Applied Materials is a capital equipment producer that services a number of manufacturing industries, including semiconductor, TFT LCD display, solar (thin film and crystalline), and glass. There are four primary groups of Applied Materials – Energy and Environmental Solutions, Display, Silicon
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It’s likely that you’ve heard of EnergyStar and seen the recent headlines about US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency efforts to ensure that appliances are as energy efficient as the blue EnergyStar label indicates. It’s less likely that you’ve heard of a parallel DOE effort to ensure that minimum energy conservation standards are being met.
Because mandatory efficiency standards apply to the manufacture of appliances and therefore are less noticeable to the consumer, standards don’t often make the six o’clock news. However, DOE is actively taking on the enforcement of standards as shown by the recent headlines on the website of the DOE General Counsel:
With the United States of America’s ever-mounting trade and budget deficits, unemployment above 10 percent (and, dependent on counting, un- and under-employment above 20 percent), looming peak oil and other resource (water, for example) limitations, environmental challenges, and ever-mounting climate chaos , America faces a very serious situation.
In fact, to one degree or another, these same intertwined challenges (with the exception of trade/budget deficits for some countries) are those face by societies and nations throughout the globe in our networked, systems-of-systems global community.
These serious challenges are a networked system-of-systems that interact and reinforce each other. As we strive to stop digging the holes deeper and climb our way out, we can seek to deal with these challenges in a stove-piped manner or address them with W6 solutions that have wins across multiple arenas:
Author and scholar Michael Levi says in the current issue of Foreign Affairs that the odds of signing a climate treaty in Copenhagen this December are extremely small and argues that policymakers and environmental advocates should rethink their expectations for the summit.
Levi, a senior fellow for energy and environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, contends that the conventional treaty model – which focuses on high-level agreements on emissions caps and carbon trading schemes – is fundamentally flawed because emissions caps are largely unverifiable and unenforceable. Short of bullying with punitive sanctions, nothing can be done if caps are exceeded.
In a new study conducted by the University of Cincinnati (UC), environmental health researchers found that major countries in three continents fail to acknowledge the hazards of lead based paint, allowing manufacturers to continue selling consumer paints containing dangerously high levels of lead. According to study, 73 percent of consumer paint brands tested from 12 countries representing 46 percent of the world’s population exceeded current U.S. standard of 600 parts per million (ppm). Additionally, 69 percent of the brands had at least one sample exceeding 10,000 ppm. Scott Clark, a professor of environmental health at UC, stated that “lead paint exposure remains a serious global health threat” considering the majority of American consumer goods are being produced overseas.
The US Environmental Protection Agency today announced the next steps in a coordinated strategy to reduce emissions from ocean-going vessels. EPA is proposing a rule under the Clean Air Act that sets engine and fuel standards for U.S. flagged ships that would harmonize with international standards and are expected to lead to significant air quality improvements throughout the country, especially near ports.
“These emissions are contributing to health, environmental and economic challenges for port communities and others that are miles inland. Building on our work to form an international agreement earlier this year, we’re taking the next steps to reduce significant amounts of harmful pollution from getting into the air we breathe,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
A partisan divide, climate change doubters ridiculed by by environmental advocates, concerns about the global competitive impact of being a carbon control leader, and uncertainties surrounding market function, pricing and cost to consumers… Sound familiar?
Now imagine it all in Paul Hogan’s accent instead of in the halls of the Capitol, and you have the Australian debate over cap-and-trade legislation.
NYT runs a story that gives evidence of one of the major obstacles to getting real global energy reform, the “you first” problem.
The story notes, “Conservatives say [the country] should not commit itself to any target before the world’s biggest emitters — China and the United States — lay their cards on the table, and a successor to the Kyoto agreement, which expires in 2012, is reached.”