March 29, 2016: Energy Matters: Climate


Featured story: Concerns over energy security are spurring branches of the military to get more electricity from renewable sources. But environmental concerns are not a key driver for the DoD, the nation's largest consumer of energy. Instead, military officials say that safer sources of power are needed to enhance national security - a bigger motivation than reducing emissions.

- Featured story: Global greenhouse gas emissions held steady at around 32 billion tons for a second straight year - and it was not tied to an economic downturn.

- The Marshall Institute formed a new non-profit educational organization called the CO2 Coalition that promotes the following ideas:
* more CO2 in the atmosphere will be a net benefit for the world;
* concerns about carbon dioxide being a "pollutant" are not valid;
* climate change is proceeding very slowly;
* the likely increase in temperature for the 21st century has already happened;
* current CO2 levels are far below optimum for the growth of many plants.
AES Premium Members have access to a white paper published by the CO2 Coalition that summarizes its views.

- A new study has found evidence that normal human activity - like animal agriculture, rice cultivation and compost waste disposal - may be contributing more greenhouse gases than the oil and gas industry. AES Premium Members have access to the abstract of this article.

- Concrete is the most widely used synthetic material in the world. For every kilogram of cement produced, around the same amount of CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

- The warming climate has changed the way wine grapes grow - vintners no longer need to rely on late-season heat and drought because temperatures are up already. In the short run, the warmer climate has probably improved wine quality. The bad news: It's not helping all varietals, and the grapes that benefit now probably won't if the climate continues to get warmer.

- Line 5 is an oil pipeline which runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It carries more than 500,000 barrels of light crude and natural gas liquids each day. Some wonder if this original pipeline, built in 1953, is still safe.

- Greenland, one of a number of ice floes in the north and south poles, is losing about 287 billion tons of melting ice per year, enough to cause sea levels to rise by about 1 millimeter each year.

- Evan Berry, a professor at American University, is the author of "Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism," an examination of the theological character of American environmental thought. It is a potent corrective to the narrative that religion and environmentalism are separate.

 Courtesy of American Energy Society