Monday, July 27, 2015

Fossil fuel companies impose more in climate costs than they make in profits - Vox

It is fairly well understood by now that releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere imposes an economic cost, in the form of climate change impacts. In most cases, however, those responsible for carbon emissions are not required to pay that cost. Instead, it's borne mainly by the world's poor and low-lying countries, and of course by future generations, as many of the worst impacts of climate change will emerge years after the emissions that drive them.
People sometimes refer to the unpaid cost of carbon pollution as a subsidy, or an "implicit subsidy," to polluting businesses. The IMF recently issued a reportsaying that total worldwide subsidies to energy, mainly fossil fuel energy, amounted to $5.2 trillion a year. The reason that number is so high is that the IMF includes implicit subsidies — the social costs imposed by businesses (including climate damages) that they don't have to pay for...

Friday, July 17, 2015

New Bill Seeks To Ban Oil And Gas Drilling In The Arctic

A new bill to ban oil and gas drilling in the Arctic recognizes that continued oil development will exacerbate human-caused climate change and points out that a potential spill would be devastating to the fragile Arctic environment.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Thursday introduced the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, which prohibits any new or renewed leases for exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or other minerals in the region. 
“A spill in the Arctic would be an environmental catastrophe of extraordinary proportions – and such a spill is inevitable if drilling proceeds,” Merkley said in a statement. “Drilling in the Arctic Ocean is the height of irresponsibility. We need to put it off limits, permanently.”
The Department of Interior has estimated there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill of more than 42,000 gallons if drilling in the Arctic is developed. The Arctic region is home to one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, with extreme and treacherous conditions. In the case of a spill, there is severely limited capacity to respond. 
The Bureau of Offshore Energy Management has estimated that cleaning up a major spill in the Chukchi Sea would cost between $10 billion and $15 billion... 

more: New Bill Seeks To Ban Oil And Gas Drilling In The Arctic | ThinkProgress

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The World's Greenhouse Gas Emissions in One Graphic | Climate Central

Carbon emissions are often considered in the future tense: the G7 aims to reduce future emissions and countries attending the Paris climate summit in December will pledge to make future carbon cuts. Amid all the future talk, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has released new information about the present — an infographic and huge database of the world’s current greenhouse gas emissions.
Based on data from the WRI’s CAIT Climate Data Explorer, the graphic shows emissions data from 2012 by country. As a whole, the world emitted 42,386 megatonnes of greenhouse gases. Here’s how that number breaks down.
The top 10 list of emitters is no surprise. It includes China, the U.S., European Union 28, India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Iran. Together, they emit twice as much as the other 175 countries in the data, accounting for 72 percent of the globe’s emissions. The top two alone, China and the U.S., account for more than one-third of the world’s emissions.

The World's Greenhouse Gas Emissions in One Graphic | Climate Central