Fighting global warming

July 1, 2007
The profile of the global warming debate has recently increased dramatically. On the political front, President Bush’s greenhouse gas reduction proposal in May and June’s G8 summit in Germany certainly raised awareness, but at the popular level too, this year’s unseasonable weather in many parts of the world has pushed the debate to the forefront of the mainstream media.

The profile of the global warming debate has recently increased dramatically. On the political front, President Bush’s greenhouse gas reduction proposal in May and June’s G8 summit in Germany certainly raised awareness, but at the popular level too, this year’s unseasonable weather in many parts of the world has pushed the debate to the forefront of the mainstream media. In the U.K., after the driest and warmest April on record, concerns about greenhouse emissions may end a 50-year hiatus in building nuclear power plants. And in Australia the government plans to phase out incandescent light bulbs in favor of “compact fluorescent” bulbs.

Lighting and illumination currently account for about one-third of global power consumption so improved lighting efficiency could play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gases-a theme underlying last month’s euroLEDs conference (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/294230). And as explained in this month’s cover story, lighting efficiency improvements are not limited just to LEDs and compact fluorescents (see page 71).

On the supply side, clean power generation is also part of solving the overall problem, with photovoltaics (PV) an important piece of the puzzle. While they have yet to become commercially competitive on a large scale, PV systems are increasingly evident around us. Production of PV cells is growing rapidly-China now leads the United States in the production of traditional PV cells (see page 136). And in terms of PV fabrication, lasers will be playing an increasing role (see page 64). For more on photonics and “going green” see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/272166.

An end and a beginning

After ten years with Laser Focus World, senior editor Hassaun Jones-Bey will be moving on this month. Hassaun has made significant contributions to establishing Laser Focus World as the leader in its field and we’ll miss him and his unique style. And we’re pleased to welcome LEDs Magazine to PennWell. As the leading information resource for the LED community, the magazine brings important new expertise to PennWell’s Optoelectronics Group (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/294250).

About the Author

Stephen G. Anderson | Director, Industry Development - SPIE

 Stephen Anderson is a photonics industry expert with an international background and has been actively involved with lasers and photonics for more than 30 years. As Director, Industry Development at SPIE – The international society for optics and photonics – he is responsible for tracking the photonics industry markets and technology to help define long-term strategy, while also facilitating development of SPIE’s industry activities. Before joining SPIE, Anderson was Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World and chaired the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. Anderson also co-founded the BioOptics World brand. Anderson holds a chemistry degree from the University of York and an Executive MBA from Golden Gate University.    

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