Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

In its Sixth Assessment Cycle, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is producing three Special Reports: Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, Global Warming of 1.5°C and Climate Change and Land as well as the main Working Group Assessment Reports. This session will start with reports focusing on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.  Much of this session will be devoted to open discussion with participants regarding oceans and climate and the Working Group II Assessment Report, including topics such as what literature does IPCC assess, how were authors selected and how does IPCC review process work, as well as ocean knowledge gaps highlighted in previous reports and emerging knowledge of climate change impacts and risks for ocean ecosystems and human communities.   I will be attending this Symposium.  Advise if you need a correspondent or someone to work with your team reporting on this complex set of issues.

  •  My how time flies!  Last week EPA proposed withdrawing four proposed rules dealing with groundwater and pesticides and plant genetics.  But don’t worry too much about public safety and environmental decline.  There’s a lot of cobwebs here.  Two rules were proposed in 1994.  Uh, that’s 24 years ago.  Bill Clinton was President.  One proposed rule did have more recent action, at least partially – in 2001, just 17 years ago, you remember, about the same year as that space odyssey.  The most recent rule? 1999, dealing with pesticide registration requirements; left in the dust as other laws changed, leaving the proposals, yes, still proposals, stranded by the regulatory roadside.  I wonder if the typewriters still work that were used to draft those rules?  I do need a new ribbon for my Selectric…  Imagine all the things that don’t happen as people wait and wait and wait for answers, direction, approvals…
  • Last week was the deadline for a DOE request for comments on the development of a Solid State Power Substation (SSPS) Roadmap.  An SSPS is defined as “the strategic integration of high voltage power electronic converters in substations to provide enhanced capabilities and support the evolution of the grid.” SSPS technology can overcome some of the current limitations within substations by enabling control of real and reactive power flows, management of voltage transients and harmonic content, and the ability to increase the flexibility, resiliency, and security of the electric power system.  Deployment of SSPS technology within substations can enable better asset utilization, increasing system efficiency, enhancing security and resilience, and easing the integration of distributed energy resources and microgrids.  This is important stuff, note the reference to distributed energy, or microgrids –  two big issues as renewable and storage technologies (e.g., electric vehicles) work to get mainstreamed
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