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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.

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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 ...

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An interview with Mike Huckabee about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: Mike Huckabee dropped out of the presidential race on Mar. 4, 2008. Mike Huckabee. Photo: healthierus.gov Should you heart Huckabee? The jovial former Arkansas governor famously shed 100 pounds in two years and became an outspoken health and fitness advocate, and now he's focusing that can-do attitude on a much weightier problem: America's beleaguered energy system. "The first thing I will do as president is send Congress my comprehensive plan for energy independence," he proclaims on his website. "We will achieve energy …

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Dingell's absurd poison-pill climate plan

John Dingell’s carbon-tax bill is designed to be unpopular

The carbon plan of Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is considerably lamer -- and more transparently a poison pill -- than early reports suggested. So I strongly disagree with Chris Dodd, Friends of the Earth, and Gristmill's Charles Komanoff, who all applaud the bill. Here's why. First, as Dingell himself has said, he wanted to design a bill with maximum pain to prove to everyone how unpalatable greenhouse gas mitigation is (see below). Why else include a pointless $0.50 gasoline tax on top of the carbon tax? Dingell actually has a double agenda here -- to torpedo climate legislation and a …

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Quebec introduces carbon tax

Determined not to let British Columbia hog the green spotlight, the province of Quebec has introduced Canada's first carbon tax. The tax, to be levied on gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and coal, is expected to raise $200 million a year to fund the province's emissions-reduction plans. Apparently Quebec never got the memo that taxes are communist plots developed by the French ... hey, wait a minute!

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Corps may buy out coastal Miss. towns, encourage residents to move inland

The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking support from three coastal Mississippi counties for a proposal to buy out 17,000 homes and encourage residents to move inland. The Corps generally reserves buyouts for areas prone to river flooding; the new proposal is an indication that the U.S. may be seriously considering the risk of sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and stronger hurricanes. Intentions of safety aside, resistance to the voluntary project is high. "The whole concept of trying to remove people and properties from the coast is very, very challenging," says Susan Rees of the Corps. "The desire to live by …

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Krupped up

I have been informed by people reliably more environmentalish than I that my qualified partial not-quite-endorsement of ED's Fred Krupp makes me a corporatist dupe and a sell-out. I have turned in my environmentalist badge and look forward to reprogramming.

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Federal officials claim ethanol, border fence green as can be

Well, phew. Ethanol's not to blame for high food prices and a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border will actually benefit the environment. If we can't believe the top federal farm official and the top federal security official, whom can we believe?

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Working with cities to build markets

Clinton’s 21st century climate philanthropy

I heartily recommend this month's Atlantic Monthly cover story, "It's Not Charity" (via Yglesias). It's mostly about Bill Clinton's post-presidency adventures and the new model of philanthropy he's trying to develop. Embedded within is a description of a fascinating climate program he's been developing with Ira Magaziner. An excerpt: The climate initiative, in typical Magaziner style, has many moving parts, including technical assistance to cities, networks for sharing best practices, software to measure progress, financial support, and a full-time foundation staff member assigned to each city. But the make-or-break component is a plan to re-equilibrate the market for energy conservation. …

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Another 'must read' from Hansen

‘Long-term’ climate sensitivity of 6 degrees C for doubled CO2

The nation's top climate scientist is prolific: He has co-authored another important article: "Global Warming: East-West Connections" (PDF). And I'm not just saying that because he cites one of my articles. In fact, we've been having an email exchange and he strongly disagrees with me that it is too late, in a practical sense, to save the Arctic (and hence the polar bear). He believes strong and smart action now could work -- whereas I believe we need such action now to save the Greenland ice sheet, but doubt we can or will act in time to stop the total …

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