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Hansen gives a talk in Iowa about climate change impacts

Hansen writes faster than I can blog. He has posted a "talk given at Des Moines last Sunday, with description of Declaration of Stewardship slightly edited for clarity." He talks about the "three major consequences of global warming, if we go down the business-as-usual path, with fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase": First, there is the extermination of species. We could drive half of the plant and animal species on the planet to extinction. Humans are already placing stresses on many species as we take over the land, and climate stress is being added on top …

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Activists pester him about the most trivial stuff

OK, I'm back to defending Dingell (sorry Brian!), mainly because the activists attacking him are acting like idiots. At a town hall in Ann Arbor, Mich., Dingell unveiled the various climate-change proposals he's going to introduce to Congress on Sep. 1. Press coverage of the event is fairly sketchy, and I can't find a transcript anywhere, so there's not a lot of detail, but the measures include: A carbon tax of up to $100 per ton. A gas tax of $0.50 a gallon. A cap-and-trade system. Ending the mortgage tax deduction for "McMansions" over 3,000 sq. feet. All with the …

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More thoughts on how sea level will be influenced by global warming

Hansen has posted some important thoughts about sea level rise on his website. In particular, he has shortened his "Scientific reticence and sea level rise" paper and New Scientist has published it. The key conclusion: [I]ce sheets will respond in a non-linear fashion to global warming --- and are already beginning to do so. There is enough information now, in my opinion, to make it a near certainty that business-as-usual [emissions] scenarios will lead to disastrous multi-metre sea level rise on the century time scale. This leads directly to his emissions strategy: The global community must aim to restrict any …

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Word Gets Around

New bike, parking policies leave polluting vehicles in the dust Now for some wheely good news (sorry, it had to be done): officials around the globe are moving forward on innovative eco-transportation schemes. Last week, the city council of Reykjavik, Iceland, enacted a rule that gives free parking to those who drive fuel-efficient vehicles. In Ontario, Canada, yesterday, officials said they will develop a rating system for eco-friendly cars and trucks, with an eye toward debuting a green license plate in 2008 for low-emitters; the tag could net owners perks like free parking and access to commuter lanes. In Paris …

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Is he losing his influence?

Glenn Hurowitz writes that Dingell may finally be losing his influence: Part of the reason for Dingell's decreasing power is that he's become rather unpopular within a Democratic caucus that's willing to tolerate internal policy differences, but increasingly unwilling to accept his barely veiled attacks on Pelosi and his open war with the environmental movement, which is providing more and more ground troops to Democratic field operations on Election Day. The guy isn't built for parliamentary party unity, that's for sure! Glenn makes a good case, but I continue to think that the "open war" thing is a bit reductive. …

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Will he be able to weather the storm?

Here's another semi-old story that I'm just now getting around to (and yes, I've forgotten how I found it). It's deceptively significant. Using California's tough environmental regs, state Attorney General Jerry Brown is throwing some elbows, trying to force a range of projects from housing developments to oil refineries to show how they'll reduce emissions. He's trying to change extremely ingrained behavior at a fairly micro level, and he's getting a whole mess of blowback. Brown is trying to remain flexible enough to allow for a range of solutions, but the state's big money players are getting peeved, and Schwarzenegger's …

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Watch a video outlining the conflict over this wind farm

"Nantucket Sound, blessed with a vast diversity of native life ... " Update, 11 Sep 2007: The video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Viacom International Inc., unfortunately.

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Finally

Oy. Things are, as usual, happening faster than I can blog them. Before it gets too old, let me be the last person in the green blogosphere to link to this remarkable article in Newsweek. It's about the history of the global warming denial industry. It's not remarkable because it uncovers any new information. Those playing close attention -- and reading sources like, ahem, Grist -- have known about this stuff for a long time. It's remarkable because it gathers it in one place and presents it forcefully, without the usual strained attempt to "balance" it with the same discredited …

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Watch him on ‘OnPoint’

Very good piece here from E&ETV ($ub req'd). Worth the time to watch. Description: CAP's Joseph Romm calls conservatives 'deniers and delayers' on warming policy Author and Center for American Progress senior fellow Joseph Romm says if aggressive action on climate change is not taken soon, the effects on the planet will be dire. In his new book, Hell and High Water: Global Warming -- the Solution and the Politics -- and What We Should Do, Romm explains why he thinks a state of "planetary purgatory" is inevitable. During today's OnPoint, Romm, a former Department of Energy official under President …

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How the two are related

Science Friday recently had a great segment on cognitive dissonance, defined as: A psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs. Because it is uncomfortable, your brain will seek out ways to resolve the contradictions. So if you think you're a good and moral person, but you fudge a little on your taxes, you might justify this with an excuse like: "I've overpaid in previous years," or "the government is using my money in an immoral way," or "everyone …

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