Tide Turning in Texas?

I grew up in Texas and still love the state, so I'm encouraged by this news on NPR's All Things Considered:
Texas is the country's largest emitter of global warming gases. But the state's political leaders say climate change isn't a problem and have blocked even minor efforts to address the issue. That has prompted the mayors of some of the state's biggest cities — including influential Republicans — to take the issue into their own hands.

Grease to Oil

Today San Francisco launches SFGreasecycle:
a free program in which the city will pick up used cooking oil and grease from local restaurants, hotels and other commercial food preparation establishments. Those substances then will be turned into biodiesel, a fuel made of plant oil that burns cleaner than petroleum-based fuels.

The PUC is sponsoring the program because grease that is illegally dumped into sewers, which are maintained by the agency, creates serious maintenance problems. The grease congeals and clogs sewer pipes, costing the city an extra $3.5 million a year to clean the gunk out, according to PUC estimates.
Once again, San Francisco is leading the way for cities looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint, reuse material that would otherwise go in landfills, and create a new source of energy.

Reduce, reuse and recycle, indeed.

"UN Panel Gives Dire Warming Forecast"

Some more bad news from scientists about global warming, from yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle:
According to the U.N. panel of scientists, whose latest report is a synthesis of three previous ones, enough carbon dioxide already has built up that it imperils islands, coastlines and a fifth to two-thirds of the world's species.

As early as 2020, 75 million to 250 million people in Africa will suffer water shortages, residents of Asia's large cities will be at great risk of river and coastal flooding, according to the report.

Europeans can expect extensive species loss, and North Americans will experience longer and hotter heat waves and greater competition for water, says the report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Prize with Al Gore this year.

The panel portrays the Earth hurtling toward a warmer climate at a quickening pace and warns of inevitable human suffering. It says emissions of carbon, mainly from fossil fuels, must stabilize by 2015 and go down after that.

In the best-case scenario, temperatures will keep rising from carbon already in the atmosphere, the report said. Even if factories were shut down today and cars taken off the roads, the average sea level will reach as high as 4.6 feet above that in the preindustrial period, or about 1850.

Consumed: A Marketplace Special Report

"Is our consumer society sustainable?" As far as I'm concerned, this is a ridiculous rhetorical question, but probably worth adressing, even for left-leaning NPR listeners.

You can check out Consumed on Marketplace. Segments include:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...