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Mon Dieu, Il Fait Chaud

European heat-wave length has doubled since 1880, study says The average length of Europe's sultry heat waves has doubled since 1880, researchers say, from an average of 1.5 days to an average of three days. By analyzing historical records from 54 stations across the continent -- then correcting for an upward bias in earlier decades due to thermometers not being shielded from direct sunlight and indirect radiation -- the team found that extreme temperatures are getting extremer; they wrote up their findings in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. "These results add more evidence to the belief among climate scientists that …

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With Safety Like This, Who Needs Danger?

Rescue effort continues in collapsed Utah mine called "safe" by owner The search for survivors continues at a coal mine in central Utah that collapsed early Monday. Four miners escaped the implosion -- which was so strong it registered magnitude 3.9 at a nearby seismic station -- but six others were trapped about three miles from the Crandall Canyon Mine entrance, some 1,500 feet underground. While rescue teams worked through the night, the facility's owner defended his operation, which has received upwards of 300 safety citations from federal officials since January 2004. "I believe we run a very safe coal …

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The WSJ asks and answers

As home-appliance technology continues to move toward the energy-efficient (and brightly colored), more and more consumers are looking to replace their old appliances. But is it really an upgrade? No, says Jeanine Van Voorhees, who spent $1,000 on a new energy-saving washer only to find that it coughs up dingy, cat-hair-covered clothes. "I curse that machine every time," she says, and she often washes her loads twice. (I'm no expert, but that doesn't sound energy efficient to me.) According to this Wall Street Journal article, Van Voorhees isn't alone, either. Many conscientious consumers are reporting that their energy-efficient appliances aren't …

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If you only read one book, pick this one

For years I've been looking for one book to recommend to people who want to get up to speed on what's happening in clean technology. I have finally found it: The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder. It is the only book I've seen that covers the whole gamut of the latest in clean energy -- including such cutting-edge areas as concentrating solar power and microalgae -- and isn't swept up in fads like hydrogen cars. I was a bit worried when the index didn't have an entry for either …

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Listen up

I thought, as a final post on Yearly Kos (about which I fear my posts are woefully inadequate -- it really was a fascinating sociopolitical event, worthy of better analysis than I'm able to give it -- read Ezra Klein's wrap-up), I'd recap in somewhat more elaborate terms what I said at my global warming panel. These are points that will be familiar to Grist readers, but perhaps it's worth bringing them together. A note: these were explicitly conceived as messages to the netroots, as points in need of grassroots emphasis, to influence the ongoing political debate. 1. Global warming …

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Cool commentary on a hot topic

Awhile ago I made a lame post pointing to a really cool page in Mother Jones that actually wasn't online yet. Well, it's up now, so if you were one of the two people who tried to see it, you can go visit MoJo now and check it out.

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An interview with Bill Richardson 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: Bill Richardson dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 10, 2008. Bill Richardson. Photo: Michael Millhollin via flickr Bill Richardson likes to play up his image as a horse-ridin', gun-totin' man of the Wild West, but don't be distracted by the cowboy swagger -- the Democratic governor of New Mexico also has a serious policy wonk side. That was on full display in May when he unveiled a broad and ambitious climate and energy plan. Billing himself as the "energy president," …

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It contains some transformative measures

Contentious round of voting Saturday night, and the heavy threat of the president's veto pen, but if we can get through the political fog, the House may well have accomplished something truly monumental. Two big pieces in the energy bill worth noting, and following closely in any subsequent compromise. Both are transformative for our electricity markets -- an area where past energy bills (at least since 1993) have favored the status quo over true reform. In addition, with >50 GW of already identified potential for zero-carbon electricity from industrial waste heat sources (compare to the entire US nuclear fleet at …

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Test Drive

New York to paste "global warming index" stickers on some new vehicles New York has become the second state in the U.S. to require new cars and light trucks to bear a "global warming index" sticker. (We'll give you a minute to guess which one was first.) The law, which begins with the 2010 model year, aims to educate consumers and cut pollution. Each sticker will show how the vehicle's emissions compare to the average overall emissions of that model year, and will also reveal which model within the vehicle's class has the lowest emissions. Nasties to be indexed include …

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We Could’ve Sworn Someone Was Already Working On That

Bush confirms plans for U.S.-hosted climate summit Late last week, President Bush solidified plans for an international climate summit in September. The meeting, to be hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will convene 12 to 15 industrial and developing countries, including India and China, to discuss long-term climate goals. But critics are jumping all over the idea, first floated in June; they say Bush's refusal to consider mandatory emissions cuts has tanked any hope of progress. "If this is just to carry on with a voluntary approach," said Elliot Diringer of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, "then …

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