“Climate change isn’t for the birds” – Politico, 8 September 2014

In addition to affecting food supplies and increasing the likelihood of natural disasters, climate change is drastically impacting wildlife, especially our birds.

Earlier this month, the National Audubon Society published a study, which concluded that half of North America’s bird species will be endangered, and could go extinct, at the century’s end, due to the effects of climate change.

The bald eagle and Baltimore oriole are at a huge risk for endangerment, and Louisiana, Utah, Vermont, Nevada, Idaho, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Washington DC’s state birds are as well. The Audubon’s report comes after a draft of the UN’s climate change report was disclosed, which cautioned about the effects of climate change on people and ecosystems.

President Obama and the EPA are doing everything they can to stop climate change in its tracks, including introducing the Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan Proposal, which are aimed at curbing power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. Of course, there is pushback from Republicans, conservatives, and coal states, like Colorado, Kentucky, and Michigan where politicians contend that new climate regulations will deplete jobs and increase consumer’s expenses on energy.

For the report, the Audubon studied species prevalent to the US and Canada. Of the 588 species the Audubon chose, the Audubon found that by 2080, 314 of them will be in danger of extremely diminished populations because they will be without over half of their livable geographic range. The lives of these birds are indelibly linked to their physical environment.

Moreover, renewable energy — wind and solar power — also has a lasting impact on birds. Many conservatives and conservationists are calling this, “Obama’s war on birds.”

According to a report published last year by the journal Biological Conservation, around 140,000 to 328,000 birds are killed yearly through contact with wind turbines. In 2013, the Interior Department granted 30-year permits to wind farms that allowed for accidentally killing or injuring bald and golden eagles. There have also been reports of a California-based solar power plant that causes birds to catch on fire while flying.

Conservatives are using the repercussions of renewable energy on birds as more political fodder against Obama and his climate policy. Perhaps this is rightfully so, as Obama hasn’t specifically incorporated flora, fauna, and their ecosystems into his climate policy. At the same time, however, if conservative policymakers — any policymakers, at that — are concerned about the birds, then they should make efforts to integrate climate change into conservation planning. It works both ways.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

September 10, 2014

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Copyright 2014. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

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“Coal Growing Its Share Of Global Energy Mix Despite World’s Greening Efforts” – IBTimes, 20 June 2014

Although natural gas has become the US’s go-to energy source, and both Europe and the US are bringing the proverbial hammer down on greenhouse gas emissions, coal is still in wide-use worldwide. China and India are the main culprits; since both countries are continuing to grow, they continue to use coal, since it’s one of the cheapest and most plentiful sources of energy. Together, the two countries are the reason coal consumption saw a three percent increase in 2013. Use of natural gas only rose in North America, while it fell everywhere else.

via IBTimes

via IBTimes

Though developed nations will continue to replace coal with renewable and cleaner energy sources, developing countries will continue to rely on coal, as coal will likely remain inexpensive and abundant.

While coal fulfilled 30.1 percent of the world’s energy needs in 2013, oil met 32.9 percent. The US invested a lot of time and money in fracking shale formations, which led to one of the biggest bouts of oil generation that we’ve seen.

But coal could still win the energy battle. In 2012, the International Energy Agency predicted that yearly worldwide consumption of coal would increase by 1.2 billion tons, making it the number one energy source in the world.

New climate policies by the US and Europe are bound to take a toll on the future of coal. Coal will become reliant on China, and even China is making an effort to decrease pollution and smog and use natural gas instead of coal.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

June 30, 2014

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Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

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Novelis Introduces The Evercan

Last week, Novelis, the world’s largest flat-rolled aluminum maker, announced the introduction of the evercan™ sheet, the first commercially-created and certified high-recycled content aluminum sheeting for beverage cans.

The evercan sheet is made of a minimum of 90% recycled content. Novelis has partnered with the Georgia micro-brewer Red Hare to manufacture the brewer’s beer in the sheeting, which will debut in May. Novelis’ evercan sheet manages to bridge the gap between consumer recycling and new cans, which will also have a positive effect on the environment through energy and emissions reductions. Recycling aluminum necessitates 95% less energy than creating new aluminum sheeting, and expels 95 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Novelis’ partnership with Red Hare sets an example for all beverage companies to instead use the highly recycled evercan sheeting, rather than new cans. Red Hare is a leader itself in the craft beer world—it was the first craft brewery to bottle its beer in aluminum cans. Now almost 400 US craft brewers use aluminum to can 1,300 different beers.

The evercan is available around the world: Novelis’ plants in North America, Europe, South America and Asia are now authorized to manufacture the evercan.

See also:
Novelis Sustainability Report 2013
Aluminum Can Continues Leadership in Sustainable Packaging as Most Recycled Beverage Container
Novelis Breaks Ground on Aluminum Recycling Plant in Germany

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

April 10, 2014

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

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“Marathon Oil to Spend More in US” – 12 December 2013, Wall Street Journal

US-based oil and natural gas company Marathon Oil is planning to sell its business in the North Sea and increase drilling in the US, which — along with a 13% boost in spending and $2.5 billion share-repurchase program in 2014 — will aid the company in growing both its production and shareholder returns. Besides the US, its main exploration activities are in Norway, Guinea, Poland, Angola and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Of the company’s capital spending for 2014 — an estimated $5.9 billion — $3.6 billion will be used for drilling in North America.

The company is set to spend billions in Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota, the latter two housing some of the largest shale formations in the US. For Texas, Marathon is investing $2.3 billion in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation located in South Texas, which is expected to have at least 400 new wells drilled in the coming months. For North Dakota, the company is investing $1 billion in the Bakken Formation, and $236 million in the Woodford Basin in Oklahoma.

Other US energy companies are also moving their businesses back home. LA-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. is planning to sell some of its Middle East business and increase its presence in West Texas’ Permian Basin. Houston-based Apache Corp. sold some of its natural gas business in Egypt in order to concentrate on North America. Houston-based ConocoPhillips is looking to sell some of its Nigerian and Kazakhstan assets for a move back home, as well.

Around 70% of Marathon Oil’s profits originate from manufacturing oil and natural gas; the company projects that it’s oil and gas output will rise by 4% in 2014.

It is very positive for both the US economy and energy independence that US energy companies are now investing more in US oil and gas properties.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

January 7, 2014

Phinix LLC

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