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Keith Schneider's Posts

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Science vindicated as Senate edges closer to climate and energy debate

The 20-year global campaign to cool the planet, one of the most influential civic movements in human history, was built on two points of reference. The first is visible evidence on every continent of escalating temperatures, melting ice, more ferocious storms, fiercer droughts, and deadlier floods. The second is the wealth of scientific data that proves Mother Nature's erratic behavior is no accident. It's the result of the combustion of fossil fuels that is steadily increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Last November, over 1,000 email messages from top climate scientists were stolen from the Climate Research Unit …

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In Era of Turmoil, The Top Of The World Is Melting

By Keith Schneider In January, when the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledged that it was wrong in predicting that the glaciers of the Himalayas could be gone by 2035, skeptics of global warming used the error to assert that much of climate science was a fraud. Next month, though, the Asia Society Museum opens a month long exhibition in New York of alpine photographs by David Breashears that are the strongest visual proof ever compiled that climate scientists may have been aggressive in predicting the rate of glacial melting at the top of the world, but not …

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Obama Vows To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before: Passing and Signing Climate and Energy Legislation

Given the emotional reserve of a man whose aides once referred to as “no drama Obama,” the president is getting pretty fired up about energy.  On Wednesday President Obama concluded an all hands cabinet meeting at the White House by publicly declaring again his resolve to develop a “new energy strategy that the American people desperately want.” “It is time for us to move to a clean energy future,” the president said, adding that “the entire cabinet here recognizes, with all the other stuff that they’re doing, that if we get energy right, an awful lot of things can happen …

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What Obama Did Not Say: BP Gulf Disaster Is Biggest Cut In A Bleeding Earth

The morning after President Barack Obama called for a "national mission" in pursuit of a clean energy economy the BP blowout gushes oil into the Gulf at the new estimated rate of 60,000 barrels a day. And though the president said "we can't afford not to change how we produce and use energy -– because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater," the language lacked the details for achieving that goal, and the candor about the stakes. What the president did not do last week, even with his telling Oval Office appearance, …

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Energy Independence Is America's Most Elusive Technological Goal

In calling for a new "national mission" to achieve energy independence during his Oval Office address last week, President Obama was clearly seeking inspiration from his predecessors, a number of whom actually achieved the big technological goals they'd pursued. At various inflection points in the nation's history, presidents managed to cross the country with a unified rail line, developed the powerful bombs in the Manhattan Project that ended World War Two, and sent men and returned them safely from the moon with the Apollo program. In pursuit of energy independence, President Obama has described many steps to make the transition …

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Michigan: Where U.S. clean energy, emissions, efficiency policy really counts

On Friday, May 21, President Obama gathered in the Rose Garden the chiefs of his transportation and environmental departments to take the next big step to leverage federal climate policy and clean energy investment to spur new job growth. The president directed Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to draw up new rules that make heavy trucks much more fuel-efficient and produce less global warming gases. "This standard will spur growth in the clean energy sector," Obama said. "We know how important that is. We know that our dependence on foreign oil endangers our security …

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Climate deal not accepted by all, but Copenhagen conference makes it ‘operational’

COPENHAGEN -- Seven countries, led by the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, this morning declined to accept the Copenhagen Accord that was reached late last night. But in a procedural move designed to put the agreement into effect, the conference decided to "take note" of the accord instead of formally approving it. NGO experts explained that the decision by the other nations who are parties to the conference to "take note" enables the accord to become what the United States and other supporting nations call "operational," even though it has not gained formal United Nations approval. Negotiators continued to …

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Mixed reactions to late-night deal in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN--What a day here in Copenhagen. For much of the afternoon and well into the evening, the cold and dark seemed to settle more deeply today on this city of 1.2 million. Here in the Bella Center, as the day turned to night without an agreement to cool the planet that most people expected today, the meditation and prayer rooms were noticeably more busy. After months of work this year, and 12 days of negotiation at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, it looked for much of the day as if 120 heads of state might actually leave Denmark without any …

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No ‘truth,’ but telling consequences for Inhofe’s strange Copenhagen visit

COPENHAGEN -- On the day that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showed up in Copenhagen to say the U.S. would contribute to a global climate action fund, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) also appeared in Copenhagen. Without, however, his much-hyped "truth squad." Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Republican and one of Capitol Hill's fiercest critics of climate action, told reporters that he would travel to Copenhagen with a "truth squad." Its express mission: dispute climate science and disrupt the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which ends tomorrow. But the weight of urgency to meet tomorrow's deadline and the intense diplomacy occurring …

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Final week of Copenhagen, and the last act is not clear

COPENHAGEN - Like all spellbinding human drama the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which today entered its second and last week, represents the accumulated chapters of an urgent script - the fate of the planet. Everybody in every corner of the world has a stake. Island nations, some of them starting to be swamped by rising seas, want huge cuts in climate warming gases to save increasingly fragile economies and cultures. Arid nations already challenged by deeper and longer droughts - from the Sahel of Africa to Australia - see action on the climate as essential to preserving their ability …

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