Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Greenhouse Gas

First off, what are greenhouse gases? According to this link they are:
Greenhouse gases(GHG) are gaseous components of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect. The major natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36-70% of the greenhouse effect on Earth (not including clouds); carbon dioxide, which causes between 9-26%; and ozone, which causes between 3-7% (note that it is not really possible to assert that such-and-such a gas causes a certain percentage of the greenhouse effect, because the influences of the various gases are not additive. The higher ends of the ranges quoted are for the gas alone; the lower end, for the gas counting overlaps). [1] [2].

Other greenhouse gases include, but are not limited to: methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, and chlorofluorocarbons - see IPCC list of greenhouse gases.

The UK was being attacked from every quarter after announcing that they would not meet their target in cutting back on GHG. They did come up with some ideas though and it has businesses taking most of the heat for that. As this article points out, this will mean an increase in cost to the consumers as the businesses will have the added expense of purchasing permits.

The UK is not alone in facing this dilemna as the output of GHG from Ireland are now around 6 times the amount set as the standards for EU countries. Apparently the increase of transportation is the most to blame.

That is probably why some countries push for high gas mileage. The Bush Administration, thought to be the foe of all good things in some sectors, has finalised the new CAFE mileage standards. Big change this time is that the rule will cover SUVs. The 24mpg fleet average will be slowly phased in over the next few years and is projected to reduce consumption by over 10 billion barrels of oil.

Progress Energy is also backing GHG curbs. Their position became public after a group of shareholders asked what their position was on this matter. The article mentions that power companies produce 40% of the U.S.'s carbon dioxide. They expect to do their part by using cleaner coal technology, switching from oil to natural gas, burning animal waste as fuel, and by looking at the nuclear option.

Seattle announced that they are going to list a bunch of recommendations on how to curb their emissions.
The proposed solutions are multi-faceted in their approach and include increasing bus service, building more bike lanes and parking spaces, and discouraging driving by imposing tolls and higher parking lot taxes. There are recommended zoning changes that would encourage the creation of pedestrian-friendly communities where stores, jobs and homes are close together.

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