Climate & Energy

It's just a DeFazio

DeFazio lambasts cap-and-trade

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) made one thing clear on Friday: he’s just not that into the cap-and-trade legislation under debate in the House. Peter DeFazio was first elected to the House in 1986. He represents Oregon’s 4th district in the southwestern part of the state.Courtesy Rep. DeFazioIn a speech in Portland, DeFazio decried the focus on creating a market-based system for trading pollution-credits and permitting a substantial use of carbon offsets. “There’s an unholy alliance of big business, some environmental groups and Wall Street” backing cap-and-trade, said DeFazio, comparing the scheme to the deregulation of the electricity markets that ultimately …

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U.S. is starting to make a down payment on funding international climate change efforts

This past Wednesday (June 17, 2009) the Appropriations Subcommittee of the House of Representatives that has jurisdiction over the international global warming pieces of President Obama’s budget passed a bill that supported increasing US commitments to these needed efforts. The funding will make a “down payment” in helping developing countries deploy clean energy, reduce global warming pollution from tropical deforestation, and support adaptation in the most vulnerable populations around the world. Funding this “down payment” is critical as it provides a bridge to the significant source of funding that could come for these activities through the US clean energy and …

Mustache speaks; you listen

Tom Friedman chats with Grist about the green challenge and globalization

At a Grist gathering in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, we were pleased to host New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for a chat on the state of green. Our intrepid video expert was on hand to tape the event. Friedman released Hot, Flat, and Crowded way back in October 2008 — before the worst of the economic crash, before Obama, before the GM bankruptcy, before Waxman-Markey … Lord it’s been a long year! He’s been updating the book for a paperback release in November, so I kicked things off by asking him how his thinking has evolved and how …

Breaking: saving the world is affordable

CBO: Waxman-Markey pollution cuts cost little

This piece was co-written with Andrew Jakabovics, Associate Director for Housing and Economics at the Center for American Progress. Opponents of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454, are acting like out-of-control auctioneers. They’re trying to defeat the bill by raising cost estimates for the bill’s clean-energy and global warming pollution reduction programs. But their wild estimates have been based on either perversions or distortions of independent government and university studies, or are partisan studies with rigged assumptions designed to produce outlandish estimates. The Congressional Budget Office announced on Friday that the average American household would spend only …

Reckoning at Coal River

Will media and nation bear witness to coalfield tragedy this week?

A historic reckoning is taking place on Coal River in West Virginia this week-and in Washington, DC on Thursday. On June 25th, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, will hold the first bipartisan hearing in a generation to address the impact of mountaintop removal mining operations. In the meantime, the human rights and constitutional violations of American citizens besieged by ruthless outside coal companies will be on full display to the national media and the nation-from the shocking and shameful mountaintop removal operations threatening the safety of a …

Can a number save the world?

500 marshmallows organize for climate action.Robert van Waarden / Spectral QIt can if that number is 350. That’s the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: 350 parts per million (ppm). It’s also the rallying cry of a creative campaign to raise awareness of the climate crisis and build grassroots support for the 2009 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. 350.org wants communities around the world to join together on October 24 for an International Day of Climate Action. You can join with your church, your school, or your friends and do something to visibly get the word out about …

Bill they, or won't they?

Climate bill negotiations stall in House

What’s up with the climate bill? You know, the one that’s supposed to be voted on in the House next week? We’re wondering too! A report from one Capitol Hill newspaper suggests that negotiations have bogged down over the legislation’s provisions on agriculture, raising the question of whether the bill will actually get to the House floor before the July 4 recess. American Clean Energy and Security Act authors Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) have been meeting with members of the House who have expressed concerns about the bill in its current form, including Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin …

Crazy About Carseats But Not Climate?

Child safety? A Father’s Day call for a longer view

Every year around this time, the father in me starts thinking deep thoughts about why I’ve dedicated my career to environmental awareness and, in particular, helping people who don’t consider themselves activists understand why environmental issues should matter to them. In more recent years, it’s morphed into an almost singular focus for me on why the climate crisis should matter to all of us. For me, it’s simple. It’s the kids. As a parent, I want to do everything I can to make sure my kids are exposed to fewer hazards than I was. I always laugh when my own …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: apocalypse edition

This here is a cinquain! My seventh-grade teacher would be so proud. Check out the growing collection of weekly climate-news poems. Report: We’re in trouble. Frost, blight, drought, pests, high seas. We should move to safer ground now! But where? NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco and Obama science adviser John Holdren unveiled the government’s new, massive report on climate change impacts.Kate Sheppard / Grist

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