Archives for October 2015

Energy [R]evolution 2015

Another excellent ISSUU publication bought to us by Greenpeace International. This time it’s a report researched and published by Greenpeace in collaboration with the scientific community, in particular the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). But first, more from Greenpeace International:

This is the year when the fight against climate change could take a dramatic turn. The conference in Paris in December presents political and business leaders with the opportunity to take the critical decisions needed if we are to keep average temperature rises to no more than 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. According to the IPCC, humankind cannot emit more than 1,000 giga-tonnes of CO2 from now, if we are to stay within this limit. At the current and projected rate of consumption, this entire carbon budget will be used by 2040.
It’s got some excellent recommendations on energy production and the need for a revolution, a complete overhaul to the way things are at the moment, which, in light of the effects of climate change and the impact of industrial pollution on our health, we’re in desperate need of:

Dynamic change is happening in energy supply, but the change needs to happen faster. this Energy [R]evolution scenario proposes a pathway to a 100% sustainable energy supply, ending CO2 emissions and phasing out nuclear energy, and making redundant new oil exploration in the arctic and deep sea waters such as off the coast of Brazil. it also demonstrates that this transformation increases employment in the energy sector.

In Australia, as far as the utilisation of solar energy and wind power goes, we seem to be slow of the mark, but it’s not like change won’t happen; is it?

What is required is for the political will to be there.

100% renewable energy for all is achievable by 2050, and is the only way to ensure the world does not descend into catastrophic climate change. Dynamic change is taking place in the energy sector. Renewable energies have become mainstream in most countries, and prices have fallen dramatically. The report shows we could transform our energy supply, switching to renewables, which would mean a stabilization of global CO2 emissions by 2020, and bringing down emissions towards near zero emissions in 2050.

Fossil fuels should be phased out in stages
The Energy [R]evolution proposes a phase-out of fossil fuels starting with lignite (the most carbon- intensive) by 2035, followed by coal (2045), then oil and then finally gas (2050). The rate of phase-out of oil and gas matches the rate of depletion of existing oil and gas fields. So exploration for new fields should be seen as high-risk investment as the “assets” may be stranded.
The renewable energy sector is proving it can transform power generation.

  • Renewables contributed 60% of new power generation worldwide in 2014
  • This expansion has meant huge falls in costs, so that solar PV and wind power is now cost-
    competitive with new coal in most regions
  • Renewables are pushing ahead despite a global subsidy system weighted in favour of
    fossil fuels, which receive an annual subsidy of $550 billion, more than twice the subsidy
    for renewables (IEA figures)
  • Within the next 15 years, renewables’ share of electricity could treble from 21% today to
    64%, so nearly two thirds of global electricity would come from renewable energy
    Heating and transport are the big challenge
  • Oil for heating will be replaced by solar collectors, geothermal and heat from renewable hydrogen
  • Gas will be the last fossil fuel in use, but is replaced by hydrogen generated by renewable electricity by 2050
  • Transport is the most challenging sector, and requires a technical revolution and more R&D – particularly in aviation and shipping. But planes and ships could be powered using biofuels, hydrogen and synthetic fuels produced using electricity. So electricity demand will go up, but it will be generated with renewable energy.
    The switch to 100% renewable energy will create jobs
  • At every stage in the transition to 100% renewable energy, there are more energy sector jobs. The IEA predicts the number of jobs falling after 2020. The Energy [R]evolution sees them increasing, by nearly 20 million between now and 2030, because of strong growth and investment in renewables
  • Solar PV will provide 9.7 million jobs, equal to the number of people working in the coal industry today. Jobs in wind power will grow to over 7.8 million, which is twice as many as are employed in oil and gas today
  • There is a just transition, not an overnight change. There will be 2 million people still working in the coal industry in 2030, so there is time to re-train
  • The costs are huge, but the savings are even bigger.
  • The investment costs for the switch to 100% renewables by 2050 is about US $1 trillion a year. But because renewable energies don’t need fuel, the average fuel cost savings are US $1.07 trillion a year. So the investment over the period is met in full by fuel cost savings, with the cross- over happening between 2025 and 2030.
  • There is growing support for 100% renewables
  • More scientists, engineers and activists support the view that 100% renewable energy is not only achievable, but also essential.
  • At local government and business level, there is a growing commitment to renewables. 164 countries around the world have targets for renewable electricity, and some cities have committed to 100% renewables – most recently Fukushima in Japan, and Maui County, Hawaii. On Monday Sept 21st, we expect New York City to announce it will move to 100% renewables.
  • The transformation to 100% renewables needs to start with a strong agreement in Paris
  • There are no major economic or technical barriers to moving towards 100% renewable energy by 2050. It just requires the political will to make the change.

Greenpeace has been publishing its Energy [R]evolution scenarios since 2005, more recently in collaboration with the scientific community, in particular the German Aerospace Centre (DLr). While our predictions on the potential and market growth of renewable energy may once have seemed fanciful or unrealistic, they have proved to be accurate. the US-based Meister Consultants Group concluded earlier this year that “the world’s biggest energy agencies, financial institutions and fossil fuel companies for the most part seriously under-estimated just how fast the clean power sector could and would grow”. It wasn’t the IEA, Goldman Sachs or the US Department of Energy who got it right. It was Greenpeace’s market scenario which was the most accurate.

Greenpeace: Energy Revolution 2015 Full Report

Greenpeace: Energy Revolution 2015 Executive Summary

Greenpeace: Energy Revolution 2015 Key Messages

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

The Story of a Spoon

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life… Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

A recent Greenpeace blog post, titled, The Story of a Spoon, written by Arin de Hoog, elaborates on the other, besides ‘being owned by all your shit’, consequence of owning too much stuff: the wear and tear on our planet, our resources and the sustainability factor. A plastic spoon seems innocuous enough except:

“The Story of a Spoon is an appeal for people to stop racing down the aisles. To slow down. To take a moment to think about how the stuff we buy came into existence and what happens to that stuff when we no longer have use for it.

It’s about asking ourselves, when you consider the history and future of a thing, is there a more sustainable alternative? It’s about understanding our inter-dependency with the natural environment and changing the way we consume for the better.”

Now I know many of you probably don’t use plastic utensils but on the off chance that some of you do use them, I think you may be interested in watching this video, The Story of a Spoon, below. And for those of you who don’t use plastic to devour your food, this is just another reason why, yes, you’re (inadvertently!) on the right path!

“We’re starting to get it. Change is already underway. We’re doing more reducing, more reusing and more recycling. More grocery stores won’t give you a plastic bag and more of us are exchanging our clothes or passing them on to people who need them.”

Personally, when I take my lunch to school or travelling or appointments, I have a plastic reusable spoon and fork kit that I take with me. It’s BPA free, pink and glittery… Now how could anyone resist using that? And at home, we have only stainless steel knives and forks. However, I do remember (before, when I used to be able to go to group gatherings (Where people sprayed their bodies and hair with industrial solvents, toxic fragrances and petrochemicals before arriving.) and the norm was to have a heap of plastic utensils to save on washing up, and, yes, I remember how they’d just get swept into the rubbish afterwards. Crazy, hey?When people, myself included, become sensitive to chemicals they are forced to look at their consumption of products from a different angle. Like not only asking themselves, Oh, where did this come from? but, Will this have an impact on my environment? and they must learn (adapt) quickly to this new way of living cautiously if they want to thrive or, just survive, even.

When you look at the big picture and society as a whole and what is needed to protect our planet, then human beings becoming sensitive to chemicals is not such a bad thing.

Your thoughts… ?

More

Heather Awen: How MCS May Be Saving Humankind from Itself

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Europe’s Pesticide Addiction

How Industrial Agriculture Damages our Environment

From Greenpeace International on ISSUU:

“Europe’s dependency on chemical pesticides is nothing short of an addiction. Crops are routinely doused with a variety of chemicals, usually applied multiple times to single crops throughout the whole growing season. Industrial agriculture, with its heavy use of chemical pesticides, pollutes our water and soil and leads to loss of habitats and biodiversity.”

Greenpeace International.org have made recommendations to fix this serious problem; such as:

Only by reducing pesticide use and ultimately converting farming systems to ecological farming practices will it be possible to address the ecological and economic problems that agriculture currently faces…

And:

Overhauling regulatory controls for pesticide risk assessment.
In particular, investigating and monitoring the effects that the exposure to cocktails of chemicals can have on human health and the environment. The specific pesticide formulations used in the field should also be subject to testing and rigorous scientific assessment rather than the active ingredients alone. In addition, all available independent scientific literature should be taken into account as part of risk assessment processes, and all studies and data used in the assessment should be made publicly available. Once an authorisation has been granted, if scientific evidence emerges bringing additional information that could put into question the conclusions of the risk assessment process a re-evaluation of the active substance and the formulations should immediately take place.

The report also reviews existing scientific literature on the use of synthetic chemical pesticides in agriculture:

Those pesticides pose a major threat to biodiversity either endangering species directly, by poisoning and eventually killing them, or indirectly, by disrupting ecosystems, e.g. through a collapse of the foodweb. ‘Cocktails’ of several pesticides commonly contaminate the environment, but the effects of such chemical mixtures are not routinely assessed as part of the EU pesticides’ authorisation process. In addition, pesticides are assessed by active ingredients, instead of examining the impacts of the actual marketed product used in the field. The EU process also fails to properly assess the long-term effects of exposure to low doses of pesticides, as it mainly focuses on their acute toxicity.

Non-chemical alternatives to pest management are already available to farmers but need the necessary political and financial support to go mainstream, and fulfil the promise of Ecological Farming, which combines modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity.

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Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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