July 22, 2016: Energy Matters: Climate Change

Courtesy of American Energy Society and Eric Vettel.

 - Three billion people around the world use wood and dung to cook their fooda solution that is dirty, dangerous and deadly. In India, for instance, about 600 million people rely on wood or dung as their primary source of energy. But, consider this dilemma: on the one hand, coal might be a cleaner solution; on the other hand, India is already the world’s third largest greenhouse-gas emitter. It is home to six of the 10 most polluted cities, and conditions in the Indian coal industry are dire.

 - Researchers have re-examined all 195 individual country pledges at the Paris climate conference (also known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs), and have come to the conclusion that reaching the pledges still won't be enough to prevent global warming, as was originally believed. AES Premium Members have access to the peer-reviewed study.

 - Energy is the second largest consumer of water in a drought-threatened world. Worldwide, annual water consumption for energy is about 100 billion cubic meters. A nuclear power plant, for example, uses up to 17 million gallons of water per day for cooling. A single fracking well may use on average 1 million gallons of water. Biofuels – when produced from irrigated crops – require water both to grow the crops and again for cooling when they are burned. In the US, energy production uses about 11% of all freshwater water consumption.

 - As global warming opens up new shipping lanes and access to valuable resources, some countries are increasing their military presence in the Arctic. 

 - There are 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. The location of the plastic debris is not centralized, but rather is universally prevalent in tiny, confetti-like pieces ... everywhere.

 - Cars and trucks contribute about 22 percent of US climate pollution and 17 percent of the global total. The US portion is holding steady, but the global percentage is growing rapidly.