Schultz Environment Blog

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The wrong direction
Yesterday you could read the following in many newspapers around the world. The advertisement was initiated by the Tällberg Foundation in Sweden and had over 170 signatories, including leading environment scientists. I think these scientists gives the most reason to listen to the message.
I agree with them – the world is heading the wrong direction!
Barack Obama says he want to decrease the emissions of CO2 by 80 % by year 2050, compared with the level of 1990, while John McCain wants to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases by 60 % during the same period. But, it isn’t what you say that counts, its what you do.

Here is the advertisment quoted.

“We’ve been there: atmospheric concentration of carbon
dioxide (CO2) of 350 parts per million (ppm).
On this day twenty years ago, when Dr. James Hansen of
NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies warned the US
Congress of global warming forced by greenhouse gases
emitted through human activities, CO2 stood at 350 ppm.
That was then. Today it is up to 385 ppm. Sixteen years after
the UN Convention on Climate Change was agreed upon to
stabilize greenhouse gases at a level preventing dangerous
human interference with the climate system, global carbon
emissions are still increasing – more rapidly than ever. We
are well on our way to 450 ppm and beyond.
What does the best science tell us?
Until recently, scientific consensus set the safe zone to avoid
the worst effects of climate change at 450 ppm. But today
the latest science tells us the danger zone may already
begin at 350 ppm. Catastrophic effects cannot be ruled out if
levels above 350 ppm are maintained for a long time.
What does this mean?
We’ve gone too far – in a dangerous direction. Now we know
enough. To act now. To foresee and forestall any risk of
massive and irreversible damage to the earth and all its
inhabitants for generations to come, we must reduce
atmospheric CO2 to levels below 350 ppm. Scientific insights
bring political responsibilities. We need leadership that
respects the planetary boundaries of life.
We, the signatories of this message from all continents, call
upon all nations in the ongoing climate negotiations to adopt
350 as the target to be reached peacefully and deliberately,
with all possible speed.
350 is one of our planet’s boundary conditions. It should not
have been transgressed. We must go back for a future:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Green Banks ??
On Monday several Swedish newspapers quoted a report from the consultancy AT Kearney about the lack of environmental devotion in Swedish banks. “Best in show” according to the newspapers is the Swedbank. Many people don’t connect their bank issues with environment, but actually a bank can mean a lot for the environment by the way they do business. Do you ever confront your bank with questions about how they care for the environment? Then I don’t mean how they manage their waste etc. I mean how they care for the environment through their banking terms.
Today I had a meeting with representatives for the JAK member’s bank. We have cooperation in an EU project that I have described earlier in this blog. The thing about JAK is that they have interest-free savings and loans. The aim is to get a more fair society and to get less environment distress through less economic growth as a consequence of non-excitant interest-rates. You can read more about the JAK member’s bank on their website. The television from Italy has done reportage about the JAK member’s bank and the banks in Italy and the Netherlands are seen to be more environmentally devoted in general than the Swedish bank system. The membership in Sweden grows more every time interest-rates rise, today there are 35 000 members.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mercury in Fish still a problem in Sweden
Although, the fallout of mercury in Nature has decreased the last ten years, the levels in fish still increases. Swedish researchers have done a study of more than 2000 lakes since the 1960’s. The level in fish in general is now 3 to 5 times the natural background level.
The mercury fallout from air in Sweden mostly come from combustion processes in other European countries and is still of the size, although lowered, that the levels of mercury in the ground still increases and leaks out from the ground to the water. To stop this process the meercury fallout from the air must be cut down with 80 % from today’s figures, according to the scientists.

The climate change and changes in the processes which steer how much mercury that is emitted from the ground to the lakes and the uptake of the fish are other reasons for the problem with high levels of mercury in fish in Sweden. It’s a rather complex heavy metal process to understand and the measures are not still enough to stop the problem from escalating. During all these years since the problem was found one would have wished that effective measures could have been undertaken.