Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giving Credits Where Credits Are Due


Something that I sometimes forget is that there are other industries contributing to emissions problems outside of manufacturing, and that there are other industries that are really important to not just our economy, but our way of life, too, not just in the U.S., but everywhere.

One of the most important and difficult ways to make a living has to be farming. Income can be sparse, and a bad weather year can devastate farmland and the farming way of life. Finally, the U.S. government has begun to recognize the importance of farming in the country, and the importance of looking at emissions and other environmental effects of domestic farming have also begun to be noticed.

In a USA Today article titled "Program aims to credit farmers who reduce emissions," Phil Brasher reports that "the Agriculture Department is trying to perfect methods for farmers and landowners to get paid for emission-saving practices."

It's these kinds of measures that we need to make sure we are protecting the environment for the future and doing what we can now to reduce emissions pollution and other problems caused by industries outside of manufacturing.

Check out the whole article at http://www.usatoday.com/cleanprint/?unique=1318969406961

--Noor Alzayer 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Americans Warm To Solar Water Heating

Solar water heating is a solar energy technology that still has yet to gain the acknowledgement that it deserves. Not only would this technology help improve some of our global issues but it holds a promising industry that would give out a lending hand to the American economy. Manufacturing jobs would be available as well as installation work.

The Solar Energy Industries Association provided a self-explanatory report on the pro’s to this particular global solution. It also concludes some very revealing data when it comes to the lack of information that a majority of Americans know about this environmental system.

I might be stirring thing ups by saying this but the trendy pruis drivers who are homeowners need to get off that bandwagon to another arising problem and take some real action. 

Main Article:

Majority of Americans See Benefits of Solar Water Heating…
Solar Energy Industries Association:
Posted By: Sade Mehdizadeh

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Temperature Targets Slipping Away

The international community will not meet agreed temperature targets unless it puts the brakes on current levels of carbon emissions now, warn climate scientists.


The team of scientists led by Dr Joeri Rogelj from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich, analysed emission scenarios to identify the likelihood of limiting global temperature rises to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Their analysis, published online in today's Nature Climate Science, shows global median CO2 equivalent emissions need to peak and fall to 44 gigatonnes by 2020 to have a likely chance of meeting targets set in Cancun.

"At the moment we are about 48 gigatonnes [of CO2 equivalent] so we are at higher levels globally," says study co-author Dr Malte Meinshausen, a German climate scientist currently based at the University of Melbourne.

To maintain the two-degree limit beyond 2020, emissions would need to fall to a median of 20 gigatonnes by 2050, Meinshausen says.
"That means global emissions have to peak within this decade and then have to go down again. At the moment, although the world recognises the climate problem, we are producing more and more emissions every year and accelerating the problem."

posted by: Daoud Abdallah
the original source of the  full study and article :

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Environment and Climate Change Around the World



Global warming (aka climate change) is almost without a doubt the most important issue to face our generation, and quite possibly any generation in history. The worldwide scientific community is virtually unanimous in its agreement that global warming is happening, that it's our fault, and that our chance to stop it is slipping away. If we let it get out of our control, the consequences - which will already begin occuring in most of our lifetimes - will be catastrophic. Just some of the consequences that can be reasonably expected are rising sea levels, more frequent and more severe natural disasters, large-scale food and water shortages, plagues, massive species extinctions, unprecendented numbers of refugees, intensified ethnic and political tensions, and a global economic depression the likes of which no one has ever seen.



The sitution is still within our grasp, but we must act now, we must act strongly, and we must act together. Individuals, companies, and governments across the globe must each do what they can to reverse climate change. We will never get a second chance

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Changing Our Minds to Change Emissions

The EcoPol Project is in the business of influencing its readership to adopt a new methods of reducing toxic and harmful emissions. The status quo presents us with frightening information as to the apathy displayed by society in general toward the consequences of emissions. Thus we seek to understand how we can change the minds of people in order to create a higher level of pressure on political figures capable of implementing change of law regarding harmful emissions. So how do we create true mind change in society? For this answer the EcoPol Project has been studying not only emissions but also how to change minds based on the text of Howard Gardner.

How we change our minds dramatically, and our behavior as a result, is author Howard Gardner’s thesis in his book “Changing Minds.” In it, he explores the art and science of changing not only our own minds but also others around us. Asking the reader to question, ‘what does it take to change our own minds?’

Gardner proposes to explain what causes us to change our mind by implementing various tactics that he refers to as levers. He essentially explains that there are several levers that one must pull each releasing a new weapon to attack the stubborn minded person in order to defeat heir current mindset. In fact, the levers actually represent tactics we all might use when confronted with a debate of any kind. Remember, it’s important to distinguish that we seek a positive mind change and not in any way mind control. We want people to understand the consequence of emissions and the value of reducing them. While the levers themselves are figurative their influence is literal.

The first lever is the rational lever. When this lever is pulled the lever releases an overwhelming amount of rationale making the emission reduction proposal at very least, conceivable. Once society views our proposal as rational, our next step would be to complement our plan with relevant supportive data as evidence as we are doing in our blog. These first two levers have been pulled before and we are left at the same spot we are now, with society wondering, “So what does this mean to me?” This is where we the EcoPol Project stands to make a difference.

The third lever is relevance. Our top priority is to make indisputably clear the relevance of our findings to society that they may be equally concerned. This is without a doubt the most difficult portion of influencing mind change because without it all other levers are of absolutely no use to any cause. Gardner suggests we use ideas, concepts, stories, theories, and skills to help relate with and create the mind/behavior change in society.

If our emission reduction proposition can be made relevant our next lever is to demonstrate the idea in action via several working models and representations all slightly differing to offer society a choice. In addition, once society has made a choice based off of our working models of reduction they should be rewarded with something like a tax break or another other relevant incentive. The final lever is the implementation of an emissions reduction plan into the real world or in other words, a change of law.

POSTED BY: Mike Maynes

Reducing Emissions


In "Europe's greenhouse gas emissions rise," an article on The Guardian.com, the progress Europe is making in limiting emissions is outlined. Countries around the world are working to limit greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, and targets to reduce emissions every year have been met or exceeded in many cases, particularly since 2008. But, in 2010, emissions rose, largely due to a resurgence of economic activity. So, how much of the progress we have made in reducing gas emissions in the U.S. is because of fewer manufacturing and production? To make a real difference, we need to control the emissions in every country in which U.S. corporations do business. Changing the emissions percentages will do no long-term, overall good for the atmosphere if we are simply shuffling those amounts to another country.


--Noor Alzayer

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Six Common Pollutants


“Criteria” pollutants coined by the EPA,  have shown to have dropped in numbers since the appearance of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendment. These 6 common air pollutants have been placed under surveillance and held to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

With the implementation of the NAAQS  the EPA has the ability to identify areas that have yet to meet the set standards. Areas such as West Oakland, CA, and Los Angeles California, are areas that do not meet standards also known as non-attainment areas. Non-attainment areas must work with the EPA, state, local and tribal air quality planning agencies to help fix the pollution. This article uses West Oakland, California as an example of Collaborative accomplishments that the city had implemented in order to help solve some of the pollution problem.


I am from the Bay Area and I thought it would only be fitting to take a picture of this area! I took this picture from my house. Oakland is in the left portion of this picture!

Posted By: Sade Mehdizadeh

Main Article source:
http://www.epa.gov/