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  •  Immediate Climate Mitigation (2+ / 0-)
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    Words In Action, Steve Canella

    There are two tactics that have immediate effects on mitigating climate change:

    Energy Efficiency as recommended by the International Energy Agency as well as many others.  In the USA, we "reject" over 56% of the energy we produce.  Lots of room for higher end use efficiencies (exergy, exergy, exergy).  And, as I was reminded recently, a rooftop solar electric system delivers nearly 100% of the energy it produces directly to a household while a centralized electric plant, whether coal, oil, nuclear, or renewably powered) delivers about a third of the energy that it produces.  

    Eliminating Short-Term Climate Forcers (black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and methane as a precursor to tropo ozone) as recommended by the UN Environmental Programme.  These pollutants have serious health and economic consequences and are resident in the atmosphere for only a few weeks so that removing a source today has a beneficial effect on the local and global climate within a month or so (remember I am talking about methane only as a precursor to low altitude ozone not as a greenhouse gas itself).

    These are things we can do and should be doing now to buy ourselves time in the face of catastrophic climate change.  IEA says real efficiency efforts can slow the present progress of climate change by nearly a decade.  UNEP says that removing short-term climate forcers ASAP can halve the expected climate change temperature rise by 2050.  

    Do this for the poorest first and you leverage the human benefits enormously and short-circuit the North/South who pays? debate.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:41:55 AM PDT

    •  Methane is not a precursor of tropospheric ozone (1+ / 0-)
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      Neither Methane or ethane are considered as regulated volatile organic compounds that are ozone precursors.

      •  UNEP Differs (0+ / 0-)
        Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is also one of the most important precursors of tropospheric ozone and thus contributes to air pollution.
        Source [pdf alert]:

        Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

        by gmoke on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:00:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Methane isn't considered a significant contributor (0+ / 0-)

          to our prevailing ozone problems in the United States and methane has not been regulated for ozone control purposes  in ozone control programs and in state implementation plans for ozone control in the United States under the Clean Air Act since methane (and ethane) are explicitly excluded from the definition of volatile organic compound emissions.  

          See 40 CFR Part 51.100(s)(1) at

          Note that EPA's view is right in the text of the definition.....EPA indicates the methane and ethane are considered to have negligible photochemical reactivity.

          Methane emissions are not worth worrying about when considering the matter of photochemical oxidants and ozone, which are problems overwhelmingly driven by different pollutants as defined by EPA as ozone precursors -- volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.

          •  UNEP Is Not Concentrating on the US (0+ / 0-)

            The report concentrates on the developing world.  In particular, South Asia where it says the most beneficial effects can occur.

            Methane leaks in the US are numerous, whether they contribute to ozone or not, as a recent Boston University study found (

            Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

            by gmoke on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:01:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  non-methane hydrocarbons as VOCs will always be (0+ / 0-)

              much more important for photochemical oxidant formation than methane everywhere in the world because the photochemical reactivity of methane vs. non-methane hydrocarbons isn't dependent on location and is a property of the individual compounds inherent in the chemical structure of those compounds.

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