As you may recall, on FOX's Hannity & Colmes, the Cato Institute's Patrick Michaels plucked a quote from my Gore interview and grossly misinterpreted it to mean that Gore was exaggerating the evidence for global warming. I called him out on it here, but for some reason the bell never rang that this was the very same Patrick Michaels involved in a legendary piece of hackery. Paul Krugman reminds us of the sordid tale in his column:
Yesterday's critique of enviros' hopes for peak oil outcomes dovetails beautifully with this article from the NYT on what big coal is up to. The future for American energy users is playing out in coal-rich areas like northeastern Wyoming, where dump trucks and bulldozers swarm around 80-foot-thick seams at a Peabody Energy strip mine here, one of the largest in the world. Coal, the nation's favorite fuel in much of the 19th century and early 20th century, could become so again in the 21st. The United States has enough to last at least two centuries at current use rates -- reserves far greater than those of oil or natural gas. And for all the public interest in alternatives like wind and solar power, or ethanol from the heartland, coal will play a far bigger role. The article presents two approaches being pursued by two big coal players, Peabody Energy and American Electric power, both of which are about aggressive development, and both of which do little to address climate change.
Drew Weiner. With what environmental organization are you affiliated? I’m the director of Reef Protection International. What does your organization do? RPI contributes to coral-reef conservation by educating the public about the marine aquarium trade …
The Energy, Water, and Communications Minister of Malaysia expresses his concerns over a boycott of palm oil in a speech to a gathering of biofuel traders (from the AFP): "They come up with 'Palm oil kills ... the orangutan'," said the minister in a fiery speech, during which he repeatedly mimicked orangutan noises. "They know they cannot compete with palm oil so how do they fight you? They find some reason and hit you below the belt." "So we have to fight that. Don't worry ... we will. When Malaysians get angry, they fight. And I guarantee you we will win." I just hope he doesn't go home and slap a bounty on orangutans. (Click here if you are curious to know what a real orangutan sounds like.) The minister seems to think that European rapeseed farmers are behind it all, and who knows, maybe they are.
On Oikos, David Jeffrey wisely and succinctly diagnoses the problem: It seems to me that the current international negotiations about climate change are the ultimate prisoner's dilemma. It is in each nation's best (economic) interests to have each other country do something about limiting greenhouse gas emissions, but not do something themselves. This is equally wise and equally succinct: To speculate about the way forward, the glimmers of hope seem to me to be: National action will become less important as local, state and regional governments and communities take bolder measures; International aid will be increasingly targeted at clean energy, helping to restrain emissions growth in developing countries; There will be modest technological advances which help decouple economic growth from emissions growth. This, however, I do not agree with:
An enormous earthquake struck Indonesia on Saturday, killing more than 5,000 people and leaving more than 100,000 homeless. Give what you can. This site tells you how.
Hey, this is pretty cool: Two Brits are trying to put together a "tribe" of 5,000 people to build a sustainable eco-community on a small island in Fiji. The idea is to create something that the islanders can eventually adopt and steward, all the while keeping big developers at bay. Through their site, tribewanted.com, they're allowing people to buy shifts on the island. From an L.A. Times story:
Last week, Gregg Easterbrook wrote an appallingly stupid review of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. I mean appallingly stupid. Read it and see if you think I'm exaggerating. I decided to ignore it. For better or worse, others did not. Media Matters dismantled the review in one of the longer pieces I've seen it run. You would think there'd be nothing left but rubble, but The Editors find a few more tottering pieces to smash. As always, their work is quotable:
If you hadn't heard, the carbon-trading market tanked the other day. Economists are not sure if it did so because industries were able to limit emissions better than anticipated, or because the limits on emissions were too lenient and the industries just didn't need to buy many carbon credits: "But the latest figures ... revealed that 21 of the 25 member states produced 2.5% less CO2 in 2005 than participants had forecast."
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