Stories tagged United Nations

Food for thought

by Shana on Aug. 03rd, 2010

Yum!: Roasted crickets at a market in Mexico.
Yum!: Roasted crickets at a market in Mexico.Courtesy Meutia Chaerani / Indradi Soemardjan

You may think that eating live cockroaches is a bad idea, but the UN Food and Agriculture Organization thinks that eating insects may address a bevy of problems, such as poor nutrition in developing nations and the high greenhouse gas output from raising livestock for meat. Raising insects produces far less greenhouse gases and the insects provide essential proteins and nutrients, filling a similar role in the diet to meat. While people all over the world already eat insects, the critters may be hard to swallow in squeamish western countries where the practice is rare.

Dec
20
2009

Old refrigerators guzzle energy: Newer refrigerators use 75% less energy
Old refrigerators guzzle energy: Newer refrigerators use 75% less energyCourtesy Rich Anderson

More efficient refrigerators have a huge impact

Refrigerators today are bigger than in the 70s but use 75% less energy. This happened because of stricter energy efficiency standards. Efficiency standards can save more energy than current wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources combined!

United Nations summit on climate change

This week at the United Nations' summit on climate change, U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary, Steven Chu, unveiled a $350-million investment plan to bring to the developing world everything from efficient refrigerators to solar lanterns.

Climate REDI

Climate Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI) is a $350-million investment by major economies, including $85 million from the U.S., to bring everything from efficient refrigerators to solar lanterns to the developing world.

"The energy savings from refrigerators is greater than all U.S. renewable energy generation—all the wind, solar thermal and solar photovoltaics—just the refrigerators," Chu said in a speech announcing the initiative, noting the refrigerators also cost less. "Energy efficiency is truly a case where you can have your cake and eat it too. [But] it was driven by standards; it didn't happen on its own."

Learn more about the UN energy-efficiency initiative

Source: Scientific American
U.S. Unveils a $350-Million Energy-Efficiency Initiative at Copenhagen

Jan
07
2008

Looks like we may not need such a big thermometer after all: Despite ever-increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, global temperatures have not gone up in nine years.  What gives?
Looks like we may not need such a big thermometer after all: Despite ever-increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, global temperatures have not gone up in nine years. What gives?Courtesy arbyreed

Y’know, it’s been a while since we’ve had a good dust-up over global warming here at the Buzz. Last month, 10,000 delegates attended the UN’s climate conference in Bali (most of them traveling by jet and producing more of the carbon they’re supposed to be reducing), and there was hardly a peep. Even when 100 scientists signed a letter poking holes in the popular conception of global warming, nobody here said a word.

Oh well, what can I say? Holiday rush, end-of-the-year malaise…we had other things on our minds. But today, as the Midwest in experiencing record-shattering warmth (62° in mid-Michigan on January 7!), comes news that global warming…has stopped! It seems that global temps peaked in 1998, settled down a bit, and have been basically unchanged since 2001. So, for the past nine years, while humans continue to pump more and more carbon into the atmosphere, global temperatures have… done nothing.

How to explain this phenomenon? Well, there are a couple of wacky European scientists who argue that climate is driven by the Sun rather than by humans, but that’s obviously just crazy talk. The mystery of the missing warming continues.