Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Vatican goes green with solar power

(ANSA) – Vatican City, November 26 – Benedict XVI reconfirmed his reputation as the ‘green pope’ on Wednesday when the Vatican inaugurated its first solar power energy system.

Some 2,400 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Paul VI auditorium, which is used for papal audiences in the winter and during bad weather the rest of the year.

The official Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, said the panels will generate around 300 megawatt hours of ‘clean’ energy each year which will go towards providing lighting, heat and air conditioning for the auditorium and several surrounding buildings.

The system will also cut down on the Vatican’s annual carbon dioxide emissions by 225,000 kg and save the equivalent of 80 tonnes of oil, the newspaper said.

Great! Now let’s see them get going on that pesky overpopulation problem.


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Cheney Sought to Alter Climate Discussion

Cheney Sought to Alter Climate Discussion – WSJ.com

In a letter dated July 6 in response to questions from the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), Mr. Burnett said Mr. Cheney’s office and the White House Council on Environmental Quality “were seeking deletions” last fall to congressional testimony about climate change prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mr. Burnett said the latter office asked him “to work with CDC” to remove from the testimony “any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change.” [Emphasis mine – ed.]

The issue of whether greenhouse gases endanger public health or welfare is significant because a finding by the EPA that they do would require the agency to regulate them under the terms of the federal Clean Air Act, spurring new rules across a range of industries.


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Pennsylvania Assembly Passes Its First Global Warming Law

Pennsylvania Assembly Passes First Global Warming Law

A coal-rich state, Pennsylvania emits one percent of the world’s greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, more than the emissions of 105 developing countries combined.

While Pennsylvania is a big contributor to global warming, the legislation passed today creates opportunities for the state to be part of the solution.


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Wind power affordable, available, given the will

A stunning new report just issued by the Bush administration finds that for under 2 cents a day per household, Americans could get 300 gigawatts of wind by 2030.

Wind power, alternative energy | Salon News

There are some issues: turbines need to be placed off flyways to protect migrating birds, other measures to protect birds need to be developed, but these are doable and are the major stumbling blocks apart from appearance and political inertia.

NB: think the Bushes and their friends are investing in wind power? Snark, snark…


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History of Sahara May Yield Info Relating to Future Climate Change

OSLO (Reuters) – The once-green Sahara turned to desert over thousands of years rather than in an abrupt shift as previously believed, according to a study on Thursday that may help understanding of future climate changes.

And there are now signs of a tiny shift back towards greener conditions in parts of the Sahara, apparently because of global warming, said the lead author of the report about the desert’s history published in the journal Science.

The study of ancient pollen, spores and aquatic organisms in sediments in Lake Yoa in northern Chad showed … ENN: Sahara dried out slowly, not abruptly: study


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Seeing China’s Climate Emissions Clearly

Article PhotoOne of the frequently repeated claims in American politics — used often by those advocating the impossibility of effective action on climate change — is that China has “caught up” on greenhouse gas emissions, thus rendering useless any steps we might take ourselves.Even smart, well-intentioned people repeat this claim without much critical distance. But it’s worth unpacking all this

1) Generally, what’s meant is that China’s direct emissions as a nation have caught up to those of the United States. This is possibly true, though the figures used to make that claim skip a bunch of important factors, like meat production and air travel, that may well tip the scales back to the U.S. having the world’s largest national share of direct emissions.

2) Continue reading


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Greenhouse Gas Cuts Easy on American Wallets

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2008 (ENS) – The overall cost of capping greenhouse gases for the average American family will amount to less than one percent of household budgets over the next two decades, finds a new analysis released Monday by the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund.

The anticipated cost to the U.S. economy of reducing emissions is small, even difficult to measure against projected economic growth, but the most expensive policy by far is to do nothing at all.
Greenhouse Gas Cuts Easy on American Wallets: Analysis