Climate Letter #1098

Perovskite solar cells that do not show signs of on-the-job deterioration have been created.  This was accomplished at a well-qualified laboratory after exchanging both the top and bottom contact layers of the cells with different materials.  The active layer of high-efficiency perovskite remains unchanged, capable of 23% energy conversion, a high degree of flexibility and a competitive cost advantage over silicon.  It appears that perovskite itself has never been the source of the rapid deterioration problem that has plagued all efforts toward development, which is quite a surprise, and great news.
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A new study points out the importance of making clear and credible statements about the future direction of climate policy.  “By anticipating the implementation of policies to tackle climate change, market forces will likely reduce emissions, helping us on the first step towards achieving deep emissions reductions – as long as the policy signals are strong, clear and credible.”  The study suggests that an introduction of carbon taxes, even on a small scale at first, would quickly get the ball rolling in a favorable way.
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Corporate pledges are insufficient as a means of stopping deforestation.  A comprehensive type of study reports that good intentions are commonly overridden by weak results.  The installation of stronger government policies and regulations, along with effective penalties for criminal elements, are viewed as a necessary complement of enforcement.  (How do you motivate top policy makers in one country after another, many of whom are engaged with cronies, to do all that?)
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There is growing evidence that climate change is becoming an issue of real importance to voters, at least in the Houston area:
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Excerpts from a new book, “The Wizard and the Prophet,” by Charles C. Mann.  The post, from Wired magazine, begins with an interesting account of the discoveries about climate change made by Guy Callendar back in the 1930s, which were scoffed at in those times.  The story goes on to cover a wide variety of relevant materials found in the book, which should become available in many libraries because of Mann’s established popularity as an author.
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The problems faced by tribal communities because of climate change.  A conference held at the University of Arizona in December brought together tribal leaders, cultural practitioners, attorneys and nonprofits that support tribal climate efforts, as described in this report.  The communities have a unique set of problems, and not much outside help.
Carl
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