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Green groups lose court battle to force Canada to abide by Kyoto Protocol

Green groups Friends of the Earth and Ecojustice Canada lost their court bid Monday to force the Canadian federal government to abide by a national law passed last year requiring the country to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets. As a signatory to the Kyoto treaty, Canada agreed to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. However, citing fears that emissions reductions could lead to economic woes, the Conservative-led government instead released its own plan to reduce emissions by 2020 that allows some 30 percent more emissions than Canada's Kyoto target. Greens argued in court that …

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Trading green for greenbacks

Washington Post editors join the ranks of the climate confused

The Post ran an editorial, "Cap and Return: Fight the recession or fight global warming? Congress can do both," that is as confused as it is well-meaning. The Post supports strong action now, but they recycle a new inactivist talking point -- we need to modify or weaken our climate strategies because of the recession -- they seem astonishingly unfamiliar with the policies that are currently being discussed, and they embrace a climate proposal that simply won't work. Let's run through it: ... the looming recession will lessen the political will in Washington to pursue policies that would add costs …

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A hot new PBS special, video

Frontline documentary ‘Heat’ looks at the politics of global warming

The PBS program "Frontline" is premiering a new two-hour documentary about global warming on Tuesday night: Heat, produced by Martin Smith. Though it kicks off with discussion of melting icecaps, it's way more heavy on the political side of the issue than the scientific. It puts the presidential candidates' rhetoric on climate change into the appropriate historical and consequential context, and gives an unsparing view of the special interests to which both candidates are beholden (for McCain, it's nuclear power and oil; for Obama, coal and ethanol). The film examines the factors on the Hill that have held Congress back …

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Can you spell c-o-a-l?

The dirty secret behind D.C.’s high-tech Virginia suburbs

There's a chance the presidential election will come down to who wins the state of Virginia. And the key to winning Virginia comes down to who does well in the D.C. suburbs of northern Virginia. This area is an economic powerhouse where no fewer than one in three Virginia voters live. Just mention the words "northern Virginia" across the mid-Atlantic region and the hyphenated adjectives come back at you: Fast-growing, high-tech, well-educated, high-income. No wonder the presidential candidates can't seem to stay away from the area. Despite perennial traffic congestion, "NoVa" has that certain gleam of 21st century life, from …

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The golden state for green

Green policies in California created 1.5 million jobs

A detailed new economic analysis "Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California" [PDF] finds: Over the past thirty-five years, innovative energy efficiency policies created 1.5 million additional fulltime jobs with a total payroll of over $45 billion. Looking forward, the report finds that if California improves energy efficiency by just 1 percent per year, proposed state climate policies will increase the Gross State Product (GSP) by approximately $76 billion, increase real household incomes by up to $48 billion and create as many as 403,000 new jobs. Imagine how many jobs the entire country could create if we improved energy …

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Rev'd up

McCain ‘is not serious about clean energy and he has increasingly walked away from climate issue’

Andy Revkin has written a very fair-minded New York Times piece, "On Global Warming, McCain and Obama Agree: Urgent Action Is Needed." He notes: Both candidates say that human-caused climate change is real and urgent, and that they would sharply diverge from President Bush's course by proposing legislation requiring sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury. Such rare agreement has both industry and environmental groups expecting a big shift, no matter who is elected, on three fronts where the United States has been largely static for eight years: climate legislation, expansion of nonpolluting energy sources and leadership in global …

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Vital realism

Bryan Walsh: "Shellenberger and Nordhaus have injected a vital strain of realism into an issue far too critical to founder on green dreams." Discuss.

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Breaking!

Nuke bites man

The Nuclear Energy Agency -- an international agency created by the OECD to "assist its Member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for the safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes" -- issues a report claiming that nuclear power is just the thing for climate change. Didn't see that one coming!

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Migrating pollock could endanger Alaskan fishery, international relations

Showing a distinct lack of American patriotism, Alaskan pollock are reacting to climate-changed warmer waters by swimming northward into Russian territory -- potentially endangering both the U.S.'s billion-dollar pollock industry and U.S.-Russia relations. Climate-related pollock migration "will be a food security issue and has an enormous potential for political upheaval," warns Andrew Rosenberg, former deputy director of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Salmon, squid, and mackerel are also moving northward, but the certified-sustainable pollock fishery is arguably of most concern. Estimates hold that anywhere between 10 and 30 percent of Alaskan pollock now rear their heads in Russian territory. If …

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15 days left!

A roundup of environmental news from the presidential race

• 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. Obama, the paper fears, would wield the EPA's "so-called 'endangerment finding' on carbon ... as a political bludgeon" and allow the EPA to move forward with a "unilateral carbon crackdown." "That move would impose new regulation and taxes across the entire economy, something that is usually the purview of Congress," writes the editorial board. • IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri said that electing Obama …