Climate & Energy

Dept. of Misinformation

No, Jeff, there’s not a debate about the science of climate change

Climate change is happening. The science is sound. But plenty of people and organizations with various motives (all dubious) are spending millions to sow seeds of doubt among the American public. Following on our in-depth series, How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic, Grist will launch an occasional feature that tracks the latest global warming denialisms and skeptics garbage, making sure to point readers to the real story. The Skeptics Are Saying… Jeff Jacoby The conservative columnist for the Boston Globe coughs up a huge hairball of climate disinformation in his July 1 piece, citing real climate scientists who purportedly …

Da we can

U.S.-Russia climate and energy efficiency cooperation: A neglected challenge

This piece was co-written with colleagues from the Center for American Progress: Julian L. Wong, a Senior Policy Analyst, and Samuel Charap, a Fellow. The summit between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow on July 6-8 comes in the middle of a packed international schedule of bilateral and multilateral meetings for the United States on climate change. In the run up to the critical U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen at the end of this year, when the extension or successor to the existing Kyoto Protocol must be agreed upon, it is crucial that the United States …

A walk through the week's climate news

The Climate Post: Has the political climate changed?

First things first: The U.S. House of Representatives last week narrowly voted to overhaul the nation’s energy economy by limiting industrial greenhouse gas emissions, boosting efficiency, and developing renewable electricity sources. The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act would limit, or “cap,” annual pollution and allow industry to buy and sell, or “trade,” credits in a new and tightly regulated commodity market. The vote, 219-212, sends an equivocal message to the Senate, where advocates face an even tougher sell. Eight Republicans voted with the majority and 44 Democrats broke with their party leaders. To secure votes on complicated bills, …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: Breath-catching edition

They’re not just poems, they’re vaguely educational poems! Check ‘em out. After the fence-jump frenzy, this week is sweet relief.Bill passed! And all react to that with gasps of disbelief. Just breathe.Yet as it was each time the bill got closer to the floor,We must remember that it’s in for hurdles, many more. The good news is the Democrats could soon be pulling rank inClimate votes, thanks to the win of Senator Al Franken. But back to now: assaults are spat at all the House “defectors” Malkin and Beck berate, while Rush randomly hectors. They hardly even cared that California …

Poverty near the “high hazard” coal ash sites

This is the weekly post from Bruce Nilles, director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. The public’s right-to-know scored a victory this week when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally released the list of the 44 coal ash sites deemed “high hazard.” This comes two weeks after a coalition of organizations including the Sierra Club filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding the release of the list. Since then we’ve been crunching some numbers to learn more this list of coal ash storage sites. First of all, we’ve put the 44 sites onto Google Maps so you can see …

time for former Vice President to visit Coal River Valley

Bo Webb to Al Gore: come to Ground Zero in climate battle

Note: This is a guest post by Bo Webb, a Vietnam veteran and former businessman in the Coal River Valley, West Virginia, who has been one of the lead organizers in stopping mountaintop removal strip-mining. Webb received notice last week that mountaintop removal operations in Clay’s Branch, directly above his home, will resume, despite regulatory violations noted by federal officials. Dear Al Gore: Your long-time work on climate destabilization has triggered a sea change in how our nation tackles the impending crisis of global warming. I deeply admire and appreciate your commitment to an urgent issue that transcends borders, and …

The right, wronged

Conservative activists wage war on Republicans who voted for climate bill

Conservative opponents of the Waxman-Markey bill are targeting the eight Republicans who voted for it in the House. The bill would not have passed without their support.Leo Alberti via House members who provided the margin of victory in last week’s narrow passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act are taking heat from the right for their votes. Just eight GOP lawmakers voted in favor of the measure: Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Mike Castle (Del.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), John McHugh (N.Y.), Dave Reichert (Wash.), Chris Smith (N.J), Leonard Lance (N.J), and Mark Kirk (Ill.). Without those votes, the …

Notable quotable

Et tu, Al? Franken gulps the ethanol-spiked Kool-Aid

“I’ve looked at this a lot, and it seems to me that ethanol already helps our carbon footprint and it’s only getting more efficient in the way it’s produced. Corn ethanol is a step on the way to cellulosic ethanol, which is also going to benefit Minnesota. I’m in the pro-ethanol camp.”– Sen. (elect) Al Franken, D.-Minn.

2 degrees of Earth bakin'

47 groups urge Obama to endorse 2-degree C warming threshold

A coalition of 47 environment, science, and faith-based groups have sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to pursue a goal of keeping global warming to less than 2 degrees Celcius in upcoming international meetings. “Failure to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius will have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable nations and communities and will dramatically increase the need for adaptation in the future,” they write. The groups include those on the left side of the green spectrum like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, as well as more moderate groups like the Environmental Defense Fund …