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Climate Progress recently reported on a study that found both economic and environmental benefits if homes in the northeastern United States upgraded older heating systems by moving from heating oil to switchgrass. However, one point to emphasize was the findings were specific to those circumstances — the region, the homes, and that particular use. Switchgrass was not nearly as good an idea for electricity generation or transportation fuel.
It’s no secret that wildlife around the world is under severe stress . The most recent Red List from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimated that 33% of the species evaluated by the group are at least threatened. The causes are many—hunting, disease, habitat loss, invasive species, even climate change—but they mostly boil down to one main reason: us. The good news is that we have confirmed extinction for just a handful of species that we know of—though scientists have only been able to formally assess less than 3% of the world’s 1.9 million named species. (And keep in mind that the actual number of species on the planet is certainly far greater than that.) That’s where the good news ends.
Ministers believe that commitment to wind power and other green energy sources will attract investment to Britain. Photograph: Graeme Robertson Cabinet ministers have agreed a far-reaching, legally binding "green deal" that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions . The package will require sweeping changes to domestic life, transport and business and will place Britain at the forefront of the global battle against climate change . The deal was hammered out after tense arguments between ministers who had disagreed over whether the ambitious plans to switch to more green energy were affordable.
NOTE: Some major wind projects like the proposed TWE Carbon Valley project in Wyoming are already pricing in significantly lower than coal power -- $80 per MWh for wind versus $90 per MWh for coal -- and that is without government subsidies using today's wind turbine technology. The International Clean Energy Analysis (ICEA) gateway estimates that the U.S. possesses 2.2 million km2 of high wind potential (Class 3-7 winds) — about 850,000 square miles of land that could yield high levels of wind energy. This makes the U.S. something of a Saudi Arabia for wind energy, ranked third in the world for total wind energy potential.
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