Global warming has been discussed and debated until we’re all about sick of hearing the debates and discussions. Instead of analyzing scientific data or arguing over who’s to blame for climate change, take a look at these intriguing global warming images of the shocking and unusual changes we’ve experienced in recent years. These oddities may or may not prove that global warming is real in your book, but they’re amazing nonetheless!
Change is coming to Washington. Greed is out, and Green is in! Here are 10 of our favorite fresh new faces: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfLaQUD86Mw[/youtube] Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy Here’s a nice change, blasting the Energy Department out of its fossilized, fossil-fuel state and into the 21st Century. Instead of an oil …
Getting There – Thanksgiving is one of the heaviest travel weekends of the year, and how you choose to get there can make a big difference in your annual carbon footprint. If you’re driving long distances, avoid SUVs and big gas-guzzlers – remember, you can always rent something smaller. Carpooling is also good, although not always an option. And if you’re flying, keep in mind that air miles are about the most damaging mode of travel for the environment. Avoid flying if possible; if you can’t, consider purchasing carbon offsets from a reliable source.
Photo by j/f/ photos
Global warming and climate change have been the focus of controversy and debate for nearly half a century – Is global warming real? What causes climate change – is it man made? Should we do something? What can we do?
Where’s the beef?
It’s not down on the farm these days, alas. The healthy, natural beef of years gone by is almost extinct. It has been driven out by cheap beef, raised on gigantic feedlots, fattened on corn. The problem is: corn isn’t healthy for cows, and raising beef this way ultimately isn’t healthy for us either. Here are some things to watch out for and ways to be more healthy when it comes to your beef-related choices.
We’ve all heard by now that corn-based ethanol has turned out to be a bad idea.
- Corn is energy intensive to grow, gobbling up fossil-fuels at every stage of production, from transporting seeds to fertilizing the fields (with petrochemical fertilizers) to final harvest.
- Corn is also a spectacularly water-intensive crop.
- The ethanol production stage consumes more fossil fuels and water.
- Once it finally reaches your gas tank, ethanol burns around 30% less efficiently than gasoline (meaning your per-mile cost is actually 30% more than you think it is).
- Estimates of how much actual energy we get out of the process range from barely breaking even to around 20 percent more than the input energy.
- And of course, every step of the process spews CO2 into the atmosphere.
It’s been almost a year since The New York Times editorialized on the subject:
The economics of corn ethanol have never made much sense. Rather than importing cheap Brazilian ethanol made from sugar cane, the United States slaps a tariff of 54 cents a gallon on ethanol from Brazil. Then the government provides a tax break of 51 cents a gallon to American ethanol producers — on top of the generous subsidies that corn growers already receive under the farm program.
And unlike our inefficient corn-based ethanol, that Brazilian product actually yields 370% of the energy put into it.
So, why are we doing this? What possible calculus could convince us to even consider corn ethanol?
Corn is big business – and big agribusiness hires the best lobbyists.
Here, the return on investment is spectacular: plant a few tens of millions of dollars in seed money in the form of campaign contributions to senators and members of Congress, and reap billions of dollars in federal farm subsidies.
And for agribusiness, corn is king.
I want to change the environment, I really do. I want to have a green house, buy locally, and one day own a beautiful hybrid car that I’ll name Daisy, or Sunshine. I own a ton of reusable bags, but I forget them 90% of the time, so I’m stuck …
You may well be wondering – why the heck is Nancy Pelosi pushing through a bill that allows for offshore drilling? Isn’t that against everything we’re supposed to stand for? Is this another example of business-as-usual betraying core Democratic principles?
Alas, sometimes green areas fall in grey areas. Here’s the scoop: