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Climate & Energy

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State the case

ACEEE was doing state-level efficiency studies before state-level efficiency studies were cool

Everyone's buzzing about the new study out of UC-Berkeley showing that California's energy-efficiency measures have created 1.5 million jobs and saved residents $56 billion in energy costs since 1972. (See Joe Romm's breakdown, or Brad's.) Turns out efficiency works! While it's on everyone's mind, I'd also direct your attention to "More Jobs and Greater Total Wage Income: The Economic Benefits of an Efficiency-Led Clean Energy Strategy to Meet Growing Electricity Needs in Michigan," a study done by Skip Laitner and Martin Kushler at ACEEE: Generally, we find that cost-effective investments in the combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation …

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Should it stay or should it go now?

Fate of House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming up in the air

The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the start of the 110th Congress, is set to dissolve at the end of the month, reports The Hill. The authority and the funding granted to the committee expires at the end of next week, and it's not clear at this point whether it will be renewed for the 111th Congress. The Hill reports that "insiders say no decision will be made until after the election." If Pelosi did move to renew the committee, she'd probably face opposition from John Dingell (D-Mich.), …

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Myopiacs

Short-term cost assessment skews the CW on carbon regulations

Joe says Andy Revkin's article on the candidates' climate plans is reasonably fair, and I suppose I agree. It's fair as a representation of conventional wisdom, if not particularly accurate as a representation of reality. (That's not Revkin's fault -- claiming one side in a dispute is correct, while both the other side and the split-the-difference "centrist" conventional wisdom are incorrect, is "taking sides." Only bloggers do that.) The overall effect of the piece is to convey to the reader the following: Both candidates have ambitious, expensive plans to deal with global warming. Obama's are more ambitious and more expensive. …

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An irresistible force meets an immovable <em>Mass v. EPA</em>

Regulating CO2 via the EPA would be a hugely significant move for the next president

Kate says: The Wall Street Journal spazzes out about Obama adviser Jason Grumet's assertion that a President Obama would fight climate change under the Clean Air Act if Congress doesn't move to address the issue within 18 months. In what may be a historical first, I actually think the WSJ editorial board is right about this. Not that it's bad, but that it's a Very Big Deal. It really hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. WSJ says: "That move would impose new regulation and taxes across the entire economy, something that is usually the purview of Congress." They're right, it …

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Coal is not the answer (unless the question is: what's the enemy of the human race?), video

Sierra Club launches new pushback campaign against coal propaganda

More like this please: CoalIsNotTheAnswer.org

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Truth laid bear, video

Defenders of Wildlife releases new ad on Palin and polar bears

Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund has a new ad, this one on Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin and polar bears. It follows the group's earlier ad on Palin's support of aerial wolf hunting. "Sarah Palin's active opposition to protections for polar bears is yet another example of her inability to listen and act upon scientific facts and evidence," said Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund President Rodger Schlickeisen in a statement. "This is very reminiscent of the Bush administration, and especially Dick Cheney, but in this case even the Bush Interior Department admits that the polar bear requires these protections." Here's …

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Spooked by high energy bills?

Google offers two Halloween tools to cut household energy costs

Photo: sascha First a tool to prevent drunk emailing; now this: The smarties at Google have put together some treats in time for Halloween so you won't be tricked by household energy waste. A list of ways to lower your energy bill includes tips to save water, cut heating costs, and reduce appliance electricity use, like turning down your hot water heater and the brightness on your TV. And an energy-saving calculator details the money and CO2 saved by making small household tweaks. Installing a programmable thermostat, for instance, annually saves almost $200 and 2,000 pounds of CO2. In keeping …

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‘Global warming comes from within’–Is heat at the Earth’s core the real cause of global warming?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: We all live on a thin crust that floats on a huge ball of molten iron, and at its core, the Earth's temperature is over 5000 degrees C! It's pretty far fetched to think a few parts per million of CO2 can have a bigger effect that all that heat! Answer: Although there is nothing wrong with the statement that the Earth is truly very hot at its center (actually as hot as the surface of the sun) the notion that it is a significant source of heat …

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Notable quotable

Identifying one of the great misunderstandings of our political age

"In tough economic times, some people will ask whether we should retreat from our climate change objectives. In our view, it would be quite wrong to row back, and those who say we should misunderstand the relationship between the economic and environmental tasks we face." -- Ed Miliband, U.K. energy and climate change secretary

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Auctions

Politico interviewed William Antholis, managing director of the Brookings Institution, about the connection between the environment and security, and among other things Antholis made this very smart observation: Q: What energy-related issues have the presidential candidates ignored during the campaign? A: What hasn't really been fully debated, and where there is some difference between candidates, is what a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions would look like. Both favor it, but they favor different ones. Barack Obama would like to auction permits, similar to the radio spectrum that led to the growth of cell phones and satellite radio. John McCain …