How can we move Americans more quickly toward climate action? Here are three answers.
A new documentary follows former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed in his efforts to tackle climate change.
Tea Party politics have locked the U.S. into energy-policy stalemate. With the climate clock running out, is this stalemate also checkmate for Earth?
Click for a larger version.Image: NASAArctic sea ice extent averaged over Januray 2011 its lowest recorded levels since satellite records began in 1979. It was 19,300 square miles below the record low of 5.25 million square miles, set in 2006, and 490,000 square miles below the 1979 to 2000 average. Climate change, the crisis many hoped we could ignore for decades, is here. Ice and snow that covered the vast frozen northland for 800,000 years is disappearing rapidly. As countless square miles of the Arctic turn from reflective white to heat-absorbing dark, the result is an acceleration of global warming. And …
Perhaps nowhere is the contrast between the science and economics of climate change as great as in the dueling metaphors governing the impact of high-end warming: “collapse” (following scientist Jared Diamond) vs. “reductions in the rate of growth” (following all standard integrated assessment models in economics, including those of Nicholas Stern and the IPCC). By way of reference, mid-range estimates of business-as-usual warming are currently around 7.2 degrees F. During the last Ice Age, global temperatures were only 8.1 degrees F colder then they are today. Many climate scientists, I would argue, believe that high-end warming (greater than 7.2 degrees …
Last year, the U.S. failed to act on climate, and the victory of dozens of Tea Party Republicans in November eliminated any prospect for serious action for at least the next three years. Barring future technological or political miracles, we have now blown by the chance we had to stabilize the planet at 450 parts ppm of CO2. Yet it is not "too late" for action. How can we build a powerful clean energy majority in Washington, a stronger majority than the one that didn't get the job done in 2010?
The elections earlier this month saw the breaching of the 2016 deadline set by NASA's Jim Hansen for global CO2 stabilization, and also moved us well beyond IPCC Chair Rajendra Pauchuari's statement that action beyond 2012 "will be too late". So where does this leave us? For what are we now, officially, too late?
Proposition 23 proponents claim AB 32 will kill jobs and California should wait until unemployment rates drops to 5.5 percent. Is there truth to that?
There is good news on the climate policy front. The Europeans have ratcheted down their emission targets; the Chinese are getting serious about solar power and energy efficiency; and Washington, after opening a multi-billion dollar stimulus spicket for clean energy, is lumbering towards a carbon cap. This is progress-inadequate, but still important progress — towards what many of us used to think we had to do: cut global warming pollution 80 percent by 2050. These cuts would stabilize the thickness of the heat-trapping carbon dioxide blanket surrounding the earth at 450 ppm (parts per million) and, we thought, provide insurance …
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