Schultz Environment Blog

Environment in a broad sense,transports and energy issues. From my local point of view with a global touch!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Time to get better airplanes
The emissions of carbon dioxide from international air transports increased by 86 % from 1990 to 2004, shows a report from the European Environment Agency. I wrote about Sir Richard Branson’s fund for fighting the global warming on the 9 of February. I wonder how much of this increase in emissions his Virgin Airlines is responsible for.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It’s nice to see that the winter really still exists. This evening’s walk with the dog was really nice. The climate is like it should be. Some days ago I read an article written by a Swedish journalist in the leading Swedish newspaper DN. He wrote an article with the headline “When the no Sayers rule” He takes the stand that the four lasting rivers not exploited yet in Sweden should be exploited. The national resources of uranium in Sweden should be exploited to ashore fuel for the nations using nuclear power, he means, just too ashore a continued development in the world. He seems a bit afraid of the people preserving the resources in Earth, doesn’t he?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What difference will it make?
Yesterday the ministers of environment met to decide upon the proposal from the commission about the goals for reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. The result was that the European Union set the goal 20 % reduction by 2020 and 30 % by the same year if the rest of the world society joins that figure. And then, what will it mean to the ordinary people like you and me. How shall these very abstract, all-embracing goals become concrete and relevant in all the different levels of society– the world society, the European Union, the country, the region, the city? I think there is a lot of work to be done to smooth up the relations between the different levels.

I saw that the Swedish minister was a bit disappointed about the compromise. What about the county governor or the mayor (chair of the executive committee in the city) how do they feel about it; are they disappointed as well? Are they on the same ground, do they have the same agenda? Unfortunately I don’t think so. They probably have other issues high on the agenda. How to grow and develop the economy for a better welfare…..

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Russian gas-pipeline may protect the fish stock in the Baltic Sea
According to Swedish Marin biologists a gas pipeline on the bottom of the Baltic Sea may protect the fish stock from the trawls of the fishing boats. The pipeline sort of establish like a reserve for the fish. Of course there are other risks with a pipeline like that, but there is also an advantage. You may not have noticed that from the discussion so far.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Reflection needed
The time for reflections over what we have learned has disappeared more and more in our modern society. More and more of the “news” we read are mass-produced, not thought through material by some reflecting journalist.

Do you think we will have a problem with all the mutagenic substances in the future? I mean take for example the mutagenic substances emitted in the exhaust gases from cars. Will they affect the human chromosomes in the future? Have you heard or read anything about this possibly huge environmental problem? Perhaps you think, this is untouched by the media – the scientist have most probably already analysed this problem and have it under control? Or, what do you think, could it be a problem?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Over fishing
A new European Union report was released about how the fishing in the Baltic Sea is performed. The result wasn’t too good for neither Sweden nor Poland. The Swedish fishermen took more than 20 % of the allowed maximum of cod and the polish fishermen were even worse, more than 50 % more cod than allowed. I believed that over cod-fishing was a well known problem dealt with by the governments but obviously I was wrong. The greed of the individual fisherman or the misdirected care for jobs by the governments, still leads to depletion of fish populations. The Swedish authorities and the fishermen trade organisations often criticise other countries around the Baltic Sea for their fishing policies. They ought to feel somewhat embarrassed today, or? I hope those involved will deal with the problem instantly.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Climate Care and/or business?
The British organisation Climate Care is one of approximately 40 international companies or organisations dealing with carbon dioxide offsetting. They give individuals or companies a chance to compensate for their emissions of greenhouse gases from their transports, etc. Their payment, called carbon dioxide credits, is then invested in climate related projects aimed to compensate for the emissions. Climate care was founded in 1998 and is a non-profit fund, which is not always the fact. One big Swedish newspaper has started a cooperation with Climate care which aims to give a better conscience for the travelling Swedes? The good thing with this initiative is that perhaps more people consider the emission of greenhouse gases when they plan for the holidays or the business journey. Although, I’m always a little sceptic to these forms of businesses with peoples conscience involved. Even the engaged newspaper compares it with a letter of indulgence in the middle ages, and what do we feel about that?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Good move Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson invests $ 3 billion to fight global warming. He will invest all profits from his travel firms over the next 10 years. The funds will be invested to develop new renewable energy technologies. He announced this in New York in the Clinton Global Initiative, hosted by Bill Clinton.
He defended himself for having airline companies by saying that should he ground his plans British Airways would take their place. I think it’s quit OK that a guy like Sir Branson invests his future profit (if he will make profit?) in actions fighting global warming. This fight requires money. But I don’t think he is going to find one single solution suggested by the scientists to reward. The prize he is awarding is $25 million in the "Virgin Earth Challenge" for the best scientific solution of how to lower the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cleaner cars in Europe
As expected the criteria for content of CO 2 level in exhaust gases, has been compromised by the European commission between the interests of the car industry and environment. The commission wants to lower the limit values of greenhouse gases to 130 gram per kilometre by 2012. And through other measures, better fuels and tires, the commission hopes to reach 120 gram per kilometre by 2012. And that’s the same level as the car industry earlier had volunteered to reach in 2010. But as Margot Wallström, the vice chair of the commission said, it’s the hardest law in this issue in the world. In a way she is of course right, but I think it’s quite a weak compromise where the environmental interest haven’t been that successful.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Different views on measures against climate changes?
I have seen that economists comment on the IPPC report in somewhat the same way. They often speak in the term that if we undertake actions against the climate changes we will stop the development of the poor countries. They are forming another big threat as an opposite to the threat of climate changes. It’s like the laws of economics were threatened by the climate changes?

Perhaps they see the actions against the climate change as a threat to the economic growth in it self? And growth is of course the engine of the economy. I’ve heard that Muslims have trouble getting loans in Swedish banks because their religion gives forbids them to accept the interest-rate. The interest-rate is one of the big motive forces in the economy making it possible to earn money on money. Hmm, I wonder if the Muslim world will deal better with the problems caused by climate change, than other religions. What do you think?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

IPPC report
Tomorrow the International Panel on Climate Changes releases their fourth report on Climate Changes. The changes are faster than earlier realised and the scientists foresee 2 to 4 degrees Celsius higher temperature the next 100 years. The issue was discussed on the Swedish radio news this morning with the Swedish minister for Environment and the general secretary for the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. The minister, Andreas Carlgren, spoke about 25-30 % decrease in outlets of greenhouse gases by 2020, without promising such a goal for Sweden.
The issue was recently discussed on CNN, Larry King live, and the panel did not agree upon everything. Have a look in the link below if you are interested. Thank you for the link, Erica. The climate changes are really a worldwide concern and will for certain be needed to handle, not only discuss, in the near future.