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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d89nov14

Slowing Global Warming: A Worldwide Strategy (Worldwatch Paper 91), C. Flavin, 94 pp., Oct. 1989. Order from Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036 (202-452-1999); $4.

Concludes that only a fundamental restructuring of the world energy economy can prevent climate change in the next century. Moving away from fossil fuels is essential, for they release methane and nitrous oxide as well as carbon dioxide. A transition to renewable sources must start now and extend over several decades, and will require strong government backing; the time is right for an international global warming agreement, including a carbon tax to assist developing countries. The study establishes international targets for reduction of per capita carbon emissions: 3% each year in the United States and Soviet Union and 1% in countries such as Japan; third world countries such as India would be permitted an increase. Together, the goals lead to a 12% cut in global carbon emissions by the year 2000, or 38% less than if society follows the current path.

Item #d89nov15

Solar Hydrogen--Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels, J.M. Ogden, R.H. Williams (Ctr. Energy & Environ. Studies, Princeton Univ.), 123 pp., Oct. 1989. Order from World Resources Institute Pubs., POB 4852, Hampden Sta., Baltimore MD 21211; $10 + $2 handling.

This readable and well-referenced technical report argues that hydrogen produced by electrolysis from solar cells is one of the few long-term energy options for meeting the world's energy needs without contributing to global warming or other air pollution problems. Recent breakthroughs in technology mean that solar hydrogen can begin to replace automotive fuels within the next ten years at competitive prices. The cost is soon likely to be low enough that solar hydrogen can be generated in the southwestern United States and transmitted to population centers by pipeline. Hydrogen works well in internal combustion engines and other nations have developed hydrogen powered vehicles, but U.S. tax policy is biased in favor of research on conventional supplies. Recommended are several policy options including a U.S. carbon emissions tax, elimination of the oil depletion allowance, and federally mandated increases in fuel economy standards.

Item #d89nov16

National Energy Efficiency Platform: Description and Potential Impacts (Energy Efficiency Paper No. 2), H.S. Geller, 27 pp., revised Aug. 1989. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, S. 535, Washington DC 20036 (202-429-8873); $4.

Presents a ten-point strategy and energy policy analysis (developed jointly by ACEEE with the Alliance to Save Energy, the Energy Conservation Coalition, and the Natural Resources Defense Council), which would cut energy demand back to levels of the mid-1980s, realize an 11% reduction in absolute carbon emissions by the year 2000, and still allow for rising population, economic output and living standards. These reductions cannot be achieved without strong commitment by the Administration and Congress. The platform points relate to topics including vehicle fuel economy, acid rain legislation, utility regulation, advanced technologies, research and demonstration programs, and building efficiency standards.

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