Climate & Energy

Last flight out

Richard Heinberg bids adieu to cheap flight: The airline industry has no future. The same is true for airfreight. No air carrier has a viable plan to make a profit with oil at current prices -- much less in years to come as the petroleum available to world markets dwindles rapidly. That's not to say that jetliners will disappear overnight, but rather that the cheap flights we've seen in the past will soon be fading memories. In a few years jet service will be available only to the wealthy, or to the government and military.

Ugly Reggy

California concludes majority of emission reductions will come through regulation

No state has done more to study the nitty-gritty of reducing emissions than California, and the California Air Resources Board recently revealed some of its thinking on how to achieve the state’s ambitious emission goals. …

Friday night fights

Senate turns back sneak attack from climate action opponents

Opponents of climate action launched a surprise assault last Friday night. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) led an attempt to add an amendment to the budget bill that Congress should hold off on enacting cap-and-trade legislation until China and India take more action. You'd expect Climate Security Act co-sponsors like Virginia's John Warner, Minnesota's Norm Coleman, Maine's Susan Collins, and North Carolina's Elizabeth Dole to oppose the amendment. But then another surprise -- South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, New Hampshire's Judd Gregg, Florida's Mel Martinez, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, Kansas' Pat Roberts, Oregon's Gordon Smith, Maine's Olympia Snowe, Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, and New Hampshire's John Sununu also voted against it. In all, 61 senators voted to kill Sen. DeMint's amendment, with 12 Republicans joining nearly every present Democrat and independent (West Virginia's Sen. Robert Byrd voted for it). Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) then led a counterattack.

We Get It -- the joke, that is

Corporate evangelical leaders cloak opposition to climate policy behind concern for poor

Those of you following Grist’s news feed (if you’re not, you should) are aware that last week a group of conservative evangelicals launched the "We Get It!" campaign, arguing against action on global warming. We’ve …

Let it blow

Wind power: a core climate solution

Wind power is a key climate solution. It is one of the few zero-carbon supply options that can plausibly provide more than one of the 14 or so "wedges" we need to stabilize below 450 ppm of CO2 (see "Is 450 ppm politically possible? Part 2: The Solution"). I plan to go through all of the major solutions this year. The stunning new Bush administration report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030 (discussed here), convinced me it was time to write a long piece, which has just been published in Salon. The article -- "Winds of change: The U.S. can greatly boost clean wind power for 2 cents a day. Now all we need is a president who won't blow the chance" -- explains the more than 2,000-year history of wind power, how conservatives cost America the chance to be the world wind leader, and why the global industry is so successful in spite of our government's relative apathy:

Oil Futures

What we don’t know (but think we do) about oil prices might hurt us

Predicting the future is hard. It's so difficult that even teams of analysts using fancy models get results like this: This isn't back-of-the-envelope stuff. This is the U.S. Energy Information Administration's official prediction for oil prices, circa 2007. According to the "high price" scenario, oil may reach $100 per barrel some time around 2030. But wait: oil was at $127 last week. So, not only was the EIA projection wrong -- it was wildly and completely wrong. Okay, everyone makes mistakes, even energy analysts. In 2008, the EIA cleaned up its act and produced this forecast:

Daily Show on green McCain

A man on emission:

Carly Fiorina on McCain

RNC ‘Victory Chair’ talks about McCain’s climate agenda

Grist recently caught a few minutes with Carly Fiorina, the “Victory Chair” of the Republican National Committee. (Quite the title, eh? Apparently it means she’s “the primary advocate for John McCain and the Republican Party” …

Driven to abstraction

The climate crisis cannot be solved without cost-benefit analysis

Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown law professor, has written an essay arguing against the embrace of cost-benefit analysis by environmentalists. She suggests that environmentalists enjoy nature in a very concrete and reverential manner that cannot be …

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