International efforts

Not only states, but also other nations are providing leadership and taking initiative on the climate issue. Countries on every continent are switching to alternative energy sources such as wind, biofuels and even hydrogen power. Other parts of the world, particularly Europe, are modifying current energy-generation practices to reduce their impact on the environment. Later chapters discuss in more detail ongoing efforts in Iceland and small island states. Here, we highlight other groundbreaking...

Recycling energy

The manufacturing and electric-power industries, by and large, capture only a small portion of the potential energy in the fuel they burn, and then discard the rest as waste energy. Many cost-effective approaches are available to recycle these waste streams, generating incremental electricity and thermal energy without increasing pollution or burning additional fossil fuel. Recycled energy's unused potential may be society's best-kept secret. Recycling waste energy can take two approaches. In...

Tropical storms

The most extensive flooding, shoreline erosion and wetland loss in the Gulf Coast region occurs during hurricanes and lesser tropical storms. An increase in the frequency or intensity of tropical storms entering the Gulf of Mexico could have serious consequences for human settlements and natural ecosystems along this low-lying coastal margin. During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, for example, about 300 km2 of land in south Louisiana were converted to open water, according to preliminary...

Reducing coastal risk

With so many living on the coastal edge, how can society reduce the inevitable risks of living near the shore Beach nourishment is seen by an increasing number of coastal communities as an alternative to forcing people to move from the coasts, even though many replenished beaches have lasted only a few years rather than decades for most locations, this strategy cannot work in the long term. Armoring the beach with seawalls can stabilize the shore, but the monetary and aesthetic costs are very...

William A Nitze

Mr Nitze has been working on energy and environmental issues for most of his career. He currently serves as chairman of two companies that are developing clean energy technologies GridPoint, Inc., which designs, manufactures and markets intelligent energy management systems and Oceana Energy Company, which is developing an innovative technology for converting tidal energy into electricity. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Climate Institute, and serves on the board of the Galapagos...

Storm surge barriers The New England experience

1938 Hurricane Stamford

Although dwarfed in scale by the European barriers, three New England barriers constructed during the 1960s have some design features and operating characteristics that might be relevant to the New York metropolitan region. Barriers across open waterways exist at three locations Stamford CT, Providence RI and New Bedford MA. The construction of hurricane-flood protection for the region was authorized by Congress in the Flood Control Act of 5 July 1958 Public Law 85-500, 85th Congress . The...

Corporate involvement

In the last few years, many multinational corporations and US businesses have committed themselves to addressing climate change. Large companies are able to use their market power to influence the types of products consumers buy. Some companies have realized this, and are now leveraging their market power and offering increasingly environmentally friendly products to their customers. For example Home Depot, one of the largest suppliers of lumber in the US, has decided to sell only certified...