The affective logic of risk perception is what makes the industrial strength climate-change risk perception measure featured in this graphic so useful. Because ordinary peopole's answers to pretty much any question that they actually can understand will correlate very very strongly with their responses to this single item, administering the industrial-strength measure is a convenient way to collect data that can be reliably analyzed to assess sources of variance in the public's perceptions of climate change risks generally.
A summary of several studies - I've have only skimmed, but it appears to have a lot of information on evs in the bay area. (4MB pdf and about 350 pages)
Bay Area Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan Contents
The Bay Area Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan is comprised of two parts: the Summary and the Background and Analysis. The Summary is a high level review of the Plan, while the complementary Background and Analysis contains more detailed information about key planning elements covered in the Summary. The numbered sections in the Summary correspond to the numbered sections in the Background and Analysis. Additionally, the Background and Analysis includes a glossary, a complete list of references, and appendices containing additional information that was used to develop the Plan. The following is an overview of the contents of the Plan:
Status of Plug-in Electric Vehicles in the Bay Area
Strategies to Accelerate Plug-in Electric Vehicle Adoption
Scientists say it is a striking example of the way seemingly small climatic changes are disturbing the balance of nature. They see these changes as a warning of the costly impact that is likely to come with continued high emissions of greenhouse gases.
The disturbances are also raising profound questions about how to respond. Old battles about whether to leave nature alone or to manage it are being rejoined as landscapes come under stress.
The New Jersey situation resembles, on a smaller scale, the outbreak of mountain pine beetles that has ravaged tens of millions of acres of forest across the Western United States and Canada. That devastation, too, has been attributed to global warming — specifically, the disappearance of the bitterly cold winter nights that once kept the beetles in check.
In contrast to the West, where dying evergreens are splayed across steep mountainsides for all to see, the invasion in New Jersey has received barely any notice. The state’s pine forests occupy relatively flat land, and the scope of the damage is obvious only from the air.
“It’s a tremendously serious issue, but it hasn’t gotten anybody’s attention,” said State Senator Bob Smith, a Democrat from Piscataway and the chairman of the Environment and Energy Committee.
Overall, according to the new study, total methane emissions in the United States appear to be 1.5 times and 1.7 times higher than the amounts previously estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and the international Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), respectively.
The difference lies in the methodology. The EPA and EDGAR use a bottom-up approach, calculating total emissions based on “emissions factors” — the amount of methane typically released per cow or per unit of coal or natural gas sold, for example. The new study takes a top-down approach, measuring what is actually present in the atmosphere and then using meteorological data and statistical analysis to trace it back to regional sources.
Generated by a large, multi-institutional team of researchers, the latest findings offer a robust and comprehensive baseline for assessing policies designed to reduce greenhouse gases. They also point to a few areas where the assumptions built into recent emissions factors and estimated totals may be flawed.
“The bottom-up and top-down approaches give us very different answers about the level of methane gas emissions,” notes lead author Scot M. Miller, a doctoral student in Earth and Planetary Sciences through the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “Most strikingly, our results are higher by a factor of 2.7 over the south-central United States, which we know is a key region for fossil-fuel extraction and refining. It will be important to resolve that discrepancy in order to fully understand the impact of these industries on methane emissions.”
Sustainable can mean many things. As population grows and the trend to eating meat continues, calories per acre is an increasingly important metric. The wide variety of exotic foods produced naturally may not make the cut. Factory farming many have to increase everywhere. What about monocultures in the Amazon? (via the NY Times). Lots of hard choices ahead ...
Given how Bryce portrays the wind industry, one would assume it's one of the nation's top bird killers. In fact, wind turbines are way down in the pecking order.
Besides habitat degradation and destruction, the top human-built environmental threat to our feathered friends are buildings. As many as 970 million birds crash into them annually, according to a June 2013 study in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. Other studies, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), estimate that every year as many as 175 million birds die by flying into power lines, which electrocute tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands more; 72 million are poisoned by misapplied pesticides; nearly 6.6 million perish by hitting communications towers; and as many as 1 million birds die in oil and gas industry fluid waste pits.
By contrast, a March 2013 study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin estimates that land-based wind turbines killed as many as 573,000 birds in 2012. That's not insignificant, but certainly not the scourge that Bryce implies.
It’s also a controversial move for an internet company to get into the energy generation business. But as more and more megascale data centers are being built, and more web services are being moved to the cloud, internet companies are spreading out their investments and innovations from inside the data centers on the server level to outside the data center, down to the energy level. For example, last week Amazon said that it has been building its own electric substations and even has firmware engineers rewrite the archaic code that normally runs on the switchgear designed to control the flow of power to electricity infrastructure.
But more efficient energy infrastructure is one thing, and clean power — not an obvious economic advantage — is another. Apple’s peers — from Facebook and Google — have not (yet) followed in Apple’s footsteps when it comes to building their own clean power plants. Microsoft and eBay have been experimenting with clean power for their data centers but on a much smaller scale.
I’ve asked Google and Facebook execs multiple times over the years if they plan to build their own clean energy generation, and many times they’ve said that while they haven’t ruled it out, they aren’t yet publicly planning anything. I know that Google has discussed this issue internally at length, and I’ve heard has even gone so far as to hire the former Director of the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, Arun Majumdar, to in part help look into this issue. But Google hasn’t announced any plans.
Of course, Google’s clean energy investments have definitely had an impact. The company has put more than a billion dollars into a Hoover’s Dam worth of clean energy projects, mostly wind farms and solar farms, over a several year period. The bulk of its investments have been through investing equity in a wind or solar farm, and also making a contract with a utility to buy clean power from a project for a nearby data center.
But Apple’s move was so unusual: it was an aggressive move into an entirely new area for Apple, it was pretty secretive (although that’s standard-operating procedure at Apple), and it cost more money than the standard approach. And Apple plans to continue this method, allowing it to use what it has learned for future projects.
In the world of clean energy there are a lot of ways that companies can pay to green their operations — many buy renewable energy credits that offset consumption of fossil fuel based energy. But building solar farms and a fuel cell farm next to a data center could be the surest way to add clean power in a way that can be validated and seen by the public. It seems like Apple execs thought if they were going to commit to the whole idea of clean energy, it was going to be all the way.