Home Sweet Homes in Alamo City have until 2030 to get the carbon out for good.
As the first major accomplishment of Mayor Phil Hardberger's Mission Verde, new building codes approved last week require new homes to be 15 percent more energy efficient starting in 2010. Those standards will be ratcheted up regularly until the homes being built include energy-generating measures like solar panels or microturbines so that they use no more energy than they are able to generate on their own.
There is much more to be accomplished â?? jobs, greenbacks, a carbon-neutral city â?? before Verde can be definitively classified as a success, and supporters have openly worried about what will happen to it after Hardy leaves office in May.
Former Tesoro Petroleum CEO Michael Burke partially answered that question by introducing the city's environmental policy director at the “clean tech” forum today. After all, the office established by Hardberger and staffed by Laurence Doxey will endure, as far as we know.
So, if all goes well, our new homes will be certifiably Greenhouse Free about the same time Indonesia is watching 2,000 of its islands slip beneath the rising seas.
Other USA Today favored predictions include the loss of 60 percent of the Amazon that same decade.
The suggestion that we may be facing rapid and serious climate chaos tightened over this past weeks as scientists gathered in Copenhagen, the site where the “new” Kyoto agreement on climate policy must be adopted come December, began to speak freely.
General consensus seems to be that the IPCC has underestimated a few things, including the pace of sea-level rise facing the world this century.
There was a vote for 18 inches or more:
And a nod to a more than a meter:
The researcher, however, was saying “meters”:
and Climate Research, Hobart, Tasmania, who spoke at the conference, recent observations have shown that sea level has been continuously rising for the past 15 years at 3mm/year rate. This, he said, is above the average of the 20th century, adding that oceans continuously warming and expanding, and mountain glaciers and ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland continuously melting also contribute to sea level rise.
“Unless we undertake urgent and significant mitigation actions, the climate could cross a threshold during the 21st century committing the world to a sea level rise of meters,” Church also said during the conference.
What does a meter look like?
University of Oregon professor Peter Clark's research for a synthesis report on “abrupt” climate change for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program presented in San Francisco three months ago concurred on sea rise, but added in a dose of "forever" drought for the Southwest United States.
Here's a bit of our conversation for those of you that just can't help yourselvesâ?¦