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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 #d89oct24

Energy and the Environment--A General Position Paper, 47 pp., July 1989. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1825 K St. NW, S. 218, Washington DC 20006 (202-785-3756); $3.

Addresses a dozen areas including the greenhouse effect, renewable energy systems, fossil fuels, nuclear power, fuel cells, hydrogen energy systems, alcohols, efficiency and acidic deposition. The greenhouse section recommends: a gradual reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by substituting alternative energy sources; consideration of an international convention on reforestation; an international fund to maintain tropical rain forests, possibly using approaches similar to those for conserving agricultural soils in the United States; and a significant national effort by all segments of society to plant more trees in urban and rural areas.

Item #d89oct25

State of the Art: Drivepower, A.B. Lovins, J. Neymark et al., 420 pp., April 1989. Issued as part of the Competitek information service of the Rocky Mountain Institute (1739 Snowmass Creek Rd., Snowmass CO 81654; 303-927-3128).

One of a series of annually updated reports issued by Competitek, a project which provides technical, economic and policy information on energy applications and efficiency for businesses, government and public interest groups. In addition to drivepower, other topics covered are lighting, appliances, water and space heating, and air conditioning.

Electric motors use more than half of all electricity. This analysis critically reviews data on drivepower usage, on costs and performance of the best available equipment and on practices for increasing performance. It concludes that there is an overall technical potential for saving 44 + or - 16% of all electricity now used in U.S. drivesystems, at a per kilowatt-hour cost equal to a small fraction of the operating costs alone of a fossil-fueled or nuclear power plant. The potential savings are about six times greater than traditionally reported because of several factors unique to this analysis.

Item #d89oct26

Policy Options for Adaptation to Climate Change (Discussion Paper ENR 89-05), N.J. Rosenberg, P. Crosson et al., 45 pp., Mar. 1989. Order from Pub. & Commun., Resources for the Future, 1616 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036; $5.

This is Chapter 8 of the recent report commissioned by UNEP, The Full Range of Responses to Anticipated Climatic Change (see Global Climate Change Digest, REPORTS/GENERAL, July 1989). Some of the recommendations are: discourage heavy investment in coastal areas; combine increased reliance on imports with investment in new technologies and management practices in countries whose agriculture is affected negatively by change; discourage deforestation and reliance on fossil fuels; encourage greater efficiency and flexibility in water management.

Item #d89oct27

Ethanol Fuel and Global Warming (89-164 SPR), M. Segal, 18 pp., Mar. 1989. Congr. Res. Svc., Library of Congress, Washington DC 20540 (202-707-7228).

Presents calculations to compare the CO2 emissions from the gasohol blend of ethanol and gasoline to those of gasoline alone, based on results of a 1988 Department of Energy report (that is included in an appendix), CO2 Emissions from Production and Combustion of Fuel Ethanol from Corn. Assuming the CO2 emitted from burning ethanol is removed by photosynthesis in the next corn crop used to produce more ethanol, results show that the use of gasohol would reduce CO2 emissions by 4.2% compared with gasoline, on an energy content basis.

Item #d89oct28

A Preliminary Analysis of U.S. CO2 Emissions Reduction from Energy Conservation and the Substitution of Natural Gas for Coal in the Period to 2010 (DOE/NBB-0085), J.A. Edmonds (Battelle-Pacific Northwest Labs., Richland, Wash.), W.B. Ashton et al., 55 pp., Feb. 1989. For U.S. Dept. Energy, Carbon Dioxide Res. Div.; for sale through NTIS (Natl. Tech. Info. Serv.), 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield VA 22161; 703-487-4650.

Finds it would not be technically feasible to substantially reduce U.S. CO2 emissions during the first one or two decades of the next century, if oil and coal use continues at current rates or grows substantially, as indicated in DOE forecasts. Reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 40% in the period to 2020 would be feasible, but this would require sustained reduction of energy use and development and widespread application of CO2 removal technologies. To meet a 10% emission reduction under previous DOE coal and gas consumption forecasts for 2010, even with intensive CO2 removal, all oil consumption would have to be eliminated, and coal use would have to decline markedly. Use of natural gas can help achieve reductions, but 1985 emission levels would return by 2010 even if all fossil fuel consumption were in this form. Unless similar emission reduction strategies are adopted internationally, global emissions would continue to grow even with a vigorous U.S. program in place.

Item #d89oct29

Hydrogen--National Mission for Canada, 66 pp., 1987. Prepared by the Advisory Group on Hydrogen Opportunities for Ministry of Energy, Mines & Resources (Rm. 5015, 344 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0E4, Can.; 613-996-8729). No charge.

Argues that Canada is well-placed to excel in development of hydrogen technologies, the benefits of which include reduced environmental pollution and greater efficiency, because it meets several criteria. These include large reserves of hydrogen-deficient hydrocarbons such as heavy oils (which require hydrogen to produce gasoline and other products); abundant reserves of natural gas, currently the primary source of hydrogen; an ability to generate electricity from non-fossil sources; and a domestic electrolysis industry, necessary to make hydrogen from water.

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