has prepared a report that has been submitted to the approval of the signatory states of the Paris Agreement, so that it can constitute the scientific base to support the decisions of the next Conference of the Parties in Katowice.

The report shows that the 1.5 ° C increase in global temperature will already occur in 2040 on the basis of the accepted projections.

Why is Methane So Damaging as a Global Warming Gas

Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas (GHG) than carbon dioxide (CO2); it has 34 times the global warming potential of CO2 over a 100-year time frame, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR5 report.

Reductions in methane emissions today will help to slow the short-term rate of global temperature rise, as methane remains in the atmosphere for a much shorter time than CO2.

The Obama Clean Power Plan has Been Repealed by President Trump

The success of the Clean Power Plan was implemented by the US Obama administration to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But, even those regulations to curb methane leaks, which were already fairly mild in their influence have been abandoned by the Trump administration.

We now have a better estimate of fugitive emissions (leaks) of methane from the US natural gas infrastructure.

Concurrently, there should be a greater focus on developing cost-effective programs to detect and repair such leaks. It was recently reported that replacing old pipelines with newer ones in the gas distribution network in a city is effective in reducing leaks, and improving public safety.

With a considerably higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide, methane has the potential to erode the climate benefits earned by switching from high emitting coal plants to low emitting natural gas power plants.

Ensuring that does happen will take a coordinated effort and commitment from both the industry and government agencies.

See more about the repeal of the Clean Power Plan via


The last two centuries have witnessed a soaring increase in atmospheric concentrations of GHGs. Human activities such as industry, agriculture, deforestation, waste disposal and especially unprecedented use of fossil fuel have been producing increasing amounts of GHGs.

For example, the concentrations of CO2 increased from approximately 280 part per million by volume (ppmv) in pre-industrial age to 372 ppmv in 2001 and has continued to increase at about 0.5% per year (IPCC, 2007) whereas current CH4 atmospheric concentration is going up at a rate 0.02 ppmv per year.

This is a serious matter for all of us. What can any individual so about this?

Be aware, and add your vote to all local and international climate change reduction measures whenever you have the opportunity.

Say Sorry to Our Children and Begin Climate Change Emergency Preparations

It is very nearly time to say sorry to our children and begin climate change emergency preparations. Don’t believe it? Then read on:

Man has been living a more comfortable life than ever before. But, at the expense of the environment. It has gotten so bad now that it’s time to start saying sorry…

We want more, for ourselves and future generations. But he has become greedy to the point of wanting more than what Mother Nature can afford. 2.5 planets more to put a figure on it!

The environmental disasters that are reported in different countries almost every day should serve as a wake up call to humanity. We must now be more considerate of the environment. Mother Nature may be generous but she is also becoming very angry and vindictive. She has reached the saturation point.

Recent Climate Disasters – Are we Beginning a Climate Change Emergency

The strong typhoon, earthquake, soil erosion leading to the collapse of residential areas are just some of the common disasters that are actually caused by men. Illegal logging, the throwing of industrial wastes in the rivers, increased used of un-biodegradable materials like plastics are only among the few sins mankind has committed against nature.

Evidence will point out to the fact that environmental retribution will most likely behold mankind soon and he should be prepared for a major disaster brought about by climate change anytime now or in the future.

Greenhouse Effect Increasingly Warming the Atmosphere as Methane and Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Rise

The issue on the greenhouse effect is not just propaganda in order for environmentalist groups to earn their funding requirement. Global warming is upon us and this can be gleamed from the major environmental changes like too much heat, too much cold and other phenomenon that mankind is faced with.

But no matter what mankind does now, he can ever revert global warming; he can only delay or reduce it.

So, its time to start saying sorry to our children and all future generations.

Stop! Don’t Waste Time Saying Sorry Act to Combat and Alleviate the Negative Effects

What is important is mankind knows the possible effects of climate change and what can be done to alleviate the negative effects.

Climate change will now lead to emergencies like the increasing level of the sea water, ferocious forest fires and other manifestations. World leaders must now have emergency programs that they will implement to make sure that lives are not lost and properties are not wasted.

The first thing to do is to launch a massive information campaign to make the whole world aware of what is happening in the environment as a result of climate change. People should know what to expect in terms of the possible environmental disasters as well as the possible diseases that may be caused by climate change.

The best emergency preparation kit for people all over the world is knowledge. Knowledge on what is about to befall them once the effects of climate change becomes manifest in our environment would help societies lessen the brunt of the anger of Mother Nature.

Every country should say SORRY!

The world must must also prepare for emergencies brought about by climate change. Even the first world countries that have all the technology would have a hard time facing this disaster. How much more the third world countries that are not even past the problem of providing food resources for their citizens?

Sorry, but every household should now be taught how to prepare for climate change emergencies.

They should no longer rely on their governments to see them through the effects of climate change. Once it happens, unless we act RIGHT NOW, there is a possibility that even governments will become overwhelmed.

Everyone has to act now. That or just “say sorry”, and see how much that helps! They do not have a choice.

Global Environmental Stewardship – Truths About Environmental Damage

The truth about environmental damage in the UK, and the possibility that the gaping hole in the world’s ability to achieve a sustainable global environmental stewardship can be filled.

In current times it has been accepted by researchers, and since 2015 by all the global governments that voted to support the Paris Climate Change Agreement, that environment modification and man-induced emissions are triggering enormous environmental modifications throughout the world.

The 10 most hottest years measured to have ever occurred worldwide, using records started in 1994 and onwards with substantial CO2 concentrations increasing significantly have been in recent years.

CO2 from business sector is accountable for 40% of the UK’s overall CO2 emissions, with other major carbon emitters being our homes/ home heating, agriculture and transport.

If the climate change agreement fails and we  do not successfully take almost instant action to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, the worldwide “typical temperature levels” might raise as much as 5.8 centigrade greater than average by the end of the century.

This will lead to destructive results on human society and the natural surroundings. Researchers have actually produced forecasts which suggest that this environmental modification will result in wildly increased dry spells, and more severe rains. These will have a significant impact on farming specifically the worst in susceptible under-industrialized nations worldwide.

Business organisations are among the primary sources of these harmful greenhouse gas emissions which recently have actually been targeted by government legislation in many countries to take on environment modification consisting of a levy put on using energy by the large energy consuming companies.

Ecological good practise requires all companies to guarantee their work activities do not damage the environment. if they do and pollution is the result, the polluter will have to pay for the cleaning up work.

But, it is not always a picture of worsening global environmental stewardship. Since, 2002/ 03 when the UK produced around 68 millions tonnes of waste annually, the waste which has been sent to landfill has dropped massively due to recycling and the application of the “waste treatment hierarchy”. Now the tonnages going to non-hazardous landfills are down to no more than about 20%, and yet in the early 2000s government reports indicated that, without action to raise recycling and waste prevention & reuse, the figure would have increased to 85 million tonnes by 2020.

The UK Environment Agency approximates figures which suggest that there were over 25,000 contamination incidents in a recent year. These impact air, land and water in the UK every year. With 1,100 incidents recorded has having a substantially severe effect on the environment, most of us should be worried. Industry/ businesses was said to be liable for over half of the major reported contamination events in 2015.

45% of the something like, 68 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste produced in the UK in has been recycled in recent years. The UK is nevertheless on course to fulfill its target set by Government for minimizing the quantity of hazardous waste sent out to landfill which is now running at a low 15% (in the 2010s?) compared with 1998 recorded figures.

To avoid more damage to the environment businesses should end up being accountable for all their environmental management actions. This will consist of recycling as much waste produced as possible, saving energy, lowering waste to landfill and minimizing CO2 emissions produced by your business’s activities.

In my next short article I will broaden on exactly what a business has to carry out in more information to satisfy their legal requirements in ecological management. If you are interested or worried about exactly what your company can do to handle ecological concerns at work, please don’t hesitate to utilize my posts as assistance on ways to handle ecological problems.

Dolphin Extinction Is Possible – Ancient Dolphin-like Ichthyosaurs Wiped Out Once Before

There has been a lot written so far in 2016 about dolphin extinction and climate change. The evidence from the past is clear. The ancient dolphin-like Ichthyosaurs were wiped out once before.

I don’t know about you, but I find dolphins to be some of the most remarkable animals, for their intelligence, and highly developed social behaviours in their family groups. But, not least is their ability to touch the hearts of so many of the people that come into contact with them.

I would find the idea that climate change might cause changes in the global marine ecosystem, which would badly affect their ability to survive and lead to dolphin extinction, as unthinkable, and yet there is cause for concern, because something very similar has happened before..

Dolphin-like Reptile Wiped Out By Previous Climate Change Events

If dolphin extinction occurred human interaction as shown in this image of a woman kissing a dolphin would become impossible.

For mankind to lose the companionship of dolphins like this is unthinkable.

Prehistoric global warming wiped out the ichthyosaur, a toothy, dolphin-like reptile that disappeared from Earth’s oceans tens of millions of years before the last dinosaurs.

Palaeontologists have long scratched their heads over the abrupt disappearance of these apex predators, sometimes called sea dragons, after an impressive 157-million-year deep-sea reign.

They were a successful family of marine reptiles – widespread and with many genetically diverse sub-species, which is generally a portender of future success.

Some scientists have thought that ichthyosaurs may have been beaten in a competition for food and living space by rival reptiles or fish, or that their prey itself had gone extinct.

Recently (during 2015), a European team of researchers said they had solved the mystery by comparing the fossil history of ichthyosaurs with geological records of climate change.

The creatures were wiped out in two phases, they said, finally disappearing at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous period, about 100 million years ago, when their physical evolution could not keep up with planetary change.

“At that time, the Earth’s poles were essentially ice-free, and sea levels were much higher than today,” said a statement by University of Oxford researchers who took part in the study.

Rising temperatures and sea levels likely affected food availability, migratory routes, competitor numbers and birthing places, said the team, “probably occurring in conjunction to drive ichthyosaurs to extinction”.

The last of the land dinosaurs disappeared about 65 million years ago, followed by the rise of the mammals.

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.via Climate change wiped out dolphin-like reptile

The onset of modern climate change events are likely to be at least as rapid as in the past, and the more advanced species may take longer to physically adapt. However, it seems that before climate change can even have an affect scientists are warning that massively reduced fish stocks in one of the world’s major rivers is causing dolphins a problem already.

Mekong Dolphin Extinction, Hydropower and Climate Change


Source :

The construction of Hydropower Dams on the main stream and on the main tributaries of the Mekong River will create a devastating domino effect. Dams will significantly reduce fish reproductive success, which will impact on fisheries and biodiversity. This is because dams will effectively block fish migration routes and access to spawning grounds for fish and other aquatic species. This, in turn, will impact enormously on the economy of Vietnam and Cambodia through the loss of fisheries revenue.

The Don Sahong Dam in Southern Laos, is located in the worse possible place in the Mekong River: not only will it be on a geological fault line, and thus exposed to tremors that can make it collapse with disastrous effects for downstream communities. But, it is also blocking the Hou Sahong Channel, the most important year-round fish migration channel in this area of the Mekong River.

Scientists for the Mekong offer this article to inform the public, the delegates at COP21, and decision-makers worldwide about the impacts of hydropower development on the Lower Mekong River, and the serious repercussions for 60 million people in SE Asia. This article provides an overview of the many significant environmental and social impacts of hydropower dams on the Mekong River basin. via Mekong Dolphin Extinction, Hydropower and Climate Change

Which leaves us with the following thought, which we found, posted on Reddit:

Dolphins probably wouldn’t be so friendly and cute with us if they knew we were behind the climate and other environmental changes.

via Dolphins probably wouldn’t be so friendly and cute … Showerthoughts

Hurricane Katrina: Worsened by Climate Change?

While writing so soon after the event it is too early for those in the US to begin to look a the wider realities of climate change, into which Katrina may be giving us a glimpse. Those of us in the UK can begin to analyse a worrying trend in hurricane intensity which it appears is emerging, while offering our deepest felt condolences to all those involved and touched by this event.

Discussion of concern that hurricane intensity increases due to global warming may have accentuated Hurricane Katrina and the damage to Saint Louis and surrounding areas, can only highlight the fact that researchers have been warning of this likelihood for some time.

The most often quoted research into hurricane activity is that carried out by Kerry Emanuel for the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA. His paper “Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years” recently published, (Letters / Nature v.436, 4aug2005).

This paper suggests that there has been a very significant increase in hurricane intensity over the past 10 to 15 years, and that this effect is corroborated by the climate change data which shows warming effects in the region.

“My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential, and – taking into account an increasing coastal population – a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century.”

The main cause of increased hurricane intensity is higher sea temperatures, in this case in the Gulf of Mexico. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is dedicated to researching ocean temperature and currents and how these effect climate.

Intelligent Optimism Wins In Today’s World

Eileen McDarghEileen McDarghEileen McDargh

The reality of today’s world seems to leave little room for optimism. Almost every news story can lead because it does bleed. We hear of critical food shortages in Africa, daily gang deaths on city streets, the profiteering from child pornography, and the climatic disasters prompted by global warming. Health care costs move up faster than a hummingbird in flight and more children now spout profanities as a regular part of speech. With such negativity, no wonder a 2004 U.S. government survey found that depression afflicts one in 10 adults 14 days a month or more.

You probably get depressed just reading the opening paragraph. But wait! There is hope. Not the cock-eyed optimism that became fodder for a song from the musical South Pacific, but rather what psychologists in France are calling “intelligent optimism.” Such optimism does not deny the reality of today’s world, but rather seeks to LEARN how to fashion a life amid such difficulties. Martin Seligman, the psychologist who had made optimism and happiness his life’s work, would agree with the French: optimism can be taught.

Consider these basic steps:

(1) Focus on what you can control. Don’t get carried away by circumstances you cannot change. You might not change global warming but you can control your energy consumption. You can’t stop the downsizing in your company but you can arm yourself with marketable skills.

(2) Reframe the event so that you are not a victim. There is always another way to view a situation. The flight cancellation that caused me to miss (and forfeit) a major engagement was not “planned” to “get” me. It just was. My choice is to figure out what I can do to help the current client and what I will put in the place of the cancelled work.

(3) Think “enough”. When we concentrate on what we don’t have, we miss all the many things we do have. The truth of the matter is that if you are reading this article, you do have enough computer power. You do have enough intelligence. You do have enough time.

(4) Cultivate optimistic responses. Like a farmer tending a field, optimism will never grow unless it is watered, fed, weeded and nourished. We all have days in which negativity can take over. And, sometimes, that is a WISE response because it keeps us grounded in reality. Just make sure it is reality and not the imagination making extraordinary leaps into conjecture. Weed out that conjecture. Ask what you can DO to see a result that gives you a sense of power. If we don’t cultivate such intelligent optimism, be aware of reality and willing to find options, then we might do what Alexander Graham Bell warned. “Stare so long at the closed door we fail to see the one that is opening.”

(5) Remember the power of generations. Children of depressed parents are more prone to depression. Children of optimists are more prone to be optimists. What do you choose to pass along? Even if your parents were negative, you can break the cycle with stopping, freeze-framing a situation, listening to the negative self talk, and then literally giving yourself a different message. Yes, this takes practice but you can make it a habit if you work it over time.

Ultimately, intelligent optimists understand that change and chaos are given. They know that “this too shall pass”. In the meantime, they CHOOSE to take whatever action they can within their own sphere of influence and then settle back. It is enough.

(c) 2005, McDargh Communications. Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

Named by Executive Excellence Magazine as one of the top 100 thought leaders in business, Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE authored one of the first books on work/life balance. Numerous books and articles later, Eileen serves the meetings industry as a popular international keynoter and on the Board of Directors of the National Speakers Association. You can find products and services offered by Eileen at .

Article source: Free Articles

Global Warming Issues are in your Hands

By: David Yuri, written on: 2006-08-30

There has been a lot of talk on the subject of global warming issues. Specialists believe that human activities in the past 50 years have given a negative boost to climate change. After a long series of tests and chart observations, it seems that the primary culprit for global warming is the emission of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide). These gases have altered the composition of the atmosphere and raised the planet’s temperature with almost 1?C since 1950.

Image shows a discussion about global warming issues.

Click to enlarge this image.

The problem is not that these gases exist. They have always been in the atmosphere, but there is a major increase in their concentration. The planet started to heat up and the climate change appeared simultaneously with the beginning of industrial revolution. Then, at the start of a new era, the concentrations of carbon dioxide increased with nearly 30%, methane almost doubled and nitrous oxide with 15% making global warming a serious, even deadly matter.

These figures are truly concerning due to the fact that we rely on fossil fuels to drive, to heat and to power factories not thinking of the harsh reality: burned fossil fuels are the main reason for the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to global warming issues and accelerating the rate of climate change.

Still, the combustion of fuel is not the only one to blame for global warming. Researchers consider that the development of agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production and mining are also to blame. Each one of them has ‘helped’ induce large, global, abrupt climate change leading to a warmer planet, making it more difficult for us to live.

The statistics in climate change are frightening. Almost 98% of the greenhouses emissions are due to pollution and it is no surprise that the most powerful and rich country (U.S) on the continent is mainly responsible for global warming. 1998 has been declared the warmest year on record and scientists are concerned that the snow cover in northern hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. Do we really pay enough attention to the climate change and do we want the planet to become too warm for us to live in?

We are all threatened by this sudden climate change. The global warming issues is not a joke and we should start paying more attention to it. Not only wildlife, forests and coastal areas are vulnerable to the climate change that the greenhouse gas may bring, but also water resources, animals and most important our health.

What should we expect from global warming? First of all, a change that will have a major impact on the way we live will be a warmer weather. Climate change will appear in the form of increased precipations worldwide, with acid rainfalls that will damage the natural habitat, with more frequent and intense storms that will build up and result in powerful hurricanes. And this is just the top of the ‘iceberg’ called global warming. The hurricanes will be stronger than usual with greater devastating powers.

The population of the globe should be taught more about these greenhouse gases that are held responsible for climate change and more specific, global warming. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when wood, fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and solid waste are burned. Methane is emitted during the production and transport of oil, gas and coal, but it also results from decomposition of solid, organic waste. Nitrous oxide is the product of: agricultural and industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste. So, do we still have to wonder why these greenhouse gases have such a strong impact on climate change?

Unfortunately, there are not many options to reduce the effects of global warming. Lately, in order to predict climate change, specialists have put up what is called an emission inventory which registers the quantity of air pollutants in the atmosphere. It also establishes the identity of the polluting agent (chemical/physical), the geographic area covered, the time period over which emissions are appreciated and the type of activities that cause the emissions. This way, the scientific community is making an effort to reduce the serious consequences of global warming.

Another solution for the problem of global warming is recycling. It started years ago in powerful and well developed states and it is a novelty for poor, undergoing transition states that are struggling to survive. But, slowly, people all over the world are learning about the strong effects of recycling newspapers, plastic, glass, metal. It is a healthy action that makes the world a better place. By recycling, we not only help ourselves, but also the forests, crop yields and water supplies which are severely affected by climate change. We also keep in mind the animals and the ecosystems – another sector badly damaged by climate change. We make the difference.

Global warming affects everybody. That is why we must fight against our self destruction and life’s in general. Fight for your planet, don’t let the climate change affect the environment in an irrecoverable manner, keep in mind that Earth’s eco systems are sensitive and must be treated with care, and you will have a future!

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Knowledge about our environment, global warming issues and the way we influence the climate change is the key to how our world will look like in the future. You have to have the power to change things and make them better.

Bottled Water – Is It Really So Cool?

bottled water and climate change effectWritten by Steve Last

Bottled water just looks so refreshing on the supermarket shelves, and huge quantities are sold. But are we deluding ourselves to think that it is better than tap-water, and what are the health and environmental (including climate change) consequences?

I am sure that when most of us pick up a bottle of water in the supermarket we think that we are buying a purer and healthier product than we would be getting if we drank from the tap. But, is that really true, or are we all falling for the perception of superior health and purity which the bottled spring-water marketers would like us to believe?

A group of experts in the UK thinks that EU tap-water is best. They have gone on record to point out that tap-water in European Union, where the drinking water supplied by our water utility companies is all regulated under the same very high standards set by EU Directives, is better monitored and regulated than bottled water, and is likely to be better for you.

While it is true that EU Regulations do now also set quality standards for all bottled water, there are still no rigourous labelling requirements. Bottled water labelling is insufficent to enable people to judge for themselves from a standardised set of information, whether the bottle they drink is either purer or less so than tap water, or indeed how it compares with other similar products.

Also, when it comes to considering purity it should be noted that the purest water is distilled water, but nobody suggests that distilled water is the healthiest. When compiling the EU Drinking Water standards this was recognised, and as a result water sources which do not, are improved. For example, for healthier living the water we drink should contain a certain amount of calcium, so very “soft” waters are improved during the treatment stage by the addition of recognised healthy minimum quantities of calcium, from natural sources.Use your own water bottles and fill them at home.

Not only is potable water from the tap subject to stringent quality controls, anyone with internet access can very quickly and simply view information of the current quality their supply, including actual test data. They can see, for example, bacteriological and chemical content, and all this is available completely free of charge at the UK Drinking Water Inspectorate website (

Bottled water is also incredibly expensive. It is on average 500 times more expensive than drinking water. Nevertheless, we are buying it in huge amounts, and it is quite expensive to produce when you consider that the most highly promoted and most popular brands in the UK are French imports, entailing all the transport costs that this implies.

To quote the UK’s Executive Director of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWM):-

“Branding and bottling of water where there already exists a wholesome* and safe supply of mains drinking water cannot be seen as a sustainable use of natural resources, and adds to the over-all levels of waste and pollution to be managed in modern society”.

Finally, to demonstrate the cost of bottled water, we have it from a good source that in 2004 the House of Commons spent over £11,000 (GBP) or $19,000 (US Dollars), on an amount which, if tap water, would have cost just £25 (GBP) or $44 (US Dollars).

* – Author’s Note: When outside the developed world it is, of course, safest to use bottled water. In fact, it is considered best by the Drinking Water inspector, to buy bottled water and add a disinfectant or boil the water – unless of course you are an expert and know that the local source is wholesome.

Global Warming Facts

Global warming refers to an increase in average global temperatures, which in turn causes climate change. It is the increase in the Earth’s average temperature in the recent decades, and has occurred since the industrial revolution.
Global warming is in part the rise in global temperatures due to an increase of heat-trapping carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
Global warming, is one way to measure climate change as the rise in the average global temperature.
Global warming is caused, at least in part, by what is sometimes called the “enhanced greenhouse effect”. If global warming occurs, not every day or every place will be warmer.
The terms global warming and climate change are often used interchangeably, but the two phenomena are different.
To slow down the global warming process and eventually bring it under control, a global effort is being mounted to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gases that cause global warming come from many sources, but the main source is the burning of fossil fuels. The fact that the process of global warming results in more extremes of climate, such as floods, storms and droughts. Because of this some to refer to it as global “storming”!
Climate change is different from the term global warming in that climate change is more broad and refers in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate.
Most people are now ready for ‘green sacrifices’ to help limit climate change, a recent global poll suggests that people say that they are prepared to make tough lifestyle changes to combat global warming. The next steps will begin to show whether these are just fine words, or a real willingness to adjust our global culture to one governed by principles of sustainability.

The following is an article which gives a personal opinion from this author.

Global Warming – Why Should I Care?

Author: Robert Utter

In June 2005 I attended the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) meeting and technical conference in Denver, Co.

One of the things I always like to do at these technical conferences is attend the session devoted to an update of the current issues impacting our industry. This time there was a session devoted explicitly to global climate change.

I got to the huge ballroom early so I could get a good seat for the presentations and, as the first speaker took the stand, frankly I was shocked to look around and count less than 50 people in attendance.

Clearly our industry is not taking the issue of global climate change very seriously.

Now, if you are my age, you remember the scientific warnings in the 60’s about the coming ice age. So I’ll admit that I have been somewhat slow to warm to the idea of global climate change (formerly called global warming, pun intended). But, as time goes by better data and more research supports the prediction of increasing global temperatures.

This global temperature increase as the result of greenhouse warming has a potentially devastating impact on global climate. Therefore, we should all take the issue very seriously and at a minimum monitor very closely the private and public policies of the US and countries around the world.

I forecast that as the science becomes clearer in “the next few years”, this issue will have a major impact on each of us personally and on each of our businesses and the products we design and manufacture.

The difficulty is defining “the next few years”.

What is the timeframe we should be concerned about?

There is one timeframe already defined by the Kyoto protocol. And that timeframe is now – we are already behind. Of course, the US has not signed up to adhere to the Kyoto agreement, so that doesn’t really concern us. Or does it? These decisions are too often politically motivated more than scientifically motivated. We all know that our commitment to the Kyoto agreement could change with the next presidential election. That is in November 2008 – a little over three years away.

President Bush has been very consistent in his position and policy relative to climate change. But, even though many people seem unaware, we do have an official US policy regarding climate change.

Basically, it calls for an 18% reduction in the rate of increase of greenhouse gas emissions. See the links at the end of the article for more information on US policy. The policy also calls for a re-evaluation of our progress relative to our reduction goal in 2012.

Given the interest I see in our industry and other industries, I think it highly likely that we will come nowhere near that 18% reduction in the rate of growth, let alone actually reduce emission levels like most of the rest of the world is calling for.

That being the case, it is not unreasonable to expect a new and much tougher policy on emissions on or before 2012, only seven years from now. So I think that reasonably defines “the next few years”.

If you aren’t going to retire before 2012, then you can expect a great deal of pressure on you, your products and your business to reduce emissions in the next three to seven years.

Given the life cycle of most products, three to seven years goes by in a hurry.

At the very least, be an informed business leader and informed citizen. Make up your own mind about the validity of the data and the likelihood, timeframe and severity of impact on your business. Hopefully the next time you have the opportunity to hear some of the world’s foremost experts speak on global climate change, like I had in Denver, the room won’t be empty.

About the author:

Bob Utter, Senior Consultant and owner of Innovative Thermal Solutions, (LLC), has over thirty years experience developing new mechanical and heat transfer technology including seventeen years in progressive engineering management positions with industry leading companies. He is an inventor with 29 patents on mechanical and heat transfer technology.

Support for the Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol exampleDr Mike Hulme from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research holds the opposite opinion to Lombourg, and believes that it is essential that the Kyoto Protocol be implemented. His view is that the benefit-cost analysis used by Lombourg is inappropriate. Hulme (2001) argues that our responsibilities to future generations and global justice are the largest concerns, not the possible cost climate change will have on the economy.

There is no way of reliably estimating how much money will be saved by the protocol. He goes on to say Lombourg’s 5 trillion dollar figure is unsubstantiated, and it is not made clear how the value is reached or what factors it includes. Predicting the cost of implementation is equally problematic, with other sources predicting a benefit to society due to increased energy efficiency, additional health benefits from less pollution, and increased revenue created by global carbon emission trading. Classic cumulus

Schellnhuber (2004- cited in Kirby, 2004) projects that the costs of stabilising climate change could be a low as 0.3% of GDP. As for the argument that the reductions are too small to have any benefit, Hulme (2001) points out that the target for a 5% reduction by 2012 is only intended as the starting point, leading way to increasingly stringent targets to be set in the future. Supporters of Kyoto believe that as the developing countries are the ones responsible for the warming, and will continue to be responsible for warming occurring in the next 20-30 years, these are the countries with the obligation to the rest of the world to take the preliminary steps towards reducing the problem by leading the way. Targets should be set in the future for developing countries to reduce their emissions, but it is only realistic to expect this after a significant result has been achieved first, by the developing countries.