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Enviro New Wrap: Energy in the U.S.; Better Plastics; the True Costs of CO2, and more

The latest environmental news headlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

Energy policy in the United States:

And in other environmental news…

  • Dow Chemical claims it can produce polyethylene  from sugarcane for cheaper than fossil fuels can. Wow, yes, do that then if the impact is really less. We can’t stop the global reliance on plastic products just yet, but we can at least make it less bad for the environment.
  • The natural gas industry wants you to believe that they can deliver energy for less environmental impact than oil, but don’t be fooled, the overall impact is barely better, the only claim that they can cling to is that at least its “cleaner” than coal or oil when burned.
  • Electric planes are in the making.
  • Estimating the environmental damage and economic of CO2 emissions. If it can be shown that reducing environmental damage costs less than paying the cost to shield ourselves from continued damage, then we can make the argument that we should preserve nature instead of destroy it in some scenario that resembles The Lorax.
  • The Green Revolution in the 1960s increased global food production at the cost of the quality of our natural environment, now the focus is on African food production. One paradox that must be overcome is that when you increase the amount of food suddenly the price of food drops suddenly and people are left with no ability to sell their product for a profit thus they are unable to buy food, yet there is plenty of food.
  • Determining the speed and extent of global warming has some scientists wondering if ice will melt as we once thought it would. One dynamic in play is that an environmental effort to reduce pollution emissions reduces sulfur emissions as well, sulfur in the atmosphere reduces global temperatures.

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