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Clinton Global Initiative: Climate change and the Third World

Ethiopian leader lays out the real inconvenient truth on climate

Meles Zenawi, prime minister of Ethiopia, laid out the, ahem, inconvenient truth: That countries like his suffer because of what countries like ours have done, and that a world-wide cap-and-trade treaty would have to allow countries like Ethiopia to sell carbon allocations to countries like the United States. He says the funds would be used to invest in green energy. Of course, they could also end up spent on Ethiopia's continuing quest to take over Somalia, so, it seems, there would have to be some oversight here. Broadly speaking, though, this is a justice problem, and one that will be …

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Clinton Global Initiative: Hilarious quotes

Tony Blair on climate guilt and Hank Paulson on knowledge

Tony Blair: "The problem with global warming is that you feel guilty about enjoying it." Yes indeed. Less charming is this from Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson: Asked by Tom Brokaw whether Bush's determination on climate change is shared by Republicans on Capitol Hill, he replied, "I think there's a wide variety of knowledge on Capitol Hill." Writes Ezra, "Yep, many different knowledges, some of them true, some of them false, spread broadly. And they call the Left post-modern."

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Clinton Global Initiative: Blair on political will and economic strength

Tony Blair downplays the importance of political will in the U.S.

Tony Blair, oddly, just downplayed the importance of political will in the United States, and then, in an aside, said he thinks "the political will is there." I think he's been talking to George Bush too much. Building American political will is the key challenge facing us if we want to see a global mitigation regime emerge. Still, the topic of the plenary is "Economic Growth in the Face of Resource Scarcity and Climate Change," and on that point, Blair pointed out that the U.K.'s economy has grown en route to meeting its Kyoto goals. Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the …

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Clinton Global Initiative: Clinton on efficiency

Bill Clinton calls for countries to follow Japan’s lead

Bill Clinton introduced the morning plenary today by, once again, honoring the companies and people who've committed to the Clinton Global Initiative to take steps to increase energy efficiency and decrease greenhouse-gas emissions. But he touted one dubious statistic: If China, India, and the United States were to become as efficient as Japan, that would decrease global greenhouse-gas output by 20 percent. That statistic is based on this study by the McKinsey Institute and I think it's true only if, in an era of enhanced efficiency, the 2.5 billion people in China, India, and the United States didn't respond to …

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Dingell opens the door

Rep. John Dingell introduces his hybrid carbon tax

With a mighty creak of long-rusted hinges, a door is finally opening in Washington. The present Congress will apparently be asked to consider a carbon tax. The measure -- actually, a hybrid carbon and petroleum tax -- will be introduced by the powerful chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.). Today Dingell posted on his website a summary of the bill, which he began drafting in June. The current version would phase in, each year for five years, a charge of $10 per ton of carbon content of coal, oil, and natural gas -- …

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Charity won't cut it

Private sector money will not solve the climate crisis

The Clinton Global Initiative is ongoing. Rich folk and businesses are committing large sums of money to solving global problems like education, public health, and climate change. Matt injects a welcome note of realism: In those fields, it really seems to me that Bill Clinton could do much more good using his charisma and standing to try to convince rich guys and executives at big companies to take a more enlightened attitude toward the political process, to return to the sort of public-spirited involvement in public affairs that characterized the business class in the 1950s and 60s. Realistically, you can't …

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Bush and climate through the years

Reuters has a handy timeline tracking the evolution (or stasis, as it were) of Bush's climate policies.

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Iron fertilization

A sound plan, or a load of manure?

Take a look at this conference on dumping iron into the oceans to boost carbon pickup.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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A surge of idiocy

The absurdity that is Bush administration climate meetings

The L.A. Times has a piece on the laughable farce that is the Bush administration climate meetings, which will take place later this week. Some funny quotes: "It is the first in what we hope will be a series of meetings," said Dan Price, a deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs. "Those are not issues you discuss and resolve in two days." Well maybe ... uh, how to say this without profanity ... you should have started discussing and resolving before now. European environment ministers meeting with U.S. senators on Tuesday praised the president for getting involved in …

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U.S. will host climate meeting of world’s largest emitters

Representatives from the world's 17 largest greenhouse-gas emitters will gather tomorrow in the good ol' U.S. of A. for a climate-change discussion. (And yes, the U.N. just had one of those -- President Bush played hooky.) The group, which includes China, India, and Brazil, will be convened by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Bush will address them on Friday. Some E.U. nations will send junior ministers, as their senior officials have just, ahem, attended the U.N. meeting. Some see the summit as evidence that Bush is finally, finally, taking leadership on the climate issue; others fear that the group …