The Revenge of Gaïa by James Lovelock

I read this month The Revenge of Gaïa, the latest book from one of the major ecological thinkers of our time, Dr. James Lovelock.

This book is not optimistic as the author believes it is already too late to work on sustainable development and that we have to operate a sustainable retreat.

I truly enjoyed this as there are many elements worth reading, such as why nuclear is a chance and not a menace for us or what could be the solutions.

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US federal government begins to tackle energy efficiency

usa.jpgIn the past week two events showed that the USA begin to tackle climate change in a serious way. This is really good news.

To do so, the US federal government enacted two laws that will increase the energy efficiency of vehicles and light bulbs and lead to huge savings of greenhouse gases emissions.

Both events occur a few days after the end of the Bali IPCC’s conference of parties that was due to prepare the future of climate change mitigation.

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Difference between behavioral change and efficiency

cfl.jpgIn my article on the clean alternatives to coal I was mentioning that the first thing to implement before any other was behavioral changes and energy efficiency.

Indeed, I believe we need both as they are complementary and very different. Indeed one has a sociological approach when the other refers to pure economics.

Energy efficiency is well known and is becoming more and more talked about, but behavioral changes aren’t. This article will explain what could be their tenets.

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My selection of books I read in 2007

As we are now near Christmas, and as I am willing to do a best of of what I read in the past months, I will outline in today’s article my favourite readings of 2007.

From science fiction and comic books, to serious readings on sustainable development and astrophotography, I recommend you a dozen articles, one per month.

This way you will find some ideas of great books for your loved ones or yourselves. And if you really want to offer me a book, you can a look at this page.

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Algae, the best solution to make biofuels

I have never been a great fan of traditional biofuels (nor the World Bank and the OECD) as their yield is quite small and as they require a lot of by-products (pesticides…).

However, some alguae like Ulva lactuca (sea lettuce, pictured left) have a much superior yield than cereals and aren’t as much eaten as their terrestrial cousins.

Le Figaro Magazine and Notre-Planè explored this alternative that might really help us in replacing oil when it will be too expansive, and this in a sustainable way.

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A record breaking electricity consumption in France

The current temperatures in France are six degrees below average and this led to a record-breaking electricity consumption.

Last night the level of energy consumption rose to 88 960 MW, compared to the previous record of 86 280 MW in January 2006.

It is estimated by the Réseau de transport d’électricité that when temperature decreases by 1°C, the electricity consumption increases by 1 700 MW.

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A minimal agreement on climate change in Bali

As the Bali Conference of Parties within the IPCC finished on December 14th, it is time for me to sum up the situation with what took place during those days.

The least I can say is that the official position from the United States seriously endangered the negotiations and led to an agreement with minimum targets.

This lead some to believe that the solution to climate change won’t come from international agreements within the IPCC and the UN.

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Oil producing countries to export less fossil fuels

oil_well.jpgThe IHT proposed on December 9th an interesting article on the future of the oil market which brings even more gloomy prospects.

The article strongly reinforces my opinion that we (France, Europe, the entire world…) should work fast on energy efficiency in order to consume less energy.

To the journalist, oil-rich countries like Mexico or Indonesia see their indigenous demand increase rapidly. This leads to a decrease of their exports of fossil fuel.

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Toward a new world war because of climate change?

unep.jpgThis is the question asked by Le Figaro [Fr] as the United Nations released a report that should urge ALL world leaders to make climate change mitigation their top priority.

According to the UN, many countries in Africa, Asia and Americas might be seriously threatened by wars as their environments deteriorate in many ways.

But these tensions could also spread to neighbouring regions such as Europe or the USA as hundreds of million people would be migrating to more favourable places.

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The fairy of Eagle Nebula and star trails at dawn

My daily browsing includes having a look at the Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD). Sunday’s one is as often with NASA’s images, absolutely fabulous.

I really appreciate this photo because of the strong contrast between the left and right parts of the image, the black colliding with the white, the dark red versus the light blue…

The Eagle is quite visible on the far left side of the image. In the second part of the post, I propose you a second mesmerizing image.

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Two news on Chinese energy for the price of one

Both the Financial Times and the Worldwatch Institute provided me monday with interesting data and news on the Chinese energy market.

Good news : the country is willing to get 30% of its electricity via renewables by 2050. Bad news : the growth of energy consumption last year was of 16.2 percent.

This wouldn’t be a problem if this 90 GW increase wasn’t fuelled for 85 percent by coal-fired plants, which are by far the most CO2 intensive and most polluting solution.

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A major Asian utility to decrease its CO2 emissions

According to the IHT, one of the major electricity producers in Asia – The CLP Group – committed itself to decreasing its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75 percent by 2050.

The company will use each and every necessary means to do so : renewable energies, carbon capture and storage, clean coal technologies and yes, nuclear.

This occurs during the Bali talks and it is another strong signal. People and companies alike are willing to decrease CO2 emissions, we now need governments to act too !

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