Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

Techno-obsession

Renewables still represent only a tiny fraction of our electricity generation. Everyone seems to assume, without much argument, that the reason for this is technological. Why?

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

China joins campaign to phase out incandescent bulbs

China makes 70 percent of the world's light bulbs, and has just agreed to participate in a campaign to globally phase out inefficient bulbs over the next decade. But you didn't hear it from us: China's participation in the incandescent-hatin' campaign, which is being spearheaded by green funder Global Environment Facility, will be formally announced at the United Nations climate meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in December.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

The 'Exxon of corn' licks its chops

Archer Daniels Midland sees glut as opportunity to consolidate the ethanol market

Over the past year, ethanol production has exploded -- surpassing even the dramatically higher "alternative fuel requirement" in last year's energy bill. And now we have a glut of ethanol on the market, which has pushed prices down dramatically and caused many ethanol plants -- particularly independent farmer-owned ones -- to struggle. But Archer Daniels Midland, hailed on Wall Street as the Exxon of corn, is seeing the downturn in ethanol prices as an opportunity to consolidate the ethanol market. It already produces a quarter of U.S. ethanol. Now it wants more. From Dow Jones newswire: Archer Daniels Midland Co. …

Comments

Weird junior high debate cards republished

The Heartland Institute accidently steals seventh grader’s paper

I got a weird mailing yesterday from The Heartland Institute: a little pamphlet titled "Scientific Consensus on Global Warming: Results of an international survey of climate scientists." Amazingly, there is a price list on the inside cover; this little gem could be yours for only $5.95. I looked all over the Institute's website but couldn't find the darn thing, until finally I thought to look under "Books," and lo and behold -- the 5" x 8", 23-page pamphlet was listed there. I'd say one for everyone in your family ... and you could probably spring for one for everyone at …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

U.K. judge rules Inconvenient Truth partisan but still OK to show in schools

A judge has ruled on a British citizen's accusation that the United Kingdom's distribution of An Inconvenient Truth to secondary schools amounts to political indoctrination. And the strange, strange verdict is: Yes, the documentary can be shown in schools -- as long as teachers follow guidelines to not promote Al Gore's "partisan political views" to impressionable schoolchildren. Because remember in the movie when Al Gore said "Kids, climate change is bad so you should always vote Democrat?" Yeah. Us neither.

Comments

Donning his cap

Dingell endorses a cap-and-trade climate plan

Just days after releasing his carbon-and-gas tax proposal for public comment, House Energy and Commerce Chair John Dingell (D-Auto) -- along with Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Coal) of Virginia -- has released a report [PDF] endorsing an economy-wide cap-and-trade program. In an odd but welcome turn, the 22-page white paper reads: The United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 60 and 80 percent by 2050 to contribute to efforts to address climate change. To do so, the United States should adopt an economy-wide, mandatory greenhouse gas reduction program. Further white papers will be forthcoming, meant to ... ... …

Comments

No news is good news

The Solar Power Conference revealed no breakthrough solar tech — and that’s a good thing

The following is a guest essay by Jim Raras, Jr., COO of Inpower Systems. ----- Every year the biggest players in the solar industry convene at the Solar Power Conference in Long Beach, Calif., to discuss the latest advancements in solar technology. This year, one of the most notable facets of the meetings was what was not said. During a 90 minute CEO panel discussion about the current and future state of the solar industry, the word "breakthrough" was never uttered. Not a surprise to any industry participants, but surely surprising to the average consumer. The technology-superstar status bestowed on …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Debunking Shellenberger & Nordhaus: Part I

The death of ‘The Death of Environmentalism’

What do Michael Crichton, Bjorn Lomborg, Frank Luntz, George W. Bush (and his climate/energy advisors) have in common with Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus? They all believe that (1) new "breakthrough" technologies are needed to solve the global warming problem and (2) investing in such technology is far more important than regulating carbon. In fairness to President Bush -- he doesn't really believe those two things (as evidenced by the fact that he has actually cut funding for key carbon-reducing technologies), he just says them because conservative strategist Frank Luntz says it's the best way to sound like you care …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

The City of Love unveils an emissions reduction plan

Speaking of the scheming of the French, Paris has pledged to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 30 percent by 2020. Gosh, who isn't introducing such plans these days? Oh. Right.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Neither trick nor treat

Pumpkin production is down for second year in a row

Halloween may still be four weeks away, but this story's already got me spooked: Scorching weather and lack of rain this summer wiped out some pumpkin crops from western New York to Illinois, leaving fields dotted with undersized fruit. Other fields got too much rain and their crops rotted. It's the second year in a row that pumpkin production has been down. First we're losing our woolly turtlenecks and now our jack-o'-lanterns? Scary. Good thing no one's predicting scorching heat and unseasonable rain for future autumns ...

Read more: Climate & Energy, Food