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North American feed-in tariff policies take off

Gainesville’s feed-in tariff program is limited to 4 megawatts of solar PV each year. The program is already fully subscribed through 2015 — a 24-megawatt commitment.Photo courtesy U.S. NRELClean energy advocates in Europe have long considered the feed-in tariff as an antidote to the industrial world's fossil fuel dependency. Now, the United States and Canada are starting to catch on as well. Feed-in tariffs (FITs) guarantee that anyone who generates electricity from a renewable energy source -- whether they are a homeowner, small business, or large electric utility -- is able to sell that electricity into the grid and receive …

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Sarah Palin’s record on climate change

  Sarah Palin, U.S. vice presidential candidate, may be an influential actor in Congressional efforts to pass climate change legislation. Photo Courtesy State of Alaska. When comparing the U.S. presidential candidates' green credentials, both contenders support greater action to address climate change through a cap on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. While Republican candidate John McCain's reduction targets are more modest than the promises of Democrat Barack Obama, either candidate should offer a significant shift from the largely stalled policies of the current administration. Among the vice presidential candidates, however, the choices offer significant contrasts in ideology and policy. Democrat Joe …

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A look back at James Hansen’s seminal testimony on climate, part three

Worldwatch Institute is partnering with Grist to bring you this three-part series commemorating the 20-year anniversary of NASA scientist James Hansen's groundbreaking testimony on global climate change next week. Part three of three follows. Part one is here; part two is here. ----- In May 1989, a few months after NASA scientist James Hansen declared that global warming had arrived, he would provide another testimony to clarify the risks of future climate change. But before Hansen could make his presentation to Sen. Al Gore's subcommittee, the White House's Office of Management and Budget intercepted the testimony and rewrote its conclusion. …

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A look back at James Hansen’s seminal testimony on climate, part two

Worldwatch Institute is partnering with Grist to bring you this three-part series commemorating the 20-year anniversary of NASA scientist James Hansen's groundbreaking testimony on global climate change next week. Part two of three follows. Part one is here; part three is here. ----- An unprecedented heat wave gripped the United States in the summer of 1988. Droughts destroyed crops. Forests were in flames. The Mississippi River was so dry that barges could not pass. Nearly half the nation was declared a disaster area. The record-high temperatures led growing numbers of people to wonder whether the climate was being unnaturally altered. …

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A look back at James Hansen’s seminal testimony on climate, part one

Worldwatch Institute is partnering with Grist to bring you this three-part series commemorating the 20-year anniversary of NASA scientist James Hansen’s groundbreaking testimony on global climate change next week. It is written by Worldwatch staff writer Ben Block. Here follows part one. Part two is here; part three is here. ----- The speakers at a Washington, D.C., climate rally this past Earth Day, April 22, showcased the range of the modern environmental movement. They included an activist who engaged in a hunger strike, an outspoken preacher from the Hip Hop Caucus, and a folk duo that performed, "Unsustainable," a parody …