Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Water Shortages, Al Gore’s Goals, Waxman vs. Dingell

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Global water shortages could occur by 2080. As the effects of climate change make themselves known, don’t be surprised to see that date moved up.  3.2 billion people without access to clean water will cause massive geopolitical problems.

Check out these cool cartograms.

Gore outlined a 5-point plan he sees as necessary to work toward in the early 21st century to transition to a renewable energy economy [h/t Joe Romm]. 1) Large concentrated solar thermal plants in the southwest. 2) National smart grid.  3) Plug-in hybrid car development. 4) Retrofit existing buildings with better insulation and energy-efficient windows and lighting.  5) Put a price on carbon that reflects its actual total costs.

More on Waxman vs. Dingell. Who will win the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair?  The older Dingell who has protected the foot-dragging auto industry from mean-old government regulations, or the younger Waxman who would usher in much needed envrionmental regulations and an overhaul of U.S. auto manufacturing.  My vote would go to Waxman.  Dingell has held this country back for too many decades.  I think I read an inital vote today put Waxman on top.  I’ll have to check.  A second vote with a larger caucus could come tomorrow.

A significant record was set during the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season: 2008 is the only year when a major hurricane formed in five different months [2nd h/t to Joe Romm].  Also, 2008 is second on the list of damage during one year: $52 billion.  Remember that a number of storms weakened prior to U.S. landfall this year.  Remember further that those landfalling hurricanes barely missed a number of very large U.S. cities.  If those storms had maintained their strength longer or their tracks were just slightly adjusted, that damage total would have been much higher.  We can’t keep dodging bullets forever.

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