Climate & Energy

ALTERNATE REALITY

Senate GOP: Nuke, baby, nuke!

Republicans in the Senate claim to have an “alternative” to the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act. (OK, so it was just Sen. Lamar Alexander, but we’ll accept his claim that he has some so-far-anonymous colleagues behind him). But on closer inspection, chances that their plans would affect clean energy or energy security seem dim. First, let’s look at what ACES aims to accomplish: To reduce global warming pollution and increase our energy security by creating new incentives for clean, made-in-America energy while containing costs to consumers. So would Sen. Alexander’s plan address these issues? Let’s break it down: …

The tale of two Jims

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, ACES edition

A curious thing happened at Tuesday’s morning meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee when the panel’s infamous climate-change skeptic, James Inhofe (R-Okla.), cited NASA climatologist Jim Hansen in his screed against the House climate bill. Yes, this is the same James Inhofe who once called climate change the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” And this is the same James Hansen who has been called the “the father of global warming,” the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies who has repeatedly called for dramatic action to fight global warming. Hansen, like Inhofe, is …

In plain english

‘Citizen’s Guide’ primes readers for climate activism

The following post was written by Lois Parshley and Ben Wessel, students at Middlebury College. Download a PDF copy of the guide.According to The Center for Public Integrity, more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal climate policy in 2008. That means every morning, 2,340 briefcase-holding and business card-carrying bodies walk through the halls of Congress and federal agencies with the sole aim of either passing, rejecting, or strengthening the policies that will help spark a clean energy revolution and combat the climate crisis. From Chevron to Chevrolet, from the American Jewish Committee …

Memo to Media: That's not “suppressing a report.”

The EPA ignored internal non-expert comments cut-and-pasted from anti-science deniers

Many of the top climate scientists in the world issued a major synthesis report reviewing the scientific literature since the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).  They found “greenhouse gas emissions and many aspects of the climate are changing near the upper boundary of the IPCC range of projections.”  In short, actual observations show things are much worse than the IPPC found.  Duh! and Duh! and Duh! Media coverage level: bupkis!  Technorati links to report released June 18: 6. One EPA economist,  Alan Carlin, cuts and pastes some disinformation from a denier blog post in order to (falsely) assert that …

Study finds “mass biodiversity collapse” at 900 ppm

In 2007, the IPCC warned that “as global average temperature increase exceeds about 3.5°C [relative to 1980 to 1999], model projections suggest significant extinctions (40-70% of species assessed) around the globe.”  On our current emissions path, we will warm far more than that this century, which suggests we risk the high end of species loss. A new Science study (subs. req’d) confirms this risk.  It examines “the pace of diversity loss leading to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (TJB).”  It finds “the sudden diversity drop … coincided with a mere ~100 to ~350 ppmv rise in CO2 concentration,” and “CO2-induced global warming …

Washington Post, Fred Hiatt turn op-ed page into joke

Quitter-in-chief Sarah Palin attacks climate action and clean energy in falsehood-filled piece

Memo to Washington Post and editorial page editor Fred Hiatt: We get it already. You don’t like clean energy. You don’t mind publishing unfact-checked articles again and again. And if somebody wants to publish an op-ed attacking climate legislation focused exclusively on the cost of action while never actually discussing climate change or the cost of inaction, hey, why not? It’s not like there’s a major study by a leading journalist criticizing the entire media for such biased coverage (see “The press misrepresented the economic debate over cap and trade…. The press allowed opponents of climate action to replicate the …

A bird in the hand...

Calif. Audubon: Putting birders to work to build a case for climate action

The following essay was written by William B. Monahan, Senior GIS Scientist with Audubon California. The Yellow-billed Magpie’s native habitat in California is threatened by climate change.Alison Sheehey / California Audubon SocietyThey traipse through forest, grass and wetland, through mud, rain and even snow. They carry binoculars and take careful notes of everything they see. These are the folks — thousands of dedicated bird watchers — that for more than 100 years have been taking part in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, documenting fluctuations in bird populations the old-fashioned way: counting birds one by one, year after year. Old fashioned …

Last of the 'dead enders'

Palin eschews facts and economics in blasting cap-and-trade bill

The cap-and-trade climate and energy bill passed by the House last month is not a perfect piece of legislation. Critics on the right and left have leveled tough criticisms at it, questioning whether it will do much to accomplish its stated goal of cutting carbon emissions or if it will overburden average consumers with high energy prices. Palin takes to the pages of The Washington Post to blast away at President Obama’s cap-and-trade plan. Too bad she’s firing away with blanks. Above, Palin on the campaign trail last year.Courtesy sskennel via FlickrThese criticisms, typically, come backed by well-reasoned arguments. The …

Talk to me, baby

“Smart” appliances that talk to the grid are coming your way soon

Sure, it’s smart, but is it a good conversationalist?So the oven says to the refrigerator, “Don’t be so cold.” That line will soon be more than a bad joke. The Jetsons are coming to life as dishwashers, washing machines, and other home appliances begin to talk to each other and to the electricity grid in an effort to manage and reduce energy use. Last week, for instance, General Electric and Boulder, Colo.-based smart-grid startup Tendril unveiled a deal to collaborate on software to connect the industrial giant’s “smart appliances” to the grid. Pilot projects with utilities are expected to begin …