Thursday, July 24, 2014

ClimateWire

The politics and business of climate change
  1. NATIONAL SECURITY: Energy and climate change are large factors in U.S. defense, experts tell Senate panel
    From Iraq to Ukraine, fast-shifting energy needs are changing the face of international security, experts told Congress yesterday.
  2. RENEWABLE ENERGY: Scientists devise way to cool solar panels to improve performance
    The shining sun presents a trade-off for photovoltaic panels: More light means more electricity, but it also means more heat. Under the afternoon sun, panels can heat up to 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees Fahrenheit). That much heat impairs how well they turn photons into electricity and causes more rapid wear on the panels.
  3. DROUGHT: The future of Texas' groundwater supply may be precarious, experts say
    The city of Vernon, in north-central Texas, lies right on the path of the old Western Trail, where cowboys once drove their cattle northward to Nebraska. The city of 11,005 has suffered through a drought that has parched most of Texas for the last four years.
  4. POLICY: Support for carbon taxes may rise with detail about revenue uses, report suggests
    The American public's support of a carbon tax depends on the proposed use of its tax dollars, but most Americans oppose a tax on carbon emissions when the proposed legislation fails to specify what the revenue would fund, according to a recent survey from scholars at the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College.
  5. EFFICIENCY: Companies pocket savings from better energy management
    In 2010, Nissan was looking to save money at its manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The 5.5-million-square-foot plant made SUVs and cars, including the all-electric Leaf.
  6. REGULATION: Ill. court requires utilities to buy power from carbon capture plant
    FutureGen 2.0 -- a flagship carbon capture proposal -- got a legal boost yesterday with a court ruling that state utilities can be forced to buy the coal plant's power.
  7. NATIONS: Populist leader wins Indonesian election, fueling hope for saving forests
    Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo, a favorite of populists and environmentalists alike, was yesterday announced the winner of Indonesia's presidential election. The defeat of his opponent, ex-military general Prabowo Subianto, has inspired hope that the nation may finally address its growing deforestation problem.
  8. SEA-LEVEL RISE: Carolinas may face billions in flood damage by 2050
    Recent reports warn that rising seas are putting the Carolinas at risk for potentially billions of dollars of property and infrastructure damage due to extreme flooding.
  9. NATIONS: Increasing floods in Southeast Asia cripple families, wreck villages
    Two villages in northeastern India were thrashed by catastrophic flooding last June, which wiped out buildings, covered highways and killed more than 5,700 people.
  10. ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Sales increase by a third since 2013, but questions about sector remain
    The electric vehicle business is expanding steadily in the United States, according to statistics from plug-in specialty website insideevs.com.