[번역/요약] 트럼프는 아직도 기후변화가 ‘사기’라고 생각할까?

Source: “Does Donald Trump Still Think Climate Change Is a Hoax? No One Can Say,” By Peter Baker, June 2, 2017, the New York Times

지난 몇 년 간, 트럼프 미 대통령은 기후변화를 ‘존재하지도 않는,’ ‘완전한 사기’ 등으로 지칭해 왔다. 지난 겨울, 뉴욕에 눈폭풍이 왔을 때도 지구온난화가 웬말이냐며 조롱을 금치 못하던 그다.

그런데 지난 금요일 트럼프 대통령이 미국이 파리협정에서 탈퇴하는 결정을 내린 뒤, 백악관은 그가 아직도 기후변화를 믿지 않는지 여부에 대해서는 입을 다물었다. 결정을 발표하는 자리에서도 트럼프 대통령은 기후변화와 관련한 과학적 사실이나 본인의 회의감을 표출하지 않았다. 다만 경제적인 이유를 내세우며, 전임자 버락 오바마 전 대통령이 미국 경제에 악영향을 끼치는 파리 협정에 가입했기 때문에 탈퇴하기로 했다고 언급했을 뿐이다.

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CNN – 12 Best Climate Change Books

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/19/opinions/sutter-2-degrees-book-club/

1. “Six Degrees,” by Mark Lynas

[번역본] “6도의 악몽” 마크 라이너스 지음/이한중 옮김/세종서적

2. “This Changes Everything,” by Naomi Klein

[번역본] “이것이 모든 것을 바꾼다” 나오미 클라인 지음/이순희 옮김/열린책들

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[Summary]Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity

  • Title:  Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity
  • Date: December 2016
  • Author: Staffell, I.
  • Published: Energy Policy

Most advanced economies around the world are striving to cut its greenhouse gas emissions through a diversity of policies. But how could one measure the progress? This paper gives a good example of examining which data sources to look into, how to calculate carbon emissions from different sources, and what uncertainties are.

Continue reading [Summary]Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity

More Action, No Delay: the Obvious Tasks of the U. S.’s Climate Change Policy

Many speculate what would happen to the U. S.’s pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions after Donald J. Trump takes control of the White House. The U. S. promised not only to cut its own emissions through its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) but to help poor countries under the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, the President-elect has openly vowed to leave this landmark deal, which intends to limit the global temerature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. So, what if the U. S. cannot meet, or even abandon, the INDC? Alternatively, if it somehow manages to deliver its promise, does it mean the worst-case climate scenario averted?

Continue reading More Action, No Delay: the Obvious Tasks of the U. S.’s Climate Change Policy

[Summary] Electricity Generation from Renewables in the United States

  • Title: Electricity generation from renewables in the United States: Resource potential, current usage, technical status, challenges, strategies, policies, and future directions 
  • Date: April 2013
  • Author: Atif Osmani, Jun Zhang, Vinay Gonela, Iddrisu Awudu
  • Published: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Continue reading [Summary] Electricity Generation from Renewables in the United States

Associating GHG Emissions with Electricity Generation

It is elementary: a large part of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to power generation, especially to fossil fuel combustion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electricity production accounted for 30 percent of the U. S.’s total GHG emissions in 2014, marking the largest share [1]. About two-thirds of the produced electricity comes from fossil fuel combustion, mostly coal and natural gas [2]. It can be implied that employing less carbon-intensive technologies such as renewables and nuclear—although the latter can be politically charged—would lead to less GHG emissions.

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Little Ice Age Reflected in Dutch Landscape Paintings

  • Title: Ice and snow in paintings of Little Ice Age winters
  • Date of publication: February 2005
  • Authors: Peter J. Robinson
  • Published by: Weather

Artists will probably find beauty in a piece of Dutch landscape paintings in the 17th Century, but climate scientist may see it as a data set; art work can be important evidence of the Little Ice Age that lasted from 1300 to 1850 [1]. An interesting study titled “Ice and snow in paintings of Little Ice Age winters” examines how artists in Europe depicted the colder weather and how we can get information about climate from those paintings.

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Observed vs. Modeled Climate Sensitivity

  • Title: Reconciled climate response estimates from climate models and the energy budget of Earth
  • Date: June 2016
  • Authors: Richardson et al.
  • Published by: Nature Climate Change

Naturally, there are always some gaps between the real world and the results from simulation models. In case of climate sensitivity, which refers to the temperature increase from doubling CO2, the real-world data that has been historically recorded gives us around 1.3 , while models gives us a little bit higher value. Climate skeptics often use this fact to support their argument; that global warming is not in fact that serious as scientists predict. However, a study published by Nature Climate Change this last June, Reconciled climate response estimates from climate models and the energy budget of Earth (Richardson et al., 2016), addresses why climate sensitivity is predicted differently from climate models and observed data.

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‘Recycling’ the Funds from Carbon Tax or Cap and Trade

Reducing the national emissions often involves a powerful policy tool such as carbon tax or emission trading. While many focus on the effectiveness of such measures in cutting carbon emissions, there have been some serious discussions on how to spend the money gained from tax or cap-and-trade auctions. We are talking about some BIG money here; for example, California is reaping over $2 million annually from its cap and trade, and the proceeds are expected to grow over time [1].

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About My Program: MS in Energy Policy and Climate

By the end of the Spring Semester of 2016, I would be only 30 percent away from completion of my master’s degree. I am currently enrolled in Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate (EPC) at Johns Hopkins University, which is offered as an interdisciplinary, professional degree. There would be a lot of different opinions about this program, especially considering its relatively short history, but here I’d like to share my personal thoughts as a current student for those who may consider choosing this particular degree program.

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