Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Archive for the ‘Earth Policy Institute’ tag

Earth Policy Release — China’s Changing Energy Economy

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In his book, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, much of which is continually published and updated on line, Lester Brown focuses great attention on China, the world’s largest carbon emitter. While I don’t disagree with the facts he presents, and have much respect for the work he has done, both with Worldwatch Institute and Earth Policy Institute, I don’t agree with focusing on the problems of other countries. As an American who loves my country very much, more than any other, even more than fabulous Brazil, where I have lived and continue to work, it seems most appropriate to focus on my own actions and my own house, on my own country. Though China may be the world’s most profligate polluter, that is due in large part to their status as the world’s most populous nation. Switch the criteria to pollution per capita, and the U.S. suddenly surges towards the top.

Yes, China has much to do to get their own house in order, but, as the current global leader, our ability to stay in that top spot depends in large part on our ability to lead by example.

In Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester Brown presents a plan to dramatically reduce carbon emissions by increasing energy efficiency and replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. In the push to reduce emissions, all eyes are on China, the world’s most populous country and now also the world’s top carbon emitter.

Read and download other portions of the book here.

Written by Jason

March 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 pm

U.S. CAR FLEET SHRINKS BY FOUR MILLION IN 2009

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After a Century of Growth, U.S. Fleet Entering Era of Decline

Lester R. Brown

America’s century-old love affair with the automobile may be coming to an end. The U.S. fleet has apparently peaked and started to decline. In 2009, the 14 million cars scrapped exceeded the 10 million new cars sold, shrinking the U.S. fleet by 4 million, or nearly 2 percent in one year. While this is widely associated with the recession, it is in fact caused by several converging forces.

Future U.S. fleet size will be determined by the relationship between two trends: new car sales and cars scrapped. Cars scrapped exceeded new car sales in 2009 for the first time since World War II, shrinking the U.S. vehicle fleet from the all-time high of 250 million to 246 million. It now appears that this new trend of scrappage exceeding sales could continue through at least 2020. (See data.)

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 7th, 2010 at 8:02 am

On Energy, We’re Finally Walking the Walk

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By Lester R. Brown

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The United States has entered a new energy era, ending a century of rising carbon emissions. As the U.S. delegation prepares for the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December, it does so from a surprisingly strong position, one based on a dramatic 9 percent drop in U.S. carbon emissions over the past two years and the promise of further huge reductions.

Prominent among these carbon-cutting initiatives are stronger automobile fuel-economy standards, appliance efficiency standards, and the potential to heat, cool and light buildings with carbon-free sources of electricity. On the supply side are efforts supporting the development of U.S. wind, solar and geothermal energy resources.

Read the entire article here.