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Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

The External Costs of Fossil Fuels; Environmental and Health Value of Solar

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
U.S. Net Electricity Generation

ENERGY & POLICY INSTITUTE
Ratepayers and customers have been led to believe that a power plant burning coal or natural gas is the cheapest form of electricity and therefore, should be prioritized over renewable energy generation. However, ratepayers are paying for more than the cost of the fossil fuel that is used to generate electricity. Utility customers pay for the cleanup of toxic spills and health costs associated with burning dirty energy sources. Furthermore, ratepayer’s money spent importing fossil fuels from other states causes unforeseen negative economic impacts when local renewable energy systems could provide economic benefits. Utilities have little economic incentive to reduce fuel costs since the cost of coal and natural gas are passed directly through to customers. Finally, customers ultimately pay for the impacts of climate change, including water scarcity, both of which are fueled and exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels.

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Los Angeles County: Profile of Clean Energy Investment Potential

Monday, August 25th, 2014
Mid-century Warming in the Los Angeles Region

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
UCLA LUSKIN CENTER FOR INNOVATION
The Environmental Defense Fund commissioned the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation to profile the potential for clean energy investments in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER): An Atlas of Investment Potential is multi-faceted. The LASER Atlas begins with this particular profile of clean energy investment potential at the county level. Other profiles that comprise the LASER Atlas are at the sub-regional level…This county level overview is designed to help community stakeholders identify areas of high potential for solar energy and the benefits of green economic investment. These benefits include capitalizing on incoming state and local funding while creating jobs and building community resilience to current environmental health and energy threats that climate change will exacerbate.

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Back in the Fast Lane: How to Speed Public Transit Planning & Construction in California

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Figure 1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
EMMETT INSTITUTE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
This brief seeks to explain some of the causes of the planning and construction delays and escalating costs for major public transit projects, such as rail and bus rapid transit. Among the factors are counter-productive regulatory processes, lack of coordination among overlapping agencies and entities, poor agency oversight of construction, and political compromises meant to appease powerful neighborhood groups and automobile drivers at the expense of the regional good.

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Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the USA

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
FIGURE ES. 1 Environmental Concerns Associated with Power Plant Emissions

CERES
This report examines and compares the stack air pollutant emissions of the 100 largest power producers in the United States based on their 2012 generation, plant ownership, and emissions data. Table ES.1 lists the 100 largest power producers featured in this report ranked by their total electricity generation from fossil fuel, nuclear, and renewable energy facilities. These producers include public and private entities1 (collectively referred to as “companies” or “producers” in this report) that own more than 2,700 power plants and account for 86 percent of reported electric generation and 87 percent of the industry’s reported emissions.

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Climate Change Puts Our National Landmarks at Risk

Monday, June 9th, 2014
National Monuments at Risk

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
This report is not a comprehensive analysis of climate change threats to all of the United States’ historic places, monuments and memorials, but rather a selection of case studies that vividly illustrate an urgent problem. These examples represent just a few of the many that could have been included, but the places they examine symbolize many of the rich and diverse elements of the American experience. The stories were chosen because the science behind the risks they face is robust, and because together they shine a spotlight on the different kinds of climate impacts already affecting the United States’ cultural heritage.

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Why Creating & Preserving Affordable Homes Near Transit is a Highly Effective Climate Protection Strategy

Thursday, June 5th, 2014
FIGURE 1. Household VMT per Day

TRANSFORM
CALIFORNIA HOUSING PARTNERSHIP CORPORATION
A new analysis of data from Caltrans’ California Household Travel Survey (CHTS) completed in February 2013 shows that a well-designed program to put more affordable homes near transit would not just meet the requirements set by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), but would be a powerful and durable GHG reduction strategy – directly reducing driving while creating a host of economic and social benefits.

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Energy Use & CO2 Emissions From Different Transportation Modes

Monday, May 5th, 2014
Passenger Miles per Gallon of Fuel

ABA FOUNDATION – AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION
This analysis is intended to evaluate the environmental performance of Highway Motorcoach operations, by comparing the energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of motorcoaches with the energy use and CO2 emissions of other common transportation vehicles/modes.

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Blackout: Extreme Weather, Climate Change and Power Outages

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Extreme Weather is Causing More Power Outages

CLIMATE CENTRAL
Climate change is causing an increase in many types of extreme weather. Heat waves are hotter, heavy rain events are heavier, and winter storms have increased in both frequency and intensity. To date, these kinds of severe weather are among the leading causes of large-scale power outages in the United States. Climate change will increase the risk of more violent weather and more frequent damage to our electrical system, affecting hundreds of millions of people, and costing Americans and the economy tens of billions of dollars each year.

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The Urban Infrastructure Initiative: Final Report

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Figure 2: Growth of proportion of the population residing in urban areas by region (1950 to 2050)

WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Today, more than half of the planet’s inhabitants are living in urban areas. By 2050, more than 70 % of the global population will live in cities. The scale and pace of urbanization in the coming decades is unprecedented in human history. The battle for sustainable development will therefore be won and lost in cities. Cities already consume up to 80 % of global material and energy supplies and produce around 75 % of carbon emissions. With current energy- and resource-intensive modes of urban development, the addition of 3 billion more city-dwellers by 2050 is likely to significantly exceed the ecological carrying capacity of the planet.

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Reducing Climate Risks with Natural Infrastructure

Monday, April 21st, 2014
Reducing Climate Risks with Natural Infrastructure

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
As California considers how to adapt to a changing climate, planners often focus on defensive infrastructure with a negative habitat impact: bigger levees, rock walls to protect coastlines or even giant sea gates. But California can follow a different path. With natural or “green” infrastructure that leverages natural processes to reduce risk to human lives,property and businesses, the state can build resilience to the coming changes while restoring natural habitats instead of degrading them.

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