The big G20 Trade Minister conclave is happening in Istanbul and energy ministers seem to be committed to renewable energy issues. IRENA, the renewable energy toolkit has already caught their attention but what remains to be seen is the question of how much progress, and a tangible one at that, would this huddle make on international co-operation, transparency, climate change initiatives, energy security and clean energy?
Pope’s Handshake with Prez Obama
During his visit to the US, Pontiff Francis dwelt on environmental issues and climate change crisis. His own words: “We are living at a crucial moment of history…..can’t leave this problem for future generations…” As he urges global leaders and individuals alike to dedicate to this 'revolution', many wonder how much of that concern reflects in the appropriation bills by Congress in the US and the worth that climate change has when it comes to taxpayers’ money? Would New York Republican Chris Gibson’s resolution on the human role in climate change be just the twist we need?
Water, Water, yes, everywhere
NASA created that well-deserved buzz again for announcing the discovery of water on Mars. But even before we start nursing dreams of life beyond Earth, can our rovers ensure they are sterilized enough so as to not contaminate a planet from what Earth itself can spread? And once they do that, can we humans ensure our space-tourism fanatics do not make a mess of yet another planet? May be even Andy Weir cannot answer that one?
EPA in News again
On one hand the regulator is realizing that budgets need to be prioritized, treadmill system should be tweaked and more resources and portable tests being brought on road. On the other hand, critics and activists continue to whip EPA’s systems and approach after the big-bad Volkswagen scandal. Now, an environmental group has launched a petition asking every model of car and light trucks sold in the U.S. to be subject to on-the-road emissions tests. Question: Would the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition be a cue for countries beyond the US, like, err, India?
SMOG courtesy softpedia
65? 70? Or 75? The confusion is finally sorted as the US EPA lowers ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) to 70 parts per billion (ppb). It was 75 ppb before and brushed a close-bullet coming down to 65 ppb last year itself thanks to a controversial spin given by President Obama. But industry lobbyists still argue that it’s a bad call taken on basis of wobbly Science. As to envt activists, they say Boo-Boo too - this is still not 65!
Well, for now, the cost of the rule is at $1.4 bn and regulatory burdens of tougher emission controls for VOCs and NOX seem a good news. Question: Did EPA play smart by avoiding both the figures - 65 and 75?