Climate & Energy

Another reason to listen to Smokey

Forests and fires foster fearsome feedbacks

Previously, I looked at why the permafrost won't be perma for long. Then I looked at whether the potential destruction of the tundra represents the point of no return for the climate, necessitating that we keep atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide below 450 ppm or else risk going to 800 ppm to 1,000 ppm. Here I examine two local amplifying feedbacks that further threaten the permafrost: forests and fires. Reduced snow cover and albedo (reflectivity) in the summertime Arctic landscape, caused by global warming, has added local atmospheric heating ($ub. req'd) "similar in magnitude to the regional heating expected over multiple decades from a doubling of atmospheric CO2." That same Science study warns "Continuation of current trends in shrub and tree expansion could further amplify this atmospheric heating 2-7 times."

Coal is dirty

A new blog takes on the enemy of the human race

This week marked the launch of Coal is Dirty. (It is “a joint project managed by The DeSmog Project, Rainforest Action Network, and Greenpeace U.S.A.”) The site is devoted to battling Big Coal’s PR machine. …

White House admits humans causing climate change

The White House has begrudgingly admitted that “most of the recent global warming is very likely due to human generated increases in greenhouse gas concentrations.” In a 271-page report — court-ordered and four years late …

The cowardly lion

McCain to skip another crucial climate vote

Unbelievable. Sen. John McCain — who just weeks ago said of the Climate Security Act, "I hope it will pass, and I hope the entire Congress will join in supporting it and the President of …

Blair weighs in

U.K.’s former prime minister says symbolic vote on Boxer-Lieberman-Warner matters to the world

In March, British prime minister Tony Blair launched the Breaking the Climate Deadlock initiative to promote a new global agreement on climate change. Today he has an op-ed the in the Washington Post, "Leading On Climate Change: How Action in Congress Can Move the World," in which he argues,

Displaced by development, squatters await justice in Argentina

Next to a busy train station in Buenos Aires, not far from the chic restaurants and condos getting all the attention these days, lies another world. Behind a gate is a long metal shed, once …

Sapphire Energy hopes to soon power your car with algae

Sapphire Energy says it has successfully turned algae into biofuel, raising hopes that a viable oil alternative could be produced without need for agricultural land. The indeed-sapphire-colored fuel produced by the year-old company is coaxed …

Interview with solar champion Hermann Scheer

NewScientist has a great interview with German Social Democrat MP Hermann Scheer, who chairs the World Council for Renewable Energy and has done as much as anyone alive to spread the word on solar power. …

A fool and his money

I’m guessing these people just want attention, so I’ll give them a little: Conservative grassroots group Grassfire.org wants people to waste as much energy as possible on June 12 by “hosting a barbecue, going for …

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