Climate & Energy

Umbra on driving versus flying, again

Dear Umbra, Your recent answer to the plane/train question prompts me to ask something that has always bothered me but that my little old brain …

Obama softens opposition to offshore drilling, and more political news

Barack Obama opened the door to offshore drilling on Friday, saying, “My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy …

What power politics looks like

As I left for vacation a week ago (hi, I’m back!), I was thinking Republican strategy on energy couldn’t get much nastier. Of course I …

The jig is up

Mainstream news is catching on to Big Oil greenwashing:

Radiation exposed

Low doses of radiation can cause harm; coal plants worse than nuclear plants

The effect of radiation is not a subject I blog on a great deal, although it is a subject I have studied a great deal. Indeed, my uncle, a former nuclear physics professor at MIT, started our family Radon testing business, which was sold off years ago. I asserted that people should be worried about low doses of radiation, especially cumulatively over time. Charles Barton of The Nuclear Green Revolution commented, "Your low doses over time assertion has been repeatedly falsified by empirical studies." Quite the reverse is true. As the National Research Council's Committee to Assess Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation (!) reported definitively three years ago:

See levels rise

Jet Propulsion Laboratory has new climate website that shows global sea-level trends

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a very good new website on global climate change. It offers a nice summary of the relevant science in a variety of areas: key indicators, evidence, causes, effects, uncertainties, and solutions. The website is a good place to send people who are uninformed on global warming, but looking for basic information. JPL has a very nice front-page banner with pulldown menus providing data on "Vital Signs of the Planet," including Arctic sea ice, carbon dioxide, sea level rise, global temperature, and the ozone hole. Here is the expanded chart showing the recent 70 percent jump in sea level rise:

Oil execs' alternate reality

McCain says he trusts Big Oil over energy and economic experts

John McCain said today that he believes what Big Oil says about the amount of oil still available in the United States’ outer continental shelf, …

A Prius problem?

The WSJ alleges that our use of hybrids increases oil prices

The Wall Street Journal's Environmental Capital blog is a must-read. But what exactly were they thinking with this column: So you think you're being virtuous by trading in the SUV for, say, a Prius? What if, instead, you're really sticking the next guy in line with higher pump prices? Yes, The WSJ is revoking the law of supply and demand. Less demand translates into higher pump prices! How is this possible, you ask?

Waived by the bell

Congress goes on recess without passing energy legislation

Congress broke for August recess today without making any notable progress on energy issues — as expected. Despite multiple attempts in both the House and …