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Climate & Energy


Quick, before the people who really mean it show up!

U.S. industry may well help push climate legislation through the Senate this session

Joe Lieberman says that comprehensive climate legislation in the Senate is more likely this session than people think (sub. rqd.), and that debate will probably get underway later this year or early next. But the reason he gives isn't exactly comforting: The Connecticut independent said U.S. industry has shifted on the global warming debate and is ready for regulation. "They want the rules of the road to be set by a Congress with the current political makeup," he said. "And they want the rules of the road to be set by an administration that is viewed as a friend of …


Friday night sights

Tune in to the Live Earth Concert Special tonight

A CliffsNotes version of the summer's 24-hour eco-music event will air tonight on MyNetworkTV. The two-hour "Live Earth -- The Concert Special" promises clips of the hottest performances from the seven-continent concert for a climate in crisis -- as well as tips for making eco-changes in your daily life. Check MyNetworkTV for local airtimes and channels.

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Bush admin talks up voluntary actions with strong words at D.C. climate summit

President Bush's climate summit of the world's top polluters kicked off yesterday in Washington, D.C., with rhetoric aplenty and the arrest of some 49 protesters from Greenpeace and other environmental groups outside the State Department offices. Meanwhile, inside the conference, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talked up the need for strong climate action even while advocating the administration's position that each nation should act in its own self-interest and at its own speed toward as-yet-undefined voluntary goals. President Bush said in a brief speech to the summit this morning, "We acknowledge there is a problem, and by setting this goal, …


Swift-boating James Hansen

Hansen erroneously accused of predicting an ice age

After I heard a claim that our nation's top climate scientist "once warned of Ice Age" -- I (and no doubt many others) emailed Hansen and said he should reply to the rapidly morphing and spreading myth. He has here (PDF). I will reprint what he has to say below (you can also go to that link for an interesting commentary, "Please talk to your grandfather"): In 1976, with four colleagues, I wrote my first paper on climate (Science, 194, 685-690, 1976). Based on the suggestion of Yuk Yung, one of the co-authors, we examined, for the first time, whether …

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Hey hey, ho ho ...

Climate protesters arrested outside State Department

Greenpeace executive director John Passacantando was among 50 activists arrested today outside the State Department, protesting Bush's farcical climate meetings.


Be careful what you wish for

Conservative candidate in Ontario will expand nuclear power industry, if elected

Me, a month ago: What the Ontario election needs is for the parties to talk more about energy issues! Me, a few days ago: Crud. Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory said Saturday that environmental approval for energy projects is operating at a snail's pace, and if his party comes to power, he will revitalize the province's nuclear sector. I would so love for the expansion of nuclear power to not be the one point of agreement between the two biggest parties in my province.


Bill Clinton vs. the World Bank

Clinton’s push for sustainable development dismissed by World Bank prez

The opening plenary was fascinating. Clinton explained how CGI commitments had already avoided 20,000,000 tons of greenhouse gases. Then he tried to get Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank, to realize that the "Bank can show people options for sustainable development." Zoellick, however, was full of little more than platitudes, saying we need to address "questions of adaptation and mitigation," and noting that there is a sensitivity in the developing world that climate change funds will come at the expense of development -- totally missing Clinton's point that green development is the only winning path (and Gore's point that …


Disinterested analysis

Banks want a cap-and-trade system

A coalition of banks, which stand to benefit enormously from the new business created by a cap-and-trade system, believe that a cap-and-trade system is the preferable climate policy. In other news, dog bites man.

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That spade is a spade

Unusually straightforward journalistic fact-checking at the Post

Huge kudos to Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson at the Post. You don't often see traditional journalists willing to call out the Bush administration's lies and distractions so plainly: Seeking to counter international pressure to adopt binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions, the Bush administration has been touting the success of three mandatory programs to curb U.S. energy consumption: gas mileage standards for vehicles, efficiency standards for home appliances and state laws requiring utilities to increase their use of renewable energy sources. But for most of the Bush presidency, the White House has either done little to promote these measures …


Britain will phase out incandescent light bulbs

Britain announced a voluntary initiative today that will phase out traditional incandescent light bulbs in the country by 2011. Officials predict that phasing in compact fluorescent lights will keep up to 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide a year out of the atmosphere. Brilliant! "Britain is leading the way in getting rid of energy-guzzling light bulbs and helping consumers reduce their carbon footprint," said Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, apparently forgetting that Australia actually led the way (and its legislation was mandatory, cough cough.) Could the U.S. be next to see the light?

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living