Climate & Energy

News flash: Newton's laws were 'overthrown'

Bizarre talking points of WaPo columnist Krauthammer

Sir Isaac Newton is one of the towering geniuses in all human history. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer? Not so much. Krauthammer has written a classic anti-science screed, "Carbon Chastity: The First Commandment of the Church of the Environment," that recasts many favorite anti-scientific denier memes in odd terms. You still hear and see all of these today, so let me touch on a few of them. And as I will discuss in Part 2, the article is most useful because it is a very clear statement of the real reason conservatives don't believe in climate science: They hate the solution. As a physicist, my favorite denier talking point is his strange version of the old claim that "scientists are flip floppers, constantly changing their theories." He writes:

Nice way of life. Shame if something happened to it.

According to ACCCE, if we don’t use coal, we’ll have to wave goodbye to the American way of life:

Lieberman-Warner gets corporate support

Industry & green groups join up to back climate bill

A coalition of corporations, green groups, and unions issued a joint statement to senators yesterday declaring their support for the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which will hit the Senate floor on Monday. Among the endorsers …

Lethal injections

Science: Geo-engineering scheme damages the ozone layer

Science has published a major new study, "The Sensitivity of Polar Ozone Depletion to Proposed Geoengineering Schemes" ($ub. req'd). The study finds: The large burden of sulfate aerosols injected into the stratosphere by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 cooled Earth and enhanced the destruction of polar ozone in the subsequent few years. The continuous injection of sulfur into the stratosphere has been suggested as a "geoengineering" scheme to counteract global warming. We use an empirical relationship between ozone depletion and chlorine activation to estimate how this approach might influence polar ozone. An injection of sulfur large enough to compensate for surface warming caused by the doubling of atmospheric CO2 would strongly increase the extent of Arctic ozone depletion during the present century for cold winters and would cause a considerable delay, between 30 and 70 years, in the expected recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. Of course, this geo-engineering scheme has lots of other problems. An earlier study noted:

Slave ethanol?

Amnesty International: forced labor in Brazil’s sugarcane fields

As the case for corn-based ethanol unravels, a lot of pundits and green-minded investors have settled on a new panacea: ethanol from sugar cane, which thrives in the tropics. Thomas Friedman has been blustering about …

'We're the Saudi Arabia of coal'

Obama & Clinton shill for coal in Montana

The Flathead Beacon in Montana pinned down interviews with both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton ahead of the state’s Tuesday primary. The paper asked questions on domestic oil and gas drilling, the preservation of public …

The first 100 days

Obama says climate and energy would be top priorities at start of his admin

It’s a bit buried here, but Marc Ambinder notes that at a fundraiser in Denver on Wednesday night, Barack Obama said his first-100-day priorities would include sending a “signal to the world” on energy and …

Where's the green beef?

LCV urges prez candidates to be leaders on climate bill

The League of Conservation Voters just issued a statement on John McCain’s plans to skip out on next week’s voting on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. Spokespeople for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have said …

Florida faces unfavorable tide

New report calls for climate action, but not everyone’s listening

With more coastline than any state in the lower 48 and about a tenth of its economy ($65 billion a year) based on tourism, Florida has more to lose than any other state from the threats of global warming. Rising sea levels creep closer to coastal development. Warmer tropics fuel stronger hurricanes. And higher ocean temperatures kill coral and harm fish populations, threatening the state's $4.5 billion sportfishing industry. Plenty of reasons that a report released yesterday should serve as a call to action on preparing for inevitable changes from global warming and cutting emissions now to avoid the worst impacts. Preparing for a Sea Change in Florida was produced by a broad coalition of environmental groups. The report makes several key recommendations:

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