February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 7, JULY 1997
ENERGY POLICY & USE
"Deregulated Power: Cheaper but Dirtier?" J.A. Dillon, Technology
Review, pp. 17-18, Aug.-Sep. 1997. (Mass. Inst. Technol., Bldg. W59,
Cambridge MA 02139; WWW: http://web.mit.edu/techreview/)
Through its "open access" rule, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission now allows utilities to compete with one another by selling power
directly to consumers. A danger is that older coal-fired power plants will
operate at higher capacity than the present 64%, and create more pollution. Even
if coal-based electricity production rises only 3%, emissions of CO2 would go up
by 7.8% over the projected rate in the absence of competition; nitrogen oxide
emissions would rise as well.
"Painting the Town White--and Green," A. Rosenfeld, J.J. Romm
et al., Technology Review, pp. 53-59, Feb.-Mar. 1997.
In urban heat islands, the ambient temperature in summer may be 5° F
higher than the surrounding suburban and rural areas, because dark roofs and
pavement absorb sunlight so well. Lighter-colored roofs and pavements and more
trees could make the city of Los Angeles cooler than the surrounding semidesert.
The need for air conditioning would decrease by 18%, smog would lessen, and
adverse health effects would decline.
"The Power of Biomass," A. Kendall, A. McDonald, A. Williams,
Chem. & Industry, pp. 343-345, May 5, 1997. (See Global Climate
Change Digest, PROF. PUBS./GEN. INTEREST & COMMENTARY, June 1997.)
"Utility Customers Go for the Green," L. Lamarre, EPRI
Journal, pp. 5-15, Mar.-Apr. 1997.
"Green pricing programs," offered by more than a dozen U.S.
electric utilities, give customers the option of paying more for their
electricity to help fund the installation of environmentally friendly power
generation, including photovoltaic panels on schools and wind turbines.
"Rethinking the Car of the Future," D. Sperling, Issues in
Science and Technology, pp. 29-34, Winter 1996-97.
The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, launched in 1993 by
President Clinton and the "Big Three" U.S. automakers to develop a
revolutionary fuel-efficient vehicle, is in need of a midcourse correction. The
fundamental flaw is the pursuit of technologies that are already close to
commercialization, which are those least suited to a government-industry
"Why Environmentalists Should Promote Nuclear Energy," B.
Wolfe, Issues in Science and Technology, pp. 55-60, Summer 1996.
U.S. environmentalists need to take a fresh look at energy needs, the clear
and worsening problems of fossil fuels, and the empirical evidence on the safety
of nuclear power. The Club of Rome, an international organization with a
particular interest in the environment, has evolved from nuclear critic to
nuclear promoter because of its concern about global climate change.
"Harvesting the Benefits of Biomass," T. Moore, EPRI
Journal, pp. 16-25, May/June 1996.
Several utilities are involved in evaluating and developing the potential
for biomass feedstocks as a renewable energy resource for power generation.
Discusses agricultural production and the technologies used for generation.
Biomass-fueled generating systems promise an effective and economically feasible
approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"Trouble Bubbles for Hydropower," F. Pearce, New Scientist,
pp. 28-31, May 4, 1996.
New hydroelectric schemes are supposed to help cut emissions of greenhouse
gases. But flooding to make reservoirs releases greenhouse gases; no country has
included such emissions in their inventories of greenhouse gases.
"Meltdown," N. Lenssen, C. Flavin, World Watch, pp.
23-31, May-June 1996. (Worldwatch Inst., 1776 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington DC
20036; tel: 202 452 1999; fax: 202 296 7365; WWW: http://www.worldwatch.org/).
The worst industrial accident ever to befall humanity (Chernobyl) left a
wound that has not healed with time. Now, the nuclear power industry appears to
be wearing out its welcome on the planet-and opening the door wider to
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