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Joseph Romm's Posts


Obama can't catch a break on oil

The Chart of the Month comes from the Wall Street Journal (at right). "The figure reflects a huge surge in U.S. oil drilling, up nearly 60 percent in the past year and the highest total since at least 1987, when oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. began keeping track," notes the WSJ. Poor Barack Obama. He opens up the country to a drilling spree -- and naturally progressives are pissed because, well, we care about things like clean air, clean water, and a livable climate. But conservatives are strangely ungrateful, too! They blame Obama's supposed anti-drilling policies. So Mitt Romney said earlier …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil


Climate change makes hurricanes like Irene more destructive

Hurricane Irene flooded parts of the Bronx.Photo: Edwin MartinezClimate science suggests that global warming will make hurricanes like Irene more destructive in three ways (all things being equal): Sea level rise makes storm surges more destructive. "Owing to higher SSTs [sea surface temperatures] from human activities, the increased water vapor in the atmosphere leads to 5 to 10 percent more rainfall and increases the risk of flooding," as NCAR senior scientist Kevin Trenberth put it in an email to me Saturday. "However, because water vapor and higher ocean temperatures help fuel the storm, it is likely to be more intense …


Van Jones slams misleading quotes in NYT green-jobs story

Van Jones.Photo: Center for American ProgressIn an email to Climate Progress, green jobs champion Van Jones explains how The New York Times misrepresented his quotes and his views. The story in question is "Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises." I debunked it yesterday for completely ignoring the "explosive growth" documented by a recent Brookings study in the clean energy jobs sector -- even though the article cited the study! I thought that the quotes attributed to Van Jones didn't sound like the passionate, optimistic green jobs guru I have had the good fortune to get to …


NYT green-jobs story ignores 'explosive growth'

Imagine if, in 1963, two years after JFK's famous speech to Congress, The New York Times had run a story titled "Space program fails to live up to promise." That will give you some idea of how bad a recent NYT story on the clean energy economy was: "Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises." The story is triply terrible: It's incorrect, premature, and misleading. So of course it has been quoted endlessly by the right-wing media. It's sad when the U.S. press isn't any better than the U.K. press. First, the core inaccuracy: A study released …


'Hockey stick' climate scientist quietly vindicated for the umpteenth time

The "hockey stick" temperature chart.National Science Foundation (NSF) inspector general: "Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed." Two things we know with extremely high confidence: Recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause (so the temperature history looks like a hockey stick). Michael Mann, the lead author on the original hockey stick paper, is one of the nation's top climatologists and a source of first-rate analysis. We know these things because both the hockey stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than …


Huntsman slams Perry on climate, Bachmann on gas prices

Last week, Jon Huntsman began to call out Gov. Rick "Four Pinocchios" Perry and others in his party for being anti-science. He started with the tweet above, which went viral. On ABC's "This Week" with Jake Tapper on Sunday, Huntsman went even further, explaining that being anti-science would harm his party -- and America's future: TAPPER: These comments from Governor Perry prompted you to tweet, quote: "To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy." Were you just being cheeky or do you think there's a serious problem with what Governor Perry said? …


Debt and (carbon) taxes: Obama's last chance for climate redemption

Image: net_efektOne of the silliest headlines to come out of the debt ceiling postmortems comes from ClimateWire (sub req): Debt deal, promising energy budget cuts, appear to chill hopes for a carbon tax How exactly do you chill something that has been frozen near absolute zero? In fact, in my reading, the debt deal actually warmed up hopes for a carbon tax from those liquid helium temperatures to at least liquid nitrogen temperatures -- you know, around -321 degrees F. Why? Because it didn't include any revenue increases or reforms in the tax code. That means a grand bargain is …


Be unprepared: the GOP war against climate adaptation

Climate change planning? We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.Photo: CorpsNewEnglandSome people naively believe we can get D.C. politicians to support adaptation funding if only we stop talking about climate science. They call themselves "climate pragmatists." The true realists among us call them hopelessly naïve. The fact is that if you reject science -- if you think climate science in particular is some sort of liberal plot -- then the last thing you would do is spend money "planning" or "adapting" for climate change. The anti-science extremists who now run the House, of course, are not merely climate …


Been there, tried that: 'Climate Pragmatism' pushes failed strategy

I'll bet you didn't know that: What recent history shows us is that the only politically pragmatic climate strategy for the U.S. should be built around a big new federal spending effort of $15 billion a year or more for low-carbon technology. A "no regrets" voluntary emissions reduction effort is a "new framework" for addressing climate change that hasn't failed to produce results for decades. The science doesn't make crystal clear that reducing emissions aggressively now is an scientific imperative. "Alone again among present low-carbon technologies, nuclear power can approach cost competiveness with fossil-based energy and it remains the low-carbon …


Could Murdoch's News Corp be behind Climategate too?

Rupert Murdoch.Photo: World Economic ForumThere have been countless independent investigations into the scientists whose emails were hacked in November 2009. And the scientists have been (quietly) vindicated every time. But we still don't know who hacked the emails! And now we know that one of the key investigative bodies tasked with tracking down the hackers -- Scotland Yard -- was compromised at the time. How were they compromised? Neil Wallis -- the former News of the World executive editor -- became a "£1,000 ($1,613) a day" consultant to Scotland Yard in October 2009. Last week, he became the ninth person …

Read more: Climate & Energy