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A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from the midterms' effects on climate

New Speaker of the House John Boehner: "The idea that carbon dioxide ... is harmful to our environment is almost comical."Photo: republicanconferenceBecause nothing closes the window of opportunity on peaking greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 quite like a new of speaker of the House who once expressed outright disbelief about the veracity of scientists' claims regarding the threat of climate change, geologists published a paper this week suggesting the Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from the effects of the global warming resulting from our current emissions trajectory. In an election season characterized by countless acts of questionable taste, …

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yah done goofed!

Putting the midterm elections in the context of the latest climate science (and life as we know it)

If human civilization as we know it is dependent on the maintenance of the stable climate in which it evolved over the past 10,000 years, then we are well and truly @#$%ed.  Tuesday's election results mean it is now virtually impossible to avoid exceeding the targets set forth by the U.N. for "safe" levels of climate change. This election looks to be a turning point down the long dark road to the collapse of planet's cryosphere. From here on out, we are mitigating our emissions of greenhouse gases not because we think it's possible to avert catastrophe, but because we …

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Reading the 'Tea' leaves

What this election means for climate hawks: light but no heat

Welcome to Congress, climate zombies.If Democrats have a safe word, no one in the party could remember what it was this election season as Republicans and their new buddies the Tea Party spanked the Dems so hard it makes one wonder how much longer history's most dysfunctional sub/dom relationship can possibly continue. Even election statistics uber-geek Nate Silver, a man not known for hyperbole, said the gain of what's likely to be 65 seats for Republicans in the House is an "amazing result." In other words, last night was a split decision the way Mike Tyson's first-round knockout of Robin …

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Lies, damn lies, and Politico

Why this election wasn't a referendum on the climate bill

Don't be mistaken: Even Democrats who voted against the climate bill lost seats.Here's an inconvenient truth you won't see highlighted in stories about the takeover of the House by a seemingly inexhaustible army of climate zombies: While more than two dozen incumbents who voted for the climate bill lost their seats, even more Democrats who voted against the climate bill lost theirs. It's undeniable that failed cap-and-trade legislation played a role in some races, especially the defeat of Rick Boucher in Virginia. Rep. Boucher, a longtime friend of coal, justified his work on the climate bill by arguing that it …

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A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: Pre-election maneuvering marked by fits of climate skepticism

Rep. Bob Inglis: A Republican who dared to accept the scientific consensus on climate change.Photo: Wikipedia"Recent comments from top White House and congressional contenders suggest an awkward mix of outright hostility or, at best, ambivalence toward the widespread scientific consensus that humans are responsible for the warming planet," reports Politico. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) blames his loss in the GOP primary to his public assertions that climate change is real. Only two Republican gubernatorial candidates running for election this November believe in action on climate change; both are running in states where their Democratic opponents feel the same. In one …

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A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: Is Americans' climate ignorance a tragedy or an opportunity?

Half of Americans polled by researchers at Yale University are woefully ill-informed about climate change, including the 43 percent that believe, "If we stopped punching holes in the ozone layer with rockets, it would reduce global warming." That's the same percentage of Americans who are unaware it takes Earth one year to orbit the sun, so perhaps this poll is about as meaningful as a bowl full of tea leaves. Grist argues the poll indicates Americans are hungry to know more about climate, and once they do, they'll start worrying, while risk expert David Ropeik argues more information won't change …

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A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: Psychoanalyzing the GOP’s flourishing climate skepticism

A column in the National Journal points out the GOP is the only conservative party in the developed world in which denial of basic climate science is endemic, but one of The New York Times's token conservative commentators counters that this is only because political parties in Europe aren't as responsive to their constituents, who tend to be no more skeptical of man-made global warming than Americans. Climate activist Bill McKibben says it's all about money; others believe action on climate change would be almost impossible even if the GOP were more like conservative parties elsewhere. Manchin has the cap-and-trade …

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A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: Everybody loves clean energy, but nobody wants to pay for it

Clean energy: As American as apple pie.Cleantech venture capitalist David Anthony points out that utilities and taxpayers don't want to pay to meet states' renewable energy standards, so it's probably a good thing the Department of Energy has its own reasons for attempting to lead the renewably powered, distributed-energy revolution. Fuel convoys are one of the many liabilities today's Army could do without, and so is dependence on hostile regimes for supplies of oil. The second goal doesn't always lend itself to going with the greener option: senators on the Armed Forces Committee want to repeal a 2007 law that …

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A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: 2011 could see truly epic legislative battles over climate, energy

Photo: Wikipedia"One of my top priorities next year is to have an energy policy that begins to address all facets of our over-reliance on fossil fuels," President Barack Obama told Rolling Stone. If Republicans regain a majority in the House, the recent health care bill isn't the only thing they have vowed to roll back: Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) "wants to keep the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming alive so it can investigate climate science and police President Obama's green policies." In the same vein, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has promised to make re-investigating "climategate" a top …

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A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: Castro's secret meeting with scientists proves climate change is a communist plot

Green is the new Red?Photo: Wikipedia... Not really, but the story of Fidel Castro's sudden interest in the climate effects of nuclear war, not to mention the implications of climate change for Cuban agriculture, is both fascinating and almost totally unreported by the mainstream press. The renewable energy standard rides again: In an improbable 11th-hour comeback, a bipartisan cohort of Senate cowboys has the temerity to suggest Congress might be able to pass an energy bill during the upcoming lame-duck session after all. The bill covers only a national renewable energy standard, which would require the country to get 15 …